Pollyanna Neely, Co-Founder

Chair of the Board
Master Chief Petty Officer
United States Navy, Retired

With over 25 years of active military service and 20 years’ experience in the event planning industry, Pollyanna Neely brings considerable mentoring and managerial experience to Active Veterans With Answers as Co-Founder and Chair of the Board.

As a former Navy Career Counselor, she took that experience of training and educating into retirement. As Co-Founder of Active Veterans With Answers. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Education from Southern Illinois University, and Masters of Management degree from Cambridge College. She also brings experience from service as a Board of Director Member for Association of United States Navy (AUSN), American Legion Auxiliary and American Legion Assistant Adjutant General Post 73, Franklin Virginia, and current volunteer at Veterans Administration Medical Center, Salisbury, North Carolina.

Pollyanna was born in Miami, Florida and joined the Navy in September 1987, retiring in September 2012. She served during Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Operation Southern Watch, Intercept Operation, Operation Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF), Global War on Terrorism.

Her dedication to service and helping fellow Veterans achieve success through knowledge and earned benefits is the force behind her mission and vision. Pollyanna is daughter to Hazel Ward and wife to Henry Neely, Master Chief Petty Officer, retired. Throughout her career, and life, her source of strength and unfailing support has been God, her husband, children Brian and Ormand, siblings Geneva, Marie, and Bary Walkes, Senior Master Sergeant, US Air force (Retired). Pollyanna, Henry and Ormand reside in China Grove, NC.

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Dionne L. Archibald, Co-Founder

Vice Chair of the Board
Master Chief Petty Officer
United States Navy, Retired

After dedicating her life to serving in the United States Navy for 30 honorable years, Master Chief Petty Officer (Retired) Dionne Archibald transitioned her enthusiasm for service to a passion for Veteran’s needs. While in service, she received numerous awards and decorations including but not limited to, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, five Navy Commendation Medal Navy Achievement Medal awards, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. While many choose service as a temporary commitment, Master Chief (Ret) Dionne Archibald embarked on a career which began as a Radioman and led to tours on (3) United States Navy ships, over five deployments and five military campaigns and culminated in becoming one of the exclusively limited number of women of color to achieve the enlisted rank of Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy. Amongst her many assigned roles, her time assigned as Recruiter in Charge in New York gave her the opportunity to understand the business behind the intake of potential sailors where she exceeded business goals and mastered the sales skills necessary to secure commitments.

As a woman of color and an accomplished Sailor she has provided professional and personal counseling to many peers as well as a unique perspective to an additional assignment as a Special Assistant Equal Opportunity Advisor to the Navy Inspector General in Washington DC. It is this experience combined with her realization upon retirement that veterans, not unlike herself, required an informed perspective on transitioning from military to civilian life that led to her dedication to serving veterans and their families as a founding member of ACTIVE VETERANS WITH ANSWERS. As a result, Dionne has chosen to supplement her B.S. in Organizational Management with a Masters degree in Psychology and a specialization in Military Psychology, Achieved degree in April 2019. The combination of her personal and professional experience brings to this venue of Veteran support a unique perspective and creative approach which focuses on people as they work through the process rather than forcing the process on people.  She was recently honored as an American-Made hero by Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon.

Master Chief (Ret) Dionne Archibald was born in London, England, raised in New York City, is a graduate of Norman Thomas High School and currently resides in Newport News, Virginia where she is surrounded by her family, colleagues and good friends.

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