Northern Virginia Veterans Association Team Members
Angela McConnell, Ph.D., Founder
President & CEO, Angela H. McConnell, USAFR/USA MAJ (RET)
Angela H McConnell, Owner and CEO of Q Integrative Healthcare Consulting, served over 22 years in the U.S. Military, active duty and reserve, in both the enlisted ranks and officer corps. Since retirement after 22 years of service she has dedicated time towards multiple local Veteran/Military initiatives to include the Wounded Warrior Mentoring Program, Association for Defense Communities, Ride 2 Recovery and was the co-founder and co-chair of Prince William Chamber Veterans Council. Her entrepreneurial work and experience within the military and civilian health care systems provides insight and expertise for comprehensive understanding and development of leading-edge integrative healthcare programs and models. Ms. McConnell has combined her background, training, and education to facilitate this forward-leaning Veteran/military collaborative coalition movement where she’s working to facilitate community partnerships, create solutions to meet the local needs and bring Veterans together throughout Northern Virginia.
Currently she resides in Woodbridge Va and has two sons: one, currently a junior at Forest Park HS and on the Crew Team; and the second a freshman at Virginia Tech studying engineering and biomedicine. She is so proud of both of them.
Angela finished her Ph.D. in Health Administration in 2016 and works as an independent government consultant for Q Integrative Healthcare, and is publishing in both Healthcare and Veteran/Military journals.
Major General David F. Bice, USMC (RET)
Board of Directors
Major General Bice retired from the U. S. Marine Corps in 2002. Prior to his retirement, General Bice served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA.
Major General David F. Bice was born in Zanesville, Ohio and enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1968. He attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. He was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program in April 1969. He received his Bachelors Degree from Pepperdine University, and he holds a Masters Degree in Business from Central Michigan University. His formal military education includes the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga., and the National War College, where he studied as a Senior Research Fellow.
General Bice has commanded Marines at every level from platoon to division. He served as a rifle platoon commander with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam. He led companies in 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division; 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division; and 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. During 1986-1988, he commanded 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. He commanded the 9th Marine Regiment from 1992 to 1994. He commanded the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan from 1994-1995. During 1999- 2001 he served as Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Europe. His assignments outside Marine Corps Operational Forces have included: Series Commander, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC; Enlisted Promotions Plans Officer, Manpower Dept., Headquarters Marine Corps; Chief, European Division, J-5, The Joint Staff; Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Director, Marine Corps Staff and Deputy Commander, NATO Joint Headquarters South Center in Larissa, Greece.
General Bice also served as an exchange officer with the United Kingdom Royal Marines and is a graduate of the Royal Marines Commando Course.
In 2004, General Bice was recalled to active duty in support of the Global War on Terrorism, where he served as the Inspector General of the Marine Corps. He returned to retired status in 2007 completing over 36 years of active service. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Medal with Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
In retirement, Major General Bice supports the Old Bridge United Methodist Church in Woodbridge, VA and is a volunteer coordinator with the Prince William County Salvation Army’s monthly food giveaway, where over 5 tons of produce are distributed to needy families in the community. He serves on the Prince William County Salvation Army Advisory Council. He is a member of several military fraternal organizations and is President of the Third Marine Division Association and Chairman, National Marine Corps Council.
Major General Bice resides in Woodbridge, VA and enjoys spending time on his farm in Southeastern Ohio . His late wife of 46 years, Charlene, passed away in 2013. He has three grown daughters and six grandchildren.
Michael Falls, USA (MAJ)
Board of Directors / Treasurer/ Chief Marketing Officer
Mike Falls was commissioned in 2006 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Upon completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne Course and Ranger Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, Mike was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY where he deployed as Rifle Platoon Leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008. Following the deployment, he served as the battalion Mortar Platoon Leader and Battalion Rear Detachment Commander. In 2011, Mike was attached to the Operations Company, 10th Mountain Division and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 10-11 and served as the CJ33 Current Operations Battle Major for Combined Joint Task Force-10, Kandahar, Afghanistan. In January 2012 he attended the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, GA. Mike was then assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas where he served as the battalion operations officer. He commanded Attack Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment from April 2013 to May 2014 and then commanded the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division from May 2014 until May 2015. Mike currently serves as an Operations Research Analyst in the research and analytics directorate of the Army Marketing & Research Group.
Mike is 2006 graduate of Texas Tech University where he received a B.A. in Political Science. He holds a M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University, a graduate certificate in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and is currently pursuing an MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Mike’s formal military education includes; the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger Course, Airborne Course, Infantry Mortar Leader’s Course, Maneuver Captains’s Career Course, Operations Research & Systems Analysis Military Applications Course (ORSA-MAC), and Command and General Staff Officer’s Course (Common-Core).
Mike and his wife Eliana live in Woodbridge VA with their daughter Lorelai and three incredible spoiled Siberian Huskies; Glory, Summit and Denali.
Paula J. Eckard, USA/USNG (RET)
Board of Director / Director of Support Services
Paula is a retired Major with the North Carolina Army National Guard where she served 13 1/2 years as both a Signal and Maintenance Officer. After 10 years of active duty she attended OCS where she received her commission. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Methodist University in Fayetteville NC.
Paula currently resides in Fayetteville NC with her husband John and son Gregory a middle school student.
Board of Directors / Healthcare Advisor
Owner of Caring Senior Service of Northern Virginia. Caring Senior Service has been serving seniors for more than 25 years using our GreatCare® method which ensures seniors receive the very best senior home care. As the owner of Caring Senior Service it’s my goal to give seniors the control needed to live safely at home and to give their families peace of mind. I believe that every senior should be able to remain healthy, happy, and home, as does my staff. We work hard to provide GreatCare® to every senior we serve.
Amanda Baity, Marine Corps Spouse
Fundraising and Marketing Advisor
Amanda Causey Baity is currently Prince William Living‘s Director of Operations and Photo Editor and Director of Operations for Brides & Weddings magazine. An Atlanta native, she has 8+ years of print & online media experience.
Wife of a Marine Corps combat veteran, Amanda co-founded Semper K9 Assistance Dogs in 2014 with her husband Christopher. She is currently Director of Operations for Semper K9 and an advocate for the military community with a focus on invisible wounds.
In her early work career, she was Controller for a multi-million dollar corporation in Atlanta as she attended college. While finishing her degrees in Optometry and Astro-Biology she worked as a family service worker for the Department of Health & Human Services Head Start Program.
Eric Vergne, USAF Veteran
Chief Technical Officer
A US Air Force Veteran, has over 25 years of Information Technology lifecycle experience, more than 15 of which has been in leadership positions supporting clients like Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture and many other agencies. Mr. Vergne is PMI certified and well versed in governance and system development methodologies. He utilizes his leadership/Program Management skills, which demonstrate agile and ITIL methodologies, to establish highly-motivated teams that possess a strong sense of mission, purpose, and energy. He has the ability to focus heavily on developing strategy-centered cross-organizational teams and supplementing with third party relationships to leverage best-in-industry practices. In addition, he is capable of managing staff, documenting performance, career development plans, mentoring, and staff utilization. He concurrently led multiple project teams (leveraging staff from all levels of the organization) to consistently bring in projects ahead of schedule while exceeding the client’s quality expectations.
Mary Black, RN, USA (Retired)
Mary served in the Army Medical Corp during the Vietnam Era. As a Registered Nurse she has a passion for helping others and continues this path as a Support Specials with NOVA Veterans
(Picture coming soon)
Dr. Niyati Dhokai
Veterans and the Arts Liaison
Scott Cox, MS, BS / LT COL USAF (RET)
Department of the Army, Warrior Transition Command
Career Education and Readiness Branch Action Officer
Mr Scott Cox retired from a 25 year military career in the summer of 1997. While in the Air Force, his duties ranged from weather forecasting for the entire south west United States, to weather reconnaissance officer with the Hurricane Hunters to being a Strategic Air Command B-52 Radar Navigator, Instructor and Command Flight Evaluator and working as a Headquarters Strategic Air Command staff action officer at Offutt AFB, NE. Scott closed out his Air Force career while assigned to the Air Force’s Air Combat Command Headquarters in Hampton, Virginia. His civilian experience includes IT project management for a nationally known information technologies consulting firm, a floor and production line supervisor in the manufacturing sector and IT support management in an academic environment. Scott is active in his church at the Lake Ridge Baptist Church in Woodbridge, VA, and is passionate about visiting with his 17 year old daughter Ashleigh. When time permits, Scott enjoys golf and performance driving competition in events sponsored by the National Council of Corvette Clubs.
Diana Paguaga’s professional life grew from a solid educational base as a Fulbright Scholar at American University. She holds an MBA from Xavier, which offered a major in multinational business—knowledge she put to good use with the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank, and international consulting. She expanded her technical and financial management capabilities with Oracle Corporation, and counts many Fortune 500 telecommunications companies as former clients.
Fluent in English, Spanish, she supported the expansion of Oracle business in the Caribbean and Latin America for several firms, including one specializing in the introduction of technology based electronic health records and related financial concerns. In the US, these health issues evolved into major healthcare initiatives, one of which is the Affordable Care Act (ACA, better known as Obamacare).
After extensive international travel and account management, Ms. Paguaga changed from global operations to business relationships with Humana, the third largest health insurance provider in the U.S. and other companies like Aetna. Recognized as an expert working with the senior markets, she carried the senior market knowledge into real estate with Long and Foster, specializing in Senior Housing. At present she is an independent broker and specializes in selling Medicare Advantage Plans and Supplemental Plans, as well as ACA enrollment. Ms. Paguaga retains extensive networks in multiple business environments, and currently sits as the Chairperson of the Hispanic Council, Prince William Chamber of Commerce; Public Relations for BNI Prince William Business Builder’s chapter; serves as vice chair of the Prince William Salvation Army Advisory Council, member of NOVAVets.org, member of Beacon for Literacy among others.
Specializing in editing and design for publications and marketing materials, Dave has a passion for language and an eye for detail, With 40+ years of experience spanning the fast-paced get-it-out-now needs of a national news service, the daily deadlines of newspapers, and the long-term projects as a technical editor for a Federal Government agency, Dave brings a unique combination of written and visual communications skills to the table, incorporating copy editing, page layout, infographic design, and photography.
Forrest Lingenfelter, USA (RET)
Since retiring from the US Army, in 1989, Forrest has been employed in support of the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Currently, he is the Program Manager for NNSA’s Enterprise-wide Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems Program.
Forrest is an avid motorcyclist and is very active in veteran oriented volunteer programs. He is the Assistant State Coordinator for the Missing In America Project in Virginia, where he locates, verifies eligibility and sees to the internment of the unclaimed cremains of veterans and their eligible dependents. He is the Past Director, and Assistant Director, of the American Legion Riders of Northern Virginia, with its 15 Chapters and 400+ members.
The Daughters of the American Revolution recognized Forrest as their 2016 Outstanding Veteran Volunteer Award for the State of Virginia and the US Eastern Division. Additionally, Forrest was presented with the National Parks Service Centennial Volunteer Challenge Award for 2016.
Tammy Voss, PhD
As an army “brat” and Air Force spouse, Tammy is well versed in the military lifestyle. Traveling around the world provided her invaluable experience in understanding the cultural, ethnic and religious differences among people and nations. In 2000 Tammy helped found the Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE), a 501 (c)(3) organization. She served as the Director of Administration, Programs and Training for over 16 years and was involved in advocacy of their mission, program development and evaluation, volunteer coordination, event planning, public relations, strategic planning, financial accountability, education, and building community relations. CLE partnered with West Point for many years to help conduct The National Conference on Ethics in America and the Summer Leadership Session, which she helped design. Tammy graduated from James Madison University and holds a PhD in Leadership from Alvernia University in Pennsylvania. She is the proud mother of two adult children who work in New York City and she currently lives in Stone Ridge, VA with her husband. She looks forward to being part of the NOVA Vets.
Sue Coots, USA (Retired)Read Bio
Prior to entering the financial services industry in 1994, Sue was a United States Army Personnel Officer, serving assignments in Germany, Virginia, Saudi Arabia and Indiana.
Sue current career is with New York Life Insurance Company, and serves as a registered representative and agent. Her prior experience as a financial advisor and District Manager was with First Command Financial Planning, Inc. from 1995 to 2006, and again from 2013 to 2016. With First Command, she lived in Germany, Florida, Texas and Virginia.
During the time Sue was outside the financial services industry (2007 – 2012), she resided in Tallahassee, Florida and owned a national franchise that provided extraordinary custodial and companion care to the seniors and disabled within the community.
Sue’s goal has always been to dedicate herself to service and making a difference in the lives of others. She has served the nation, improved the quality of lives for seniors, and helped many families toward the achievement of financial success.
She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and the University of Southern California, with a Master of Science in Systems Management.
Sue lives in Lakeridge, Virginia and has three children, ages 14, 19 and 24. She is a member of the Northern Virginia Veteran’s Association, the National Military Family Association, the American Legion and the Institute of Project Management.
Joseph George, USA (Ret)
Joseph served in the United States Army for nearly 10 years in the Republic of Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, and Iraq, as well as being assigned to the elite paratrooper unit, the 82d Airborne Division, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. Joseph worked as an Order of Battle Analyst and an Intelligence Research Specialist at the Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels.
Joseph has been married for over 16 years and is a father for three girls. Joseph is currently a Senior Criminal Investigative Analyst, but has always found the time to attend a field trip, go to a school concert, or sit in on an administrative meeting. Joseph is also the Chairman for the Prince William NAACP’s Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Committee, a Board Member with the Prince William Girls Fastpitch Softball League and is active in other community activities/organizations and clinical knowledge for optimal resident care decisions, Margaret is fully skilled. She has knowledge of infection control guidelines.
Kristi Slawinski, USAF Veteran
Mental Health First Aid Certified Instructor
Kristi Slawinski is the Clinical Director of Urban Behavioral Associates since June 2015. Originally from Florida, she moved to Maryland in 1996. Ms. Slawinski served in the United States Air Force and was at the National Security Agency for most of her enlistment. After separating from the USAF with an honorable discharge, she went to college and earned her undergraduate degree from Towson University with Sum Cum Laude honors. She continued to further her education and earned her masters degree from Johns Hopkins also with Sum Cum Laude honors. She is licensed by the Board of Maryland Social Work and Counselors as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counseling (LCPC). She has been practicing therapy and other therapeutic services since 2006. Ms. Slawinski has had extensive training in trauma-informed therapies, substance abuse and Forensic Psychology. During college, she earned the Social Praxis Award and Psychology Department Award for her work in the prison system. Ms. Slawinski has been with NOVA Veterans over a year and provides services as needed including being a Support Specialist.
Community Legal Liaison
Mike May, Attorney at Law
Mr. May generally focuses his practice on business litigation, employment law, domestic relations/family law, and criminal law. He is licensed to practice in all courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. May is fluent in Spanish and has assisted the Firm in numerous litigation matters where such fluency has been required.
In addition to his work as an attorney, Mr. May spent nine years (2007-2016) serving his home community as an elected member of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County, Virginia. In this capacity, he helped oversee the budget for Virginia’s second largest county of almost 450,000 residents. During his tenure in public service, Mr. May has been known as a tireless advocate for his constituents, and he brings this same passion to representing his clients, no matter how big or small their case.
Susan E. Lydick, PhD
Advocate For Persons With Disabilities
Susan E. Lydick, PhD, is a resident of Fairfax County Virginia. She has been a lifelong advocate for persons with disabilities, particularly those with developmental disabilities and those with mental illness. Since the start of the OEF/OIF wars her concerns have broadened more widely to include persons with acquired physical disabilities. In 2006 she started a social support and outreach group for adults with a wide range of disabilities including depression, anxiety, PTSD, Parkinson’s, and TBI at her church. In that capacity she has initiated numerous outreach efforts to wounded warriors with PTSD, TBI, and lower limb amputations, and their families who were rehabilitating at Walter Reed and Ft. Belvoir.
In May 2016 she received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from George Mason University (GMU). Her dissertation focused on the impact of group cohesion on participation in leisure time physical activity among adults with spinal cord injury, lower limb amputations and other physical limitations. Her research participants included 107 adults who were participants on quad rugby, wheelchair basketball, and sled hockey teams. Her research demonstrated support for the positive impact of adaptive team sport membership on sustaining physical activity as a regular part of daily life. As a result Susan has become an outspoken advocate for the need to increase adaptive sport and fitness opportunities, especially for adults in Northern Virginia. To this end, in September 2016 she helped start the Northern Virginia Mutiny adult quad rugby team in Fairfax, by securing weekly practice space and grant funding, and volunteers. Susan is working to develop a nonprofit organization having the mission to increase availability of reconditioning and mobility training for persons with physical limitations (incomplete SCI and Parkinson’s as examples) and increase adaptive sport resources and opportunities in the region.