The Illinois Joining Forces Foundation (IJF) Board of Directors recently announced the hiring of LTC Jaime Martinez (USA Retired) as the next Executive Director (ED) of the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation. Martinez was selected following a national search conducted by Chamberlain Advisors supported by the McCormick Foundation from a large pool of qualified candidates. He will be assuming the role following COL Andrew C. Dillon, USAR, who has successfully led IJF since assuming the Interim Executive Director responsibilities in March 2017.
COL Dillon came to IJF following successful military assignments and a civilian career in supply chain management, sales, and finance. “When I was approached to help during their transition period, I was incredibly honored,” said Dillon, “IJF is committed to helping and informing service members, veterans, and their families in Illinois.” Dillon credits many for the success of the organization, “from the IJF team, to our funders, to the Board, to the collaborative partners…everyone was dedicated to one mission, one purpose,” he said, “Serving those who have served.”
Dillon will assist Martinez during the transition period, something these two former Army commanders know so well. “It’s a left-seat/right-seat ride,” said Martinez, referring to the Army’s term for Change of Command procedures, “it will be an honor to lead the IJF Team.” The IJF Board of Directors recognized Dillon for his significant contributions. “Andrew guided IJF through a tough transition,” said Tom Miller, IJF Board Chair, “And he leaves the organization much better than he found it…and in capable hands.”
The incoming Executive Director, Jaime Martinez, is a U. S. Army veteran who served in the Infantry for 26 years and participated in numerous deployments with significant combat experience. He is already familiar with the mission of IJF, having formerly been the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs General Counsel who assisted in the development and implementation of IJF’s founding. In addition to his multiple front-line combat leadership positions, Martinez was assigned as a policy advisor to numerous senior level national security and defense policy makers and elected officials, to include: Staff Secretary to the Vice President, Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense, Army Fellow to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, and Legislative Liaison to the Under Secretary of the Army. In 2010, Martinez returned home to Illinois to serve as an attorney and veteran advocate after his medical retirement from the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Battalion. Since then his service to veterans includes Staff Attorney to the John Marshall Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic, General Counsel to the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Senior Counsel to Student Veterans of America, and most recently as Program Manager for the CARPLS Veteran Project supporting the statewide Illinois Armed Forced Legal Aid Network.
As the IJF Executive Director, Martinez will provide leadership to maintain the strategic and day-to-day operational functions of the organization. “We are delighted to have Jaime Martinez stepping up
as the new IJF Executive Director and expect that he will lead IJF with the same professionalism that he has displayed throughout his career of service,” said Miller.
ABOUT ILLINOIS JOINING FORCES
The Illinois Joining Forces mission is to establish, maintain and nurture a state-wide public and private organizational network that will identify, collaborate, and marshal available resources, services and supports to create efficient access and delivery of these programs for Illinois’ military and veteran communities.