Illinois Joining Forces is comprised of a small staff working every day with Illinois communities across the state to ensure collaboration and effectiveness in assisting Service Members, Veterans, and their Families.
Illinois Joining Forces Staff
Lieutenant Colonel Jaime Martinez (Ret) is a U. S. Army veteran who served in the Infantry for 26 years and participated in numerous deployments with significant combat experience.
Jim has been a member of IJF since its inception in 2012 as the Executive Director of the Laurus Foundation and the co-founder of the Healer Warrior Initiative.
Abbie Holland Schmit
Abbie is a post 9/11 combat veteran whose transition served as the center-point of her ongoing advocacy on behalf of veterans and first-responders in the most issues facing Women Veterans of all generations.
Taylor recognizes the importance of helping veterans across the state gain access to resources and services to better assist in their transition from military to civilian life.
Carlos believes strongly in the potential of veterans’ ability to create lasting change and is set in utilizing that potential in empowering the city as a whole; because the veteran community is not isolated to one corner of the country, it is woven into every corner of it.
Illinois Joining Forces Coordination Center Specialists
The Illinois Joining Forces Coordination Center Specialists are stationed at the Chicago Lighthouse thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Boeing Company. The Coordination Center staff are capable of handling an array of challenges and are trained in level-one and level-two crisis management.
Michael Smith is US Navy veteran who served for eight years
with an honorable discharge.
William E. Bryant III
William E. Bryant III is United States Marine Corps veteran who worked as a heavy equipment mechanic from 1982-1985.