NCIC Summit of the States: Over Here – States Work Together to Increase Opportunities for Military Families and Members

States are continually looking for ways to ease the burdens of military spouses deploying to new states and military service members transitioning to the civilian workforce. This panel explored the policies that states are using to help military members and their families meet these challenges and how these initiatives may inform a broader approach to workforce mobility and state occupational licensure.
• Moderator: Marcus Beauregard, Department of Defense, Civilian Liasion Office
• Senator Carol Blood, Nebraska
• Senator Barrow Peacock, Louisiana
• Sara Appel, Mid-west Higher Education Compact Click here for slides
• Cherise Imai, Military Interstate Children’s Compact (MIC3) Click here for slides



Sara Appel, Manager, Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Midwest Student Exchange Program

Appel serves as the manager for the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Midwest Student Exchange Program. She has been working with student servicemembers in higher education for almost 20 years and has experience in grant writing and program management. Prior to her working for the compact, Appel was the academic programs manager at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Appel began working for the Midwest Higher Education Compact in January 2016.

Marcus J. Beauregard, Director, Defense State Liaison Office, The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy

Beauregard assumed the duties of director for the Defense State Liaison Office within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy in November 2015. As director, Beauregard is responsible for an office of eight regional liaisons, a senior liaison who oversees their operations and a senior state policy analyst. Together, they conduct strategic planning, legislative analysis, outreach and education in order to assist governors, state legislators and other state officials in addressing the department’s priority issues affecting service members and their families.

Carol Blood, State Senator, Nebraska  

Blood was elected as the first At-Large Councilperson on the Bellevue City Council in 2008. She served two four-year terms on the council and was then elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2016. Blood is vice chair of the Agriculture Committee and also serves on the General Affairs Committee as well as the Government, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee. She is assigned to the Juvenile Interstate Compact State Council. In her first two years, Blood brought forward a long list comprehensive legislation for military and military families that was passed with full bipartisan support. This includes legislation that has helped to remove hurdles for those seeking employment once deployed to Nebraska, mostly in health-oriented fields; created greater consumer protection for those deployed; protected military dependents who are severely disabled requiring Medicaid; and worked with the judiciary branch to remove hurdles for military spouse attorneys wanting to work in Nebraska.

Cherise Imai, Executive Director, Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3)

Imai has served as the executive director of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) since June 2016.  Formerly the Military Liaison for the Hawaii State Department of Education, she worked with the military and public schools to support the educational success for all children. Her passion is making a positive impact that helps others, and with MIC3 “it’s bringing states together to help kids graduate and fulfill their dreams.” Originally from Hawaii, she currently resides in Kentucky. The overseas transition has increased her admiration for the resilience of military families and students, who often move six to nine times during their school-aged years.

Barrow Peacock, State Senator, Louisiana

Peacock is chair of the Senate Committee on Retirement, and serves on the following committees: Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development; Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs; and Labor and Industrial Relations. He is the senate president's designee on the Public Retirement Systems' Actuarial Committee and the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation Board. In 2018 he was named YMCA Senator of the Year, Louisiana Physical Therapy Association Legislator of the Year and Childcare Association of Louisiana Senator of the Year with another senator.

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