Founder/CEO, Mike Schindler: Considered one of the nation’s leading subject matter experts on leadership development, government relations, and veteran transition issues, Schindler, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the founder and chief executive officer of Operation Military Family Cares.
Prior to OMFC, Mike spent several years working as a project manager for a Fortune 1000 global company. He then moved into the software industry, working his way up to executive leadership. Mike’s passion to enrich and strengthen military marriages, veterans, and their families led him and his wife to founding Operation Military Family Cares to find a way, through both high-tech and high-touch methods, to better refer and serve military and veteran families.
Schindler has over 20 years of experience in project management, coaching, and executive experience working in and with the military, startups, federal and state agencies, nonprofits, universities, and Fortune 500 companies. He was instrumental in launching the Communities of Practice across the Western United States that connects nearly 150 human service providers through a high-performing coordinated referral network.
Mike has been featured on numerous national radio shows, including CBS radio, Entrepreneur Radio, the Lars Larson Show, and is a key contributor on Q13 Fox TV in Seattle. He is a guest writer for several national publications, The Military Wire blog and the author of two books: “U.S. Veterans in the Workforce: Why the 7% are America’s Greatest Asset” and “Operation Military Family” – which is endorsed by retired General Tommy Franks and retired General Peter Chiarelli.
VP of Products & Services, Lori Grant: In addition to more than 17 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, Lori has been helping OMF improve how it serves military and veteran families since 2011. She’s an entrepreneurial professional with more than seven years of experience in new ventures building new business models, products, and services. Over 12 years of extensive experience in initiating, spearheading, and leading product marketing and product management operations for commercial offerings. Talented in leading business and marketing strategies in early-stage companies where every employee must wear multiple hats to support new products; go-to-market programs; and new customers and channel partners.
Experienced in identifying and defining markets; developing new products and services; and creating marketing and sales deliverables. Exceptional analytic, planning, and organization skills with expertise developed in identifying necessary startup pivots for growth or survival.
Skilled in building veteran support services networks, connecting resident Veterans to Veteran’s Administration and other related government and non-governmental organizations. Lori also has experience in managing entrepreneurial Internet businesses, since she co-founded Erosion Media with Sarah Warn. They sold their entertainment properties to MTV Networks in May 2006. She’s also a former VP of Marketing & Sales Operations, who was responsible for marketing and communications, product marketing, channel management and sales operations. She has more than 17 years of experience in the healthcare industry.
Lori is a member of the Goldbelt, Inc. (GBI) Board of Directors, serving her second term on behalf of GBI shareholders. Goldbelt is an Alaska Native, for‐profit corporation with a diverse portfolio comprised of federal contracts in facility and engineering; medical and defense services; information technology; and seafood and tourism industries. She’s chair of the Investment Committee and Shareholder Workforce Development Task Force. She’s also a member of the Budget & Audit. In 2016, Lori was Chairwoman of the Board in the last year of her first term.
She’s held positions in healthcare technology companies, focusing on revenue cycle management, cardiovascular information systems and benchmarking and outcomes management solutions. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alaska. She also holds a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine. You may find Lori moonlighting as “Scooby” in her spare time.
Director of Community Disaster Medicine, Robert J. Mitchell, M.D., FACOG: A Philadelphia, PA native, Dr. Mitchell received his medical degree from Philadelphia’s noted Jefferson Medical College in 1979. He completed his Ob/Gyn residency at the Lankenau Medical Center, eventually settling in our nearby Edmonds in 1984 where he went on to shepherd over 3500 babies safely into the world. Choosing to retire in 2002 from delivering babies, Dr. Mitchell embarked on a very different path just a few months later, a journey seemingly ripped from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel, training extensively in aspects of weapons of mass destruction and disaster response planning. He now serves his community as the Medical Director of the Disaster Medicine Project, a local non-profit service organization dedicated to community disaster-resilience building. In 2016 he was appointed the Director of Community Disaster Medicine for Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Fellowship in Disaster Medicine, an affiliated fellowship of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where he is an adjunct professor focusing on post-graduate Disaster Medicine physicians at the “ground” level. He devotes all his time to strengthening community resilience through innovative collaborative relationship-building, education, training and rapid response team recruitment.
LCDR Paul A. Perez, USN (Ret), Chairman of the Board: A native of Agaña Heights, Guam. He attended the University of Notre Dame on an NROTC scholarship and was commissioned an Ensign in May 1988. He then reported immediately to Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Florida for flight training. He received his Naval Flight Officer “Wings of Gold”in October 1989 and reported immediately to Naval Air Station Moffett Field for training in the P-3 Orion Patrol aircraft. After completing a successful tour as a P-3 Navigator, Tactical Coordinator and NFO standardizations instructor, he reported to Navy Recruiting District Seattle in 1993. There, he spent the rest of his career as a Human Resources Officer, specializing in recruiting, career counseling, and manpower issues. LCDR Perez retired honorably in 2008 after 20 years of service. He now owns a company called Accelerated Breakthrough, specializing in training, executive coaching and organizational development. Paul lives in Edmonds with his wife of 28 years, Paula. They have two adult sons, Zack and Jonah. Paul is also an active member of his church, Westgate Chapel, in Edmonds, where he previously served on the church board. He also leads a C3 Leaders Forum in Edmonds. Paul graduated with a BS in Microbiology from Notre Dame, and has an MS in Organizational Behavior & Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas.
RADM Richard “Rick” Gromlich, USCG (Ret), a native of Milton, Pennsylvania, retired from the Coast Guard on July 1, 2016 after 33 years of distinguished service. In his final tour of duty, he served as Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle, WA where he was responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Rear Admiral Gromlich graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He completed Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida in 1986 and logged more than 3,600 flight hours attaining qualifications as an Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot in the HH-65A/B, and as an Aircraft Commander in the HH-60J. In 1997, he earned a Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Business. As a rotary-wing aviator, Rear Admiral Gromlich’s operational and command tours of duty included Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (ARSC), now the Aviation Logistics Center, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Executive Officer of Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and Aeronautical Engineering Officer at Air Station Savannah, Georgia. He also served as the Inventory Manager, Chief of the Logistics Support Branch and Chief of the Engineering and Industrial Support Division at ARSC. Other tours of duty included Air Station North Bend, Oregon; Air Station San Diego, California; and afloat as a Deck Watch Officer aboard the 180-foot buoy tender USCGC Papaw in Charleston, South Carolina. To supplement his operational background, Rear Admiral Gromlich substantially improved the Coast Guard’s operational readiness and integrated support services system during multiple logistical tours which included assignment as the Coast Guard’s first Director of Operational Logistics (DOL), Director of the Mission Support Integration Office (DCMS-5), Chief of the Office of Logistics (CG-44), and Director of the Logistics Transformation Program Integration Office (LTPIO). He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Seattle. They have four children – Matthew, Bridgette, Neil and Jordan – and are active members of Eastridge Church.
BG. Ray Coffey: On December 5, 2013 Ray was Sworn-in by a Federal Judge to take Command of the 10th Regional (FEMA area) Command of the U. S. Volunteer-Joint Services Command, as a Brigadier General, USAVR. The USV-JSC is a Ceremonial Unit Charged with Conducting Final Military Honors to Veterans at National and Private Military Cemeteries within the Regional Command Area. Rays previous jobs include:EBS Coordinator For American Legion Post #227 – 92-present; COL (R) U.S. Army MPC/WSG PM – 76-2001; Military Officer (MP) – 76-2001; Trooper WSP – 73-79. Ray volunteer history – Project Management – Rotary international Dist 5030 – May 2005. Ray is a graduate of CWU Law and Justice Program – B.S. Law & Justice 75-77; as well as the U.S. Naval Academy Class of ’75 – PolySCI, Pub Admin, History.
Advisory Board Member – Mr. Robert J. Vatter TH.M.: Rob is the former Senior Director of Development for the Puget Sound Clinic in Seattle, WA. In 2013 Puget Sound Christian Clinic celebrated 10 years of service as the leading faith-based non-denominational outreach to Washington’s King and Snohomish Counties providing complimentary medical, dental and professional counseling service. PSCC began in North Seattle in 2003 through the shared vision of a small group of heath care professionals. PSCC facilitates nearly 3000 patient visits a year.Rob is a Northwest native and has been actively involved in ministry throughout the Puget Sound region for over 36 years. He is an Ordained Minister and holds a Bachelor of Ministry and Masters of Theology with Honors, from International Seminary. Rob is also US Army veteran.Rob has also served two members of the United States Congress in advisory roles. He has been a featured speaker both Nationally and Inter-Nationally including: South Africa, Zambia, India, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Alaska, Texas, Arizona, and New York.In 1993 Rob became involved with CRISTA Ministries to help establish the first Evangelical group home in the Pacific Northwest for People Living With AIDS. Rob served as the volunteer Chaplain of the CRISTA AIDS Outreach until 1999. He has been a featured speaker on College and University campuses, made guest appearances on radio and television concerning HIV/AIDS related issues. Focus On The Family published his story, in the 1995 edition of ‘The Power of a Promise Kept’ for Promise Keepers. Rob is also a member the Seattle Philanthropic Advisers Network, The International Association of Advisers in Philanthropy, KIROS and serves on the Board of Directors of Operation Military Family Cares.