Board of Directors & Advisors
Healing Their Hidden Wounds
Healing Their Hidden Wounds
Chairman/President: Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Ed Schloeman, USMC, NYANG
Mr. Schloeman is a retired Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) from the NY Air National Guard (1973-1995) and a Marine Vietnam Disabled Veteran (Sgt) serving from 1960 to 1966.
Ed’s career has been with companies such as NYNEX (Verizon), Telco Systems and other telecommunication companies before starting his own business in 2008. He received many business awards for his sales leadership skills and accomplishments, including being crowned “King of Kings County-Brooklyn CY2013 and received a Life Time of Service Award from the Brooklyn Rotary Club. He was presented with two “Proclamations” from the Brooklyn Borough President, as well as, two Congressional Recognition Awards for his accomplishments within the Veteran community.
CMS (ret) Schloeman holds Life Memberships in; Enlisted Association of The New York National Guard, Enlisted Association of the United States, and The Marine Corps League, Vietnam Veterans of America, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and membership in The Iwo Jima Association and The National Veteran Small Business Coalition. Ed is an active spokesperson for supporting Veterans’ initiatives, emphasis on veteran homeless issues, and he is well recognized within that community and government appointees.
Some of his military decorations include; Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Medal, Air Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Ribbon and NY State Military Commendation Medal
Ed is married for 53 years to Judith Ann whose children are Catherine, Edward, and Robert.
Treasurer: Catherine Syslo
Catherine Syslo, CPA, is a Partner in CohnReznick’s National Assurance Practice, specializing in audits of not-for-profit organizations, including Uniform Guidance. She provides technical accounting and auditing expertise to engagement teams and clients. A licensed CPA in both New York and New Jersey, she has over 30 years of experience in both public accounting and the private sector.
Catherine is a frequent lecturer on not-for-profit accounting standards, the Uniform Guidance, Single Audits, and other topics affecting the not-for-profit industry.
Catherine is a member of the AICPA, the NJCPA and the NJCPA Nonprofit Interest Group. She is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the NJCPA and as a resource member to the American Cancer Society’s Audit Committee. She is the prior Chair of both the NJCPA Nonprofit Interest Group and the Nonprofit Conference Committee.
Catherine was awarded the 2021 NJCPA Woman to Watch Award which applauds the success of women NJCPA members for their leadership and commitment to fostering the success of their colleagues. She is a prior recipient of the NJCPA Volunteer Award, based on her significant contributions to the NJCPA, her local community and accounting students.
Secretary: LtCol. (Ret) Patrick Kernan
Patrick B. Kernan
8309 Holly Haven Lane, Fairfax Station, VA
Phone: (703) 867-2973; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Secret Clearance (not active, adjudicated by OPM for DHS in Sep 2011)
Current DHS T2 Clearance
Served 12 years on active duty in the Army as an attorney (Jan 92 to Aug 04)
Worked 8 years as an attorney in DHS, USCIS (Aug 04 to May 12)
Recalled to Army active duty and deployed to Iraq twice (2006 & 2011)
Retired from the Army as a LieutCol with 20 years of service in Nov 2012
U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School (VA) – Master of Laws, 2001
Wake Forest University School of Law (NC) – Juris Doctor, 1991
Hamilton College (NY) – Bachelor of Arts, 1987
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
District of Columbia
Top Secret (Not Active, Adjudicated by OPM for DHS in September 2011)
Kernan & Associates, PLLC May 2012 – Present
Vius, LLC July 2012 — Present
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services September 2011 – May 2012
Special Counsel, Commercial and Administrative Law
Department of Defense May 2011 – August 2011
Staff Judge Advocate (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Balad, Iraq)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services October 2006 – May 2011
Chief Counsel, Office of Transformation Coordination
U.S. Army January 2006 – October 2006
Chief, Procurement and Fiscal Law (Multi-National Corps, Baghdad, Iraq)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services July 2004 – January 2006
Associate Counsel, Commercial and Administrative Law
U.S. Department of Justice 2003 – 2004
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Eastern District of Virginia)
U.S. Army 2001 – 2003
Litigation Attorney (Arlington, VA)
U.S. Army 1998 – 2000
Chief, Criminal Law Division (Fort Bragg, NC)
U.S. Army 1995 – 1998
Trial Attorney, Contract Appeals Division (Arlington, VA)
U.S. Army 1992 – 1995
Defense Counsel (Korea) & Prosecutor and Administrative Law Attorney (Fort Hood, TX)
Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Service Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal (3d Award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2d Award), Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge.
John Walsh, President/CEO Sightspan Inc.
Mr. John Walsh is President and CEO of Sightspan Inc. which specializes in Risk Management, Corporate Governance, Security and Overall Business Process Improvement.
John has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, with direct responsibility for Management, Security and Anti-Laundering, Combat Terrorist Financing and Corporate Security matters for the majority of his professional career. He has established and trained members of the Financial Investigations Units and Federal Crime Specialists for global and personal work in high risk areas designing methods to detect and reduce global criminal activities for both private and public organizations.
John is a Certified Compliance Officer, an active member of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Professionals, a member of the Arab American Bankers Association and Certified Examiners Association, Global Association of Risk Professionals and several Security Groups. John is active with many military and veteran groups and is a Committee Member of the North Carolina Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Francesca DeVito, President BTD Textile
Ms. De Vito started her career working in several New Jersey hospitals as an x-ray technician, attended Moore College of Art, and danced professionally for the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company, before moving to NYC to enroll in The Actors Studio.
She performed Off-Broadway in a number of shows, including stand-up comedy. She had a singing career and taught children acting classes before entering the Garment Industry as a sales person. She starting her own company in 1996, Francesca De Vito Inc.
Her charity efforts started with Francesca and Friends, which raised funds for gift cards for families in need and made gift baskets for the soldiers at Walter Reed. Some of her veteran work, was and still is, with organizations as The David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness and other Not For Profits, Operation Warrior Shield. She held many successful fund raising campaigns for each.
She is the author of “Johnnie Discovers the Book of Light, The Mysteries of Magic Town and her new book in which she was a contributor to, Dictionary of Dreams.
Dennis Herrera, Founder of Nuday Capital
Anthony Rodriguez, AFEX CRO
Anthony Luis Rodriguez is the son of a Vietnam Veteran, a Meditator, a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and currently the Chief Global Compliance and Data Protection Officer for AFEX, a global payment and risk management solution provider.
Anthony is a senior executive leader with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, leading complex global compliance initiatives, audits/validations, and the implementation of technologies throughout North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA. Over the years, he has developed comprehensive skills in global economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, privacy, regulatory corporate compliance and enterprise risk management.
Currently Anthony is a member of the Advisory Board of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven, as well as, the ACAMS Advisory Board representing the MSB industry.
Wilem Wong, Ret. Sgt. (SA), NYPD; LTC, USAR
Wilem Wong is a retired New York City Police Department (NYPD) Police Sergeant (Special Assignment) with over 21 years of combined creditable service to New York City and New York State. He has worked in NYPD assignments in project & program management, leadership & training development, development of health and wellness initiatives, investigations, and patrol operations.
In his military capacity, he has served over 33 years (Enlisted and Commissioned Service) in the United States Army Reserve as a Combat Medic, Licensed Practical Nurse, as well as a Health Services Planning, Operations and Training Officer. Currently, he holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom having served with United States Army Civil Affairs in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as Operation Enduring Freedom, having served with United States Marines in Regimental Combat Teams 1 and 5, in Helmand, Afghanistan. His military decorations include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.
He earned a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Webster University (Walker) and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from New York University (Stern). He considered himself an accidental long distance runner a la “Forrest Gump” with four marathons completed across the United States after his deployments.
Elisabeth Halfpapp, CoreBarreFit Co-Founder
Mychal Watts, Watts Photography
Rita Cosby, TV/Radio Host Emmy Winner, best-selling author
Rita Cosby is a renowned TV host, radio host, bestselling author and veteran correspondent, who anchored highly-rated primetime shows on Fox News Channel and MSNBC. She is currently a Special Correspondent for the CBS syndicated program Inside Edition specializing in interviewing newsmakers and political figures. Honors for the three-time Emmy winner include the Matrix Award and the Jack Anderson Award.
She was also selected by Cosmopolitan Magazine as a “Fun and Fearless Female.” A recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Lech Walesa Freedom Award, she hosts the National Memorial Day Parade broadcast to all US military installations around the world. October 11, 2010, was declared “Rita Cosby Day” in the State of New York for her “extraordinary journalism and exemplary service on behalf of her community.”
Major General James Williams, USMC (Ret)
Major General James L. Williams, USMC (Ret) recently retired as the Commanding General of the 4th Marine Division, the largest infantry division in the U.S. military, consisting of nearly 22,000 Marines, Sailors, and civilians. Previously, he was Assistant Division Commander, 2nd Marine Division (2006-2007), and Deputy Commanding General (Mobilization), Marine Corps Combat Development Command (2005-2006). As the Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division at Camp Blue Diamond, Ar-Ramadi, Iraq, Major General Williams directed combat operations and was directly responsible for the sensitive negotiations with insurgents and terrorist groups to get them to stop fighting and cooperate with the building of Iraq.
In the civilian business and corporate world, Major General Williams held positions as Chief Operating Officer in Kentucky and Texas with Humana, EPIC Healthcare, and HealthTrust; assisted Ross Perot in starting operations in development of corporate information systems for healthcare organizations at Perot Systems as a Principle Associate; was the Chief Information Officer for EmCare, the largest emergency physician management company in the U.S., and Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer for software company Emergisoft; and was President, Strategic Alliances for software security company bTrade, Inc.
In addition, Major General Williams has been responsible for international engineering development for classified systems for various defense contractors and has worked in international global trade consulting roles for numerous multi-national corporations doing business with China, Vietnam, the Western Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America. He is deeply involved in local, national, and global political issues as well. He is a member of a number of professional associations in academics, technology, military affairs, world trade, and global business forums.
(The Late) Jerry Yellin WW II P-51 Pilot
Captain (ret) Jerry Yellin is an Army Air Corps veteran who served in WWII between 1941 and 1945.
Jerry enlisted two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on his 18th Birthday. After graduating from Luke Air Field as a fighter pilot in August of 1943, he spent the remainder of the war flying P-40, P- 47 and P-51 combat missions in the Pacific with the 78th Fighter Squadron.
He participated in the first land based fighter mission over Japan on April 7, 1945, and served on Iwo Jima during that horrific battle. He also has the unique distinction of having flown the final combat mission of World War II on August 14, 1945 – the day the war ended. On that mission, his wing-man (Phillip Schlamberg) was the last man killed in a combat mission in WWII.
After the war ended, Jerry struggled with severe undiagnosed PTSD. He always wondered why he survived, while so many of his comrades died during the war. Because of these experiences, Jerry has dedicated his life speaking on the horrors of “the hidden wounds of war-PTSD”.
Jerry is the award-winning author of four books, including Of War and Weddings, The Blackened Canteen, The Resilient Warrior, and The Letter. He is the official spokesperson for The Spirit of “45. .
Jerry is traveling the world sharing his story and helping to bring healing and hope to a new generation of veterans who are battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).He aims to help heal the wounds of war while dissolve the barriers and misunderstandings that bring us to the point of destroying ourselves. He delivers an insightful glimpse into the life of a warrior from the perspective of a humble humanitarian.
Jerry’s military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross. He married Helene Shulman in October 1949, is the father of 4 sons and grandfather to 6 grandchildren. Helene passed away in June 2015 after 65 years of marriage.
David Tupper, (Ret) Marine Corporal
CORPORAL (RETIRED) DAVID TUPPER SERVED MUTIPLE TOURS OF DUTY IN IRAQ, FIGHTING IN FALLUJAH, AND AFGHANISTAN. WHILE IN AFGHANISTAN, HE WAS HIT WITH A ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE LEAVING HIM PARALYZED AND WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.
HE SPENT MANY YEARS IN REHAB AND TRYING TO OVER COME HIS INJURIES. HE NOW IS RAISING 5 CHILDREN WITH HIS WIFE AND LOVES THE OUTDOORS.
CORPORAL TUPPER IS A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER AND SPEAKS ABOUT HIS STORY TO MANY ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS.
Carlos Figueroa, Marine Corp and Army Veteran
MARINE CORPS AND ARMY VETERAN CARLOS FIGUEROA
SERGEANT CARLOS FIGUEROA SERVED AS A COMBAT ENGINEER AND DEFUSED IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES IN IRAQ. IN 2003, HIS VEHICLE STRUCK ONE AND HE SUFFERED FRACTURED RIBS AND A FRACTURED JAW.
TWO MONTHS LATER, HIS VEHICLE WAS STRUCK BY ANOTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE AND HE SUFFERED BRAIN INJURY, SPINAL DAMAGE AND EXTENSIVE LEG INJURIES. AFTER MORE THAN TWO DOZEN SURGERIES AND YEARS OF PAIN, HE WOULD EVENTUALLY LOSE HIS LEG.
HIS 13-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, LILLY, WAS BORN WITH HER LEGS FUSED TOGETHER AND THIS CONDITION LED TO A DOUBLE AMPUTEE BELOW THE KNEE. HE DESCRIBES HER AS ONE OF THE BRAVEST AND MOST RESILIENT PERSON ANYONE CAN MEET.
CARLOS WORKS WITH MANY VETERAN ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING THEIR CAUSES.
Bethann Carbone, Goodwill Ambassador and Chief Strategy Officer
Wil Wong, Goodwill Ambassador
Daniela Zahradnikova, Goodwill Ambassador