Duty Station: Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 3
Share your military spouse story:
In September 2017, I walked into my former CEO’s office to tell her my new husband had been given orders 500+ miles away to rural Florida. I choked on my words as I forced myself to say it out loud. I had dug my heels in for years at this company to reach leadership trajectory in Government Contracting; an industry that requires on-site presence with CAC authentication. I felt my career slipping through my fist like sand, and with it, a part of my self-worth. With a racing heart, I stared at her waiting to be gently let go. To my surprise, instead of laying me off, she almost doubled my annual salary and sent me out with a promotion and a blessing in a remote role. That act of kindness was the triggering event that led me to create VirtForce. By recognizing and honoring my value, she empowered me to do the same for other Military Spouses. I joined my first Spouse Club, Spouses of Student Aviators, and it felt like every single milspouse I met had the same story minus my happy ending. I met tenured project managers working for free, lawyers & CPA’s cut from their firm, and the list goes on from Entry Level to C-Level. I felt like I was a swimming in a sea of forgotten talent, and I had to do something about it. VirtForce was the answer. We’ve succeeded in bringing hundreds of employers with distributed workforces together with military spouses to include over 4,000 hires. Because of our work at VirtForce we’re seeing an average of $150m in annual compensation going back to military families all over the world. Our biggest win to date was finding a government contract to hire 11 milspouses located in Kadena, Japan. A huge success for our OCONUS families. In 2020, I met with the CEO mentioned above to thank her for giving me space to support my husband and continue my career. She asked, "do you still want to be in leadership with a company?" I replied, “Yes, but now I prefer to be CEO.” She laughed and said, "that’s how I felt when I started my company."
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
In 2017, as a new milspouse I joined Spouses of Student Aviators which governed 3 bases, Whiting Field, Pensacola, and Corpus Christi, and encompassed 350 milspouses. I served as Secretary and then President exiting in 2019. My measurement of successful leadership includes positively impacting our base, members, and community. In my terms we reported over 1k volunteer hours to our base which helped it qualify for more government funding. I established quarterly mentor sessions between Command Spouses and newly married spouses. I grew our event attendance from averaging 5-10 attendees to 70 attendees. I used our size to positively impact locally owned businesses by renting their shops for our events. Ultimately, our growth and participation exceeded the capacity of one board; therefore, it was voted that each base establish their own chapter of SOSA. I was privileged to be a part of base sanctioning process and bylaw standardization for each chapter as my final presidential act.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
At the personal level, I’m a mom of 1 and have my 2nd child on the way! Oh, and my husband is deployed! So, I take refuge in our FRG as an Active Member and Mentor. I have 3 Officer and Enlisted Spouses as mentees who I support through the ups and downs of life. I participate and when possible, facilitate social functions to include potlucks, meal trains, game night – you name it, your military sister Kimber is there for it! At my base level, I collaborate with the USO to help milspouses find employment. This spring I’m excited that VirtForce is sponsoring Portraits for Patriots to help our military spouses at NAS Jax get a free headshot from a professional photographer and in person career coaching from me all in the same day. On the global level, I interact with military spouses across the world every day. On average I’m having about 1million outreach interactions with military spouses each month who follow my career coaching and remote work content via email and social media.
Describe how you support your community:
Inclusivity and service are words that encompass how I support our community. Every military spouse matters: Veteran, Transitioning, New, Seasoned, Enlisted, Command, Gold Star – we all deserve career continuity accommodating of our service-based lifestyles. In a recent interview with Newsy I was asked, "What is the most popular career for a military spouse?" The truth is there is no one size fits all option because we come from such varied experiences. And, if I abide by the ideology of equality in my approach to serving spouses, I must meet the full variety of employment needs. I support my community by delivering inclusive and vetted location flexible careers through my private job board which is customized to the milspouse user experience. I offer a full variety of opportunity from ad hoc gig based work to C-Level 40-hour work weeks. I support all industries from medical to finance. If you’re a milspouse ready to work, I am here to help you take the first step.
What do you advocate for? Why?
When a military family is ordered to PCS, a milspouse loses friendships, childcare, housing, and often their job. I believe we can kick “losing their job” off that list because every military spouse is entitled to a location flexible career in which they can maintain fulfillment through relocation. We know that military spouses are 24% unemployed and 68% under employed, but did you know that for every year a milspouse is unemployed they lose up to 30% of their earning potential? These challenges not only impact milspouse self-worth, but also diminish our national preparedness, because 40% of service members exiting the service prematurely report their motivation is their spouse’s happiness. My favorite success story is how I helped a military spouse find a role she loved so much that she no longer needed her antidepressant medications. I advocate to restore milspouse career continuity and career progression to its rightful place for her and to make our country stronger together.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I’ve found that the best way to increase our advocacy is to show up and do the work for my community. So, for 208 weeks, my team has not missed a weekly job round up alert. As a result, every single day I see a military spouse recommending VirtForce to another military spouse. It started with a private Facebook Group in 2018 that became the largest known hub for Military Spouse networking. From day one we used our group to convert candidates to an Applicant Tracking System. Now, we reach over 100k milspouses. In 2021, my group caught the attention of Meta and through that relationship I’ve since been involved on Meta diversity panels informing decisions made internally and advocacy work in Washington DC alongside Meta (a trip my 1-year-old daughter joined me for!) Furthermore, I have an incredible milspouse podcast available on audio and Youtube with over 250k cumulative downloads! https://www.youtube.com/@KimberHill_VirtForce/videos
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
First, I’m honored to be included in the 2023 cohort of amazing spouses. The AFI MSOY platform is the perfect demonstration of how spouses are in fact stronger together. Thank you for considering me. Winning the AFI Military Spouse of the Year title will help me further grow awareness about the employment challenges faced by military spouses and to advocate for their needs. As the winner, I will use the title to educate change makers in our country to stand up for military spouse employment and inspire my community to pursue their ideal flexible employment. Finally, if bestowed this honor, I will seek to further the Mission, Values and Goals of AFI. I will elevate the voices of other spouses, foster community through service and inclusion, and recognize my military spouse peers for their outstanding dedication to our military family.
Throughout my career, I have worked with many different business owners/leaders/entrepreneurs. Since beginning my work with Kimber in the middle of 2022, I have witnessed first-hand how Kimber leads and runs VirtForce. She is an exemplary leader and has lead VirtForce to tremendous success. She is an extremely hard worker and cares deeply, not only for the business but Military spouses and the overall mission.
The community she is building around Military Spouses is incredible and she is a pioneer.
I am a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
- by Robert Kromberg
Kimber is the Founder of VirtForce- a talent community of over 60,000 career candidates. Kimber's influence and transformational impact in the military spouse community cannot be overstated. Her work on the ground floor of solving the military spouse unemployment and underemployment problem through VirtForce is foundational and an inspiration to me. With over 80 partners worldwide, VirtForce has facilitated over 2,000 remote work placements and has generated $55 million in annual economic impact. Because of Kimber, her vision military community career advancement, and her immense efforts, our community is flooded with opportunity.
- by Megan B. Brown
Kimber has built a business network for other military spouses to find suitable employment in attractive work from home roles.
- by Scott Kregel
Kimber has connected over 100K military spouses and veterans to help find remote employment through the vast VirtForce network. Not only is she the founder of Virtforce, she constantly holds free seminars for everyone to learn about finding remote work and how to connect with big-name employers, such as Intuit. Virtforce was a big part of my job-searching journey, and I am so blessed to be a part of the Virtforce team. Kimber is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She 100% deserves to be Military Spouse of the Year!
- by Kaelee Gooden
Kimber exemplifies empowering and advocating for her fellow military spouses and the military community. She always has time for a fellow spouse who needs her, regardless of their location. She has created free resources and vetted job opportunities specifically for our military spouse community. Her genuine passion, commitment and willingness to take action and make change set her apart. Kimber's efforts have had a life changing impact for my family and I as well as hundreds of others. She has empowered me personally through her encouragement and coaching to secure a remote job. I am a fellow military spouse and colleague of Kimber's and I am so grateful she is a part of my life and has the ability to touch the lives of the entire military community.
- by Asia Pleasant
It is with great pleasure that I nominate Kimber Hill. My interaction with Kimber is professional with her company a primary sourcing partner for Travelers Insurance. In the last two years we have successfully hired over 200 active duty military spouses with a majority coming from Kimber’s efforts.
From this vantage point, I have interacted with Kimber on live webinars as she guides, councils and directs “her” military spouse community toward success. I say “her” community because it is obvious that Kimber truly gets a sense of accomplishment from every successful hire. She also takes her role a military spouse and mom very seriously. She isn’t afraid to reschedule a meeting if a family conflict presents itself. This may seem like a strange thing to point out, but it reminds me and my colleagues of the challenges and flexibility that military spouses face.
Kimber is a wonderful role model and truly deserves recognition as military spouse of the year. Thank You.
- by Jim McMahon
I've known Kimber in a professional capacity for 4 years now and in the time I have known her I have seen her make a tremendous impact on military spouse employment and in connecting military spouses to remote/flexible employers. This past year I was able to meet her in person and she is kind, generous, impactful, poised, and the epitome of what a successful, career-driven military spouse looks like. She has jumped so many hurdles and advocated for military spouse employment at the highest level. I honestly can't think of anyone more deserving of this award.
- by Devin Drake
She is the category leader of bringing opportunity and purpose to military spouses through their life journey.
- by Cliff Oxford
I am nominating Kimber Hill for MSOY because of her dedication, drive, and most importantly the heart she has for the military spouse community. I met Kimber during the early stages of VirtForce. The intensity and passion of Kimber could be felt through my screen and I knew I had to get involved in her mission. We quickly became fast friends, and I was able to see the impact of Kimber's vision firsthand. With each up, we celebrated, and with down we problem-solved. Nothing would stop her mission. Kimber took a dream and launched it, grew a vision into impact, and created a company to forge a way for military spouses to have career continuity and progression.
- by Phylicia Vallier
I met Kimber after my husband checked into NAS Pensacola for training to become a pilot. She was the president of Spouses of Student Aviators. A title that could have given her a sense of pomp or superiority. However, those words could never be used to describe Kimber. From the start she was welcoming and engaging. She organized events with the command spouses to give the student spouses a sense of what was in our futures. I joined the board of SOSA and was given a deeper insight into what that makes Kimber the perfect candidate for this honor. She sets a sterling example of everything I want to be as a military spouse; she is kind, confident, and uplifts all those around her. Kimber’s commitment to spouses within SOSA was soon eclipsed by the amazing work she did founding Virtforce, serving every level of every branch of the military spouse community. Being across the country from her I still hear about the impact she and her group are having on the lives of fellow military spouses.
- by Brooke Zamora
As we continue to move the needle on advocating for military families, there is no one more worthy of the MSOY award than Kimber Hill. Her passion, leadership, and advocacy have impacted hundreds of thousands of career-seeking military spouses, and she would be a wonderful servant to further raise awareness of our community to others.
In 2017, Kimber created a Facebook group, VirtForce, for military spouses seeking careers and career progression while their spouses served in the military. What started as a private social media group sharing career resources and employment leads has now grown to a full business with a community of 100k where Kimber partners with employers that value military spouses' skills and qualities and offer PCS-friendly opportunities. Her impact on military spouse unemployment is HUGE: since its inception, VirtForce has helped more than 5,000 spouses gain meaningful employment.
Please vote for my friend, fellow milspo, and colleague, Kimber as MSOY.
- by Jenna DeDominici