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Board of Directors

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Gary Ambrose

Gary is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a Duquesne University graduate, and he holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Central Michigan University. In 2000, he retired from the Air Force as a brigadier general after 27 years of service. He had  served as a combat crew member and a B-52 instructor pilot. He played leadership roles in logistics, operations, and information technology. He commanded five units, from squadron level to wing.

After the Air Force, Gary joined IBM as VP for the Department of Defense. He also served as the company’s focal point for partnership with American Corporate Partners, a non-profit that provides executive mentors for returning veterans.  He also represented IBM on the Board of the USO of Metro D.C., and spearheaded initiatives with the Washington Redskins and DC United to support wounded servicemen and women.

He now devotes much of his time to advocacy on behalf of people living with mental illness, intellectual disability, and/or substance use disorders.  He has recently joined the board of Operation Veteran Success, whose primary purpose is support of military and veterans and their dependents, especially in the provision of emergency funds as needed in times of financial distress.

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Marcia Ambrose

Marcia Ambrose is a native of Pittsburgh, PA.  She holds a B.A. in Business Management graduating Summa Cum Laude with a major in Computer Information Systems from Park College in 1992.  She has been married for the past 50 years to a career US Air Force officer who served for 27 years.  During that time, the Service relocated Marcia and her family 16 times.   

Despite the responsibilities for raising 2 children with an often-absent spouse, she managed a vigorous professional development. In the course of 27 years, Marcia excelled as: a Tupperware salesperson; a real estate broker, an education technician for the Air Force and the Marine Corps, the architectural director for Lake Ridge, Virginia; a Microsoft-Certified Systems Engineer and IT consultant; and the executive assistant for Air Force, Veterans Administration, NASA, and Industry executives.  She did all of this while carrying out the many demands placed on the spouse of a military officer.

The pace of her life amidst frequent moves and many, often-competing responsibilities instilled a kind of empathy which uniquely prepares Marcia for her role on the Operation Veteran Success board.

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Mary Ambrose-Gerak

Mary is an Illinois employment attorney (Notre Dame Law, JD, 1987) who has founded a WINGS home in Barrington (transition housing for battered women & their children), worked with the Volunteer Center in Barrington, IL, was a member of the Board of Directors for the Barrington Chamber of Commerce and its lawyer for 10 years, as well Board Member and Board Secretary for the Northwest Suburban [Chicago] Bar Association, helping to found its Veterans’ Assistance program. Her interest in veterans’ issues began when she became a Blue Star Mom. She assisted the local Marine recruiting station with fundraising, in-kind donations, and legal issues, while her son, Joe, served 5 years as an active-duty Marine. Her father’s and grandfathers’ and nephews’ service inspires her to help.

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Shauna Brennan

Shauna serves as Parliamentarian for the OVS Board. She is founder and principal of Brennan General Counsel Group, PLLC, in Las
Vegas, Nevada. Ms. Brennan has over 37 years’ experience providing legal advice in real estate and commercial transactions, commercial litigation and business succession and estate planning. She earned her J.D. degree from Notre Dame Law School, where she was a member of Notre Dame Law Review. Ms. Brennan is admitted to practice in Washington, Nevada, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Shauna is able to be the change she wants to see in the world through community service on the Community Advisory Board for the Salvation Army of Southern Nevada, as a member of the SEEDS (Saving, Empowering, Educating and Restoring DreamS for survivors of sex trafficking and acute trauma) of Hope Committee. Shauna previously served on the Board of Living Grace Homes, maternity homes for homeless girls, and on the Board for Youth Leadership Authority, dedicated to providing character development and opportunities to at-risk community youth. Shauna has two grown daughters and many grandchildren. Shauna has a son-in-law actively stationed at Camp Pendleton, serving in the US Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant, Infantry.

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Carole Ann Bock Dombek

Carole Ann is the CEO of Columbia Chutes, a metal fabrication operation headquartered in Rockdale, Illinois. Columbia Chutes recruits, hires, and trains many veterans in their workforce. Carole Ann graduated with a degree in business from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Her passion for veterans’ needs stems from her own family members. She is also the mother of 3 grown children and engages in various philanthropic efforts throughout the Chicago area, her hometown.

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Justin (Jay) Gerak

Jay is an experienced commercial attorney possessing 36 years of legal experience at firms and companies such as McDermott, Will & Emery, Motorola, Sears, and T-Mobile, and currently SVP & General Counsel for a privately-held, international group of companies with diverse holdings in areas such as advertising and promotions, medical devices, pharmaceutical licensing and distribution, nut-based beverages, NFTs and toys & games. Jay has served on the Parish Council for St. Anne Church (Barrington, IL), was Chair of the Barrington Plan Commission, Co-Chair of the Barrington Zoning Commission, and Founder and President of the Barrington Fencing Club. Jay received his AB at the University of Michigan (Hist), and his JD at the University of Michigan Law School. Jay’s son, Joe, was an active-duty Marine for 5 years. Jay’s father served in the Army (1951-1953), and as a member of the Michigan Air National Guard (1957-1971).

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Eduardo (Ed) Guntin

Ed has worked in telecommunications for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs, and later at Motorola as a Directo and General Manager of a cell phone division, and as Director of Business Development & Strategy including M&A and IP licensing. After earning a law degree, Ed worked in private practice as a Patent attorney, providing legal services to clients in the high tech sector. Ed has an Exec. MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a J.D. from NSU Shepard Broad Law Center, Masters in English fromCornell University, and a B.S.E.E. from the University of Florida.

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Karen Koster

Karen is the Vice President of EHS and Environmental Sustainability for Danaher Corporation. She has held various leadership positions in the environmental safety and sustainability space for over 20 years. Prior to that, Karen was a practicing attorney who started her legal career as a JAG officer in the Army in Washington DC. Karen went through the ROTC program as an undergraduate student and graduated with a commission in the Army. Karen’s grandfather served in World War I and her uncle was a Colonel in the Army. Karen feels strongly about the duty and responsibility that the military brings and believes in supporting our veterans. Karen earned her B.S (Finance) at Northern Michigan University and earned her J.D. at Notre Dame University Law School.

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John McGowan

John J. McGowan, CPA (license inactive), brings a wealth of experience and a desire to serve his community. John worked in public accounting for ten years as a forensic accountant, assisting attorneys with financial and accounting issues as they prepare for commercial litigation. During his career, John has worked for organizations such as CVS Health, University of Illinois, Edward Jones & Co., Grant Thornton LLP, BDO Seidman LLP, and others.  

John holds an MBA with an emphasis in Accounting and Finance and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. John passed the Uniform CPA examination on his first attempt and earned a Cybersecurity Professional Certificate from the University of Michigan. 

John is inspired by his late father, a 1952 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a Korean War veteran who served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. The legacy of his dad fuels John’s passion for supporting veterans and their families, as well as his commitment to mental health advocacy, motivated by witnessing the impact of mental illness on loved ones and their communities. 

Currently John is an analytic consultant for CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit management division of CVS Health. John applies his analytical skills to improve healthcare outcomes and manage pharmacy spend efficiently. 

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Chrissie Mena

Chrissie is a seasoned Business Development and Communications Expert, currently collaborating with her husband at Menagery, Inc., a boutique marketing agency they co-founded in 2015. As the proud daughter of a Purple Heart POW, Chrissie deeply appreciates the sacrifices made to safeguard our freedom.

Chrissie has been an active force in various community organizations throughout her career. She was a dedicated board member and president for esteemed entities such as the Barrington (Illinois) Rotary, Barrington Area United Way, Barrington Junior Women’s Club, and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Auxiliary (Lake Barrington, IL). Her commitment extends further, having played roles as a Board Member and Fundraising Chair for the WINGS Program (Domestic Violence Victim support), Journeycare, and the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.

Relocating to Florida in 2021, Chrissie continues to make a positive impact. She is an engaged United States Coast Guard Auxiliary member, contributing her skills and expertise as a Staff Officer in her Flotilla. Furthermore, she is helping to launch the Wings Program in Miami in 2024.

Chrissie’s dedication is not confined to professional and community roles; she also served as an elected official in Tower Lakes, Illinois. Her contributions have earned her notable recognitions, including the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement 2007 Citizen of the Year, Lake County Magazine’s 2015 Woman of Distinction, and the Barrington Area Development Council 2018 Citizen of the Year.

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Rusty Schwimmer

Born and raised in Chicago, Rusty is a recognizable character actress with over a hundred movies and television shows in her performance portfolio, including The Perfect Storm, Twister, North Country, The Little Princess, Better Call Saul, The Righteous Gemstones, Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Legal, Chicago Fire, Bones, Gilmore Girls, and Broken Trail. It was her role in the 2016 award-winning movie Blood Stripe that gave her an appreciation of the struggles facing veterans – especially those suffering from PTSD.

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Kathleen Terada

As a US Army veteran with 8 years of active duty, Kathleen Terada has a wealth of experience and leadership skills.  She is a mother of two, grandmother of three, and wife of an IT professional.  She is a technology enthusiast dedicated to creating positive outcomes by leveraging tech innovations.  She is passionate about supporting women and fellow veterans in achieving their professional goals and aspirations. 

Kate Weaver Tucker

Kate Weaver Tucker

Kate Weaver Tucker is a freelance artist and art teacher with deep roots in Barrington, Illinois. After a six year stint of living and teaching on Marco Island, Kate became involved in founding and running a 501(c)(3) for hurricane relief and rescue, called The Marco Patriots, after Hurricane Irma devastated Marco Island in 2016. Since then, Kate met and married Phil Tucker, and moved to Edmond, Oklahoma. Kate assists her attorney husband in the care and guidance of clients navigating the unfamiliar and navigating the legal system as a “divorce coach,” answering questions and guiding our clients through what becomes a new life/restart. Kate continues her career as an artist, and finds as much time as she can to spend with their new grandchildren, and enjoys helping others via philanthropic endeavors. Kate is the mother of three adult children, Maxwell, Grace, and Galen. Her oldest, Maxwell, is a U.S. Army veteran.

Phil Tucker

Phil Tucker

Phil Tucker is a highly accomplished family law attorney, who enjoys helping his clients resolve family challenges. Prior to joining Doerner in 2021, Phil practiced law for nearly 38 years as a founding partner at a law firm in Edmond, Oklahoma. Phil has been widely published and regularly presents locally and nationwide. His focus areas include adoption, ethics, paternity, habeas corpus/writ proceedings, guardianship, military law, guardian ad litem training, trial advocacy and law practice management. He is also a contributing author for the Oklahoma Bar Association’s (OBA) FAMILY LAW PRACTICE MANUAL. He most recently presented an OBA CLE regarding guardian ad litem representation. Recognized for his experience in family law, Phil has been named to the annual Super Lawyers list multiple times. Locally, Phil received the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award for the best OBA Journal article as a co-recipient in 2020. He received the OBA’s Earl Sneed Award for outstanding CLE contributions as a co-recipient in 2011. The OBA also recognized Phil in 2003 as Oklahoma’s Outstanding Family Law Attorney. Through Phil’s dedication to giving back to the legal community, he serves on the OBA’s Solo & Small Firm Conference Planning Committee, Military Assistance Task Force, and Legislative Over Site Committee. Phil has also been the technology liaison for the Section Leader’s Council and is an Oklahoma Bar Foundation Fellow. In addition, Phil was a Commissioner on the OBA’s Professional Responsibility Commission (2017-2019). He has been an active member of the American Bar Association, Section of Family Law since 1995. He currently is a member on the Adoption, Law Practice Management/Technology, Assisted Reproduction Technology, Ethics, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Governmental Relations (former Chair), International Law and Military Law Committees (former Chair) and is a volunteer with both Operation Standby and Operation LAMP (Legal Assistance for Military Families). Phil was also an observer on the 2014 Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee on Non-Parental Rights to Custody and Visitation. Phil is the father of two adult children, Justin and Sydney. His World War II Navy Veteran father lives with Phil. Phil enjoys sailing worldwide on his personal time

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Zaconia Turner

Zaconia Turner serves with the Nevada Department of Veterans Services as Veterans Healthcare Champions Program Manager for the State of Nevada. She performs outreach and education to care providers surrounding the unique healthcare needs of those who have served in the U.S. military. She works to raise awareness to care providers on the importance of asking patients if they’ve ever served in the U.S. military because identifying veterans can lead to better healthcare outcomes. Additionally, Zaconia provides care providers with information on military-connected exposures. She works in partnerships with the Perry Foundation, AARP, and other non-profit and partnering organizations to offer training and workshops on military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, and Parkinson’s Disease along with other program initiatives to veterans, spouses of veterans, caregivers, healthcare administrators and military community.

Zaconia has been in the healthcare field for over 21 years. She started off as a dietary assistant at long-term nursing facilities at the age of 13. She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant before acquiring multiple degrees: Associate of Science in Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy, Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness, Master of Science in Health Information Management and a Naturopathic Practitioner in Complementary Alternative Medicine from Purdue University. Zaconia has worked in various sectors of the health industry such as Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Bariatric Surgery, and the Emergency Response unit with UMC Hospital. Zaconia will be helping OVS with grant writing and presentations to Nevada VSO’s

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Clayton (Clay) Walker

Clay Walker is a 20 year Marine Corps Veteran with numerous deployments in support of operations in regions such as the Pacific, Middle East, and with Dept. of Homeland Security. His career as an Intelligence Analyst has spanned from conducting humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions, non-conflict preparation in response to crisis events, combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom, to large scale operational planning and support to policy makers. He is a graduate of multiple Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence School curriculum, as well as certified through FEMA’s Incident Command System programs. His desire to assist our veterans is personal, and he feels lucky to have an opportunity to assume a meaningful role in serving his brothers and sisters in uniform when they need someone most.