George Wanberg - USMC Veteran - Howie-In-the-Hills, FL
George Wanberg, 73, is recognized in Lake County as a veterans’ Servant Leader. Please see the attached article that appeared in The Daily Commercial on May 5, 2018. That article provides a succinct summary of Mr. Wanberg’s advocacy on behalf of area veterans. In addition to the numerous memberships and leadership positions in organizations serving veterans in our region, which are summarized in the responses to the foregoing questions, three of his activities over the past few years stand out.
First, although Mr. Wanberg is retired from his 35 year private sector career, he continues to work in a full-time position for Cornerstone Hospice. This position is a calling for Mr. Wanberg. Of course, patients receiving hospice care are terminally ill and given palliative care. Mr. Wanberg’s role is to reach out not only to veterans who are hospice patients but also to other veterans within the seven counties served by Cornerstone Hospice and personally recognize and thank them for their service to our country. In this capacity Mr. Wanberg has to travel throughout those seven counties, keeping him busy on a full-time basis. He does not do this job because of the compensation. Rather, he does it out of a love for veterans and a desire to serve them in their time of greatest need.
Second, Mr. Wanberg is the founder and ministry leader of The Veterans of the Cross, a local church-based program supporting veterans. This is a “veterans serving veterans” ministry that seeks out veterans most in need and provides them with vital support, whether it is a needed home repair or a new appliance. Mr. Wanberg derives great satisfaction from this program because it serves veterans less fortunate than himself. For more information please see the video of Mr. Wanberg at www.thecrossmountdora.org/vets
Finally, an even more specific example of Mr. Wanberg’s servant leadership is demonstrated by his involvement as chairman of an area committee established to recognize Vietnam veterans in 2013. Forty years after the 1973 Paris Peace Accords were implemented we decided to honor our area Vietnam veterans with a welcome home parade on Main Street in Tavares, the county seat of Lake County, followed by an honor ceremony in a downtown park. The undersigned conceived this project and formed a small executive committee of selected individual veterans’ advocates who would be able to marshal the personnel and resources necessary to successfully plan and execute the event. A full committee of veterans was established and Mr. Wanberg was asked to be the chairman. He readily accepted and undertook an ambitious effort to bring together the necessary talent and resources to have a successful event. Suffice it to say that the welcome home parade was very well received by the community and the Vietnam veterans who participated. This was evident from the tears that were flowing down the faces of the veterans who marched or rode down Main Street to the cheers of citizens lined up on the sidewalks saying “thank you Vietnam veterans!” and “welcome home!” Mr. Wanberg worked tirelessly on this project and was instrumental in the success of the event. See the attached article that appeared in Style magazine about that very special day in May 2013.
In sum, George Wanberg is a proud U.S. Marine who served his country honorably in the Vietnam War and has been a relentless advocate for veterans in the years following his discharge, with increased activism during his retirement years. He devotes a substantial amount of his time and attention to the needs of veterans in our community.
Education and Training Accomplishments:
Mr. Wanberg received his diploma from Dolgeville High School in 1963. During all four years of high school Mr. Wanberg was on the football, baseball and track teams. In addition, he participated in the choir, men’s glee club, library counsel, and the yearbook staff.
From 1963 to 1965 Mr. Wanberg attended Kemper Military School, where he received his Associate of Arts Degree. At Kemper Military School Mr. Wanberg was a drill team member, squad leader, and ROTC leader. He received an award for consistent achievement in college trigonometry.
From 1965 to 1966 Mr. Wanberg attended Denver University, where he served as ATO pledge president. Following a break in his education in order to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Wanberg returned to Denver University and attended from 1968 to 1969.
Professional or Employment History:
Mr. Wanberg had a successful career in the private sector. From 1969 to 1973 he worked for Zimmer Orthopedics as a sales representative. From 1973 to 1976 he worked for Lumex, Inc. and achieved number one sales status in the United States during his second year with the company. Mr. Wanberg worked for Physio-Control Medical Equipment Sales from 1976 to 1981, where he achieved numerous sales awards including number two sales status in the country during his second year with the company. He was then promoted to Senior Sales Representative and achieved the top five percent of sales persons in the United States.
From 1981 to 1992 Mr. Wanberg worked for Olympus Corporation in sales and management, dealing primarily with endoscopy equipment. He achieved 100% of his sales quota in all eleven years with the company, and received a special award in 1987 for achieving the top percentage of his quota for that year. In December 1989 Mr. Wanberg was promoted to New York Regional Sales Manager and had responsibility for a 16 million dollar division of the company.
From 1992 to 2012 Mr. Wanberg was a free-lance consultant operating under the name of GW Consulting/Sales and Marketing Strategies. During this period of his career Mr. Wanberg worked as a Real Estate Agent, a Life Coach/Mentor, and a SCORE Representative, helping businesses grow.
From 2013 until the present Mr. Wanberg has worked for Cornerstone Hospice in Lake County, Florida. It is the third largest non-profit hospice organization in the United States. In this capacity Mr. Wanberg works as the Veteran’s Program Administrator, honoring veterans in the seven Florida counties covered by Cornerstone Hospice.
Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:
Mr. Wanberg has been a very caring and proactive advocate for veterans in his community. He has escorted veterans and family members of veterans back to Vietnam for closure on trips taken in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004. He serves as Chairman of the Advisory Council/Mission United of Lake and Sumter Counties under the auspices of the United Way. He is also Chairman of the Lake County Elders Affairs Council and the Head of the Veterans Committee in that organization. He also serves as an Executive Board Member, and Veterans Advocate for Mid Florida Community Services which covers six counties. Some of Mr. Wanberg’s other active involvements on behalf of veterans include the following:
- Ministry Leader/Veterans of the Cross/Church based Veterans Ministry, Mount Dora, Florida
- Past Chaplain, Department of Florida, Marine Corps League
- Past Commandant, Detachment 1240, Marine Corps League, Leesburg, Florida
- Joint Veterans Committee Member, Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida
- Veterans Engagement Council, Tampa Veterans Administration, Member
- Chairman, 2013 Vietnam Veterans Parade and Honor Ceremony Committee, Tavares, Florida
- Chapel of the Four Chaplains for Community Work
- American Legion Post 397/The Villages, Florida
- Vietnam Veterans of America/The Villages, Florida
- AMVETS Post 2006/Leesburg, Florida
- The Villages Honor Flight/Guardian/The Villages, Florida
- Orange County Veterans Council
- City of Orlando Veterans Council
- DAV Disabled American Veterans
- Veterans Task Force/new homes for Veterans-Habitat for Humanity
- Marine Corps League
Civic Activities and Contributions:
In addition to his advocacy for veterans, Mr. Wanberg is active in his community, serving in the following capacities:
- Chairman, Elders Affairs Committee
- Rotary Member, Leesburg, Florida
- Board Member, Leesburg Rotary Foundation (Paul Harris Fellow)
- Past Board Chairman/Golden Triangle YMCA, Tavares, Florida
- Past Board Member of Lake County Children’s Advisory Council
- Howey-in-the-Hills Men’s Club, Member
Awards or Honors:
Mr. Wanberg has received numerous recognitions and awards, including the following:
- Individual Meritorious Commendation, Department of Florida, Marine Corps League
- Individual Meritorious Commendation, Department Chaplain, Department of Florida, Marine Corps League
- Certificate of Appreciation, Department of Florida, Marine Corps League
- Distinguished Citizen Silver Award, Department of Florida, Marine Corps League
- National Jr. Vice Commandant’s Citation, National Marine Corps League
- Numerous awards from Marine Corps League Detachment 1240, Leesburg, Florida
- DAV Certificate of Appreciation
- Veterans Service Medal from Governor Rick Scott