>> Mike Ferraro
President & Founder
As President and Founder for Bridging The Gap for Veterans Foundation, an IRS Fully Determined 501C3, Mike is an accomplished corporate, government, military and business entrepreneur with strategic, operational and tactical leadership talents and an exceptional record of establishing and cultivating long term relationships, creating sustained revenue generating programs, and leading new business ventures.
At Bridging the Gap, he leads a national effort to help educate and advocate the military community to find rewarding career paths. Using an innovative program, Mike launched the Bridging the Gap Career Academy to enable all veterans to succeed during a career transition. He has hosted a grassroots career program called “Top Gun IGNITE Your Future” on military installations and via webinars with tremendous success for military candidates to meet hiring employers since 2016.
Mike is a businessman and serial entrepreneur. He is also the CEO of MMR Management Group LLC started in 2018 developing a Coffee and Beverage Distribution company serving 80+ Supermarkets to date and growing. Following a similar Newman’s Own business model, 100% of the after-tax profits are donated to military veteran and first responder non-profit programs.
In his past civilian career, he has held technical and leadership positions in several Fortune 500 companies to include AT&T, Booz-Allen, Emerson Electric as well as within the federal government. As an entrepreneur, he has focused his passion and purpose in life by establishing military veteran career and educational programs that make a difference with a direct impact to veterans and their families.
During the culmination of nearly 32 years of honorable military service in both the active and reserve components, Ferraro achieved the highest rank of Command Chief Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Before his retirement from military service in June 2013, he had leadership oversight of nearly 28,000 Airmen at Number Air Force levels at 18 military bases, Wing and Squadron levels and participated in numerous worldwide missions involving wartime readiness campaigns, humanitarian airlifts and strategic policy force development and employer outreach.
A frequent guest speaker before veteran friendly employers and radio shows, he can be heard on the Welcome Home Show, 101.3 FM WIBG station, and CBS Radio 1210 AM Saturday Night Live with Philly Labor as well as RVN Streaming Television.
Because of his exceptional leadership talents, Mike was appointed in 2020 as the New Jersey Chairman of the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (Nj ESGR) with oversight of 80 volunteers and 2 fulltime staff.
He earned an M. S. in Aeronautical Science and a B.S. Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mike currently serves as one of the Board of Advisors for www.ThanksUSA.org and previously many others non-profits.
He is a long time New Jersey resident of Wall, New Jersey residing with his two daughters.
>> Toni Gianatiempo
Director of Career Services
As Director for Career Services at the Bridging the Gap for Veterans Foundation, Toni Gianatiempo engages the military community providing Career Coaching and helping to uncover a career direction for veteran candidates leading to meaningful employment. She is a retired School Educator with 35 years in the public sector and 5 years in the private sector. She has been a coach and motivator to 100s of children during her career leading by example. Toni is experienced as a small business entrepreneur who fully understands how to create and cultivate relationships and bring the best out of every individual so they can reach their full potential.
Born into a proud patriotic family, her Dad served honorably in the United States Army during the Korean Era. She received her bachelors degree from Georgian Court University and her masters degree from Detroit Michigan. In 2001 and in 2006, Toni was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Education a Certificate of Recognition for being an outstanding teacher in New Jersey Public Schools. She is recognized for using affective instructional techniques to develop an environment that inspires students, fosters their feelings of self-worth, and encourages their love of learning. Toni is also a member of the American Aerobic Associations International/Sports Medicine. She has received four certifications in the area of fitness and has three dance licenses. Toni’s enthusiasm and positive outlook is infectious and she is a great asset to this company.
>> Robert E. Smyth
Client Account Executive
Bob has over 30 years of Management experience in Industry, Government and Military/Veterans service. Management Consultant-Community Affairs/Veteran, Military and Seniors support services, Business Development and is a former Business Executive, Military Officer and Elected Official. Former Congressional Field Representative - Military and Veterans Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives, NJ Third District in Burlington and Ocean Counties. Captain, U.S. Army (Honorable discharge). BSci. degree - Clemson University and post graduate management programs.
Military & Veteran Service:
Captain, U.S Army (Honorable Discharge) Commanding Officer in Vietnam and U.S. responsible for operations at nine logistical support bases with 250 soldiers and attached units. Recipient of the Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign/Commendation medals, NJ Distinguished Service medal and Burlington County Honorable Service medal. Scabbard & Blade military honor society. Washington Crossing Foundation Award for Military and Veterans Service. Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Vice President - Association of the U.S. Army, NJ Area Chair - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Vietnam Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, AMVETS,Yellow Ribbon Club, Military and Veterans Affairs Programs for NJ, Chairman, Borough Military & Veterans Affairs, Burlington County Military Affairs Committee, Ocean County Military Support Committee, NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial, NJ Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Director - Armed Forces Heritage Museum. Field Representative - Military and Veterans Affairs for NJ Third Congressional District.
Directed Military and Veterans Affairs activities for Congressman, staff and public affairs initiatives and lead role as keynote speaker, briefer, panelist, distinguished guest, honored guest and presenter at 1000s of events. Led community outreach efforts for military and veterans to over 70,000 veterans and families. Chaired Service Academy Nominations Advisory Board and liaison to high school Junior ROTC cadets and Civil Air Patrol cadets.
>> Gianna Ferraro, Communications Specialist
>> ARTHUR T. MALONEY
Senior Career Coach
Arthur Maloney is a senior executive with an exceptional background in business, leadership and relationship building. His career started as a United States Marine serving in the Vietnam War where he helped train local Vietnam farmers in military tactics to provide security for their families and villages, engaged to help construct homes and offer medical assistance where needed. For this, he was awarded the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Marine Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Purple Heart Medal with an Honorable Discharge.
In his civilian career, Art was employed as an Executive with International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) for nearly three decades. International assignments in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, and New Jersey and New York. During his career, he had various management roles overseeing all activities of commercial, technical/creative and operational staff to expand market share in this rapidly developing region. Art was selected as IFF’s first General Manager for the People’s Republic of China and introduced IFF to all senior levels of Chinese government, expanded sales and technical support in key commercial centers and began discussions with China’s Ministry of Light Industry to open sales and creative centers in two strategic locations. In addition, he was Vice President and General Manager of a North America fragrance division responsible for management, development and profitability of IFF’s major fragrance division supervising over 120 personnel. His career took another turn with Takasago International Fragrances Corporation as Senior Vice President/General Manager-Fragrance Division-North and South America with responsibilities for management and profitability of the fragrance division throughout Americas.
For over 10 years, Art has been a volunteer Career Coach to the Monmouth County Veteran Services Office in Freehold. In retirement, Art helps veterans who need support and career advice on securing employment. He counsels numerous veterans concerning the intricate steps of the job search process which I have learned during my forty years of hiring personnel in the fragrance industry. I am passionate about transmitting this intelligence to veterans to improve their chances of securing meaningful employment and then sustaining that employment over time. During this time, Art has helped over 80 veterans find employment.
At Bridging the Gap for Veterans, a 501c3 organization, Art is a Senior Career Coach who continues to help educate and advocate for veterans to get a career door open. Works with each candidate ensuring their resumes are properly formatted and career opportunities with Veteran Friendly Employers are sourced.
Art has a B.A. in Asian History from Rutgers University and a M.A, in Chinese Studies from seton Hall University. Also, speaks Mandarin Chinese.