Described as “a driven person with out of the box insights,” Lannon has successfully built and operated 6 healing centers. With a bold vision to bring 1 million warriors home from addiction and PTSD, Warriors Heart is leading the way in chemical dependency treatment for our Warriors.
Growing up, Josh apprenticed under his father’s direction by operating the family owned nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Josh’s leadership and team led the Vegas nightclubs to be voted the #1 country club, five years in a row.
In 2002, Josh refocused himself to creating a career in sobriety and building businesses that are more socially conscious. He retired from the nightclub industry and, together, Josh and Lisa Lannon launched their first recovery center, Journey Healing Centers, a private drug and alcohol treatment center. JHC grew to six locations with 100 team members. Then in late 2013, Elements Behavioral Health, a leading nationwide provider, acquired JHC.
Josh has also dedicated three decades to studying the martial arts. He has a “Senior Professor of Arts” ranking as a 7th degree black belt as a personal student to the Grandmaster, Mr. Paul Mills. Josh is a leading Professor at the AKKI annual international seminars and teaches worldwide. Josh is currently getting his butt kicked going through the ranks in the Brazilian Jujitsu. He loves learning and taking on challenges.
Josh’s continued passion for building businesses assisting those who are struggling from addiction is one of the driving forces behind Warriors Heart.
Co-Founder and Former LEO
Described as “a protector with compassion.” Lisa has a bold passion in building businesses and providing safe world class healing environments assisting warriors in sobriety and healing. Her mission is to build healing facilities for our Warriors – Veterans, Active Military, Police Officers and other 1st Responders/Protectors.
Lannon is a Social Entrepreneur, author and international speaker. Lisa is the Founder of Brooke Property Management and is an investor in commercial buildings, residential homes, apartment complexes with holdings of over 2600 units and commodities.
Lisa has been featured in interviews on PBS’s Rich Woman Show, Fox News, JetSet Magazine, EmpowHer, Rich Dad Radio, along with other media outlets and speaks at financial education events worldwide.
Lisa was a commissioned Law Enforcement Officer for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where during her time with LVMPD, she primarily worked on the booking floor. She dealt with addiction and combative people on a daily basis. Lisa trained other officers on the AFIS system and sat on a panel to interview new civilian potential hires.
Lisa and Josh have been inseparable since 1995, and are proud parents of two young amazing children. They’ve dedicated themselves to building a businesses that makes sense and address social problems.
US Army (Ret) & Co-Founder
Tom Spooner’s service to our nation in the U.S. Army spanned twenty-one years. His career included time in the 82nd Airborne, as a Green Beret in the US Army’s 7th Special Forces Group and, ultimately, in the elite US Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta. In his military career that included 3 years of direct action combat deployments, Tom was able to accomplish what less than .001% of US military personnel have by becoming a Delta Force Operator.
After retiring from the Army, Tom approached his struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with the same tenacity and commitment to excellence that he did his military career. He began speaking candidly about the repercussions of his experiences and the reality of the difficulties he had coping with them. Determined to help his community cope with suicide and addiction as a result of their experiences in war, Tom has rededicated his professional efforts to healing. With a voice nearly unmatched in credibility and experience, Tom has successfully enabled thousands of military and law enforcement personnel to admit their struggles, seek treatment, and understand that they are not alone.
Tom has been married for 24 years to the love of his life and is the proud father of 2 young men.
Angel L. Lugo, FACHE, MPA
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired and Chief Strategic Officer, Warriors Heart
Angel L. Lugo is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served 30 years on active duty as a Healthcare Operations/Administration Officer. Prior to retiring in 2012, he served as Chief of Staff/COO for the Army’s Northern Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he provided staff oversight of the Army’s largest regional health system including the Army’s largest Wounded Warrior population. Prior to that, he was the first Chief of Staff/COO for the Defense Center of Excellence for Psych Health and TBI where he established a joint staff organization focused on policies, procedures, guidelines, research, and tools in Psych Health & TBI to support Warriors and their Families. After his retirement, Angel is founder & CEO of his own Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Lugo Vantage Solutions LLC, providing consulting services within the federal health sector specializing in military and Veterans health management. He also provides no cost job placement assistance to Veterans in transition. Angel’s career has been about serving our nation alongside Soldiers and supporting Warriors. He joined the military to serve and provide for his Family but stayed because the military is a unique Family of those dedicated to serve and protect our nation. That is why he is both excited and humbled to join the Warriors Heart Team as CEO and lead its mission to heal and support Warriors to bring them home.
In addition to the capstone Chief of Staff positions, COL (Ret) Lugo held many command and staff positions including: Director, DoD Executive Agencies (Medical), Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG), U.S. Army, Falls Church, VA; Hospital Commander, 212th MASH and CSH, Miesau, Germany; Commander, Task Force 212th MASH (Pakistan Earthquake Relief), Pakistan; Program Director, Medical Reengineering Initiative (MRI), OTSG; Battalion Commander, 61st Area Support Medical Battalion (ASMB), Fort Hood, Texas; Chief, Medical Operations, XVIII Airborne Corps and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G-3, 44th Medical Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Executive Officer, 61st ASMB, Fort Hood, Texas; Deputy Chief of Plans, Operations, Training, & Security Division and Plans Officer, 97th General Hospital/Frankfurt Medical Center, Germany; Commander, C Company (Medical), 45th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, Germany and South West Asia (Persian Gulf War); Administrative Officer, Fort Dix MEDDAC and Executive Officer and Commander, 556th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance), Fort Dix, New Jersey; and Operations Officer, S-3/PAD, 2nd MASH and Med Platoon Leader, 2/69th Armor Battalion, Ft. Benning, Georgia.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Microbiology and Hispanic Literature from Rutgers College in New Jersey and received his commission from Rutgers University ROTC Program as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1982. He earned a Master of Public Administration (Health Services focus) at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Missouri. COL (Ret) Lugo is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a certified joint medical planner and trained as a Project Management Professional (PMP). He is Board Certified in Healthcare Management and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Awards and decorations that COL (Ret) Lugo earned include the Bronze Star Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (7th award), Army Commendation Medal (4th award), Army Achievement Medal (5th award), Humanitarian Service Medal, U.S. Public Health Service Unit Commendation, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Staff Identification Badge – Department of Health and Human Services, and Order of Military Medical Merit Medallion.
Director of Finance
Warriors Heart is a place where all of our demons are out and one is not judged. It’s a place that accepts people in the lowest parts of their life and uses methods that work to give people a second chance of hope and healing.
My personal life has been affected by Chemical Dependency, Alcoholism, and PTSD. I am a loved one that has grieved someone that doesn’t see they are temporarily broken and can be healed with treatment. I am a loved one that has held their spouse through nightmares and fits of rage. I am a loved one that held the hand of a 37 year old alcoholic family member through their last breath. I “get” the clients and I admire them and their family members for the courage to accept the challenge of a lifetime of change.
Warriors Heart is special and life changing for anyone who sets foot on the property.
Director of Operations
Troy Konvicka grew up in Bandera, Texas and married his wife Karen before enlisting into the U.S. Army in 1996. He served 22 years starting with 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, KY. 2nd BN 3rd Field Artillery in Germany. Attended Special Warfare Center and School at Ft Bragg, NC. After completing his training as a Green Beret and being assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, WA, he had multiple deployments to Iraq and throughout Pacific Command.
He earned the rank of Master Sergeant and serving as an Operation Detachment-Alpha Team Sergeant specializing in Military Freefall operation. Then He was assigned to the United States Special Operation Command as a Warriors Care Program liaison at San Antonio Military Medical Center. While in this position He directly influenced the recovery, rehabilitation of wounded warriors, and assist with family member during the process. After retiring Troy wants to dedicate his time to support the healing and recovery of warriors to let them come home.
Troy has been married 25 years, with two children and 3 grandchildren.
Dr. Jeffrey R. Holt
Dr. Holt was born in Kerrville and grew up in Comfort, where he graduated from high school in 1996. He received his B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin, then went on to the University of Texas at Houston medical school. He then completed his Family Medicine residency training at the Waco Family Medicine Residency Program. He returned home to the Hill Country in 2008, and joined the Fredericksburg Clinic.
In addition to his busy family medicine clinic, he has worked in the field of addiction medicine since 2008, when he started working at Serenity House Drug & Alcohol treatment facility. He received board certification in Addiction Medicine in November 2014 and became the medical director of the One-Eighty detox service at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in May 2015. He also accepted the position of medical director at Awakenings Hill Country, which opened in August 2015 and is a drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation center for women.
In January 2017, Dr Holt added the position of associate medical director for Hill Country Memorial Hospice to his extensive experience. He has now accepted the medical director position at Warriors Heart, and is excited about the opportunity to help serve those in the military, veterans and first responders.
Dr Holt enjoys playing the piano and guitar, and he also enjoys camping and fishing. He lives in Fredericksburg with his wife and their four sons. He loves spending time with his family.
Born and raised in a very large extended family in a small town in the Texas Panhandle, Stefanie obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from West Texas A&M University. In the almost 23 years as a RN, she has provided care and comfort in many areas, from home health and hospice, surgery, and those struggling with food addictions and weight loss surgery. Stefanie has also spent much of her career as a business owner and leader in the medical and service industries, and her love for people and the opportunity to serve others led her to Warriors Heart.
She enjoys the outdoors, music and dancing and time spent with her family and friends. She has 2 boys, Bryson and Braxton, and serves on several boards for community and charity organizations in Bandera County.
Shannon Bryant obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing while attending the University of Texas in the Permian Basin. Over the past two years she has been practicing as an RN in the Emergency Room setting. While working in the ER she developed a passion for helping patients struggling with addiction and co dependencies. She has witnessed first hand the struggle involved in sobriety and the devastating effects it can have on the person and their loved ones.
Born in a small town in west Texas, Shannon was raised by her loving mother and marine corp father. Being raised by a Vietnam vet shaped her childhood in a positive way and strengthened her affection towards her country and military. Recently she demonstrated her support by marching two marathons at the Bataan Memorial Death March in honor of family fighting over seas. She has been married to her highschool sweetheart for 12 years, they have two beautiful children together.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Born and raised on a small horse ranch just south of San Antonio, Jose learned what hard work was. The second youngest of 8 children, he had many bosses in his family and quickly learned how to multitask. Between horses, school and sports (in that order) he had his hands full. Upon graduating from high school, he set out into the workforce for several years traveling around Texas before landing a job as a crew lead for a cabling company that sent him traveling across the United States. The experience he would gain from that he would later apply to a long IT career for the largest distributor of electronic goods in the world. Working with the IBM business unit he helped lead the way to introduce some of the top technology for business computing.
After many years in IT, he would actually find his true calling in the Nursing profession, where he decided he wanted to help people instead of replacing them with machinery. Going to nursing school with his wife, who would be a beacon of inspiration for him through his journey into reeducation he would successfully complete school and begin a new journey. With the experience he would gain while working with the elderly in many dementia units and working as a psych nurse for the State of Texas, he would find his way to Warrior’s Heart to truly serve a higher purpose in helping the veterans and first responders that make our world a safer place.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Not quite born on the 4th of July, Nella Zalewski was born to a military family in Ford Ord, California in 1975. Even though the family faced adversity in her formative years, due to the rising drug epidemic in the 80’s God, Grunge, a good sense humor brought her through tough times. She graduated School of Hard Knocks 1993 and felt it was a good preparation for military service.
In the Army she learned to further cultivate her love of medicine as a combat medic and later went to nursing school where she was a class officer and was inducted into the National Technical Vocational Honor Society. Her academic pursuits allowed her to graduate from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and she is currently near completing her Masters of Public Health degree.
Currently, she is serving as Mrs. San Antonio Plus America 2017 and hopes to inspire disabled vets to a life of service and artistic pursuits. Nella shares her life with her husband of 7 years and 3 lovely children.
Registered Dietitian, RDN, LD, CDE
Anna is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who’s personal and professional goal is to inspire people to unlock their full health potential by discovering the joy of cooking and eating natural, minimally processed foods.
Anna was born and raised in Alaska and had an early affinity to cooking beautiful and tasty food. She worked several years in the restaurant industry in her early 20s before realizing that her calling in life was to help others by pairing her love of food with the science of how to eat for optimal health. She moved to Seattle, Washington in 2006 to pursue a degree in nutrition with an emphasis on natural health from Bastyr University.
Anna then found her way to Texas to follow her career path as a dietitian. She worked as a clinical dietitian in a large county hospital for one year then worked the following four years as a nutrition counselor specializing in weight loss and chronic disease management, including diabetes.
In 2014, Anna opened her private practice where she offers cooking classes, individual nutrition counseling, and group classes throughout Bandera County. In her free time, Anna can be found quilting, tending to her vegetable garden or hanging out with her pygmy goats.
Anna is delighted to be able to bring her passion and expertise to Warrior’s Heart and serve the men and women who have and are serving our country.
Annette T. Hill
MC, LPC, NCC
Annette Hill is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and EMDR Certified Therapist. She has a private practice in Scottsdale. Annette has worked with children in the foster care system both as coordinator of the Life Book program with Arizona’s Children Association and later as a therapist in Devereaux, Arizona. Out of these experiences, she created a “turn-key” curriculum, called The Journey of Me, to train foster care agencies in how to create and sustain their own Life Book program.
Annette has 10 years of experience working as a dual diagnosis therapist in residential treatment settings, including The Meadows, and eight years with The Sundance Center.
Though Annette treats patients with a variety of diagnoses, she specializes in the treatment of trauma. She works with Veterans both in her private practice, as well as through a 27-year-old non-profit program called Operation Freedom Bird as a volunteer therapist and board member. Operation Freedom Bird takes Arizona combat vets from all wars to Washington, D.C. on a four-day Healing Journey each year over the Veterans Day holiday.
Annette is also a Gold Star Mother. Her son, Adam Hill Gibson, served two tours in Iraq. He passed way as a result of symptoms of PTSD in 2009.
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
Clinical Team Lead
Vonnie Nealon is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and Certified Anger Resolution Counselor. She has a passion for working with those with the disease of chemical dependency, due in part to her own struggle with drugs and alcohol. She has been in recovery since 1987 and has worked as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor since 2002.
Vonnie initially began working in the chemical dependency field as a nurse for Serenity House of Abilene, while working as a nurse she returned to college to pursue her counselor’s license. Vonnie has taught chemical dependency classes for Cisco Junior College helping others to become counselors. Vonnie has worked in all types of chemical dependency treatment facilities ranging from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to inpatient facilities including La Hacienda for five years as the relapse track counselor, Origins Recovery Center South Padre Island as the Director of Clinical Services. She has also worked in outpatient programs including Archway Recovery Center Intensive Outpatient Program where she served not only as a counselor but also as the Clinical Director.
Due to Vonnie’s family’s deep love for this country she is very familiar with the demands and stressors of military life as many of her family members are either serving or have served in the Armed Services including her husband who is retired Air Force and her son who served in the Army.
MSgt, USAF, (Ret.), Licensed Professional Counselor
Alisa Brzek is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who spent 22 years in active duty service to her country. She spent 18 years of her active duty service as a Human Resources specialist. She then stepped out of her human resources role and held a one-year position in Air Base Wing protocol while stationed at Lajes Field in the Azores.
Additionally, Alisa served for three years as a First Sergeant for both Security Forces and Aircraft Maintenance at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a First Sergeant, she interacted with military personnel regarding their personal concerns, including marital, financial, and mental health issues. In this role, Alisa became a crisis incident expert, which involved her dealing with 8 deaths involving military personnel (including suicide, murder, and infant death). Alisa was also directly involved in mediating interpersonal violence, drunk driving charges, and many other difficult issues.
During her time as a First Sergeant, Alisa recognized her passion for counseling and helping others. In 2013 she completed her Masters Degree in Counseling and Guidance at the Texas A&M University San Antonio campus. After graduating Alisa worked at Seguin Family Institute in Seguin, Texas, where she gained experience working with families affected by sex and violent offenses.
Alisa also counseled clients at Laurel Ridge Treatment Center in San Antonio, Texas. At Laurel Ridge, Alisa worked with active duty military members who suffered from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to working with military personnel, she also counseled clients who experienced acute mental health disorders and drug and alcohol addiction.
Alisa has empathy for first responders, and she believes that it is critically important to help those whose job it is to help everyone else first.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Psychology and Health, Physical Education, & Recreation were Tricia’s majors at Southern College. She found a sense of fulfillment in helping people live life to the fullest by providing support, guidance, and hope.
Tricia has a Masters of Science (MS) in Clinical Psychology from Abilene Christian University in 1996. Her career choices often involved a combination of recreation and non-traditional counseling working as a team supervisor.
Tricia started working towards becoming a fully licensed Counselor (LPC) interning in various counseling modalities discovering a passion for providing motivation and help for people struggling with alcohol and drug abuse.
Tricia has a passion for animals and works with Warriors Heart’s K9 program. As a masters level LPC, Tricia has committed her life to being an objective, compassionate and caring in assisting warriors find and hone their strengths.
Licensed Professional Counselor
My name is Tim Pharo. I am a veteran and Licensed Professional Counselor. I grew up in Texas. I am the 2nd of 7 children. I found my niche growing up playing organized sports running track, boxing, and football and more recently Brazilian jiu-jitsu. As I completed high school, my goal was to continue pursuing my education and football in college and I chose Hardin-Simmons University from 1997-2000. I ended up finishing my degree in August of 2002. I soon enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2003 as a 91Whiskey (medic).
My time in the military was cut short due to a prior existing injury and I was medically discharged after almost 2 years of my initial enlistment. I remember thinking, “what is next for me? “ It was not acceptable to just wallow in circumstances out of my control. I decided to head back to school and further my education. I started a Masters program in Counseling Psychology at Hardin-Simmons and completed the program in December 2005. I then went to work at Serenity House in Abilene, Texas as a clinician working with those suffering from addiction. In the past 12 years I have worked in two different residential treatment facilities in Texas, 3 years in a maximum-security prison and 5 years in a hospital setting helping those suffering from mental illnesses. In all the different settings my calling is addiction and veterans/first responders.
I am deeply proud to be an American and having an opportunity to live and learn in a free country as well as having an opportunity to serve as a military member. It is my honor to serve and give what I can to help the ones who put it on the line everyday for my family and me. I am married to my life partner Angelica and we are blessed with 3 young children with a black lab named Hurley!
My name is Joanne Snyder. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and I am EMDR trained. I have a Master in Science in Counseling from The University of North Texas and I have worked in substance abuse counseling with individuals and families since 2012. I am passionate about walking along side of others who are hurting and who desire to work the 12 steps and journey through their own history of trauma to create hope and positive beliefs about themselves and their recovery.
Cecilia “Cee” Bueno
PhD, LMFT A (TX #202774), LCDC #35134, LMFT (CA #89841)
Dr. Cecilia “Cee” Bueno is the founder of Bueno’s Neurocoaching LLC, which offers an integrative approach to combining mind/body therapies for those seeking a holistic approach towards psychophysiological healing. As the founder of Bueno’s Neurocoaching, Cee provides psychoeducation and conducts individual and group psychotherapy. She is passionate about helping others achieve their goals towards experiencing optimal psychological health and her areas of expertise include developmental trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, stress reduction, emotional regulation, and effective communication patterns.
In addition to serving in the trauma recovery community, she continues to maintain her license as a marriage and family therapist in the state of CA, and LMFTA here in Texas (her home state). Prior to that, her experience includes: Hospice counselor, psychotherapist, drug diversion counselor, rape crisis counselor, and motivational speaker at a women’s correctional facility. Her areas of specialization include: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), developmental disorders (i.e. early childhood trauma), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and spiritual direction.
She is passionate about assisting her patients and their families in establishing an emotionally and physically secure environment which can then aid in the development of greater social, emotional and spiritual intelligence within the entire family support structure.
PH.D. Somatic Depth Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute (*not a licensed psychologist)
M.A. in Depth Psychology/Somatic Studies, Pacifica Graduate Institute
M.A. in Marriage Family Therapy, Chapman University
B.A. in Addiction Studies, Bethany College
A.A. in Business, Saddleback College
Certified rape crisis counselor
I grew up in Odessa, Texas and the surrounding areas. From there, I graduated from Odessa High and moved to New York before attending school for computer programming. I joined the US Navy in 1970 and went to basic before training in San Diego and Vallejo. I received an honorable discharge on July 22, 1972. From there I got married and my wife gave birth to my daughter during this time. After struggling with my addiction for years I got sober on January 6, 1984 in 12 step programs, most notably PDAP. I went to work in this field soon after and have continued to be a part of the recovery movement.
I am an LCDC #2590 (License Chemical Dependency Counselor), CCS #1, 0032R1095 (Certified Clinical Supervisor), NCACII #002524 (National Certified Addiction Counselor), ADCIII #15018Ro795 Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor), AADC (Advance Alcohol and Drug Counselor), CCJP #11660905 (Certified Criminal Justice Professional). I have had the privilege to serve on several board and volunteer committees including TAAP, And TCBAP.
I have also worked in the non-profit and for profit areas with youth, families and adults struggling with the problems of addiction. I have been trained in non-violent crisis intervention and developing capable young people. I enjoy the challenges of this work and the individuals I work with and the client that are seeking help with the problems of addiction.
Born in Santa Anna California to a military family, Elizabeth quickly moved to San Antonio Texas where she grew up and attended high school at MacArthur High, after graduating she met her husband and relocated to Bandera where her husband lived. Elizabeth and her husband, with their 3 daughters built a small horse farm, currently showing and raising these beautiful animals.
Elizabeth has over 30 years experience in the medical field with 25 years of behavioral health. Elizabeth started her own small business 25 years ago. Today she is blessed with 2 granddaughters and hopes for many more.
At 19, Justin enlisted in the United States Air Force, during his 20 years of service he held a variety of different jobs, everything from Cook to Combat Readiness Instructor. His most taxing job, however, would be when he was assigned as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Mortuary Affairs.
In late 2012 Justin decided to share his story in the book, “And Then I Cried, Stories of a Mortuary NCO”. His hope was that his story could help others struggling with PTSD. In 2013 Justin was Medically Retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service. Justin continued his advocacy and worked with The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program where he managed the Ambassador Program. He was responsible for teaching seriously injured or ill Airman how to tell and share their stories of recovery with audience’s worldwide.
Justin is also an accomplished artist and his paintings can be seen hanging in the Pentagon. His book continues to help others who are struggling and he continues his advocacy coming to Warriors Heart excited to start his next chapter helping warriors find treatment.
Kiely was born and raised in Odessa, TX and comes from a loving family. When she was twelve years old, she had her first experience with drugs and alcohol. For the next thirteen years she struggled with addiction and alcoholism among other trials and low spots. Kiely moved to the Texas Hill Country in April of 2013 and sought help for her addiction.
At three months sober, Kiely and some friends were swimming on a hot summer day and she wanted to jump off a 50 ft cliff into the water. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the river, breaking 14 bones. Kiely survived the accident and eventually lost both of her legs. Now at five years sober, she is an inspiration to many for not only staying sober through thirty surgeries, but for also not giving up on herself.
Presently, she is in school with the goal of becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and enjoys crossFit, swimming, and conquering things she never thought she would be able to do again. Kiely is an overcomer and continues to inspire and help those in need of a solution to their addictions.
Michael R. O’Dell
Michael R O’Dell was born and raised in the heart of the hill country. During his youth Michael stayed outside. He loved playing baseball with his brothers and skateboarding with his friends. At the age of 19 Michael left his family and the hill country behind to become a United States Marine. During his service to our country Michael was stationed in Hawaii and attached to 3rd battalion 3rd Marine AKA Americas Battalion. His unit quickly deployed and continuously rotated in and out of theater.
CPL O’Dell was a part of and involved with multiple missions which were mostly executed at night. Training the Iraqi Army as well as maintaining a high level of readiness in the battalion’s motor pool. CPL O’Dell was recognized for promotion and multiple awards for his performance and dedication to the corps and was honorably discharged from service in November of 2010.
Shortly after Michael’s return home to the Texas hill country, the struggle with addiction and PTSD began to take control of his life. As a Marine Michael, would refuse to admit to his problems. Michael continued to suffer from his addiction until it landed him in prison.
Michael has been sober since March 2016 and has dedicated himself to helping the warrior class make the crucial decision to choose life and finally return home.
Chaplain / Outreach Coordinator
Mark S. Caronna is a native of Houston, Texas having graduated high school in 1980 and then attended Sam Houston State University until leaving during his junior year to enter the Houston Police Training Academy in December 1982. Mark retired honorably from HPD in 2011 having worked patrol, Special Operations / Special Response Group, Training, and Narcotics Divisions.
Mark was ordained to the ministry in 2007 and in 2012 was certified as a Crisis Chaplain through Crisis Chaplaincy Care in Temple, Texas. Mark holds a Master of Science degree, and is certified in Peer Support through the Regional Counter Drug Training Academy Meridian Mississippi.
Mark has experience in equine therapy and has served as a patrol chaplain with both the Harris Country, and Kerr County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as a hospital chaplain through the Pastoral Care Ministry of the North Cypress Medical Center, Cypress Texas.
Mark has been married to his wife Teresa for 35 years. They have 3 grown children.
Don is a person in long term recovery from many years of an alcohol addiction. He is the father of two amazing children, a husband and has an unparalleled passion for helping others to achieve their dreams and goals in order to excel in life and prosper.
He has been instrumental in opening a select few recovery related businesses and organizations such as co-founded a first responder specific treatment facility that was exclusive to public safety professionals, opened a hair salon in Delray Beach, Florida which hired stylists in recovery and gave them a new start in a safe working environment and most recently started a recovery coaching and intervention practice that has grown to reach those in need from coast to coast.
As a coach he functions as a guide to those newly sober, returning after a relapse, or any individual looking for a steady guide to keep their life on track in sobriety. Depending on each individuals’ needs he will meet weekly or several times per week to work on a variety of sobriety-related issues.
Also certified as an interventionist he is the individual who helps identify the appropriate people in an addict’s life who become an influential part of a “recovery team”. The team will enable the individual to accept treatment and recovery. The interventionist supports, educates, and provides guidance, direction and training, as well as the facilitation of the intervention and aftercare.
Don can provide Safe Passage Transport which assists with transitioning a client from home after an alcohol or drug addiction intervention, hospital, court or even jail to a treatment center. This can be by far one of the most difficult and challenging times for the client and their family. Clients are faced with the known risks of carrying their personal medications; passing by airport bars, long periods of travel time and delays, which cause stress and anxiety. By providing a confidential and experienced companion these risky situations are mitigated with proper supervision.
Additionally Don also works as a Peer Support Specialist which is a person who has progressed in their own recovery from alcohol or other drug abuse and is willing to self-identify as a peer and work to assist other individuals with chemical dependency.
He also served for sixteen years as a firefighter and officer for a large fire department on eastern Long Island and progressed to the rank of Chief before moving to South Florida. Don served for a short time at the World Trade center site in the aftermath of 911 and continues to assist other responders to get the help they may need with addiction, PTSD and other job related issues.
Don has worked with and continues to work with such agencies as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, FDNY, NYPD and other public safety agencies both large and small.
Client Relations Team Lead
Misty Anthony was born and raised in the heart of Bandera, Texas! Prior to working at Warriors Heart, Misty worked for Purple Sage Ranch Resort and Conference Center. She served as a lead Guest Attendant for 5 ½ years. Misty would oversee all aspects of guest service, meal service/flow, cooperate meeting service, and the overall needs of the guest staying at the Ranch.
Misty continues to be in service to others and works in the Client Relations department for Warriors Heart. She is a concierge of sorts for the Warriors coming in for treatment. With 10 years of customer service behind her she is able to zero in on the needs of her clients very well.
We are honored to have Misty on the front lines serving our Warriors.
Misty and her husband Russell met High School and have been inseparable since 2004. They have their hands full raising their incredible young son.
I was born in San Diego Texas. I was raised on a ranch with my 5 siblings, one which is my twin brother Enrique. I graduated from high school in Cotulla Texas. I served in 3 branches of the military. US Marine Corps 1977-1981, US Army National Guard 1991-2003, and the US Air Force Reserve 2003-2008 and retired after 20 years of service. Having been in three branches of the military, I have been on the ground as an Infantryman; to being a gunner in the M1 A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle; to refueling the C5 Galaxy and various fighter aircraft. I was deployed twice for Operation Noble Eagle (stateside) and Operation Enduring Freedom (overseas).
I started my LE career with my hometown Sheriff Department in 1992 as a Jailer. I went on to work for TDCJ-ID at two prisons, one Maximum Security and one Medium security. I worked for 1 private prison, Wackenhut Corrections and was on the CERT team (Correctional Emergency Response Team). I received an award for re-writing the Proper Wear of the BDU Uniform in the Correctional Officers Handbook, using the Army’s AR 670-1 Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia. I was also awarded numerous times for finding contraband (drugs) inside the facility.
I was a Drill Instructor at a juvenile (female) Boot Camp. While employed there I trained the female residents in Drill and Ceremony which they marched in a parade for the County Fair and won First Place.
While a Reservist in Colorado I was employed with Department of Defense as a SRT Entry team Shield Man and attended Police Sniper School. I also served as FTO and trained new hires and was an Instructor during annual refresher training and Weapons Instructor for weapons qualification.
Upon my resigning from DoD, my wife Mari and I decided to leave the snow and return to South Texas to live in Bandera. We have been married for 6 years.
Born and raised in Houston, TX, Sadie is now a grateful, full-time resident of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. While she remains a proud Houstonian at heart, she is excited to have traded big city congestion for the scenic beauty and peaceful pace of Hill Country living. After high school Sadie set off for the University of Colorado in Boulder where she studied Communications. It was during these years that she gained first hand experience of the horrors of addiction and the destructive nature of living with untreated alcoholism. After transferring to a smaller university back in Houston, she was able to finish her degree and redirect her focus to a healthier way of living.
Sadie believes the key component in freedom from addiction is acceptance. Not until she fully accepted her alcoholism was she able to take a look at her life and say, “Ok, I have this problem, it’s not going away, what do I need to do about it?” She is committed to living a sober lifestyle and is thrilled to be working in a field where she can encourage individuals who face similar struggles. She is in great admiration of the men and women who so selflessly serve this great country and feels incredibly blessed to have joined the team at Warriors Heart where she is able to witness the return to health of these brave individuals. Sadie has hopes of going back to school and furthering her education. She is excited and hopeful about the future – a future made possible through the beautiful gift of sobriety.
Bruce Mitschelen was born in in the early 1960’s in rural Indiana. Some of his influences were the music of the time and sports. Both his parents were teachers and always let him know the importance of education. His biggest influence was food. He loved being in the kitchen and learning about cooking and baking. He found himself at one of his extended families’ home almost every weekend, with aunts and uncles, cousins and his brother and 3 sisters, and of course his grandparents. Food was the way they expressed love. Food was always involved.
After his sophomore year in high school, the family moved to the Rio Grande Valley. The cultural shock was quite a hurdle to overcome, but sports, especially football helped ease the move to a positive situation. During his senior year, he decided to join the USMC after he would graduate.
His training took him from San Diego Ca., to Millington Tn., to Santa Ana Ca., to Jacksonville NC. With an aviation MOS, The Marines forged an ideal that are still part of his life today. Upon leaving the Marines in 1982, Bruce started his civilian life pursuing a life in foodservice. For 35 years he has managed or owned restaurants from Chicago to Shreveport La., to Dallas.
He found a real life changing event when he met his wife Dorothy in 2012 and were married in the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels in September of that year. Between the 2 of them they have 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. In 2016, they moved to Bandera Texas and found their forever home. Both are active in the Ridin The River Cowboy Fellowship. Bruce heard about Warriors Heart and thought he finally found a way to once again serve those who serve our country.
Rebekah was born on a dark and stormy night. It was the middle of May in the year of our Lord 1982. Rebekah’s mother wanted a son, but none the less, she had a girl. He changed from Timothy to Rebekah. Rebekah grew up in a quaint little town in South Carolina. Her mother was an immigrant from Eastern Europe and her father was a natural born Yankee. He moved to the South as soon as he could. She had a private education growing up. She was exposed to Shakespeare and Opera at a very young age and fell in love with the stage. Her dream one day is to play Lady Macbeth, but alas, some dreams are meant to be just that. Rebekah grew up skateboarding, snowboarding, acting, and playing the violin. She went on mission trips to Britain, Canada, and Jamaica. After graduating the Academy Rebekah pursued an education in Interpretative Speech through a local University. While at the University, one morning she awoke to the radio saying that a plane had just flown into the Twin Towers, and then another. Her world, as in so many others, crumbled. She has always had a passion for people. So many people were hurting, and she did not know how to fix it. Rebekah decided that day that she would join the finest fighting force America has to offer. Rebekah joined the United States Marines. Her dreams did not matter anymore. Her life goals seemed insignificant. A Nation was hurting, and she had to do something.
Rebekah married that same year to a Marine. They are going on 16 years of marriage. Life has been pretty hectic. After the Marine Corps she decided to pursue an education in art. Rebekah majored in photography, and her passion for people became a focus to document them through my medium of choice. There is something about meeting someone, and then photographing them. It is both intimate and powerful. Due to the Marine Corps they moved around a lot. Rebekah has lived in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, and then finally back to Texas. Her time was split between being a Marine and being a wife of a Marine. When her husband’s time was up they decided to settle in the great Republic of Texas.
Rebekah and her husband along with their three kids decided to buy a little slice of paradise. They purchased 30 acres of land just outside of Bandera, and built their house. They built the house together, Just like family they built one little piece at a time. Rebekah and her family have 20 goats, chickens, two horses, four dogs, and one cow. During this time, Rebekah and her husband decided to further their education. They both earned a Masters of Business in Administration. While obtaining their degrees, Rebekah and her husband wrote a business plan on aquaponics farming. Their dream is to one day grow their own produce, and to have a self-sustaining farm.
A Hill Country native, Gillian earned her BA in Psychology from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2007. She completed an internship in forensics, and later co-facilitated grief counseling groups in the Dallas suburbs. But she knew her heart to help people needed something more, and she subsequently completed an AAS in Mortuary Science in San Antonio. She re-launched to Houston, where she would practice as a funeral director and embalmer among some of the most richly-diverse cultures Texas has to offer.
Born and raised in San Antonio Texas. Dan graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Dan has an amazing gift for art and also serves as the in-house architect for Warriors Heart.
Dan has worked for various architecture firms in Austin and San Antonio, and throughout this time accomplished many design and graphic art projects. Later, Dan studied art under artist Stephen Fishwick, where he developed skills for caricature and airbrush art.
The man of many talents, Dan now chooses to work with the Warriors on the front line in Client Relations.
Dan is happily married to his life love, Deborah, and is proud to report a daily gratitude of giving Deborah a kiss every morning before heading to work.
Sarah Whitt grew up in Portland, TX, a small town off the Texas coast. She lives with her mother and was the middle child of 3 girls. She graduated from Gregory Portland High School in 2004 and attended Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX from 2004 to 2006. In March of 2010, she gave birth to her first daughter, Lexie. She moved to Pipe Creek in 2012 where she alter met her significant other, Shawn. In 2016 Sarah had her second daughter, August, who would be the fourth child in her blended family.
When she heard about Warriors Heart, Sarah knew she wanted to work there because of her own experience with addiction and recovery. Now established in her sobriety, it is the chance for her to give back by helping others. Sarah is super excited to be a team member at Warriors Heart, and looks forward to a bright future with her family!
USAF (Ret) Client Relations
Natalie served for 11.7 years in the Air Force as a Security Forces Leader. Her main expertise was Law Enforcement. Her career extended as a Sniper, top 10% Designated Marksman, Military Training Instructor for basic training, and a combat veteran with several deployments to include Iraq and Afghanistan.
Known as the Veteran Artist, Natalie enhanced an alternate way to escape her struggles with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after medical retirement. Her approach is by integrating experience and her passion of painting. Most importantly, her mission continues in assisting her comrades by introducing her method of coping through art. She is a strong advocate of the “22” suicide organizations and the veteran community.
(US Navy Ret) Executive Chef, Culinary
James’ career in the United States Navy began right out of high school and spanned a total of 20 years where he was not only enlisted as a Culinary Specialist (14 years) but also a Master-At-Arms (6 years).
During his service he was entrusted with many tasks such as serving as a Watch Commander, training several hundred service members through Anti Terrorism force Protection protocol and unarmed self-defense.
James was even a part of the Presidential Food Service Security at the White House. While stationed there, he had the privilege of cooking for and serving President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. When he retired, James wanted to continue working in the field that he loved so he continued along his path in the food service industry, which brought him to his current position as Executive Chef at Warriors Heart.
Described as “a man who loves food,” John knew it was his calling to become a chef. John began his career in the culinary industry in 2009 while working at The Towers on Park Lane. John had the opportunity to serve the independent living community and gain exposure into cooking for a large number of individuals by serving high class meals. John then had the opportunity to continue his career as a chef at Air Force Villages in San Antonio.
In 2014, John and his family moved to Bandera where he began cooking alongside Executive Chef, James Moore. Since this time, John was able to expand on his cooking abilities and allowed to assist in creation of the menus and showcasing his culinary expertise both formerly at the Purple Sage Ranch and Rancho Cortez.
His mission is to continue to deliver exceptional quality meals to those who have served our country as the Sous Chef at Warriors Heart. He is honored to be a part of the Warriors Heart team.
John was born in Roswell, NM and moved to Medina, TX at the age of 8. He met his wife, Randi in high school and they married in 2011. In 2008, John and Randi were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Raeleigh. John continues to be very active in his volunteer events throughout the Bandera community by assisting in coaching his daughter’s activities.
Kay-Lyn was born in California to a Marine and a Rodeo Queen. The family settled in the Santa Ynez Valley where they ran a successful hay and livestock business. Kay-Lyn participated in FFA and rodeo through high school. Central Arizona College offered her a Rodeo Scholarship and while there she won the Grand Canyon Region All-Around Cowgirl honor. In 1998 Kay-Lyn moved to Bandera to be closer to her Mom who had relocated after her fathers death.
Kay-Lyn has always had a love for cooking and learned most of her skills working in different restaurants. She was the head chef at Sistercreek Ranch for several years before moving to the grocery business, a decision influenced by her sobriety. When the job at Warriors Heart came along, she took that as a sign to get back in the kitchen.
Kay-Lyn shares her life with her partner Vince, also an amazing chef, and their daughters Jolee and Sierra. She is an active volunteer at the Kendall County Women’s Shelter.
Lisa moved to Bandera, Texas from Wisconsin in 1995. One of Lisa’s passions has been involved with fund raising for over 25 years. In 2013 she co-founded the Longhorn Charity Events. They began with the Longhorn Golf Tournament benefiting Meals on Wheels, and hopes to expand assisting additional charitable companies in the area.
In 2010 she started working at the Purple Sage Ranch Resort and Conference Center, which is now the home of Warriors Heart! Lisa maintains a very high standard of cleanliness and environment of care as her main priority, but also assists in customer service when needed.
Lisa truly enjoys working with the team here at Warriors Heart. Some she has known for years and others she has gotten to known, but she can honestly say we are all family.
Lisa has 3 amazing daughters. She was blessed with her first grandson in 2011. To her there is no greater joy than family! She has grown to love country music AND even learned how to 2 step … yee-haw!
I was born in Wisconsin but spent most of my youth in Texas. I lived in Seattle with my husband for a year until we moved back, and I’ve been in Texas ever since. I love the outdoors, playing with my two dogs, and watching British television. I do not like raisins in my cookies.
Donna L Foster
Registered Yoga Instructor
Born and raised in the fertile Central Valley and later in Northern California, Donna always valued the great outdoors as well as proper nutrition and exercise.This has led her to a lifestyle that emphasized fitness, volunteer work as a Missionary in several countries, acupressure, aromatherapy, massage therapy,aerobics, and Yoga.
In her early adult development, she became certified in Aerobics Instruction with AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) teaching at the YMCA. Later, she received Certification in Acupressure/Massage Therapy from the Berkeley Acupressure Institute. During these years, she served as a Missionary in areas like Ecuador, and West Africa, where she fulfilled her calling to enhance the lives of those in need.
Having practiced Yoga and Meditation for over 15 years, Donna became a Registered Yoga Instructor through AC Power Yoga of San Antonio. She is currently the owner of Downriver Yoga in Bandera, Texas. Married to husband Scott and the mother of Savanna, in middle school, as well as three older step-children, one of which is currently serving in the US Navy.
Donna loves horseback riding and enjoys the lifestyle of the Texas Hill Country.
Inspired by America’s call to action after the events of 9/11, JD left a promising career and a recently pregnant wife to enlist in the US Army. Mr. Potynsky served in the US Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group Ft. Bragg, NC. His combat experience includes multiple combat deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan. He has trained and led the Iraqi Special Forces and Afghan Commandos in combat. Mr. Potynsky’s real world experience includes planning, advising, and leading unilateral and joint force assaults, combat patrols, and reconnaissance missions.
After leaving the Army, JD held several Defense Contracting leadership positions in War Zones, including Security Program Director of a 250 man Private Security Force and Country Manager of Baghdad, Iraq. In 2011, he founded his first entrepreneurial venture, Northern Red LLC, a defense contracting company providing training and security services to both the public and private sector. While continuing to grow his current venture, Mr. Potynsky remains actively involved in the community mentoring veterans who are transitioning to civilian life and fund raising for veteran non-profit Elderheart.
Mr. Potynsky earned a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2000.
Mr. Wilson is considered one of the world’s leading experts in uncovering the scientific bases of how we learn and change behavior. He is also the author of the soon to be published book Cracking the Learning Code, the culmination of over 30 years of scientific research into how to accelerate the speed of learning and the rate of behavioral change.
He has suffered from, and overcome, PTSD. In addition, he has successfully developed the country’s only holistic drug and rehabilitation center, accredited by the Joint Hospital Commission. During JW’s tenure, JHC was ranked among the top 10% of all such treatment centers nationwide by the Commission.
JW has practiced meditation for over 30 years. JW has developed and managed many businesses, including corporate training firms serving Fortune 500 clients such as IBM, Kodak and AT&T. In the 1990’s, JW was president of one of the world’s leading accelerated learning companies. He has owned the largest magazine marketing development firm in the Pacific region, developed the country’s only holistic treatment center, was a 23 founder of Convention Television (www.ctvnational.com) and has produced over 200 TV shows and commercials.
The innovative Learning Code research is now being used to create the first school system in the world totally based on neuroscience. It’s used by organizations including the country’s largest employer organization, and the group that implements leadership training for NASA, The UN and the National Institutes of Health. JW’s research is also the impetus for a major African nation to base all of its future learning platforms on neuroscience. In addition, Mr. Wilson has developed over 20 start-ups. His diverse background has placed him in Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
JW’s passion, which he calls his crusade, is to bring this essential knowledge to the world.
TC Cummings brings a unique, common sense approach for lasting personal empowerment. Like the yin and yang model, Cummings combines a multifaceted approach with the singular most common denominator to the world’s most universal battlefield: the battle within.
In 1986 TC enlisted in the US Navy, was trained as a Hospital Corpsman and US Navy SEAL where he deployed three times in war time conditions. Decorated on multiple accounts, he was honorably discharged from service in 1994.
Having been a teacher, a trainer, and a confidant to some of the world’s mightiest warriors (and biggest egos) prepared TC Cummings to provide the same services in the civilian sector. Often turning to the journals he kept since childhood and through his career as a SEAL Operator, he effectively translated the mental tools learned for success, proven under fire and easily remembered, to business owners, executives, and staffing.
Refining his skills further, he became a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a Certified Hypnotherapist, and a Time-Line Therapist to better understand people. He brought his leadership experience and commitment level to “the chairman of public speaking” Mr. Jim Rohn. For eight years, TC Cummings served as the first and only Master Coach of the highly revered Jim Rohn International.
TC Cummings has been on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, America’s #1 watched morning news show Fox & Friends, and various radio interviews. His clients vary from small business owners to mega-employers at home and abroad. All clients have a common the desire to do what they have to do today so they can be where they want to be tomorrow.
Liz Kelly founded Goody PR to magnify brands, experts, and causes making an impact through Marketing, PR, Social Media, and Cause Marketing services. After working for Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, Paramount Pictures, and Sprint PCS, she decided to use her marketing experience for GOOD.
As a published author with 500+ media interviews and Goody Awards Founder, her passion is partnering with social impact companies to develop and promote their story. Goody PR clients are primarily in the health, finance, tech, entertainment and cause marketing space.
Recent interviews have included stories for Fox News, CBS News, ABC News Radio, USA TODAY, Investor’s Business Daily, The Atlantic, Closer Magazine, Fit Nation Magazine and Nonprofit Business Advisor. Liz is especially excited to work with Josh and Lisa Lannon and Tom Spooner on Warriors Heart, and previously did PR for Journey Healing Centers until it was acquired.
Liz recently joined the Hollywood 43 Post The American Legion as an Auxiliary Family Member. Her grandfather served in World War II in the United States Coast Guard, and her aunt Katherine also served in the Red Cross during World War II in Europe and the Pacific Theater.