Paul Austin

 

Paul J. Austin was born on July 24, 1977 in Valdease, NC. He graduated from Freedom High School in Morganton, NC in 1995. He resides in Moncure, North Carolina with his wife, Brandi. Paul has 2 daughters: one that is a cosmetologist and the other that is serving in the United States Air Force.  He was in the US Navy from 2003-2007 where he entered basic training in Chicago, IL then was stationed in Norfolk, VA for 4 years. His assignments were held on the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise, Aircraft Carrier Eisenhower and The USS Wasp. He became a T11 paraplegic on November 9, 2017 when unfortunately he fell from a tree that he was cutting down. This hasn’t stopped him with wanting to make a difference in people’s lives for the good. He has always been a “go-getter” and wants to continue with that same aspect in life. He feels that he can touch people’s lives and share his experiences even more by continuing to serve on the Board of PVA Mid-Atlantic, where he presently holds the role of Vice President.

 

ARnold Beard

 

US AIR FORCE, VETERAN (SERVICE 1967-1971)

Aircraft and Control Warning Operator (AC&W), Serving in the Air Defense Command under NORAD and Pacific Airforce Command. I left the Airforce in 1971 after 4 years of service. After leaving the USA I later enrolled in Mortuary School in Syracuse, NY. Upon finishing Mortuary School I moved to Maryland to serve a required 2 year apprenticeship. After successfully taking the Maryland State Boards I received my Funeral Director and Mortuary license.

I was employed by Vernon Bailey and Bullocks Mortuary establishments for several years until, I decided to open my own establishment with my wife and children and some very dedicated employees I continued to operate the business for eight years following my Spinal Cord Injury. It was in those years I realized that life goes on no matter what circumstances you are confronted, and as long as you try you can achieve.

I have been a member of this Mid-Atlantic PVA Chapter for 18 years. I currently serve as a Mid-Atlantic PVA board member, helping new and old injured individuals adjust to their life changing conditions

Our chapter has been one of the most viable and solvent chapters in the country. If you cast your vote for me when you get your ballots I promise you I will do everything in my power to put your concerns first, and keep our chapter strong and successful in order to serve all our members, and support our National PVA Organization.

 

Jeffrey Dolezal

 

I have been nominated to for a position on the Mid-Atlantic PVA’s board of directors for this election cycle. It is an honor just to be nominated.  if elected by my fellow chapter members, I pledge that I will do my best to help the chapter to continue to serve its members and find ways to enhance that service where needed. My entire professional 20 year career with PVA and my volunteer work following my retirements was about providing service to PVA members and others with disabilities.

Here is some background information as a spinal cord injured veteran and my involvement with PVA:

I was medically retired for the U.S. Air Force as the result of a service connected spinal cord injury.  I was rehabilitated for my spinal cord injury at Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (May 1980 – December 1980).  I have been a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America since 1980.

I spent almost 20 years working for PVA in its Veterans Benefits Department.  I started my NSO training in Washington DC and completed it in service office in Roanoke, Virginia in 1985.  I returned to Nebraska and became the NSO in Lincoln and worked there for 2½ years before I was asked to join the Veterans Benefits Department (VBD) team at the PVA National Office.  I became the National Staff Assistant for VBD’s Director of Operations.  In 1989, I was promoted to the Director of Training and became responsible for the hiring and training of all PVA National Service Officers.  I developed the training material for the 16 month NSO Candidate training program and was successful in having the program approved by VA for use as a qualified On-The-Job training program for disabled veterans who were eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits. 

In 1992, VBD’s operations and training programs were merged to create Field Services and I was named Director of Field Services at that time.  I managed all aspects of Field Operations and also worked at the National level with various VA program managers, such as Prosthetics, Compensation and Pension, Vocational Rehabilitation, Volunteer Services, Memorial Services, and more.  I served as a member of several PVA SCI center site visit teams, specializing in the assessment of prosthetics services and delivery issues.  I also performed as the PVA team leader during some of SCI Center site visits.  During this period, I also authored the prosthetics section for the Independent Budget that was submitted yearly to Congress.  I served as the Director of Field Services until my first retirement from PVA in 2003, after 18 ½ years of employment.

After my retirement from PVA, I became involved with the National Wheelchair Poolplayers Association (NWPA), becoming its President in 2006.  PVA later contracted with me to serve as a consultant to help develop its national billiards program.  This eventually led to the creation of the PVA/NWPA National Wheelchair Billiards Tournament Series, which is currently in its 14th season.

In 2009, then-PVA Executive Director Homer Townsend recruited me to serve in the role as the Associate Executive Director for Veterans Benefits.  I accepted and served in that role until my second retirement from full time employment in early 2011.  During this time in that capacity, one of my duties was to develop and manage the yearly budget for the entire department.  I also provided regular departmental reports and updates to the PVA Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the various PVA standing committees as necessary.

In 2017, I was elected by the Mid-Atlantic PVA board of directors to serve as their National Director on PVA’s national board of directors. I was also re-elected for another 3 year term as national director in 2020.  I understand the important role of the National Director and take its responsibilities very seriously.  I have tried to be a positive but effective advocate for doing what’s right.  Proper oversight is required.  There is too much at stake for our members if we don’t stay focused and true to our mission and be good stewards of our resources.  I also serve on the Mid-Atlantic PVA board of director, and was appointed by the board in January 2021 to serve as its Treasurer. I currently serve as chairperson for the Mid-Atlantic chapter’s finance committee and personnel committee.

In 2021, at PVA’s Annual Convention, the national board directors of PVA approved my nomination for a 3 year appointment to the PVA Audit Committee, which oversees the annual audit of the PVA national’s income and expenses.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope you will support my nomination. 

 

Robert Fecteau

 

Robert Alfred Fecteau II was born in Salem, Massachusetts.  Mr. Fecteau has earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Thomas Edison State University in Applied Science and Technology (BSAST). He has also earned a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare (post-injury) from The George Washington School of Business at The George Washington University (GWU).

Mr. Fecteau is a clinical business analyst with the Military & Veteran Health Solution within Leidos’ Health Group.  He currently supports the Electronic Healthcare Record Modernization (EHRM) Program within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2010, Mr. Fecteau suffered a catastrophic injury while competing in an adventure race in Richmond, Virginia.  His injury, a fracture of his 5th and 6th cervical spine, instantly rendered him a tetraplegic – paralyzing him from the chest down.  He spent eight months as an inpatient at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia where he was introduced to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) while undergoing rigorous physical therapy.  Since his injury, he has been a strong advocate for paralyzed Veterans and has supported both the local Mid-Atlantic Chapter and National Office in a myriad of roles.                                                          

As an eight-year, US Army Veteran, Sergeant Fecteau proudly served his country as a Medical Laboratory Specialist (68K) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).  He entered the US Army in 1999 and completed Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Benning, Georgia.  His assignments include Fort Sam Houston, Texas (AMEDD C&S); Fort Lewis, Washington (Madigan AMC; 153rd Blood Support Detachment); Washington, District of Columbia (Walter Reed AMC); Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (48th CSH); and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (USAHC-SB).

Sergeant Fecteau has received the following decorations:  Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award); Army Achievement Medal (4th Award); Army Superior Unit Award; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2nd Award); Army Service Ribbon; and the Overseas Service Ribbon.  His military education includes Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC); Medical Laboratory Specialist Couse; and the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC).

Mr. Fecteau is happily married to Juana (Paloma) – a 22-year, retired Army Veteran – and is a proud father of two young daughters: Camila (14) and Emily (13).  He continues to provide peer-mentorship to newly paralyzed Veterans and their families.  He is active in adaptive sports, serving as President of Northern Virginia Wheelchair Rugby’s 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization.

 

Mark Hartney

 

It is with great honor and humility that I announce my candidacy for the PVA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Board of Directors. As a former B-52 pilot, and flight school chief instructor the past 15 years, I understand the importance of working as a team for the greater good of any organization. If elected as a board member, I plan to apply the same principle, passion and energy to the job.

If elected, I will pledge to work with our dedicated staff assisting our members in receiving the health care benefits they justly deserve, continue making inroads on disability rights and accessibility, and provide access to quality of life programs that help our members get out and be active and productive in every way possible.

When I was injured in a B-52 crash in 1988 and decided to go to the Long Beach SCI Center for rehabilitation, I recall how the PVA California chapter, and in particular Joe Fox, offered a helping hand. More than three decades later, I did not forget those early days weaving my way through the bureaucratic maze to get in a position to eventually achieve the personal and professional goals I set for myself. I believe it’s time to return that favor and help the Mid-Atlantic chapter achieve its mission of assisting our fellow veterans with spinal cord injuries or disorders.

 

Johnny Holland

 

Johnny “Quadzilla” Holland is an accomplished wheelchair athlete, mentor, and brand ambassador.  He has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America for almost three decades, serving on the Board of the Directors for two years. He has also served as Sports Director for the Chapter for one year.  Holland has advocated with the organization on Capitol Hill to address policy concerns and representation for veterans with spinal cord injuries.

Born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, Holland joined the Army in 1984, attending basic training at Fort Knox and AIT school at Fort Dix, where he was classified as a 64C (motor transport operator).

Holland was stationed in Kentucky and Korea before PCSing to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1987. It was here that he was injured in a motor vehicle accident, suffering a spinal cord injury that would lead to a diagnosis of quadriplegia.

While an inpatient at the Richmond VA Medical Center, Holland’s optimistic disposition led to him being asked to talk with and encourage his fellow newly injured troops, a role he fully dedicated himself to.  In rehab, he formed a close friendship with his recreational therapist, Ike Cook, who introduced him to wheelchair sports and encouraged him to stay on the move.

He attended his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Long Beach, CA in 1989, and has missed only two in the years since, earning the nickname Quadzilla for his prowess on the rugby court and larger-than-life personality.

Currently, Holland works as an ambassador for Van Products, Inc., an automobility company based in Raleigh, NC, and spends his free time engaging in various sports clinics, workshops, and competitions- including the Southeastern Valor Games, the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, the annual National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games, and billiard tournaments as far as South Africa.

Within his community, Holland is a mentor for veterans and civilians alike- often serving as a soundboard for the newly injured and educating them on equipment and resources to make their lives easier.

Holland resides in Goldsboro, NC, with his wife of 37 years, Shirvon. He has an adult daughter, Jovane (a Marine Corps veteran), and a grandson, Justice.

In his own words, Holland would consider it a privilege and an honor to serve on the board of an organization that has been so instrumental in his success and support as a disABLEd veteran.

 

Jimmy May

 

A 71-year-old disabled veteran of the Vietnam era, as of this December, Mr. May will have been in a wheelchair for 53 years. Mr. May was injured in Vietnam on December 1, 1968. At the time, he was in the Army serving with “The Big Red I” Infantry Division. While serving he received a Purple Heart, the Army Accommodation Medal, and other medals. Mr. May is past president of the Independent Wheelchair Athletic Association. He has been involved with Independent Wheels since 1974, and has served as president on and off for over 28 of those years. Mr. May is very much involved in wheelchair sports. One accomplishment of which Jimmy is very proud is that he is the only veteran who has attended the National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games for 37 out of the 38 years of the existence of the Games.

He also serves as coach of the Sportable Rimriders wheelchair basketball team. Mr. May bowls in the Sitting Ducks Plus bowling league where he is the secretary. Mr. May lives in Midlothian, VA with his wife of 52 years, Sue, with whom he enjoys spending time in Urbanna camping and fishing. Sue is a stylist and owner of Sue’s Hair Care for Seniors. He has two sons, Troy and Kevin, and two grandchildren, Savannah and Zachary. Troy is a Sergeant for the Goochland County Virginia Sheriff’s Department and Kevin works for Hunter Construction.

Mr. May is a life member of the local chapters of PVA, DAV, VFW and Sportable. He is also on the board of directors of the American Wheelchair Bowling Association.

He is currently serving as President on the Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Board of Directors and serves on several committees within the chapter.

Mr. May enjoys volunteering his time and services in helping all Veterans.

Mr. May would very much like your vote to continue serving the paralyzed veterans of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of PVA.

 

Jessica Oliff

 

Jessie Oliff is an Army veteran who served in the Military Police Corps and earned the rank of sergeant. Oliff served during Operation Iraqi Freedom where she served two combat tours and was awarded many awards for her quick thinking, courage and leadership.

In 2016, Oliff returned to King William, VA, where she was born and raised.

After the Military, Oliff was an inpatient for two years in the Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehab Center and Martinez VA Rehab Center, both located near San Francisco, CA.

After her release, Oliff became involved in a group called Veteran’s Path based in Mill Valley, CA. Oliff became one of the Founding Veteran Leaders to help lead groups, to mentor Veterans and helped develop Veteran’s Path to be a National VA affiliated group.

While Oliff has been in Virginia, she has been the Head Coach for Sportable’s Power Soccer Team, 2018-2021. She also mentors the members of her team as well as all the other participants at the activities that she volunteers for year round.

Oliff has been a member of the Wounded Warrior Project since ‘08 and the PVA Mid-Atlantic Chapter since ‘20. Currently Oliff is on the Board of Directors of PVA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Board as well as the Chair of the Membership Committee. In addition, Oliff is also one of the members of the chapter’s Adaptive Equipment Committee.

 

Ronald Richardson

 

Ronald Richardson is an Army veteran who, since his medical retirement from the Army, has been a member of the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Paralyzed Veterans of America. Richardson has served on the Board of Directors 2009-2016.  He is also a member of the Fayetteville Spinal Cord Injury Support Group, the Fayetteville-Cumberland Advisory Council for People with Disabilities, and the North Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association. Richardson also serves as the Deputy Volunteer Liaison Officer for the Fayetteville Veterans’ Medical Center’s Veterans Administration Volunteer Service.  He is a graduate of Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, NC and studied Business Administration and Finance at Fayetteville State University.  Richardson spent 13 of his 22 ½ yr career in the Army as a Recruiter.  Throughout the Army’s Recruiting Command, Richardson was known for his outstanding leadership abilities, management skills and his determination to excel. He received numerous awards during his tenure as a Recruiter and Station Commander, to include: The Army Recruiter Ring and the Recruiting Medallion, both among the most prestigious awards in the U.S Army Recruiting Command; The Army Chief of Staff Award (two awards); the Order of the Sabre Award (three Awards); and the Top Large Recruiting Station, (eight awards). Before his duties as a recruiter, Richardson served as a Fire Direction Control Specialist for the Lance and Multiple Launch Rocket System and later a Vulcan Air Defense System repairman.  Richardson served during Desert Shield, Storm and Comfort where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his achievements while there.  Richardson retired as a First Sergeant, a position held by soldiers noted for their leadership and management ability. Richardson resides in Fayetteville, NC.

 

Robert Satterwhite

 

Robert G. Satterwhite was born in Oxford, North Carolina on 4 December 1956. He graduated from J. F. Webb High School in 1975.

Robert joined the Paralyzed Veterans of America in April 2007. He served as National Vice President and President of Paralyzed Veterans of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Robert also serves on PVA National Committees, Chapter Sports and Recreation Chapter (CSRAC), Planned Giving and Ad Hoc for Evaluation of Chapter Model.

Robert retired from the Army after 21 years of service. He is a T2 paraplegic as a result of an abdominal aneurysm.

Robert entered the Army July 1975 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. His tours include Fort Hood, TX (3 tours), Korea, Fort Jackson, SC (Drill Sergeant), Fort Stewart, Ga, Germany, Operation Desert Storm, and Fort Knox, Ky.

His assignments consist of 13B Field Artillery Cannon Crewman, Section Chief, Drill Sergeant, PLDC Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, Operation Sergeant, First Sergeant and Readiness Group Knox, adviser to the National Guard for the state of KY, IN and GA. “

Robert’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Drill Sergeant Badge and the Distinguished Order of Saint Barbara Award.

Robert has three sons, Leo-Phoenix, AZ., Robert D.-Japan and Anthony-Keller, TX. Robert resides in Stem, N. C.

 

Terence Smith

 

Smitty was born in Fayetteville, NC. He graduated from 71st High School in 1978.  Smitty served 13 years in the Army before his accident. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Jump Master.  His awards and decorations include: the Army Accommodation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Army Service Medal, the Army Expedition Medal and the Noncommissioned Officer Development Ribbon.

Smitty, a C 6/7 as a result of an auto accident, has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Paralyzed Veterans of America since August 1990. Smitty has served on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter the last 11 years, elected and serving in each of the four Officer positions – President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Smitty also volunteers at the Fayetteville Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC).  At the Fayetteville VAMC, Smitty coordinates activities and events between the Spinal Cord/Disease Injury (SCI/D) Support Group and the Mid-Atlantic PVA. He also assists with the daily administrative duties for the SCI/D Support Group.

An avid athlete, Smitty is a member of the Raleigh Sidewinders Quad Rugby Team. He has played wheelchair basketball for years and is a distance bike rider. He served as president of the Carolina Wheelchair Conference from 2003 until 2006.

 

Melvin Washington

 

I was born Jan. 27, 1945 in the east end of the city of Richmond, 1505 N. 25th Street. I went to George Mason then to Armstrong High School. In 1963 I finished school and was married and had 2 kids. I worked at Hygrade Meat company and in 3 years bought my first home at 20 St. Claire Lane.  I had a good life, but my dream was to be a Marine, which I did from 1967-69. This caused a hardship on the wife so I came home to take care of my family.  I enrolled at John Tyler Community College for 2 years studying basic law and then I got into the security business with a friend.  In 1999 I was at McGuire Hospital where I heard about the PVA.  I couldn’t believe that people cared that much about one another, so I kept looking and asking questions.  With the help of other PVA members, Arnold Beard, Chuck Willis and the bus driver, I joined the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. I have learned much by being with the PVA. I like talking to people/helping in any way I can. Just call on me. I don’t know everything but I am willing to try. I am a PVA member for life. If it’s God’s will, I will always be there to answer the call. I live for helping others. Thank you, PVA.

 

Rickey Wood

 

My name is Rickey Wood.  I am a Richmond, Virginia native.  I was born at MCV and raised in Henrico. I presently reside in Midlothian.  I went to Vandervall Elementary School and then Ridge Elementary.  I then moved to the Highland Park section of Richmond and attended Highland Park Elementary.  I then was promoted into Thomas Henderson Middle School and John Marshall High School.

In 1979 I joined the Army in the delayed entry program, and actually entered in 1980.  I did my basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and then went to Fort Polk, Louisiana.  From 1982 to 1983 I was stationed in Bamburg, Germany.  In 1983 I returned to Richmond and worked at various janitorial services while in the National Guard until 1997.

I worked for Snead Refuse until 2010, when I had an accident and sustained my spinal cord injury.  At that time, I met Chuck Willis who was the President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.  He introduced me to the Paralyzed Veterans of America where I have been an active member and participant since.

I frequently go to the Chapter office to assist the staff with whatever I can do.  I also am ready and willing to represent the Chapter at their numerous sports, promotional and fundraising events.  I have attended the Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Tournaments, Golf Tournaments and Trap-Shoots, just to name a few.  I have also sold items at the NASCAR races to bring public awareness to Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Since I am already a member of the Chapter Board of Directors, I am in a position to have a working knowledge of all the challenges and responsibilities of the organization.  I feel this has given me an advantage and would serve me well to continue as a member of the Board of Directors.