William H. Ahmanson (Bill) was born and raised in Los Angeles, attended Harvard-Westlake School and Occidental College where he studied Political Science, Theater Arts and sculpture. During college he began a career in banking at Home Savings of America, where he worked for 17 years, beginning his career as a teller and ending his career there as the Chief Underwriter for Home's California Residential Lending Division, responsible for all high risk loans funded in the state. After 6 years in Union Bank’s Wealth Management Division, Bill retired from banking and is now President of The Ahmanson Foundation which concentrates its funding on cultural projects supporting the arts, education at the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels, medicine and delivery of health care services, programs related to homelessness and low-income populations, and a wide range of human services. In 1986 he began his service to the City of Los Angeles as a Los Angeles Police Reserve Line Officer. After 10 years of patrol he retired to focus on other areas of service. Today he is Trustee & President, The Ahmanson Foundation; Trustee and Board Chair, The Center Theater Group; Trustee, Vice-Chair of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee, serves on the Executive Committee at LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art); Trustee and serves on the Audit Committee, Loyola Marymount University; Director and Secretary, Petersen Automotive Museum; Director and Secretary of the Los Angeles Mounted Police Foundation; among others.
James Bogle directs the Master of Business for Veterans program in the USC Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining the Marshall team in 2013, he served 23 years in the U.S. Army. As an Artillery Officer, James commanded two artillery units and fought in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. As a Foreign Area Officer, he served on the staff of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the Office of European and NATO Policy and at the U.S. Embassy in Paris coordinating a wide range of special and conventional military operations with the French Joint Operations Staff. James completed his military career as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds a BA in History from Arizona State University, an MA in International Relations from University of Southern California and a Master of Business for Veterans from the USC Marshall School of Business. James and his wife Debra have two daughters.
Chris Ford currently serves as Executive Director of Stop Soldier Suicide. He is also the Founder of the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO). His entrepreneurship, leadership, and passion moved NAVSO from theoretical concept to public launch in 2014 and have positioned NAVSO to answer the long-demanded call for a national collaborative association for the Nation’s 40,000+ veteran-/military-serving organizations. NAVSO serves as a trusted, neutral convener stitching together like-minded public and private organizations seeking to deliver more effective and efficient services to veterans and military families where they need them most. Chris has developed and implemented the strategic direction of the organization in response to evolving and often complex needs of veterans and military families.
He is a 20-year Air Force veteran retiring in 2014 from the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he served in the Chairman’s Office of Warrior and Family Support. In this role, Chris leveraged his broad and deep perspectives on veteran reintegration to assist communities across eighteen states seeking to improve their support for military families. He previously served in nearly a dozen countries around the globe supporting Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the United States Air Force Academy, and two Master’s Degrees: one from the University of South Carolina and one from the Naval Postgraduate School. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Air Force’ Squadron Officer School, the FBI’s National Academy, Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and Syracuse University’s Boots to Business Program.
Check out his Founder's Story on why he created NAVSO here: https://youtu.be/-rrsBtcX5bU
Brandon Shelton is a strategy leader, a problem solver and a relationship builder. He led the grassroots effort that became Task Force X, a driven network of experts and advisors that evaluate and develop Veteran entrepreneurs and businesses. A veteran entrepreneur himself, Brandon first founded T2 Growth Advisors to help teams design and activate strategic frameworks to reach their goals.
Brandon developed his financial, strategic and operational skills through various experiences in high intensity and change environments from the military after 9/11 to Wall Street in 2008. Using military principles, Brandon helped client teams grow while a partner at a boutique strategy consulting firm with his largest client hiring him to drive growth, expansion and technology changes at a multi-billion dollar company in North America. Brandon founded T2 Growth Advisors to connect these skills to startups and small businesses.
Rear Admiral Sweredoski served over thirty years of military service with the U.S. Navy retiring in 2015 as the Admiral leading the HR Reserve community where she was responsible for the strategic growth, direction and well-being of the HR Reserve community. As a Flag Officer, she also worked for the Chief of Naval Personnel in the Military Personnel Policy office including Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).
As the Navy’s Lead in the Congressionally-mandated Women in Service Review, Rear Admiral Sweredoski oversaw the development of all the Navy’s studies and reports to the Secretary of Defense and provided expert testimony to Congress on Navy's plan to integrate women into 27,000 additional positions in 2016. Efforts directly led to the opening of over 16,000 submarine positions 17 months ahead of the required deadline and the opening of all positions to females (including Navy SEALS).
She served a three-year assignment on the Secretary of the Navy’s National Navy Reserve Policy Board, and as a member of the Human Resources Executive Board. She served in several Commanding Officer tours and a variety of staff tours including NATO, Navy Inspector General and the Chief of Naval Operations Management Analysis unit. She proudly served with Navy Command Center shipmates who were awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions during, and after, the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
After retiring from the Navy, Rear Admiral Sweredoski used her extensive Human Resources background and experience in talent management, policy and strategy development, management consulting and multi-organizational collaboration as a Principal Executive Advisor within CEB’s(now Gartner) Human Resources (HR) Practice. CEB-HR Practice enables HR executives and their teams to execute efficiently, benchmark performance against best-in-class metrics and achieve critical business objectives through successful talent and functional strategies. CEB insights and global network help organizations work smarter and faster and deliver superior outcomes.
Rear Admiral Sweredoski received her Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from the University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. after completing the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program. She has her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification and SHRM (CP) certification, has completed the Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) program and is a graduate of Reserve Component programs at National Defense University and Naval War College.
Rosemary Williams most recently served as executive director of S.A.F.E. Project (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic), a national non-profit dedicated to fighting the opioid epidemic. Prior to S.A.F.E., Rosemary served as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs where she was responsible for oversight for the department’s public affairs, community outreach and engagement including Veteran homelessness and chief liaison to county, state and Tribal Nations Veterans offices. She also represented VA on the executive committee of the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Prior to her appointment at VA, Rosemary served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. In that position, she was responsible for policy, advocacy and oversight of all community support to service members, their families and survivors, child care and youth programs, family violence prevention and intervention, casualty and mortuary affairs, military spouse career advancement, and state liaison office.
Rosemary previously worked in government as director for communications and public liaison at the Office of Personnel Management, and as the senior advisor for strategic communications to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. During her time at VA, Rosemary also served as the Department of Veterans Affairs representative to the White House Council on Military Families. Prior to her government service, Rosemary worked as communications director for the national non-profit, Blue Star Families.
Rosemary’s public service career follows a 25-year broadcast journalism career, during which she received numerous awards including a National Emmy Award for Team Coverage of the attacks on September 11th as Executive Producer at MSNBC covering Washington, DC and Politics.
Rosemary was awarded fellowships in Ethical Decision Making at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and in National Security at the Air War College. She has been published on the topic of mental health and today’s military families and is author of the local history book, Maritime Annapolis – A History of Watermen, Sail & Midshipmen.