At The Gunter Group, we are fortunate to have several military veterans on our team who have deep experience leading in times of crisis. They sat down with one of our consultants, Laura Emily, for a conversation about how they are leaning on their backgrounds in the service to navigate our current environment.  

We invite you to join us for this rich discussion on the parallels between leading in a warzone or humanitarian environment and leading in a business environment impacted by the coronavirus. Read on below to learn more about each speaker and the leadership topics they cover in the video.


Matt Bader

Oregon Market Lead and Principal Consultant
Served 5 years as a Captain in the Air Force

Listen to Matt speak about “Balancing Compassion With Accomplishing a Mission

Matt’s passion and leadership purpose is all about helping teams reach their highest potential. He loves building and leading high-performing teams and seeing what can be accomplished when strong values, sound strategy, and a relentless commitment to execution collide. He is a trusted advisor that thrives on building lasting partnerships and driving high-quality solutions for clients. As a results-driven leader with more than 14 years of leadership, strategy, project management, and process improvement experience in a wide variety of complex environments, Matt brings a deep knowledge of implementing enterprise-wide transformations across people, process, and technology domains. He has built and led multifunctional teams to deliver successful solutions in a number of industries to include: retail, education, financial services, healthcare, and government. Matt graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in business management in 2006 and has certifications in program management, LEAN, and contract management. He has spent the majority of his academic, military, and consulting career studying and employing character-based leadership principles in challenging and ambiguous environments. Outside of being a loving husband and father, Matt enjoys the intersection of all things hockey, heavy metal, fitness, and beer.

Tony Schweiss

Northern Nevada Market Lead and Principal Consultant
Served 4 years as a Lieutenant in the Navy

Listen to Tony speak about “Resiliency During Crisis”

Tony builds teams to support strategic change initiatives and helps leaders plan for highly impactful change. Thriving in the face of complex problems, he brings clarity to ambiguous situations and organizational questions. Leaders quickly come to trust Tony as a partner in making their tough decisions. A former Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, Tony’s leadership and management philosophy is tempered by a career of bringing calm and planning to high-impact, high-stress scenarios. His track record of success in defining and overcoming challenges in demanding environments has led to consistent portrayals of him as an outstanding manager and a leader among his peers. His skill set is under-girded by his formal education in the Humanities, holding a Bachelors Honors degree in both philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to an aggressive reading habit, Tony is deeply interested in everything that the Sierra Nevada mountains have to offer. Sun, snow, backpacking, and skiing all keep him, his wife, and kids busy in their free time.

Noah Rich

Senior Consultant
Served 6 years as a Captain in the Air Force

Listen to Noah speak about “Maintaining Confidence, Connection, and Healthy Habits”

Noah has a clear record of success in driving strategic initiatives across a broad spectrum of industries and business functions. Curious by nature, Noah is able to quickly develop a deep understanding of business problems, develop structured plans, and manage teams to deliver positive results. Noah’s professional experience includes work in government, IT, finance, insurance, manufacturing, construction, health care, education, and international business. He holds a M.B.A from the University of Colorado and a B.S. in meteorology from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Outside of work, Noah spends more time than he should cycling around Oregon.

Joe Spampinato

Account Lead and Senior Consultant
Served 7 years active duty and 3 years in the reserves as a Major in the Marine Corps

Listen to Joe speak about “Maintaining Momentum”

Joseph thrives in digital product and marketing management because of his affinity for analytics and the relative immediacy of data-driven change. Whether managing a host of agencies, internal teams or directly implementing strategies and tactics, he has a wealth of experience bringing products and projects to market. Joseph has more than 15 years experience leading teams, serving in product management, marketing, commercial operations and other roles in the consumer, pharma, life science and technology industries. Whether leading startups to profitable operations or managing multi-million dollar omni-channel marketing budgets, Joseph has demonstrated a path to success, regardless of scale. He earned an M.B.A in marketing from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Outside of work, Joe is manifesting patience and unconditional love with his two teenage children. On weekends, look for Joseph in the backcountry of the Cascades, cooking for a cycling camp or racing cyclocross.

Jim Calko

Account Lead and Senior Consultant
Served 5.5 years as a Captain in the Army

Listen to Jim speak about “Building Your Team”

Jim’s collaborative, servant leader approach has earned him the reputation of being a problem solver who consistently gets things done. He has the unique ability to marry tactical actions with strategic outcomes. Jim’s experience spans across multiple industries including military, high tech manufacturing, eCommerce and health care sectors. His areas of expertise are program management, software and new product development, process improvement, and communications strategy. Jim holds an M.B.A. from the University of Portland, an M.A. in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.A. in political science from Youngstown State University. He is also a Scrum Master and Scaled Agile (SAFe) 4.0 certified.


Veteran’s Day at The Gunter Group is pretty special. You see, 16% of our current employees are veterans so odds are good we have a front row seat for the incredible skills and experience they bring to their work as management consultants. When we say, “Thank you for your service,” to our friends and colleagues, we could just as easily be referencing their most recent success with a client or how they stepped up to lend a hand with our last project.

If we include military spouses, our percent of military-connected employees jumps to 22%. Several of us, like myself have direct experience as contractors for the military. In my case, I spent a summer living and working on a navy base in Italy years ago, directing programs for military families. Years later I provided career coaching for veterans and consulted for universities on how to tailor support services to meet the unique needs of military-connected students.

When we include all of the above military experience and affiliation, 27% of our organization has direct, first-hand experience with the United States Armed Forces, and that doesn’t include employees who grew up in military families!

This week, three of our veteran employees will join a panel at Portland State University to share how their military experience prepared them for various roles as consultants across multiple industries. At The Gunter Group, we know that diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives make us better as an organization. Hiring talent from less “traditional” consulting backgrounds has always been a priority for us (e.g., I represent one of two former archaeologists among our ranks!), and we have actively recruited veterans from our beginning in 2011. 

We’ve learned veterans are uniquely suited for the work we do. From operating on imperfect information and having to improvise to solve a wide range of problems in changing conditions to showing up with the utmost integrity, grounded confidence, and the rest of our non-negotiables, in every situation. Veterans have much to offer the business world and they are among some of our most successful employees.

Part of our motivation for continuing to grow our business is that it allows us to provide opportunities for those who have served to apply all that they’ve learned to work in the civilian world. By reaching out to our local community, mentoring other veterans to translate their military experience, we hope to see more veterans join The Gunter Group. We also promote military-friendly practices among our clients. It’s not only serving those who serve but it’s really good for business.


On September 24th three members of The Gunter Group LLC (TGG)  gathered at Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton to share stories and a couple of drinks.  TGG consultants Matt Bader, Jim Calko, and Tony Schweiss sat together on the front patio enjoying the conversation but they weren’t alone. The three mingled with other Portland area military veterans at the September Vetwork PDX event. Matt, Jim, and Tony are three veterans (Air Force, Army, and Navy, respectively) that are now proud to be part of The Gunter Group’s team of consultants.

The organization that brought the group together on this September evening, Vetwork PDX, was founded by TGG associate Matt Bader in 2013 as a simple but effective way to give back to the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed Forces.   The group is dedicated to building lasting and meaningful relationships within Portland’s veteran community.  Jim Calko, another TGGer, has been a mainstay attendee at Vetwork PDX over the course of the last year.

In addition to providing a social connection for veterans in Portland, it has turned out to be a great way to network professionally.  Ashleigh Gunter, Partner at The Gunter Group had this to say: “Vetwork PDX has been a great way for us to meet some amazing talent.”  Founder Mike Gunter said “The veterans in our company have been fantastic additions to our team.  We actively look for team members with backgrounds that are not always typical for consulting, and their experiences and diverse skillsets have allowed them to thrive in our firm. The critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in the armed services translate well into the world of client service, where emotional intelligence, adaptability, and practical solutions are critical”.

The Gunter Group also recently hired Vetwork PDX attendee Tony Schweiss. Tony, an ex-Navy officer, was working in the construction industry and looking for his next career move when he connected with the group. Tony recalls, “As I transitioned out of the Navy, I saw clearly that the leadership and team building programs I had the opportunity to direct while serving as an officer were unique when comparing myself to my peers in the private sector.  The Gunter Group has a record of recognizing the value of my experience, and Vetwork PDX was an engine to foster the relationship between The Gunter Group and me.”

The Gunter Group is an emerging business consulting firm that has sought to build a different type of consulting firm from the very beginning of its existence. The firm has always believed there is a better way to continually deliver high value client service and in turn has looked to recruit and hire talent a bit differently as well. Veteran recruiting is an area in which the firm has been actively involved since 2011, and to date roughly 20% of the company has some form of active duty military experience.

When asked about his thoughts on The Gunter Group and the future of veteran hiring, Matt Bader had the following to say: “Portland is an amazing city and a great place to live, but isn’t known for having a significant military presence or an active veterans’ community. I faced a ton of challenges transitioning out of the military and into a career that I loved. I feel so lucky to have landed with an organization that not only recognizes the skills and experiences I bring to the table as a veteran but that is also open to growing the number of veterans within the organization. I truly see our willingness to bring on vets as a competitive advantage within the consulting industry.”

For more information on career opportunities at The Gunter Group please visit

For more information on Vetwork PDX and upcoming events please visit