Prior to joining the IVMF, Pantano was a nationally recognized State Director of Veterans Affairs for North Carolina, home to the 4th largest active military presence in America. he also served as Assistant Secretary for Veterans Affairs. Pantano also co-founded and served as Vice-Chair of the “Governor’s Working Group on Veterans Service Members and their Families,” a groundbreaking model for inter-agency collaboration and communication (ncveteransworkinggroup.org). Working collaboratively, Pantano’s leadership helped to grow North Carolina’s veteran portfolio by over $1.2 Billion, one of the fastest growth rates in the country. He and his team were instrumental in cutting veteran unemployment and reducing veteran homelessness via innovative new public/private partnerships to leverage existing services and enhance them with private sector funding, such as North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME.org).