Lisa is a filmmaker and Part 107 Commercial Drone Pilot. She has worked as a professional Actress and Acting Coach for over 35 years. She studied at New York University in the School of Educational Theatre, including, film production and screenwriting at NYU’s Tisch School for the Performing Arts. She also taught at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
Lisa has always had a passion for mission driven projects. In 2001, Lisa wrote, directed and produced an educational film, "Kenny" to raise awareness for the rare skin disease, Ichthyosis. Kenny won The Manhattan Global Film Festival and Humanitarian Award.
As a survivor of domestic violence Lisa founded her non-profit, 501C3, A Write to Heal, Inc. in 2006 and traveled across the country presenting her one woman show. She proudly presented as a keynote speaker for the YWCA in Washington, D.C. and internationally in Zurich, Switzerland at the Women’s World Council.
Lisa’s advocacy work has a strong focus on raising awareness on issues surrounding trauma. She has a passion and love to serve our military community through her film productions, which include veterans as consultants, cast and crew members.
The camaraderie of ‘Vets on set’ has proven to be a positive healing experience for our heroes in Lisa’s film productions, ‘The Shooters Nail' and ‘The Shades’, an official selection of the Cinequest Film Festival and Berlin Lift-Off.
Over the last 9 years, Lisa has conducted interviews with military soldiers and their families. She is currently adapting their true stories into a dramatic tv series, Heroic Episodes.
Lisa can be booked as a keynote speaker and continues to develop her humanitarian projects and writings with a focus on a universal message of hope and healing.
Joe Mantegna is a Tony Award Winning actor who has made over 200 film and TV appearances. He is also a producer, writer, and director, and is probably best known for his role FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi in the CBS television series Criminal Minds and his role, Joey Zasa in the Francis Ford Coppola epic The Godfather Part III.
Mantegna hosted the 2023 PBS NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT alongside, Emmy Award Winning actor Gary Sinise.
Retired Army Captain, Leslie Nicole Smith, graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and received her commission from the Army ROTC program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Leslie was then assigned to the Nuclear Biological Chemical Corps, and also attended the Army Defense Information School, enabling her to serve as a Public Affairs Officer.
Leslie deployed to Bosnia in September 2001 with the 29thInfantry Division for Stabilization Force 10 during Operation Joint Forge. While in Bosnia, Leslie developed a blood clot and returned stateside two weeks before the end of her deployment. She was immediately admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and diagnosed with a blood infection, resulting from exposure to a chemical agent or toxin. Ultimately, Leslie lost her left leg and she is now legally blind.
Leslie was never discouraged by her losses and forged ahead. Her positive attitude carried over into her work at the USO and the Department of the Navy. Leslie is an Ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation. She has appeared on Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars to raise awareness for women veterans and on the daytime drama, Days of Our Lives, for a special veterans episode dedicated to PTSD.
Leslie has shared her inspirational story across the country including the White House, West Point and Wall Street. She has appeared on both local and national media such as FOX News Live, MSNBC, CBS Talk Philly, News Close Up with Marvin Scott and SNJ Today.
Leslie’s story was included in the third book of the American Heroes series written by New York Times best-selling author and former Marine Colonel Oliver North. In February 2014, both Colonel North and Leslie were guests on the Katie Couric Show to discuss the book, “On the Homefront The Hearts of Heroes” and to share her motivational story.
Leslie is always accompanied by her faithful and hard-working service dog, Issac, who helps her navigate through life each day with confidence and happiness.
Senior Leader at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center
Jon is the Manager for the Research and Development Management Division at the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC).
The Technical Center’s workforce directly influences aviation’s future through: Core Work, Technology Advancements, Partnerships, and Outreach efforts. In his role, Mr. Schleifer’s workforce plans and coordinates the agency-wide research and development driving the modernization of the national airspace system and the future of aviation. The division uses a variety of print, digital and video products to communicate the FAA’s R&D activities to Congress, the aviation industry, the flying public, academia and other federal agencies. His Division is responsible for generating the National Aviation Research Plan (NARP), the R&D Annual Review and the Agency’s portion to the Department of Transportation’s Annual Modal Research Plan (AMRP). Mr. Schleifer also oversees administration of the congressionally-mandated Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) and related reports as well as the FAA’s Technology Transfer program.
Mr. Schleifer also leads the Technical Center’s Outreach and Partnership efforts by bringing an awareness to the work accomplished at the Tech Center by communicating its capabilities and showcasing its work. Additionally, he built and sustained effective and productive global relationships with industry, academia, and other government agencies. Prior to his current position, Jon served as the Chief of Staff for the Technical Center. His responsibilities included providing strategic guidance and executive support to the Director and Deputy Director. In this role, he improved business processes that spanned wide-ranging strategic initiatives aimed at growing the Center’s influence, capabilities and capacity to innovate and advance new aviation and air traffic management technologies. Prior to that, he led the Atlantic City Field Office for Flight Inspection Services after serving as Pilot in Command. As Pilot in Command, he amassed over 5,500 flight hours and was instrumental in commissioning and maintaining the National Airspace System.
Throughout his career with the FAA, Mr. Schleifer was also a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He retired in September 2015. His last assignment was as the Officer in Charge of the Staff Training Program Division in Quantico, VA. He directed a staff of fifty (50) Marines that deployed globally to facilitate large scale Exercises. The unit specialized in the Marine Corps Planning Process and regularly facilitated and emulated a Higher or Adjacent Headquarters Command. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of his duties.
Mr. Schleifer holds a Bachelor's degree from Evangel University. Additionally, he attended the U.S. Air Force Air War College, the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and attended the Federal Executive Institute Leadership for a Democratic Society Program and other course work from OPM.
During his personal time, he is a member of the Atlantic County Veterans Advisory Board as well as the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board. Mr. Schleifer is the Chairman of the Board for IHS Deliveries. A not-for-profit entity that disseminates donations from U.S. benefactors to missionaries in South Africa and Burma. He is an avid weightlifter, reader and moviegoer. Jon is married to the former Ana Palacios of Laredo, TX. They currently reside in Mays Landing, NJ.
Frank served his country in Desert Storm as a Mental Health Specialist. Johnson provided counseling to veterans who were suffering from depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Johnson understood the perils of the Gulf War and was able to help his fellow soldiers envision better days ahead. Little did he know that he would soon need every bit of this optimism to guide him through a dark chapter of his own.
In 1993, shortly after returning stateside, Johnson was shot twice in the back by a group of teenagers during a random dispute in his hometown of Philadelphia. He was instantly paralyzed from the waist down, with doctors informing his family that he would never walk again.
Always the optimist, Johnson was not ready to give up. In the hospital he had his first experience of that ‘silver lining’ while sharing a room with a man who was a quadriplegic. Johnson’s life lesson, “Whenever I feel like a victim, I think of my roommate who never complained and I’m grateful.”
Johnson’s faith and strong will proved doctors wrong and he was walking in two years. However, he was challenged once again when an infection led to the amputation of his right leg below the knee. Never giving up Johnson went on to pursue a career in acting and play as a team member of the Magee Sixers and the Wounded Warrior Flag Football Team.
Johnson still serves his community as a peer mentor for newly injured patients at the VA and a neighborhood rehabilitation center. He is a keynote speaker and advocate of mental health for A Write to Heal, and other non-profit organizations, Think First, Get Back Up Today, Inspiring People and iFit.
John was born and raised in Medford, NJ and is the 4th of 5 children. He was the son of a US Air Force Veteran and gained a deep respect for the military at a young age. John graduated from Shawnee High School (1981) and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance from Trenton State College (1986). He has worked in the Finance Industry for the last 35 years. He is married to the love of his life, Lisa Regina. They currently reside in Hainesport, NJ.
John decided to play football for Trenton State College. He was a 4 year starter and had a successful career. John was voted Small College Football Player of the Year (1983) and is a two-time Small College All American Football Player (1983-84). He was inducted into the Trenton State College Hall of Fame in October 1998. He currently holds 13 school records as well as 1 NCAA Division III record. In 1985, John was drafted by the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League. Unfortunately, the league folded prior to the start of the 1985 season. He was then invited to the NY Giants camp (1985) and the NE Patriots camp (1986) but was released both times before the season began.
John has one son, John Jr., who is married. He has a 3 year old grandson, John III and another grandson due in November 2023. John Jr. is a Computer Science Professor at the University of Delaware.
John is the Co-Founder of Retirement Refined, LLC and has 27 years’ experience as a Financial Advisor. His emphasis is Retirement Planning, Investment Management, and Estate Planning. John prides himself on honesty, being proactive with his clients and being organized. His philosophy is to treat people with courtesy and respect and to provide prompt, attentive, and professional service. His goal is to assist his clients with their financial decisions so they can achieve financial independence and enjoy a worry free retirement.
In addition to guiding his clients with their financial needs, John’s life purpose is philanthropy. He and his wife Lisa are working to assist veterans in obtaining drone pilot careers through Lisa's non-profit, A Write to Heal, Inc. They hope to expand the program throughout the US. They also plan to get involved in other philanthropic endeavors dear to their hearts. John's interests include working out, sports, music, comedy, animals, traveling and spending time with family & friends.
Donna has worked in Education for the past 40 years at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mt. Holly, NJ as a counselor, teacher of Special Education and coach.
Donna’s passion for serving others, specifically for Veteran causes, includes spearheading an annual fundraiser, called the RV Devil Dash for the past 10 years for the Pat Tillman Foundation that has raised over $190,000. In addition, Donna led the charge for her school’s Armed Services Recognition Program, Law enforcement Week, Victory Lap for Veterans and Remembrance Walk. She also donated a commemorative headstone displayed on the school’s athletic field honoring those that served.
Her advocacy in Veteran Causes and community service has earned her accolades as a two time recipient of the Colin L. Powell Memorial Service Award, Volunteer of the year from the Burlington County Volunteer Center, Civic Engagement beneficiary, Person of the Year from the local newspaper and the Humanitarian Award from Trenton State College. She was also selected by her high school and college for the Academic and Athletic Hall of Fame and All American. Her employer recognized her as a VIP for her contributions to her school and community for her leadership and inspiration to others.
Donna is thrilled to be part of the Advisory Board for a Write to Heal and looks forward to serving.
Michael Mazzeo is an actor who has appeared in national commercials & TV guest star roles: Quantico, MacGyver, Billions, Law & Order and many more. We love him as 'Marco Polo' in the GEICO commercial. Most recently Michael starred in the holiday film, Santa Bootcamp with actress Rita Moreno.
"I'm always busy with auditions and many times I've reached out to Lisa to help me with my sides. I can be in NYC on the street on my way to an audition and Lisa will make time for my call to discuss the character and details of the audition. She's always insightful and finds gems in the dialogue. Lisa is a passionate, honest film producer and acting coach. I'm proud to be part of her team and help our Veterans."
Michael honored his life-long friend, Vietnam Veteran Peter Pizzuti, Sr. and brought him to Lisa's project to be interviewed for Heroic Episodes. We're grateful for Peter's service and for sharing his story with us.
Denise grew up in a household with a sister who was a special needs student, thus generating her interest in special needs populations. In college, she majored in special education, graduating from West Chester University in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in this area, and graduating from Trenton State College with a Master’s in Special Education in 1975. Denise received her Educational Specialist degree in Learning Disabilities from Rowan University in 1983. She has worked with children in various programs including being the Learning Disabilities Consultant for the Hammonton School District from 1980 to 2006. She continues to freelance as a Learning Consultant and advocates for parents and special needs students. Denise has worked for the Youth Advocate Program for the past 10 years.
Denise also has an acting career and has been affiliated with the Reinhard Agency in Philadelphia for over 30 years. (reinhardagency.com) . She has done numerous commercials over the years, and has been a QVC model during that time, most notably modeling Luxhair wigs for Sherri Shepherd and many other vendors. She recently played a role in the Indie film, Dismissal Time, which focuses on cyberbullying and suicide prevention.
Denise is the board president for IDEA, which is the Institute for Development of Education in Arts, which promotes educating youth in the arts.
She is also involved as a Camden Liaison for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.
David Sweet is an Air Force combat veteran, a retired Boeing Executive, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Nation Aerospace Research and Technology Park (NARTP). He also co-leads the accelerator for the Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership (SAAP), as well as serving on SAAP’s Advisory Board.
While at Boeing, he served in leadership positions in both corporate and product strategy, in Boeing’s Washington office, in corporate mergers and acquisitions, in strategic analysis, and in product development.
Earlier, he was a principal systems analyst for ARINC Research, and a defense analyst with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA.) He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Colgate University, an M.S. in Operations Research from RPI, and advanced graduate work in technology and strategy from both RPI and Virginia (UVA).
Joseph E. Dames III, Current Job Title: Mitre Corps – Multidisciplinary Systems Engineer
(2015) Mr. Dames was hired by MITRE Corps as a systems engineer in charge of communications systems fightability in combat operations.
(2010-2015) Mr. Dames was hired by Augustine Consulting Inc. as a unit systems integrator. Mr Dames deployed to Afghanistan 3 times in support of the Joint Special Operations Command to field and enhance soldier survivability in combat operations by facilitating development of communications technology.
(2009) In July 2009, Mr. Dames received an honorable discharge from Active Duty Service in the United States Army to begin a career with Triple Canopy, Inc. as a counter assault truck commander for the Ambassadors detail in Iraq.
(2007 – 2009) He was selected in June 2007 through the Ranger Orientation Program to serve as a Ranger Rifle Platoon Leader in 2nd Battalion, 75 Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington. Immediately following his selection, he deployed to Iraq as a Ranger Rifle Platoon Leader until redeploying to Fort Lewis, Washington in September 2007. In April 2008, he deployed again to Iraq as a Ranger Rifle Platoon Leader until redeploying to Fort Lewis, Washington in July 2008. In February 2009, his last deployment to Iraq, he deployed once again as a Ranger Rifle Platoon Leader until redeploying in May 2009.
(2006 – 2007) He deployed to Fort Wainwright, Alaska in March 2006, then directly to Iraq where he served in 4th Battalion, 23nd Infantry Regiment as a Stryker Platoon Leader through November 2006. Upon redeployment to Alaska, he continued to serve as a Stryker Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer through May 2007.
(2005 – 2006) He earned his commission as an officer of the United States Army in June 2005, and attended the Infantry Officer Basic Course until November 2005. Upon completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Mr. Dames attended and graduated the coveted United States Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia in January 2006.
Bronze Star Medal (2 awards), Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon
Till N. Neumann was born and raised in Munich, Germany. He worked in film production before coming to New York City where he worked hands on as a cinematographer. He then wrote, produced, directed and shot two short films, TEN THOUSAND STORIES IN A NAKED CITY and THE BAKERY. Till has also compiled an impressive resume as a cinematographer, shooting over thirty short films, numerous commercials, music videos and several feature length films as well as directing numerous TV commercials.
He spent 3 years living and working in Los Angeles but decided his home and inspiration was and always has been New York.
Till Neumann’s work as a cinematographer on “El Camino” was described by ROGER EBERT as elegant cinematography. He has won awards for Best Cinematography for which he has been called a master of light, at The Vision Film Festival in New York City for THE BAKERY, in 2003 and at the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival for the feature film. FIVE UP TWO DOWN. In August 2006, he directed, produced and shot, THE STRANGE CASE OF MARIE FRANCE that went on winning best short film at the NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL and best short at the RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.
Eddie McGee is a TV/Film actor. His Film and TV credits, include Law And Order,
The Cleaner, Desperate Housewives,
Guiding Light and The Philanthropist. Eddie recently produced and starred in the upcoming feature film, The Human Race.
The At age 12 Eddie McGee started playing wheelchair basketball, having lost his left leg to bone cancer at the young age of eleven.
THE LONG ISLAND EXPRESS had 12 players on it, the youngest being 29 years old, until Eddie came along.
In 1995, while playing a pick-up game in a parking lot at a track meet in Oklahoma, Eddie was approached by a coach asking him to play for a Jr. team in Little Rock, Arkansas. Every weekend for the next two basketball seasons, Eddie would fly from New York to play somewhere across the USA.
Eddie led THE ARKANSAS JUNIOR ROLLING RAZORBACKS to a national championship in 1996 and was named MVP.
In 1997 Eddie played for the Jr. USA team in the Olympics and helped the US win the silver medal. During this time, Eddie caught the eye of college scouts, and had offers from every top school that had disabled athletic scholarships.
Eddie attended The University of Texas in Arlington and became a MOVING MAV.
After college, Eddie moved back to New York to find that his old team had disbanded. So he joined forces with the NEW YORK ROLLIN KNICKS. Eddie drove from his home on Long Island, New York to the Manhattan to practice three nights a week in Harlem. After 4 years with the KNICKS, Eddie’s acting career led him to Hollywood where he joined the LOS ANGELES LAKERS. Eddie took the LOS ANGELES LAKERS to their first final four appearance after only 6 months of playing. Eddie was with the LAKERS for 4 more years before he was recruited by the HYERES and moved to the South of France to play pro with the HYERES. Eddie and HYERES would go on to take second in France and 8th in Europe.
Eddie currently resides in Los Angles California working as an actor and keeping his passion of basketball alive, preparing to play with the LA CLIPPERS for the 2011-2012 season.
Robert M. Brzenchek is the CEO of All Source International Security llc in Philadelphia, PA. In addition he is instructing the next generation of Criminal Justice professionals at Neumann University as an Intelligence Adjunct.
In the public sector, Mr. Brzenchek worked with dozens of national agencies, governments, and international organizations in the use of advanced technologies and information sharing to detect violations of international laws, and threats as a Navy Intelligence Specialist and police officer in Washington, DC. In the private sector, Mr. Brzenchek has worked with organizations as diverse as DHS, DOD, major corporations, ports, and public utilities on security matters, risk management, policy, and technologies.
Mr. Brzenchek has performed emergency management duties, CBRNE, threat assessments, and physical site surveys at various venues as needed as a Regional Coordinator for the Army National Guard Office of Domestic Preparedness and Subject Matter Expert (Threat Assessments) for Honeywell Defense and Space Logistics. He received his undergraduate degree from George Mason University, Masters Degree from the American Military University, and is currently a Doctoral Learner at Capella University in the Public Service Leadership and Criminal Justice program. Mr. Brzenchek has published articles on emergency management, threat assessments, homeland and international security. He has testified in court, and lectured throughout North America and Jamaica. Mr. Brzenchek has been published in the International Association of Emergency Managers, PoliceOne, various newspapers to include the Jamaica Glearner and Washington Post as a subject matter expert, and currently writing a book for CRC Press on Threat Assessments. Mr.Brzenchek has presented throughout the country and globally. Mr. Brzenchek sat on the international group of experts on the ASIS Investigative Technical Committee to advance the development of the standard for integrated Security Management Systems (SMS). He serves as a Board Member for SERAPH and Chair for the HLS/Cyber Group for Strengthening the Mid-Atlantic Region for Tomorrow (SMART).