Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV)
Clara L. Adams-Ender General (Retired), U.S. Army
Brigadier General Clara L. Adams-Ender is President and Chief Executive Officer of Caring About People with Enthusiasm (CAPE) Associates, Inc., a management consulting and inspirational speaking firm. She received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina; a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She has also been awarded twelve honorary doctorate degrees in law, public service, humane letters and science.
General Adams-Ender rose from a staff nurse in the Army Nurse Corps to become chief executive officer for 22,000 nurses, a Brigadier General and Director of Personnel for the Army Surgeon General. She was Vice President for Nursing at the prestigious Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and was the first female in the Army to be awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge. She also commanded an army post, a position equivalent to city manager, magistrate and mayor of a city.
General Adams-Ender is a past Chair, Board of Directors, Andrews Federal Credit Union, and a former member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). She was recently selected as Chair, Board of Directors, THE ROCKS, INC., and appointed to the Board of Medicine of the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has received many awards for her community service, including the Roy Wilkins Meritorious Service Award of the NAACP, the Regents Distinguished Graduate Award of the University of Minnesota and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Black Nurses Association. General Adams-Ender resides in Virginia.
Brigadier General Tom L. Daniels, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
General Daniels began his military in 1965 when he enlisted in the Air Force. He served combat tours in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. In addition to his combat tours in Vietnam, he served in a humanitarian mission in Vietnam and Laos. General Daniels military experience includes serving as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Oklahoma National Guard; Executive Officer to The Adjutant General (TAG), Nebraska National Guard, and Director of Personnel Policy for the office of the Secretary of Defense .
General Daniels is a tireless advocate for the equitable treatment of Veterans at the state and federal level. He is a strong supporter of Junior ROTC programs in Fort Worth school system as well as promoting aerospace and aviation opportunities for minorities.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Central State University and his Masters degree from Troy State University. He is also a graduate of the Personnel Officer Course, Air Command and Staff College, Air Force War College, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. General Daniels resides in Texas.
Petty Officer First Class Elisandro (Alex) T. Diaz, U.S. Navy (Reserve)
Mr. Diaz has served thirteen years in the United States Navy Reserve as a Combat Photographer. He has served two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is currently the founder, editor and publisher of “The Orange County (OC) Sentinel” magazine and owner of Alex Diaz Productions. The OC Sentinel disseminates information on benefits, resources and events relevant to Veterans, active duty military members, their families, civic leaders and the community at large.
Mr. Diaz has over 14 years of professional experience as a mortgage office and real estate agent. He currently serves on the board of the Orange County Home Ownership Prevention Collaborative; with an emphasis on helping Veterans preserve their homes.
In addition, Mr. Diaz currently serves as the Commander of the American GI Forum’s Rudy Escalante Chapter. He has played an active role in several Veteran events in his community to include: serving as the Public Affairs Officer for the Inaugural Orange County Homeless Veterans Stand Down; organizing committee-member for the Moving Wall’s visit to Garden Grove, California; and facilitated a Veterans Conference at Santa Ana College. Mr. Diaz resides in California.
Thanh (Tino) N. Dinh, Captain, U.S. Air Force
Mr. Dinh currently serves as Senior Consultant and Chief Operating Officer for the Odin Group. The Odin Group is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and certified Minority Business Enterprise that specializes in management consulting and technology services. In this capacity, Mr. Dinh was responsible for co-authoring a long term strategic plan for VA’s Veterans Benefit Administration that focused on new initiatives designed to transform the existing VA claims processing operation. Prior to his employment with the Odin Group, Mr. Dinh served as a consultant with BearingPoint, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Computer Sciences Corporation.
Mr. Dinh served a as a Coalition Liaison Officer to Iraqi Military Headquarters. His responsibilities include advising three NATO delegations and U.S. State Department on security challenges of Iraqi staff. While deployed to in the Republic of South Korea, Mr. Dinh improved the traditional methods of reporting targets between the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and Republic of South Korea Air Force Units. In addition, Mr. Dinh served as the sole ROTC recruiter or Houston, Texas, awarding more than $500,000 in scholarships.
Mr. Dinh is a tireless advocate for Veterans. He is active in several Veterans Service Organizations to include Japanese American Veterans Association, Vietnamese American Armed Force Association, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Air Force Academy Society of Washington, DC. He has played an integral role in planning and organizing Veteran events to include the Third Annual Vietnamese American Armed Forces Association Fallen Heroes Scholarship. In addition to his outreach to the Veteran community, Mr. Dinh also serves as a volunteered teacher at Radford High School for the Pacific and Asian Affairs and serves as the economic Development co-chair for the Vietnamese American Leadership Summit.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Area Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia. Mr. Dinh resides in Virginia.
* Oscar B. Hilman, Brigadier General (Retired), U.S. Army
Brigadier General Oscar Bautista Hilman (Retired) was born in the Republic of Philippines. He graduated from Central Washington University, and he received his Masters of Science Degree in Strategic Science from the United States Army War College. He received his commission through the Officer Candidate School in 1977. He was a Sergeant First Class (E-7) when he received his commissioned. His military education includes Armor Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Services Staff Course, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Tank Commander
Course, Total Quality Awareness Course, United States Army War College and a number of Logistics, Contracting, Procurement, Internal Review, Comptroller, and Resource Management Courses. He served as Commander of the 81st Brigade Combat Team in support of Iraqi Freedom II, and retired as Deputy Commanding General, I Corps and Fort Lewis.
His awards and decorations include: Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Brigadier General Hilman is the 2010 recipient of the Outstanding American by Choice Award. An initiative which highlights the importance of citizenship rights and responsibilities through recognition of the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens.
He is the president of the Filipino Community Alliance of Pierce County and a member of numerous military and veteran’s organizations like Pan Pacific American Leadership and Mentoring (PPALM) and American Coalition for Filipino Veterans (ACFV).
In 2012, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Minority Veterans.
Brigadier General Hilman resides in Tacoma, Washington with his wife Patty.
Staff Sergeant Harold Hunt, U.S. Army
Mr. Hunt served over nine years in U.S. Army as Light Infantryman. He was awarded the Purple Heart for military merit while serving in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Republic of South Vietnam. Mr. Hunt served as the Veteran Service Officer for Robeson County, North Carolina. In addition, he has served as a Service Officer for the National American Indians Veterans, Inc.
Mr. Hunt has served as Post and District Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Past Chief of Staff Military Order of the Purple Heart State of North Carolina, and a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Lumbee Warriors Association, and National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. Mr. Hunt currently volunteers as the Veterans Service Officer and Director of Veterans Affairs for the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina. He resides in North Carolina.
Colonel Raymond Jardine, Jr., DBA, U.S. Army (Retired)
Dr. Jardine enlisted in the Army in 1971 and retired as a Colonel in December 2003. He was branch qualified in Infantry, Artillery, Military Intelligence, Quartermaster, Aviation, Military Police, with functional area expertise in Aviation Logistics, Operations, Plans and Training, Maintenance Test Pilot and a Master Fitness Trainer.
During his distinguish military career, Dr. Jardine has served as the Commander, Ground Forces Component Command, Hawaii Airport Security Mission and Force Protection of Critical Infrastructures for the State of Hawaii and as the Deputy Commander, 29th Enhanced Separate Infantry Brigade (Light), leading this brigade from the worst combat brigade in the nation to #1 in readiness in 2003. He has received innumerable medals, awards and honors for his long distinguish service to his country and state. In 2005, Dr. Jardine was awarded the highest civilian award from the National Guard Association of the United States, the Patrick Henry Award.
Dr. Jardine’s professional experience includes owning and operating Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC, which provides a wide variety of services to include homeland security, emergency management, information technology, community relations, public outreach, and professional staff augmentation.
Dr. Jardine holds a Doctorate of Business Administration in Organization Leadership from University of Rockville, Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Master Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix Management, Public Administration from San Diego State University, Management from Chaminade University and an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Honolulu Community College. Dr. Jardine resides in Hawaii.
Senior Airman Sheila Mitchell, U.S. Air Force
Ms. Mitchell currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for Veterans at Your Service, LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in assisting Veteran’s in preparing claims for VA benefits. She has served as an Appeals Consultant/Veterans Claims Agent for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. In addition, Ms. Mitchell has served as a Benefits Counselor at Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training.
Ms. Mitchell served over nine years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, while on active duty she served as a Personnel Affairs Specialist and Military Affairs Supervisor. In this capacity, she supervised and trained five personnel in the administration of several military programs which included the Survivor Benefit Plan, Transition Assistance Program, the Family Support Center, the Air Force Aid Society, and Special Trophies and Awards. Ms. Mitchell was successful in developing a computer program to identify personnel with over 17 years of military service to automatically schedule a pre retirement counseling appointment.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina Central University. Ms. Mitchell resides in Virginia.
Benjamin C. Palacios, Command Sergeant Major, USA (Retired)
Command Sergeant Major Benjamin Palacios retired from the United State Army in May 2003 after serving for 32 years; He worked as the Vice President for Green Millennium Industries, Ltd., in Seoul, Korea. In November 2004, He joined the Anteon Corporations as a Business Development Manager for the Pacific region which covers the Republic of Korea, Guam, Japan, and Okinawa. In August 2007, Command Sergeant Major Palacios relocated back to Guam and opened his own consulting company. He assisted several companies to include COMARK, HNTB, CH2MHILL, and Kellogg Brown and Root and established their businesses on the island. He is an Associate Partner for Doran Capital Partners and opened and managed their office on Guam. He also served as an Advisor for POONGSAN Corporations and HK Industry, Ltd. In December 2009, Command Sergeant Major Palacios started working for Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) as an Assistant Vice President, Regional Account Manager for Guam and CNMI region.
He is a member of numerous professional organizations to include the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), the Noncommissioned Officer Association (NCOA), the AFCEA, and the Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM). Command Sergeant Major Palacios resides in Guam.
Celia Renteria Szelwach, DBA, USA
Dr. Szelwach is the founder and director of WOVEN Women Veterans Network, a global online community committed to helping women Veterans and their families successfully transition from military service. Formerly, she provided project management and technical leadership of public health projects focused on rural, women, and minority Veterans as program manager for a leading healthcare consulting and research company. As program manager, Dr. Szelwach worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau on several initiatives focused on improving access to and quality of care for Veterans. She has over 22 years of experience as an internal and external consultant guiding large-scale change, business partnerships, client and community relations, and organizational communications in industries such as Fortune 100 defense, Fortune 100 food and beverage, durable manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare, professional services, federal government, education, and non-profit.
As an officer and senior-rated parachutist in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Dr. Szelwach coordinated logistics requirements for the 18th Airborne Corps Emergency Operations Center during Desert Storm and managed logistical operations for two humanitarian service deployments in support of Hurricane Andrew disaster relief in Homestead, Florida and Haitian relief in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Szelwach was appointed by the VA Secretary to serve on the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She also completed a three-year term on the Bay Pines VA Medical Center’s Women Veterans Health Committee (WVHC) in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a one-year term on the WVHC for the Charles George VA Medical Center.
Dr. Szelwach is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional and teaches leadership ethics, strategic planning, and entrepreneurship for Montreat College. She holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MBA in International Trade from the University of Sarasota, and a Doctor of Business Administration in Management from Argosy University. In 2011, Dr. Szelwach served as primary investigator for “Transitioning to the Civilian Workforce: Issues Impacting the Reentry of Rural Women Veterans” published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Rural Social Sciences. She resides in North Carolina.
Marvin Trujillo, Jr., US Marine Corps
Mr. Trujillo is a Laguna Tribal Member who belongs to the Road Runner, Little Parrot, and Turkey Clans. He serves as the Tribal Veterans Service Officer for the Pueblo of Laguna and the Co-Chair of the All Indian Pueblo Council Veterans Committee.
Mr. Trujillo entered the United States Navy in 1993, and served four years as an Aviation Electronics Technician, Aviation Warfare Specialist 2nd Class Petty Officer. He specialized in the F-14 Tomcat Avionic and Radar Weapons Systems. Mr. Trujillo served multiple tours to the Persian Gulf with Fighter Squadron Eleven (VF-11) on board the USS Independence, USS Carl Vinson, and the USS John C. Stennis. He later entered the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC Unit and went to college at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2001, Mr. Trujillo graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Communication, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He later attended Flight Training at Naval Air Station Pensacola and Aviation Maintenance Officer School at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida. He served with Marine Air Wing Group 13 at Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. Mr. Trujillo was elected and served as the 2nd Lt Governor for the Pueblo of Laguna in 2009-2010. He served as a member of the Pueblo’s Energy Core Team for PNM, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, and New Mexico Gas Company.
Mr. Trujillo also served as the Ex-Officio to the Laguna Development Corporation, the Mid-Region Council of Government–Metropolitan Transportation Board, the New Mexico State–Tribal Collaboration and Communication Work Group for a Safer New Mexico, and was a member of the All Indian Pueblo Council. Mr. Trujillo resides in New Mexico.
* Denotes Chairman
** Denotes Vice Chairman