Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
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. Brian currently works as a Veteran Housing Advisor for Community Action Partnership of Mercer County. 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.
Stefanie Mong, 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.
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.
Sam Bernstine, BS
Sam is a Principal with Kepner-Tregoe (KT), specializing in the automotive segment in North America and serving as liaison to KT's global automotive practice. He has 30 years of teamwork and leadership experience. Sam engages in consultation focused on collaboration and business process towards continuous improvement. Prior to joining KT, He managed plant-wide employee involvement programs for a Fortune 100 company. Sam is a current member of the Penn State Alumni Association Executive Council Board.
And he loves Penn State football.
April Mills, BS, U.S. Coast Guard Veteran
April is a caseworker for Mercer County Children and Youth Services. Previously, she worked as an advocate for AWARE, Inc. April has 12 years of enlisted service in the U.S. Coast Guard. She graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice. She was also the 2013 President of Penn State’s Veterans Association.
And she loves spending time with her family and her dogs.
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.
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 will be working in the Mercer County area, doing anything to prevent and intervene on behalf of those troubled youth and families. James looks forward to helping as many Veterans as I can while working with The Guardians Nest.
And loves gaming with family and friends, and watching movies.
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 heavy machine gunner with Weapons Company 3/25 and received a purple heart in OIF3 in 2005 while in Iraq combating insurgency activity.
And he loves his family, friends, co-workers, grandson-Rahkim and always the Steelers.
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.