Committed to the Cause
In 2019, Command Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (Ret), William Markham founded, along with a close team of legal and medical professionals, Project One Vet @ A Time (POVAT). During his 30 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, CCM Markham served at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of leadership. He has an extensive operational background and has deployed in support of numerous contingencies and Special Operations missions.Will received numerous decorations and awards for the courageous execution of his duties during his career. His inspiring past led him to become the generous and noble man he is today. As a retired Veteran, he continues to serve the military community through mentorship, charitable actions, and patriotic leadership.
As a young boy when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Will’s response was consistent in stating, “I just want to take care of people.” Will continues to live his life based around two mottos serving as the compass for his everyday actions. The first motto, “Freedom to maneuver” and the second, “Always find the way to YES.” His passion to raise funds for veterans and their families for the last 20 years increases every year through support from the community.
Will resigned from Special Operations Warrior Foundation in April of 2019 to direct his efforts toward offering a solution to those veterans who struggle to find their way through the VA disability claims process. In June 2019, Will along with a close team of legal and medical professionals, started the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Project One Vet @ A Time (POVAT). Will strongly advocates for veterans by not only relaying his personal stories, but also the stories of the many veterans and families he's come to know throughout the years. A constant professional since his retirement, he has been inducted into the 2018 USAF Gathering of Eagles, and 2021 U.S. Special Operations Command, Commando Hall of Honor. Will continues to give back to our community through mentorship, leadership, and team building activities of professional and private organizations. Will’s other interests outside of his philanthropic passions include biking, golfing, cooking, and spending quality time with his family and his fur babies Cooper and Stella.
Three generations of Mark’s family have served our great country. His grandfather, Francis J Pizzi, served in WWII as a Naval commander and surgeon. His great uncle, Mario Pizzi, also served in WWII as an Army captain and surgeon stationed in Sicily. Mark’s father enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 24th Infantry Division during the occupation of Japan. Mark’s father-in-law, Ignatius Stefaniw, served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne in Vietnam, ultimately retiring as a lieutenant colonel after a distinguished career. Mark and his wife Julie have a son, Patrick, who serves as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Although he never served in the military, Mark believes his duty to his country is to serve those who have served. He draws inspiration from working beside the amazing veterans whose acts of heroism have protected our country and way of life.
Professionally, Mark is the founder of Princeton Brain, Spine, and Sports Medicine, a multispecialty medical practice in Princeton, New Jersey. His practice focuses primarily on the surgical treatment of neck and low back pain, and he is a world authority on Trigeminal Neuralgia, a rare debilitating facial pain condition. Mark is also a nationally recognized author and public speaker on topics of brain health, professional inspiration and the psychology of elite performance.
Mark’s other passion is coaching youth wrestling. After a 20-year career coaching the Princeton Wrestling Club, he co-founded Trenton Youth Wrestling, a non-profit organization dedicated to altering the life trajectory of inner-city boys and girls through the sport of wrestling.Mark is honored to be a founding member of POVAT. During his free time, Mark enjoys traveling with Julie, especially throughout Maine. He is a proud father of their four children: Kaleigh, Alex, Patrick and Trevor.
JEFFREY O'HARA, ESQ.
Jeff's passion stems from appreciating first-hand the service & sacrifices by his loved ones. His father served in the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne Division and his cousin, whom he & his wife raised, served two combat tours with the U.S. Army in Iraq. He firmly believes that enjoying the privilege of citizenship in the United States creates a perpetual duty to serve those who have sacrificed so much serving us: “Words of thanks are not enough. We owe a life-long debt to all Veterans who have stepped up to protect our way of life. We should take time every day to find a way to give back to those who have given so much.”
Professionally, Jeffrey is a Partner with Connell Foley LLP. He has been designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. His practice focuses primarily on the defense of large exposure, catastrophic loss, casualty events. Having tried approaching 70 civil jury trials to verdict, he has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, The American Board of Trial Advocates, The Litigation Counsel of America, and The International Society of Barristers. He is also active as a member of the USLAW Network, The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, and The International Association of Defense Counsel.
Jeff, is part of a team of medical and legal professionals providing support at no cost to select Veterans pursuing claims for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Arising directly from the pro bono battle he waged on behalf of CCM William Markham, U.S. Air Force (Ret), Jeff remains accredited by the Department of Veteran Affairs to present and prosecute claims for veterans’ benefits. He is a founding principal with POVAT. During his free time, Jeff enjoys spending quality time with his wife Lisa, their two sons Patrick & Brendan, his pup Shelby, and also enjoys skiing, fishing and participating in endurance athletics activities
MARK MCLAUGHLIN, MD
FOUNDER & PARTNER – PRINCETON BRAIN & SPINE
AUTHOR OF COGNITIVE DOMINANCE
POVAT BOARD MEMBERS
Chairman of the Board
U.S. Air Force (Ret), Christopher Ireland currently serves as the Director of Driver License Services for the state of Maine. During his distinguished U.S. Air Force career, Chris served as a commander on multiple occasions, twice choosing Will Markham to serve as his Command Chief. It was this bond, forged in service to their country, that brought Chris on board to lead POVAT's Board of Directors.
“I tend to think of my bio as ‘retired, napping and drinking’.”
Ed Hochuli is a retired American trial lawyer and National Football League official. He was an attorney and founding partner of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C., a firm established in 1983, now having 110+ lawyers and offices in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico,. He was also a head Referee in the National Football League from 1990 to 2017, where he worked 28 playoff games, including 12 championship games and 2 super bowls.
Since retiring, Ed, and his wife Cathie, spend 9 months of the year travelling the country in their motorhome, and the other 3 months in Phoenix, spending time with their 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren for the holidays.
Pamela Davis joined POVAT's board in November 2021 after serving as the Chair of the Inaugural Patriot Fund Veterans Honor Invitational held in Naples, Florida. Pam was first introduced to POVAT at the Happy Gilmore 25th Anniversary golf invitational fundraiser in March 2021 and was immediately intrigued about the organization by the passion, dedication and mission displayed by Will Markham, and Lyle and Amy Rosin. Pam’s father served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, achieving the rank of CW4, and serving as the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division. Pam's appreciation of the military way of life stems from the first 21 years of her life as a military brat traveling the world. Having grown up on military bases, Pam was raised to respect and appreciate the flag, the military and the pride associated with being a U.S. citizen. Her passion to make a difference has grown as she witnessed the declining respect for our service members during and after service. Her hope is to make a statement and a difference by bringing awareness of the struggles and suffering our military members endure to as many people as possible in southwest Florida.
Pam is the co-founder/owner of MedTech College and retired as Chief Operations Officer in 2010. She has served as the President of Audubon Country Club Board of Directors; President of the Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana; Director of Make-A-Wish Regional Board for Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky; Director of MedTech College Board; Board member of The Lucas Cup Foundation; and co-chair of the Career College Association Conference Committee. Pam earned her B.S. from Indiana University and her M.B.A. from Butler University. Pam is very excited to begin this new journey as a board member of POVAT and is committed to make this organization grow to a level that will make an impact and assist as many veterans as possible. Pam is the proud parent of five children in a blended family with her husband Joe (who is also very excited to be a part of this endeavor) and two perfect grandsons (with a granddaughter on the way)! She enjoys tennis, golf, pickleball and traveling with Joe during her free time.
Brian Dwight, established South Shore Dry Dock Marine in 1990. Brian has been on the water all his life, growing up in a family of recreational and commercial fisherman. His knowledge of local waters, boat handling and quality power boats are always available to his clientele. He is an experienced yacht broker specializing in selling and listing of quality powerboats. Brian's company operates several marinas and boatyards, with seasonal slips and winter boat storage.
Brian was introduced to POVAT by Dr. Mark McLaughlin and they graciously hosted POVAT's initial executive meeting at Camp Waganaki, Waterford, Maine in 2021. He immediately became intrigued as he listened to POVAT's mission and vision and was pleased to join its Board of Directors in 2022.
Sally Roberts is a former elite wrestler, Combat Veteran, and the Founder and CEO of Wrestle Like A Girl®, whose mission is to empower girls and women using the sport of wrestling to become leaders in life. Sally was a resident at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for eight years during which time she was a Three-Time National Champion, a World Cup Champion, a Two-Time World Bronze Medalist, and an Olympic Alternate. She served six years in the U.S. Army as a Special Operations soldier where she volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan. Sally was also a member of the Army’s prestigious World Class Athlete Program and represented both the U.S. Army and Team USA in elite athletic competitions. As a passionate veteran and military advocate, Sally was recently featured as the cover story in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) magazine and appeared on the VFW National Campaign video.
Sally was the recipient of the 2016 Women in Sport Award on behalf of the United World Wrestling Sports Governing Body and the International Olympic Committee and was extremely honored to be named USA Wrestling ‘Woman of the Year’ for 2018. Sally was also selected as one of 25 elite women representing seven nations and 23 sports who were chosen to participate in the EY Women Athletes Business Network, a mentoring program designed to prepare and propel high-potential women leaders to greater heights of achievement through mentorship and leadership training, provided by the International Women's Forum and its Leadership Foundation.
Doug was born in Brooklyn, NY and was raised in Manalapan Township, NJ with his two sisters. He attended St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, NJ where he played football and golf.
He holds BA degrees in Accounting and Political Science from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA where he also played on the varsity football and golf teams. After graduation Doug began working for Alliance Capital Management (later re-named AllianceBernstein) where he continued to work until his retirement at the end of 2020.
As the Chief Investment Officer of AB’s Fixed Income, focused on managing the firm’s strategic client relationships. As CIO, he was also Chairman of the Interest Rates and Currencies Research Review team, which was responsible for setting interest-rate and currency policy for all fixed-income portfolios. In 1997, Peebles pioneered the firm’s highly successful and innovative approach to global multi-sector high-income investing, which is now being adapted by other firms. Since joining AB in 1987, he has held several leadership positions, including head of Fixed Income from 2008 to 2016, co-head of Fixed Income from 2004 to 2008 and director of Global Fixed Income from 1997 to 2004. In 1992 Peebles graduated from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ with an MBA degree taking classes part time in the evenings while working for AllianceBernstein in Manhattan. In 2014 Peebles joined the Muhlenberg College Board of Trustees. He has served as the Chair of the Investment Committee, Head of the Asset Management Team, Co-Chair of the Boundless Campaign and as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Peebles also serves as a Trustee on the Rutgers University Road to Wall Street Program.
In retirement Doug now spends more time with his wife, Elaine, and his three daughters – Catherine, Alison and Elizabeth. He enjoys staying fit and playing golf both in New Jersey and in Naples, FL. He intends to spend a good deal of time using his talents to help others.
Major General Robert L Shannon, Jr, USAF, (Ret)., grew up on Air Force bases. His father retired from the Air Force and served two combat tours in Vietnam. His older sister served numerous combat tours during her service with the U.S. Army. Robert served on active duty for seven years where he flew with the 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing. He then transferred to the Georgia Air National Guard to attend law school. He held a number of command and senior leadership positions. Upon his promotion to Brigadier General he was named Director of the Joint Staff, Joint Force HQ and subsequently, Vice Commander/Chief of Staff.
Upon his promotion to Major General, he was reassigned to the Pentagon as the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance. Concurrently, he held a dual hatted assignment to 25th Air Force (formerly Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Agency).Joint Base San Antonio,TX.
Major General Shannon served on numerous advisory councils and steering committees within the Pentagon to include the Secretary of the Air Force Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee; the UnderSecretary of Defense for Intelligence Senior Reserve Military Intelligence Committee; the National Security Agency Reserve Cyber Summit; Vice Chair for ANG Strategic Planning; NGB General Officer Cyber Advisory Council; and the Senior Intelligence ISR Council. . He has 18 combat and contingency deployments. He retired in 2017.
Currently, he is a senior shareholder with the national firm of Carlton Fields. He handles high exposure cases around the country. He has received countless awards during his military and legal career. Recently the University System of Georgia selected him to receive the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Award. His alma matter, Valdosta State University, recently opened the Major General Robert L. Shannon, Jr. Center for Diversity and inclusion and in 2017, the Atlanta Business League inducted Mr. Shannon into its Business Hall of Fame.
LYLE K. ROSIN
Lyle and his wife, Amy (below) have been with POVAT since its founding. Lyle brings years of experience and skills to the forefront in helping our organization grow and succeed. Lyle retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2019 after serving 30 years. A large portion of his career was spent as a paralegal, to include time at Headquarters, Air Force Special Operations Command where he met CCM Will Markham during a deployment to Afghanistan.
"Amy and I feel we have found our second calling; one allowing us to continue to serve those we served alongside for so long."
Amy Rosin retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2017, after serving 26 years as a career human resource manager at all levels of leadership. She prides herself on providing outstanding customer service and enjoys assisting Veterans in multiple endeavors.
“I love these warriors and they deserve the best life has to offer”
SCOTT ZASTROW, PA-C
Scott is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Medical SGT and Army Physician Assistant (PA) with 30 years of service in Special Operations. After retirement, Scott worked as an examiner for the VA doing Compensation and Pension exams. He brings his experience of the VA disability claims process and knowledge of the illnesses and injuries specific to military personnel to POVAT to assist our veterans with their claims. Scott has dedicated his entire career to helping other Veterans and through POVAT, he continues to serve this amazing community.
DOUGLAS P. GIBSON,
PSY.D., MPH, ABPP
CLINICAL HEALTH AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST
Dr. Gibson is a clinical neuropsychologist licensed in FL and VA. He has been practicing for over 26 years in a variety of settings, including private practice, university medical centers, and the U.S. Army Reserves. Dr. Gibson joined the POVAT team in 2022 as he was retiring from Federal Service where he was employed in a National Security/Intelligence capacity. Dr. Gibson is the President of MedPsych Consulting, a clinical and forensic psychology practice specializing in neuropsychological evaluation, disability, and expert consultation, including compensation and pension evaluations for veterans. He has extensive experience in traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder and medical conditions affecting cognitive functioning. Dr. Gibson is also an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University where he supervises and instructs doctoral candidates in clinical neuropsychology and psychological assessment.
SHAUNA LEAL-MARKHAM (POLK)
Veteran Outreach and Social Media Director
Shauna Leal-Markham (Polk), joined POVAT in 2022, soon after her father, Will Markham decided social media shouldn't be handled by anyone over 50.Not only being a true Warrior Princess and daughter to Will Markham, Shauna brings her own benefits to our POVAT Team. Shauna is an experienced detail-orientated Emergency Manager and Safety Specialist in California, with a passion for emergency preparedness, philanthropy and coordinating the response to complex crisis events for the Public and Private Sector. She is served as a 911 dispatcher for The City and County of San Francisco for 6 years, which led to her career as a Emergency Service Coordinator for the State of California's, Department of Emergency Services and being responsible for coordinating and being a liaison to the Governor for all emergency situations in the Bay Area. .
Shauna, resides in the Bay Area, with her husband of 16 years, Brian and their 3 year old Rottweiler, Dozer. She enjoys shooting, golf cart rides, event planning, hosting fundraisers, and helping out at the family neighborhood dive bar. Shauna graduated from The University of San Francisco with an undergraduate degree in Criminal Sociology and Masters in Public Administration Management. She is a certified Instructor in Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Training, CPR, and Emergency Dispatch. She is an appointed Commissioner for the Contra Costa County, Commission of Women and Girls. She has with a background in Emergency Management, Program Management, Crisis Management, Business Continuity, Intelligence Analysis, Crisis Escalation Procedures, Crisis Coordination, Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Response Teams, Incident Command, Crisis Communication, Public Outreach, Public Safety, Public Relations, Philanthropy, Governmental Relations, Logistics and Complex Event Coordinating.
Matt Harris joined POVAT in August 2021 as its Accountant. He is passionate about all aspects of business, particularly finance, economics, entrepreneurialism and organizational development. Since joining the team, Matt found a renewed sense of appreciation for his career, which he attributes directly to the philanthropic nature of a not-for-profit environment. Outside of work, Matt enjoys playing golf with family and friends and spending time with Taylor, his lovely fiancé, and Koda, their spunky English Cream Golden Retriever.
“Working with Project OVAT has allowed me to fulfill my civil duties as an American by giving back to the Veteran community. They have sacrificed so much for us that it is the least I can do,” says Matt. Every man and woman in this fine organization possesses elite intelligence coupled with an unparalleled work ethic. By sharing the best versions of ourselves with each other, we push each other to achieve one common goal: improve the physical, mental and financial well-beings of our disabled Veterans.”
Matt comes from a background in public accounting as a Certified Public Accountant. After graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington, he was a Tax Associate at Grant Thornton then a Tax Senior at Deloitte in Chicago, Illinois for three years, collectively. In January 2020, Matt formed his own accounting practice, Harris CPA Solutions. He knew the traditional role as a public accountant was neither sustainable, nor for him, and has since relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. His firm has grown to offer comprehensive tax, accounting and consulting solutions for his clients. In addition, Matt serves on the Young Professionals Board of Special Olympics Tennessee and the Development Committee of Brother Rice High School (Chicago). In these roles, he focuses on fundraising efforts to further enhance the experiences of those athletes and students.
Wardell Law Firm
Josh joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2003 in response to the Iraq war and is a recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon for Operation Iraqi Freedom. After an honorable discharge, Josh decided to go to law school at the University of Miami, earning his law degree, and began working for the Wardell Law Firm in 2015 doing VA disability claims. He is a disabled veteran dedicated to helping other veterans get the benefits they deserve. Josh really enjoys helping other veterans and currently handles the procedural and substantive sides of the VA claims process for POVAT clients.
Wardell Law Firm