October 26, 2016
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Minority Vets Committee Names 8 New Members

WASHINGTON – The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has just announced the appointment of eight new members to VA’s Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, an expert panel that advises him on issues involving minority veterans.

“The new members of the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans will bring their expertise to help guide VA’s efforts in serving minority Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “VA welcomes these new members.”

Chartered on January 30, 1995, the committee makes recommendations for administrative and legislative changes.  The committee members are appointed to one, two, or three-year terms.

There are approximately 4.1 million minority Veterans in the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and territories.  They comprise approximately nearly 15 percent of the total Veteran population today.


The eight new committee members include:

·         Clara L. Adams-Ender, Brigadier General (Retired), USA, is president and chief executive officer of Caring about People with Enthusiasm (CAPE) Associates, Inc., a management consulting and inspirational speaking firm.  


·         Allie Braswell Jr., USMC, serves as president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League, and has held the position of senior manager of global strategies for diversity and inclusion at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  


·         Amanda Heidenreiter, Captain (Ret.), USA, was deployed with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C.  She currently works a networking assistant in Paws for Purple Hearts.


·         Oscar B. Hilman, Brigadier General (Ret.), USA, served as commander of the 81st Brigade Combat Team in support of Iraqi Freedom II (2004-2005), where his brigade received two combat streamers.  

·         Pedro Molina, USA, is the first in the nation assistant secretary for Native American Veterans in the California Department of Veterans Affairs. He was appointed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  


·         Wayne Nickens, M.D., is founder and chief overseer of the Healing Community, consultant to Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC in Hawaii, National Alaskan American Indian Nurses Association, the Comanche Nation, and the Cherokee elders. 


·         Celia Renteria Szelwach, DBA, USA, provides project management and technical leadership of public health projects focused on rural, women, and minority Veterans as program manager for Atlas Research.  


·         Joseph Wynn, USAF, executive director of the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) National Capital Area, serves as their Legislative Liaison on Capitol Hill.  


·         Shoshana N. Johnson, Specialist (Ret.), USA, was the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first black female POW in U.S. war history.  

·         James T. McLawhorn, Jr. is the president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Urban League in Columbia, S.C.


·         Benjamin C. Palacios, Command Sergeant Major, USA (Ret.), is assistant VP, regional account manager for the Guam and Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands region for Science Application International Corporation (SAIC).


·         Lupe G. Saldana, USMC, serves on the Executive Committee of the Veterans’ Entrepreneurship Task Force (VET-Force).  

STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News, Hispanic News, Latino News, Mexican News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Latina, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality

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