Board of Directors

 

Ellsworth “Tony” Williams (President/CEO) 

Is a Combat Army Veteran, having faithfully and honorably served on active duty in the Army for over 24 years (8 enlisted and 16 Commissioned), including service during Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He received numerous military awards including a Bronze Star and 3 Meritorious Service Medals (MSM). After he retired in 2007, he still wanted to continue to serve his fellow veterans, so he rebranded himself by getting a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Troy University. Upon graduation he founded and is the current President/CEO for Veterans Counseling Veterans Inc. Tony is married to Thelma Williams who is a retired Police Detective from Plainfield, NJ.

Tony has received numerous mental health counseling awards including a 2014 National Award “ Social Service” from American Mental Health Counseling Association and won Florida Mental Health Counselor Association(FMHCA) 2015 Poster Award.

Tony serves on many Boards and Councils including Hillsborough Veterans Council, Florida Mental Health Counselor Association and Suncoast Mental Health Counselor Association’s Military Interest Committees, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s Regional Veterans Advisory Council and American Legion Post 5 Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee Chair.

 

 Dr. Carlos Garcia is a professor and Licensed Psychologist in the state of Florida. He
received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern
University. Before accomplishing his educational goals, he served as a Tow Gunner
in the United States Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge in 2004. He
then served as a firefighter and paramedic in Florida for 7 years before returning to
school to attain his doctoral degree.
During his clinical training, Dr. Garcia focused his work on stress resilience and Post
Traumatic Growth. He utilized his background as a soldier to develop a thorough
understanding of the potential impact of stress and trauma on both mental and
physical health.
During his graduate training, Dr. Garcia formed The Students United for Returning
Veterans (SURV), an organization that was founded in order to assist returning
combat veterans as they transitioned back to civilian life. As president of the
organization, he played a key role in ensuring university wide recognition of the
issues faced by veterans. SURV led the way in instituting the university’s first
Veteran Resource Center, which provided support and guidance to all student
veterans.
Dr. Garcia continues to support veterans through his clinical work by treating those
with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other transition issues. He also works with the
families of veterans as they play such a crucial role in the ultimate health of our
veterans. Dr. Garcia is dedicated to serving veterans by collaborating with various
organizations in his commitment to better serve our country’s heroes.

  Dr Carol Rasor-Cordero, Carol is a senior research associate for the Center for Public Safety Management. She is a retired Captain from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.  During her 25 year career in law enforcement, she served in various divisions to include: Patrol Operations, Crimes Against Children, Economic Crimes, Training, Community Services, and Court Security.  While serving as the Commander of the Community Services Division, she established the Domestic Violence Unit, the Sexual Predator and Offender Unit, and as a program director for St. Petersburg College, Carol established the first and only academic on-line gang-related investigations track in the nation.   She has authored articles and presented at numerous conferences.

Carol is currently an associate professor for the College of Public Safety Administration, St. Petersburg College.  Carol holds a Ph.D. in Education, Master and Bachelor Degrees in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida.  She is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police.

Steve Foster joined the US Army shortly after high school and served on active duty for over 20 years (5 enlisted and 15 commissioned).  He’s supported operations on six continents and served most of his military career in Europe.  After retirement from the military, he received his master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University.  Other degrees include a master’s in science from Troy University in International Relations, and a Masters of Business Administration from Touro University International.

He’s founded two companies, one working in the field of construction consulting, and the other is working with counseling.   Additionally he is an associate faculty member at Ashford University.  Certifications include Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Florida Certified Building Contractor, and a Standard Inspector (Commercial) also with the State of Florida.  Steve is married to his wife Marion.

Dr. Greg Dawson began his career in Child Protective Services and Adult Probation in 1973 after graduation from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Greg completed his MA degree in Mental Health Counseling in 1977 and began working as a Psychology Assistant in a community mental health center in Springfield, Ohio. He enrolled in a Doctoral Program in Counseling at Ohio University in 1980 completing the degree and post doctoral internship in June of 1983. The degree included courses from the Psychology dept. and the Counseling Dept. Dr. Dawson became a licensed Psychologist in the State of Ohio in 1983.

He was in private practice for over twenty years. He also was a co-founder and Psychological Services Director of the Midwest Center for Head Pain Management in Troy, Ohio. The center was a multidisciplinary research and clinical facility dedicated to the treatment of head and facial pain where Dr. Dawson honed his research skills. He was on the medical staff of two Hospitals, Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy Ohio and Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton Ohio. He worked in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Departments of both hospitals as a Psychological Consultant. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wright State University’s Psy. D. program and an Adjunct Professor of Counseling in the CACREP accredited Counseling Program. Currently Dr. Dawson is an Associate Professor of Counseling for Troy University, Orlando Campus.

He began teaching at Troy in 2002. He is active in the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA) and has presented workshops and research papers at numerous national and state conferences including American Pain Society, National Association for the Study of Headache, American Council on Headache, AMHCA, FMHCA Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors and Florida Counseling Association. Dr. Dawson is a CEU provider through CE broker and hosts a workshop and poster session for his Research Methodology Students twice a year co-hosted by the Greater Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce to benefit their scholarship fund. Dr. Dawson has research interests in Integrated Collaborative Care the interface between Primary Health Care and Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment. Greg is married and has three adult children and four grandchildren. Greg enjoys SCUBA and is a certified SCUBA instructor.

Steve Foster joined the US Army shortly after high school and served on active duty for over 20 years (5 enlisted and 15 commissioned).  He’s supported operations on six continents and served most of his military career in Europe.  After retirement from the military, he received his master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University.  Other degrees include a master’s in science from Troy University in International Relations, and a Masters of Business Administration from Touro University International.

He’s founded two companies, one working in the field of construction consulting, and the other is working with counseling.   Additionally he is an associate faculty member at Ashford University.  Certifications include Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Florida Certified Building Contractor, and a Standard Inspector (Commercial) also with the State of Florida.  Steve is married to his wife Marion.

Tomas K. Cruz is an Active Duty Master Sergeant in the Unites States Army with over 22 years of service.  He has deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom and just returned from a six-month deployment.  MSG Cruz has lived experience with suicide prevention and awareness as he attempted in 2010 to take his life.

Since his attempt MSG Cruz has become a huge advocate of more awareness and prevention for Veterans.  He has taken his skills to social media where he assisted in pioneering two organizations to identify and assist Veterans with mental health issues, suicidal ideations, relationship issues, financial concerns and other Veteran specific issues.  With his own recovery breaking the stigma within the military on career status, family life and security clearance myths he has pushed to bring holistic means to Veterans to the road of recovery.

MSG Cruz has been widely sought by military units, military bases, DoD organizations, National Suicide Organizations and White House for his expertise on Veterans issues and social media.  MSG Cruz is Master Resilience Trained Level One, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer, Question, Persuade, Refer trained, Army Suicide Intervention SI trainer.  He is also the Program Director for Suicide and Awareness with Veterans Counseling Veterans, advisor to Animal Rescue & Veteran Support Services, panel member of Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research with University of South Florida, subject matter expert with White House and Office of the Surgeon General. MSG Cruz received the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) 2017 Voice Award Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership Award for his work to ensure America’s military and veteran communities have access to the mental health and substance use treatment and services they deserve.