Executive Leadership TeamBrandi Jancaitis
, Executive Director for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
, Executive Assistant
, Regional Director, Regions 1 and 2
, Regional Director, Region 3
, Central Regional Director, Region 4
Matthew J. Leslie
, Acting Director of Housing
Carol H. Berg
, Regional Director, Region 5
Executive Director for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
As Executive Director of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, Brandi Jancaitis leads a statewide team that monitors and coordinates behavioral health, rehabilitative, and support services for veterans and families. The VWWP is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and numerous community partners including the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Brandi has worked in multiple capacities with VWWP since 2010. Brandi worked directly with veterans and family members as Lead Case Manager in Central Virginia/Region IV. In her ‘boots on the ground role’ as a case manager, she was able to develop and coordinate a new family support initiative called the Mission: Healthy Families Retreat and spearhead a new service area by assisting at risk and homeless veterans. At the executive team level, Brandi served as Interim Regional Director for Greater Hampton Roads/Region V and as Director of Housing Development for veterans. In the Director of Housing Development role, Brandi was able to expound on her former direct services role and was responsible for promoting and coordinating an integrated system of care to end veteran homelessness and support the overall affordable and accessible housing needs of Virginia Veterans and their families. Brandi was the first to hold the Director of Housing Development role and she provided a constant presence and focus on enhancing state and local efforts to end veteran homelessness by connecting key stakeholders at the Federal, State, and local level. Brandi also led a direct services pilot project within VWWP to add housing resource specialist positions to Central Virginia and Greater Hampton Roads that provide dedicated outreach and service linkages to at risk and homeless veterans and families. Brandi also spear headed efforts to link the housing development community with veteran and main stream supportive services providers. Prior to joining VWWP, Brandi worked for the Community Services Board (CSB) system at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) from 2007 to 2010. At RBHA, she worked in a variety of roles including direct service, research and program evaluation, and grants management. Brandi is an Active Duty Army spouse and mother to two boys and she understands firsthand the sacrifices felt by military families. Brandi is a Southwest Virginia native 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.
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.
Regions I and 2 Director Northern and 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, Lynchburg, Arlignton, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park.
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 III Director Southwestern Virginia
Covering the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Buchanan, Craig, Dickenson, Franklin, Henry, Lee, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Roanoke, Montgomery, Giles, Floyd, Pulaski, Franklin, Patrick, Henry, Carroll, Grayson, Wythe, Bland, Smyth, Tazewell, Buchanan, Russell, Wise, Lee, and Scott County; and the cities of Bristol, Covington, Danville, Galax, Martinsville, Norton, and Salem.
Debra Weir came to the Department of Veteran Services in June 2014 after a career in the recreation and tourism field in departments from all around Virginia. Her longest career however has been associated with the Army in both active, National Guard and now Army Reserve roles. She entered active duty service in Norfolk, Virginia, her home town, in 1983. Since then she has held many Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) which has also taken her across the state, country and overseas to Korea and a combat tour to Iraq with Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has had experience with Family Support Groups in the military and is currently serving as the Family Support Liaison for her Battalion. Debra has also served on many statewide and national boards in both her civilian and military career
Debra is married to David and has two teenage sons, Benjamin and Nickolas. It has always been a desire for her to work with veterans, service members and their families on a wider scale and the position of Regional Director is a perfect fit.
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.
Matthew J. Leslie
Acting Director of Housing
As the Acting 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.