Gerald D. (Jay) Cimino – Chairman of the Board and Trustee
Mr. Jay Cimino’s story began in 1936. Born and raised in Trinidad, Colorado, he spent his high school years at Holy Trinity Parochial School. After graduating in 1954, Mr. Cimino joined the Marine Corps. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he attended Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado, transferring to the University of Denver and graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1960. Immediately after graduation he married Emily Roitz at Holy Trinity Church in Trinidad. After serving in various positions at various dealerships in Pueblo and Santa Fe, Jay joined Phil Long in 1975 as the General Manager. Many years and multiple promotions later, he entered into his current role as President and CEO of the Phil Long Family of Dealerships. Over the decades Jay’s philanthropic nature fostered a multitude of community partnerships, sponsorships and campaigns which ultimately led to a greater sense of need for the underserved populations. Always pushing to do more, Jay implemented his idea to help our military community by creating the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs and the Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness, and Community Center in Trinidad, Colorado.
Gina M. Cimino – Vice Chairman of the Board & Trustee
Gina M. Cimino is President and Broker of Kip Hampden Properties. She also serves as President of Mt. Carmel of Colorado as well as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for the non-profit, which has two distinct centers. Being part of a philanthropic family has always inspired Gina to give back to her community. She has participated and volunteered in various activities including those by the National Charity League, Newborn Hope, Boys and Girls Club, Care and Share, and the National Cancer Society. She currently serves on El Pomar’s Southeast Regional Council. Gina is a Colorado native who attended Cheyenne Mountain High School and is a graduate of the University of Colorado.
Bob McLaughlin – Chief Operating Officer
Bob is a 29 year U.S. Army veteran who deployed several times in service to our nation to Bosnia, the Horn of Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan during his tenure in the army. A husband and father of five children, he knows first-hand the challenges often created by military service and is using his passion and knowledge of our community to lead the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, ensuring that we are a Beacon of Support for military, veterans and their families. His appointment to the Colorado Department of Veteran Affairs in 2016 provides him with great insight into the needs of veterans throughout our state and not only in the Pikes Peak Region. Originally from Massachusetts, he is a passionate New England sports fan and is often found sparring with our own Randy Gradishar over which color is best… Bronco Orange or Patriot Blue!
Leslie A. Abrams – Administrative Assistant
Leslie, a native of Northern California, has spent the last 32 years in Colorado, primarily as administrative support in the legal field. Leslie serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations of Mt. Carmel… and you know what that means… Leslie keeps the ship afloat! Leslie’s enthusiasm, charm and confident demeanor enables her to keep our leaders on track with ease! Leslie is also behind the scenes working on our Social Solutions ETO case management system to ensure we deliver the best support possible to the veterans and families that use our services.
Dave Burton – Director of Operations
Dave is a U.S. Army Veteran, born and raised in Northwest Indiana. After graduating high school Dave enlisted and served his nation for 25 years, retiring as a Command Sergeant Major. Dave holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Dave is married to Shawna, the most tolerant woman in the world, and they have four children; Noah, Brody and twins Masie and Sawyer. Dave lives to ride motorcycles and support Veteran’s causes.
Lisa Buckman – Director of Partner Development
Lisa is a retired Air Force Command Chief and medic with more than 27 years of honorable service. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio and is a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Her last 4 years of service were spent in the Colorado Springs area between the Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base. She is married to Larry, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, and they have 3 young adult children, the youngest currently a sJunior at Arizona State University. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Education and an MBA in Human Resource Management. In her spare time she loves to read, ski, hike, and is an avid weight lifter. She is honored to continue serving veterans, service members and their families from all branches of the military along the front range.
Carol Arnold – Director of Donor Relations
Carol, born and raised in southern California, moved with her husband to Colorado in 1979. She worked as a mortgage lender for Citicorp in Ft. Collins prior to relocating with her family to the Pikes Peak region in 1987. Landing in the Monument area, they have resided there for the past 31 years. From her 10 years’ experience working for the USA Swimming Foundation, headquartered at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Carol developed her knowledge and skills as a fundraiser, event planner and alumni relationship manager. Sister to a retired Air Force Veteran, she is grateful for the opportunity to give back to military service men and women as a member of the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center team. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, and being a Nana to their five grandchildren! She stays active by hiking, biking and kayaking with her husband of nearly 40 years in their favorite spot, the Gunnison River Valley located in south-central Colorado.
Melodie Owens – Director of Events
Melodie brings with her a background of working in the Resort/Hospitality business for the last 25 years. She has been involved in fundraising, sales and planning events in Breckenridge, Vail and in Colorado Springs. Most recently she was the Regional Director of Catering and Convention Services for the 365 Grand Properties, the Antlers and the Mining Exchange Hotels, previously she spent 8 years at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Melodie is the daughter of a Korea/Vietnam veteran. Her Father served in the Army for 23 years, living in the Azores and Colorado. She has served as the Honorary Commander for the 302nd Airlift Wing, 2007-2015, Board of Directors for One Nation Walking Together, volunteered and served on committees and boards for the WTU, USO, The Home Front Cares and First United Methodist Church.
Kirsten Belaire, MA LPC – Director of Behavioral Health
Kirsten is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is employed as the Behavioral Health Program Manager at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center. She graduated from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran and, after working in the community as a clinician, she decided to join Mt. Carmel’s mission to help our military community. Kirsten’s role at Mt. Carmel is to ensure that the Behavioral Health Services offered are culturally competent, military specific, and accessible to our clients. Outside of her role at Mt. Carmel, Kirsten enjoys riding her motorcycle all over beautiful Colorado and travelling abroad.
Savannah Cunning, MA LPCC – Behavioral Health Intake Specialist
Savannah is a graduate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and the Behavioral Health Intake Specialist at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center. Savannah is the granddaughter of a Korean War veteran, her uncle is a disabled U.S. Navy veteran, and she has cousins who served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. She was raised with a deep found respect for our military community and desires to give back. When Savannah is not at Mt. Carmel, she enjoys reading, golfing, and being outside as much as possible.
Paul Price – Director of Transition and Employment
Paul retired from the U.S. Air Force after 25 years of service on human capital development programs. Paul served throughout the U.S., Germany, Japan, and the Middle East. Following his Air Force service, he transitioned into the private sector where he was the Chief Administrative Officer for a technology firm in Washington, DC and then Senior Recruiter for an executive search agency in Colorado. Paul holds a Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of New Hampshire, a Master’s in Personnel Administration from Buffalo State College, NY, and was a National Defense Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies. Paul is active in his church and enjoys skiing, hiking, and volunteering at the Air Force Academy Equestrian Center supporting the Warrior Wellness Equine Therapy Program.
Richard A Gagne – Peer Navigator – Veteran Integration Program
Richard is a retired U.S. Army First Sergeant with 21 years of service. Originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire he grew up in Aurora, Colo. He joined the Army as a Track Vehicle Repairer, eventually retiring out of Fort Carson. He enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Care and Share Food Bank, Toys for Tots, and ESGR. Richard is married and has two daughters and is a proud grandfather. He enjoys helping and giving back to Veterans and their families.
Jessica Griser – Peer Navigator
Jessica served in both the Army and Army National Guard for over nine years. She has extensive experience in communications, Defense Department data projects, and with VA medical claims. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with specialization in public affairs, leadership development, and non-profit management. Outside of work she supports the military and veteran community through a variety of events and organizations. Jessica is an avid runner always looking for the next race or team-competition.
Tandi D. Zerfoss – Peer Navigator and Job Coach
Tandi is a U.S. Army Veteran retiring as a Reservist after 21 years of service. She served 8 years on active duty and 13 in the reserves. Tandi earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Computer Information Systems and combined the experienced gained in Military Intelligence Electronic Warfare to build a successful career as a C-Level Executive serving in Information Technology. Tandi then returned to school and earned a Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology to pursue her true passion and calling to serve Veterans. Originally from Louisiana, Tandi claims to be as, “southern as a biscuit”. Tandi is the proud “Mama” of a daughter and a son; and “Mimi” to her four granddaughters. She loves to cook, fish, travel, and volunteer when she’s not visiting her granddaughters.
Shawna E. Dusharm – Greet and Connect Receptionist
Shawna is a retired U.S. Army Operations NCO with 22 years of service. Originally from Alamogordo, N.M., she joined the Army to serve as her father before her. She has served in North Carolina, Korea, Texas, and Germany with deployments to Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Her husband is also a retired Soldier and they are proud of their two girls, two boys and twin granddaughters. Today, she holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Columbia College. Away from work she enjoys exploring Colorado. She is proud to continue serving veterans, service members and their families.
Abbey Westphal, LCSW – Director of Veteran and Family Resources
Abbey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and leads Mt. Carmel’s Veteran and Family Resources Department. Prior to joining Mt. Carmel, she served in private practice and as a behavioral health clinician helping at-risk youth and their families. Inspired by her family’s values and their example – a father who served as a volunteer EMT, and a grandfather and uncle who served in WWII and Vietnam, respectively, Abbey has a passion for serving veterans and their families. She earned her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver and has a passion for Colorado’s outdoors to include hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing and nearly anything outdoors.
Katie Travis – Veteran and Family Resources Case Manager
Katie is a proud Army Brat of 27 years. Although she spent her childhood traveling the greater Army bases, she has called Colorado her home for 14 years. She is an advocate for military veterans and their families. She spent 10 years teaching and coaching military children on Fort Carson. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Social Work in an effort to further her career working alongside the military. Katie began at Mt. Carmel as a volunteer in the beginning of 2017 and is thrilled to be an official member of the team.
Marcia Mitchell – Controller
Marcia joined the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center family in April 2019. She has a M.S. degree in accounting and over 15 years’ experience working with non-profit organizations in the Colorado Springs area including health care and science education organizations. Having recently completed the AICPA’s Not-for-Profit certificate program, she is excited about working with the team to strengthen systems and processes and develop a financial model for organizational sustainability. The daughter of a career Marine and Vietnam veteran, Marcia has lived on both coasts but decided to settle in beautiful Colorado 25 years ago after visiting it in a cross-country motorcycle trek. She loves to walk her dachshund dogs, go on road trips, and tries to do something creative every day with paper and paint.
Nannette Cioffi – Staff Accountant
Nannette is from Southern California. She brings over 20 years of accounting experience to the team. She attended the University of Phoenix to pursue a degree in Finance. Throughout her career she has worked in the Information Technology field, has owned her own tax and bookkeeping business and served as Senior Financial Analyst with Experian. Outside of work, Nannette likes to travel by R.V. with her husband and two sons, volunteer and attend church activities.
Randy Gradishar – Outreach Coordinator
Randy, a former professional athlete, was raised in Champion, OH, a small northeast Ohio community. Randy credits his father, a WWII veteran and grocery store owner, for teaching him a strong work ethic and the importance of customer satisfaction. In 1974, after playing football for Legendary Coach Woody Hayes at The Ohio State University and earning a BA degree in Distributive Education, Randy was drafted by the Denver Broncos…enjoying a 10-year career, with the “Orange Crush” defense and a trip to Super Bowl XII. Following his NFL career, Randy proudly participated in 3 USO tours; visiting our troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. He also frequents Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. Apart from working alongside Jay Cimino, President & CEO of Phil Long Dealerships, Randy and his wife enjoy bicycling, bible study, and serving non-profits.