• Oct 7, 2022
  • 5:10 AM

Speakers Bureau


Are you looking for the right speaker or an emcee who will take your virtual conference, webinar or meeting to the next level?  You’ve come to the right place!

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) is pleased to provide a speakers bureau as a free resource to communities and organizations across Nevada! While our speakers are knowledgeable on topics of interest to veterans and military members, in addition there are also great resource as well and they share information on a wide range on topics listed below. 

Scroll below to find the speaker that best suits your needs and topic. They are listed in alphabetical order. Please submit speaker requests to PIO.ndvs@veterans.nv.gov. When emailing your requests, be sure to include your group’s name and mission, the date, time and location of the virtual event, plus any other details such as length of speech, etc. 

Join Our Speakers Bureau

If you have expertise in public speaking, as well as expertise in veterans or military issues and would like to serve as a volunteer and become a part of the NDVS Speakers Bureau, please send your resume, bio, contact information and list of speaking topics to PIO.ndvs@veterans.nv.gov to initiate the process of determining eligibility. Thank you!

     Bill Baumann

  • Chairman, Nevada Veteran Service Commission
  • U.S. Air Force Non Commissioned Officer/ In charge of training 22 specialist career fields
  • Defense Contractor –backgrounds FAA, Aerospace Combat Veteran

More about Bill Baumann

Speaking Topics

Where Life Leads – Lessons on Leadership

What does it take to be a good leader? How important are values and ethics? Those who have climbed the highest ladders to success have asked and answered those questions in the affirmative. Bill provides seasoned guidance from his experiences in the military and his life after as a civilian.

Missing Out on Earned Benefits?

Chances are you served in the military, got out and moved on with your life. But are you leaving earned benefits on the table? Claiming what you have earned could improve the quality of your life or the life of your loved ones. Don’t miss out on benefits earned through military service!

Serving After Service to Country

What does the Veterans Service Commission do for veterans and their loved ones? Bill can explain the role of this important panel. He can also provide information on how you can become involved in the process of identifying issues important to veterans as well as finding solutions, even if it means talking to Nevada State lawmakers and getting involved in the Nevada Legislative Session.   

Bio

Bill is Chairman of the Nevada Veterans Commission, responsible for advising the Director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. He also reviews and makes recommendations regarding veterans issues and bills placed before Nevada State lawmakers.

He has a broad and diverse educational background, including training in federal mediation and conflict management. He retired from the Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Traffic Requirements Systems and Airways Facilities and Air Traffic Controllers Training Specialist.  

He retired from a major defense contractor as an aerospace logistics and management engineer on the Space Shuttle Program. Also played a lead role in the integration and implementation of the FAA’s Air Traffic Systems modernization program.

He served in both Korea and Southeast Asia. He was one of four aircraft launch control NCOIC’s at the Royal Thai Air Base U-Tapio, Thailand, launching 1600 Aircraft Bomber and Tanker sorties over Vietnam each month. He and his team of seven trained Ethiopian Air Force aircraft technicians and flight crews in country during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  

Bill is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and provides oversight to the day-to-day operations of the DAV Transportation System

     Anne Davis, PhD

  • Former Chair, Nevada Women Veterans Advisory Committee
  • U.S. Army Colonel, Retired
  • MBA, Harvard Business School; Ph.D. (Business), City University of New York

More about Anne Davis

Speaking Topics

Are Leaders Born or Made?

Anne pulls from her experiences in the military and then from her civilian life to explore this long-standing discussion about leadership and leaders. What is it about some individuals who excel and succeed despite the odds or obstacles and barriers? Anne explores those questions and provides some insights.

Women – Fastest Growing Veteran Population But Many Feel Invisible

Anne says she sees it all the time; women veterans who feel “invisible.” She will talk about what that means, why it is important and what can be done to make them feel visible again. She discusses why women choose to serve in the military in the first place sharing her experiences from West Point cadet, in one of first classes to include women.

The History and Celebration of Women Warriors

Women have served in our country’s military since our country was born but “firsts” continue to occur for women in uniform!

Anne covers the contributions women have made in the military over the years and the contributions women continue to make.

The Benefits of Volunteering for You and Your Community

Everyone benefits when you volunteer. Anne will discuss why you should volunteer, how to find a good fit, and what you can bring to an organization.

Bio

Anne has volunteered her time and energy in support of Women Veterans through her work with numerous committees and organizations to include the Women Veterans Advisory Committee, the Women Veterans Health Committee at the Sierra Nevada Health Care System, Lady Vets, Disabled American Veterans and as an Ambassador for the Sierra Nevada Health Care System. Anne is also a Field Force Member for West Point Admissions assisting high school students who are interested in attending a service academy.

She graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps. She served on active duty in the US Army for 29 years in various locations and leadership positions to include battalion and brigade-level commands.

She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1991 and her PhD in Business from City University in New York in 2005. She taught leadership and management courses at the US Military Academy. Retiring as a Colonel, she served as an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University teaching courses in Business Psychology and Business Strategy and Execution.

She then joined Walden University’s faculty in the Doctor of Business Administration Program teaching seminars in Multicultural Management and Sustainability as well as mentoring numerous doctoral students studying various business topics. Anne has published several articles on leadership to include: Theory X and Theory Y, behavioral integrity of managers, and mentoring.

      Pieter Droog

  • U.S. Army veteran
  • Received his degree and his commission in the U.S. Army from Loyola College
  • Nonprofit management, ProNet and JOIN Reno

More about Pieter Droog

SPEAKING TOPICS

Leadership Versus Management

Why Employees Resist Change

Bio

Pieter M. Droog is originally from the Netherlands and grew up in the Washington DC area. He received his degree and his commission in the US Army from Loyola College. His 20 year career involved being a transportation officer, attending flight school, and then attending Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course and maintenance test pilot school. During his career he commanded a Direct Support Ordnance Company and a General Support Aircraft Maintenance Company. He completed his career twice as Director of Logistics closing both bases and as Deputy Material Management Center, Sinai, Egypt.

Pieter Droog parlayed his military career into manufacturing and distribution careers as Director and Vice President of Operations. Over the last 7 years he added nonprofit management to his repertoire. As Branch Manager for ProNet and JOIN Reno, he developed training programs assisting unemployed personnel qualify and become selected for work. During his tenure, his programs assisted over 2,000 unemployed personnel achieving an 85% success rate during the recent recession.

     Annie Emprima-Martin

  • Service-disabled Army veteran
  • Brigade-level support operations field auditor
  • Deployed to Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, and Qatar

More about Annie Emprima-Martin

SPEAKING TOPICS

Starting, Starting Over, & Living at Your Own Pace

Inspirational, intended for a general audience

Using Army Leadership Tools in the Civilian Sector: How My Military Experiences Help Me Succeed in Business

Intended for business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, anyone in a leadership position

From Surviving to Thriving: The Power of Following Your Passion Post Deployment

Intended for anyone struggling to find their sense of identity after a major life event

Bio

Annie Emprima-Martin served from Feb 2008 to Feb 2017 in the Nevada Army National Guard. At the time of her deployment in 2016, she served as finance operations for the 17th Sustainment Brigade. Her duties during the deployment included conducting audits on U.S. and foreign currency throughout the battlefield, and traveled to cities in Jordan, Iraq and Qatar during the deployment.

She brings to the advisory committee her local event planning experience and veteran community involvement starting with her time spent as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program non-commissioned officer (NCO) and Employment Coordinator for the Nevada Army National Guard to owning her own career progression company, Veteran Ready. She also served as a Department of Defense contractor, building up and branding the Hero2Hired program for Nevada to more than 1,000 veterans, as well as serving as the first Veteran Coordinator for Vegas PBS. She understands the direct correlation between suicide and purpose.

Annie currently owns One Emprima, a coaching and training company for spiritual growth and healing, with clients all over the world. She is a speaker, trainer, and coach. She holds a doctorate degree in metaphysics, masters background in positive psychology, bachelor’s degree in business administration. She studies and researches the impact of energy in the form of emotions on mind, body, business, and life through the lens of positive psychology, neuroscience, religious and spiritual belief systems, and cultural. Mindset and wellbeing are a top priority for her.

Ms. Emprima-Martin is an angel investor, supporting Nevada based businesses through AngelNV, and also writes about her experiences from the military to metaphysics in her blog series, “The View From My -Ships: Stories about leadership, friendship, personal relationships, business partnerships, personal ownership, the money-ship and a sneak peek into my world on the metaphysical mothership.”

Annie understands the struggles women veterans face. She returned from deployment with visible and invisible wounds. The women that left was not the same women that returned. She ow uses her position to help influence change in the military culture to better support Nevada women in the Guard/Reserve and women veterans from all eras, with emphasis on the incoming generation of women veterans.

     Amy Garland

  • U.S. Navy veteran
  • Deputy Director of Support, NDVS
  • Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration

More about Amy Garland

Speaking Topics

  • Change/Agent for Change
  • Ethics/Values
  • Leadership
  • Transition to Civilian/ Life Changes

Bio

Amy Garland oversees several key areas of the department. She joined NDVS in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer, responsible for oversight of budgeting and the financial functions of the department. Today, in addition to those duties, she also oversees support services, personnel management, information technology and grants management. For nearly two decades, Garland has worked her way up through the ranks of Nevada state government. She has a strong track record of successfully managing and building highly productive teams, improving business processes, directing budget planning initiatives, developing compliance measures and reducing error rates.

Garland is a U.S. Navy veteran who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the State of Nevada’s Certified Public Manager’s program.

     Poppy Helgren, RNC

  • Director of Nursing, Nevada State Veterans Home
  • US Army Captain (Ret.)
  • RNC, Nurse Practioner
  • Nurse Leader of the Year, Perry Foundation 2016, 2018

More about Poppy Helgren

Speaking Topics

Excelling in the Complicated, Complex World of Skilled Nursing Care

The Nevada State Veterans Home holds numerous awards, honors and accolades including the highest ratings (5-Star) from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid and the US News and World Report’s “Best Nursing Home” designation. Poppy shares what it takes to achieve and maintain high standards.  

Aging and Advanced Care  

The facility Poppy works in is NOT your grandmother’s or grandfather’s “nursing home.” There are new concepts that provide top level care for aging residents living in skilled care. Even memory care is evolving. Poppy can provide insight on new and emerging care for the elderly in need of skilled care.

Why Caring for Aging Veterans is Unique

There are many things that set a veteran’s home and skilled care for civilians apart. Cost is one factor but that it is not the only one in considering the best place for an aging vetern to receive care. Culture, as in military culture is another factor and it is a big one. Poppy shares why this is so important in provideing the best care possible for aging veterans.

Bio

Poppy is the Director of the Nursing for the Nevada State Veterans Home, owned and operated by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.

She served in the US Army earning her commission as a First Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve Nurse Corps in 2003. She promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006.

Poppy holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii, a Masters in Education from Boston University. She is a registered nurse and has earned her Nurse Practitioner Certification in Women’s Health Care.

She has served as a Director of Nursing for Comfort Hospice Care and Delmar Gardens of Green Valley. She has also served as a staff nurse in the OB-GYN Unit at Valley Hospital and Medical Center.    

Poppy also has earned numerous honors, awards and distinctions too numerous to mention in this short bio but highlights include; Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society Lifetime Member, Army Nurse Corps Award of Excellence in 2006, Nurse Leader of the Year from the Perry Foundation Endeavor Awards in 2016, 2018 as well as the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award nominations in Las Vegas NV  2001, 2004, 2005, 2006,

     Sarah Hogue

  • Nevada Veteran Advocate
  • Suicide Prevention Program Manager for Nevada Department of Veterans Services
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
  • Master’s Degree in Human Resources

More about Sarah Hogue

Speaking Topics

Suicide Risk, Warning Signs, and Protective Factors

Nevada Veteran Suicide Prevention Efforts

Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges Military Culture and Lifestyle Military Resources

Bio

Sarah Hogue is the Veterans Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. She joined NDVS in 2021 and oversees suicide prevention and mental health programs for veterans throughout Nevada, including the Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges. She specializes in assessing needs, developing initiatives, networking, and resource connection throughout her programs. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking and spending time with her husband Jay, family, and friends.

Sarah is a military spouse and has dedicated her time to working and volunteering with active duty military, veterans, and their families for the past 7 years. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a graduate of Brandman University and holds a Master of Science in Human Resources.

     Rachel Jelenic

  • Nevada Veteran Advocate
  • Veterans Healthcare Champion Program Manager for Nevada Department of Veterans Services
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health
  • Working on Master’s Degree in Public Health: Social and Behavioral Health

More about Rachel Jelenic

Speaking Topics

  • Military Health Exposures
  • Presumptive Conditions
  • Veterans, Survivor, and Dependent Benefits
  • Telehealth
  • Caregiving Resource
  • Adaptive Sports Programs

Bio

Rachel Jelenic is the Veterans Healthcare Champions Program Manager for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. She joined NDVS as an intern in 2019 and now oversees healthcare programs for veterans throughout Nevada. These programs include outreach on military health exposures, presumptive conditions, telehealth, caregiving, adaptive sports, and benefit connection. She specializes in open communication, relationship building, and resource connection throughout her programs. In her free time, Rachel enjoys exploring new places and spending time with her friends and family.

Rachel is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. She is currently working towards her Master in Public Health degree emphasizing in Social and Behavioral Health.

James F. McDonnell

  • Former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office
  • Navy Special Operations Veteran, enlisted and officer. (retired)
  • Business Executive and Business Owner

More about James F. McDonnell

Speaking Topics

  • Using Military Skills to Succeed in Business…Teamwork and Leadership.
  • Employment Benefits for Veterans…Business and Government.
  • Preparing for Opportunities…Education and Experience, know when to say “yes”

Bio

In May 2018, Mr. James F. McDonnell was appointed by President Trump to serve as the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office. The mission of the newly-established CWMD Office is to counter attempts by terrorists or other threat actors to carry out an attack against the United States or its interests using a weapon of mass destruction. Prior to this position, Mr. McDonnell was the acting Assistant Secretary of CWMD and the Director of the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office beginning in early 2017. In April of 2020 Mr. McDonnell accepted a position with Mission Support Test Services, LLC. MSTS manages the Nevada National Security Site for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He serves on the Executive Leadership Team as Global Security Strategic
Advisor.

     Kat Miller

  • Director, Nevada Dept. of Veterans Services
  • 1st Military Police Brigade Commander in Afghanistan
  • Commanded Army’s Largest Corrections Organization
  • Combat Veteran

More about Kat Miller

Speaking Topics

From Private to Colonel—and all the Bumps In Between

Never dreaming of a career in the military, Kat found herself following the promise of a college education into a life she never imagined; leading soldiers on 5 continents in both war and peace. Hear an inspiring—sometimes amusing, sometimes challenging—story of serving in the United States Army.

Celebrating the Legacy of America’s Women Warriors!

Take a walk through time as Kat highlights the history of women in the U.S. Military; from 1775 through today’s modern force.  She will draw from her distinguished career to offer perspectives on the contribution of women warriors and why they are essential to the success of America’s military.

You Need America’s Veterans—More Than They Need you!

The media often portrays veterans as broken, dangerous, and unstable. While some veterans both need and deserve assistance, this inaccurate media portrayal prevents many from seeing Veterans for who they really are.  Kat shares her experience as Neavda’s Director of Veterans Services to showcase the contributions of America’s Veterans and provide ideas about how you can support our military and veterans.

Bio

Kat is the Director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, responsible for supporting the State Veterans Cemeteries, Veterans Homes, and Veterans Service Officer program.   

Kat served 34 years in the United States Army.  Beginning her career as soldier in the Woman’s Army Corps, she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant before commissioning as a military police officer.  

She has served around the world, to include Panama, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and commanded at company, battalion, and Army Command levels, earring the distinction as the longest serving brigade commander in modern Army history.

Kat’s three Pentagon tours included duty as the Commander of the Army Corrections Command, supervising six correctional facilities and developing policy for the detention of unlawful enemy combatants.  After retiring, she taught bachelors and masters level college course at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno until she was appointed by Governor Sandoval as Director.

Kat’s education includes a Master’s of Science degree from the U.S. Army War College and a Master’s of Public Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

     Brig. Gen. Robert G. Novotny

  • Retired USAF Brigadier General, fighter pilot and Commander at Nellis AFB
  • Architect of USAF Thunderbirds “America Strong" during COVID-19 fight
  • Led RED FLAG, USAF Weapons School and USAF Aggressors
  • 28 years across operations, combat deployments, acquisition and policy

More about Brig. Gen. Robert G. Novotny

Speaking Topics

  • Modern military issues, particularly Air Force and combat operations
  • Nellis / Creech after 3 assignments in Test, Weapons School
  • 57th Wing (Thunderbirds, Red Flag, Green Flag and more)
  • Acquisition, procurement and budget work
  • Current operations in the Middle East and National Defense Strategy ’18
  • Pilot crisis,  HR policies across the force
  • 28 years with the last 12 in command at all levels in the Air Force

Bio

Brig. Gen. Robert G. Novotny serves as the 57th Wing Commander, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. He is responsible for 38 squadrons at 13 installations constituting the Air Force’s most diverse flying wing.The wing flies and maintains more than 130 aircraft of the following types: A-10, F-15C/D, F-15E, F-16C/CG/CJ, F-22A, F-35A and HH-60G. The wing also utilizes E-3, RC-135, E-8, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-130, KC-135, C-17, AC-130U and MC-130P aircraft and MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft at 13 stateside bases to support the U.S. Air Force Weapons School syllabus. General Novotny is responsible for four groups: 57th Adversary Tactics Group, 57th Operations Group, 57th Maintenance Group and the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. In addition, he oversees the 561st Joint Tactics Squadron; U.S. Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Operations School; U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds; and the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises.

Brigadier General Novotny was commissioned in 1992 upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned his wings at Laughlin AFB, Texas. He completed five operational F-15 assignments with extensive test and combat experience, in addition to serving as an action officer at a major command, a fighter squadron commander, and a test and evaluation group commander. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, the Naval Command & Staff College, the School of Advanced Air & Space Studies, and the National War College.

Brigadier General Novotny is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in 11 different aircraft, primarily in the F-15C/D/E, and more than 540 combat hours. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Deputy Director, Plans, Programs, Requirements, HQ Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

     Bobi Pike Oates

  • U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant (Ret.)
  • Nevada Veterans Advocate
  • Nevada Women Veterans Advisory Committee Advisor
  • Southern Nevada Community Engagement Board Member
  • National Director, West, Air Force Association

More about Bobi Pike Oates

Speaking Topics

What the Military Has to Offer Women

From being handpicked to stand up the Air Force first remote piloted aircraft predator squadron at Creech Air Force Base to providing the leadership for the initial Air Force cadre of maintenance personnel training at Fort Hauchuca, the Air Force has provided Bobi a platform to learn and succeed. What does the military hold for your future? Bobi will be able to provide some answers.

The History and Celebration of Women Warriors

Women have served in our country’s military since our country was born but “firsts” continue to occur for women in uniform!

Bobi covers the contributions women have made in the military over the years and the contributions women continue to make.

Continuing to serve after you retire or separate from the Military

Air Force Association and helping Wounded Warriors

Bio

Roberta Pike Oates (Bobi) is a U. S. Air Force, retired aircraft maintenance Senior Master Sergeant with 23 years of service. (1976-1999) During her Air Force career she served at several overseas and stateside bases in various Aircraft Maintenance positions.  She also deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation Provide Comfort. After retiring from the Air Force she was a Branch Manager for Armed Forces Bank at Nellis AFB for 9 years.

Bobi has lived in Nevada for 28 years. She received her certification as a Nevada Advocate from the Nevada Department of Veteran Services on July 26, 2015.

She served on the Governor’s Women Veterans Advisory Committee 2014-2021 and was reappointed for another term till January 2018 and elected the Vice Chairwoman.

Is a Board member of the newly formed Veterans Administration’s Southern Nevada Community Engagement Board.

She is Vice President of the Women Veterans of Nevada and a member Ceremonial team. Charter Member of the Women in Military Service for America and the Nevada Ambassador for the Women’s Memorial. Member American Legion Post 76; VFW Post 12101, DAV, Air Force Sergeants Association.  DAR and  United Veterans Legislature Council, Nevada. She was inducted in the Meadows Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution May 2017.

Bobi holds a BS in Business Management, AA in Aircraft Maintenance, AS in Law Enforcement, Certificates in Paralegal Studies and Banking.

      Evan Rush

  • Southern Nevada Outreach Director for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services
  • US Navy Master at Arms Chief (ret)
  • Service Disabled Veteran
  • Navy Command Criminal Investigator
  • University of Alabama Masters Student in Family Financial Planning Counseling.

More about Evan Rush

Speaking Topics

He oversees community outreach efforts in southern
Nevada and participates in community groups and
professional organizations. In addition, Evan
manages and supports the Nevada Veteran Advocate (NVA) volunteers within his
area of responsibility.

Bio

Evan spent twenty years in the US Navy, retiring as a Chief Petty Officer. He brings vast experience in connecting veterans to needed services and maintains a strong background in helping veterans with disabilities. Evan most recently served as a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist for the Department of Education, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) in Las Vegas. He also managed the Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP) for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in Seattle, WA, and Honolulu, HI.

   J. R. Stafford

  • US Coast Guard Master Chief Port Security Specialist, (Retired)
  • Eleventh Coast Guard District Reserve Command Master Chief 1998-2002
  • US Coast Guard thirty-two-year veteran of active & reserve duty 1974-2006
  • US Air Force SSgt. 1964-1968 – Da Nang Vietnam, August ’67- July ’68
  • President, Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, 2019-2021

More about J.R Stafford

Speaking Topics

New US Coast Guard Roles & Missions after 11 September 2001

Who are those (USCG) folks and why are they here on my turf

Coast Guard alliances with who and why

Bio

J. R. began his US Coast Guard reserve career in 1974 as an Explosives Loading Supervisor at the old Naval Weapons Station (Port Chicago) in Concord California. Over the next thirty-two years, he held positions as a Boarding Officer; Marine Firefighter; Marine Fire Fighting Coordinator; Pollution Investigator; Reserve Command Master Chief, (Both for the Eleventh Coast Guard District and the Pacific Area Port Security Detachment for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay Cuba); Training Officer; and retired in 2006 as the Senior Incident Command Systems (ICS) Instructor for the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area. Along the way he also worked for Marine Safety Office (MSO) Valdez, AK in the summer of 1989 as an investigator for the EXXON Valdez oil spill and he served as Plans Section Chief for USCG Sector Mobile, Alabama after Hurricane Katrina came ashore in August 2005.

After retiring from Active Duty with the Coast Guard in 2006, J. R. taught Marine Firefighting, Port Security, and Incident Management at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California. He then rejoined the US Coast Guard as a civilian GS-12 in the exercise support field, facilitating major oil spill, natural disaster, terrorist, and event exercises and training in the Western Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, and Rio de Janeiro until retiring in Reno in 2016.

J. R. holds an AS Degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in safety management. He holds a lifetime Teaching Credential from the University of California, Berkeley; is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) with the InternationFal Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM); a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP); and a US Coast Guard Marine Environmental Safety and Security Professional.

J. R. is a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans of America – Sierra Nevada Chapter 989; The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9211, Reno; The Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, Golden Gate Chapter; and The Navy League of the US Carson City Chapter

J. R. and wife Brigitte reside in Reno with her three cats.

      Fred Wagar

  • Deputy Director of Operations for Nevada Dept. of Veterans Services
  • Served as military linguist throughout the Middle East
  • Combat Veteran

More about Fred Wagar

Speaking Topics

Surviving the change from military to civilian world!

Hear about the transition from regimented military life as a Senior NCO, to not only civilian life, but a non-profit unregimented life style as Fred discusses how the transition had its bumps, but also rewards. He not only talks about the lessons in patience as well as dealing with those who don’t take orders!

From rural American to war torn lands and back!

Share in Fred’s memories of growing up in rural North Dakota. In comparison, he details what it was like to deploy to middle east countries. He relates his observations of countries devastated by war, famine and how this led to a mistrust. He discusses how this changes a person deeply and how that change makes him who he is today.

Serving veterans through non-profits, federal government, to state government.

Fred explains why he is passionate in his service to veterans. He discusses the ups and downs of employment from a non-profit veteran organization to the federal government and finally state government and how each are different and yet all work toward the same goal, helping veterans. He will tell you what motivates him to assist veterans and will motivate you to do the same. Fred discusses why it’s important for veterans to be involved in the legislative process without being political, not necessarily an easy task!

Bio

Fred is the Deputy Director of Operations for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, responsible for the State Veterans Cemeteries, Veterans Service Officer program as well as veterans outreach throughout Nevada.

He served 20 years in the United States Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves, beginning as a combat engineer then crossing over to Military Intelligence. He retired as a Sergeant First Class.

He has deployed to Kuwait, Egypt and Somalia. He was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the human intelligence team on numerous deployments and eventually returned to the Defense Language Institute and a Military Language Instructor. Fred has wide-ranging interworking knowledge of veteran programs having worked as a National Service Officer for the Disabled American Veterans before becoming a claims rater then Military Service Coordinator for Veterans Affairs (VA).

Following retirement from the VA, he was appointed by Director Miller of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services as Deputy Director of Programs and Services.

Having a deep sense of commitment to the veteran community, he has been a life member of several national veteran organizations.

     Tony Yarbrough

  • Chief Petty Officer (Ret.)
  • Served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years on active sea-duty
  • Vietnam Veteran
  • Chair, United Veterans Legislative Counsel

More about Tony Yarbrough

Speaking Topics

Leadership

Nevada Legislature

Organization/Team Dynamics

Patriotism

Bio

Tony Yarbrough is a retired Industrial Plant Engineer having worked at Naval Civil Service (Aviation and Nuclear), General Motors Corporation, Walgreens Corporation, Lear Corporation, and H.E.B. Grocery Corporation. His voluntary service has taken him through appointed and elected non-profit leadership positions in his community. He has officially been a registered Nevada Lobbyist since 1991.

He is a Veteran having served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years on active sea-duty (4 years Viet Nam), and 6 years Ready Reserve as a Machinery Repairman 1st Class; achieving Chief Petty Officer (E-7) upon Honorable Discharge.

He resides in Yerington, Nevada, and is the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8084 Commander, State Deputy Legislative Chair representing all 9,000 VFW members, and the Chairman of the United Veterans Legislative Council representing nearly 500,000 Nevada Veterans, Military, and their families in the State Legislature.

His leadership experience within the VFW over the last 5 years has been as Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander, and Commander at Post 8084 in Yerington. At the same time, he served as Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander, and Commander of District 1. He is now the Nevada State Senior Vice Commander.