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.
Sessions: Opening Session
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.
As the Co-Director of Women's Empowerment & Senior Advisor, TAPS Outreach and Engagement, Erin is a grief professional with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit space. Since she came on staff with TAPS in 2011, she has buillt transformative programing within the retreat and seminar programs with an emphasis in women's empowerment, art, mindfulness and nature based healing. Erin is the surviving fiancee of Army Ranger Cpl. Jason Kessler. Along with a degree in counseling, Erin's educational background includes Nonprofit Leadership, Religious Studies and Art History. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Erin currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
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.
Denise Rollins, PhD
Session: Grief in the Midst of a Pandemic
Denise Rollins is a master life coach, speaker and and executive director of the Whole Heart Grief & Life Resource Center in Frederick, Maryland, where her team offers one-on-one coaching and group support services. In addition, she partners with her husband Gary in managing the business and providing aftercare services at the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home in Maryland. She holds a doctorate in marriage and family therapy and a masters in thanatology. Dr. Rollins has more than 20 years of experience in corporate America, where her roles included training, human resources and diversity. Denise's personal experience with loss changed her career path. She is author of 2Grieve 2Gether: A Journal from the Heart Helping Survivors and Supporters Navigate the Healing Process, an autobiographical account of her own grief journey.
Session: Opening Session
William Wagasy, a former Notre Dame football player under Coach Lou Holtz, William 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 in dispute resolution from Pepperdine in 2001. Following the attacks of 9/11, he enlisted in the Navy. He is a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL, having completed four combat tours from 2002 to 2012, three to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. After his time in the Navy, he served as the Director of Veterans Outreach for the Gary Sinise Foundation 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.