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Derek Blumke Joins Fullbridge as Vice President of Military & Veterans Programs

Air Force Veteran and Student Veterans of America Co-Founder to Expand Fullbridge's 21st Century Workforce Skills Program to Help Veterans Jumpstart Civilian Careers

CAMBRIDGE, MA and NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 07/21/14 -- Fullbridge, Inc., which offers 21st Century workforce skills programs to help students and military veterans successfully transition into the global workplace, announced today that Derek Blumke, co-founder and former president of the non-profit veteran support organization, Student Veterans of America (SVA), has joined the company as Vice President of Military and Veterans Programs. Awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2010, Blumke was commended by President Barack Obama for his efforts to support the military veteran community. Blumke's first-hand experience in the military and entrepreneurial spirit will enable him to identify opportunities to help veterans successfully transition into the private sector through Fullbridge's career acceleration programs.

"With over 15 years of experience supporting service members and military veterans, Derek's unique vantage point, commitment and commendations are invaluable assets for Fullbridge and we are extremely fortunate to have him on board," noted Candice Carpenter Olson, Fullbridge Co-CEO and Founder. "Derek's insight and experience in understanding the transition service members are faced with will help Fullbridge to further develop and expand our military programs throughout the country, including our upcoming certification program in Chicago this September, to serve the military and veteran community with the business fundamentals to help them succeed post-military service."

"Fullbridge has built an absolutely transformative program and I am honored to have the opportunity to expand its reach to the service members and veterans who need it the most," added Blumke. "As a former student, the program taught me more about the basic fundamentals of accounting, finance and running a business than my several years of experience in the workforce. I'm excited to make this program available for other vets, as I know they, too, will gain the same practical benefits from the Fullbridge Program that I achieved."

Blumke's dedication to public service began in 1999 soon after enlisting in the U.S. Air Force, where he served a combined 12 years in uniform on active duty and in the Air National Guard During that time, he deployed three times to Afghanistan and neighboring countries with the 16th Special Operations Wing as an aircraft electrician. In 2005, he transitioned from the Air Force to the Air National Guard and began his studies at a community college in northern Michigan and then went on to The University of Michigan, where he founded and served as the President and Executive Director of SVA, which to date, has grown to over 1,000 campuses and has helped over 100,000 veterans transition to college. Blumke went on to the Department of Veterans Affairs where he established a pilot mental health program for veterans on college and university campuses, as part of the VA Secretary's "21st Century Transformation Initiatives." Most recently, he served as the Executive Vice President of New York-based tech startup, Hirepurpose, which helps veterans with career guidance and employment opportunities. Blumke serves on the Board of Directors for the Yale-based nonprofit, the Warrior Scholar Project; is a member of the American Legion's 100th Anniversary Committee; and is involved in the technology startup community in New York City. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Michigan (2010).

The next class of the Fullbridge Military and Veterans program, the Fullbridge Concordia Graduate Certification, is scheduled for September 15 - October 17, 2014, at Concordia University Chicago. It is an intense, five-week program that provides business fundamentals for military veterans through a deep dive into the world of business. The program is a full time, lecture-free, hands-on immersive boot camp combining collaborative learning with challenging business exercises and dynamic e-learning modules. Eligible veterans and family members may use GI Bill Funding for tuition and housing.

The Fullbridge Program partners with higher education to offer collaborative 21st Century workforce skills programs that help students and military veterans successfully transition into the global workplace. Created with input from leading corporate executives, Fullbridge's career acceleration programs help to deliver real-world skills through transformational mentoring, professional connections and an active global alumni community. The Fullbridge Program has educated over 1400 students throughout the world, including the US, Shanghai and Riyadh. The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has approved the use of college credit for the Fullbridge Program; eligible veterans may apply GI Bill benefits for Fullbridge programs.

Susan E. Jacobsen
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