Steve Schiffman, Code Blue, and Operation Not Forgotten Founder and Executive Director, an Air Force veteran, has served as a marketing and media consultant and is an international best-selling author. He is the visionary, one of the founders, and a strategic planner for Operation Not Forgotten. His accomplishments include receiving the National League of American Pen Women’s State of Georgia Award for Achievement in Letters and winning television’s most prestigious award, a local Emmy, as well as three National Religion in Media Awards. Steve has organized and directed creative teams to produce award-winning commercials, which have aired on ABC, NBC, and CBS network television. As a publisher, he was asked by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation to conceptualize and produce the original Power for Living book, which has reached millions through their national media campaign. Aside from being a marketing and media consultant, Steve has also been a business consultant and a business owner. Just as he has diversified creative interests, he has had a diversified portfolio of businesses. Among the businesses he owned was a large, wholesale Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta that provided cheesecake to Kroger grocery stores, and Publix grocery stores in several states. Additionally, he owned and managed one of the largest cruise-only travel agencies in the United States.
Janet Labas Orman, Life Renewed/ Operation Not Forgotten Co-Founder, B.S., Ed., Director of Programs and Curriculum Development is the principal author of the Life Renewed Life Coaching program. She works with Life Renewed to develop programs and curricula for Life Renewed, including Operation Not Forgotten and Code Blue. Additionally, she does graphic design, website development, grant writing, and trains Program Directors and Life Coaches to Life Renewed programs. Janet has facilitated leadership development conferences and has given educational workshops to many professional groups. (Board Member) MORE ABOUT JANET ORMAN
Dr. Bob Poston, Psychologist, Retired U.S. Army Major, Board Member served 2 combat tours to Vietnam where he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars for Heroism and the Purple Heart. He served for over 20 years active duty and then served for 10 more years on Special Projects for the Pentagon where he was sent behind the Iron Curtain to collect valuable intelligence for the military’s missions.
His most recent experience includes 6 years as chair of the Georgia Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery project, Priority to Veterans, and 5 years Mental Health Specialist for the State of GA where he facilitated setting up veteran’s courts and drug courts. He also attended PTSD Peer Training by the VA in treating Veterans with Vet-to-Vet counseling. He has a Master's in Human Relations, a Ph.D. in Counseling, and 10 years in practice exclusively with Veterans. He is a NAMI-trained facilitator and Peer Counselor. He also manages the Phoenix Project, a court Mandated Anger Management and Family Violence Program for the Cherokee Circuit.
He is currently the President of Vet-to-Vet, the North Georgia Chapter of the Birdwell Foundations Suicide Prevention Task Force that includes over 500 dues-paying members.
Dr. Shel Sharpe, a Psychiatrist, Board Member, graduated from the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University in 1974 and has 47 years of experience in her field. She attended the Naval Academy and served in the United States Navy as a Flight Surgeon.
She works in Rome, Georgia, and also in Cartersville, Georgia where she specializes in Adolescent Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Adult, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Sharpe is affiliated with Willowbrook at Floyd Hospital.
Chris Pergantis, Information Officer Board Member,, has a background encompassing mainframe to programmable logic chips, including COMS, Macintosh OS, and MS Windows. His software development background includes over sixteen different programming languages with experience in multiple types of business and industry. Everything including robotics, visual recognition, industrial manufacturing, and business applications make up his three decades of experience. Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Southern Polytechnic Institute, and the proprietary Control Data Institute make up a variety of approaches to the learning experience. As an instructor for Career Development Institute, he provided valuable direction to future software engineers. He is currently the CEO of Accelerated Design, Inc. (accelerateddesign.com) which specializes in the development of custom software for OEMs and VAR’s, as well as, providing custom and pre-developed applications for business clients.
Melanie Dallas,LPC, CEO HIghland Rivers Health, Board Member, is a licensed professional counselor and CEO of Highland Rivers Health, which provides treatment and recovery services for individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities in a 12-county region of northwest Georgia that includes Bartow, Cherokee, Floyd, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk and Whitfield counties.
During her 30-year experience in Behavioral Health, Ms. Dallas has held several administrative, clinical direct care, and leadership positions in almost every level of care from crisis stabilization and mobile crisis assessment to in-home care. Her work experience has spanned both the public and private sectors working with children, families and adults. Ms. Dallas has focused on healing trauma and attachment issues as a clinician, as well as developing her skills as a leader by focusing on transformational leadership and organizational culture. She has extensive experience in marketing behavioral health services to the managed care market and implemented the first 23-hour crisis observation bed program in Georgia 20 years ago. Ms. Dallas has worked for the State of Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health Developmental Disabilities on several occasions which round’s her knowledge of State level policy and the impact policy change has on service delivery.
Ms. Dallas currently sits on the Behavioral Health Advisory Council for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and chairs the Adult Mental Health subcommittee. She also recently testified in front of the Georgia House Study Committee on School Safety.
Ms. Dallas is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BBA in Marketing, and also holds a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Georgia State University. She sat on the International Ethics Committee for a group of 200 trained facilitators which recently completed the daunting 2-year task of developing an innovative Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to govern their work. Ms. Dallas also has worked as a Military Family Life Consultant under contract with the Federal Department of Defense for 5 years. She has operated as a liaison with the Georgia Army National Guard and the Georgia State Defense Force to help develop a Georgia network of trained clinicians who understand military culture and its impact on service members and their families.
Highland Rivers Health is a public non-profit community mental health center, referred to as Community Service Boards, in Georgia. Highland Rivers provides services for mental health, addictive disease, and intellectual developmental disabilities at close to 36 sites over a 12 -county geography. Highland Rivers Health is one of the largest CSBs in the state.
Joe Taylor writer, a musical composer, sculptor, painter, and paleontologist, Board Member, is one of those people who works silently behind the scenes, practicing his craft and leaving an incredible legacy, particularly as it relates to the scene in Hollywood, California throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.
Just some of the billboards he painted for Hollywood postings – mostly at Tower Records on Sunset Strip – include those for Kiki Dee, The Who, Olivia Newton-John, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, John Denver, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy, Mac Davis, Peter Frampton, and David Bowie.
Joe is also a veteran and philanthropist who cares deeply about veterans and veteran issues.
Board Adviser - Dr. Harry Wetzler, M.D., M.S.P.H.O is one of the principal authors of the Life Renewed Quality of Life Assessment Software. Dr. Wetzler is a board-certified occupational medicine physician with an advanced degree in public health (epidemiology). He is nationally recognized as an expert in medical accountability, outcomes management, and survey design.
Dr. Wetzler served as a Clinical Outcomes Specialist with the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), where he designed studies and analyzed data related to functional status and well-being in patients with asthma, diabetes, and total hip replacement. He also provided strategic consultation, data analysis, and reports for AMGA’s patient and provider satisfaction initiative. Prior to that role, Dr. Wetzler also served as the medical director for two software companies: Velocity Healthcare Informatics and Response Technologies, the first company to automate SF-36 data collection.
He gained expertise in outcomes management when he worked with Dr. Paul Ellwood at InterStudy and the Health Outcomes Institute, where he coordinated the development of 12 condition-specific outcomes measurement instruments and data collection protocols. Dr. Wetzler’s Air Force service included tours on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and at the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, where he developed an automated system to review medical examinations.
As Ofstead’s Medical Director, Dr. Wetzler provides clinical oversight for the research team, communicates with other clinicians about projects, and provides expert consultation regarding study design, data management, analysis, and reporting.
Board Adviser - Dr. Douglas Huber, MD: Former Commander, American Legion Post 140, Buckhead, Georgia. In April of 1965, Dr. Huber received a draft notice from my local draft board announcing that he was being inducted into the Army. At that time, all male physicians were required by law to serve in the military or another government medical service. He reported to duty at Fort Myer, Virginia, and served in the Dispensary as a General Medical Officer. The troop escalation announced by President Johnson several days after he arrived on July 1, 1965, resulted in his receiving orders for Viet Nam. At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, his unit was assembled and he was appointed commander of a type A dispensary with two physicians, one dentist, and eighteen enlisted personnel. His unit was then sent to Long Bihn, Viet Nam. Upon returning to duty in the U.S., Dr. Huber was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he completed his active duty requirement of two years. At Fort Belvoir, he received a Letter of Commendation. Because of his young age at the time of induction, he was required to serve four more years in the Army Reserves and was assigned to the 3297 Field Hospital, a 1000 bed Reserve unit that had not been activated since WWII and had multiple extensions throughout Georgia. Dr. Huber was honorably discharged in 1971. He is currently retired. (Board Advisor)