(March 26, 2012) – The United Warrior Survivor Foundation has changed its name to ‘Special Ops Survivors’ as part of a comprehensive rebranding and strategic planning initiative. The nonprofit organization has unveiled its new name, logo and look to the public with the launch of its new website at SpecialOpsSurvivors.org.

However, the very first to know the new name and see the much-anticipated new logo were the surviving spouses they serve. This group also played a vital role in the re-branding process itself. The project began by surveying these stakeholders, resulting in the organization’s decision to begin a process that led to new name and logo. The survivors served by the organization took part in every phase of the 10-month project, proving guidance and clarity. The nonprofit also sought input from partner organizations, long-time supporters, and experts in nonprofit branding and public relations.

“Our survivors were the primary reason we decided to pursue a more in-depth change,” says Steve Ruth, the new board president.

“What we heard from our survivors was that the image of the organization did not match how they felt about the organization,” added Ruth. “So, we were very excited to announce the much-anticipated results of our re-branding process to those who helped us get where we are. Like with our programs, everything we do is in response to the needs of those we serve. The result of this collaboration is the launch of Special Ops Survivors.”

Wendy Argel Allison, surviving spouse of Air Force Capt. Derek Argel, is one of those that took part and is thrilled with the results.

“The whole approach to developing the new name and logo was great because they asked those they serve for their opinion and guidance,” she says. “We had a say in what the organization was going to be called and what the new logo would reflect. As a result, the final product really reflects what we are all about. They really nailed it,” she adds. “The design reflects how we feel about the organization and about those we loved who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is all encompassing in a simple but strong way.”

Every opinion was considered and every detail was carefully thought out, according to Hannah Gregory, chief creative office of Shoestring, the nonprofit branding agency that led the project.

“The logo icon captures three key elements in one simple design: a circle, embracing arms and the tip of a spear – which is the recognized symbol of the Special Ops community,” she explains. “The circle design conveys how the organization makes those it serves feel – they literally embrace the survivors. A circle also illustrates a sense of wholeness and strength. Blue was chosen as the logo color because it is not only a color from the American flag, but it communicates tradition and hopeful futures. I am very proud of the new name and logo and salute this organization for making such an important change that moves its mission forward.”

The organization also announced additional changes to its board of directors and programs. The changes come as the nonprofit organization is about to mark its 10th anniversary.

“During the last ten years, this organization has grown from a small grass roots initiative to a nationwide organization benefiting hundreds of survivors and having a significant impact in numerous lives, including mine,” says Nick Rocha, the organization’s founder and first board president.

Rocha will remain on the board providing continued support for the organization.

“We serve an amazing group of women and it has been my honor to serve them as the founding president all these years,” says Rocha. “I am very grateful to all the board members, staff, and volunteers who have dedicated themselves to helping raise awareness and support for this organization. I am proud to say that even though our name has changed, our mission has not.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to see Steve Ruth, our former Vice President, step up to the plate as our new board president and I have every confidence in his abilities to take this organization forward into a positive direction,” Rocha says.

The new Special Ops Survivors logo, look and tagline – “Embracing and Empowering Spouses of Our Fallen Heroes” – can be seen at the organization’s new website: www.SpecialOpsSurvivors.org.



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