Fisher House Foundation is comprised of many passionate and talented people. Seth Coker, a Hero Programs administrator, came to the Foundation thanks to his interest in live sports like those involved in the Warrior and Invictus Games. As a member of an Army family, he fit right in and supports military families traveling where a Fisher House is closed or full, through Hotels for Heroes.
For Seth Coker, his first work experience with Fisher House was raising money for the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System Fisher House in Charleston, South Carolina. As the philanthropy chair for the University of Charleston chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, he led fundraisers for the construction of the local house.
He was studying international business with a minor in European relations, so when he was able to volunteer with the Inaugural 2014 Invictus Games in London, he was excited to visit the city and see how the sporting event was organized. It was a fortuitous visit for the student.
“It was the year before I graduated, and I wanted to do something like the Games, sporting events, and large-scale events. And so, I originally was trying to get a job for the Invictus Games, actually, and that’s how I got introduced to Tish and interviewed with her.”
Tish Stropes, Fisher House Foundation vice president of strategic initiatives, wanted Seth on her own team, so she asked if he would come to Fisher House instead and support the upcoming Warrior Games.
“I got brought on the week before Warrior Games, kind of like a crash course,” Seth said.
Luckily, Seth was already very familiar with the Fisher House mission of caring for military and veteran families since Seth’s dad is the Foundation’s president, Dave Coker.
That Warrior Games got Seth hooked. He came on as the Hero Programs assistant and was later promoted to Hero Programs Administrator for Hotels for Heroes. He’s heavily engaged ahead of Warrior Games and Invictus Games in planning and supporting the family programs, but also, all year-round, he supports families that suddenly need a hotel when a Fisher House is closed, full, or otherwise unable to support them.
“It’s fast-paced,” he said. “I like the immediacy of helping a family today with a problem they have today. And I like building relationships with the house managers and hotel staff that we work with every single day.”
When he’s not rushing around Warrior Games or Invictus Games or setting up hotel reservations on short notice, Seth enjoys his time in Washington D.C. with his dog. He golfs often, visits memorials and museums, and occasionally bikes through the city.
“At night, I really like the Jefferson and Korean War Memorials. I really like how the statues of the men come at you out of the plants at the Korean Memorial. And the Jefferson Memorial is so picturesque.”
But there’s one D.C. draw that Seth has never seen, despite growing up in Maryland and living in D.C. for the past two years.
“I’ve never seen the cherry blossoms,” he laughed.
Editor's note: After this story went to press, Seth did, in fact, go to the Cherry Blossom Festival. He described it as "crowded."