At the young and thrilling age of 19, Lupe Casanova made a pivotal decision that set the direction for the rest of her life. The comedic performance of Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin and Casanova’s interest in gallivanting, along with the practical reason of educational benefits, prompted Casanova to make a bold move and join the military. In her two active duty years in Germany and 21 years in the Army Reserves, Casanova has acquired three military occupational skills, created great memories in different parts of the world, and been inspired to help other veterans have a smooth transition into the civilian workforce through her work with Dress for Success Miami.
Casanova’s simultaneous experience in the military reserves and the civilian workforce, specifically the banking industry at Wells Fargo where she is the Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager of Wells Fargo at Work program, has given her the knowledge necessary to help veterans as a military liaison to Dress for Success Miami. As a longtime supporter of more than 10 years for Dress for Success Miami and good friend of Sonia Jacobson, Casanova was a Board Member years ago and is excited to be involved with the organization again.
Through the years, she has seen many programs designed to help veterans transition to civilian life; however in her opinion, the majority of these programs do not give enough guidance, if any at all, when it comes to getting a job and civilian interviews. This gap in available employment support for veterans is one of the reasons that Dress for Success Miami stood out to her.
“Dress for Success Miami prepares [veterans] in how to dress, speak, create resumes, and what to expect,” says Casanova, who feels the program fills the gap.
Casanova asserts that Dress for Success Miami helps veterans realize how the skills they used in the military can be converted to practical and efficient skills in the civilian workforce. When she was involved in the Recruiter Retention and Commander program while in the Army Reserves, she gained people skills that could be applied to recruiter and sales positions in the job market. As a military liaison, Casanova looks forward to doing anything she can in order to help Dress for Success Miami advise the most highly disciplined and highly trained individuals on how to earn a place in the labor force.
Header photo: Casanova in her official military photo in 1981, when she first joined the Army, and in 2005 as a Master Sergeant.