National Senior Staff

SJPeckHeadshot2011-714x1024Steve Peck is a leader in the national movement to eliminate homelessness among American veterans. He served as a lieutenant in the 1st Marine Division in the Vietnam War, near Da Nang, from 1969 to 1970.

When Mr. Peck returned from active duty, he pursued a career in filmmaking – but his experience in the service tugged at him. Twenty years later, while working on a documentary about a group of homeless veterans living on the beach in Venice, California, he met a paraplegic Vietnam veteran who was suffering from severe PTSD and living in his car. “His wheelchair was parked outside the car door and his Silver Star [awarded to him by President Lyndon Johnson] was in the glove compartment,” Mr. Peck recalls. “I became a social worker to save guys like him.”

Mr. Peck promptly returned to school and earned a masters degree in social work from USC. He joined U.S.VETS full time as Director of Community Development in 1996, and was named President and CEO in 2010.

“Our job,” he says, “is to engage the enemy at home in the U.S.the enemy of homelessness, disillusionment, and disappointment to let these men and women know that there is a path forward and that we support them and are tremendously grateful for their contribution to this country and the sacrifices they have made.”

Darryl J. Vincent has been with U.S.VETS for 11 years. As the Chief Operating Officer, he is directly responsible for the supervision of Executive Directors at all 11 sites, along with national administration of the overall operations of U.S.VETS.

As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Vincent has a sincere compassion for the veteran community. Mr. Vincent operates from the service model of any veteran who sleeps on the same streets he/she was once asked to defend is a dishonor to all of us, and it is our job at U.S.VETS to work ourselves out of a job. After his military service, Mr. Vincent went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, and holds a Master Degree in Social Work from the University of New England.

During Mr. Vincents leadership in Hawaii he was recognized as one of the “ten people who made a difference in Hawaii” in the year 2007. In 2008, he was awarded the “Unsung Hero” award at NCHV. He also served as the Chairperson for the entire CoC from 2010-2013 providing testimony at the state and federal levels to advocate for services for veterans and all homeless population in Hawaii. In 2012, Mr. Vincent was one of three honorees at Helping Hands Hawaii annual dinner celebrating his 19 years of work in the social service field.

Beyond his professional community involvement, Mr. Vincent is a Weinberg Fellow and proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Dan Warzenski joined U.S.VETS in October 2015 after more than three decades in retail, bringing with him a wealth of big company experience. Twenty of those years in the for-profit world were spent in the Los Angeles-based Robinsons-May, where he held leadership roles from 1986-2006.

Among his accomplishments at Robinsons-May was the 1993 merger of Robinson’s financial systems into May Co. systems. In 2002, he also helped fold Meier & Frank stores into Robinsons-May.

A U.S. veteran, Mr. Warzenski served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969-71. After an honorable discharge, he would go on to attain an MBA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey, graduating in 1976.

Beyond work, Mr. Warzenski resides in Mt. Washington, is an avid runner and soccer fan, and enjoys spending time with his two grown children and three grandchildren

Judy BiggsJudith Ann Biggs, a nonprofit veteran of more than 30 years, is the Vice President of Development for U.S. VETS, responsible for the organizations fundraising and public relations activities. In addition to working at the national level, Ms. Biggs coordinates the development efforts of the 11 U.S.VETS sites in six states and the District of Columbia.

Ms. Biggs, whose resume includes senior development positions with the U.S. Olympic Committee, Special Olympics, Wells Fargo Bank and World Cup, helped organize and manage the torch relay for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, a hugely successful promotion of the games that has been recreated in various forms thousands of times around the world by both nonprofit and private sector companies.

Ms. Biggs was also the executive director of the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena, Calif., for more than nine years, expanding the popular recreation venue and leading its efforts to build a solid financial base.

The daughter of an Air Force colonel, Ms. Biggs, a graduate of California State University, Northridge, grew up in a military environment on bases throughout the world.

Jeff Coleman is the Vice President of Fiscal Evaluation and Compliance. The primary responsibility of this position is to evaluate the financial performance of the organization as it relates to its budgets, sites, programs, and grants. This position also provides oversight of organization wide regulations and procedures to ensure fiscal compliance.

Mr. Coleman is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a B.A. degree in Economics. Mr. Coleman began working with U.S.VETS in June 1994 as Program Officer of the Corporation for National Service AmeriCorps Program. As the organization expanded, the position of Program Officer also expanded to include financial reporting and accounting. Mr. Coleman has worked in all aspects of accounting for the organization and has years of experience in financial grant management. He was then promoted into the position of Senior Financial Analyst for U.S. VETS and experienced the growth of the organization to 14 sites in 7 states. He has worked closely with each of those sites and corporate accounting in providing financial assistance and oversight.

Jim Lynch

A veteran of the Marine Corps, Vietnam and three decades of top human resources management, Jim Lynch serves as Vice President of Human Resources for U.S.VETS.

After serving in the Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1968, Mr. Lynch attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, then started as a shoe salesman in Denver for May D&F and rose over 35 years to Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Robinsons May in Los Angeles.

During that period he managed HR assignments in New York, Ohio, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Mr. Lynch also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the board of directors for The Employers Group of Los Angeles.

Mr. Lynch, who lives is the San Fernando Valley, has three adult children and two grandchildren.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Jessica Rohac of US VETS photographed at the US VETS national office in Los Angeles, CA on January 27, 2014 (Photo by Michael Burr)Jessica Rohac is the Vice President of Operations & Compliance, and provides operations and grants management support to all locations nationwide.

Ms. Rohac earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology at Michigan State University and her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She completed the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling Core Counselor Training program and served two terms representing veteran services in a governor-appointed seat on the State of Nevada Advisory Committee for Problem Gambling.

Ms. Rohac joined U.S.VETS in September 2001 as a Case Manager at the Las Vegas site. In 2011, she received national recognition as the recipient of U.S.VETS Manager of the Year Award. The following year she joined the executive team at U.S.VETS – National office.

Ms. Rohac is a Field Instructor for the University of Southern California Military Social Work Program and formerly for the University of Nevada Las Vegas Social Work and Counseling Programs. She has also served as a member of Veteran Stand Down Committees as Co-Chair and Treasurer, the National Association of Social Workers Student Member, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, and the VA Mental Health Consumer Council.

Darwin Thomas

Darwin Thomas is U.S.VETS’ first General Counsel, responsible for providing legal advice to officers and directors in the organization, assisting in the management of company risks, and overseeing the company’s legal matters, including contract formation, litigation, dispute resolution, and protection of the company’s property rights.

Thomas began his legal career and government service in 1977, when he joined the legal counsel’s office for the Internal Revenue Service in Los Angeles.  He later spent five years in in Hong Kong working for two large international accounting firms. He later worked for 25 years as a trial attorney in the office of the United States Attorney in Los Angeles, specializing in civil tax litigation and criminal prosecution of white collar crimes, and retired from his federal service in September 2014.

Thomas and his wife have 5 grown children, and reside in downtown Los Angeles.

Linda Tobey

Linda Tobey is the National Director of Resource Development for U.S.VETS. Reporting to the Vice President of Development, Ms. Tobey is responsible for creating philanthropic partnerships with donors, foundations, corporations, professional advisors and others.

Ms. Tobey received her BA from Saint Xavier University and has completed graduate coursework in publications and finance at the University of Chicago and Graham School of Management. Joining U.S.VETS team in March 2013, Ms. Tobey brings over 28 years of nonprofit experience, including positions with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Northwestern Memorial Hospital; the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse; Saint Xavier University and the Chicago Urban League.

Larry D. Williams is the National Director of Programs as well as the Acting Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Inglewood. Mr. Williams completed a four year enlistment in the United States Army; he was discharged honorably in 1989.

Mr. Williams graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and obtained his Masters of Business Administration in 2011. Mr. Williams has been serving veterans for 10 years, and has received several awards for his service to the homeless population – including two senatorial commendations, and 2 congressional recognitions and a Congressional Record from the House of Representatives, signed by Congressman Jon C. Porter. Mr. Williams has a long history of receiving accolades from veteran clients for his remarkable contribution in assisting them with acquiring food, housing, clothing, and employment services.

His proudest accomplishments are his marriage, four children and four grandchildren. Mr. Williams considers them his greatest sense of motivation and his greatest sense of support.

Executive Directors

Carole Benedict

Carole Benedict is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Prescott.

Benedict spent the greater part of the last two decades working with the community-based Verde Valley Sanctuary.

Based in Sedona, the Sanctuary provides intervention and prevention services for at-risk youth across 14 schools and serves an average of 1100 students annually.

Benedict is also a licensed child, adult and family therapist with experience facilitating anger management groups for high school and middle school students. She holds a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University.


Shalimar Cabrera is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS Las Vegas.

Ms. Cabrera earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and Masters Degree in Social Work, with a concentration on Management & Community Practice, from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She began working with U.S.VETS in 2003 as an Outreach Specialist, then continued on as AmeriCorps Program Director then National AmeriCorps Director prior to assuming the role of Executive Director of U.S.VETS Las Vegas in 2008.

Ms. Cabrera is the Chairperson of the Las Vegas Veterans Stand Down, coordinating outcome-driven services to meet the needs of hundreds of veterans each year.

Kimberley CookDr. Kim Cook is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS Barbers Point.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii at M?noa, and completed the Masters and Psy.D. Clinical Psychology programs at Argosy University Hawaii in 2006 and 2008, respectively. After working many years in the non-profit sector with children with autism, adults with severe mental illnesses, and in the field of Chemical Dependency, Dr. Cook joined U.S.VETS in 2009 as Clinical Director. She transitioned in to the role of Executive Director in 2012.

Dr. Cook was born and raised on the island of Oahu and is involved in a number of community groups, including the West Oahu Professional Network (WOPN). She serves as a member of the Argosy University Hawaii psychology board.

Eddie EstradaEddie Estrada is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Inland Empire.

Mr. Estrada earned a Bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He has worked for over 18 years withnonprofit health and social service organizations that serve vulnerable populations, using a wide range of integrated, community-based services. Prior to joining U.S.VETS in 2013, Mr. Estrada served as the Administrative Director for the Los Angeles Mission, and as the Executive Director for Urban Community Action Projects Health Center.

Mr. Estrada sits on several national boards including National Health Care for the Homeless, Riverside Countys Continuum of Care, Prison Ministry of America, and past board member of the National Association of Community Health Centers, Substance Abuse Committee and Social Security Task Force Committee. He has appeared in the Documentary Skid Row and has been recognized by the Substance Abuse Community and the Domestic Violence Community for his commitment to empower homeless individuals to lead more stable and fulfilling lives.

Cliff LewisClifton Lewis is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Washington D.C.

Mr. Lewis has more than 16 years of experience in the social service/nonprofit field assisting vulnerable populations. His roles include serving as an integral member of The Community Partnership team as a Housing Subsidy Coordinator; a supervisory, clinical and assessment role with the Family Tree Healthy Families Program and a Program Coordinator with the Young Fathers Responsible Fathers Program. Mr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Tele-Communications from Morgan State University.

Michelle Jameson

Michelle Jameson is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Phoenix.

Jameson spent the last four years working as the education social services manager with Salt River Indian Community Schools in Scottsdale-a multi-faceted job that entailed everything from overseeing day-to-day operations at four sites to making home visits to acting as liaison between state, federal and local representatives and the Native American families they served.

During her tenure at Salt River, she was nominated and recognized as one of the Top 5 Employees (out of 7,600), for her “outstanding commitment and leadership.”

Before moving to Arizona, she worked for more than a decade in Minnesota schools. During that time, she designed and launched an alternative learning center in Pelican Rapids, MN. She holds a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Minnesota State University.

Tom MitchellTom Mitchell the Executive Director for U.S.VETS Houston. He served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Air Force.

Mr. Mitchell earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Houston, and a Masters degree in Counseling from Sam Houston State University. He has advanced certification in trauma and debriefing, and is a licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor. Prior to joining U.S.VETS, Mr. Mitchell worked in the public mental health system for 30 years. He was Director of the Mobil Crisis Outreach Team, the PATH Homeless Program and the Assertive Community Treatment Teams for Harris County.

In addition to his work at U.S.VETS, Mr. Mitchell serves as a board member for Healthcare for the Homeless Houston. He also acts as a consultant for the HPD/MHMRA Crisis Intervention Response Team.

Gladys PeraroGladys Peraro is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS Waianae. Her husband Charles served in the U.S. Coast Guard as Command Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) for 30 years.

Mrs. Peraro earned a Liberal Arts Degree at Regents University in Albany, New York and is currently enrolled in the Business Management Program at Chaminade University Hawaii pursuing a degree in Business Management and an MBA. She joined U.S.VETS in 2007, overseeing Paiolu Kaiaulu (Emergency / Transitional Housing) and Kahikolu (Transitional / Affordable Housing), and was named Executive Director in 2011. Mrs. Peraro and her team at U.S.VETS Waianae have received several awards for service to the community, including certificates from the House and Senate of the Hawaii State Legislature, a proclamation by Governor Neil Abercrombie proclaiming March 10, 2012 as Paiolu Kaiaulu Day, and recognition by former Mayor Peter B. Carlisle. In 2013, Mrs. Peraro was named a top ten finalist for the Pacific Business Newss Businesswomen of the Year Award.

In addition to her work at U.S.VETS, Mrs. Peraro served as the Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee for Hawaiis Continuum of Care for two years, currently Chairs the annual Legislative Breakfast Committee, and is Treasurer for the Executive Committee.

Robert StohrRobert Stohr is the Executive Director at U.S.VETS – Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Mr. Stohr earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from California State University. Following a 20 year career as a psychotherapist, Mr. Stohr acted as Division Director for the Suicide Prevention Center at Didi Hirsch, where he managed the operation of The Suicide Prevention hotline, as well as supervised education, outreach, and training. In this position Mr. Stohr trained FBI and SWAT teams on crisis negotiation for suicide prevention, and met nationally at SAMHSA to discuss partnerships with local emergency departments. He has presented at national conferences on a manual that he co-authored about working with suicide attempt survivors.

Mr. Stohr joined U.S.VETS in January 2016.

Brenda Threatt

Brenda Threatt is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Long Beach.

A graduate of California State University Los Angeles, San Francisco Theological Seminary and West Los Angeles School of Law, Threatt brings with her no shortage of academic acumen, piled atop a mountain of achievements that led her to this role with U.S. VETS. Over the last two years, she served as the shelter system manager with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Before that, for five years, she was director of veteran outreach, acting as sole liaison to the veteran community for the City of Los Angeles, during Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration.

As a clergy member, she has worked as a chaplain at California State Military Reserve in Los Alamitos and was executive minister for the First AME Church. She has received training and certification in family counseling, military suicide prevention, and the FEMA National Incident Management System, among other credentials. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our accomplished and impressive new director.

Larry D. Williams is the National Director of Programs as well as the Acting Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Inglewood. Mr. Williams completed a four year enlistment in the United States Army; he was discharged honorably in 1989.

Mr. Williams graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and obtained his Masters of Business Administration in 2011. Mr. Williams has been serving veterans for 10 years, and has received several awards for his service to the homeless population – including two senatorial commendations, and 2 congressional recognitions and a Congressional Record from the House of Representatives, signed by Congressman Jon C. Porter. Mr. Williams has a long history of receiving accolades from veteran clients for his remarkable contribution in assisting them with acquiring food, housing, clothing, and employment services.

His proudest accomplishments are his marriage, four children and four grandchildren. Mr. Williams considers them his greatest sense of motivation and his greatest sense of support.