From the CEO: This Veterans Day, salute the courageous men and women of our Nation’s military.

Female and Male Veterans in front of American Flag

From the CEO: This Veterans Day, salute the courageous men and women of our Nation’s military.

November 11, 2016

The Melwood family salutes our Nation’s veterans on this special day dedicated to those who served our country.  We are grateful for your service and honor your dedication to freedom around the world.  You deserve our respect and our support.

With a long history of employing veterans, especially those with deployment-related injuries, Melwood’s services to veterans have evolved and grown as reintegration, training, and employment needs have changed with each passing decade.  Today, Melwood is proud to employ many decorated veterans and wounded warriors across our entire organization and our 43 contract sites in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

Doris Leftwich and Karl Groninger are just two military veterans who are valued employees in the Melwood workforce.

Doris spent five years and seven months with the United States Navy. After retiring as an E-5, Yeonman 2nd class, Doris sought out an organization that would allow her to utilize her military knowledge and skills.  Currently Doris works as a Property Specialist/Procurement Assistant at Melwood, where she interacts with Melwood contract sites to ensure accurate inventory intake, while also supporting Operation: Tohidu, Melwood’s retreat for veterans and active duty military members struggling with PTS(d). She is proud to give back to fellow veterans and aide in their recovery and rehabilitation through Melwood’s many supportive services.

Doris has been employed by Melwood for over four years during which she joined the National Property Management Association (NPMA), a leading membership association for personal property and fixed-asset professionals. Doris has successfully completed the requirements for the Basic Property Management Certification and will test for the Certified Professional Property Specialist Certification (CPPS) in 2017.

Karl began his military service on April 20, 1982. During his 33 years of service, Karl held three primary jobs in the Army. Those positions included Combat Engineer, Hard Hat Diver and supervisor of numerous Engineering organizations. He was stationed across the world in places such as Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Kobbe, Panama and Soto Cano, Honduras. After numerous extended periods away from his family and three tours of combat in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Desert Storm/Desert Shield and Bagdad and Nasiriyah during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Karl retired from the Army in November of 2015.

Looking for a new opportunity to serve, Karl quickly joined the Melwood administrative team as Vice President of Facility Management Services. In his role, Karl is responsible for the operations of Melwood’s current portfolio of 43 contract sites and nearly 1,000 employees. These contracts provide employment opportunities for people with differing abilities to work within an integrated workplace and provide an important source of revenue to support Melwood’s social services programs. Karl is also part of an integrated team that reviews and submits proposals for potential new business opportunities.

Today, Karl relishes in his ability to watch new employees master their trade and advance within Melwood. He enjoys having the ability to continue serving people as he did in the military while capturing new contracts that will help grow and diversify Melwood’s employment opportunities and revenue streams.

Veterans like Karl and Doris throughout the Melwood workforce inspire us daily with their leadership and their continued service for people with differing abilities.  This Veteran’s Day, please join me in celebrating the courageous men and women of our Nation’s military.  We salute you and we thank you.



Cari DeSantis

President and CEO

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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