Bonnie Carroll is President and Founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), America’s frontline resource offering compassionate care for all those grieving a death in the armed forces and serving more than 55,000 survivors with 24/7 support services and programs. Ms. Carroll founded TAPS in 1994 following the death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, in an Army aviation crash. Ms. Carroll is a veteran of the United States Air Force with over 30-years of service in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. In her professional career, she worked as a Defense consultant on Capitol Hill, a senior appointee in the Reagan and both Bush Administrations, and as Deputy Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Communications in Baghdad, Iraq. She currently serves on the Defense Health Board and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Association of Death Education and Counseling Clinical Practice Award. She is the co-author of "Healing Your Grieving Military Heart" and numerous articles on coping with traumatic grief. Ms. Carroll holds degrees in Public Administration and Political Science from the American University. She makes her home both in Arlington, VA and Anchorage, Alaska.
Emily Muñoz has been a familiar face in the TAPS community since she began outfitting 7-year-olds at Good Grief Camps with capes, glitter and crazy, awesome coping skills in 2007. She began working full time for TAPS in 2014 and has since applied her creative energy to workshops, presenting at regional Seminars and spearheading strategic and programming initiatives.
She joined TAPS from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she served as a political and business liaison for the Hiring Our Heroes program. Prior to her work with veteran and military employment initiatives, she served as Program Officer for Translational Research in Mental Health and a site administrator for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She has extensive experience working with national security and military policy issues, including strategic, capabilities and force planning; family readiness; and casualty support. She has held analyst positions at numerous think tanks and defense contracting firms, where she worked primarily on domestic and international force structure and counterterrorism issues. She received a B.A. cum laude in International Relations from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and studied National Security Policy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. An energetic presence in the military community, she served as an outreach liaison for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and on the Board of Directors for Special Ops Survivors (formerly the United Warrior Survivor Foundation), a nonprofit organization for families of fallen special operations soldiers.
Emily resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where she lives in constant gratitude for the life of her late husband, Capt. Gil Muñoz, who served as a detachment commander with 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) until his death of combat-related illness in 2005. She believes in the healing power of dance parties, the commitment to courageous grieving and courageous living, and the imperative to use the power of joy and sorrow in service to something greater than ourselves. Most importantly, laughter through tears is her favorite emotion.
Professional Presenters (In Alphabetical Order)
Karen E Anderson has been facilitating art therapy-based workshops since 2012. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Master’s Art Therapy program. Presently she gives monthly groups for self awareness, codependency and life’s challenges. Karen has been a presenter at both national seminars for TAPS for the past three years. Additionally, she is a part of Sharon Strouse’s team at the Artful Grief Studio. Karen completed the certification program for Grief Counseling from the American Institute of Health Care Professionals in April 2013.
Keith Baumgard is the co-founder of My1FitLife and Live the List. Fitness has been a lifelong passion for Keith starting from a very young age and he knows firsthand the important role fitness can play in grief after the loss of his best friend in a 2004 plane crash. Keith has a degree in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, which has allowed him to extensively learn and study the anatomy and physiology of the body. Keith’s goal as a coach is to help provide people with their best life through smart programming that includes flexibility, mobility and building your best body.
Michelle Steinke Baumgard is the co-founder of My1FitLife, One Fit Widow and the Live the List nonprofit. After losing her husband in 2009, she became engrossed in fitness not only as a lifestyle but also as a profession. Her dream is to help as many people as possible find stress relief and renewal of life through health and fitness. Today, Michelle’s coaching portal, My1FitLife has over 2,000 members reaching all over the world and the Live the List nonprofit is helping the widowed live out their dreams so they can make deliberate steps forward with their life. She is an IFPA Certified Personal Trainer, IFPA Certified Sports Nutrition Specialist, and IFPA Certified Physical Fitness and Wellness Specialist.
Captain Charles Blankenship, MD (Ret) was a surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center. As a naval officer, he has served in many capacities over more than three decades; as ship’s surgeon and staff surgeon in a number of hospitals, as well as deploying during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Frank R. Campbell, Ph.D., LCSW, CT is the former Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center and the Crisis Center Foundation in Lousiana. He is currently the Senior Consultant, for Campbell and Associates Consulting, where he consults with communities on Forensic Suicidology cases. It was due to his more than twenty years of working with those bereaved by suicide that he introduced his Active Postvention Model (APM), most commonly known as the LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors). His work with survivors and victims of trauma has been featured in three Discovery Channel documentaries.
Mitch Carmody, GSP, CCP is the author of “Letters To My Son, turning loss to legacy” and the prognosticator of Proactive Grieving® seminars that features the S.T.A.I.R.S.™ model of grief processing. Mitch is the host of his own radio show “Grief Chat” and longtime friend and presenter with TAPS. His Proactive Grieving® seminars are reaching grievers worldwide; an organic, holistic approach focusing on the mind, body, soul and spirit connection empowering grievers everywhere to take charge of their own grief journey. He believes that through the power of vulnerability and resiliency one can repurpose a broken heart and turn loss to legacy by becoming an intentional survivor.
Franklin Cook, MA, CPC, began his career in developing and implementing peer support models of care as a peer helper in addiction recovery in 1981 and in suicide grief support in 1999. He has been a professional in the fields of community-based suicide prevention and postvention (support in the aftermath of suicide) since 2001 and presently speaks, presents, trains, and advocates nationally on behalf of people bereaved by suicide. His knowledge and expertise covers both grief after suicide and grief after other kinds of traumatic death, and he is a Certified Professional Coach and founder of Personal Grief Coaching, a telephone support service for bereaved people after a traumatic loss. Franklin is a longtime member of the Loss Survivor Division of the American Association of Suicidology-and was named AAS Survivor of the Year in 2013. He has been a member of the Consumer-Survivor Subcommittee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK/8255) since 2005. He maintains the After a Suicide Resource Directory (bit.ly/afterasuicide), and is co-lead of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force, which created community guidelines titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After a Suicide (bit.ly/supportpriority). He currently serves on the board of directors of the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors (bit.ly/hopeall), and he manages a statewide men's suicide prevention project (MassMen.org) for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He created a full-day suicide prevention training for people working in substance abuse treatment, which he delivers nationally. He blogs at Grief after Suicide (bit.ly/suicidegriefblog) and is a survivor of his father's suicide in 1978 (bit.ly/joecook).
Stephen J. Cozza, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University where he serves as Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy.. He received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Cozza served 25 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps before his retirement in 2006. Under his leadership, the Walter Reed Department of Psychiatry spearheaded the initiative to provide mental health services, support and follow-up to combat-injured service members, their families and their children who receive medical treatment. Dr. Cozza’s academic and research interests have been in the areas of clinical and community response to trauma and the impact of deployment and combat injury, illness and death on military service members and their families. Dr. Cozza is published and has presented on these topics at multiple national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Cozza serves as a scientific advisor to several national organizations that focus on the needs of military children and families.
Dr. Ken Druck has earned accolades as an author, speaker, community leader, executive coach/consultant and master facilitator. A true pioneer in the field of psychology, for which he earned his doctorate, Dr. Druck is the recipient of the prestigious "Distinguished Contribution to Psychology" and "Visionary Leadership" awards. His books, talks and innovative programs on resilience, and his work with countless families after some of our nation's greatest tragedies, including 9-11, Columbine, Katrina, Boston and Sandy Hook, have established him as an international authority on resilience. After the death of his eldest daughter, Jenna, in 1996, Ken honored her life and spirit by founding The Jenna Druck Center. The Center's two highly acclaimed, award-winning programs, Families Helping Families (helping bereaved families) and Spirit of Leadership (a program Jenna created for teen girls at age 16), have directly helped over 7,500 grieving families and 18,000 young women. Ken's pioneering work in executive coaching and organizational effectiveness through Druck Enterprises Inc., have established him as one of the most sought-after coaches and consultants by some of the nation's top CEOs, executive management teams and boards. His clients have included Microsoft, Pfizer, Sempra Energy, The YMCA and San Diego Schools. Ken Druck's breakthrough books like The Secrets Men Keep, How to Talk to Your Kids, Healing Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One and his latest, The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life's Terms with Your Own have been featured regularly in national media, including regular appearances on CNN and a national PBS Special in 2015. Ken Druck has helped the general public understand how to transform adversity, from day-to-day challenges we all face to horrific tragedies (such as Malaysia Flight 370) into opportunities to become "our better selves." As a keynote speaker, he inspires audiences around the world at organizations like The Harvard School of Public Health, Young Presidents Organization, Million-Dollar Roundtable and countless international conferences. His programs on resilience, self-care, transformation, visionary leadership and most recently, The Courage to Age, have made him a top-tier conference speaker. Dr. Ken Druck's "Small Print of Life" blog, press interviews, social media and news articles are published globally and can be found on kendruck.com. His schedule of appearances and writings can also be found at facebook.com/kendruck. Druck Enterprises is based in San Diego, CA, USA.
Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW, MS, is a survivor of sibling loss and the Executive Director for the Open to Hope Foundation, www.opentohope.com, an organization committed to helping people find hope after loss. She is a licensed psychologist and social worker and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Heidi hosts a weekly award-winning cable TV and Internet radio show called “Open to Hope” and has a private practice in New York City. She serves on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends and is the author of eight books.
Rayanne Hunter is the surviving spouse of Staff Sergeant Wesley Hunter. A yoga enthusiast for 18 years, she officially certified as a yoga instructor in 2011. In addition to teaching yoga and body movement, Rayanne also received specialized training in yoga for post-traumatic stress.
Donna Naslund has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland. She has fifteen years of experience in Surgical Intensive Care and Emergency Room settings. Donna has been a volunteer at Gilchrist Hospice for the past five years. Roles include: End of Life Doula, Monthly Bereavement Calls, Bereavement Support Group and Workshop Facilitator for numerous types of groups. Her personal experiences with loss include: Widowed at the age of twenty-seven, death of a child at birth, and suicide of niece.
Glenna C. Orr has been an educator for over 30 years. She is a Reading Specialist with two master's degrees, has taught school in five states and the Department of Defense School system. She currently serves as a board member for Reading is Fundamental in Northern Virginia. She is renowned for establishing after-school intergenerational program activities between her students and the residents of retirement centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Glenna is the Founder and Director of The Kind Kids Inc. The organization is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that instills volunteerism in community activities and promotes literacy for people of all ages. Her books: "Open Mind – Open Hearts, A Journey With The Age;” "Hearts Always Open;” "Memories With The Heart" and "Friendships With The Heart" are books written to complement The Kind Kids, Inc.
Heather Stang is a thanatologist, mindfulness speaker and author of the grief book "Mindfulness & Grief: With Guided Meditations To Calm Your Mind & Restore Your Spirit." Her focus on teaching others to use mindfulness-based techniques to reduce stress, cope with grief, and cultivate personal growth is inspired by her own journey of love, loss and post-traumatic growth. She is best known for using present-moment awareness to relieve suffering, cope with and eventually reengage with life after loss. She has a Master's in Thanatology (death, dying and bereavement expert) from Hood College, which she earned in 2010. She lives on South Mountain overlooking Maryland’s Middletown Valley with her husband and is the founder of the Frederick Meditation Center. Learn more about meditation for grief, read articles and contact Heather at www.mindfulnessandgrief.com.
Paula Stephens has a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology and currently teaches in the Human Performance & Sports Department at Metro State University in Denver. She is a Certified Wellness Coach and 200-hour RYT Yoga Instructor. She also teaches Yoga for Grief workshops at conferences and other events. Paula is a sought-after inspirational speaker on the topic of personal growth, resilience and grief as well as many health and wellness topics. She has presented at the national level for the American College of Sports Medicine, the Compassionate Friends National Conference and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Her authentic, humble and humorous style endear her to all types of audiences. An avid runner, Paula qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon in 2007. She also enjoys mountain biking, skiing, camping and good craft beer. Paula also loves time with her three sons as they encourage her to push the edge of adventure.
Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT is a board certified Art Therapist and licensed clinical professional Art Therapist, author, teacher, facilitator, speaker and survivor. Her world dramatically changed on October 11, 2001 when her seventeen year-old daughter Kristin ended her own life. Sharon's own process of meditation and collage making, in response to the trauma of loss became a template for her work with others. She is a grief and bereavement specialist and national workshop presenter for TAPS. Sharon is co-founder of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation (www.krsf.com) a non-profit dedicated to supporting programs that increase awareness of Mental Health through education and the arts. (www.krsf.com) She is author of Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing.(www.artfulgrief.com).
Carol Sweaney continues a legacy of service and survivorship as a facilitator for the “Finding Words For Grief” workshop at the TAPS National Seminar, as an area leader in Blue Star Mothers and other military advocacy organizations, and as a hospice volunteer. She is the surviving spouse of Keith Sweaney, U.S. Marine Corps.
William Wagasy grew up in Missouri. A former player for Notre Dame under Coach Lou Holtz,, he graduated with an accounting degree and a second major in philosophy in 1996. He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University in 2000 and his Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine in 2001. Following the attacks of 9/11, he enlisted in the Navy and became a U.S. Navy SEAL in 2003. He completed four combat tours from 2004 to 2011 to Iraq and Afghanistan. After his time in the Navy, he served as the Director of Veteran's Outreach for the Gary Sinise Foundation for 18 months and continues to be an ambassador for the foundation. Today he is the Vice President of National Sales, National Commercial Services for Commonwealth Land Title Company as well as for Fidelity National Title Group for Home Builder Services.
Wildefire (with Tony David, Kerry Edwards & Lindsay Solonycze) offers a wide variety of music from the big band sounds of the 40s, 50s old-time rock ‘n’ roll sock hop, classic rock, country and American standards. They perform the songs the way they were intended by the original artists, mixing it up for all types of listeners young and old. Visit their website at www.tonyentertains.com for more details.
Kerry Edwards is a native of Salt Lake City. He performed in musical theater productions and has been singing professionally since 1972. Kerry has played with a variety of rock and jazz bands and has a vocal range and diversity that connects him to his audience. His energy and professionalism enable him to perform a variety of materials to keep the evening entertaining.
Tony David was born in Jackson, Tennessee, and has performed all over Colorado and on stage with many highly acclaimed singers and songwriters from Nashville and New York to Hollywood in front of tens of thousands over the last 20 years. He has been an active board member for ten years for the Colorado Celebrity Classic golf tournament to benefit TAPS. Visit their website at www.tonyentertains.com for more details.
Lindsay Solonycze lights up any room with her blue eyes and a smile as big as the New York skyline. Her music and style are magnified by world-class music training in opera and vocal performance. Raised in Arkansas, Lindsay was drawn to all things music and started singing in her church choir at age nine. After graduating high school, she studied vocal performance and opera at the University of Colorado, where she was awarded the Julia Holbeck scholarship. She broadened her musical perspective by completing a study abroad program in Novafeltria, Italy. She is currently working with songwriters in Los Angeles and hopes to continue inspiring listeners and giving back through her music.
Claire Wudowsky - and her charitable organization, Knitters and Crocheters Care, have donated hand-crafted items and taught knitting and crochet at TAPS since 2001. Claire is honored to be included in the TAPS National Survivor Seminar again this year and looks forward to working with the TAPS family.
TAPS Staff Presenters (In Alphabetical Order)
Audri Beugelsdijk came to TAPS as a Navy widow in 1997 after her husband Jason was lost at sea. A Navy veteran herself, she has completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology, in addition to advanced training in death, dying and bereavement through the Center for Loss & Life Transition, as well as the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She currently serves as the TAPS Survivor Care Team Manager, overseeing a team of 13 survivor professionals in providing peer support and conducting outreach nationally and internationally to bereaved military families. Audri strives to support survivors as a grief support facilitator where she focuses on self-care, empowerment, meaning-making after loss and recognizing symptoms of grief within the core dimensions of wellness.
Brittany Bonin-Bruder, Manager of the Casework Department, has been with TAPS since 2013. Using her experience as a Constituent Advocate of Military and Veteran Affairs with U.S. Senator John McCain, her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on American Public Policy and Public Administration, and her time at TAPS, Brittany has been the lead in Casework. In her role at TAPS, she and her team of casework advocates work diligently to address a multitude of survivor issues, often acting as an advocate on behalf of the individual and engaging various government agencies including the Department of Defense, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and many more as well as private resources. Brittany is committed to helping surviving families with immediate needs as well as ensuring they receive the benefits and privileges they are entitled to and deserve.
Kim Burditt has been working with TAPS since 2013, when she joined the Survivor Care Team providing outreach to military suicide loss survivors. In her current role as Project Manager, Suicide Postvention Programs, Kim is thrilled to work with the Programs team, providing event planning and on-site support for suicide loss survivors at our Regional seminars and our National Military Survivor Seminar. Kim is also honored to help plan the TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar each fall. Kim has a BS in Communications and prior to TAPS, was providing older adult suicide prevention trainings around the state of Massachusetts with a local suicide pre-and-postvention agency. After the suicide death of her only sibling, USMC veteran Jon Hoffman in 2010, Kim’s heart is in caring for and walking alongside all loss survivors, especially those touched by suicide.
Diane Ebenal is the surviving spouse of Master Gunnery Sgt. Douglas Ebenal, U.S. Marine Corps. She had previously worked as a Level 1 Bereavement Counselor with Mary Washington Hospice for six years. TAPS is proud to have Diane on staff now as part of our Survivor Helpline team.
Lalaine Estella has been with TAPS for nearly three years. She first came to TAPS as a volunteer at the National Military Survivor Seminar and then came on board to staff the National Military Survivor Helpline before joining the Community Based Care team. She is a surviving daughter of Petty Officer 1st Class Francisco Estella, U.S. Navy. She walks her dog daily, practices yoga a few times a week and enjoys running with Team TAPS. She is a yoga instructor and has recently completed additional training to lead yoga for trauma survivors.
Zaneta M. Gileno, LMSW, CT, began her social work career as a professional in the child welfare system. Her efforts to reunite families and empower parents helped shape her as a practitioner. A graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work, Zaneta now serves as Director of Community Based Care for TAPS. As a grief professional, she offers direct survivor support, ensures the TAPS community of survivors is connected to grief counseling and support groups, and establishes and maintains the network of TAPS own support group model. In addition, she oversees internal professional education as well as TAPS professional development offerings. She is also the liaison for the TAPS Clinical Advisory Board.
Ashlynne Haycock is the Education Services Coordinator for TAPS where she works with hundreds of survivors of military loss to connect them to education benefits and resources to further their goals. She helped facilitate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TAPS and the Department of Veterans Affairs that allows TAPS to make it easier for survivors to access their benefits. Ashlynne is the surviving daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Haycock, who died while training to deploy in 2002, and Senior Airman Nichole Haycock, who died by suicide in 2011. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the American University in 2013.
Erin Jacobson, Director of Survivor Programs, has been with TAPS since 2011 after her fiancé, Army Ranger, Cpl. Jason Kessler was killed in Mosul, Iraq. Prior to joining TAPS, Erin was employed as a counselor for at-risk youth and had a career in marketing, event planning and graphic design. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling and has completed post-baccalaureate studies in Art History and Fine Arts. She is originally from Seattle, Washington, and currently resides in New York City.
Bevin Landrum, MA is the TAPS Magazine Editor. She also serves as the Cyclical Communications Manager where she guides planning, messaging and content for TAPS across multiple platforms for survivor and donor communications. She is the surviving daughter of a World War II and Korea veteran and an Army wife and mother. Her family's commitment to service and sacrifice led her to TAPS in 2015 where she is now honored to help shape the TAPS story in words and images. Bevin has a Masters in Public Relations and has completed Department of the Army Public Affairs Civil Engagement training.
Carol Lane is the surviving mother of Sgt. Bryon Lane who died with two other Marines in a helicopter accident at Camp Lejeune in 2001 while training for night flights. He needed the night training because he had just finished four years with the presidential helicopter squad, which doesn’t fly at night, and he was preparing to deploy on one of the two ships that responded after the 9/11 tragedy. Carol is a retired teacher who works part time in the TAPS Online Community moderating chats, compiling the weekly Saturday Morning Message and monthly Writers’ Group Newsletter.
Don Lipstein , TAPS Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator, works with the TAPS Survivor Care Team and the Peer Mentor Program developing relationships with survivors. He helps identify those with Peer Mentor capabilities, and then provides them with training and the tools needed to be successful volunteer supporters. He carefully matches those trained, with newly grieved survivors. Don is passionate about his work, as he has found comfort and healing from TAPS after the suicide of his 23 year old son, Joshua, who proudly served with the US Navy as a Petty Officer in the Riverine Squadron 1. He joined TAPS in July of 2012 after 30 plus years in hospitality management, focused on training and development. He received his Nonprofit Management Certification from The University of Delaware in May of 2012. With TAPS support, he has been publicly advocating for change in the military, focused primarily on mental health. Don is devoting the remainder of his life to speaking out for the prevention of suicide, and to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
Jenn McCollum-Allen is the TAPS Seminars Manager and has been working for TAPS since the summer of 2014. In addition to the National Seminar, Jenn and the Seminars Team plan and coordinate TAPS Regional Seminars. Jenn is the surviving spouse of Captain Dan McCollum, USMC and, since her husband’s death, has engaged in opportunities to serve the military survivor community. Particularly, she has been a voice for survivors through legislative and advocacy opportunities. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech in Family and Child Development with a concentration in Play Therapy.
Kathy Moakler is the TAPS Director of External Relations and Policy Analysis. In this role, she works with congressional staffers, DOD officials and other military family and veteran organizations to make sure surviving families have the benefits they deserve. With over 20 years experience in the advocacy field, she makes sure your voice and your concerns can be heard by national policymakers.
Gabriel Rao, TAPS Expeditions Project Manager, joined TAPS in August 2013. In his current role, he facilitates the TAPS Expeditions and Mens Programs for military survivors. These programs utilize outdoor experiences to promote healing. Gabriel came to TAPS as a survivor shortly after his family received the dreaded knock on the door. Gabriel's brother, Elijah Rao, was killed in Afghanistan on Dec. 5, 2009. Through his experiences at the TAPS National Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, and several sibling retreats, he realized his calling was working alongside fellow survivors.
Kim Ruocco is the Chief External Relations Officer for Suicide Prevention and Postvention for TAPS. Kim is an international public speaker who has a unique combination of personal and professional experience, education and training that provides a comprehensive understanding of suicide prevention and postvention. Kim has been instrumental in raising awareness using the voices of military suicide survivors. She developed suicide survivor panels that testified in multiple venues including the DOD/VA suicide prevention task force, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference and DOD/VA suicide prevention conferences. She assisted in the development of the Department of Defense Suicide prevention Office (DSPO) Postvention Toolkit, and was a reviewer for the current national strategy for postvention. In her role as Director of Postvention programs for TAPS, Ms. Ruocco developed comprehensive, peer-based programs that provided specific care to all those grieving a death by suicide in the military. The most impactful of these services is the TAPS Annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference, which offers hope and healing to thousands of adult survivors, and a camp for children grieving a death by suicide. Ms. Ruocco is currently the co-lead on the National Action Alliance Military and Family Task force and an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) trainer. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston University. She is also the surviving wife of Marine Corp Maj. John Ruocco, who died by suicide in 2005.
Kat Stanley is currently the TAPS Retreat Team Manager. She first came to TAPS in August 2010 after her older brother, Richard, passed away from brain cancer. He was an active duty Marine. Soon after her loss, TAPS reached out to Kat’s family offering support. In August 2011, her sister-in-law attended a TAPS Widows Retreat in Alaska and told Kat that she "had to attend one, too." Kat attended her first Siblings Retreat in April 2012. The experience and people she met forever changed her life. She joined the TAPS staff in July 2014 and could not be more honored to be part of such a special organization. Knowing what a difference retreats made in her grief journey, she is very passionate about creating safe and healing spaces for survivors.
Dr. Carla Stumpf Patton, EdD, LMHC, NCC, FT, CCTP serves as the Suicide Survivor Services Manager at TAPS. In this position, she provides the outreach and care to families after the traumatic loss of a service member, supports survivors who may be experiencing emotional crisis, and supervises the Suicide Survivor Care Team who provides long-term, peer-based support to surviving families. As a subject matter expert concerning issues surrounding grief, trauma, and/or suicide, she consults with civilian providers and military leaders in providing effective outreach with military personnel, veterans, and military families. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a Doctorate of Education as a Counseling Psychologist, with dissertation research on military families bereaved by suicide. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Thanatologist, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and counseling educator in higher academia. Carla is the surviving spouse of Marine Corps Drill Instructor Sgt. Richard Stumpf who died by suicide in 1994.
Craig Wilhelm graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1993 and served in various command and leadership roles with the U.S. Army. Craig left the Army at the rank of major in 2006, after completing a successful command assignment with F/159th Aviation Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Craig has a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Craig most recently was Vice President, Business Development for RRT Global Ltd. and President and part-owner of RRT American Services. Craig is the Founder and Board President of the Windy25 Memorial Fund, a nonprofit organization honoring the memory and sacrifice of his unit’s five crewmembers and the 13 passengers of Windy25 (call-sign of the aircraft) who gave their lives in combat in Afghanistan. Craig joined TAPS in February 2016 to help continue to build the Team TAPS sports and endurance program. Craig currently resides in Bend, Oregon, and enjoys traveling, running, biking, swimming and snow skiing.
Doug Windley works with families who lost their loved ones serving in the Armed Forces. He believes in “refuge for movement” through the disciplines of listening, respect and hospitality. He understands that providing sanctuary and steps toward healing are critical components toward embracing the next day or just taking that next breath. Doug enjoys discussions on faith, grief and God when he is invited to do so. In addition to working with TAPS, Doug serves as a Chaplain in the Army National Guard and has served in El Salvador, Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan. He graduated from Western University with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. He received his Master's in Theological Studies and Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies from Carolina Graduate School of Theology and Clinical Pastoral Education from the Durham VA Hospital. Doug resides in North Carolina with his wife and three children and enjoys speaking at events and churches, sharing his passion for his faith, his love for military servicemembers and veterans and his heart for families of the fallen.