Ryan Puckett Joins the Board of the USO of Central & Southern Ohio
As the excitement of the USO of Central & Southern Ohio’s 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration dies down, we chat with Ryan Puckett, financial planner at Skylight and veteran, about what it means to him to be appointed as a new board member and what he will bring to the organization.
Firstly tell us a little bit about the USO of Central & Southern Ohio and the recent gala event
The USO of Central and Southern Ohio is a wonderful organization that lifts the spirits of the troops and their families and helps them stay connected. We’re responsible for 55 counties in Central and South Ohio and four counties in West Virginia and in the last year we’ve served 105,000 people through our programs. We rely on the help of about 700 volunteers to host activities like summer camps for children of Ohio's military members, family retreats and send-off and homecoming events for deployments.
This year we are excited to be celebrating our 50th anniversary and last Saturday [March19th] we held an amazing anniversary fundraiser and gala which was so well supported and lots of fun – including a Bob Hope impersonator!
There’s some pics from the event below and a great article in the Columbus Dispatch “Local USO celebrates its 50 years of keeping military members connected.”
As a veteran yourself, what does it mean to you to be involved in USO as board member?
I see it as an opportunity to give back to those on active duty and utilize my talents and abilities in ways that I saw others do back when I was on active duty. I’m really looking forward to connecting with my previous military life, meeting new people and learning about the other side of the USO as opposed to being on the receiving end.
When I worked at as recruiter in the US Air Force, the USO did so much to help my enlistees about to go off on basic training. These young people would have been really excited but they were also anxious as they didn’t really know what lay ahead. In these situations, the USO would provide great comfort and relaxation. It was great to know they were there for them.
What will you bring to the board?
I hope to bring a new perspective to the USO and my extensive business experience as a financial planner. I also will promote the mission of the USO and its impact within my established network and community.
What particularly excites you about your involvement?
I’m really exciting to learn more about what we do as an organization and see where I can contribute in terms of direction and project work.
The first real event I attended [since joining the board] was back in February at the opening of a 9,000 square-foot community center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside Dayton. It’s a really big deal for the USO and the result of two years hard work. The renovated space now has a café, an auditorium and a lounge and game room where troops can relax, spend time with their visiting families or hold events. We’ve also taken over the Airman’s Attic which resembles a thrift store except no money changes hands. Lower ranked service personnel can come here to get clothes or home furnishings.
Although I wasn’t involved in this, it’s the kind of exciting project I’m looking forward to.
Thanks Ryan for talking with us.
Ryan Puckett is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC Member SIPC. 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite 900, Cleveland OH 44113. 216-621-5680.