Captain John Coufal  is a Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain and has his Masters in Social Work. He is employed at James A Haley Veterans hospital and is also a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern with the State of FL. John & his wife Molly run fishing & scalloping charters in their spare time.

Shawn Pratt - Board Member


Shawn is a licensed charter boat captain and a well-respected member of the Tampa Bay fishing community with over 40 years of experience fishing Tampa Bay and the surrounding waters. He is one of those “go to guys” who effectively solicits needed resources.  Capt. Shawn doesn't just take people fishing, he instructs them in the abc's of fishing to make anyone who goes fishing with him a better fisherman or fisherwoman.
Capt. Shawn is also our Program Director for the FAVE Boating Expeditions Program.

Kristen Kowall

Kristen is the big sister of SPC Corey Kowall and she assists with some of our marketing and events. She has worked promotional events, seminars and trade shows all over Central Florida. She has also lead, managed and created many promotional events for big name brands such as Nascar, MLB Network, Crown Royal, BOA, Cracker Barrel, Heinz, Kellogg's, Sierra Mist, and Disney. Her knowledge and experience is a great asset to My Warrior’s Place..

Ilyas Sayeg, Esq. - Board Member


Ilyas is an attorney at Maglio Christopher & Toale, PA. He graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of Law. While there, Ilyas was invited to be part of a groundbreaking clinical partnership between the Law and Medical Schools at the University of Miami.

He is also a board member of the ACE Mentoring Program, an engineering-focused high school mentorship program in Sarasota County.

Ilyas experience and expertise is a very valuable asset to My Warrior’s Place.

OUR MISSION

To honor, support and promote healing of the mind and spirit by providing a relaxed setting, special programs and to be a resource for any Military Service Member, Veteran, Fire Fighter or Law Enforcement Officer (active or retired), Blue Star, Silver Star, White Star or Gold Star Family Member whose life has been touched and forever changed due to a tragic event and/or the death of a Fallen Warrior while in service to our country. 

To provide a safe refuge and bring about healing and hope to all Veterans and Military Service Members who have returned from the battlefield.

Mike Williams - Property Maintenance Supervisor

Mike is a Veteran who served in the Marine Corps. He has a lot of practical experience in carpentry, plumbing and electrical work so he is invaluable as our Property Maintenance Supervisor. Mike also coordinates and handles picking up the furniture and other items which have been donated and listing them for sale if we are not able to use them on the property or donate them to veterans or other American Heroes in need. Mike also helps to supervise volunteers.

Philip Luoma  served 24 years in the Army as an IT Specialist. Now retired, he does volunteer work particularly for any organization that supports Active Duty Service Members and Veterans. Philip is responsible for the My Warrior's Place volunteer database and helps out with other projects when needed.

Tammie Coffey - Event Coordinator

Tammy has many years experience as the owner of a B&B, an event and wedding planning company and 9 retail stores. For 18 years she volunteered her time as an EMT, VP, Board Member and Event Coordinator for the Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Association. Her vast experience is a huge asset to My Warrior's Place.

Laurie Belden

Laurie is a native Western New Yorker. She recently retired after 27 plus years in the field of Social Services assisting thousands of people in need with both financial and emotional support as she guided them back on track to self-sufficiency with a sense of self-respect.  Laurie continues her calling of serving and helping others by volunteering her time and talent in many different aspects of MWP, where all her efforts benefit our American Heroes.

Coralease "Cora" Ruff - Secretary


Cora DNSc, RN, FNP, is a bereaved parent and an Associate Professor, Division of Nursing, at Howard University. Cora is the principal investigator and author of “Primary Family Nurse Practitioner program at Howard University”, “Psychosocial Stress, Coping and Help Seeking Behavior for Urinary Incontinence”, as well as, several other books.
She was instrumental in helping to create our Project Corregidor Grief Program. Cora has also served on the board of several other non-profit organizations including the nationally known Compassionate Friends.

Tyson Schoeff

Tyson became a SCUBA instructor in college, enhanced with an EMT certification before a 30 year career in business consulting that includes clients such as Dollar General, HCA, Cracker Barrel, AIG, FMCC, Sony BMG and many others bringing vast experience from the business world. Although his current career with Heartland Payment Systems keeps him extremely busy, he still finds time to strategize with MWP on day to day operations and promote MWP with his business connections while also serving as a first-mate for our FAVE boating program. 

advisory board

Pam Aswell - Treasurer


Graduated from Hillsborough County School of Practical Nursing 1976 and the University of Phoenix in 2012 with a BS in Health Care Administration with a concentration in Information technology. Pam has been a nurse for 40+ years and currently works for Aetna Insurance as a Medical Review Coordinator.
Pam understands what it is like to live as a military family. Both her father and her ex-husband served in the Navy, so she knows first hand what it is like to have to move due to a new duty station transfer. Additionally, her son served 7 years in the Navy.

key volunteers

Captain Nick Sivilich  became a Licensed Captain in 2016, but he has been fishing the southern Tampa Bay area since 2009. He served 4 years in the Air Force and now he is serving in the Air Force Reserve. He is also currently going to school full time and running a small inshore charter business.

Phillip Mockler - Vice President 


Phillip served 4 years in the US Marine Corps with a combat tour in Iraq and 4 years in the US Army with a combat tour in Afghanistan. He is currently a deputy with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office.  After returning from Afghanistan in 2006 he found it very hard to navigate his way through the VA system so in 2007 he founded Everyday Heroes USA. His experience in leadership while serving in the military and currently in law enforcement along with his first hand experience in founding a not-for-profit organization that supports our American Heroes is invaluable.

board of directors

Rolando Santiago, Esq.

Rolando brings his vast experience as a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and arbitrator, author and attorney. Having been born in Puerto Rico and raised in Honduras, Rolando is technically and proficiently fluent in Spanish. Notably, Rolando began his career with distinction in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Rolando’s RJS Law Firm is located in Apollo Beach, FL.

Louise Sutherland-Hoyt, LMHC, CCMHC, MAC - Project Corregidor Program Director

Louise facilitates our "Forever A Warrior" grief seminar. A United States Army Veteran, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Life Coach, Louise Sutherland-Hoyt provides powerful and insightful coaching strategies, workshops, and seminars for individuals and groups, Gold Star Families, Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress, and Survivors of Military Suicide.  Louise is well-known for the passion and enthusiasm she brings to all endeavors. She also is a polished public speaker.​​

Tom Campbell - Volunteer Coordinator & FAVE Boating Administrator

Tom is a 28 year veteran of The US Navy Seabees and Army Corp. of Engineers.  Tom’s experience as both a military recruiter and instructor lends itself to the vital role of finding the volunteers we need to make our programs work.  Tom is also a kayak fishing guide and business owner of Can Do Kayak Adventures. Tom graciously donates his time and talent as a guide to any of the MWP guests that requests his services. Tom also does all the scheduling of our boating trips and serves as a first-mate for our FAVE Boating program.

OUR VISION

To be the most desired refuge for all Veterans, Military Service Members, Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters, Blue Star,  Silver Star, White Star & Gold Star Families. Additionally, in the future, to have other “My Warrior’s Place” facilities and programs throughout the United States wherever there is a Military Base and a large population of Veterans.

Name  bio.

​​​All of the My Warrior’s Place Officers and Board Members, Advisory Board Members and Key Volunteers are committed to sharing his or her talents, as well as, going the extra mile to make sure that the My Warrior’s Place Retreat Center and its Programs will enrich the lives of our  American Heroes and their families, as well as, exceed far and above anyones expectations. 

Whitney Ratliff  provides the trivia questions on our Facebook Page.  She is a Marine Corps veteran’s wife and a sister to a veteran lost to suicide. Whitney works as a research scientist at the VA studying traumatic brain injury, Gulf War Illness, and other neurodegenerative diseases that impact veterans.

Dustin Hotelling  served 12 years in the Navy. He is a commercial diver and the owner operator of Dukers Hull Solutions. Dustin volunteers his time to clean the hulls of our boats and serves as first mate to the boat captains on our boating trips either fishing or pleasure. He also helps out when needed.

Sherrol Hanna  is married to a Marine Vet and is a Gold Star Sister as her brother was killed in the La Drang Valley in 1965 during the Vietnam War. With over 30 yrs experience in accounts payables/receivables we are excited to have her as a volunteer to help us with our book-keeping.

Connie O'Dell  is in charge of our Tampa-Yankees Spring Training Parking fundraiser. Her experience working in the food and hall rental industry gives her the skills necessary to manage and schedule the people that are required for each home game. AND she is always looking for volunteers!

Mike O'Dell - Board Member


Is a Vietnam Veteran and past President of the Hillsborough County Veterans Council. He is an active member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, AmVets and many other veterans organizations. Years involved with non-profits supporting veterans causes, including his own non-profit organization called Veterans Helping Veterans makes him an outstanding asset to My Warrior's Place. Also, Mike's knowledge of the VA system and his contacts makes him the go to person for resources and networking to help our veterans with issues when they have a problem.

Gary Sanning

Gary is a singer/songwriter/musician/ author/cartoonist/aviator and US Army veteran, who attended his first flight school at the 62nd Warrant Officer Co., Ft. Rucker, Alabama. He has owned two recording studios. His work as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer along with his extensive contacts through Sanning Promotions, Nashville/Atlanta/Tampa make him a perfect fit for the Heroes & Angels USA Program and My Warrior’s Place.

George "Nordie" Norwood - Board Member


Major General, US Air Force Retired, Nordie is President and CEO of Norwood & Associates, Inc., an aviation & defense consulting firm.  In addition, he is owner and chief instructor for Flagship Sailing and holds a USCG 100 Ton Master Mariner Rating. Nordie held many military leadership positions and his military service was recognized by multiple awards and decorations which included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. He has a BA in mathematics from San Diego State, an MBA from Golden Gate University, and a graduate of the National War College & Defense Language School. He has served on many Private and Public Boards.

 

General Norwood has served on Private and Public Boards, worked with many nonprofits and civic organizations, and was recognized in 2017 with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Gina Alderman - Riders4Fallen Program Director

As a retired Naval Officer with 28 years active duty, Gina brings passion and love for the active and Veteran military service members and their families. She is the program director of  the RIDERS4FALLEN program. She is a strong supporter of our programs and is always working hard o bring awareness to the My Warrior's Place mission throughout the Tampa Bay area. Gina is actively pursuing a PhD in Research Psychology with a dissertation focus on Mindfulness Techniques in Treating PTSD.

Joe Belden

Joe is a retired Captain from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in Buffalo NY. Joe has served on numerous committees from school safety to traffic safety. Prior to his law enforcement career, Joe was a certified stock broker and a certified welder. Joe has much experience in dealing with all types of people in all types of situations. Joe has always had the utmost respect for all military and first responder personnel so he is a great volunteer for MWP.

Kelly Kowall - President & Founder

Kelly is the Gold Star Mother of SPC. Corey Kowall. Her experiences as a Certified Life Coach, 10+ years as Business Owner and over 30 years in Sales and Marketing have proven to be very beneficial to this non-profit organization and the programs it provides. In 2012 she completed her training and became certified as a Grief Support Provider from the AGA. As a speaker and published author, her creativity and drive is priceless. She is also an active member of the American Gold Star Mothers Association, VFW Ladies Aux and the American Legion Ladies Aux.

Sue Harder  does our gardening. She found My Warrior's Place when she was looking for a volunteer opportunity. It was the perfect fit for her as she saw it as a way to honor her Korean War veteran Dad who also loved gardening.  She enjoys spending several hours one day a week in MWP's serene setting.

Captain Monty "Chris" Prevatt  is a Veteran and owner of Crackerjack Inshore Charters. He has been fishing the local waters for the past couple of decades, and he’ll get you on the fish. With him you can look forward to hooking anything from Cobia, Redfish, to Speckled Trout andType your paragraph here.

Kimberly Dutra 

Kimberly is an Advanced Certified Paralegal with Maglio Christopher & Toale, PA. Prior to that she spent eleven years working as a Supervisor, Emergency Medical Dispatch Quality Assurance Officer, and Training Officer in the Public Safety Communications Department of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. worked as an Advanced Certified Paralegal. Her strong understanding of what it takes to develop, maintain and lead programs towards success through collective team efforts will  benefit the ongoing development and success of My Warrior’s Place.

Captain John Baty Jr.  grew up in Plant City, FL. After serving in the US ARMY during Vietnam, he became a police officer. After a life altering motorcycle accident he became one of the first amputee USCG licensed Charter Captains and is the owner of Forever Hooked Charters.

Molly Coufal  is a 22 year retired Veteran of the US Army. She has her Bachelor's in Business Administration and is currently working on her Masters in Education. Molly is employed at HCC - Plant City Campus and we are thrilled to have her as a volunteer helping us with our book-keeping.

Courtney Robinson

Courtney anchors 10News This Evening. She was born and raised on Fort Bragg, NC.  Her father served as a member of our elite Special Operations Command for the Army. He died in 1994 while serving in South Korea. Courtney is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.  She uses her voice and knowledge of social media to bring awareness to My Warrior’s Place and the needs facing our active duty military, veterans and their families.

Michelle Self - Board Member


Michelle is the Director for the Heroes and Angels USA program. She is a member of the Georgia Air National Guard. She currently serves the 116th ACW as a Chaplain's Assistant. Michelle understands the importance of serving with compassion while honoring our Heroes who have served and sacrificed for our freedom. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Organizational Leadership, Psychology, and Human Services. Michelle is currently working on a Life Coaching Certification to better serve her community as a relationship coach.

OUR MISSION & VISION

John T Connelly - Board Member


John is a brilliant professor at Lenoir Rhyne University. His prior position was as Program Director/Assistant Professor OTD Program with Gannon University. John was responsible for the start up operations of the entry level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program and teaching On line Course work for Gannon University OT Masters Program. His current experience as well as his past experience as a consultant to Bayer Material Science and Administrative Director at Heritage Valley Health System is invaluable to My Warrior’s Place.