Chairman of the Board

Anastasia, known by friends as Anna, quickly learned how to operate as a civilian in a military world. This experience became her platform for the family readiness programs she helped establish and lead in support of military communities in Fort Rucker, Fort Stewart, Fort Bragg and abroad on an exchange tour with the British Royal Air Force. The success of Anna’s efforts earned her several honors and commendations for her civilian service.   Among them is the Dr. Mary E. Walker Forces Command Certificate of Achievement for her exemplary leadership in improving the quality of life for soldiers and their families; the Order of St. Joan D’ Arc Medal for her service to the U.S. Armor and Cavalry communities and four separate Department of the Army Commander’s Awards for Public Service. After 17 years of civilian service for Anna and 23 years active duty service for her husband, LTC Kenneth Merkel, USA, Ret, they returned home to Florida with their three children.  This is where they gained further insight to some of the challenges military families face when integrating back into the civilian community and the civilian work force.
With her experience as a leader in the military and the civilian work place, Anna recognized that the vision and mission of The Welcome Home Group aligns with success and today she serves as their Chairman of the Board.  In this role Anna applies her skills as a personal and professional consultant and humanitarian.  She brings in her 25+ years of senior management experience in corporate start ups, business development, project management and executive support, within a variety of trades to include military, consumer electronics, finance and non-profit. Anna is dedicated to family, the companies she represents, and the humanitarian projects she manages and supports.  With this same dedication and closer to Anna’s personal experience, The Welcome Home Group extends their interactive employment service to the spouse and children of veterans. It is significant how The Welcome Home Group recognizes their contribution and honors them along with our veterans.