BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Founder and Executive Director, Eva M. Belanger
Eva M. Belanger is a Decorated Captain of the U.S. Air Force, with over nine years of service and wartime deployment. Some service and professional highlights include: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; Air Force Officer/Chief Information Assurance Officer; Balad Air Base, Iraq, Executive Officer; Aviano Air Base, Aviano, Italy, Operations Manager for Airfield Systems, Expeditionary Communications, and Support Flight Commander. She served for one year as Bereavement Counselor at San Diego Hospice, followed by two years as Readjustment Counseling Therapist (full-time employment, MFT Intern #61459) with the Veterans Administration/San Diego Vet Center, Psychological Assistant to Dr. Douglas Brackmann, Ph.D. PSY 19753[NB1]. Eva has direct experience counseling troops, for issues that include professional and educational development, deployments, death in the family, family dynamics, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse to spouses and children and life trauma. She has also received extensive counseling on death and grief among military members. Prior to starting Warriors Live On, Eva enrolled in an adventure-therapy program with now friend and advisor Bob Speck, which relocated her across the country. It was in this program that she realized the depth of her trauma from Iraq and became aware that the therapies she had previously received were not healing her whole person. Eva has since committed herself to developing an organization that would help other veterans and peers transform their lives to reach their full potential.
“I personally have come from such darkness that I did not care to see with clarity any longer. I am a war veteran and have suffered through the bleak despair that comes with combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. I was afforded the opportunity to see past this pain and would like to re-create a similar experience for others. I cannot be the creator of peace, but I can be one whose gifts have been called upon to establish an environment where people can work to discover this peace for themselves. The healing spirit enters through these doors to help many. I want to invite those who seek to discover their inner treasure to walk through those doors and dare to explore a journey they have never walked before. The next step is for them to share their gifts with the world. We aim to help them spread this wealth! Our gifts are to be shared with open hands and an open heart.” To read more, click here.
Chief Program Director, Gloria Gonzalez
Gloria is founder and CCO of Eight Elements West, an Institute for Somatic Education and Integrative Wellness in La Jolla, California established in 1985. Gloria’s work with clients aligns whole person to move past trauma to True Leadership®. Gloria’s work with Organic Intelligence and Somatic Experiencing combine integrative body-based modalities such as visceral manipulation to integrate emotion, voice and touch. Cransiosacral therapy addresses restrictions in cranial nerves, brain, and spine. Gloria’s 35-year background also includes a degree in Kinesiology/nutrition, hypnotherapy, reiki, and mindfulness-based somatic practices of Iyengar yoga/pranayama, and Nia (blends tai chi, tae kwon do, aikido, modern dance, Duncan, jazz, Alexander, Feldenkrais, yoga).
At Eight Elements, a team of somatic professionals provide a program of self-care and somatic education through three channels: Movement, Somatics, and Chinese Medicine (nutrition, acupuncture, herbs). Heal pain and develop greater resilience, and discover revolutionary self-care, self-compassion, self-sensing, self-leading.
As the CDO of Warriors Live On, her role is to assist combat Veterans in recovering from PTSD, anxiety and depression through the combined use of somatic and natural medicinal treatments such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, yoga, nature treks, Organic Intelligence and Somatic Experiencing.
Chief Community Acupuncture Director, Andrea Plichta, L.Ac.
Andrea Plichta is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. She graduated with her Masters of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, CO in 2006. After graduating she spent 2 years in an internship specializing in sports injuries and musculo-sketal disorders. She then went on to gain further specialized training in Chinese herbal medicine with a focus on autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders. She is also a Pilates Instructor and has taught to the public a course ‘Food as Medicine.’
Andrea combines her strong understand of the structural or outer aspect of the body in unison with the functional and inner systems of the internal organs and how they relate to one another. She is one of the rare acupuncturists in Southern California to combine the use of both acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
Community Acupuncture Co-Director, Carolyn Smyth
Carolyn Smyth is a licensed acupuncturist in the State of California and the owner of Warrior Within Wellness. Her practice focuses on healing physical and emotional trauma through acupuncture, body work, movement and nutrition. With an MS in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Carolyn is currently pursuing her doctorate in the same field. In collaboration with San Diego based nonprofits, Carolyn provides acupuncture for post 9/11 veterans through Warriors Live On and women in recovery through Shakti Rising.
Carolyn has an extensive background in counseling and community organizing. She also holds an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. Carolyn volunteers in the mental health and domestic violence fields. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Karen Organization of San Diego whose mission is working with refugees from Burma. While she is not out saving the world, she is probably out walking her rescued boxer dog Mabel. Carolyn enjoys hiking, yoga and the Southern California sunshine.
Trek Director, Vanessa Stahley
OI Founder, Steven Hoskinson
Co Founder, Bob Speck
“Live an adventurous life that is meaningful for society, inspirational for those around me, and true to my heart. Share my love for the mountains and the outdoor environment. Help others discover health and happiness for themselves and for their home communities. Be engaged in work that stimulates my skills and strengths, and fulfills my desire to learn, to lead, and to do what’s right.” Bob enjoys living an adventurous life that is filled with learning and new experiences, connecting with others in nature, and exploring more sustainable ways to live better and healthier. He has explored many career opportunities, but has always found himself back at home in the mountains skiing, snowboarding, hiking and biking… and sharing the experiences with others.
With degrees a in civil engineering (Bachelor’s, Union College; Master’s, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Master’s, Boston Architectural College, sustainable design) Bob has practiced many years as a consulting structural and architectural engineer before moving to Vermont to set up his own business designing energy-efficient timber framed home. He has taught skiing and snowboarding and is the training director at the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), NY. He has a broad experience also includes: the National Outdoor Leadership School, Project Adventure, Association of Experiential Education; exercise and fitness (ACSM CPT); yoga (RYT-200); bicycling and skiing around the world; backcountry wilderness leader; adaptive snowboarding instructor; competitive ski racing programs at ASF for athletes with disabilities; Wounded Warrior project guide. As a result of his own family’s experiences with PTSD and with his work at ASF, Bob has become involved with creating programs for the mental and physical health of wounded combat veterans, most of them with PTSD. As a man with deep, soulful compassion for our Veterans who have served this country so faithfully and wholeheartedly, Bob aims to integrate these life passions with Warriors Live On. Bob does not want to see any warrior with PTSD to feel alone. His personal quest is to ensure he helps those who suffer to know they have allies in the battle against PTSD and can discover themselves a “new” self through adventure-based, mindful experiential learning in a natural, healthy supportive setting. To encourage mentoring as a means to help people walk through various transitions in life, Bob maintains a website blog www.AMentorWalksWithMe.com, and helped found a Yoga warrior healing organization in Vermont www.Wildmountainu.org.
Warriors Live On is actively seeking volunteers and board members. If you are interested, please contact Eva Belanger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn Frost, accounting
Debra Scheufler, Attorney at Law Business and Corporate Attorney Debra C. Scheufler has been practicing in San Diego since 1996. She has conducted contract negotiations and overseen business transactions for clients in the U.S. and throughout Asia, Mexico and Europe. Her emphasis is on business and corporate law, including corporation and LLC formation, commercial contracts and all other agreements pertaining to the purchase, formation, operation, disposition and dissolution of businesses, including capitalization documents. Her litigation experience includes all aspects of trial and administrative review in business and employment matters. Ms. Scheufler received her juris doctorate from California Western School of Law in 1995, which she attended on an academic scholarship and where she was a staff writer and editor for the California Western Law Review/International Law Journal. She received her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, where she periodically teaches business law and negotiations. [… read more]
Christine Zito, Marketing Started in radio as a talk show producer in 1986 and learned very quickly how to aggregate an target audience in order to reach that audience with a message, topics, and issues that they would respond to. Christine evolved into television and had her TV show that aired for six years on Time Warner and earned and international award for “Best Sports Show.” Christine brings her years of experience to small business and organizations to help them market and position their business in community or market where they serve. [… read more]