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 since 2003. As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Vincent directly supervises all Executive Directors across the organization’s 11 services areas, and oversees overall operations of U.S.VETS nationally.

As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Vincent has a long-standing commitment and sincere compassion for the veteran community. Mr. Vincent truly operates with the belief that any veteran who sleeps on the same streets they were once asked to defend represents a dishonor to us all – and that it is our job at U.S.VETS to work ourselves out of a job. After his military service, Mr. Vincent received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, a Master Degree in Social Work from the University of New England, and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Earlier in his career at U.S.VETS, Mr. Vincent led the expansion of our U.S.VETS-Barber’s Point and opened U.S.VETS-Waianae. As the head of U.S.VETS programs nationally, his attention to quality and measurable outcomes led the organization to achieve CARF accreditation and to be recognized as a national leader in service delivery to homeless veterans.

During Mr. Vincent’s 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 Continuum of Care from 2010-2013. In 2012, Mr. Vincent was honored at the Helping Hands Hawaii annual dinner, in celebration of his 19 years of work in the social service field. In 2013, Mr. Vincent received the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation AIM for Excellence Award. Mr. Vincent has been featured in local and national media including Hawaii Magazine, Honolulu Star Advertiser, ABC, CBS and Fox News, and has provided testimony at state and federal levels to government, community coalitions and Veterans Administration leadership, advocating for the needs of America’s veterans.

Beyond his professional community involvement, Mr. Vincent is a Weinberg Fellow and proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is the proud father of two sons, the younger is a pre-teen and the older is a currently a cadet at West Point.

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

Lori Allgood joined U.S.VETS in April 2017, as Vice President and Director of Housing Development after working extensively in real estate development and nonprofit operations.

As VP of Housing Development, she oversees U.S.VETS portfolio of properties and manages affordable housing development, including property acquisition and development, financial structuring and acquisition, compliance and partnerships.

Ms. Allgood’s past accomplishments include implementation and direction of a $350 million dollar product philanthropy program, as well as over 20 years of real estate development.

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.

Laney Kapgan is the Vice President, Development & Communications for U.S.VETS. In this position, she oversees national and regional fundraising, and engagement with the philanthropic community, as well as communications and marketing strategy.

Prior to joining U.S.VETS, Ms. Kapgan was Chief Development Officer at Venice Family Clinic, a UCLA Health System-affiliated community health center, and held fundraising and leadership roles at GLAAD, Chrysalis, Race to Erase MS and Break the Cycle. In total, Ms. Kapgan has raised more than $96 million to provide housing, health care, employment services and other vital direct services for our community.

Ms. Kapgan received her B.A. in Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a certificate from the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Clinic Leadership Institute. In her spare time, Ms. Kapgan serves as Co-Chair for Shared Plates, an event benefiting L.A. Kitchen, and is a relatively successful urban gardener.

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.

Carla Ford

Carla A. Ford is the General Counsel for US VETS.  She is 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.

Ms. Ford served for 16 years as an Assistant United States (“AUSA”) in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office (“USAO”) in Los Angeles, where she represented the government in a varied civil litigation practice.  In 2010, Ms. Ford left the USAO to join Walmart Stores, Inc. as a senior member of their field-based Environmental Compliance & Ethics Team, which helped the Fortune One’s 300+ California facilities stay in compliance with State and Federal environmental laws.  During her legal career in Atlanta, she served as an AUSA and, later, she was appointed chief executive officer of Georgia’s Commission on Equal Opportunity, the agency that investigated claims of discrimination in housing and in state employment. Ms. Ford has also been in private practice at law firms in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Pasadena.

Involved in her community, Ms. Ford serves on the board of Being Alive!, a nonprofit organization that helps those affected by HIV/AIDS and she is a life member of the Black Women Lawyers  Association of Los Angeles.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Ford is a graduate of Boston University, where she earned a B.A. in English, cum laude, and Georgetown University Law Center.  She and her husband have one adult son and reside in Mid-City L.A.

Larry D. Williams is the Vice President of Programs. 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.

Larry D. Williams is the Vice President of Programs. 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.

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.

Akilah Templeton

Akilah Templeton is the Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Inglewood in California.

A native of Inglewood, Templeton jumped at the chance to return to the community she knows and loves.  She has worked in substance abuse and mental health for more than 20 years. Her commitment to service is deeply rooted in a family legacy of giving back. This dedication is evidenced by a conscious decision to work in public service and in the non-profit sector with the hope of improving the quality of life for those who may otherwise have difficulty accessing the care they need.

Prior to joining U.S.VETS, Templeton served as Managing Director for one of the largest substance use disorder and mental health treatment facilities in the country. She has also worked for the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles County, the Department of Behavioral Health in Ventura County, and as a Program Director providing housing and supportive services to adults with developmental disabilities and chronic mental illness. As Executive Director for U.S.VETS – Inglewood, Templeton is committed to championing the cause of veteran homelessness and the myriad barriers that adversely affect our nation’s heroes.

Templeton holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from USC with a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Public- Sector Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Through the course of her career she has held certifications as a Master’s Level Addiction Specialist, a Certified Addiction Counselor, and a Group Home Administrator. She has contributed to the national discussion on the importance of individualized and integrated care for individuals with co-morbid disorders through her professional associations and participation on panels and boards in the role of Director.

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.