Toenniessen is charged with cultivation and development of all new projects, programs and strategic initiatives for the institute, working in partnership with the related IVMF departments where the programs will eventually reside. He works with senior leadership to lead the IVMF’s advancement strategy and serves as a liaison to the external advisory board.
In his previous role as director of veteran outreach at SU’s Whitman School, he was instrumental in developing and executing educational programs for veterans and military families—including EBV-F, V-WISE and Operation Endure & Grow. He previously served as national managing director for EBV Consortium programs.
Toenniessen has extensive experience in program management, operations, administration, customer service and employee relations. A former Army officer, he served at the platoon, company and battalion levels in leadership and staff positions, including platoon leader, operations officer, convoy commander, contracting officer and detachment commander. In 2008, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was responsible for logistical activity for the entire central region. Under Toenniessen’s leadership, his unit successfully redeployed in 2009. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and an MBA from the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition, he is a board member of Clear Path for Veterans, a private sector, nonprofit organization that is committed to providing veterans with a place of natural beauty to gather, develop and strengthen friendships, and promote camaraderie.