Nonprofit HR Staff Story – Veteran Spotlight: Nonnie Byrd Wright, MSHRL

Please describe your background in the United States Armed Forces.

My branch of service was the United States Army from 1999-2019. I served on active duty and in a reserve status with the Ohio Army National Guard. My last rank held was Staff Sergeant.

What attracted you to Nonprofit HR?

When I decided to end my retirement and go back to work, Nonprofit HR’s culture was the main thing that attracted me. I wanted an environment where I could thrive, have a realistic work-life balance, and not regret going back to work. One of my former soldiers I trained in the military, Tricia White, told me what an amazing organization Nonprofit HR is.

What’s your favorite aspect of talent management?

Definitely talent development, which encompasses leadership development, mentorship and EDIJ. I’ve been able to train and mentor some amazing individuals during my military and civilian careers. To see them grow and mature into the professionals they are today is extremely rewarding. As for EDIJ, I am an advocate for this population. I’ve also been able to serve in positions where I have had a direct effect on EDIJ policies both for the military and in the civilian sectors.

“When I decided to end my retirement and go back to work, Nonprofit HR’s culture was the main thing that attracted me. I wanted an environment where I could thrive…”

Which two people would you like to have brunch with and why?

Steven Spielberg, I think he’s an amazing director and visionary, and Michelle Obama, I loved her memoire and would talk to her about her journey.

What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?

Go on adventures, explore the woods and conduct science experiments.

What is a fun fact about you?

I wrote a book called “Repurposing Your Soil: A Faith Based and Clinical Journal for Trauma Healing” that is being used by the Cincinnati Veterans Center to treat veterans dealing with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I also wrapped filming this year on a faith-based movie that will be coming out soon called “Hard Road to Happy.” I also had a role as an extra on the television show “The Chosen,” which turned into the producers creating a documentary about my life that has gone viral. I have been a guest speaker for mental health awareness events, and I’m also an autism awareness advocate. The organization Autism Speaks, who is a Nonprofit HR client, did a story about me, my autistic son Malachi and our journey.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.” —Sir Walter Scott

Images from top: Nonnie in uniform during the Christmas season. Bottom left: Nonnie’s last Department of Defense Official Photo. Bottom right: Nonnie in the garden, which is the image on the cover of her book “Repurposing Your Soil, A Faith Based and Clinical Prompted Journal for Trauma Healing.” 

Plus, check out last year’s Special Edition Staff Story: Honoring Our Veterans that spotlighted Noelle Myriam Cherubim, Tameka Lockhart-Spann and Amanda Waller.

Nonnie Byrd Wright is a 20-year veteran of the United States Army/Army National Guard. She has held positions as a Dean of Students, Director of Career Services, Adjunct Business Professor, Adult Education Teacher and a Corporate Staffing Specialist. She brings to Nonprofit HR experience in HR Policy and Procedure, Career Counseling, Training & Development, Strategic Planning and Project Management. See full bio.


Note: The views expressed are those of the interviewee and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Government. For questions about this story, please email Atokatha Ashmond Brew at

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