Colleen works as the Associate State Director of Communications for AARP Florida supporting communications efforts in Tampa Bay and Orlando and is also the lead for veterans outreach for the state. She began her tenure at AARP in May 2016 with the role of reaching out to veterans and communicating about how AARP empowers people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age.
Previously, Colleen served as Director of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs for the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) and also as the Public Affairs Manager for FDVA prior to that. In her roles with the state Veterans Affairs, Colleen worked with news media professionals across the state of Florida, including the Tampa Bay area. During her time with the state, she led efforts to recognize more than 7,000 Florida veterans in ceremonies across the state, while working directly with members and staff of the Florida Legislature and with Cabinet officers and their agencies. She assisted with community relations programs, including the Women Veterans Outreach Program of FDVA, helping to build relationships with female veterans. Colleen also helped nurture passage of legislation creating a women veterans’ Florida license plate, with the proceeds from the plate going to women veterans outreach.
As a U.S. Army officer on active service, she served 11 years in multiple assignments, including two combat tours in Iraq. While serving a second tour in Iraq in 2005, Colleen led 170 soldiers in a logistics unit. Also during her active duty service, she deployed to Guantanamo Bay and Kosovo and served in two overseas assignments to Germany and Korea. In late 2014, Colleen rejoined the military to serve in Florida’s Army National Guard. She now a U.S. Army Major in the U.S. Army Reserves.