Tom is the founder, President/CEO of Veteran Community Initiatives Inc. (VCI) since 1993. VCI has been providing economic and social programs and services throughout fourteen (14) counties within Pennsylvania and has served over 12,000 clients (veterans, family members of vets, and dislocated workers) with it’s veteran focused services and programs .
A United States Army Vietnam Veteran, Tom has been involved with many veteran/ disabled community projects and groups including the Lead Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Disabled Veterans Rehabilitation/Vocational Retraining Project (PDVR/VRP), a comprehensive community program that addresses the needs of returning veterans since 2005.
Tom has been active with many veteran service organizations (VSOs) and is a member of the American Legion, VFW, PVA, Conemaugh Valley Veterans, and is a former officer/board member with the PA Vietnam Veterans of America State Council and VVA Chapter 364. For over twenty-five (25) years Tom has been working with veterans incarcerated at SCI Cresson; preparing and serving the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner in Johnstown with other chapter members; establishing scholarship stipends to sons and daughters of Vietnam Era Veterans. As an original member of the Conemaugh Valley Veterans, he has been involved in the Veterans Day Parade and Veterans Day Breakfast as well as the 2008 Salute to WW II Veterans Recognition Ceremony. Tom was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Rendell as a Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Board member. He is also a former member of the Cambria County Private Industry Council, Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority, SKILLS Group Board of Directors, the PAID Board, and the Cambria County Special Olympics Board. Tom currently is on the SCI Cresson Vocational Advisory Board, Van Zandt’s VA Medical Centers Veterans Advisory Council, CERMUSA Advisory Board, Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center – Johnstown as Board Chairman, Penn Highlands Community College/John P. Murtha Scholarship Committee Chairman, and is a member of the Cambria County Business and Education Consortia as well.
Recent recognition and awards include 1990 VVA Chapter 364 Veteran of the Year, 1994 SCI Cresson Volunteer of the Year, 1997 Cambria County Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year, 2001 “Chapel of the Four Chaplains” Award Honoree, 2005 Pennsylvania VVA “Veteran of the Year,” 2006 PAID “Outstanding Service Award,” 2008 Johnstown Magazine’s “Movers and Shakers” recognition, 2011 Salvation Army ‘Appreciation’ Award. Tom’s employment history includes 25 years in the Human Resources/Labor Relations/Program Management area with large utility organizations.
He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, with a BS in Business Administration. With the help of the GI Bill, Tom was fortunate to receive an MBA in Labor-Management Relations from Pace University. If you have any questions or concerns for Tom please e-mail him at email@example.com
Originally from Mineral Point, PA, Josh joined the Marine Corps in May 2001. For nearly 14 years, he served as a Combat Correspondent working in print, photography, videography, radio and television. His job was to tell the stories of the courageous men and women in uniform he was fortunate to witness. His assignments, both stateside and abroad, gave him the opportunity to see America’s finest during training, humanitarian aid missions, and combat operations.
His duties offered him the opportunity to serve alongside all branches of our military, as well as the many civilians who work within the Department of Defense. He’s interviewed everyone from entry level military recruits, to front line combatant commanders, wounded warriors, the Secretary of Defense, NATO Secretary General, the First Lady of the United States, numerous celebrities, and more.
After his military service, he decided to relocate to his hometown region, returning with the skills he learned in the Marine Corps in an effort to give back to the community which made him who he is.
From April 2016 – March 2019, he worked as the Cambria County Director of Veteran Services, helping our area veterans and their families access the benefits they’ve earned.
He currently resides in Hollsopple, PA, with his wife and four children.
Awards & Decoration:
Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy & Marine Commendation Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd award), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/ 2 stars), Humanitarian Aid Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, and a Thomas Jefferson Award for Outstanding Flagship Television Program
Tina is newly appointed as the VCI Director of Administration and Caregiving. She was a previous employee of VCI for five years as the Director of Community Relations and Caregiving.
Tina possess an array of skills in research and development of programs, grant knowledge and community relations. Tina recently worked with the PA Department of State and St. Francis CSOR on occupational licensing research and veteran programs. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College.
She will be working on creating new funding resources and grant initiatives. Her background in researching grants and strategic planning will be useful in assisting VCI in reaching and developing new opportunities and key programs to serve veterans and their families. Tina was the previous Director of VCI's Operation Family Caregiver Program in 2017 from the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving. Tina's father was a Navy Veteran who served on the USS R.E. Byrd DDG, and she has several family members who proudly served and our currently serving in the U.S. Military. Tina has true compassion in supporting our nation's veterans and national guard members.
Tina previously served on the Southern Alleghenies Workforce and Development Board. Now she serves on the Cambia County Job Fair Committee and the Salvation Army of Cambria County Board. Tina is a 2017 recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women Award.
If you would like to contact Tina you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristie is a Somerset County native currently living in Jerome, Pa with her husband Andy, and two children, Lexi and Brody Byer. She joined the PA Army National Guard, 1st of the 104th Aviation Battalion, in August of 2004, as a Flight Operations Specialist. She served over six years with the Guard, including a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009, achieving the rank of sergeant. After returning home from her deployment, Kristie finished her degree, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, from the University of Slippery Rock.
Kristie previously worked in the Defense Contracting sector, for the last four years, working as a production planner and a financial analyst. Her background as a veteran, her leadership, and combined skills of problem-solving and communication, will be an asset in helping VCI achieve their goals. She is looking forward to serving the local community and helping to meet the needs of all veterans.
As a Program Specialist, Kristie focuses on veteran support, administrative tasks, finances, and sustaining initiatives for the 14 counties that VCI serves. Her scope involves building and maintaining support networks for educational, enrichment, and community support for veterans.
Awards & Decoration:
National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, General Thomas J. Stewart Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement
If you would like to contact Kristie you can email: Kbyer@atlanticbbn.net
Nancy is employed by the Vietnam Veterans of American –(VVA) and is available by appointment on Wednesdays ONLY in the VCI offices.
Nancy will be available to veterans for claims, service connected disabilities, veteran non-service related pensions, windows non-service pensions, aid and attendance benefits, discharge inquiries/upgrades and other veteran related entitlements and issues.
Her office hours presently (effective immediately) will be on Wednesdays from 9:00am-4:00pm. Confirmed reservations/time frames are highly suggested. Nancy can be reached at 814-244-6125 (Wednesday's ONLY). If Nancy is not available please leave a message or contact VCI Office at (814) 255-0355 to make an appointment with her. email@example.com.
Nancy brings with her a wealth of knowledge, and experience on these subjects, and will prove to be an asset to those who may have difficulty getting to other locations for these services.
Sandy Ream- VCI Administrative Assistant
Sandy is employed by the Senior Employment Program of Western PA
She is stationed in the VCI Office where she provides support and administrative assistance. Sandy works to prepare documents, materials and letters. Sandy also schedules appointments and assists clients and staff with an array of responsibilities in the office.
VCI offers internship programs for local college students to attend. Students can learn about VCI services and programs for veterans and their families, assisting with program support and marketing projects.
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