Bill Hannigan to Receive 2018 Lone Sailor Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States Navy Memorial has selected William J. Hannigan to receive the Lone Sailor Award at its annual dinner on September 20, 2018 in Washington DC.
The Navy Memorial presents the Lone Sailor Award to Sea Service veterans who have distinguished themselves, drawing upon their Sea Service experience to become successful in their subsequent careers and lives, while exemplifying the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.
“Throughout his life, Bill Hannigan has epitomized patriotism and service,” said Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, USN (Ret.), President & CEO of the United States Navy Memorial. “The pride he demonstrates when he discusses his accomplishments in the Navy and the impact it has had on him and his career is eye-watering.”
Bill Hannigan was nominated for the award by Chuck Zingler, Coordinating Partner, Navy, Marine Corps and Intelligence Community at Ernst & Young LLP.
“In the years that I have known Bill, his passion and care for our Navy and its servicemen and women -- and the significant impact that his active service has had leading to every success in his personal and business life, has been omnipresent,” Zingler said. “He is a unique American that would honor this distinctive award every day.”
“The Navy was a really big deal for me. At that point college was not an option for my family and I had always been interested in history and the Navy and especially the Submarine Service,” Hannigan stated. “I expected to learn a great deal but had no idea how much that would be. The training in technology and telecommunications created the foundation for my civilian career, but the learnings from my shipmates, officers and enlisted, were lessons for a lifetime. Lessons in leadership, teambuilding, perseverance and sacrifice that can only happen when you are part of something bigger than yourself. I am humbled beyond words.”
Mr. Hannigan enlisted into the Navy immediately after high school in 1977 and served on the submarine USS JACK (SSN 605). He served for six years, achieving the rank of Radioman First Class (E-6), and considers his Submarine Enlisted Breast Insignia, Navy Unit Commendation, multiple deployments, Letters of Commendation from Submarine Group, La Maddelena and Commander, Sixth Fleet among his proudest accomplishments.
His business career started as a satellite earth station technician, but he quickly rose through the corporate ranks, becoming Sprint’s youngest corporate officer within 8 years, at the age of 32. By 1996, he had earned his MBA at the University of Colorado and was a senior executive officer at Pacific Bell. In 1999, he was President of SBC’s Business Services Group before joining Sabre Holdings.
His four-year tenure as the Chairman and President & CEO at Sabre saw substantial growth of each of its four companies to #1 or #2 in their respective travel and technology sectors worldwide. He left Sabre in 2003, having led Sabre into the S&P 500 as a world leader in travel commerce, distribution and technology, with over 11,000 employees in 42 countries. In late 2003, Bill joined AT&T, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. He helped lead AT&T through a very challenging and difficult time in its history and the industry’s history. At the end of his tenure AT&T was posting its best operational, network reliability and market performance results in decades. Those results contributed to the successful merger with SBC creating the current AT&T. After completing the merger Bill chose to retire from corporate life. He has also served as Chairman of the Board at Travelocity.com and served on the Board of Directors at Duff & Phelps.
Under his leadership at both Sabre and AT&T, taking care of veterans has been a hallmark. Sabre was one of few S&P 500 companies to guarantee full compensation to Reservists called up after 9/11. AT&T had a very successful program during his tenure for hiring military veterans, which continues today.
Mr. Hannigan was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) in 2001 and 2004, respectively.
Mr. Hannigan’s service and philanthropic contributions have been numerous. He is an adviser to Bonds of Courage and ProVETUS, organizations focused on assisting and mentoring post-9/11 veterans in the New York City area. He has spearheaded appreciation for our troops at Baltusrol Golf Club, where he serves on its Board of Governors. There he has chaired “THE TRIBUTE”, an annual golf event hosting active duty Servicemen who have multiple deployments to war zones. He has also served on multiple regional and national boards, to include the Salvation Army (Greater Dallas Metroplex), Boys Scouts of America, Texas, and the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
He was fortunate enough to marry Kathy 39 years ago. They have two children, Jeremy and Meghan, and four grandchildren.
The Navy Memorial’s Lone Sailor Awards Dinner will be held at the National Building Museum on Thursday, September 20th, 2018. This annual gala is held each year in honor of the newest award recipients and brings together senior Navy leadership, the Navy Memorial Board of Directors, corporate influencers, and Washington dignitaries. For information about the Lone Sailor Awards Dinner, please contact Lisa Barker at LBarker@NavyMemorial.org or (202) 380-0782.
A full list of Lone Sailor Award Recipients is on the Navy Memorial website.
About the United States Navy Memorial
The Navy Memorial, located at 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, consists of a large plaza with a granite map of the world, the iconic Lone Sailor statue, 3,500 square-foot museum area, a 240-person theater, the Ship’s Store which sells Navy memorabilia and the Navy Log, the nation’s largest publicly available data base of sea service veterans. Our mission is to Honor, Recognize and Celebrate the men and women of the Sea Services, past, present and future; and to inform the public about their service. We do that mission with the support of tens of thousands of members and Corporate Partners including USAA, Huntington Ingalls Industry, Veritas, CACI, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Money Reserve, California Water Service Group, NewDay USA, Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition, BAE Systems, Capital Bank, Ernst & Young, General Dynamics, Navy Mutual Aid, and Pratt & Whitney. To learn more, please visit navymemorial.org