Rhonda Jordal is a Veteran Advocate, National Speaker, & Author. She owns two businesses, "Memories & Keepsakes and Memories & Keepsakes Quilts". Rhonda started her businesses after a career in newspaper & radio media, PR/promotions, Human Resources and Marketing. She currently serves on her Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Rhonda served as an EMT and a Practical Examiner. She has military service in her family back to the Civil War with seven family members serving in this war including two sons.
She is the Chairman of (FAVA) Family Alliance for Veterans of America and serves as a board member with WestCare Foundation. Rhonda serves as a consumer reviewer for the (CDMRP) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for psychological health, PTSD & TBI, and serves as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense psychological health TBI Neurotrauma. She sits in on SAMHSA’s Jail Diversion Trauma Recovery veteran representative meetings representing FAVA. She has helped in the drafting of bills related to veterans in her home state of Iowa. Rhonda was appointed by the Governor of Iowa to the Advisory Council for Brain Injuries and is the Chairman of the Advocacy Task Force for the Advisory Council of Brain Injuries. Rhonda served on the Iowa State Plan redesign for Mental Health and Disability Services on the Brain Injury workgroup and most recently was appointed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to the Iowa Council for Homelessness. Rhonda is the Iowa Director at FAVA’s National headquarters in Forest City, Iowa. Iowa is the model state for what FAVA plans to replicate across the nation.
Rhonda is working on a book, "A Living Death," which focuses on one combat son's life, injuries sustained from war and his incarceration for 635 days in a county jail with no medical treatment. A second book, "The New Normal," starts with the day of her son's release and describes what the family has been going through, living with a veteran with many injuries, including the "signature wounds" of this war-PTSD & TBI, seeking all the diagnoses and treatments for their veteran son and the new battlefront they are fighting. Rhonda paints the picture of what families and veterans are going through trying to reintegrate into civilian life. While that itself can be difficult for some veterans, it is even harder when they have injuries including PTSD & TBI that can affect their life long- term.
Rhonda is the mother of five children. She and her husband, Dale, are helping to raise a granddaughter from their youngest military son.
Charilyn Damigo has become a nationally recognized speaker and advocate for her son Nathan, who joined the Marine Corps during his senior year of high school. She became actively involved in her local Blue Star Mothers of American chapter and is currently serving as the National Recording Secretary for the organization. Nathan served 3½ years in the Marine Corps, which included 2 deployments in Iraq. One month after his return from his second deployment, on the anniversary weekend of his best friend's KIA date, Nathan was arrested for a crime he committed while having a Post Traumatic Stress flashback. He is currently serving a six-year prison sentence. His story is one of those featured in the HBO documentary Wartorn: 1861-2010.
Charilyn has spent the last 4 years advocating for her son and other veterans who have been affected by the justice system. She has been working with other families to establish the non-profit, peer-to-peer family support network known as FAVA (Family Alliance for Veterans of America). FAVA is an affiliate of WestCare Foundation, already established in 15 states and 2 US Territories to help meet the needs of mental health, suicide prevention, drug addiction, domestic violence and homelessness.
Charilyn's husband is also a Marine veteran and together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren. She has previously worked in the banking industry, and she has been an educator and school administrator for 25 years.
Jan McRaven has been an advocate for veterans and their families since 2007, motivated by her two oldest sons who served in the U.S. Army, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both suffer from PTSD and probable TBI. She is the mother of 5 sons, and when her oldest returned home from deployment in 2006 he suffered a severe anoxic brain injury as a result of an overdose of prescription medication. During his one year hospitalization, she discovered a lack of easily obtained resources and camaraderie on issues relating to veterans' post-deployment injuries, as well as the complex issues enmeshed in acquiring best health care and benefits for veterans.
Jan's had a 30 year career in nursing, holding a BSN and Masters in Nursing Science degrees. She is Board-Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, with a specialty in Neurology. She maintained a busy clinical practice until her son was discharged, choosing to care for him full-time.
She refocused her life towards not only caring for her sons, but towards advocating for veterans and their loved ones, motivated by the experiences and knowledge she has acquired over five years. It is crucial that our wounded, and their families, be well-educated and prepared to cope with the day-to-day impact resulting from injuries of war. Through FAVA, and peer-to-peer networking, our warriors/families will not only be guided, they will understand they are not alone.
Peter Szegedy-Maszak is an Administrative Law Judge for the city of Washington, D.C. Before this appointment by the Mayor of Washington, Peter's thirty-year legal career included senior positions in both the public and private sectors - from senior positions in the D.C. Attorney General's Office, a national non-profit and major law firms to general counsel for an international family business and adjunct professor at local universities. Peter's range of professional interests, skills and knowledge is as diverse as his career.
He comes to FAVA through his active interest in veterans' courts, his legal work on behalf of injured veterans in both civil and administrative proceedings, and his participation in drug
and alcohol prevention and rehabilitation programs for at-risk groups,
including veterans. Peter is committed to assisting veterans and their
families in both his professional and personal capacity. He views FAVA as a great opportunity to provide the kinds of services, care and hope that veterans and their families so keenly need and deserve.
Peter grew up, and currently resides, in Washington, D.C.
Heidi Carlson, MA is the Lead Therapist in the Men's Program at the Domestic Abuse Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota. DAP was one the first domestic violence agencies in the nation offering a combination of services to the entire family. The men's groups are designed for men who have been violent or abusive to their partners. Heidi began working at DAP in 2000 as the Spanish speaking court advocate, then became the first advocate housed in the Minneapolis Police Department's Family Violence Unit, providing services and advocacy to felony assault victims.
She started working as a therapist in the Men's Program in 2005 after receiving her masters degree in psychology. Her current area of interest is working with combat vets who are dealing with domestic violence and mental health issues. DAP is seeing an increasing number of OIF/OEF veterans who are court ordered to domestic violence programming after a domestic violence arrest.
Many of these vets have been diagnosed or are suffering from PTSD. Heidi is developing a veterans group that will address both the domestic violence and PTSD issues. It is important for veterans to understand how their combat experience affects their relationships. Heidi is also a military mom. Her son, David, is an Army National Guard soldier who has deployed twice to Iraq. He suffers from PTSD and TBI and is currently receiving mental health service from the VA.
Jim Wadhams, Esq.
Qwynn Galloway, an Army Veteran has been serving the needs of Service Members, Veterans and their Families since 2005 after her support on the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). In 2007, she realized her passion was advocating for those with the Visible and Invisible Wounds of War. Qwynn has had the opportunity to work closely with Service Members/Veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Amputations, various other severe Illnesses and injuries, and Families of Service Members killed in the line of duty.
Currently, Qwynn works as an OEF/OIF/OND Transition Patient Advocate for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Georgia. In her role at the VA, she provides services to the severely ill and injured Veterans in her geographic location. She is the spouse of an Active Duty Soldier and a mother of two daughters.
Ms. Galloway has a master's degree in professional counseling and is a board member of Georgia's Paving the Way Home –A Veterans Initiative, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Georgia and NAMI National Veterans Advisory Council, Georgia's Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery for Veterans Program and the Family Alliance for Veterans of America (FAVA).
Jim Wadhams primarily practices in insurance regulation, state taxation and government relations. He had an extensive career in government service in the states of Nebraska and Nevada prior to first joining the firm in 1981.
While serving as General Counsel for the Nebraska Department of Insurance from 1974 to 1975, Jim was responsible for direct communication with Nebraska's legislators on insurance regulatory matters. He participated with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in developing national model laws for claims practices, holding companies and title insurance. Following the next four years of public service in Nevada, first as General Counsel to the Division of Insurance and then as Deputy Attorney General representing the Division of Insurance, Jim was asked by then Governor O'Callahan to be the state's Insurance Commissioner. The succeeding Governor List appointed Jim to be Director of Commerce, where he was able to hand pick his own successor as Insurance Commissioner. While serving in these positions from 1978 through 1981, Jim overhauled the auto insurance laws, created an agency to collect unclaimed financial property and set up the state's first industrial development bond program.
Since leaving government service in 1981, Jim has been active in representing individuals and businesses before the Insurance Commissioner and other state licensing officials. In the area of public finance, Jim qualified Jones Vargas as the first Nevadabased
law firm to be listed as qualified bond counsel. His extensive knowledge of the executive and legislative process has assisted clients in accomplishing a wide array of legislative and regulatory changes including authorization of workers compensation insurance by private companies, substantial improvements in construction defect law and creating a nationally recognized standard for mining reclamation. In addition to being certified as an expert in several federal and state courts, Jim has also been asked to serve
on numerous governmental advisory panels. He currently is on the Property and Casualty Advisory Committee, the Life and Health Advisory Committee, the Institutional Review Board, the Title Insurance Advisory Committee and is Chairman of the Board of the
Nevada Captive Insurance Association. His clients include Newmont Mining Corporation, Citibank, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, UnitedHealth Group, Sierra Health Services, the American Insurance Association, the Southern Nevada Homebuilders Association and the Nevada Dental Association.
Jim has been active locally with a variety of charities including the Las Vegas Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Public Education Foundation and the Westcare Foundation, for which he currently serves as Chairman of the Board. He has overseen Westcare's growth from being a small community-based program serving several hundred people in Nevada to now providing programs in seven states and two territories, impacting the lives of thousands.
Jim graduated from Stanford University in 1968 and The University of Nebraska School of Law in 1972. He is married to Colleen and has 5 children, Jesse, Nate, Katie, Jimmy and Danny. His hobbies include hunting, golfing, skiing and handball.
From his earliest days working at the local YMCA, Mr. Steinberg has simply been interested in helping people build better lives. As a Clinical Specialist in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in South Vietnam, Dick demonstrated leadership abilities early in his career. In addition to supervising Army personnel, facilities and programs, he developed a Substance Abuse Program for his battalion as well as Medical Civic Action Projects assisting elders, women and children in the villages. Returning stateside, Dick worked as an Educational Therapy Assistant in the Long Beach Veterans' Hospital. There he arranged educational programs for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries and/or substance abuse.
In 1978, Mr. Steinberg joined Fitzsimmons House, a therapeutic community treatment program near Las Vegas, NV, and, a year later, became the Director. Fitz House continued its growth and soon became WestCare with Dick as President/CEO. Today, he continues to lead the team operating all aspects of WestCare Foundation, Inc., including board development, program design and implementation, fiscal and legal matters, services and protocols, resource development and community relations. Under his tenure as President/CEO, WestCare has grown to be one of the nation's largest, nonprofit organizations addressing the broad continuum of whole-person health and wellness through programs now in almost a hundred locations. WestCare's current operations in fourteen states and off-shore include: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Pacific Islands of Guam, the Northern Marianas, the Marshall Islands, the Confederated States of Micronesia, Palau and American Samoa.
As Mr. Steinberg has responded to the ever-expanding need for services, particularly among under-served/under-represented populations, he has also made significant contributions to the profession encouraging research and improving quality across the continuum of care. He is Past President of Treatment Communities of America (TCA), a member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, American Correctional Association, National Association of Drug and Alcohol Counselors, Western States Youth Services Network, World Federation of Therapeutic Communities and the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions. Dick has served as appointee to SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment National Advisory Council, as well as the Forensic Addictions Corrections Treatment Board for the University of California San Diego Medical School.
Mr. Steinberg received his Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Nevada Las Vegas following a BA in Psychology from California State University Long Beach.