Employment Ambassadors

Stephanie Horocofsky

Military Spouse
McConnell Military and Family Readiness Center

Stephanie Horocofky is using her uniquely unpredictable life experience as a military spouse in her role serving as a Community Readiness Specialist at McConnell’s Military and Family Readiness Center, helping other spouses and transitioning military find civilian careers.


In this role, she helps ease the adjustment from military to civilian career through employment tours with local companies, which give transitioning service members opportunities for networking and job shadowing, as well as connections to Skillbridge opportunities. She aims to help them realize their value and gain confidence in presenting their skills as they prepare for job interviews.


Stephanie appreciates Wichita’s acceptance of its military community through this life transition, especially employers with specific resources for military and veterans. She remains passionate about strengthening relationships in the McConnell and the local community.


She encourages employers to keep an open mind and to know that service members have the adaptability and resilience to succeed in any role.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn.


Ask Stephanie about:

  • Finding a job as a military spouse
  • Local Skillbridge opportunities
  • Cultural immersion while living overseas

Hannah Crickman

Military Spouse
Wichita Regional Chamber of of Commerce

Hannah Crickman’s journey as a military spouse included a move from Chicago and 3 years of bouncing between Wichita and Salina, Kansas before ultimately landing in Wichita. Her husband is stationed at McConnell, and she works as Marketing Manager at the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. 


Hannah finds community in Wichita’s vibrant art scene, having previously worked at City Arts and alongside local photographers. She appreciates that her job allows her to explore all the city has to offer.


When people complain about a lack of things to do in Wichita, she is ready to prove them wrong. Hannah explains that there’s something for everybody herefrom farmers’ markets and breweries to museums, musicals, and film festivalsenough for a big city while still having a small-town sense of community.


While Wichita has been welcoming to her as a military spouse, she encourages friends of military spouses to include them as much as possible. The experience can be isolating, especially for those who move frequently and live on base.


Follow Hannah on Instagram.


Ask Hannah about:

  • Local farmer’s markets
  • Wichita’s art scene
  • Finding community as a military spouse

Chris Skinner

Air Force and Army Veteran

Last November, Chris Skinner embarked on a new chapter, bidding farewell to a distinguished 12-year military career. His journey began in the Air Force immediately following his high school graduation in South Haven, Kansas.


After four years of service in the Air Force, he embraced a significant transition, joining the Army under a Special Forces candidate contract. Following successful completion of the selection and qualification course, Chris proudly earned the prestigious Green Beret, dedicating the next four years to serving on an elite Special Forces team. This period provided the opportunity for a deployment to Afghanistan and various countries in Asia.


Upon concluding military service, he pursued higher education and earned an undergraduate degree in Business Management at Arizona State University. He is passionately engaged in the realm of Software Engineering while simultaneously pursuing an MBA at Wichita State University. Chris aspires to merge the leadership skills he cultivated in the military with his expertise in technology and business.


Through this fusion, he hopes to make a positive impact within the South-Central Kansas region and leverage his personal experience to aid fellow veterans in their quest to discover new purpose and direction after transitioning from military life.


Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.


Ask Chris about:

  • Career transition insights
  • Impact of mentorship and networking during military transition
  • Finding your passion after military service

Alan Simmons

Air Force Veteran
Textron Aviation

Alan Simmons spent time on bases in North Dakota and Washington before finishing his 22-year Air Force career at McConnell and decided to call Wichita home. He is currently a military recruiter at Textron Aviation, where he leads the company’s Skillbridge program and enjoys helping ease the transition to civilian employment.


Simmons set himself up for post-military success by getting an education and beginning to network early on in his transition. He advises other transitioning service members to start thinking about what they want to do early, especially if it is a different direction than their military career. He also emphasizes the importance of networking and asking connections for advice on finding success in the roles you are looking for. This led Simmons to an easier transition from aircraft maintenance to recruiting.


While he decided to stay because of his passion for aviation, Simmons also appreciates that Wichita has everything you need without being an overwhelmingly large city, and says the Air Capital is the most military-friendly city he has experienced.


Connect with Alan on LinkedIn.


Ask Alan about:

  • Working in the aviation industry
  • Expanding your network
  • Changing career path

Tyler Tran

Marine Veteran and Reservist
CAMP Systems Int.

Tyler Tran spent 5 years active duty in the Marines before landing in Wichita to continue his education and career. Now he balances working as an aviation maintenance analyst at CAMP Systems Int., attending WSU Tech full-time, and volunteering with the Young Marine program. He also recently joined the Marine Corps Reserves.


When asked how he can balance such a full schedule, Tyler says it all comes down to how well he wants it.


Although transitioning to finding satisfaction in civilian life was a challenge, the strong leadership and adaptability instilled in him from the Marines kept him on track. Additionally, resources such as Veterans Upward Bound through WSU made the transition easier. Now he finds purpose in ensuring the safety of civilian aircraft.


Coming back to Wichita, he appreciates the strong aviation community, which is what made it easy for him to develop roots here. It’s also easy to find military community here, with places like Sojourner’s Coffee House and other welcoming spaces for veterans.


Connect with Tyler on LinkedIn.


Ask Tyler about:

  • Young Marine Program
  • Aviation Industry
  • Working on Ospreys

Lorene Berg

Military Spouse
Assistant Director, WSU Upward Bound Math & Science

Lorene Berg is a military spouse currently working as Assistant Director of the Upward Bound Math & Science department at Wichita State University. Her husband has served in the National Guard for 17 years, experiencing their first deployment together in 2018.

During that time, she was glad to have the support of her colleagues at Wichita State, who remained accommodating and supportive of her taking time off or working from home. Aside from work, she has found a supportive military community in Wichita, with resources from school supplies and events for her kids, to counseling with Military OneSource.

Lorene and her husband also appreciate the variety of restaurants in Wichita and enjoy exploring “holes-in-the-walls” together.

During the job search, Lorene advises talking to your connections, asking about roles you are interested in and how you can get there successfully. Employers should be eager to hire those equipped with the flexibility and reliability of military spouses.

Connect with Lorene on LinkedIn.

Ask Lorene about:

      Resources and activities for military families in Wichita

      Wichita’s food scene

      Networking strategies

Eric Barney

Air Force Veteran

Eric Barney is on the job search after spending 20 years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force. After rewarding leadership experiences as a maintenance training instructor, he is ready for a new direction.


Eric has also gained a comprehensive background in strategic planning, international operations, liaison, policy development and reporting, and analysis as well as a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a PMP certification. Additionally, he has completed an IT Skillbridge with Google.


He decided to settle down in Wichita, seeing the city as a hidden gem with entertainment, restaurants, and schools that make it perfect for raising a family. Having been to various different locations during his service, he says Wichita is the most military-supportive community he has experienced.


Although transitioning to the civilian career world can be difficult, Eric recommends trying not to stress too much and to focus on highlighting translatable military skills on your resume.


Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.


Ask Eric about:

  • His Skillbridge with Google
  • Creating the perfect resume
  • Life in Wichita

Jonathan Stansbury

Retiring Air Force Veteran

Jonathan Stansbury found a passion for utility maintenance through his 22-year-long Air Force career. While getting his education, he decided on an emergency management path following military service. He is currently working in a Skillbridge in fire suppression management.


Stansbury spent time stationed all over the country before landing where he wants to call home. After his most recent deployment to Korea, he came to Wichita. His family fell in love with the area because of its balance between large-city amenities and small-town feel. He understands why many decide to make Wichita home and plans to stay at least until his kids graduate high school.


Stansbury credits his career success to beginning preparations 5 years prior to his retirement. He decided to prioritize his education, earning his associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, and getting comfortable talking about his accomplishments. He adds that learning from other service members who have entered civilian careers can also provide valuable help during this transition.


Ask Jonathan about:

  • Working in disaster and emergency management
  • Preparing for military transition
  • Travels throughout military career

Ashley King

Veteran Spouse
Founder of Sojourner's Coffee House

With a grandfather who served in Vietnam and a husband who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ashley has seen firsthand the effects of military service that last long after separation. This planted a passion within her heart to help veterans and those currently serving our country. She founded Sojourner’s Coffee House to provide a place for veterans and military service members to come together to build identity, purpose, and community with one another in a safe and protected environment.


Sojourner’s Coffee House is a nonprofit coffee shop, meaning it operates from donations alone. The shop has successfully operated this way since June 2021.

While the shop is open to everyone, there is a room reserved for military and veterans, which hosts support groups and events for those dealing with the mental health impacts of service.


Sojourner’s Coffee House is located at 7130 W Maple St, Suite 280 in Wichita. Find them online at sojournerscoffee.org, and on Instagram and Facebook @SojournersCoffee.


Ask Ashley about:

  • Wichita’s support for military and veterans
  • Running a nonprofit coffee shop
  • Building community

Stephen HogG

Navy Veteran & Army Reservist
Collins Aerospace

Stephen Hogg is a Navy Veteran and Army Reservist currently working in avionics repair at Collins Aerospace. From repairing submarines as an electronics technician in the Navy, to securing buildings as a military police officer in the Army Reserve,  military service provided the technical and leadership skills for a smooth transition into his civilian career.

As a Wichita native who decided to return to the city after spending 8 years in the Navy and transferring to Indiana with the Army Reserves, he appreciates the recent sense of community built around the Air Capital. 

Hogg was recently called to active duty from the Army Reserve for a mission but is thankful to work at a supportive company that allows him to take time off, while still keeping him included in their work community.

To other transitioning military, Hogg recommends looking for something challenging with a drive to improve. The strong work ethic instilled in those who served makes it easy to stand out in any career. 

He also suggests getting involved with the many volunteer opportunities in Wichita, such as Compelled to Care Foundation, ICT SOS, and the Army/Navy-Marine Corps Relief Societies.

Ask Stephen about:

  • Recent developments in Wichita
  • Career advice for transitioning military
  • Local volunteer opportunities

Do you want to be an employment ambassador for Home Base Wichita? 

Home Base Wichita is proud to highlight employees who have successfully made the transition from the military, as well as the employers who hire them.

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