During the seminar, you will have the opportunity to hear from national experts in grief, trauma, health and wellness and more. Below is a list of the speakers and presenters who will be in attendance.
Bonnie Carroll is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer, the surviving spouse of Brigadier General Tom Carroll, a former staffer in the Reagan and Bush White Houses, and the President and Founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the leading national Military Service Organization providing comfort, care, and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. Ms. Carroll founded TAPS following the death of her husband in an Army C-12 plane crash on November 12, 1992.
Session: What's Next? Your Way Forward
As the Vice President for TAPS Survivor Services, Audri oversees operations of immediate and long term survivor support including the National Military Survivor Helpline, Survivor Care Team, Peer Mentor Program, Online Community, and Youth Programs. With a Masters in Psychology, her work is a testament to her passion for the TAPS mission and her wish to offer a place of gentle understanding and comfort to military families. Through her dedication, Audri, a Navy veteran herself, honors the life of her first husband, CTRSN Jason Springer, USN.
Ken Doka, PhD, MDiv
Session: Opening Session
Dr. Doka is Senior Bereavement Consultant to Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) and the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). A prolific author and editor, Dr. Doka serves as editor of HFA’s Living with Grief® book series, its Journeys newsletter, and numerous other books and publications. He has been a panelist on HFA’s Living with Grief® program for 25 years. Dr. Doka is a past president of ADEC, a former board member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, and an Advisory Board Member to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). He is the recipient of The International Work Group on Dying, Death, and Bereavement’s prestigious Herman Feifel Award and ADEC’s Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Death Education. In 2006, he was grandfathered in as a Mental Health Counselor under New York’s first state licensure of counselors. Dr. Doka is an ordained Lutheran minister.
Session: Finding Joy on the Trail of Grief
As the Programs Manager for Outdoor Engagement, Rachel develops and implements programming in the outdoors across the TAPS network, including our back country Expeditions. She creates an emotionally safe and understanding environment where participants are able to to reconnect with their inner strength. As a survivor honoring the life and death of her brother, Marine Lance Corporal J. Kyle Price, Rachel understands the valleys and mountaintops we experience along the journey after loss.
Rachel Kodanaz is an author, speaker, and consultant helping her audiences embrace life’s challenges at work and at home. Overcoming her own adversity following the sudden death of her husband coupled with her experience in the management of large corporations, she is fully aware of the seesaw created when personal and professional challenges collide. Rachel was instrumental in creating and supporting all programs at HeartLight Grief and Loss Center in Denver as a facilitator, board member, and executive director. She has served on the board of Soaring Spirits International (Camp Widow) and Denver Grief Network Alliance. Rachel’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, and her books include Living with Loss One Day at a Time, Finding Peace, One Piece at a Time: What to do with your and a loved one’s personal possessions and Grief in the Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide for Being Prepared.
Emily joined the TAPS staff in 2014 following seven years of volunteer service as a Good Grief Camp Group Leader. As she outfitted young survivors in super coper capes at the National Seminar, she also worked on behalf of veterans and military families at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and for the Department of Veterans Affairs. A believer in the need for mental and physical connection and resilience, Emily uses her training in multiple fitness modalities to shape and inform TAPS programming for seminars, workshops, special events, and Women's Empowerment program. She lives in Boston, where she recently added a M.S. in Emergency Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy to her academic work at Rhodes College (Memphis, TN) and Georgetown University (Washington, D.C). Laughter through years is her favorite emotion.
Session: Goals, Grief and How things Change
Renee serves as the Manager for the TAPS Young Adult Program, providing guidance and mentoring to military surviving children and siblings through service projects, experiences, campouts, and seminars. She served active duty in the United States Marine Corps and as a reservist in the United States Navy. Renee is the proud surviving spouse of Matthew S. Monczynski, who served faithfully in the United States Navy. After her military service, Renee earned a BA in Early Childhood Education and taught for 5 years. Ms. Monczynski then earned her BA in Psychology and served as a Veterans Advocate for American Legion, defending the rights and benefits of her fellow veterans. She volunteered as a group leader with TAPS for six years before joining the staff to continue her work with the bereaved children of our fallen military.