Corporation for National and Community Service - Google Chrome_2014-01-04_02-45-38

 The Urban Leadership Lab™ - Google Chrome_2013-11-18_15-37-57


Veteran Champs-101T.J. Breeden | Founder & Executive Director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.

T.J. is the Founder & Executive Director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.; a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that provides Career Transition Assistance, Small Business Training, and Entrepreneurial Developmental services to veterans, military spouses, and under-served minority communities.  The organization employs a grassroots approach to assisting those who seek to advance their small business interests; partnering with state & federal agencies, universities, local chambers of commerce, and military installations in an effort to extend high-tech training & resource solutions to under-served communities.  T.J. created the Champions Conference as a platform for leaders and creative thinkers to explore ways of collaborating with one another.  This initiative comes in response to growing, regional and national efforts to spearhead job growth and economic stimulation, amidst what many consider to be one of the harshest periods of joblessness and socio-economic decline of this generation, particularly amongst our veterans, reservists, and military retirees. T.J. is a 2012 recipient of the White House’s “Champions of Change” award, as well as the US Small Business Administration’s 2013 “Veterans Entrepreneurship Advocate of the Year” award for his efforts in advancing small business growth within the military community.  He also serves on the City of Durham, NC’s  “Small Business Advisory Committee” at the invitation of the Office of Employment & Workforce Development, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce, and was recently invited to serve on the NC Advisory Committee for the US Global Leadership Coalition; a broad-based network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.  T.J. is also the Chief Creative Director of Influencer Magazine; a digital publication that brings attention to entrepreneurs who use their business platform to positive influence their communities through social engagement.


Veteran Champs-167Koby J. Langley, JD, MPA | Senior Advisor for Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Families Initiatives at the Corporation for National & Community Service.

Koby J. Langley, JD, MPA currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Family Initiatives at the Corporation for National and Community Service, which leads the President’s national call to community service initiative, United We Serve. He helps develop policy on the corporations’ portfolio grant investment of $27M in 2013.  Langley previously served at the Department of Defense where he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service by Secretary Robert Gates in 2010, and worked as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Assistance Policy. There, he developed their five-year strategic plan, served as the Department of Defense lead in the development and launch of the Veterans Job Bank with the Chief Technology Officer to the President and industry experts from Google.  The www.VeteransJobBank.org  was a 2012 ACT-IAC Excellence.gov Awards Finalist, connecting veterans to over one million job opportunities.

In 2009, Langley worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Special Assistant to Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, and assisted in the development of the strategic planning portfolios for offices reporting directly to the Secretary, as well as the agency lead for the Presidential Study Directive for Military Families, later published as “Strengthening our Military Families.”  In 2008, Langley was a core member of the Presidential Review Team for the Department of Veterans Affairs, appointed by President Elect Obama. From 2006 to 2008, Langley was the founding member of a boutique multi-million-dollar winning litigation firm, and also worked as a volunteer Veteran organizer and advisor for the successful Congressional campaign of the first Iraq War Veteran elected to Congress.

Having served in Kosovo and Iraq, Langley is a decorated officer, two-tour combat Veteran, and a recipient of the Bronze Star.  He served as a JAG Attorney, supporting hundreds of federal litigation cases for the Justice Department, and the U.S. Army.  Langley is published in numerous national news outlets, and was the originating editor of the award winning blog www.warriorcare.mil. He was recently a panelist on emerging community needs “Facing the Invisible Wounds of War” Hosted by CNN contributor Christopher Wallace as well as a live panel contributor to the MSNBC show “UP” on Veterans policy in Iraq.  Langley is a Truman National Security Fellow, and a graduate of Notre Dame University. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder and attended the Judge Advocate General School at the University of Virginia. Langley also holds a MPA from Georgetown University and is a Harvard Law School Certified Mediator.


Veteran Champs-23Dr. Sara J. Landes, PhD | Research Health Science Specialist for the National Center for PTSD.

Dr. Landes is a Research Health Science Specialist at the Dissemination and Training Division of the National Center for PTSD in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  She is also an affiliate instructor in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  At the National Center for PTSD, Dr. Landes is the lead for their veterans employment initiatives, including the online Veterans Employment Toolkit for employers, managers, HR professionals, and EAP providers; an online course for EAP providers; and their Veterans in the Workplace Survey Project.  Dr. Landes’ research interests are in the dissemination and implementation of empirically supported mental health treatments, with a focus on implementation into larger health care systems such as the VA.  She has received research funding from the National Institutes of Mental health and the Department of Defense.


Veteran Champs-57Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum, PhD | Co-Founder & Executive Director of Healing with CAARE, Inc.

For the past 30 years, Dr. Elliott-Bynum has dedicated her life to helping the under-served; setting a standard for service, responsibility, and unconditional support for those in our communities who are most in need.  In 1995, she and her late sister Pat Amaechi founded “Healing with CAARE, Inc.;” a non-profit organization that provides a wide variety of medical and social services, all catered to treating factors that contribute to long-term health and wellness deficiencies.  Today, CAARE stands as the city of Durham’s first FREE comprehensive health care clinic for the region’s uninsured.  Dr. Elliott-Bynum has worked to foster a culture of service by developing opportunities to create community supportive safety nets of care inclusive of a holistic approach to wellness; physical, social, psychological and spiritual.  This endeavor has led to an expansion of services which include: the Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center (which provides nutrition classes and healthy recipes, case management services); Free pap smears and referrals for free mammograms; A Substance Abuse outpatient treatment program; GED and a Job-Link program; and Its latest program which seeks to address the housing and career needs of the area’s veterans community.  In response to statistics showing that a growing number of NC’s homeless population consists of veterans, CAARE has carved out a 5,000 square foot unit in the ground-floor of its 23,000 square foot facility for 15-housing dormitories for displaced male veterans (which opens Sept. 21, 2013), in addition to a separate transitional housing facility for women veterans which will open in 2014.


Veteran Champs-85Robert Curry | Founder & CEO of Dryhootch of America, Inc.

Robert is a disabled combat veteran of Vietnam & Laos. His business career included management positions at IBM, AT&T, Lotus, & iEmagine, where he spoke internationally on new technologies. Like most veterans, the effects of his combat career eventually caught up with him, and he was forced to undergo extensive treatment for untreated PTSD & TBI. After treatment, Robert decided his efforts would be best spent helping our newest veterans to (as he put it) “avoid going down the same path as many of our nation’s Vietnam Vets have.” In response to his, he launched Dryhootch.org, a community-based Veteran Peer-to-Peer program that offers an array of resource services to transitioning service-members; ranging from individual and group mentorship, to “Warrior Summits,” and Veteran Legal Services.  The program has expanded to multiple states with a community of over 1800 supporters, and earned him the White House Champion of Change Award for his innovative work in “helping our veterans & their families who have survived the was, to survive the peace.


Veteran Champs-8Ginger Miller | President & CEO of Women Veterans Interactive (WVI)

Ginger Miller is a native New Yorker and former homeless service disabled veteran. After taking care of her husband, a disabled veteran, who has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over a decade and experiencing homelessness with her family, Ginger decided to form John 14:2, Inc.; a nonprofit organization whose core mission is to assist military veterans and their families experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness to reintegrate back into the community, retain permanent housing, maintain sobriety and regain their pride, dignity, and most of all, hope. Since the inception of John 14:2, Inc in 2009, the organization has helped over 300 veterans. In the summer of 2011 Ginger started Women Veterans Interactive, a division of John 14:2, Inc that is dedicated to serving and supporting women veterans, while meeting them at their points of need.  Since the inception of Women Veterans Interactive, the organization has supported over 500 women veterans through outreach and support services.  In March of 2012, “Women Veterans Interactive” received a Governor’s Citation form Governor O’Malley for the dedication and service to women veterans, and in March of 2013 Ginger was honored with the White House Champion of Change Award for “Women Veterans.”  Ginger served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1992, received a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and a Masters in Nonprofit Management May 2013 from the University of Maryland University College.


Sharie Derrickson | President of Vet Net Zero, LLC

Sharie Derrickson is a disabled service-connected US Navy veteran, and a 2013 recipient of the White House’s “Champion of Change”  award as part of the “Women Veterans” session for her work in the sustainability sector.  She served at Stars and Stripes newspaper, and was also a combat photojournalist with Navy Combat Camera; traveling extensively around the world. She now serves as President of Vet Net Zero, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee, where she and her team demonstrate their commitment to the cause of sustainability on a global level, and work to vet the newest technologies to ensure they are not only reliable, but practical, and affordable.  As a leader, she has helped her company grow significantly within the green industry, and also works with the organization’s sister company; New Wind Energy Solutions, LLC; which manages projects around the world; including international relief efforts (which is also one of her passions).  Sharie is motivated by the belief that “the future of the world depends on how we use its resources, protecting the environment from which those resources come, and ensuring the viability of the cultures that depend on our good stewardship.”  She actively seeks out and employs veterans, and has a deep understanding of the challenges many veterans face in the business community, particularly those diagnosed with PTSD. She is a vocal advocate for increased resources for veterans and constructive dialogue between veterans, business leaders, and the Veteran’s Administration.  She is also on the Advisory Board for Operation Reinvent, which helps women veterans transition from the military into the civilian business sector.


Veteran Champs-102Hakeem Moore | President of i-Suntari Social Innovation, L3C

Hakeem Moore is a retired combat veteran living with PTSD, and is President of i-Suntari Social Innovation, L3C.  i-Suntari is a veteran service organization that trains and equips wounded warriors with the education, skills, and capital resources to effectively lead their own enterprises!  The firm aims to create a network of military “veteran owned and operated” agri-businesses that extend food access and economic opportunities to vulnerable communities.  Mr. Moore brings 13 years of honorable military service, specific to supply chain management, operations management, executive training, and leadership development. He is experienced in delivering instructional support to senior-level executives tailored to their individual learning style, and believes education that encompasses empathy, music, art, and effective communication skills are essential components for critical systemic thinking.  His background in servant leadership permeates a foundation of empathy for people at all aspects of the process, and it is his belief that this approach is paramount for structuring solid alliances and true partnerships; which supports and encourages realigning the mind, body, spirit, and soul.


Veteran Champs-162Dr. Kristen Shockley | Industrial Organizational Psychologist and Statistician, Baruch City College of NYC.

Professor Shockley is an Industrial Organizational Psychologist and Statistician in the Department of Psychology at Baruch College, City University of New York, where she studies work/family relationships.  At the college, she directs the employment component of the “Veterans and Active Duty Service Member Initiative.”  In this position she has formed a partnership with the American Psychological Association in spearheading programs to address a number of critical areas, including: the struggle in identifying a new career path post-deployment, locating available jobs that meet veteran’s career needs, and translating military experiences to skills and abilities that are meaningful and attractive to civilian employers.  These services will be free of charge to all New York City veterans and their families, as well as active duty service members and their families.

Professor Shockley’s research interest has included examining the impact of PTSD and resiliency training simulation on the family members of returning veterans.  Specifically, she is interested in work/family dynamics as it is impacted by post deployment stress including PTSD, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse.  Related to this is her interest in examining the impact of gatekeeper training simulations that employ a newly developed technology where users role-play with intelligent virtual humans for the purpose of learning to manage difficult conversations in the areas of health & behavioral health.  Lastly, she has conducted data analysis for three gatekeeper training studies that were accepted by the National Registry of Evidence Programs and Practices (NREPP).


2014-05-14 16_56_38-2014-05-13 21_15_58-Veteran Champs-129 - Windows Photo Viewer - Photo GalleryDr. Glenn Albright | Associate Professor and Director of the Veterans & Active Duty Service Member Initiative at Baruch College; Co-Founder & Director of Research for Kognito Interactive.

Dr. Albright is a clinical psychologist and former Chair of the Dept. of Psychology at Baruch College, City University of New York.  He is currently Director of Baruch College’s “Veterans and Active Duty Service Member Initiative,” where all New York City veterans, active-duty service-members, and family members from both groups will have free access to employment training, entrepreneurship consulting, mental health services, and workshops addressing financial management and legal problems.  This initiative will also involve Baruch’s School of Public Affairs where qualified veteran students who wish to continue their service in government or the non-profit sectors can achieve a Bachelor’s Degree.  Dr. Albright also directs a team of researchers in evaluating the impact of Kognito Interactive’s training simulation on changes in knowledge, skills, self-efficiency, and behavior in the fields of health & behavioral health.  This research has led to publications that have evaluated innovative virtual “role-play” training simulation technology that resulted in several applications that support veterans, including: a PTSD and resiliency training for veteran families; military cultural competency training for university/college faculty, staff, and administrators; and peer-to-peer veterans training to enable veterans to better support each other in the transition process.


2014-05-13 21_16_36-Veteran Champs-160 - Windows Photo ViewerMike Liguori | Author, and Director of Community for Unite US, Inc.

Mike Liguori is a Marine Veteran of the Iraq War, and is the author of “THE SANDBOX: Stories of Human Spirit and War;” a memoir expanding up on his return home from active-service, his personal battle with PTSD, and his dedication to launch a non-profit program dedicated to helping veterans successfully transition back into the workforce.  He is an active leader in the military community, whose contributions include both lobbying on Capitol Hill as a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), to speaking on numerous panels about tackling issues facing today’s veterans.  He’s been featured on CBSHuff Post LIVESan Josey Mercury NewsConscious Magazine, and NPR.  Currently he works as the Director of Community for Unite US; a national, web-based community management platform that connects military veterans and families to resources; and writes for the Huffington Post about military issues.  Her currently serves as Director of Community Development for Unite US, Inc.


A special thanks to:

The Morgan Foundation of NC, Inc. | New Century Planning | The Loews Madison Hotel of Washington, DC | Kognito Interactive | Baruch College, City University of New York | Healing with CAARE, Inc. | The VA’s National Center for PTSD | The US Dept. of State | Women Veterans Interactive | i-Suntari Social Innovation, L3C | Dryhootch of America, Inc. | US Department of Personnel Management | Unite US, Inc. | Department of District of Columbia Veterans of Foreign Wars | The Corporation for National & Community Service | Net Vet Zero, LLC | The US Department of the Interior | CommonHealth ACTION | Creative Management Staffing Services | Ceiba Counseling Center, Inc. | The George Washington University Office of Military & Veteran Student Services | Alethes Consulting Group, LLC | and Disabled American Veterans

for attending and contributing to our january conference.


Back to Top