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Hellena Pugh is an accomplished, results oriented professional, with an outstanding background of service as a military officer, corporate employee, and national volunteer. The youngest of six children, she was raised on the south side of Chicago, in the historic West Pullman neighborhood.

She began volunteering at the age of thirteen and through her service developed into a respected leader and team player. After transition from active duty military service, she established Zahara Veterans Network, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of female military veterans.


Ms. Pugh received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Chicago State University. She entered the corporate environment through sales and later transitioned into the purchasing field.

As an AmeriCorps volunteer she taught American Red Cross disaster recovery, first aid and cardio pulmonary resuscitation courses to a four county area in the state of Illinois. She completed more than 1700 hours of volunteer work in a year and received a stipend and national service award.

Ms. Pugh had long desired to earn the title of United States Marine and decided to leave the comfort of the corporate business world and challenge herself to fulfill her dream.


Hellena Pugh became active duty in the United States Marine Corps in 2008 as a commissioned officer following completion of officer candidate school in Quantico, Virginia.

During her service she represented the Marine Corps at several national conferences and recruiting events. She was separated in 2012 after sustaining injuries to both feet that required extensive surgeries and physical therapy.

She continues to represent the Marine Corps as a member of the Women Marines Association and Montford Point Marine Association.

Currently a student in a graduate business program, Ms. Pugh has leveraged her talents to focus on representing the fastest growing segment of veterans, WOMEN.