STEPHEN PECK, M.S.W.
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DARRYL VINCENT, M.S.W, CASC
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JEFFREY W. COLEMAN
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JESSICA A. ROHAC M.S.W.
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CARLA A. FORD
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LARRY WILLIAMS, MBA
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DR. KIM COOK
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STEPHEN PECK, M.S.W.PRESIDENT & CEO
Stephen J. Peck, who served as a Marine officer in Vietnam, heads the nation’s largest nonprofit devoted to providing housing and other essential services to at-risk veterans.
United States Veterans Initiative (U.S.VETS), which opened its first facility in Los Angeles in 1993, has grown to 11 sites in five states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 5,000 veterans a day. Yearly, U.S.VETS helps 8,000 veterans find housing and more than 1,500 veterans gain full-time jobs.
Mr. Peck says he learned in the Marine Corps, “If you don’t go where the trouble is, you can’t solve the problem.”
As the U.S. continues to send troops to the Middle East, the issues of veteran unemployment, homelessness, Post-Traumatic Stress, and other reintegration issues have reached critical levels. Twenty veterans a day commit suicide in the United States.
“Our job at U.S.VETS is to engage the enemy at home — the enemy of homelessness, disillusionment and disappointment — to let these men and women know there is a path forward,” says Mr. Peck. U.S.VETS strives to empower each veteran to take responsibility for his or her success, guiding them towards independence in the community, developing their workforce skills and supporting recovery.
Mr. Peck graduated from Northwestern University in 1968 and entered the Marine Corps that same year. In Vietnam, he was a first lieutenant in the 1st Marine Division, serving as a forward observer outside of Danang in 1969, receiving the Navy Commendation Medal.
After his service Mr. Peck became a documentary filmmaker. Eventually, a series of films on homelessness and veteran’s issues compelled him to change careers. Peck went to work helping the Veterans Administration place homeless veterans into housing and in 1996 joined the organization that became U.S.VETS as Director of Community Development, where he was involved with program design and funding, developing partnerships, and advocating on a State and National level to bring attention to possible solutions for homeless veterans. He was also the inaugural Director of U.S.VETS’ largest site in Long Beach. He was appointed president and CEO in August 2010. Mr. Peck earned his Master’s Degree in Social Work from USC in 1997. He is also the President of the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies (CAVSA) a consortium of seven nonprofit veteran service providers working in partnership to address the needs of California’s veterans.
He has been honored by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, the USC School of Social Work, Northwestern University, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the City of Long Beach. He was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2012.
Mr. Peck and his wife, Kristine Kidd, a food writer and culinary consultant, and the former Food Editor of Bon Appetit magazine, live with their Labrador retriever, Atticus, in the Los Angeles community of Topanga Canyon. He has a grown son, Ethan, an actor; and a grown step-daughter, Marisa, a writer.
DARRYL VINCENT, M.S.W, CASCCHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Darryl J. Vincent has been with U.S.VETS since 2003. As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Vincent directly supervises all Executive Directors across the organization’s 11 services areas, and oversees overall operations of U.S.VETS nationally.
As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Vincent has a long-standing commitment and sincere compassion for the veteran community. Mr. Vincent truly operates with the belief that any veteran who sleeps on the same streets they were once asked to defend represents a dishonor to us all – and that it is our job at U.S.VETS to work ourselves out of a job. After his military service, Mr. Vincent received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, a Master Degree in Social Work from the University of New England, and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Earlier in his career at U.S.VETS, Mr. Vincent led the expansion of our U.S.VETS-Barber’s Point and opened U.S.VETS-Waianae. As the head of U.S.VETS programs nationally, his attention to quality and measurable outcomes led the organization to achieve CARF accreditation and to be recognized as a national leader in service delivery to homeless veterans.
During Mr. Vincent’s leadership in Hawaii he was recognized as one of the “ten people who made a difference in Hawaii” in the year 2007. In 2008, he was awarded the “Unsung Hero” award at NCHV. He also served as the Chairperson for the entire Continuum of Care from 2010-2013. In 2012, Mr. Vincent was honored at the Helping Hands Hawaii annual dinner, in celebration of his 19 years of work in the social service field. In 2013, Mr. Vincent received the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation AIM for Excellence Award. Mr. Vincent has been featured in local and national media including Hawaii Magazine, Honolulu Star Advertiser, ABC, CBS and Fox News, and has provided testimony at state and federal levels to government, community coalitions and Veterans Administration leadership, advocating for the needs of America’s veterans.
Beyond his professional community involvement, Mr. Vincent is a Weinberg Fellow and proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is the proud father of two sons, the younger is a pre-teen and the older is a currently a cadet at West Point.
DAN WARZENSKICHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Dan Warzenski joined U.S.VETS in October 2015 after more than three decades in retail, bringing with him a wealth of big company experience. Twenty of those years in the for-profit world were spent in the Los Angeles-based Robinsons-May, where he held leadership roles from 1986-2006.
Among his accomplishments at Robinsons-May was the 1993 merger of Robinson’s financial systems into May Co. systems. In 2002, he also helped fold Meier & Frank stores into Robinsons-May.
A U.S. veteran, Mr. Warzenski served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969-71. After an honorable discharge, he would go on to attain an MBA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey, graduating in 1976.
Beyond work, Mr. Warzenski resides in Mt. Washington, is an avid runner and soccer fan, and enjoys spending time with his two grown children and three grandchildren
JEFFREY W. COLEMANVICE PRESIDENT, FISCAL EVALUATION AND COMPLIANCE
Jeff Coleman is the Vice President of Fiscal Evaluation and Compliance. The primary responsibility of this position is to evaluate the financial performance of the organization as it relates to its budgets, sites, programs, and grants. This position also provides oversight of organization wide regulations and procedures to ensure fiscal compliance.
Mr. Coleman is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a B.A. degree in Economics. Mr. Coleman began working with U.S.VETS in June 1994 as Program Officer of the Corporation for National Service AmeriCorps Program. As the organization expanded, the position of Program Officer also expanded to include financial reporting and accounting. Mr. Coleman has worked in all aspects of accounting for the organization and has years of experience in financial grant management. He was then promoted into the position of Senior Financial Analyst for U.S. VETS and experienced the growth of the organization to 14 sites in 7 states. He has worked closely with each of those sites and corporate accounting in providing financial assistance and oversight.
LANEY KAPGANVICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS
Laney Kapgan is the Vice President, Development & Communications for U.S.VETS, overseeing national and regional fundraising, communications and marketing strategy, and leading a team of regional and national staff in growing philanthropic engagement and increasing brand visibility across the country.
Ms. Kapgan has focused much of her career on expanding public and private funding, visibility and partnerships for key safety net programs supporting homeless and low-income individuals and families across Los Angeles. Prior to joining U.S.VETS, Ms. Kapgan served as Chief Development Officer for Venice Family Clinic, a UCLA Health System-affiliated community health center. In addition to significantly increasing both government and private operational funding, Ms. Kapgan led capital efforts to build and renovate two new health centers, and expand signature homeless and women’s health programs. Ms. Kapgan also held fundraising and leadership positions at Chrysalis, a social enterprise and nonprofit that helps low-income and homeless individuals secure employment, as well as GLAAD, Race to Erase MS and Break the Cycle. In total, Ms. Kapgan has raised more than $100 million to provide housing, health care, employment and other vital direct services for at-risk and underserved members of our community.
Ms. Kapgan received her B.A. in Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a certificate from the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Clinic Leadership Institute. In her spare time, Ms. Kapgan is hard at work perfecting her recipe for homemade bagels and taste testing the competition.
JESSICA A. ROHAC M.S.W.VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS & COMPLIANCE
Jessica Rohac is the Vice President of Operations & Compliance, and provides operations and grants management support to all locations nationwide.
Ms. Rohac earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology at Michigan State University and her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She completed the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling Core Counselor Training program and served two terms representing veteran services in a governor-appointed seat on the State of Nevada Advisory Committee for Problem Gambling.
Ms. Rohac joined U.S.VETS in September 2001 as a Case Manager at the Las Vegas site. In 2011, she received national recognition as the recipient of U.S.VETS Manager of the Year Award. The following year she joined the executive team at U.S.VETS – National office.
Ms. Rohac is a Field Instructor for the University of Southern California Military Social Work Program and formerly for the University of Nevada Las Vegas Social Work and Counseling Programs. She has also served as a member of Veteran Stand Down Committees as Co-Chair and Treasurer, the National Association of Social Workers Student Member, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, and the VA Mental Health Consumer Council.
CARLA A. FORDGENERAL COUNSEL
Carla A. Ford is the General Counsel for US VETS. She is responsible for providing legal advice to officers and directors in the organization, assisting in the management of company risks, and overseeing the company’s legal matters, including contract formation, litigation, dispute resolution, and protection of the company’s property rights.
Ms. Ford served for 16 years as an Assistant United States (“AUSA”) in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (“USAO”) in Los Angeles, where she represented the government in a varied civil litigation practice. In 2010, Ms. Ford left the USAO to join Walmart Stores, Inc. as a senior member of their field-based Environmental Compliance & Ethics Team, which helped the Fortune One’s 300+ California facilities stay in compliance with State and Federal environmental laws. During her legal career in Atlanta, she served as an AUSA and, later, she was appointed chief executive officer of Georgia’s Commission on Equal Opportunity, the agency that investigated claims of discrimination in housing and in state employment. Ms. Ford has also been in private practice at law firms in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Pasadena.
Involved in her community, Ms. Ford serves on the board of Being Alive!, a nonprofit organization that helps those affected by HIV/AIDS and she is a life member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Ford is a graduate of Boston University, where she earned a B.A. in English, cum laude, and Georgetown University Law Center. She and her husband have one adult son and reside in Mid-City L.A.
LARRY WILLIAMS, MBAVICE PRESIDENT, PROGRAMS
Larry D. Williams is the Vice President of Programs. Mr. Williams completed a four year enlistment in the United States Army; he was discharged honorably in 1989.
Mr. Williams graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and obtained his Masters of Business Administration in 2011. Mr. Williams has been serving veterans for 10 years, and has received several awards for his service to the homeless population – including two senatorial commendations, and 2 congressional recognitions and a Congressional Record from the House of Representatives, signed by Congressman Jon C. Porter. Mr. Williams has a long history of receiving accolades from veteran clients for his remarkable contribution in assisting them with acquiring food, housing, clothing, and employment services.
His proudest accomplishments are his marriage, four children and four grandchildren. Mr. Williams considers them his greatest sense of motivation and his greatest sense of support.
LORI ALLGOODVICE PRESIDENT, DIRECTOR OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Lori Allgood joined U.S.VETS in April 2017, as Vice President and Director of Housing Development after working extensively in real estate development and nonprofit operations.
As VP of Housing Development, she oversees U.S.VETS portfolio of properties and manages affordable housing development, including property acquisition and development, financial structuring and acquisition, compliance and partnerships.
Ms. Allgood’s past accomplishments include implementation and direction of a $350 million dollar product philanthropy program, as well as over 20 years of real estate development.
DR. KIM COOKBARBER’S POINT & WAI'ANAE, HAWAII
Dr. Kim Cook is Vice President, Clinical Services for U.S.VETS.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and completed the Masters and Psy.D. Clinical Psychology programs at Argosy University Hawaii in 2006 and 2008, respectively. After working many years in the non-profit sector with children with autism, adults with severe mental illnesses, and in the field of Chemical Dependency, Dr. Cook joined U.S.VETS in 2009 as Clinical Director. She transitioned in to the role of Executive Director in 2012.
Dr. Cook was born and raised on the island of Oahu and is involved in a number of community groups, including the West Oahu Professional Network (WOPN).