BJ Ganem leads the organization, direction, and coordination of all administrative functions for Holidays for Heroes and Sierra Delta. BJ’s unwavering determination to overcome challenges encourages the people around him to work harder. BJ is a natural leader whose personal experience with military to civilian transition gave him insight into what is needed to support veterans returning home.
Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer of Holidays for Heroes and Sierra Delta in 2017, BJ’s journey led him from the U.S. Marine Corps to various nonprofit organizations, most recently Semper Fi Fund.
BJ joined the Marine Corps in 1996. At the end of his first enlistment in 2000, BJ left active duty but stayed in the ready reserves by joining with Gulf Co 2nd BN 24th Marines located in Madison, WI. He was working as a District Sales Manager for Kraft Foods in May 2004 when his unit was called to serve in support of operations in Iraq.
On November 25, 2004, while on patrol, the vehicle BJ was driving was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.). The attack left BJ with an amputated left leg, mild brain injury, shrapnel wounds, and an unprepared realization that he would no longer be a Marine Infantryman in the fight for freedom.
After navigating the landscape of transition himself, BJ found his purpose in helping other men and women transition into society and became an outspoken advocate for veterans. BJ left a 10-year career at Kraft Foods to work professionally in helping veterans.
BJ’s involvement with Semper Fi Fund and as an accredited Veteran Service Officer has allowed him to assist veterans by helping secure their federal and state benefits, ensuring that their discharges were accurate, and innovating new ways to educate the private sector in regards to the value our veteran community can bring to the workforce.
BJ, a consultant and motivational speaker, is also captain of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team (WWAFT). BJ graduated from University of Southern California with a B.A. in Social Work with an emphasis on military life. The father of four children, BJ and his wife Sarah live in Reedsburg, WI with their family and two English bulldogs. To learn more about BJ, visit www.bjganem.com or read his full story.