THOMAS J. STOKES

CEO and Founder

Thomas J. Stokes is a decorated war veteran, a licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Registered Nurse. Tom began his military career as a PFC in the Signal Corps with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He served in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Social Worker and retired at the rank of Colonel in March 2018. From April 2010 to April 2011, he served a year-long deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan where he was the Officer in Charge at the Combat Stress Clinic at Forward Operating Base Gardez. During this deployment, he was responsible for behavioral healthcare in Paktia Province for thousands of military personnel over the course of his tour.

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JAIME DEAN

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALISTS

Pittsburgh has been home to Jaime for the last 35 years, where she and her husband have raised their four children. Her son, Jarret, served seven years in the Army as a Drone pilot with two deployments to Afghanistan. He is now an instructor and pilot serving in Iraq as a contractor. As a military mom, Jaime’s own need to connect with other military families served as a catalyst for starting a military/veteran outreach at Memorial Park Church. She served as their small groups coordinator while developing Community Care for Military in 2011. Her passion for helping people develop a supportive community in own their lives fits well with our belief that authentic community is essential in our ability to grow and thrive. Whether it is “operational stress” or the everyday stress of life, we all need people who know and care about us and committed to coming alongside one another, through the hills and valleys.

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NAOMI NORTH

CFO

Naomi North joined the Operation Strong Mind team in September, 2016 and now serves as the organization’s CFO. Her drive to serve the military community is inspired by the resilience, determination, and kindness of the veterans and military families in her life, for whom she has deep admiration.

Naomi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She also works as a writer and an English tutor in the greater Pittsburgh area.

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KATIE GUARDINO

BOARD SECRETARY

Katie Guardino was born and raised in Pittsburgh (Sharpsburg). She always felt a connection to the military community because she has had family and friends who were part of the military and law enforcement communities. Her father served in the Army during Vietnam and three of her grandparents served. Serving as a working Board Member for Operation Strong Mind, Katie continues to support the overarching community and to give back. She is passionate about helping others through education, support, and empowerment. 

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KIM FALK

BOARD MEMBER

Kim Falk serves as the Evaluation Specialist for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in the Office of Behavioral Health in Pittsburgh, PA. She has a BS in Psychology from the University of Iowa (1980) and has completed most requirements for a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and evaluation background includes health and social psychology, medical and psychological anthropology, patient/family satisfaction with healthcare in tertiary care, political psychology, economic development, child nutrition, maternal child health and cultural traditions in projects in rural north China, eastern Iowa, and in Washington and Allegheny counties in Pennsylvania.

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ELAINE ASHCOM

Elaine is privileged and honored to have worked for the City of PITTSBURGH School District as a School  Counselor.  Her education includes a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling Education from Duquesne University.  Elaine also has experience in Crisis Intervention while working for Contact PITTSBURGH, a crisis intervention hotline.  Elaine’s military family background  include four uncles and father serving our country in many different capacities during World War II.

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Tom Stokes