Dale Snead - Chairperson

Dale is a retired financial consultant and well-respected member of the Tampa Bay area fishing community with a reputation for getting things done without drawing a lot of attention to himself. He is one of those “go to guys” who effectively organizes people, solicits needed resources, and coordinates logistics to make sophisticated fishing events happen.  

Dale is also our Program Director for the FAVE Boating Expeditions Program.

Mike O'Dell - Chairperson

Is a Vietnam Veteran and President of the Hillsborough County Veterans Council. He is an active member of VVA,  AmVets, the American Legion Riders and many other veterans organizations. He is a business owner and his many years involved with non-profits supporting veterans causes makes Mike an asset to My Warrior's Place as an Advisory Board Member.

Eric L. Wade 

is our Project Corregidor Program Director. Eric is a US Air Force and US Army Veteran with over 24 years of service.  He served as a Social Worker and Department Chief of various Behavioral Health Clinics including Family Advocacy, Social Work Services, Community Mental Health, Army Substance Abuse Program and Division Mental Health managing up to 37 Personnel in the delivery of mental health care. Eric has a Masters of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University.

Mary G. Hogan-Wade 

is our Project Corregidor Program Administrator. Mary is a US Army and Iraq War Veteran. She served for 20 years as a Mental Health Specialist and a Non-Commissioned Officer. Mary supervised and trained up to 25 personnel in the delivery of mental health care. Her education included Bachelors of Science in Social Work Lock Haven University and a Masters of Science in Human Resource Management from Troy University.

Brian Parker 

served in the U.S. Navy with two tours to Vietnam.  He continued his Naval career as a SeaBee retiring in 1987.  Brian’s experience working in Facilities Management in the Long Term Care industry, the American Red Cross where he became the Chairman of Disaster Services for Santa Barbara County and his work as a contractor for FEMA makes him a valuable advisory board member for My Warrior’s Place.  Brian also continues to serve veterans as a Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders and is actively involved in other Veteran organizations.

Darcie D. Sims, Ph.D., CHT, CT, GMS

was a bereaved parent and child, a grief management specialist, a nationally certified thanatologist, a certified pastoral bereavement specialist, and a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.  She was an author and an internationally recognized speaker. Darcie received The Compassionate Friends Professional Award in 1999. She co-chaired the 1991, 1996 and 2005 World Gathering on Bereavement, and keynoted at all 4 World Gatherings. Darcie was instrumental in creating our Project Corregidor Grief & Peer Mentoring Program prior to her death in February 2014.

Tony Sims - Chairperson 

Robert A. (Tony) Sims, Ph.D., is a bereaved parent, sibling and child. He is a retired military officer, having served in both combat and peacetime operations. Tony has served in a variety of leadership roles for both public and private corporations, including nursing homes, VA hospitals and public health. As a co-founder of Big A and Company Publishing, Tony has helped produce books, tapes and other grief programs to help the corporate world accommodate the needs of grieving employees. He has written policy, created responsive programs, and implemented grief support systems in both government and the private sector organizations.

Coralease (Cora) Ruff - Secretary

Cora DNSc, RN, FNP, is a bereaved parent and an Associate Professor, Division of Nursing, at Howard University. Cora is the principal investigator and author of “Primary Family Nurse Practitioner program at Howard University”, “Psychosocial Stress, Coping and Help Seeking Behavior for Urinary Incontinence”, as well as, several other books.

Rolando Santiago

Rolando brings his vast experience as a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and arbitrator, author and attorney. Having been born in Puerto Rico and raised in Honduras, Rolando is technically and proficiently fluent in Spanish. Notably, Rolando began his career with distinction in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Rolando earned his Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA; and is a graduate of Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. Rolando’s RJS Law Firm is located in Apollo Beach, FL

Our Volunteer Board of Directors

Our Volunteer Advisory Board Members and Program Directors

Kelly Kowall - President and Founder 

Kelly is the Gold Star Mother of Spc. Corey Kowall.  Her experiences as a Certified Life Coach, 10+ years as Business Owner and over 30 years in Sales & Marketing have proven to be very beneficial to this non-profit organizations and the programs it provides. In 2012 she completed her training and became certified as a Grief Support Provider from the AGA. Her creativity and drive is priceless. She is also an active member of the American Gold Star Mothers Association and VFW Ladies Aux. 

Phillip Mockler - Vice President 

Phillip was a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps. He is a deputy with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office.  After returning from Afghanistan in 2006 he found it very hard to navigate his way through the VA system so in 2007 he founded Everyday Heroes USA. His experience in leadership while serving in the military and currently in law enforcement is a huge asset to our board. Additionally, his first hand experience in founding a not-for-profit organization that supports our Veterans and First Responders is  invaluable.

Kristen Kowall

is our Fundraising Director. As a Gold Star Sister she knows first hand how the death of a Fallen Warrior can impact the lives of others. Since 2006 she has worked promotional events, seminars and trade shows all over Central Florida. Due to her dedication with marketing companies, over the past few years, she has also lead, managed and created many promotional events for big name brands such as Nascar, MLB Network, Crown Royal, Bank of America, Cracker Barrel, Heinz, Kellogg's, Sierra Mist, and Disney. Her knowledge and experience is a great asset to My Warrior’s Place.

Marsha Lockom

is Director of the C.O.D.E Fitness Yoga program. In order to empower others with yoga’s healing techniques, Marsha completed her initial teacher training program at The Lotus Pond Center for Yoga and Health, a Kripalu-affliated school. Marsha is certified in Restorative Yoga, a Level I iRest® instructor and trained in Adaptive Yoga for veterans through the Warriors At Ease program. Using sensory enhanced yoga, adaptive yoga, and trauma sensitive meditation, Marsha helps Veterans, Active Military, Blue Star and Gold Star Families reconnect to a sense of well being at the My Warrior’s Place retreat center.

Martha J. Schoeff

is the Grandmother of Spc. Corey Kowall and has been instrumental in the founding and start up phases of FAVE Boating Expeditions. Her experiences as a Stephen Minister Leader, over 10 years as Business Owner and 33 years teaching in the Education Field are an asset to the organization. Her education includes a BA and MA from Indiana University. 

Heather Comfort

is involved with our Project Corregidor Program and she is on call as we need her expertise.  A licensed clinical social worker, she has been in direct practice for 19 years. Her years in Florida have been focused on grief recovery as a hospice patient/family and bereavement counselor for 9 years, and now in private practice.