Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder is a relatively new Cable member, joining the organization in December 2017. After attending a Cable session and speaking at a Cable event, Many-Bears decided to officially become a member after being incredibly impressed by the energy and passion of the women involved, and by the networking opportunities the organization provides.
“I knew I could learn so much from the dynamic membership of Cable, and also felt I could contribute as well, given my over 35 years in the military. I was a senior leader in a very male-dominated field, and I’m the first female to serve in my current position. My head hurts from breaking so many glass ceilings!”
Although Many-Bears has not had much time in Cable, she is enthusiastic about the benefits she will attain as a member. “From belonging to other associations, I know the value in finding mentors, sharing victories, methods, contacts and challenges with other like-minded individuals. It can truly strengthen each member.”
When asked about her own personal mentor, Many-Bears talked about her professional role model – Tammy Duckworth. Tammy was a Blackhawk pilot in Iraq, and insurgents brought her helicopter down. This accident resulted in her losing both of her legs and use of one arm. After a yearlong recovery process, she fought to reserve a position in the Illinois National Guard and served until she retired as a lieutenant colonel. She became the “first” in several categories, when she was elected as U.S. representative then later as U.S. senator, a seat she still holds today. She is a strong advocate for both veterans and women. Many-Bears admires Tammy’s ability to take adversity head on and turn an obstacle into a conquered challenge.
Many-Bears Grinder is the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs. As a member of the governor’s Cabinet, she is responsible for the operation of five state veteran cemeteries and nine field offices that assist with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability claims submissions, and create programs to assist transitioning service members through pathways to education, employment, business resources and Veteran Treatment Courts.
Thank you for joining Cable, Commissioner Grinder. We so appreciate your service to our country and your dedication to Cable and our mission.