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Center for Minority Veterans (CMV)

 

Members of the ACMV

Nyamekye C. Anderson [African American]

Nyamekye Anderson is currently a Federal Agent with the Department of Energy.  He is also the Founder/Executive Director of the Veterans and Community Global, Inc.  He is responsible for the overall strategic and operational management of the Veterans and Community Global, Inc. staff, programs, expansion, and execution of this nonprofit’s mission.

Mr. Anderson served in the Marine Corps from 1995-2003.  He served in combat tours and participated in the Platoon Direct Action Raid on Safwan Hill, Iraq on March 21, 2003.  He received numerous medals to include:  Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal.

Mr. Anderson is an active member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and is a Veterans Advocacy Committee Member at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM.  He is also the President of the Veterans and Families of Central New Mexico Club at the Central New Mexico Community College.

Mr. Anderson has a Bachelor in Aviation and a Master’s in Business Administration.  He currently resides in Albuquerque, NM.

Phillip L. Billy [Native American]

Phillip L. Billy is the Director of the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Services.  He previously served as director of the Chickasaw Nation Purcell Area Office, Social Services.  Phillip’s passion is serving people to help them improve their quality of life thus, strengthening their community and the world.

Mr. Billy has collaborated with Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to serve Chickasaw Veterans and families, and is currently working to get his team accredited as Veterans Service Officers.  He oversees the services to be provided at the new 15,000sq.ft. Veterans Lodge that is in the final stages of construction.  He has worked with the architect and design firms to ensure the Veterans and their families are top priority in the design and furnishing of the lodge.  Once completed, the lodge will have two wings, one for services, and the other for Veterans to enjoy the camaraderie of other Veterans in a comfortable environment.  The lodge will provide cultural components to its services.

Mr. Billy is a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He reflects back to when he completed his 4 year enlistment as a Sergeant, and returned to very rural southeast Oklahoma.  He did not realize the benefits and services he had earned for proudly serving his country.  He sees many native and non-native Veterans, including family members who have had the same experience.  This drives his desire to ensure all Veterans have the opportunities they have earned.

Melissa Castillo [Hispanic]

Melissa Castillo, Veterans Service Officer at the Dallas County Veterans Service Office (VSO) in Dallas, TX., was born and raised in Laredo, Texas until age 10 when her family moved to Converse, Texas.

Ms. Castillo enlisted in the Navy in 1994 and separated from active duty in 1996 with an honorable discharge.  From 2003-2007, she served in the Navy Reserve.  She completed basic training and Torpedoman’s Mate “A” School at the Naval Air Station, Orlando, FL.  Her duty station included on board the USS Simon Lake (AS-33) in La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy; Naval Submarine Base, New London, CT; and Naval Operational Support Center, San Antonio, TX.

Ms. Castillo is an accredited Veterans Service Officer and has assisted many Veterans, surviving spouses and dependents in acquiring benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 9 years.  She is currently the Treasurer of the Veterans County Service Officer Association of Texas, member of the Greater Dallas Veterans Council, and member of the Dallas County Aggie Mom Club.  She also served as the Assistant Regional Director for San Antonio Region, Veterans County Service Officer Association of Texas; as the Assistant Women Veterans Coordinator; as Veteran’s Liaison for Congressman Ciro Rodriquez to coordinate with office staff in assisting Veterans and surviving spouse’s in applying for DVA benefits; Veterans Liaison for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care; Liaison to the Gold Star Families in Bexar County; Advisor to the US Army Survivor Outreach Services Program, and Advisor to the Alamo Community College District Veterans Affairs Committee.

Ms. Castillo has received many awards and recognition which included:  Appreciation Award Plaque for Outreach Service from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 837; Outstanding Officer of the Year Award 2011-2012 from the Veterans County Service Officer Association of Texas; Appreciation Plaque for Outreach Services from Veterans of Foreign Wars from Harlandale Memorial Post 4815; Certificate of Honor from the Veterans County Service Officers Association of Texas; Certificate of Recognition and Honor from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 76; and Certificate of Appreciation from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9603.

Ms. Castillo graduated from Judson High School in Converse, Texas.  She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently prospecting graduate schools to further her education while working full-time.

Robert V. “Bobby” McDonald [African American]

Bobby McDonald is president and executive director of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County, and he is leading the organization into its 30th year.  Under his leadership, the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County has partnered consistently with minority business associations, local chambers and legislators to provide support and advocate for the county’s many small-business owners.

Mr. McDonald developed the chamber’s educational outreach programs and has established the chamber’s Veteran’s business network programs.  Through a partnership with Explorer Studios, two award winning educational films have been produced:  “Building the Dream” and “History of the Buffalo Soldiers.”  McDonald is now a member of the PBS So Cal Board of Trustees where he has assisted with historic African American PBS presentations such as “The March at 50” and “African Americans, Many Rivers To Cross.”

His many honors include the Human Relations Leadership Award (from the Orange County Human Relations Commission), being named the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Millennial Man of the Year by COR AME Church, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. International Alumni Brother of the Year in 1999, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from Cal State Fullerton. He has been president of the CSUF Alumni Association, president of the CSU Statewide Alumni Council, recognized as one of CSU’s Statewide Outstanding African American Alumni, and one of Cal State Fullerton’s 50th Anniversary prominent alums. LA Harbor College, for their 60th Anniversary, bestowed their prestigious Outstanding Community Leader, their Alumnus of the Year award and inducted McDonald into their Athletic Hall of Fame.

McDonald is a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran, serving four years and separating as an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Aircraft Handler Petty Officer 3rd Class.  He is also a member of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Calvary Association-Buffalo Soldiers, a former Student Body President at Los Angeles Harbor College and he served as a governor’s appointee to the California Cultural Historical Endowment Board and the 17 member State Board of Governors of the California Community College System where he created and chaired the Board’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee.  He was recently re-appointed to the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council, where he is now chair of the council. Mr. McDonald resides in Anaheim, CA.

Ginger Miller [African American]

Ginger Miller is a native New Yorker and former homeless service disabled Veteran.  She served in the Navy from 1989 to 1992.  After taking care of her husband, a disabled Veteran who has suffered from PTSD for over a decade and experiencing homelessness with her family, she became Founder and CEO of two nonprofit organizations that serves Veterans and their families:  John 14:2, Inc. and Women Veterans Interactive.

Ms. Miller’s advocacy and outreach efforts have led her to host Veteran Round Tables with state Veterans agencies and elected representatives.  She facilitates workshops for Veteran caregivers and frequently receives invitations to speak at various government agencies.  She has served on numerous boards:  Chairwoman of the Prince George’s County Veterans Commission; Commissioner Maryland Commission for Women; Member of the Maryland Veterans Resilience Advisory Council; Maryland Minority Business Economic Advisory Committee; and a Member of the Maryland Caregivers Support Coordinating Council. She is currently a member of Disabled American Veteran (DAV).  She was recognized by the White House as a 2013 Champion of Change for Women Veterans.

Ms. Miller received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY and is currently pursuing a Masters in Nonprofit Management and her MBA at the University of Maryland University College.

**Librado M. Rivas, Command Sergeant Major, USA (Retired) [Hispanic]

Command Sergeant Major Rivas retired with over 25 years of total U.S. Army service.  Mr. Rivas has over 42 years of combined U.S. Army and Government service.  As a Command Sergeant Major, Mr. Rivas served at the Brigade and Battalion level.  As a Government civilian, Mr. Rivas served in the Pentagon, as a senior GS-15, leading Army-wide programs in Lean Six Sigma, Force Structure, Systems Analyses and Permanent Change of Station.

Mr. Rivas serves as a life-time member in the American GI Forum, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars.  In the American GI Forum, Mr. Rivas has served as National Vice-Commander, National Treasurer, National Secretary, National Liaison Officer-Washington, DC and State Commander.  In these capacities, he provides leadership, direction and recommendations to the VA and VSOs to ensure Veterans are provided the entitlement and benefits we have all earned by our service to our country.  As a Post Service Officer with VFW 76, San Antonio, TX, Mr. Rivas also works with Veterans to provide assistance and keep them informed of their entitlements and benefits offered by VA, federal, state and local agencies.

Mr. Rivas’s last federal position was at the Pentagon serving as Director, Army Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Program.  He provided leadership and direction for the Army-wide program focused on continuous process improvement.  He served as the LSS Principal Advisor to general officers who are the stewards of our nation’s military resources.  Mr. Rivas ensured that the Lean Six Sigma Program continued to be an essential element to drive performance excellence to reducing inefficiencies and cost and enabling informed decision making.

Mr. Rivas holds a Master’s of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Rivas is a native of Sinton, TX and the father of two - Lee, Jr. and Susan.

Raul E. Rosas [Hispanic]

Raul is the Founder and Executive Director of LIFT A VET (a Maryland-Puerto Rico nonprofit assisting Veterans).  He serves as a Commissioner with the Maryland Veterans Commission, a Governor appointed position, advising the Maryland VA Secretary on issues impacting Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans and also advises on the development of initiatives and strategies to further the Maryland VA outreach, advocacy, and awareness to the over 450,000 Veterans residing in Maryland.  Raul has over 10 years in the private sector and is currently a Senior Cyber Security Professional supporting U.S. Department of Defense and other Federal Agencies with Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Mr. Rosas’ mission is to advocate for the needs and benefits of Veterans living in the United States, Puerto Rico, and abroad delivering wheelchairs and other services where needed. He has established a consortium of professionals to propose revitalizing the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico with the goal of creating new and much-needed jobs for Veterans and local communities in Puerto Rico.

Raul has attended the University of Maryland (Cyber Security), Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, FL (Networking), Howard Community College MD (Computer Forensics) and the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Nonprofit Management Program).  Raul E. Rosas is a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico and a graduate of Cacique Agüeybana High School.  He retired from the U.S. Navy as a Petty Officer First Class, with 20 years and is a service-disabled, combat-zone Veteran and a Veteran of Operation Ernest Will and Iraq War (OEF/OIF). He is a resident of Columbia, Maryland.

Ghulam H. Sangi [Asian American]

Ghulam Sangi is currently President/CEO of Saharo Foundation, Maryland based 501©(3) Nonprofit Corporation.  He enlisted in the Army in 2000 and served three combat tours in Kuwait and Afghanistan.  He received numerous campaign medals to include:  A Bronze Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Mr. Sangi started the first and chaired the American Veterans Affinity Network at the Office of Director National Intelligence.  He assisted with the development of policies and programs to attract, retain and promote a diverse workforce for the entire Intelligence Community (IC).  He served as a consultant to the Director of EEOD ODNI on issues related to EEO and diversity with a specific focus on Veterans.  He represented thousands of Veterans across IC.

Mr. Sangi is a member of the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  He has a Master’s of Business Administration in Management from Strayer University, Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Mehran University, Pakistan.

Mr. Sangi was a recipient of the Senior Executive Fellows Program and Emerging Leaders Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA.  He also received a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, NY.  He currently resides Ellicott City, Maryland.

Larry M. Townsend [American Indian]

Larry Townsend is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a volunteer Tribal Veterans Service Officer for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.  He is a Vietnam Veteran, having served honorably in Vietnam in 1969.  While in the Army, he attained the rank of SP5 in Vietnam and earned the Bronze Star Medal.  He is also currently serving his second term on the Lumbee Tribal Council.

Mr. Townsend currently serves as the East Region Commander for the National American Indian Veterans, Inc.  He was re-elected to serve another two-year term as the Southeast Region Vice President to the Executive Board of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).  He also serves as co-chair of the Veterans Committee for the National Congress of American Indians in which he has served in this capacity for over 8 years.

Mr. Townsend is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), and a member of the American Legion.  Mr. Townsend is a Graduate FELLOW of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, spring of 1989.  He was a past 8 year member of the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs.  He has a BA Degree in Justice and Public Policy with a concentration in Politics from North Carolina Wesleyan College.  Also, he has two Associate Degrees.

Mr. Townsend currently resides in Pembroke, North Carolina and married to Dr. Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend.  He loves to read, has a passion for politics and assisting Veterans, and loves to play golf.

Maria B. VAA-Igafo [Pacific Islander]

Maria VAA-Igafo currently works as the Sua District County Chief, for the American Samoa Government, Department of Samoan Affairs in Pago Pago, American Samoa.  She is responsible for the welfare and good order of the people within the Sua District and supervises 7 village Mayors.

Ms. VAA-Igafo’s military career consisted of over 30 years of service in the Army with a combination of both active and reserve before retiring.  She received numerous service medals to include:  Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism.

Ms. VAA-Igafo is currently the VFW Service Officer for American Samoa, Hawaii State Post Judge Advocate, and the Assistant Disability Service Officer.  Since there is limited access and assistance due to the American Samoa being a remote location, she volunteers her time on several outreach programs to assist Veterans in American Samoa and in other neighboring Islands with their benefits entitlements.

Ms. VAA-Igafo currently resides in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Fang A. Wong [Asian American]

Fang A. Wong was born in Canton, China, immigrated to the United States in 1960 at the age of 12 and has been a naturalized citizen since 1963.  He joined the Army in 1969 and served 25 months in Vietnam.  He also served tours in Germany, Korea and at several stateside bases.  His military decorations included the Bronze Star, numerous Meritorious Service Medals, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.  He retired after 20 years of service.

After retirement, Mr. Wong joined the American Legion, Lt. B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post #1291 and has been a member for 26 years.  He has held many positions at the Post, County, District levels throughout the years and was elected Commander of the Department of New York American Legion.  From 2011-2012, he was elected as the American Legion National Commander.

Mr. Wong has served on several committees and commissions in various positions.  He was a member of the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) from 2006-2009.

Mr. Wong was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame in 2012.  He currently resides in East Brunswick, NJ with his wife Barbara Lam, of 40 years, and has one son, Eric.

Glenda Wrenn Gordon, MD, MSHP, FAPA [African American]

Glenda Wrenn Gordon, MD, MSHP, FAPA is a board certified psychiatrist and Director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity at the Morehouse School of Medicine where she is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

A 1999 West Point graduate (recipient of the Distinguished Cadet Award), Dr. Wrenn survived a near-fatal car accident while a cadet, which left her with permanent disabilities and foreshortened her military career.  Her commitment to a lifetime of service to the nation has since been actualized through her community service and professional work.

Currently, she works clinically with women Veterans at the Women’s Center of Excellence for Specialty Care Education at the Atlanta VA.  She is involved with many efforts that benefit Veterans including promoting military cultural competence among healthcare providers, and developing integrated systems of care that address mental health and physical health.  She currently resides in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and three children.

**   Chairman

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  • Center for Minority Veterans
    810 Vermont Ave. (00M)
    Washington, DC 20420
    (202) 461-6191