THE Corporate and Foundation partners


The Staff

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JAKE CLARK - President and founder

Ronald “Jake” Clark is a US Army Veteran of the Cold War era and the California Army National Guard during the Post 9/11 era. During a lengthy break in military service, Jake served with the U.S. Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following the events of 9/11 he reenlisted in the Guard, completed Officer Candidate School, and served multiple Peacekeeping tours to the former Yugoslavia where he witnessed the aftermath of genocidal atrocities, greatly impacting his worldview. While an MBA student at Pepperdine University, he interrupted his studies to create Malibu-based Save A Warrior. Jake's novel and disruptive approach in the areas of reintegration and PTS-related suicide prevention, inspired the creation and informs the curriculums of several derivative resiliency programs across the country and abroad. A sought after public speaker on the challenges of Veteran transition and reintegration, as well as his work with First Responders exposed to workplace trauma, his passion for serving those who serve has inspired several films and major news articles. In 2015, he received the WebMD Health Hero Award for his work in Veteran advocacy. In 2017, Save A Warrior was declared a winner at the second annual VA BrainTrust: Pathways to Innovation for its disruptive and pioneering approach to ending Veteran suicide.  

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TERRY Scariot - chief Executive officer

Terry (Cohort 017) is also a Board Member and Officer of USA Cares, Board Member of Western Kentucky University Clinical Education Complex/Autism Center, and an Advisor to The Mission Continues, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, Refuge for Women and The Center for Courageous Kids. From 2001 to 2011, Terry held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Pan Oston, a manufacturer and marketer of retail fixtures. He held positions of increasing responsibility in executive senior management from 1972 to 2000 at several diverse companies in the chemical, automotive, energy, capital equipment, and consumer hardware product markets. Terry was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Missouri in 1970 and a Master's in Business from the University of Missouri in 1972, graduating summa cum laude and number one in his class.

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Adam Carr - Executive Director Warrior Village

Adam (Cohort 035) has over 12 years of service in the U.S. Army. As a Special Forces Green Beret, Adam hunted Al Qaeda operatives, developed intelligence networks, conducted diplomatic relations, and briefed Ambassadors and Generals on Geopolitical environments.  In 2006, Adam earned his B.A. in Security and Intelligence from The Ohio State University.  He spent the next eight years deploying to Asia, including Operation Enduring Freedom - The Philippines and Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan. Adam's passion comes from a deep-rooted desire to serve others and save lives.

Adam has been profoundly affected over the loss of his teammates, mentors, and close friends to suicide. He currently speaks to students, corporations, and a wide variety of audiences all over the country. Adam is a graduate of the Ignite Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Currently he is finishing his MBA at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. Adam lives in Dublin, OH with his wife Tarah and their three children, Noah, Jonah, and Norah.

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BRIAN HAGERTY - DIRECTOR OF Programming

Brian (Cohort 009) is a Veteran having served Active Duty in the US Army and the Army National Guard from 1986-1994.  He then retired from the Los Angeles Police Department after 22 years of service where he worked patrol and other specialized units.  With great pride, Brian is part of the SAW Alumni and the Servant Leadership it strives to create for this great nation. 

As Director of Programming, Brian manages Alumni Affairs, First Responder Relations, planning and execution of Cohorts, and maintains direct communication and guidance over Alumni & Shepherds.  Brian’s affinity for this work and desire to serve and honor all Warriors comes from his love for his grandfather Cpl. W.W. Hall, USMC, an Iwo Jima Survivor; and his parents Jim and Paula Hagerty.

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Mark lema - DIRECTOR OF alumni affairs

Mark (Cohort 042) is a retired Deputy Sheriff from the San Benito County Sheriffs Department. Mark served his county and the State of California from 1991-2005. While serving he was assigned to Patrol and other special assignments. Mark medically retired in December 2005 after multiple back operations. After retirement, he took a position as an Investigator in San Jose, CA for a bail agency, covering from Yreka to Bakersfield.

Mark holds a degree in criminal justice. Mark has had an extremely profound experience while attending his cohort. Mark strives to be a servant leader in all aspects of his life. Nothing is more fulfilling however than the work he does with SAW. Mark's desire to keep giving and to serve others is a direct reflection of the love he has for his Grandfather Sgt. Leonardo Paradiso, U.S Army, WWII.

NICHELLE ATKINSON - DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Nichelle joined Save A Warrior to lead our fundraising efforts not long after her US Army Veteran husband experienced the week-long intensive retreat. For 10 years the couple had battled post-traumatic stress in the form of survivor’s guilt. Some days were good and other days were extremely challenging. But with a growing family they made the decision to see what Save A Warrior had to offer. What did they have to lose? Once Nichelle witnessed the excitement her husband had towards life upon his return from Cohort 040, she wanted to learn more about this organization. She wanted and needed to help other individuals and families experience true happiness in their lives. With more than 5 years experience fundraising in central Ohio, Nichelle contacted Jake with a purpose; to take on the organization of the Save A Warrior Development Department. Nichelle is working tirelessly to spread awareness of the transformative mission of Save A Warrior and to meet others who are deeply concerned with how our warriors heal from, and hopefully overcome, the severe symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress – “because they’re worth it.”

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ASHLEY SNYDER - DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

Ashley is no stranger to the military life. She too, faced the challenges and opportunities that a family goes through when you have relatives and loved ones serving in the United States Armed Forces. Ashley grew up having a unique perspective on life and from that she became very independent, resilient in adversity and fearless. Her fondest memories as a teenage were of her living in Vilseck, Germany, where JAG stationed her stepmother for a three year assignment.

Ashley has over a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector and resides in Columbus, OH with her five beautiful children. She is extremely passionate about business, mental health, and serving the community, which is why the Save A Warrior mission is so important to her. Ashley is committed to furthering this necessary, life-saving work so that Save A Warrior can continue to show our nation's veterans and first-responders suffering from suicidal thoughts and post-traumatic stress that there is hope.


Board of directors

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Tim Agajanian - chairman of the board

Tim is a Partner in the Los Angeles office of Ropers Majeski Koh & Bentley and is a member of the firm's Business Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Toxic Tort & Environmental Law practices groups. He focuses his practice on matters involving business law and commercial litigation, construction defect litigation, environmental law, general liability and casualty litigation, insurance, municipal contracting, government affairs, professional liability, business transactions, and real estate. Known for providing practical, hands-on advice to regional and national clients in business transactions and litigation, his counsel includes advising clients on daily operations, leases, strategic planning for future ventures and growth, new business formation and entity selection. In addition, Tim has extensive experience handling environmental remediation matters across Southern California, involving Superfund issues and other regulatory compliance concerns for waste management and landfill companies.

 

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Larry R. Wendling, CPA - Secretary and treasurer

Over the past 20 years, I have functioned as the Chief Financial Officer of The Daimler Group, Inc. (“Daimler”). Daimler is one of the largest real estate development/ construction management companies in central Ohio with over $180 million of revenue per year. In that capacity, I have been involved in entity structuring, banking relationships, financial reporting, management of the company’s accounting department, human resource management along with overseeing The Daimler Group Donor Advised Fund (a fund Daimler uses for charitable donations). During this same period of time, I have functioned as the personal CFO for the Patton Family. In this role, I have worked with Mr. Patton to manage the accounting and tax reporting of the family’s investment entities, provide tax and estate planning consultation and assist in establishing and managing the Family’s Donor Advised (charitable) Funds. Prior to joining Daimler, I was the Chief Financial Officer for Davon, Inc. (family owned business of Mr. Patton) which I worked with Mr. Patton to help sell in 2000. Prior to joining Davon, I worked in the construction management division of a large central Ohio retailer (LBrands) as a manager of corporate reporting and also spent several years in public accounting in both the audit and tax practice areas of the firm (Arthur Andersen). I passed the CPA exam and have maintained my CPA license over my career.

During my life time, I have had the pleasure of working with several non-profit organizations and our church in a variety of capacities. I have also served on corporate boards and owners association boards. Currently, I am the president of our Owner’s Association Board where our condo is located in the Panhandle of Florida.

My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 39 years. We have two children and 6 grandchildren. We have lived in the central Ohio area for over 34 years and both Cindy and I grew up in a small community near Mansfield, Ohio.   

 

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JAKE CLARK - board member

Ronald “Jake” Clark is a US Army Veteran of the Cold War era and the California Army National Guard during the Post 9/11 era. During a lengthy break in military service, Jake served with the U.S. Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following the events of 9/11 he reenlisted in the Guard, completed Officer Candidate School, and served multiple Peacekeeping tours to the former Yugoslavia where he witnessed the aftermath of genocidal atrocities, greatly impacting his worldview. While an MBA student at Pepperdine University, he interrupted his studies to create Malibu-based Save A Warrior. Jake's novel and disruptive approach in the areas of reintegration and PTS-related suicide prevention, inspired the creation and informs the curriculums of several derivative resiliency programs across the country and abroad. A sought after public speaker on the challenges of Veteran transition and reintegration, as well as his work with First Responders exposed to workplace trauma, his passion for serving those who serve has inspired several films and major news articles. In 2015, he received the WebMD Health Hero Award for his work in Veteran advocacy. In 2017, Save A Warrior was declared a winner at the second annual VA BrainTrust: Pathways to Innovation for its disruptive and pioneering approach to ending Veteran suicide.  

 

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Elisabeth "Liz" Ritz - Board Member

Liz lives in Cleveland Ohio with her Husband and two children Jack and Emma.  Her deep sense of commitment of helping and showing her appreciation for our Veterans and their families stems from a life long imbued indoctrination from her Grandfather and Fathers influences.  Both men served and later spent a combined 80+ years paying it forward through the American Legion.  This left a indelible impact on Liz, who met and saw first hand the cost of our country’s conflict on our young and Veteran service members.  As an avid horsewomen she expanded her knowledge in working with Veterans at Fieldstone Therapeutic Riding Center.  Equine therapy showed her a new way in which she could hone her life long skills with her passion to help our Veteran community.  Soon after Meeting SAW’s Deputy Director Adam Carr and inviting him to speak at her children’s High School a friendship began and a new awareness of what many of our returning Veterans were experiencing.  The epidemic of Veteran suicide can not be ignored and her mission to serve those who have served us and our nation was clear.  Liz and her Husband Keith are passionate and committed to establishing Warrior Village, a sacred place for our Military’s Men and Women to heal  and move forward so that they can live the lives they deserve.
 

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Todd Robinson - Board Member

Todd Robinson (Cohort 040) is an Emmy Award winning, Spirit Award nominated, Academy Award finalist writer and director. Before working with a cadre of major talent alongside the likes of Ridley Scott, Sydney Pollack, Shakur Kapur, Jan DeBond, Michael Bay and others, Robinson was originally trained as a classical actor. Robinson's considerable work in film and television since that time has spanned the worlds of drama, documentary and live action on both the big screen and small.

Robinson received a Summa Cum Laude BFA in drama from the Theatre Conservatory at Adelphi University and is one of the founding members and on the board of directors of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, named for his college roomate, the late Jonathan Larson. When work permits Robinson teaches film production and thesis writing at the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. Todd has a passion for serving our nations Veterans and First Responders and comes back regularly to help Shepherd and Mentor cohorts in Malibu. Todd lives in Malibu, CA with his wife Elizabeth and their two children Tyler and Tessa.

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TERRY Scariot - Board Member

Board Member and Officer of USA Cares, Board Member of Western Kentucky University Clinical Education Complex/Autism Center, and an Advisor to The Mission Continues, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, and The Center for Courageous Kids. From 2001 to 2011, Terry (Cohort 017) held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Pan Oston, a manufacturer and marketer of retain fixtures. He held positions of increasing responsibility in executive management from 1972 to 2000 at several diverse companies in the chemical, automotive, energy, capital equipment, and consumer hardware product markets. Terry was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Missouri in 1970 and a Master's in Business from the University of Missouri in 1972, graduating summa cum laude and number one in his class.


 shepherds

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Jo-Z Alvarez - LEAD Shepherd

Jo-z Alvarez (Cohort 006, October 2013) is a bay area native who grew up in the port town of San Pedro, CA. He is a US Army veteran (11B-Infantry) who served two tours with 4BDE/10th Mountain, one for Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (OEF-A) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He was a team leader for over 250 missions, including Brigade PSD. After he left the military, he started to head down a dark road in his life which spanned out over the course of four years. The betrayals he felt throughout the course of his life started to finally weigh on him. He began pushing many people from his life away and began to get suicidal thoughts. During those years he was still able to obtain his B.S. in Audio Production which was one of the things that kept him pushing. When all seemed to be hopeless, Jo-z received a call from the founder, Jake Clark, inviting him to an Alumni event. Not knowing what to expect and that this was “the last house on the block” for him, he answered the call. 5 years later, he has shepherded 40+ cohorts, has brought 10+ warriors through SAW, produces and composes music with musicians and artists,  loves nature, geology/physics,  and has a beautiful son.

James "Jimmy Jam" Connors - LEAD Shepherd

As a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, James P. Connors (Cohort 009) deployed seven times to the Middle East in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as a professional firefighter, and during his rookie year, found himself at Ground Zero, assisting his fellow firemen of the New York City Fire Department. Because of many wartime experiences, James sought help from (SAW) in January 2014, and a few months later, he was humbled to accept New Jersey’s highest military honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, from Governor Chris Christie. Since then, he uses his experiences to help those suffering from wartime service issues, such as PTSD. Four years ago James closed the chapter in his life with the Fire Department and now resides in New Milford, New Jersey, where he works spreading the word about SAW and telling warriors in need that the road to wartime recovery need not be walked alone.

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Billy Otter - LEAD Shepherd

Billy Otter (Cohort 036) Served as Special Operations Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) for 13 years in the Air Force.  During his career, he served with numerous Special operations teams as their JTAC.  Billy did tours in Bosnia and made seven deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, totaling over 300 combat operations. For his actions, he was awarded four Bronze Stars with Valor.  Currently Billy is living in Louisville Kentucky with his wife, Gina and their two boys, Logan and Spencer. He works as a regional manager for Turning Point Brands and conducts carry concealed classes on the side. Billy values the time he is able to give back to the Veterans because of the impact SAW had on him and his family.

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Matt “matty” Fiorenza - lead shepherd

Matthew Fiorenza (Cohort 043) is an active Firefighter/Paramedic for The City of Anaheim in Orange County, CA. Matt holds a degree in Fire Science and is a member of the his Fire Department’s Peer Support Team with responsibility in the areas of Critical Incident Stress Debriefings, emotional support, awareness, guidance, mental health resources and has an empathetic ear.

Matt speaks in peer support classes and to many First Responder Agencies across California spreading awareness to the growing suicide problem among the first responder population. Matt also works as an Outreach Specialist for Simple Recovery, a premier treatment center in Costa Mesa, CA, for First Responders. Here Matt created a Support Group that holds meetings once a week where Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers and Veterans can come to share their experience, strength and hope.

When Matt and his wife, Elizabeth (Cohort 068), aren’t spending time with their three sons, Logan, Nathan and Charlie, they spend time fundraising for Save A Warrior.  They also attend local firefighter union, law enforcement and veteran events spreading the word about the life saving work we are doing at Save A Warrior. Matt was so amazingly transformed by his week spent at SAW he has dedicated his life to making the experience available to those who are in need.


                                                       SAW Ambassadors

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tarah Carr - Development and marketing strategist

A CEO and founder of a successful coaching and consulting business, Tarah Carr has over a decade of experience in branding, content creation, marketing, social media strategizing, fundraising, and business development. As military wife of a former Special Forces Green Beret, Tarah knows all too well the trials and tribulations of going through countless deployments and the toll it can take on military members and their families. She has a passion for helping others and serving our nations Veterans, First Responders and their families. Tarah lives in Dublin, OH with her husband Adam and 3 children Noah, Jonah and Norah.
 

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Jake bame - ambassador

Jake Bame (Cohort 049)  A barber for more than 20 years Jake has always held a passion for serving those who have served us.  Jake also worked in the national music industry specializing in artist development and management as well as concert production and promotion. Jake developed a passion for serving our veterans while working with a task force specializing in intellectual property crimes, with a focus on individuals and organizations selling counterfeit goods and using the proceeds to support terrorist organizations. Jake attributes SAW for saving his life and allowing him to change the course of his life. Although he did not serve in the military, he says ,“What better life journey than helping to save the lives of those who protect us every day!”. 

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Jon minter - ambassador

Dr. Jon Minter (Cohort 048) served on active duty in the US Army during the height of the Cold War in West Germany and in particular West Berlin. He was Chief of Emergency Services and Ambulatory Patient Care for the Berlin MEDDAC. Dr. Minter also provided direct medical support for a covert (recently declassified) Special Operations Unit in Berlin, the Physical Security Support Element. In addition, he provided emergency medical training and support for the USMLM (United States Military Liaison Mission) which was co-located in West Berlin and in former East German Potsdam.

Following his active duty service he became an Orthopedic surgeon. His interest in Save A Warrior was borne out of a strong desire to offer more to veterans than what surgery could accomplish. Simply put, he wanted to be a part of a team with the chief object of healing the wounded heart.

His family has a long lineage of service in both the military and first responder categories. He has been married to his wife for over 33 years and has three children in which he is intensely proud.