GOODWILL OF ORANGE COUNTY ANNOUNCES RETIRED U.S. AIR FORCE LIEUTENANT COLONEL JUSTINE CROMER AS NEW DIRECTOR OF THE TIERNEY CENTER FOR VETERAN SERVICES

September 14, 2021

Cromer brings 25+ years of military service experience, including a decade at the Pentagon providing strategic communication and process improvement leadership

TUSTIN, Calif. – September 14, 2021 – Goodwill of Orange County today announced the appointment of Justine Cromer as the new director of its Tierney Center for Veteran Services, Orange County’s leading all-in-one resource for veterans and their families that provides access to critical resources, including job placement and career development, housing assistance, benefit navigation, and support services.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Cromer joins the Tierney Center after a span of 28 years of military service in the Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and the Air National Guard. The early days of her career began in the Gulf War on the KC-135A/R Air Refueling Tanker, when combat flying opportunities had just opened up to women. She departed active duty as a Senior Instructor Navigator with more than 2,500 flying hours.

Following several years of industry experience with mature and startup companies, Cromer reentered full-time military as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with cadets from Harvard, Tufts, and Wellesley. She then spent her next ten years at the Pentagon supporting General officers and the Senior Executive Service in multiple roles including strategic communications, change management, process improvement, and international affairs.

“These are trying times for veterans, and each of their stories and circumstances is significant and different,” stated Cromer. “With our brothers and sisters coming home from Afghanistan, including those who have served in prior conflicts, it’s our job to meet their needs in every way possible and ensure they get the support they need.”

Cromer also brings more than fifteen years of experience supporting veterans with transition assistance, education, training, employment, service-connected disability compensation, grant writing and more.

Cromer holds a Bachelor of Science, Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also holds several business certifications from MIT, Harvard Law School, and University of Michigan, and military honors and certificates from Distinguished Graduate to instructor training schools.

“To say we are excited for Justine to join our Goodwill team at the Tierney Center for Veteran Services is an extraordinary understatement,” said Nicole Suydam, President and CEO, Goodwill of Orange County. “Justine brings incredible military service experience and a deep understanding of the challenges and needs of today’s veterans. With her leadership, the Tierney Center will solidify its role as the preeminent veteran-service hub in the county and provide more personalized, quality support to our deserving servicemen and women and their families.”

The Tierney Center is a coalition of Orange County veteran-serving organizations that have joined hands to help veterans and their families access resources and support services. The Tierney Center, located in Tustin, provides a front door for veterans and their families – a comprehensive resource that provides coordinated and quality services at no cost. A dedicated Veteran Peer Navigator helps identify and successfully connect each veteran to services, advocate on his or her behalf, and stand beside them throughout the process. Available services and support include basic needs (clothing, food, childcare, etc.), employment assistance, faith-based resources, VA benefits, behavioral health services, housing resources, legal assistance, emergency financial aid, transportation, transition support, and peer support services. Goodwill’s Tierney Center team specializes in employment opportunities and career development for veterans. Other organizations currently housed within the Tierney Center include 2-1-1 Orange County, Battle Buddy Bridge OC, Veterans Legal Institute, U.S. Vets Patriotic Hall, Integrated Recovery Foundation and Strength in Support. Since its inception in 2016, the Tierney Center, with its dedicated partners and loyal supporters, has served more than 32,000 veterans.

As Director of the Tierney Center for Veteran Services, Cromer will lead strategic planning, project implementation, and countywide collaboration and innovation for the Goodwill program. Cromer began her new role on September 1.

For more information about the Tierney Center for Veteran Services, visit ocgoodwill.org/tierney-center.

About Goodwill of Orange County
Goodwill of Orange County helps people facing barriers find and keep jobs, which provides purpose, pride, and dignity. Since its inception in 1924, Goodwill has supported hundreds of thousands of individuals through quality training and education programs, supportive employment services for people with developmental and physical disabilities, on-site job coaching, community integration programs, veteran employment services, and more. The nonprofit operates a collection of 25 retail venues throughout Orange County, including five OC Goodwill Boutiques and its ecommerce platform shopgoodwill.com, to support these life-changing programs and services. To learn more about Goodwill of Orange County, visit ocgoodwill.org.

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