Guam Military Spouse Professional Network Leader Works to Enrich Her Community

Navy spouse with Guam letters at beach
Written by
Hiring Our Heroes

Military spouses face a higher rate of unemployment and underemployment than their civilian peers due to frequent relocations.

Hiring Our Heroes established the Military Spouse Professional Network (MSPN) to address this challenge and connect spouses with networking opportunities in their local communities. Today, MSPN has more than 70 networks across 27 states, Washington, D.C., and 11 countries.

This month, Guam MSPN lead Lori Richardson shares how a HOH military spouse fellowship was a pivotal moment in her career journey.

Lori Richardson

Name: Lori Richardson
Status: U.S. Navy spouse
Location: Guam
Job Title: Realtor
Employer: Self-employed

Tell us about yourself. I’m a dedicated problem-solver, proud military wife, and passionate mom. I thrive on serving my community. And I’m constantly learning how to enrich the lives of others. Whether it’s supporting my family, contributing to the community, or embracing challenges, my drive and passion are what pushes my commitment to making a positive impact.

My professional background is in the hospitality industry, specializing in events and convention services. My educational background is in business marketing and design.

In my current role as a Realtor, my focus is assisting service members and/or their families with moving to Guam and finding living arrangements off-base. Whether they need help with temporary housing, a rental home, purchasing/selling or investing, I help my clients reach their goals while living here on the island.

Supporting my spouse in his career means moving around a lot, so I’ve had to be flexible and open to career changes. 

Finding a Community Where Spouses Thrive

We heard you relaunched the Guam MSPN, which had been dormant for nearly a year. Why did you volunteer to lead the effort?

I saw so many military spouses struggling to find steady work, me included, while here on the island.

Why do you volunteer with Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Spouse Professional Network?

While stationed in Bethesda, Maryland, I had a hard time finding my way back into the corporate space, so I responded to a Hiring Our Heroes advertisement on LinkedIn.

My fellowship program manager was Elizabeth Garcia. Through her hard work, patience, and connections, she was able to place me with a fellowship in the hospitality industry. When my fellowship came to an end, I secured a job as an event sales manager.

The fellowship was a pivotal moment in my life, and I want to continue to share my experience with others. I want to continue to pay it forward.

After getting involved in the Guam MSPN, I became myself again. I meet new people, exchange ideas, help others, and learn more about the culture on Guam. With MSPN, I am evolving into a better version of myself.

Lori Richardson, lead, Guam MSPN

What impact has MSPN had on you and your community?

Moving overseas is challenging. Finding a community where spouses can find opportunities, make new friends, and continue to thrive while being far from home has been nothing short of amazing!

After Getting Involved in the Guam MSPN, I Became Myself Again

What advice would you give to a military spouse unfamiliar with MSPN?

First, connect with the network lead in your area via Facebook. Next, make it a priority to attend a local MSPN event, and register to attend an Amplify workshop.

When you attend Hiring Our Heroes’ events, you get a better understanding of the community and clarity on the multiple opportunities readily available to military spouses.

Navy family at aquarium

Besides being a Realtor and MSPN volunteer, we noticed you also host your own podcast. The LegaSHE Builder is focused on helping women to build their legacy through real estate, entrepreneurship, and career growth.

This podcast was a way for me to share my experience with building a business. I also invited other women to share their stories about how they turned their talents into a side hustle or business. 

Where do you think you would be without MSPN?

I think that I would be stuck, frustrated, and ready to return home.

When we relocated to Guam, I did not get out much because it was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. My networking consisted of online interaction that led to short-term employment opportunities. I was so frustrated. I felt defeated and depression began to set in.

After getting involved in the Guam MSPN, I became myself again. I meet new people, exchange ideas, help others, and learn more about the culture on Guam. With MSPN, I am evolving into a better version of myself.

Research shows 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Join the Military Spouse Professional Network to connect with military spouse mentors and employers looking to hire military spouses.

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