Knowledge Brokers in Action: Community Service at Project Home

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Action Tank members collaborated with Project Home, an organization who provides services and housing to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness, to deepen the relationship with the organization, help to beautify their residencies, and to interact with the residents who are at high risk of being affected by gun violence. Additionally, a goal to bridge a relationship with Drexel’s Healing Hurt People and Project Home was facilitated. Action Tank Members provided minor maintenance work including painting, gardening, and building picnic tables and talked with the residents. The service work allows Action Tank Members to bring theory to action by being knowledge brokers of evidence, services, and action within the community. Pictured: Linda Fontanilla, Matt Connolly, Chris Diaz, Matt Miclette, Lauren Johnson, Randy Hsia, Darrell Wisseman, and Mark Torress. A special Thank You to service member Jess Wisniewski who contributed greatly to this event

Action Tank Member Wins Junior Investigator Poster Award at Behavioral Science World Conference


Pictured is Action Tank member, Lauren Johnson, at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference 17 that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. The poster presentation session was held in the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the tallest and largest church in Ireland! Lauren presented two posters, one of which, “Self-Compassion Moderates Hopelessness in Predicting Suicide Ideation Among People Living With HIV/AIDS,” was awarded the Junior Investigator Poster Award. Congratulations Lauren, we are so lucky to have your brilliance at Action Tank!

Theory to Action: Can Community Clean-up Prevent Gun Violence?

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Action Tank partnered with University Place Associates (UPA) to beautify the 40th street section of Powelton in Philadelphia. Studies show that neighborhood clean ups can potentially prevent gun violence. There were 3 shootings that have occurred in this two block span since 2015, 29 shootings in the University Place neighborhood, and 36 shootings in its adjacent neighborhood of Powelton. Gun violence is one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States and in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, gun violence continues to rise with shooting victims up 34% from 2014-2018. PEW State of the City data shows 65% ofthese homicide victims are between the ages of 16 – 34. Reducing the number of deaths by firearm must be a prioritynot only for the city of Philadelphia, but for the state and the nation as well in order to protect the health and well-being of those who live, work, and visit here. Action tank members did their part today to bring theory to action and come together as a community. Members taking part: Chris Diaz, Matt Miclette, Randy Hsia, Emily Balog, Jim Blanchet, Linda Fontanilla, Garner Smythe and his daughter, Mark Torres, Doug Weiglet, and AT intern Guarav Barot. Additionally, Anthony Maher from UPA and his son coordinated with AT Service Director Linda Fontanilla and participated in the clean up.

Member Nick Liermann Appears as Guest Analyst on The Dan Abrams Show

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Action Tank member, Nick Liermann, appeared as a legal analyst on Sirius XM's The Dan Abrams show twice this month. In his first apperance, he discussed the charges brought against Scot Peterson for child neglect after he did not confront the gunman at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In his second appearance, Nick talked with Dan about the trial of Navy SEAL, Chief Edward Gallagher. Liermann claims that the "intersection of law and our military is something [he is] very passionate about."

Action Tank On The Road: Running, Cycling & Fundraising for the Good of the Community

Action Tank Members have been busy participating in athletic events supporting veterans and the community.

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This spring our members raised thousands of dollars, generated awareness, and met personal goals to better the community. They demonstrated Action Tank’s core values of empathy, collaboration, and service beyond their organizational roles.

A huge congratulations to member, Nick Lierman, founder of Team Foster, who raised 83K during the Ruff Ride cycling event to support acquisition of service dogs for veterans in need at no cost to the veteran. Members Chris Diaz, Emily Balog, Randy Hsia , Linda Fontanilla, Mark Torres, Darrell Wisseman, and Jessica Wisniewski participated in the event on a veteran team organized by Jessica Wisniewski.

AT members and Pat Tillman Scholars, Emily Balog and Chris Diaz, ran the Tillman Honors Run in support of the Pat Tillman Foundation and legacy of NFL hero Pat Tillman.

Member Darrel Wisseman of Blue Hen Veterans & Friends, cycled with adaptive athletes in Face of America Gettysburg event, a 112-mile cycling ride from the Pentagon to Gettysburg hosted by World TEAM and raised over $4,000 to support adaptive athletic events totaling over $700,000.

Member Carlo Aragoncillo ran with the Sergeant Major of the Army, Daniel Dailey, to honor a fallen soldier and brought color to a service organization.

Member Mark Torres finished the Naked Prussian 50 Mile Ultra in under 11 hrs crushing a personal milestone and demonstrating inner and outer strength, dedication, and perseverance.

Congratulations to a dedicated team of veterans who continue to serve the community!

Member presents at Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Conference

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Action Tank Policy Team Member, Doug Weiglet, had the opportunity to present to over 600 law enforcement, public service, medical professionals, at the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Conference hosted by the State Attorney's office. His team covered a number of topics that included bio-terrorist risks to humans and agriculture infrastructure, to ebola treatment centers and current operational capacity to survey, respond, and prepare for these events.
Doug is yet another demonstration of the diverse knowledge set that Action Tank members posess and the dissemination of that knowledge to the right groups.

Meeting with Policy Makers, Action Tank's Call to Action: Gun Violence


Action Tank is at it again—Bringing theory to action in our community! Members took to Harrisburg and met with the PA House of Representative’s Armed Forces Caucus, including PA National Guardsman and State Representative Zach Mako for state action on gun violence while another Action Tank group met with Representative Chrissy Houlahan to discuss federal impacts on gun violence. Action Tank is utilizing their unique position as veterans to develop innovative solutions to ensure a safe America while also protecting our right to bear arms. Anyone interested in making an impact should email Pictured (top): Matt Miclette, Chris Diaz, Representative Zach Mako, Andres Galarza; Pictured (bottom): Randall Hsia, Nick Lierman, Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Emily Balog, Doug Wieglet

Member and Entrepreneur Wins Two Awards


Member Chris Molaro won two prestegious awards promoting his company, NeuroFlow, an organization designed to promote behavioral health access and engagement. The awards honored his company mission to improve mental health access and treatment. The awards included the 2019 Venture Connect Pitch at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference and the 2019 Hatch Pitch at SXSW. Congratulations, Chris! We're so lucky to have you on our team!

Action Tank Member Participates as Female Veteran Panelist in HERstory

Action Tank member, Jessica Wiesnewski, was a panelist for Drexel University’s HERstory on February 11, a program showcasing women veterans. Jess and the other panelists courageously told their stories and answered questions about the struggles and achievements of being a woman in the military. Jess also shared how the military mindset has allowed her to grow in her career. She is an exemplary leader and an asset to Action Tank. Way to go, Jess!


Veterans take on hunger through community collaboration: Action Tank's 100 for Hunger


Action tank members orchestrated an interactive meeting to tackle the food insecurity epidemic in Philadelphia. Members of the federal, state, and local government—including Pennsylvania’s very own Representatives, Evans and Houlahan—as well as non-profit organizations, corporate leaders, local university leaders, and individuals who have experienced food insecurity,participated in 100 for Hunger this Friday on behalf of Action Tank. Check out the coverage from KYW Newsradio here.



CONTACT: Emily Balog 856-287-1700



WHAT: The aim of this invitation-only meeting is to foster new relationships with an array of community leaders, scholars, and innovators through collaboration. The meeting includes break-out sessions to present evidence, determine funding, implementation, and sustainability strategies intended to curb food insecurity in Greater Philadelphia. Meeting attendees range from members of the federal, state, and local government, non-profit organizations, corporate leaders, local university leaders, and individuals who have experienced food insecurity.

WHERE: We Work: Northern Liberties 1010 N Hancock St Philadelphia, PA 19123 860-859-7322

WHEN: January 18, 2019 9:00 - 12:00 *Breakfast and Lunch Provided by Dietz & Watson

WHO: Action Tank is a team of veterans who are dedicated to serving the greater Philadelphia community. We tackle tough problems by harnessing the experience, skills, and relationships of service-minded citizens to improve the social conditions of the communities in which we live and work. Currently, we are focused on food insecurity in the greater Philadelphia area and have worked with several organizations that address different facets of food insecurity, including government programs, food access and cost, food and health, urban agriculture, and zero waste. We are honored to partner with Dietz and Watson to bring together a diverse collaboration of individuals, groups, and ideas – all focused on the task of raising awareness and developing solutions to the issue of food insecurity.

Dietz & Watson is a fourth generation family company that has been able to grow with the support of communities and the individuals within these communities – starting with their hometown of Philadelphia. Dietz and Watson is always striving to find ways to give back to these communities. They do this in a variety of different ways, one being their philanthropic program, “Families Helping Families,” which is a nationwide effort to raise money and provide resources for community focused organizations. With their hometown of Philadelphia in mind, Dietz &Watson is thrilled to support Action Tank, and didn’t hesitate in teaming with Action Tank on this meeting.

Action Tank member publishes journal article

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Action Tank's Operation Director and member, Matt Miclette, published an article entitled "Closing the gaps in opioid use disorder research, policy and practice: conference proceedings" in the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. The article describes policy recommendations from stakeholders associated with the University of Pennsylvania aimed at closing the gaps in substance use policy and practice. The article can be found here