Executive Leadership TeamCatherine A. Wilson
, CAPT, NC, USN, RET, Executive Director, Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
, Executive Assistant
Martha J. Mead
, Special Projects Coordinator
, Regional Director, Region 1
, Northern Regional Director, Region 2
Martha Utley, Central Regional Director, Region 4
Brandi Jancaitis, Director of Housing Development for Veterans/Interim Regional Director, Region 5
Matthew J. Leslie, Associate Director of Housing
Carol H. Berg, Regional Director, Region 5
Catherine A. Wilson, CAPT, NC, USN, RET
Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
A native Virginian, Catherine Wilson currently serves as the Executive Director of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP). Established in the Code of Virginia in July 2008, this program is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services in cooperation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, a statewide delivery and response system for veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their families needing behavioral health, primary healthcare, rehabilitative services and community support.
Serving in the United States Navy for 30 years, she retired in October 2008. At the time of her retirement she was the Commanding Officer (Chief Executive Officer) of Naval Hospital Bremerton. Prior to that assignment she was deployed and served as the Commanding Officer of U.S. Military Hospital Kuwait (a tent hospital) and nine Troop Medical Clinics located throughout Kuwait and in Qatar. For two years prior to deployment, CAPT Wilson served as the Executive Officer, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton where she also commanded its Fleet Hospital.
Past assignments include Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where she was the Director of Fleet and Family Medicine. Her Directorate was staffed by over 2,600 personnel. CAPT Wilson also served as Deputy Director of the TRICARE Mid-Atlantic Region Lead Agent Office where she had direct impact on health care for over a million beneficiaries in Virginia and North Carolina. She had responsibility for the administration of a $3.1 billion dollar managed Care Support Contract.
Selected as the Congressional Detail to Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii in 1999, she served as the advisor to the Senator on all health related issues. CAPT Wilson was a staff assistant for the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee for Defense, as well as, the Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education Committee.
CAPT Wilson served at the Pentagon on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). During this tour, she was Deputy Director for Force Management, Senior Policy Analyst for TRICARE Operations Policy, and ultimately served as Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) for Health Services Operations and Readiness. At the time, the Military Health System was a $15.5 billion dollar system, the Nation’s second largest, and included the integrated delivery of health care to more than 8.2 million DOD beneficiaries worldwide. Other executive management positions include a four-year tour at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as the Deputy of Enlisted Force Management and the Navy Surgeon General’s representative for HIV and AIDS prevention education. Former duty assignments include Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Naval Hospital Philadelphia; and National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
CAPT Wilson’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Master of Science degree in Trauma/Critical Care Nursing with a minor in Education, and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management and Health Policy. She is also certified in managed care by the Academy of Healthcare Management and earned a Certificate in Legislative Studies from Georgetown University.
Her awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (third award), Navy Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award), Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Military Unit Commendation (second award), Overseas Service Ribbon, the national Defense Service Medal (second award), and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. She is the recipient of the USUHS Meritorious Service award and the distinguished Hewlett Packard award.
CAPT Wilson is married to Don D. Wilson, CAPT, MSC, USN (RET) and has two children and three grandchildren. She resides in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Kendra Ellison serves as the Executive Assistant of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program. She assumed this position on July 6, 2010. Mrs. Ellison joins the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program with work experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.
Kendra completed 13 years of employment with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia in 2000. She gave administrative support on all of the inpatient units as well as in the admissions, triage and emergency room areas. For three years of her employment there, she worked as the Bed Control Clerk, administratively accepting veterans from other medical facilities across the country and Puerto Rico. In this position, she also communicated with military personnel to administratively accepted injured active duty men and women to receive continued medical care through the VA system. During her tenure there, Kendra, along with the Nurse Manager, established administrative rules and documents for the newly established Short Stay Unit.
Her awards include Recognition of High Level Performance Award, Special Act Award, Special Service Award and a Time-Off Award.
Although Kendra was busy in her career at the VA hospital and raising four of her special needs god children, she has volunteered tirelessly in her church. Some of the things that Kendra has been involved in are: she planned and implemented two trips for 150 at-risk children to go to Disney World, (free of charge), helps to feed the hungry through the church’s Community Café and distributing bags of groceries, both on a monthly basis and she has volunteered as the Church Administrator for fourteen years.
Kendra was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and attended J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond as well as Marymount College and Arlington, Virginia. She currently resides in Henrico, Virginia with her husband, Joe, who has been in the ministry for twenty-five years.
Martha J. Mead
Special Projects Coordinator for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
(VWWP), Virgina Department of Veterans Services (DVS)
Martha J. Mead joined DVS in 2007 after retiring from 33 years of state service. Initially she served as Executive Order 19 Project Manager. EO 19 required DVS and other state agencies to find ways to offer new, expanded or customized services to meet the educational, health care and social service needs of Virginia’s veterans, giving special attention to disabled veterans. One of the 27 initiatives from EO 19 was the development of a behavioral health program for veterans and their families. Martha was instrumental in the concept development, legislative strategy, and initial implementation of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.
She was the Director of Legislation and Public Relations for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) for 20 years. She was the chief spokesperson for the agency, and the agency’s liaison with the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor’s Office. Prior to working with the DMHMRSAS, Martha worked with the Virginia Division of Legislative Services as a ResearchAssociate. .. She has worked as a consultant for the District of Columbia Department of Mental Health and the D.C. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. In addition, she held positions with the Virginia House of Delegates, the Center for Public Policy at the University of Virginia, Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, the Bureau of Insurance of the State Corporation Commission, and the Department of Economic Development. She is the author of numerous state level reports and publications.
Martha earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond and her Master in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Region I Director Northwestern Virginia
Covering the counties of Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Page. Rockingham, Madison, Culpeper, Stafford, King George, Caroline, Spotsylvania, Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Page, Augusta, Highland, Bath, Rockbridge, Nelson, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Appomattox as well as the Cities of Winchester, Front Royal, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Lexington, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg.
Prior to taking on the role of Director, Camilla Schwoebel served as the Coordinator for Region I of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program since 2009. Camilla is a veteran of the US Coast Guard, having served both on active duty and in the Reserves. While in the Coast Guard, she served as Weapons Officer and Deck Watch Officer on a Coast Guard cutter. She is also a military spouse of 26 years.
Camilla is a licensed professional counselor, and worked in the counseling field for over 20 years, in a wide variety of settings including work in two community services boards, nonprofit and private counseling centers. Her areas of expertise has been adolescents, substance abuse, and military families.
Camilla earned her bachelors degree from Temple University in Art Education and her Masters in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling from California State University at Sacramento.
Region II Director Northern
Serving the counteis of Arlignton, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park
Jim Thur is a retired Captain, US Naval Reserve. Surface Warfare Officer. He served in Vietnam aboard the USS HOLDER (DD-819). Jim is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Association of US Navy, Fleet Reserve Association, Naval Historical Foundation and Military Officers Association of America. Jim is also the a recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal.
Jim has over 40 years experience in the field of health and human services including with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, two Area Agencies on Aging, and a federally funded human service integration project in Pennsylvania. Jim served for 27 years as the Executive Director of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, which serves persons with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual disabilities. Jim was appointed by the U.S. Senate as a delegate from Virginia to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.
He received his Masters Degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo and another Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan.
Martha Utley, USCG, Ret
Region IV Director Cenral Virginia
Covering the counties of Buckingham, Cumberland, Goochland, Hanover, Powhatan, Henrico, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry, Halifax, Mecklenberg, Lunenburg, Charlotte, Brunswick, Greenville, Sussex and the City of Richmond.
Martha Utley began employment with the Department of Veteran Services in October of 2011.She retired from the United States Coast Guard in 2011 as a Master Chief Petty Officer with over 27 years of active service. At the time of her retirement, Master Chief Utley served as the Coast Guard’s Health, Safety and Worklife Command Master Chief. She has more than 25 years experience in Healthcare Administration to include; managed health service activities, case management, human resources, as well as policy planning & implementation, executive level leadership, organizational improvement and strategy development.
Of historical note, Martha Utley was the first woman in the history of the Coast Guard to obtain the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) Health Services.
Director of Housing Development for Veterans/
Interim Region V Director
Covering the Greater Hampton Roads area and the counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wright, James City, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Southampton, Westmoreland, and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.
As the Director of Housing Development for Veterans, Brandi Jancaitis provides statewide coordination of homeless and housing services for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP). DVS does not maintain any housing for veterans directly, however Brandi helps communities collaboratively develop and enhance services for veterans through partnership and support from Federal and State entities. Brandi is an Active Duty Army Spouse and mother to two boys so she can personally identify with the sacrifices made by our service members and their families in service to our Nation.
Before joining DVS, Brandi worked at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority in Richmond VA since 2007 in a variety of roles including research and grant development, program evaluation, substance abuse prevention, and Lead Case Manager for Region IV (Central Virginia) VWWP. Brandi brings extensive direct service experience and knowledge of homeless and housing resources for veterans and their families.
Brandi originally hails from Southwest Virginia and is a graduate of Virginia Tech where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 2005. Brandi earned her Masters in Public Health degree in 2008 from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Matthew J. Leslie
Associate Director of Housing
As the Associate Director of Housing Development for Veterans, Matt Leslie provides statewide coordination of homeless and housing services for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP). DVS does not maintain any housing for veterans directly, however Matt helps communities collaboratively develop and enhance services for veterans through partnership and support from Federal and State entities.
Before joining DVS, Matt worked at the Virginia Department of Housing and Development (DHCD) as both a Homeless and Special Needs Program Administrator and a Housing Policy Analyst. Matt brings extensive policy, program design, and data knowledge of homeless and housing services, as well as an affinity for data visualization and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Prior to his work in housing and homelessness, Matt worked in direct service for over five years at an outdoor therapeutic school for at-risk youth. Originally from Virginia Beach, Matt is a graduate of James Madison University where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geography in 1998. Matt earned his Masters in Social Work degree, with a concentration in Policy and Planning, in 2006 from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Carol H. Berg
Regional Director Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
Region 5 Greater Hampton Roads
Covering the greater Hampton Roads area, and the counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wright, James City, King and Queen, Lancaster, Matthews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Southampton, Westmoreland and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.
Carol joined the Department of Veterans Services team as Regional Director for Region 5-Greater Hampton Roads in November of 2013. Carol was a 20 year Army spouse who supported the needs of military families at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Eustis, Ft. Monroe, Langley AFB and Okinawa, Japan. During Desert Storm, Carol assisted in the training of military spouses who were preparing for the deployment of a service member or beginning their role as the spouse of a unit commander.
Before joining DVS, Carol served as Field Office Director for Operation Homefront-Virginias, as the Chief Operations Officer at Avalon: A Center for Women and Children, as Executive Director of The Newport News Court Appointed Special Advocate Program and as the Chapter Services Director of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross. Carol brings extensive direct service and senior management experience in her ongoing service to the needs of families in crisis across Hampton Roads. Carol's volunteer service to military families includes her tenure as the Director of Volunteer Services at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Eustis, Ft. Leavenworth and Torii Station (Okinawa, Japan).
Carol is originally from Philadelphia and is a graduate of Rider University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling.