At 20 years old Consuella (Connie) Mackey, a hairstylist and fashion designer had an accident, broke her foot, and was incapacitated for a short period of time. She soon realized the challenges and everyday difficulties faced by people with disabilities; including discrimination, housing, employment opportunities, as well as professional grooming services in a salon. Connie also saw how society excluded people with disabilities from the mainstream lifestyle.
After feeling sorry for herself, she decided to do something in a proactive way to make a positive difference while addressing these issues. Connie began researching and found no opportunities were available in her profession, so she used the beauty industry as a form of rehabilitation. She offered grooming/dress for success services in the beauty and fashion industry with accessible entryways for people with disabilities.
Operation Confidence was founded several years afterward and grew to include job preparation workshops, career fairs, employment opportunities, community outreach, and diversity training for individuals with physical disabilities.
In 2009, Operation Confidence felt the need to assist disabled and wounded veterans after witnessing an encampment living out of their wheelchairs on the streets of Skid row. Some were still wearing portions left of their military uniform while proudly displaying tattered pieces of the American flag.
Several community outreach events, as well as fundraisers, have taken place throughout the years to raise awareness and funds such as in 2009, Operation Confidence hosted Mega Job Fair, a one-week resource and job fair held on the campus of 4 community colleges, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Valley College, West Los Angeles College, and El Camino College. Over 200 vendors participated at each campus location.
In 2010 and 2011, Operation Confidence hosted "United We Serve", A Tribute to Our Disabled Veterans" on the grounds of the Los Angeles Sports Arena. All branches of the military participated and 120 vendors.
In April 2012, "Operation Confidence" had its grand opening, Handi Crafts Woodworking Boutique for wounded and disabled veterans and created jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for disabled veterans in the woodworking industry.
2014, Operation Confidence hosted a woman veterans dress for success/ job preparation workshops and fashion show for CalVet Stand Down held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In 2016, Operation Confidence hosted “A Tribute To Disabled Veterans" aboard the Queen Mary, Veterans Day. Disabled veterans from the World War ll, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan era were honored. The event also raised awareness about the urgent need to get homeless, disabled veterans off the streets of Los Angeles.
Governor Jerry Brown had his Veteran Day Proclamation presented by Richard Reyes, Deputy Secretary, Minority Veterans Affairs
2017, Operation Confidence hosted "A Tribute To Our Disabled Veterans" at the Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills, CA. The Honorable Brig. General Ruth Wong (ret) Executive Director, Los Angeles County Veterans Affairs was the keynote speaker. Other distinguished guest speakers were as follows, Congressman Brad Sherman (rep), State Controller Betty Yee (rep) Assemblyman Dante Acosta (rep), Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Battalion Chief Steven Ruda, Police Captain Bryan Lium, Commanding Officer Los Angeles Police Department and Judge Herbert Dodell, board member, to name a few.
On February 28, 2018, Operation Confidence hosted a Meet & Greet fundraiser reception, Admiral Rear Sandy Adams (ret) was the keynote speaker and former Councilwoman Jan Perry was the guest speaker. The event took place at the Los Angeles City Club sponsored by Union Bank.
On October 19, 2018, Operation Confidence hosted a fundraiser aboard the Carnival Cruise Line, "Proud To Be A Veteran" a 3-day cruise to Baja, Mexico. Over 80 guests attended and had lots of fun while supporting a worthy cause.
On May 30, 2019, Operation Confidence hosted the "Invisible Heroes" event, The Honorable State Controller Betty Yee was the Keynote speaker and Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin was the distinguished guest speaker. Captain Lawrence Vasquez, Office Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Veterans Affairs Director, represented Mayor Eric Garcetti. The event was held at the Los Angeles City Club sponsored by US Bank.
January 30, 2020, Operation Confidence hosted a Meet & Greet Reception at the University of San Bernardino. The Honorable Dr. Tomas D. Morales was the keynote speaker, Tony Sertich, Executive Assistant to State Controller to The Honorable State Controller Betty Yee was the distinguished guest speaker, Norberto Nardi, a world-renowned architect, and Jet Sison, Capital Holdings where the honored the guest speakers.
All proceeds go to Operation Confidence Workforce Development/Employment Development Center & Residential Dwelling building fund.
As a pharmacist, Jimmy McGee provided comfort and care to his veteran patients through careful formulations of treatments that could potentially save their lives. He first got his start in the field of pharmaceuticals while studying at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.
This provided him a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the VA Hospital of the Wilshire district in Los Angeles. After receiving his PharmD in, he soon rose in the ranks within the VA hospital and was instrumental in many pharmaceutical innovations such as the Unit Dose System which provided the proper calibration and preparation of intravenous medications. This revolution in science is now the standard of protocol used in all major hospitals. Jimmy McGee’s wide-ranging experience led to his affiliation with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Here he was able to provide professional representation to pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory care settings.
For nearly twenty-five years, Jimmy McGee served the United States Military at the VA hospital until his retirement. After retirement, Mr. McGee decided to take the wealth of knowledge that he received from his many years of experience and began to teach Pharmacy Technology at California Paramedical and Technical College. Over the next several years he served as the Assistant Director of Life Sciences at Canyon Springs High School, Program Director of Pharmacy Technology at Kaplan College and American College of Healthcare. Jimmy holds an MBA in business.
Served in the US Air Force in both ground and airborne electronic surveillance.
He is an Employment Specialist also a connected disabled veteran who has spent 15 years serving homeless, addicted and incarcerated veterans.
Matt was awarded the Assoc. Vietnam Veterans of America Member of the year award, Chapel of Four Chaplains humanitarian award, VietNow
award where he was Chairman of the Veterans Incarcerated Committee and Co-host on America's Invisible Heroes Talk Radio Show
Judge Herbert Dodell is a founding Board Member. He has more than half a century serving as both a successful attorney and as a Superior Court Judge, having presided over more than 6,000 cases.
Board President, Founding Member
Board Treasurer/Accountant for The Ronald McDonald Fanchises,Orange County, Former Director Ronald McDonald House
Air Force Veteran, Director of Veterans Affairs , Employment Specialist,
Certified fundraising professional,
Superior Court Judge