#12VetsOfChristmas Day Twelve: Army Veteran Michael SDecember 20, 2021
Army Veteran & Women in Networking have served HVAF for 15+ yearsJanuary 11, 2022
In September 2021, former VP for Strategy Emmy Hildebrand received the promotion as HVAF’s first female CEO! Read more below to get to know our new CEO better:
What all have you done at HVAF prior to receiving your new promotion?
I joined HVAF in October 2012 as the organization’s first Public Policy Coordinator. I was able to use my previous experience in government to help educate and inform our elected officials about HVAF and the work we are doing to end veteran homelessness. I’ve also worked on grants and special projects and supervised the Community Center for a few years.
What do you expect for your new role as HVAF CEO?
I am hopeful to be able to continue HVAF’s important work in our community, and to follow in the footsteps of our founders and leaders to ensure that HVAF remains a beacon of hope for veterans in Central Indiana. I expect to be challenged personally and professionally, but am also really excited about the opportunity to serve as CEO of HVAF.
Why are you excited to be the new CEO?
I am excited to continue working with such an incredible team! We are so fortunate to have a team of compassionate staff that are here to serve veterans. Over the last few weeks, it’s been really rewarding to see how the team supports and encourages each other. I want to make a difference in our community, and the collective impact of all of us at HVAF is an extraordinary thing to be a part of.
What are some of your goals/future plans at HVAF?
Thanks to our team, we have so many great things already happening at HVAF! Our programs are amazing—we’ve been able to grow and adapt to meet the needs of veterans and their families, and I look forward to HVAF continuing that effort. Our Advancement Department also just finished the best year in HVAF history, so I am excited to work with Ashlee and her team to keep growing that effort as well. The Support Team wrapped up a very busy couple of years leveraging COVID related funding to make major upgrades to our properties, so we want to keep the high standards going! We are also working to bring more efficient processes to our business functions, finance and HR, to ensure they’re more appropriately designed for an agency of our size.
Why do you choose to work for a veterans’ agency?
My entire career has been dedicated to serving veterans, members of the military and their families. Before I joined HVAF, I handled military and veterans issues for Senator Lugar, so I was thrilled to be able to continue my service at HVAF. We owe the men and women who serve in our military such a debt of gratitude, and I can think of no better way to begin to pay that back than to be a resource in times of need.
When you are not at HVAF, where can we find you?
I’m probably driving our kids somewhere!
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I feel like I’m a pretty boring person, so I surveyed my friend group for this question! The responses included that my first job was at Video Express in Greencastle—and I loved it! I guess I’m officially old, because Video Express closed when Blockbuster came to town. And, now of course, Blockbuster has closed as well. Also, that I’m a good cook and sometimes make my own jam and pickles.
Anything else you would like to share?
By many accounts, we are in the midst of one of the toughest times during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to share with you my hope that, just as we have done for the last two years, we will all work together to get through this. We’ll continue caring for each other and our veterans, just as we have been doing since HVAF was founded in 1993.