After 24 years of serving in the Army, much of it in Special Forces, the idea of being deployed behind a desk as a civilian was a difficult concept for Chris Teodoro, who is now Director-Military Liaison at Project Management Institute Tampa Bay Chapter (PMITB).

“I didn’t know what I was going to do, especially with my background," he said. “It doesn’t really translate well to the civilian industry.”

He spent much of his military career training people in other countries on how to be better soldiers, but he didn’t know how those skills would help him be a better employee in corporate America.

Along with some mentors, the nonprofit group Project Management Institute (PMI) helped him realize how his military training could transfer into useful skills in the private sector.

“While being in the military, it requires them to have these strategic technical and interpersonal skills,” said PMI North America Managing Director Brantlee Underhill. “And that’s where we at PMI come in, because we believe they are well poised for a career in project management.”

The transition isn’t quick, and it's not easy to earn that PMI certification, but one thing veterans like Teodoro say they aren’t afraid of is hard work.

After his certification through PMI, Teodoro is now a program manager for JP Morgan & Chase. Working again with people around the globe, but from his home office in Riverview with his young family. He also serves as a military liaison for PMI, so he can help other veterans transition out of uniform and into civilian life.

“I want to continue giving back," he said. “I wanna have some impact to our community and growing our military outreach to give something back to something I’m passionate about — helping veterans and military spouses.”