Board of Directors
Deanna Thomas, DDM
Deanna is a doctor of dentistry and has 14 years in private practice with Thomas Family Dentistry. She was a Dental Officer with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 2001 to 2016. Prior to that, she served in the Dental Corps with the United States Navy for 5 years. Deanna is the School Board Director for Sharpsville Area School District. She is the current President of the Mercer County Dental Society.
And she loves craft beer.
James Hancox, BA, U.S. Army Veteran
James is a U.S. Army combat Veteran with 16 years of honorable service, with 3 tours of duty in Iraq (05-06, 07-08, 09-10) with the Big Red One. He is a 2018 Penn State Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences with a focus on Social Work. He works as a clinical manager for troubled youth. James looks forward to helping as many Veterans as he can while working with The Guardians Nest.
And loves gaming with family and friends, and watching movies.
Michele Truax-Ohl -Volunteer TGN Operations Director
Michele is currently serving as the Operations Director for The Guardians Nest. She is the wife of a 101st Army Veteran. She is a mother to three amazing girls, one she lost due to complications or premature birth. She was named a 2017, 40Under40 recipient for Mercer County and the 2018 Phoenix Award winner for Entrepreneur by the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce. She is currently finishing her Bachelors in Letters, Arts, and Sciences (2020) at Penn State Shenango.
And she loves sewing, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughters.
Stefanie Salmon, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
Stefanie is a State Parole Agent for Mercer County. Prior to that she worked as a Veterans Service Officer for 4 years at the Mercer County Veteran’s Affairs office. Stefanie was stationed in Okinawa, Japan followed by Camp Pendleton, CA where she deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 04-05 with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 as a radio operator.
And she loves helping veterans and using sticky notes.
Claudia Brown, M.S.E.D.
Claudia is an instructor of 20+ years in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Penn State Shenango, where she is a faculty advisor for the Student Veterans Association. She currently serves as a Campus VenturePointe consultant to non-profit start-ups with the eCenter at LindenPointe. Claudia has sat on several community agency boards and is currently involved in fighting local blight with Sharon’s Neighborhood Revitalization Committee.
And she loves cats.
Ricco Oliver TSS, LMHW, MBA – USMC Veteran
Ricco is the Human Resource Director for a mental health agency Associates Counseling & Child Guidance (ACCG). Ricco has been an employee since 1998 and loves having a positive impact with the client population his agency serves – youth & adolescents within the local community. Ricco is currently obtaining his MSW degree (2019) from YSU and with this degree would like to continue helping people particularly the Veteran population. Ricco is a USMC Veteran and was a heavy machine gunner with Weapons Company 3/25 and received a purple heart in 2005 in support of OIF while conducting Iraq combating insurgency activity.
And he loves his family, friends, co-workers, grandson-Rahkim and always the Steelers.
Brian Flick, BS, US Navy Veteran
Brian is the Founding member of The Guardian’s Nest Inc. He is a U.S. Navy combat Veteran with five years of honorable service, and a 2015 Penn State Honors graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. He served as an intern with the Mercer County Veteran’s Affairs Office. These experiences guided this purpose- to provide a more comprehensive network of care for Veterans in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Outside of work, he is a volunteer firefighter and serves on his township’s planning commission.
And he loves woodworking and old tools.