USO Manager of Volunteer Operations Kassia Reedy introduces the USO Volunteers of the Year for 2019.
Stateside Volunteer of the Year
Alan Thompson | USO Central Florida
Alan Thompson understands the importance and sensitivity of the Families of the Fallen mission at the USO location in the Tampa International Airport. So when USO Central Florida receives that important phone call alerting them that a family will be utilizing their location, they know that they can rely on Thompson to prep the location. He jumps into action, calmly ensuring that the location is ready, that other volunteers are briefed and that other patrons are shifted to other rooms, so as to ensure privacy for our Gold Star Families.
This is just one stellar example of Thompson’s dedication to the mission at USO Central Florida. In his seven-plus years as a volunteer, he has developed a strong bond with his community, the staff in the location and as a leader among his peers. We’re proud to have Thompson as our Stateside Volunteer of the Year, as he represents exactly what it means to be a Force Behind the Forces®.
Overseas Volunteer of the Year
April Barzanti | USO Guam
April Barzanti, an Air Force spouse out of USO Guam, has volunteered over 2,500 hours with the USO location on Andersen Air Force Base. Her dedication to the USO’s mission is evident in the fact that she volunteers in the location multiple times per week, is present at almost every event, has spearheaded unique programs and played a key role in the location’s expansion over the summer.
The impact of Barzanti’s presence, staff stay, expedited the readiness of location operations. She led volunteer teams that assembled furniture, organized new storage areas, staged décor and furniture, installed signage and set up electronics. She even played a key role in marketing and social media strategy for the location’s grand opening event, resulting in over 300 service members in attendance, along with key installation leadership.
“April’s dedication and commitment to the USO mission is an inspiration to our USO family and the service and family members we serve. She so willingly shares her special skills in graphic design, photography and marketing to benefit our USO. She has the unique ability to lead leaders and displays humility and concern for others,” said Jadine Lujuan, the former center manager of USO Anderson.
Barzanti’s hard-working attitude and ability to work with staff, volunteers and the greater community have made her an invaluable asset in Guam. She’s a great mentor to new volunteers and leads by example, creating the base for a strong volunteer force supporting our service members and families on Guam.
We’re grateful for Barzanti’s contributions to the USO mission in the Pacific region and are proud that this outstanding military spouse is our Overseas Volunteer of the Year! Thanks April for all you do!