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Paul Baffico, Founder and President, U.S. Army, 1LT 1969-1971, served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne in 1970-1971 as a combat communications platoon leader. He has been a monthly docent for the National Park Service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC since 2006; a certified Veteran Peer Support Specialist, the 2012 Chicago Red Cross Military Hero of the Year, past Chairman of the Governing Council of the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services Federal Grant and founder of the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation. His book Last Mission for a Reluctant Patriot was published in 2014. Mr. Baffico spent 34 years at Sears Roebuck where he was the President of the Automotive Group and CEO of Western Auto. He holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco. Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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M.J. Hodgins, Secretary, Director of Community Development is the retired Project Coordinator for the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services SAMHSA grant at the Lake County Health Department. She was a LCHD Assistant Clinical Coordinator for substance abuse, a counselor with Alexian Brothers and Rush Behavioral Health Programs. She also developed and coordinated a satellite DUI treatment and services program in Lake Villa for The Counseling Center of Crystal Lake. Ms. Hodgins holds an Associate's Degree in substance abuse counseling from College of Lake County, a Bachelors' Degree in Counseling from DePaul University, and is a registered CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor). Her dedication comes from being a former Vietnam-era Navy wife and daughter of a WWII Army veteran. Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Dr. Mary Roberson, ED.d, Social Services Supervisor, is a Navy veteran who holds a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She teaches graduate classes at National Louis University and undergraduate classes at the CLC. She has over 20 years of proficiency in the Human Services and Behavioral Health field. Previously the Managing Director for Nicasa Behavioral Health Services (retired) where she had oversight on SAMHSA Grants, which included technology-assisted care, adolescents with co-occurring addiction and mental health; women at risk of infection for HIV and homeless involved in the criminal justice system. She has served on multiple boards.: Executive Board of Illinois Department of Human Services DASA Women’s Committee, the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Association, the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism, and the Lake County Opioid Initiative. Dr. Roberson is a member of the Drug Court Team and Veterans Treatment Assistance Court. She completed the Great Lakes ATTC Communities of Color: Training of Trainers and Next Generation of Leaders.  Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Robert E. Gorman, Jr., Veteran Peer Support Specialist, Veteran 1LT U.S. Army, Airborne qualified. Served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, 1969-1970. He is a certified Peer-to-Peer Support Specialist, an active mentor for 19th Judicial District Veterans Court of Lake County and food pantry volunteer at St. Francis De Sales Parish in Lake Zurich. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Gorman had a career in Advertising, Corporate Communications and Public Relations with the Allstate Insurance Company, as well as with his own private company after his retirement from Allstate.  Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Jessica Lopez, United States Marine Corp, E-5 Sergeant, LCVFSF Veteran Peer is a student at the Northern Illinois, working on her Social Worker undergraduate studies. A native of Kankakee County, she served four years in the Marine Corps on Okinawa as the unit Comptroller. Jessica’s husband David is a Marine Sargent specializing in data management and control. Jessica brings her youth, vitality, enthusiasm and involvement in the CLC Vet Club to LCVFSF. In addition to learning all the different aspects of being a Peer Support Specialist at LCVFSF, she is responsible for special events as well as Social Media Content. Questions?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Angel A. Andrade, United States Navy, Veteran Peer Specialist served in the U.S. Navy for five years as an electrician and an information resources specialist, completing his service as a petty officer, 2nd Class. He was deployed to the Gulf on the U.S.S. Bainbridge. He then served at Lovell Federal Health Care Center where he completed his service. Angel is a student at College of Lake County where he is completing an Associate of Arts in Business Degree. He is president of the Student Veteran’s Club of CLC. Angel began volunteering at the DryHootch Drop-In Center this past August and will complete Peer Support Specialist certification early next year. He is married to Brittany and lives in Round Lake Beach. “Angel’s extensive experience in the Navy, Veteran and student cultures will be a tremendous asset added to our staff base of knowledge. We are fortunate to him as a colleague,” said LCVFSF President Paul Baffico.  Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Juan Mendez,  United States Marine Corp, E-6 Staff Sergeant,  LCVFSF Veteran Peer, was a student at College of Lake County where he met LCVFSF staff members Jessica Lopez and Angel Andrade. “They told me about the work the foundation was doing on behalf of Veterans and their loved ones,” Juan said. Prior to CLC, Juan did community outreach work in Milwaukee that included the Marines’ “Toys for Tots” and worked with Marine Reservists on employment and other issues. Juan was deployed three time to Iraq, as well as other assignments in the Philippines and ports in Singapore, Japan and Thailand. While Juan is new to the foundation, he already enjoys his work. “I’m impressed with the partnerships the foundation has formed and the collaboration that these make possible. We talk about the best solution to complex problems and we all benefit from the exchange. I have learned the value of listening. I have seen the value that LCVFSF adds as a resource hub.”  Juan is holder of a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from North Park College.

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Ashton Kroner, United States Marine Corp, E-5 Sergeant, LCVFSF Social Media Contractor, is also currently serving as Outreach Coordinator for The Road Home, a program of The Center for Veterans and Their Families in Chicago. She deployed with the 1st Communication Battalion, 8th Marines in Iraq and was sent on temporary duty assignment as a Lioness, gathering intelligence from local women. After completing a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, Ashton became a Marine recruiter in the Albany, N.Y. area.  She has a bachelor’s degree, is a mother of two, and is married to a fellow Marine. She is one of many Veterans who continue to serve their country and community after they no longer wear the active duty uniform.

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Daniel Sheline is a Veteran volunteer, having served 10 years in the United States Navy from 1987-1997. He left the Navy as a Petty Officer Second Class and received many group and individual awards including the Navy Achievement Medal. He served during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in 1991. He is currently a Sergeant with the Lake County Sheriff's Office in the Corrections Division since 1997. He has been a Field Training Officer, a member of the Correctional Response Team and is currently the Accreditation Manager. He is a member of the American Correctional Association, Illinois Correctional Association and the Correctional Accreditation Managers Association. Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Regina Lind, LCVFS volunteer, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Northwestern-Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. In her role as a Perinatal Social Worker, Regina worked with bereaved families, trained residents and medical students in dealing with the psychosocial needs of families. She has also published articles on family needs during the perinatal period. After retirement, Regina spent many years volunteering for literacy programs but always felt she wanted to work with men and women who serve, and have served in the military.  Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ron Bruner, LCVFSF Volunteer Veteran Peer Specialist, United States Army, Illinois National Guard, is a retired bank executive and Chicago native. He is a graduate of Lane Tech, Roosevelt University, and holds an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. After serving in the Illinois National Guard for six years where he saw duty during the Sixties, Ron went into the banking and trust business where he enjoyed forty years of success. Since his retirement, Ron has always made it a habit to spend the majority of his free time volunteering. At Lake Forest Hospital, he was recognized as the volunteer of the year. He also trains his champion dog and finds ways to make other contributions to his community. LCVFSF is fortunate to have Ron turn his attention to the business administration needs of the Foundation. Ron recently complete DBSA Peer Training and has been certified by the state of Illinois as a Veteran Peer Specialist.  Questions?: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.