Advisory Board of Directors
The program advisory board will work to ensure that VetsNet is delivering the best possible care to those in need. The board will provide support and advice to staff and to the VetsNet board to help identify best practice standards. Board members will also serve as ambassadors to the community providing a connection to and ongoing communication with the broader community.
(Select name for extended bio)
- Jack H. Albert Jr., D. Min.
Army veteran with service from 1970–1976 and 16th president of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, in Delafield, WI.
- George F. Banda
U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1969–1970 and was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star as an Army Medic in the 101st Airborne. He is President of the Allied Veterans Council of Milwaukee County.
- Mervyn Byrd
Six year veteran of the Marine Corps as a SIGNIT analyst and Morse Code Intercept Operator. Served in Japan, Norway, Germany and England. Currently Vice President of Sales and Leadership Development, Waukesha County Business Alliance
- Joe Dean
Founded the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight in 2008 and the documentary film, Honor Flight received seven separate awards. A 28-year IBM executive, Dean is the former Mayor of Port Washington, and a past County Board Supervisor.
- Dirk J. Debbink (Vice Admiral – USNR Retired)
Served as Chief of Navy Reserve in Washington, D.C., 2008–2012. His service included 11 years active duty and 24 years of reserve duty. He is Chairman & CEO of MSI General Corporation in Oconomowoc, WI.
- Carl P. Meyer
An advocate for veteran employment and strong supporter of Hire Our Heroes USA, he is Executive Vice President of The Wetrich Group, a health care management consulting firm assisting medical device companies and medical/surgical distributors.
- Saul Newton
An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, he founded the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit serving Wisconsin’s veteran owned and veteran friendly businesses, and serves as the organization’s Executive Director
- Jean Marie Pyzyk, Ph.D.
Served as an Air Force Reserve officer 1984-2008. She deployed during Operation Desert Storm (1991) and again as an Executive Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004). She works full-time for FedEx Ground University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Jack H. Albert Jr., D. Min. is a U.S. Army veteran with service from 1970–1976. Dr. Albert is the 16th president of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, in Delafield, Wisconsin. Dr. Albert has more than 30 years experience leading secondary military schools and has been president of St. John’s Northwestern since 2004. Dr. Albert earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and social studies from Glenville State College, Glenville, WV, and a Master of Education in counseling degree from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. He also holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA and a Doctorate of Ministry for Educational Leadership Program at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandra. Currently, Dr. Albert serves on the Board of Directors of The Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) having served as president of that organization for two years. He is also a Board member of the Potawatomi Boy Scout Council. He served on the Board of Governors of the Qatar Leadership Academy, a school in Doha, Qatar, established with guidance and consultation from St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. He is a former Rotarian and recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Following his service as club president, his Virginia Rotary Club awarded him the Four Avenues of Service Citation. He was also recognized as a Distinguished Mountaineer by Governor Joe Manchin. Dr. Albert is a direct descendant of Revolutionary Soldier, Jacob Allen Albert, Sr., and is a member of the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge. Dr. Albert and his wife, Betty, have two adult children, both of whom were graduates of military academies. The Alberts are Episcopalians.[BACK TO TOP]
George F. Banda is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1969–1970 and was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star as an Army Medic in the 101st Airborne. His other military commendations include: The Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal. Banda is the 2017 President of the Allied Veterans Council of Milwaukee County and State Jr. Vice Commander of MOPH of Wisconsin. Banda’s involvement with veteran’s organizations includes: American Legion Life Member – David Valdes Post #529; VFW – Life Member Chapter #1; Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Chapter #1; American Gi-Forum of Wisconsin (Latino Vets) – State Commander, 2012– 2016; Military Order of the Purple Heart – Chapter #818 Commander, 2014–Present; State Representative on the Council on Veterans Programs, 2012–2015. Banda serves on the following committees and boards: Wisconsin Veterans Museum Advisory Committee; Milwaukee War Memorial Center Veterans Board; Veterans Community Relations Team (VCRT); “Save The Soldiers Home” Campaign Fundraising Committee; University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Advisory Committee.[BACK TO TOP]
Mervyn Byrd is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and was a Signals Intelligence Analyst, serving from 1982 – 1987, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Byrd started his Marine Corps career as a Morse Code Intercept Operator, getting his training in Pensacola, FL and spent over two and a half years in Misawa, Japan in the capacities of Intercept Operator and Analyst. Byrd got his official certification as a SIGINT Analyst through Analysis School in Amarillo, TX. He also had deployments to Norway, Germany and England during his career in the Marine Corps. Byrd is Vice President of Sales and Leadership Development at the Waukesha County Business Alliance. He has been there since 2014. The Alliance is a member-based business association, with the mission of driving economic growth to Waukesha County through the success of its member companies. Byrd also heads Leadership Waukesha County, a nine-month long personal and professional development program, utilized by member companies of the Alliance. Under Mervyn’s leadership the program has more than doubled in size over the past three years. Prior to the Alliance, Byrd had a career as a commercial banker. He has a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He and his wife Chantel have six children and live in Pewaukee with their grandson, Zyair.[BACK TO TOP]
Joe Dean founded the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight in 2008 and the documentary film: Honor Flight received seven separate awards. The movie quickly climbed to the number one ranked documentary at Amazon.com and it set the Guinness World Record for the largest movie premiere in history (shown to a sell-out crowd at Miller Park). The book, Honor Flight: A Visual Journey, was released on Veterans Day and has raised over $250,000 for veteran causes. A 28-year IBM executive, Dean is also the former Mayor of Port Washington, as well as a past County Board Supervisor, Chairman of Health and Human Services and recently retired Senior Advisor in the U.S. Senate. Dean was voted Port’s Citizen of the Year and has received numerous awards including Rotary’s Paul Harris recognition, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s (Master of Science Degree) Distinguished Alumni Award, and the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Award. Dean, is the father of four children. He is the son of WWII hero David A. Dean. Joe is an Ultra Marathon runner, former YMCA Director and serves on several Boards including the War Memorial Center. As an advocate for families and children working through the many issues in the area of pediatric cancer – Dean worked on the U.S. Senate team, actively seeking solutions, partnerships, funding and appropriate legislation. Joe is also the author the children’s book: My Dog Named Hope, with all proceeds going to pediatric cancer research and services.[BACK TO TOP]
Dirk J. Debbink (Vice Admiral – USNR Retired) served as the 12th Chief of Navy Reserve in Washington, D.C., from 2008–2012. His service as a Surface Warfare Officer included approximately 11 years active duty and 24 years of drilling reserve duty. In his civilian capacity, he is Chairman & CEO of MSI General Corporation in Oconomowoc, WI. The company is a medium size design/build general contractor specializing in new construction and renovation of industrial, retail, commercial and institutional buildings throughout Southeast Wisconsin. Debbink serves on the board of directors of Cincinnati Financial Corporation of Cincinnati, OH; U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, MD; Froedtert Health System in Milwaukee, WI; Navy League of the United States, Milwaukee Council; and Fisher House of Wisconsin. Debbink earned his BS degree in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977 and his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1990. He holds his registered Professional Engineer and Real Estate Broker licenses in the State of Wisconsin and is a licensed private pilot. Married to Teresa (Terry) Debbink, they have four children and seven grandchildren. Their two sons are currently serving on active duty with the U.S. Navy as Naval Aviators.[BACK TO TOP]
Carl P. Meyer has a great passion for those who are and have served our Nation. He is a tireless advocate of Veterans employment, who lives in Merton, WI. To support those who have served he holds a golfing event every 4th of July, 100 Holes for Our Heroes benefiting Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes USA seeks to connect U.S. military veterans with civilian jobs. Over the past 11 years, Hire Heroes has placed over 20,000 Veterans into new jobs. For 10 straight years, Meyer has played at least 100 holes of golf at Chenequa Country Club to raise money and awareness for the charity and has cumulatively raised more than $650,000. In 2017, he played 180 holes over 16 hours and 35 minutes. Meyer said the highlight of the day was spending time on the course with retired Staff Sgt. John Matter and Erin Kuhlmann from Hire Heroes USA, as well as his friend and excellent fore caddie Bob Mallow. Meyer is the Executive Vice President of The Wetrich Group, a health care management consulting firm assisting medical device companies and medical/surgical distributors to optimize their opportunities in the US Healthcare market. He and his wife Amy have one daughter, Tiernan (Washington, D.C.) and one son, Drew (Charlottesville, VA).[BACK TO TOP]
Saul Newton is a U.S. Army veteran and was an infantry team leader from 2009–2012. Newton was deployed to the Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2010–2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Newton was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Service Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. After leaving the Army, Newton returned to his hometown of Milwaukee, WI, to pursue his education at the University of Wisconsin – Waukesha. In 2015, he founded the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization serving Wisconsin’s veteran owned and veteran friendly businesses. Newton currently serves as the organization’s Executive Director. [BACK TO TOP]
Jean Marie Pyzyk, Ph.D served as a medic from 1984 (Airman Basic) until 1991 (Staff Sergeant) before accepting an officer commission as a Medical Service Corps Officer. Major Pyzyk retired with the rank of Major in 2008 with 25 years of service. In 1991, she deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and in 2004, served as an Executive Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom at Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait. During her military career, Major Pyzyk worked full-time as a high school English teacher and school administrator until 2010. Jean transitioned from working as a public school teacher to working as a professional educator where she is currently employed with FedEx Ground University as a Learning and Development Project Specialist. As a retired military officer she continues to volunteer as a member of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Military Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC) advisory board; serves on the 128th Air National Guard Community Council Board; is a lifetime member of the Reserve Officers Association (ROA); belongs to Post 400 Harley-Davidson American Legion, and volunteers as a Protocol Officer to the Chairman and Joint Chiefs of Staff during the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C. Jean holds a Ph.D. in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Leadership, and a Master’s degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; a Master’s degree in Adult Education from Carroll University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Jean recognizes she could never have successfully balanced her full-time civilian career, graduate school, and her U.S. Air Force Reserve career without the love and unconditional support of her husband, Attorney Roger C. Pyzyk, and her amazing community of family and lifelong friends.[BACK TO TOP]