How It All Began
In the summer of 2007, Goodwin Procter alumnus Nate Dalton learned that his neighbor, Michael Finer, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard, was going to Iraq for a year. In talking with Michael, Nate learned about the various challenges that soldiers face to ensure that their homes and businesses run smoothly while they are away. As federal and state government infrastructure seemed insufficient, Nate quickly realized that additional resources were needed to address these problems. As a result, Nate's idea for Guard Support was born.
Guard Support and Goodwin Procter
Together with a small group of Massachusetts citizens, Nate intended to do more to support the very real economic hardships that a lot of Guard members and their families face. In 2007, with significant pro bono legal services from Goodwin Procter, Nate founded Guard Support, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the services available to Massachusetts National Guard soldiers and their families. On a fundamental level, Guard Support provides emergency cash assistance to Guard families that need help with essential expenses like child care, housing and utilities. The organization also provides grants to the Family Readiness Groups that organize the send-off and homecoming events that boost morale.
Guard Support also helps in other ways, such as hiring buses so that soldiers can see their families between training camp and deployment, or enabling Internet connections and Skype calls between troops overseas and loved ones at home.
"Guard Support of Massachusetts has been a true source of comfort to Guard members and their families, as well as a much needed sponsor of Family Readiness Groups during some very difficult times. Nate Dalton and his team offer a level of support that would be difficult to surpass and we are fortunate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to have an organization such as Guard Support," says Maureen Serrecchia, State Family Program Director of the Massachusetts National Guard.
For soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard returning home to civilian life, Guard Support has developed an entrepreneurship program to provide education, seed financing and advisory services to help returning Guard members start or sustain small businesses.
“People are grateful for the support we provide, but really we are the ones who should be grateful to them for serving on our behalf,” says Nate.
Goodwin Procter proudly provides pro bono legal services to Guard Support, including advice on tax, corporate and employment matters. Currently, Goodwin attorneys are advising the organization on its entrepreneurship program, and the firm also plans to offer pro bono legal services to some of the Guard members participating in the entrepreneurship program. Among the Goodwin attorneys who have worked with Guard Support are former partner Beirne Lovely, a decorated Vietnam veteran, Janet Rickershauser, Bob Crawford, and former summer associates Minh-Chau Le and Dan Blanchard.
To read testimonials from soldiers who have received Guard Support assistance or to make a donation, please visit their website or call (617) 848-8868.
More about Nate Dalton
In 1991, Nate Dalton began his career at Goodwin Procter working on private equity deals in the corporate department. While practicing at the firm, Nate served as an outside legal advisor to Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. ("AMG"), an entrepreneurial asset management company that allows its Affiliate managers to retain operational autonomy and equity incentives in their firms.
In 1996, Nate left Goodwin Procter to become general counsel for AMG, and helped the company go public the following year. In 2005, he took on the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for the growth and operations among all existing subsidiaries and affiliates. Over this period, AMG has been one of the fastest-growing asset management firms in the world. Today, despite the global economic downturn, AMG still has some $160 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2009 and a growing presence in Europe and Asia.