Cadre of Speakers
Please submit requests for speakers using the following email link:
Cadre of Speakers Email
Please include the following information:
- Location, event date, number of attendees
- Type of event (e.g., pre-deployment, during deployment, post deployment, 30 days, 60 days)
- Three topics which will be addressed by the Cadre Speaker
- Number of sessions speaker will lead/facilitate (minimum three)
David Anderson is the founder of Impacting People, LLC, and has inspired audiences for over 30 years! As a speaker and counselor, Dr. Anderson helps couples discover ways to make good marriages great and struggling marriages revived. He is known to many as the “Marriage Coach” due to the countless couples that have been helped by his expertise. His warmth, humor, and down-to-earth, no non-sense style meet couples right where they are with proven tools to make a huge difference in their marriages. David’s passion to serve couples comes out of his own story of experiencing the hardship of divorce. The words Grace
, and Compassion
will come to life for any couple that experiences David’s marriage and family coaching. Impacting People, LLC is the home of Dr. Anderson’s remarkable Intimate Marriage Academy
. Couples from all over attend his live events and webinars, read his newsletters, and take his online courses as they journey towards a more complete marriage. David is a ”coach“ at heart! Having served as a high school football coach, he believes success comes from people being coachable
, learning how to overcome adversity
, committing to relationships
, and putting forth great effort
Gerta Bledsoe has lived a life in dedication to helping others. Using a background in Counseling Psychology, a keen sense of humor and a rich experience living in military communities world-wide, Gerta seeks to find common ground to help groups discover what brings them together. A facilitator at heart, she looks to build a remarkable group learning experience for all Yellow Ribbon participants. Stress management, communication and reintegration are her specialties.
Kathy Boukedes has been a part of a military community all of her life, from Army brat to being a military spouse. As a spouse she has had the opportunity to see firsthand the issues that affect military families today. Her interest in the well-being of military families is evident in her personal style of teaching and her enthusiasm is contagious. Kathy has been a member of the Cadre of Speakers for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program since 2010. She has been involved in training and facilitating for the US Army for the past 27 years. Her areas of expertise include facilitation, communication, stress release, resiliency, public speaking, team building, professional development, and social integration in foreign situations.
Sandra Bramble is a DoD Master Trainer/Instructor and a certified bi-lingual Spanish-English Instructor/Translator. Sandra has a total of 30+ years experience working with military families domestic and abroad. Prior to joining the Cadre of Speakers, she had been a Yellow Ribbon Instructor with the Army Reserve for seven years. As the spouse of a now retired Army Reserve soldier, who deployed multiple times, Sandra is familiar with the challenges military families experience raising children during deployments. She is passionate about military families, easing the challenges and preparing them to face pre, during and post deployments. Sandra is a dynamic and energetic instructor who enjoys engaging the audience in interactive presentations. Sandra’s awards include the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Department of the Army Civilian Service Award and the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service.
Janell Coker is a professional trainer and speaker. She works with the OSD Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program to provide Reserve and National Guard Military Service Members and their families interactive training on a wide range of topics; Emotional Cycle of Deployment, Resiliency, Communication, Stress Management, Finding Balance in Life, Team Building, Life Skills, to name a few. Janell has been a professional trainer for Military Family Programs for over 18 years and with the Yellow Ribbon Program since 2009. Janell is passionate about helping our Reserve and Guard Service Members and their families lead successful and productive lives while on military orders and in their civilian communities. This passion has led her to work or volunteer for many Military Family Programs for over 27 years.
Ken Drifmeyer is a retired USAF pilot, intelligence officer, diplomat, and served on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Post-transition, he worked for Washington DC area contractors, rising to the level of president and CEO. He then started his own service disabled veteran-owned company, and is now a consultant and Chief Technology Officer of a Washington DC area small business.
He’s been a cadre speaker for YRRP since its inception and also worked with wounded, ill and injured Marines for 6 years for the Semper Fi Odyssey program. He’s currently involved with a Denver-area non-profit assisting student-veterans’ transition to the work world.
Ken presents many YRRP topics, but focuses on preparation for deployment, the emotional cycle of deployment, dealing with stress, anger management, communications, financial issues, reintegration, finding balance; and networking, resumes and interviewing. He really enjoys speaking to veterans and families, presenting not only the information in YRRP classes but also making the lessons learned from his decades of professional and life experiences relevant to YRRP participants.
Psychologist Ed Dunkelblau is an experienced speaker who has engaged a wide variety of armed services audiences with his humor style and his ”nuts and bolts“ focus. Ed grew up in a household where his dad was a WW II veteran and has worked with personnel from all branches of the armed services, while working at the Leavenworth VAMC. He is an ”in demand“ Yellow Ribbon Program speaker and is a contributing author in two books: ”the Handbook on Humor and Psychotherapy“ and ”Humor and Wellness in Clinical Intervention“ and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest and on CNN.
Adrienne Edmondson joined the YRRP Cadre team in 2012. She is a consultant and trainer whose practice concentrates on lessons learned from her personal experiences working in major corporations and life. She possesses a sense of what it takes to effectively motivate individuals and teams in most work/life situations. Humor is a large part of Adrienne’s life. Not only did she beat cancer twice, she has also faced-off an autoimmune disease (lupus). She has learned not to take herself and life so seriously. After all, “if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up to much space!” (Book: “Don’t’ Sweat the Small Stuff, It’s All Small Stuff”) Adrienne’s life philosophy is to treat people with dignity and respect, and is one who does not give up in times of challenge; she understands the human element involved in life and business decisions. Ms. Edmondson is a graduate of the University of Redlands, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration. Adrienne also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. She is also a Life Coach (Certified Coach Practitioner - CCF), Certified True Colors Facilitator (Personality Inventory), Motivational Speaker and a Certified Laughter Leader and Trainer (World Laughter Tour – WLT).
Erik Engel, LCSW, is an Air Force veteran from a military family (retired Colonel sister and WWII Army veteran Father). He is a practicing clinical social worker working in a high school setting and in private practice with civilian and military families. He began working with deploying military Service members as a counselor with the MFLC program just before the beginning of the formal YRRP. His speaking style reflects his previous work with challenging audiences by being purposefully engaging and interactive. At a recent pre-deployment YRRP, he presented his opening remarks from on top of a hover board, while sharing in uncomfortable fear as a metaphor for their upcoming deployment. He is most well-known for giving out his cell phone number to the audience to engage with him live while he presents, so he can even connect with those whose faces are buried in their cell phones. He has successfully presented on every topic within the OSD library as well as delivering keynotes and emceeing.
William Freeman is passionate and humorous speaker that joined the Yellow Ribbon Cadre Speakers in November 2010. Prior to joining the team, William worked for the Army OneSource program (AOS) as a Community Support Coordinator helping link military Veterans and Families to local resources in their communities for the state of Pennsylvania. He quickly built his reputation throughout the state with military senior leadership conducting Covenant Signings, building community partnerships, and speaking at various Yellow Ribbon Events representing the AOS program.
His career evolved as he pursued new opportunities in the oil and gas industry employed by Chesapeake Energy where he was able to capitalize on the vast energy supply in the Marcellus Shale region (Pennsylvania) and help build out natural gas infrastructure through business development, lobbying, community relations, and strategic marketing. Mr. Freeman chaired the Gas Utilization Committee for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which focused on Natural Gas Utilization in Transportation, Commercial, Power Generation, Petrochemical & Exports. In 2013, William left Chesapeake and established Freeman Astor LLC in which he consults on energy projects domestic and abroad. Presently, he is back in the oil and gas industry working in Washington DC.
Marcus Gentry also known as Dr. Respect is an internationally respected speaker, freelance writer, Professional actor and recording Artist. Marcus has been a member of the Cadre of speakers for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program for over 7 years.
Marcus has over 30 years of experience in teaching life Management skills with his primary focus being Resiliency, Relationships and Transition Management. This is accompanied by his background in the field of addictions. By using creative empowerment techniques, he is able to combine his talents. This combination allows his keynotes and training sessions to remain innovative, engaging and relevant to his audiences. Marcus creates memorable learning environments that leads participants to a conscious awakening through Socratic reasoning.
Marcus Gentry travels extensively using universal principles while taking his messages of empowerment and Respect as a global initiative around the world. To find out more about Marcus "Dr. Respect" Gentry and his messages of awakening and transformation, go to http://marcusgentry.com/education
Dr. Margarita Gurri is trusted by leaders and teams around the world to foster peak performance and solve people problems in business. With insight and experience, she redirects and transforms conflict into growth, promoting productivity, innovation, and profit within an ethical framework. As a seasoned consulting psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. Gurri, the Red Shoe Doctor, skillfully plays with therapeutic humor in interactive keynotes, coaching, and training to heal and energize military families and leaders, government officials, athletes, and corporate teams.
Heather Jensen is a captivating speaker with an energetic and engaging style. Through humor, wit, and life experience, she easily builds a rapport with any audience. As a young military wife, Heather dealt successfully with the challenges of deployment, learning to juggle three small children and balance a full time career in the face of her husband’s prolonged absence. During the difficult times, she drew from a deep well of personal resilience, finding ways not only to cope, but to thrive. Heather’s experiences will demonstrate the benefits of walking through adversity as she offers unique insights on how to make the deployment cycle more bearable. By tapping into the strength of the military community, identifying and overcoming personal constraints, Heather offers help, hope, and support for the unique challenges faced by military families.
Janine Johnson is a highly interactive motivational speaker who has over 25 years of experience in the development and delivery of military family service programs to Service members, family members, and DoD Civilians around the world in all aspects of military life. Along with her facilitation and training experience within the DoD, Ms. Johnson also brings her personal experience of 27 years as a military spouse and parent. She has survived numerous moves and multiple deployments by learning how to maneuver through the military framework. One of Janine’s strong points is her ability to customize any topic into a class that meets the needs of her audience. She has developed curriculum and is trained in the areas of; reintegration, relationship building, communication, conflict resolution, managing change, the deployment cycle, stress management, time management, resiliency, military and community resources, self-sufficiency, personal and situational awareness, leadership skills, parenting skills, organization and structure of the military, military terminology, army family team building, and volunteer management. Janine is certified to administer the GEMSTONES® personality assessment.
Erin T. King is a certified Master Trainer with the United States Army. She has over 19 years of experience with the military and has worked directly with the Army Reserve as a Family Programs Coordinator and Army Family Team Building Specialist. As an active duty Air Force Spouse, whose husband has deployed multiple times, Erin brings a level of understanding and familiarity concerning deployments to family members. Her presentations are engaging and feature topics military families need to know to be resilient during deployment and reintegration.
Sporty King, ACS/CL has been an OSD Cadre Speaker since January 2011. His most requested sessions are those addressing communication, staying positive and navigating stress. He has consistently been used to offer an inspirational message during opening or closing sessions, as well as serve as master of ceremonies throughout events.
Chaplain (Colonel, Retired) Terry Larkin is a retired chaplain with the Army National Guard. For ten of his 28 year career he was the Army National Guard Staff chaplain, responsible for recruiting, training, deploying, and redeploying Army National Guard chaplains, chaplain candidates, and chaplain assistants from around the country. He has extensive experience with helping families of Service members deal with stress and deployments, finishing his military career as the Service member and Family Support Director of the Oregon National Guard. Terry is an instructor in Mental Health First Aid. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Chip Lutz understands deployment as a Service member, as a parent, and also as a Service member spouse. In 2003, he served as a single parent to 4 children (ages 10 and younger) when his wife was deployed under Operation Noble Eagle. Over the past 10 years, he has spoken to over 30,000 Service members and their families about the rigors of deployment and the even greater rigors of reintegrating back home after. He specializes in grabbing the attention of the audience, keeping it light, keeping it fun and giving them easily actionable items that they can use RIGHT NOW to make a difference for themselves and the people around them. Chip has earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speaker’s Association. Less than ten percent of the 5,000 speakers in the Global Speaker’s Federation have earned this designation.
Colleen Mizuki holds a B.A in French, Chinese and Economics, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and is a certified Coach and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She founded Avenir Coaching and Training (focusing on life and cross-cultural transitions), is co-founder of the Strong Mind Training Institute, and served as the Director of Training for the Mind Fitness Training Institute, a non-profit working with active duty military in performance and stress resilience. She provides mental fitness and resilience training and coaching individuals and groups in high-stress professions, including: military personnel, fire fighters, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, physicians, psychologists, athletes, and governmental-agency employees. She has been offering courses to Army Reservists and their families since 2010 in the areas of resilience, stress management, change management, communication skills, mental fitness, mindfulness and yoga. Colleen has presented at numerous conferences, including the recent ground-breaking Military and Veteran Resiliency Summit, sponsored by the Naval Medical Center, San Diego. She is a contributing author to Healing War Trauma: A Handbook of Creative Approaches, published by Routledge in 2013 and is currently co-writing a book with a retired Reconnaissance Marine about his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impacts of multiple deployments to a combat zone.
Kim Olver is an internationally known speaker who specializes in helping people get along better with the important people in their lives. A highly sought after speaker, she has addressed audiences of all sizes on five continents and around the US. Kim is a certified life coach, trainer, and licensed counselor. She is an award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples
and the creator of Empowerment Parenting
®. Kim has been supporting Yellow Ribbon events as both a speaker and an MFLC since 2009. She is particularly adept at supporting family members since her son was twice deployed to Iraq and brings a wealth of knowledge about parenting and intimate relationships. Kim is an excellent storyteller with a subtle sense of humor that brings a warm connection to her all her audiences. She engages participants through relevant conversation, providing solid ”how-to“ information that strengthens resiliency of not only service members but also their loved ones, and entertains her audiences with her approachable, caring style.
Michelle “Moe” Polhamus is a highly interactive, motivational, and entertaining speaker known for her professional approach and customized presentations. Moe is no stranger to the challenges of multiple deployments and raising a military family. As an Army wife of 23+ years and mother of three children, she has learned to focus on successful communication, being resilient to life’s challenges and creating greater happiness in all aspects of life. Moe has been instructing, facilitating, and briefing with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program since 2010. She has helped improve the overall readiness of the families by promoting Family Programs.
LTC (ret) Cindy Rasmussen served as a Mental Health Nurse in the Army Reserves for 23 years. She recently completed 6.5 years of being mobilized to support the Global War on Terror. She is an Adult Nurse Practitioner working for the Veteran’s Administration. She has spoken for military and civilian organizations nationally on issues affecting military personnel, families and communities. She testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. She received the MOPH Honorary Service Award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart National Service Officer Training, and has had an essay published in the book “Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts,” by Patricia P. Driscoll and Celia Straus. Also, she is coauthor on 2 chapters in the book “War Trauma and its Wake, Expanding the Circle of Healing” published by Routledge in 2012.
Todd ”Riddler“ Riddle is a combat decorated fighter pilot and former parachutist with the 82d Airborne. With 18+ years of active and reserve military service, he has received multiple air medal and unit decorations for close air support, combat search and rescue and task force support sorties flown during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, ATLANTIC RESOLVE and SOUTHERN WATCH. Todd has deployed 4 times as an A-10 fighter pilot. Todd currently works as for the 442FW as an A-10C instructor pilot and the commander of the 442d Operations Support Flight. Todd’s experience includes time as a collegiate teaching fellow, youth minister, National Speakers Association member, sports coach and T-38 instructor pilot. He has led seminars on leadership, personality traits and strengths assessments, organizational management, character and excellence. Todd and his wife Sarah have 3 children and live in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Comel Rooms is an energetic and dynamic speaker/trainer who is known for being right on target for the audience and for the chosen topic. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology, a Masters in Education and is an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC). The combination of her degrees, her experience in the classroom and her more than 24 years as a military spouse, allow her to connect with her audience on many levels. A Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Cadre member since 2011, Comel has been dedicated to coaching and mentoring military families in the skills necessary and resources available to not only survive, but thrive throughout the deployment cycle. Comel encourages Service and Family members to share their unique life experiences and personal ”opportunities for growth“ with other military families on a variety of topics including deployment and reintegration, family readiness and resiliency, communication, life skills, leadership, and financial readiness. Her goal is for every participant to experience an ”aha“ moment during her time with them and to walk away with information, resources, and an action plan to increase personal resiliency. Comel’s husband is currently deployed on his fifth deployment.
Dr. Steve Seelig is a dynamic, positive, engaging speaker with 45 years of varied professional experience. Steve has had three very different careers, first as a Protestant Minister Senior Pastor of 23 years in multiple pastoral leadership roles in congregations in California, served on a variety of local, regional and national committees and boards for the Church of the Nazarene, Navy Chaplain of 29 years serving USN, USMC, USCG, now retired 0 6, and Senior University Administrator and Senior Philanthropy Director for Point Loma Nazarene University for 21 years, where he uses estate planning and family legacy strategies to change the world, one family at a time. He is a published author, featured speaker on TV, designed and led 75 Marriage Encounter Retreats and helped create Returning Warrior Workshop, where he has been a principal speaker in over 80 events. He is in demand as a consultant, speaker, and conference master of ceremonies for many Yellow Ribbon events worldwide. He has been married to Bobbi for 45 years, has two adult daughters, five grandchildren, lives in San Diego, and enjoys gardening, kayaking, golf, tennis, international travel ,and spending time with his family. He loves the military family and enjoys sharing his high energy with audiences on many subjects that bring greater resilience, happiness and family success.
Beth Spillane is an experienced professional with almost two decades of experience within the military community. For the past 18 years she has been a trainer, facilitator and program manager for several Military Family Programs and has been a member of the Cadre of Speakers since 2009. As a Military spouse of 25 years, Beth has thrived through several deployments and PCS moves with her humor, adaptability, and positive outlook on life. Her strength and ability to adapt to any situation has allowed her to survive the challenging lifestyle of living within the military environment. Her calm and friendly demeanor has given her the reputation of being an engaging and confident speaker setting a personable yet professional tone. With her subtle humor and a passion for helping Service members and their families, she motivates audiences to get interested and involved in the learning process. Beth’s areas of expertise include Communication and Listening Skills, Building Strong Relationships, Facilitation, Resiliency, Leadership and Team Building.
For many years, Deanna Storer has been involved with the military as a trainer, volunteer, spouse and advocate for military families. Her husband was a reservist for eight years and then transferred to active duty. In her many ventures she has worked with programs training spouses, parents, children and Service members in every aspect of deployment for active duty and reservists. She has lived the life of deployments, reintegration and adjusting. Addressing the many challenges, Deanna brings humor to her workshops while empowering all with skills to overcome, adapt, endure and maybe even thrive during deployments and reintegration. Communication is key for so many life lessons in the world today. Deanna encourages effective communication for success within our military families.
Ron Sukenick is a Vietnam Veteran and Army Reserve retired and comes from fully understanding what service members and their families are experiencing. Ron brings a great deal of energy, excitement, spark, enthusiasm & motivation to all his YRRP Events.
As a full time professional speaker and trained facilitator, you’ll find that Ron is a highly entertaining interactive speaker that helps to facilitate learning that is timely and relevant. He is often used to engage the audience in an icebreaker, opening and closing keynotes, and had been the MC for 50+ events from start to finish. If anyone can keep the event timely and relevant he can. His specialty is in Family Programs - Communication - Interpersonal Skills - Networking & Stress related programs. Before retiring from the Army Reserves he headed up a team of professionals in Family Programs to help inspire Family Readiness Groups.
Katherine R. Willson of Ann Arbor, Michigan has experienced multiple deployments as the wife of a current U.S. Army Reservist, and that - combined with her experiences as a Family Readiness Group leader during those times - has given her a greater understanding of the individual experiences of the Service member as well as his/her family members and friends. These understandings have greatly enhanced her ability to address issues that may come up during each of the deployment phases, and her passion for assisting fellow military families is evident during her engaging and dynamic presentations.