2023 Defense Community Champions

Fred Alvarado

Title: CEO & Founder

Organization: Broken Warrior Angel

Defense Community: Alamo–San Antonio Region, Texas

Local Base: Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland

What makes them a champion:

Through founding and leading Broken Warrior Angel, Alvarado has provided opportunities to homeless, disabled and OTH (other than Honorable) men and women veterans. He is a Vietnam veteran himself, and is dedicated to reaching out to, supporting, and providing relief to homeless veterans in the San Antonio area.

Curtis Beulah

Title: Chairperson

Organization: Sergeant Alfred B. Hilton Memorial Fund, Inc.

Defense Community: Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor

Local Base: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

What makes them a champion:

Serving as the Chairperson of the Alfred B. Hilton Memorial Fund, Beulah provides education on the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in the Civil War and the achievements of Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton. Through Beulah’s leadership, the foundation was able to accomplish several actions to honor and remember Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton and the USCT.

Jay Chesshir

Title: President & CEO

Organization: Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce

Defense Community: Central Arkansas

Local Base: Little Rock Air Force Base

What makes them a champion:

As President of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Chesshir has been a consistent advocate for LRAFB’s mission, airmen and families at the local, state and federal levels. He has also spearheaded fundraising efforts to create scholarships, support the LRAFB Spouse’s Organization and the First Sergeant Groups’ Warm Hearts Program. His leadership at state and national levels to protect and enhance the missions of LRAFB have helped assure awareness of the many vital roles the Base plays to assure national security.

Aubrey David

Title: Director

Organization: Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

Defense Community: Alamo–San Antonio Region, Texas

Local Base: Joint Base San Antonio-Ft. Sam Houston

What makes them a champion:

Through running the Unaccompanied/Unaccounted for/Unclaimed Veterans Program, David pays tribute to service members by laying them to rest with honors. He ensures standard internment procedures with military honors for veterans with no known next of kin or those whose next of kin are unable to attend. David and his team hold quarterly burial services, open to the public, to honor the service of these veterans.

Serafina De Los Santos

Title: Director, Joint Base San Antonio Workforce, Military Spouse & Transition Alliance

Organization: 502 Force Support Group

Defense Community: Alamo–San Antonio Region, Texas

Local Base: Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph

What makes them a champion:

De Los Santos provides training, education, career development, networking opportunities and more to service members, veterans and their families as they start to transition out of the service or seek new career opportunities. The JBSA Transition Alliance connects a wide variety of organizations to provide transitioning service members and their families with the resources they need to be successful.

Bob Decker

Title: Co-Chairman

Organization: Northwest Ohio Military Affairs Committee

Defense Community: Northwest Ohio Region

Local Base: Toledo Air National Guard Base

What makes them a champion:

As co-chairman of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee, Decker has been a strong advocate for military members and their families. As part of the committee, he has helped retain the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing during the 2005 BRAC, create one of the first veteran courts in Ohio and contributed to the Ohio Federal Military Jobs Commission.

Dr. Lucy Greene

Title: Consultant

Organization: Moody Support Group

Defense Community: South Georgia

Local Base: Moody Air Force Base

What makes them a champion:

Dr. Greene and her late husband, Parker Greene, formed The Moody Support Group, a civilian network with the sole purpose of honoring our servicemen and women in any capacity possible. Dr. Greene has been a leader in Moody Support for over 40 years. Additionally, Dr. Greene is involved in a multitude of initiatives on and around Moody Air Force Base, including leading Moody Support Group, working with the Governor on his defense initiative, authoring daily updates for local civic leaders, authoring a monthly Volunteer Volume that captures all the support efforts for Moody AFB and working with local schools and universities to support the education of our military and their families.

Kimberly Huth

Title: Executive Director, Military Affairs

Organization: St. Clair County, Illinois

Defense Community: St. Clair County, Illinois

Local Base: Scott Air Force Base

What makes them a champion:

Serving as the liaison between all county departments and all organizations across Scott AFB leaders, Huth’s talents are called upon by state and national elected officials to solve complex issues affecting those who serve our nation. Huth’s primary focus is assisting military members in obtaining county services, while promoting, maintaining, and fostering a harmonious relationship within the military and civilian communities of St. Clair County.

Alvin G. Kinsall

Title: Chair

Organization: City of New London Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee

Defense Community: Southeastern Connecticut

Local Base: Naval Submarine Base New London

What makes them a champion:

As chair of New London’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, Kinsall has been a champion of veteran, service member and military family support, appreciation and inclusivity. His efforts revitalized the U.S. Submarine Veterans Groton and helped found the City of New London Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee.

George Lauritson

Title: Mayor

Organization: City of St. Robert, Missouri

Defense Community: Fort Leonard Wood Region

Local Base: Fort Leonard Wood


What makes them a champion:

During his tenure as Chairman of the Fort Leonard Wood region’s Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, Mayor Lauritson’s leadership positively impacted servicemembers, military families and veterans through multiple partnership initiatives that support military family quality of life, infrastructure resiliency, regional transportation access, regional healthcare; quality of public education; military spouse and transitioning servicemember employment initiatives and Fort Leonard Wood’s mission success.

Jamie Livengood

Title: Student and Family Support Coordinator

Organization: Wayne County Public Schools

Defense Community: Goldsboro, North Carolina

Local Base: Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

What makes them a champion:

Serving close to 2,000 military-connected students, Livengood has developed and implemented a multitude of programs and practices to meet the unique needs of military-connected students. Through establishing and/or supporting programs like the Military Child Education Website, Scorecard Working Group and Wayne School of Technical Arts, Livengood has been a strong advocate for military families.

Colonel Robert Long

Title: Commander, Space Launch Delta 30 and Western Launch and Test Range

Organization: Vandenberg Space Force Base

Defense Community: Lompoc, California

Local Base: Vandenberg Space Force Base

What makes them a champion:

As commander for Vandenberg Space Force Base’s (VSFB) Space Launch Delta 30 and Western Launch and Test Range, Colonel Long has been committed to continuous improvement of the base’s relationship with the City of Lompoc, a city of nearly 44,000 that neighbors VSFB. Col. Long established the VSFB Community Partnership Program to strengthen the base’s relationship with the city and created the Integrated Resilience Center for sexual assault and domestic violence victims in the Vandenberg community.

Frederick Mueller

Title: Mayor

Organization: City of Sierra Vista

Defense Community: Sierra Vista, Arizona

Local Base: Fort Huachuca

What makes them a champion:

A retired Army officer, Mueller has a keen interest in, and passion for, our military, and has committed the majority of his adult life to serving our nation. Mayor Mueller has advocated for service members, their families and veterans as a member of the Governor’s appointed Military Affairs Commission for several years. He has also participated in and supported Sierra Vista’s United Veteran’s Council and led environmental efforts in the Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca area.

Chuck Parker

Title: Senior Vice President, Military Housing Management

Organization: Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC)

Defense Community: Privatized Military Housing Communities at 55 Air Force, Army, and Navy bases

Media: Charles “Chuck” Parker Honored as 2023 National Defense Community Champion

What makes them a champion:

As Senior Vice President for Balfour Beatty Communities, Parker initiated a plan to develop an innovative, third-party financed, energy conservation program for its 55 military housing communities in the U.S. This program has resulted in significant energy/water consumption and cost savings for both BBC and the Army, better living conditions for military families, and BBC’s ability to dedicate more resources to its core mission of building and maintaining homes for our military families.

William D. Rowe, Jr.

Title: Community Volunteer and Partnership Leader; Former Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton

Organization: Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Defense Community: Northern Virginia Region

Local Base: Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort Belvoir and Marine Corps Base Quantico

What makes them a champion:

Dr. Rowe has worked for a number of years to help defense communities become more sustainable, resilient, and mission ready. He has led and supported a multitude of initiatives and programs to do so, including leading Booz Allen’s BRAC campaign from 2005-2011, volunteer work with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, guiding Northern Virginia’s Cyber Training & Roadmap program and much more.

Ray Springsteen

Title: President & CEO

Organization: Abound Credit Union

Defense Community: Greater Fort Knox Region, Kentucky

Local Base: Fort Knox

Media: KRDA Honors Board Chairman at Annual Meeting

What makes them a champion:

As CEO of Abound Credit Union, Springsteen has led efforts to support soldiers and their families while strengthening Fort Knox. He promotes financial literacy among service members, leads workshops for veteran entrepreneurs, serves as the board chairman of the Knox Regional Development Alliance and has supported expansion of healthcare access in the Fort Knox region.

Joseph Zeis, Jr.

Title: Senior Advisor for Aerospace and Defense

Organization: State of Ohio, Governor’s Office

Defense Community: Western Ohio Region

Local Base: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

What makes them a champion:

A retired Air Force Colonel, Zeis now serves as the senior advisor for aerospace and defense, a role where he works to protect Ohio’s military and aerospace installations. He has been an advocate for service members at the federal, state and local level and is an active member in defense communities throughout Ohio.