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Founding Board Member + Executive Director

Pete Salazar Jr. Founder of USDV-A is a graduate of the University of Texas, San Antonio where he majored in history. Pete was a part of the inaugural class of The Institute for Law and Public Affairs. He has more than a decade of experience working with a broad span of veterans. Pete specializes in addressing multiple lawmaking bodies in both the state and federal levels concerning veteran’s issues.

Mr. Salazar Jr. has over 8 years appointed, contributing with the Commission on Veterans Affairs for the city of Austin. Pete spearheaded and aided various programs implemented by the City of Austin, TX to help veterans. Collaborations such as: The small business micro loan program for veterans, along with  coordinating on behalf of the Veterans Commission for the Austin Veterans Art Festival. Pete proudly served as a board member for the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel and served on the planning committee for the Austin Veterans Day Parade.

Recognitions: Recipient of commendations for his work in Las Vegas with veterans from U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Currently, Pete is Vice Chair for The Commission on Veterans Affairs for The City of Austin, TX. He has spent the last four years advising members of the Austin City Council, on programs and policies concerning veterans. Pete is a public speaker for veterans local, and national, and more.

 

Founding Board Member
Secretary

Llyas Salahud-din is a Certified Nonprofit Professional, and Fundraising Expert. LLyas has over 12 years in the nonprofit industry and is known for his ability to inspire others through cross-sector collaborative change.  LLyas graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he studied Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. LLyas has spent 2 years living in Costa Rica, and has traveled all over Central America.  In addition to being the USDV-A board Security, he is also one of the Founding Board members, and has provided strategies for the growth of the organization.

Procurement Specialist – Alan Phillips, CTPM, CPPB

Alan Phillips serves as the Director of Purchasing for Alvin Community College in Alvin, TX. Alan is very knowledgeable and experienced in procurement and organizational improvement. Alan has held roles at various Universities and Colleges across Texas and two very unique municipalities. He has a proven track record of improving processes for public agencies and currently serves as the Past-President of the Texas Public Procurement Association.

Alan earned his undergraduate degree in Industrial Management with a minor in Procurement.  Alan served a Lecturer in the University of Houston College of Technology teaching courses in procurement and business. 

Currently, Alan serves as the association past-president for the Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA); past-president of the Southeast Texas Association of Public Purchasing (SETAPP) and the Texas-Oklahoma – Arkansas – Louisiana chapter of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP).  Alan is also on the Board for an Independent Living Center for people of disabilities in the East Texas Area.

Media + Visual Communications
Coordinator – Detective: Eva Storey, TPLI

Detective Eva Storey, TPLI, is a State of Texas Detective for over 19 years. Eva began her career in technology communications, designing technical manuals, visual aid graphics, and database code building. She became an Art Agent, representing designers, artists, photographers, and product inventors. Over 21 years ago, Eva discovered what it was like to be in a life and death situation within a medical setting. After giving birth to a second child, her daughter, she suffered a major basilar artery stroke that led into a coma. Through recovery, she had 6 TIAS (mini strokes) that followed. Her body’s response was a rare autoimmunity disorder. During this time frame, her first-born, a son, started having his own medical issues. After recovery, her son was diagnosed with two rare and complex spinal conditions called: ‘Syringomyelia/Chiari Malformation’ at the age of 7 years old. Knowing that a cure has not been discovered yet, Eva began her journey within advocacy and medical research. She vowed to gain the tools it took to help others facing emergency medical situations, needing immediate resources, and support. Soon after, she worked as a Healthcare Director within the medical industry assisting with medical educational curriculum, and medical illustrating, for physicians and nurses throughout the USA.

Eva took her experiences abroad, traveling to third world countries working with foreign-based doctors, of many diverse cultures, who shared the same passions, disability advocacy for all. Armenia was a prime focus of aid within the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and Visually – Impaired international communities providing foreign medical communications. Throughout her life’s work, Eva met two major people that mentored and encouraged her career journey. One instructed her on how to properly serve those who have language access barriers within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. The second mentor, a former Police Officer and State Independent Detective, recruited, and trained her as an Independent State of Texas Investigator. Currently, Detective Eva Storey, passionately, safeguards individuals within: Advocacy (all types), Legal Support, Medical Coordination, Medical Records Retrievals & Protection, Safety & Protection, Patient Advocacy, Risk Management & Assessments for Industry Compliance, and Protection Trainings. To Include: Client educations for hospital districts, med clinics, and private practies on (HIPAA/HITECH LAWs), Joint Commission Standards, Educational, and Government compliance, all focusing on the Reasonable Accommodations Act and ADA (Americans with Disability Act) Laws. Veterans who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Visually-Impaired, with rare diseases are a focus.

Currently, Eva is President and CEO to Sign Shares Inc. / Sign Shares International, an advocacy interpreting agency for people who require proper language access, specializing in sign languages for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities and all Foreign Spoken Languages. She is also Founder to The Capsule Group Inc. an advocacy company providing resource networking for people of all disabilities and Protecting Texans, a detective agency providing protection services for Texas community members. The mission is to navigate individuals and families, on how to advocate for themselves in all aspects of their life, gaining peace of mind, our greatest community commodity. As a C – Level executive, Eva provides Executive Directorship, Vocational Navigating, Grant Writing, Fundraising, and Succession Planning for non-profits/for profits on local, and federal levels. Currently, Eva’s son is now starting his journey within technologies, and medical business advocacy. She will be launching a disability podcast, to keep discussions on Disability Awareness and continues to produce her medical art for disability fundraising initiatives.

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

HEALTHCARE CLINICIAN, Annette Rierson, LMSW

Annette Rierson, LMSW, is a dedicated Veteran Advocate who served honorably in the United States Air Force. Based in Austin, Texas, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Texas State University, specializing in Advanced Administrative Leadership. Annette is passionate about community engagement, Veteran rights, and supporting individuals through bereavement, grief, and loss.

With over ten years of experience, Annette has provided invaluable support to veterans, delivering patient care and mental health services across various settings, including non-profit organizations, regional hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and private practice. As a veteran housing case manager with Caritas of Austin, she offered vital housing support to those who served their country. At Ascension-at-Home Together with Compassus Hospice, Annette provided end-of-life care case management and assistance to veterans and their families in diverse settings. Additionally, she served as a volunteer coordinator, spearheading efforts to recruit, train, and establish initiatives fostering veteran-to-veteran companionship.

Beyond her professional commitments, Annette actively volunteers with non-profit organizations, leveraging her expertise in research and grant writing to secure crucial funding for accessible housing solutions benefiting low-income individuals with disabilities. Her dedication to community service extended to leadership roles at her local American Legion Post, where she supported fundraising events, partnered with organizations aiding veterans, and championed for educational and leadership opportunities for local high school girls. Through her diverse volunteer efforts, from organizing food drives to awarding Girls State Scholarships, Annette persistently strives to cultivate unity and empowerment among veterans in her community, leaving a lasting and meaningful impact on those she has served.”

Currently she in a fellowship to enhance her expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Annette is deepening her clinical practice knowledge and skills at Staats Psychiatric Services in Cedar Park, Texas.

HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH, Maranda Moon

Maranda Moon, Hailing from the rural town of Bloomville, Ohio, Maranda embarked on a journey that led her to enlist in the Marines in 2014 as a young youth of 19 years old. Commencing with boot camp at Parris Island and undergoing MOS training at Camp Johnson, she was subsequently stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. She proudly served as a Motor T mechanic, and ultimately achieved the rank of Sergeant. Sgt. Maranda Moon honorably concluded her service in December of 2018. Following her military tenure, she pursued education across various disciplines which included: Aesthetics, Personal Training, Massage Therapy, Holistic Health, and Functional Diagnostics Nutrition. Maranda’s noteworthy achievements are within: Wellness division bodybuilding, competing three times and earning two, 1st place awards. Currently, Maranda is owner and CEO of Buddhi Beauty & Wellness Co. She is a Holistic Health Coach and Online Health and Wellness Trainer. Additionally, she is on the forefront of specializing in medicinal esteemed brands and programs aimed at revolutionizing mental health management practices. As a coach and business owner, Sgt. Maranda Moon is honored to help veterans and their families improve their personal lifestyles and attitudes so that they can have the most superior quality of life imaginable.

Chairman & Founder VSP Channel

GLENN TOWERY is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran.
Mr. Towery is the Founder of the Veterans Suicide Prevention Channel, and the Austin Veteran Arts Festival.

Army Veteran

Michael Snowden is an eight year Army Veteran who served during Desert Storm, Desert Shield era. Mr. Snowden has worked in Sports medicine at the University of Texas and transitioned into private practice. He now works part -time at his daughter’s school due to his service connected disability.