Leadership Course Builds Civilian Cultural Competency in Veterans

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2019 | 4:41 AM

LP advisor US Army Chaplain Nathan Graeser, Ph.D., LP Board Member and US Army Veteran Phyllis Lynes, LP Board Member Kristen Jones, LP CLCV Graduate 2018 U. S. Navy Veteran Lorenzo Pereyra, LP Exec Director Cindy Bengtson, Geoffrey Albert, Community Engagement Specialist, Pacific Oaks College, John Gutierrez, USMC veteran and Operations Manager Los Angeles County Veterans AJCC and LP Board Chair Josh Driskell.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse hosted military veterans and guests for the Welcome Reception for the 2019 Leadership Pasadena’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans treating all to delicious foods and beverages.


“Thanks to Ruth’s Chris Pasadena, we can honor our veterans with a very special welcome to show them how honored we are they are joining our leadership cohort. Ruth’s Chris generosity is exceptional and so appreciated,” explained Leadership Pasadena Board member Phyllis Lynes.


“Veterans have tremendous skills in leadership, technology, operations, crisis management plus an inspirational service-driven work ethic all of which is lost when veterans do not engage in their new civilian community, school or job,” according to LP Veterans Services Coordinator Lisa Raggio.  “This course re-missions our veterans as community service leaders in our community, benefiting the veteran and the community.”

LP’s Cindy Bengtson, Ruth’s Chris General Manager Linda Jordan and LP Veterans Services Coordinator, Lisa Raggio.


“The course openly and honestly builds civilian cultural competency in our veterans so they understand their new civilian world and how to find a mission-driven leadership role in our charities, civic organizations and our businesses,” LP Board member and US Army veteran Phyllis Lynes explained.


“When I decided to leave the military, after almost 4 years of active duty, and relocate to Los Angeles, I was lost. I had given up a responsible and meaningful job as a Post Adjutant and was armed with a recently earned Master’s Degree in Public Administration, but was mystified by the job market and my new community.  I had a great job and I was grateful, but something was missing!  I did not experience the same sense of mission or fulfillment in my new civilian world that I had known and loved for almost four years.  A very difficult reality for even the well adjusted, highly functioning veteran is the loss of a sense of purpose and importance. This is why I am so proud to be involved with Leadership Pasadena’s course for veterans.”


The LP course addresses leadership in the civilian world, civilian business culture and organization savvy, multi-generational leadership, non-profit Board training, the corporate landscape and the history, culture, arts and sciences of Pasadena and more. In 2019, participants will also be offered free, personalized job placement, training and enhancement services through the Verdugo Workforce Development Board that serves veterans throughout LA County.


For more information about the course, contact Cindy Bengtson at or go to