Operation Homefront Promotes Karen Smithhart


Operation Homefront Promotes Karen Smithhart to Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Operation Homefront’s Board of Directors announced that Karen Smithhart has been promoted to Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer. In this capacity, Smithhart oversees recruitment, hiring and retention, organizational policy, professional development, volunteer management, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. She will leverage her extensive nonprofit experience background and 15+ years of experience at Operation Homefront to build the exceptionally talented, diverse teams across the organization needed to support its mission to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.

“I have been honored to enjoy a career where I have been able to give back to so many individuals and families who struggle,” said Smithhart.  “I’ve seen first-hand the challenges of military life, so it’s a personal privilege and honor to be able to apply my skills and experience to support the people who bring our mission to life as, together, we work hard on behalf of the thousands of military families Operation Homefront serves every year,” said Smithhart.

“I have had the pleasure of working alongside Karen since I joined this amazing organization nearly nine years ago and I have been impressed, since my first day, with her passion for both our mission and those that bring our mission to life…our talented staff members and dedicated volunteers,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray, CEO of Operation Homefront. “In this new officer-level position, Karen will lead our ongoing efforts to build a trust-based environment where all feel valued for their individual contributions to our collective success and to harness the multiplicative impact that a strong diversity, equity, and inclusion program has on our ability to serve our military families now, and in the years ahead.”

Smithhart began her career with Operation Homefront in 2008 serving as Director of Operations for Texas. She later moved to the national headquarters in San Antonio to lead field office transitions and programs, volunteer management, and staff training which evolved into her current role as Chief Human Resources & Diversity Officer. Smithhart has over 37 years in the nonprofit sector with the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross, and Operation Homefront. She has experience in human resources, branch operations oversight, fund development, marketing, and volunteer management. In her time with the Red Cross, Smithhart helped create a nationally recognized Youth Volunteer Program and, later, during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she expertly stood up a Volunteer Reception and Training Center in San Antonio, responsible for managing and assigning over 12,000 volunteers. These volunteers facilitated the work of five mega-shelters housing over 35,000 evacuees, 24 hours a day. She later developed protocols for “Managing Large Numbers of Spontaneous Volunteers.” Smithhart’s family has a rich history of military service. Her late father served in the Army, her late father-in-law served in the Navy, her husband was in the Air Force and her son is a retired Coastie.

To learn more about Operation Homefront, visit www.operationhomefront.org

About Operation Homefront:
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 85 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.

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