Leadership

Leadership 2017-02-21T04:09:03+00:00

Leadership and Staff

The Paddy Brown Program was founded by Jason Brezler to assist veterans in their transition from active military duty to civilian life.  Jason has pulled together an exceptional team with varied backgrounds and experience to help him create a program that offers post-911 veterans access to employment and professional development opportunities in the first responder sector.

Below is a list of the PBP team and their bios.  Please feel free to contact them with questions or suggestions.

Jason Brezler

Founder

Jason Brezler is a firefighter with the FDNY’s Special Operations Command and currently serves with Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn. He was previously assigned to Squad Co. 252 and Ladder Co. 58 in the Bronx. Jason is a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and led Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan where he participated in conventional combat operations, counterinsurgency operations and served as an adviser to indigenous forces. He is a graduate of the USMC’s Expeditionary Warfare School and presently attending the USMC’s Command and Staff College. He recently served as the Operations Officer for the reserve component of the USMC’s Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF). Jason is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Maryland and a Master’s of Science from Oklahoma State University. He is the founder and Commanding Officer of Leadership Under Fire, Inc., and founder of the Paddy Brown Program which helps military veterans transition into the fire service.

Trisha Franckowiak

Trisha Franckowiak

Executive Director

Trisha Franckowiak

Trisha Franckowiak

Executive Director

Trisha Franckowiak serves as Executive Director of the Paddy Brown Program and a Vice President at Royal Bank of Canada in their municipal sales and trading department. She transitioned PBP into its own NPO after it was sponsored by Hope for the Warriors for over 3 yrs. Her devotion to the program stems from keeping the memory alive of Sgt. Bill Cahir’s USMC (KIA 08/13/09) and Captain Patrick Brown (09/11/01) NEVER FORGET
Trisha has worked in finance for over 20 years as a proprietary trader at several large firms and currently as an institutional municipal salesperson at RBC. She graduated from New York University with a BS in economics and member of NYU’s track team.
Trisha’s support of the military and veterans stems from her father’s military service as a US Marine. She is a member of RBC’s Employee Resource Group and a volunteer Docent at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Carolyn Brown

Board Member

Carolyn Brown

Board Member

Carolyn Brown is Paddy’s little sister. In the years following 9/11 Carolyn has courageously been the face of the Brown family. For more than a decade, she organized an annual birthday party each November to coincide with Pat’s birthday and the USMC birthday – and on each occasion all of the proceeds were donated to programs for wounded vets.

Tina Atherall

Board Member

Tina Atherall

Board Member

Tina Atherall is a Licensed NYS Masters of Social Worker and military Veteran spouse. She received her Masters of Social Work from Adelphi University and has advanced certificates in military family readiness, military social work and non-profit leadership. She has 23 years of experience in military family system and was a non-profit leader for a military and Veteran non-profit. She has extensive experience in direct service with post 9/11 military, Veterans and families. She works in private practice with individuals and communities providing clinical services, education and advocating for critical support for those that have served in the military and their families. Tina currently works as an Administrator and Faculty member at Touro College Graduate School of Social Work as the Director of Social Work Career Development and Community Initiatives. She is the program coordinator for the military fellowship and military social work program at Touro College.

Tim Brown

Board Member

Tim Brown

Board Member

Tim Brown is a retired, decorated 20-year FDNY firefighter, a survivor of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, a first responder to the 1993 terrorist attack on the WTC and a veteran of the New York Urban Search & Rescue Task Force team that responded to the 1995 terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Tim lost 93 of his friends on Sept. 11th, including his two best friends.

He served several years in Mayor Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management. He spent two years on special detail to the federal government serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of Health and Human Services following the Anthrax terrorist attacks in 2001-2002 where he led the project to instill a command and control system into the Department. Tim was a founding member of the newly formed U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Tim helped the Governor of Rhode Island manage the aftermath of Rhode Island’s tragic 2003 Station Nightclub fire that killed 100 people and stayed on to recommend changes to the state’s emergency management and homeland security system.

Tim now works with the US Government in a National Security position. He has been a leader in defending the memory of those lost on 9/11 at Ground Zero. He is a media commentator on the subject and has appeared on national news channels including FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and dozens of local news programs. Tim was awarded of the 2010 Freedom Flame Award. He is a subject in the 2012 Peabody Award-winning documentary “Rebirth” . He uses the film to help at-risk communities understand grief, resilience of the human spirit and find their path to new hope, love and joy. In 2013 Vice President of the United States Joe Biden invited the Rebirth participants to the White House to screen their film to a group of psychology students.

Tim serves on the Board of Directors of the September 11 National Memorial Trail and the Board of Directors of the Paddy Brown Program. He also volunteers with the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, Carry the Load and Ride2Recovery.

Wendy Friedmann

Board Member

Wendy Friedmann

Board Member

Wendy Friedmann is a successful marketing and sales professional with over 25 years of experience. During her career she has worked for a number of well-known consumer, publishing and technology companies such as Swatch, Ziff-Davis, The New York Times and Earthweb. Her accomplishments include: while as head of Worldwide Ad Sales for EarthWeb, she was essential in helping the organization become one of the first Internet companies to go public. In addition she started and built a successful, national dessert manufacturing company, RW Delights, whose products are sold by leading food retailers including Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Fresh Direct. Most recently, she founded a consulting company advising clients on business strategy and organization.

Wendy is new to the non-profit sector. She is excited about the prospect of putting her knowledge and experience to work helping the young men and women who serve and protect our country.

Nick Kalt

Chief Fire Service Mentor

Nick Kalt

Chief Fire Service Mentor

Nick Kalt is a firefighter with the Long Beach, CA Fire Department and is presently assigned to Station 7. Prior to entering the professional fire service, Nick was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He was seriously wounded in the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004 while serving with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and medically retired from the USMC. Nick is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and was a collegiate All-American for the Midshipmen rugby team.

James P. Rooney Jr

Chief Law Enforcement Mentor

James P. Rooney Jr

Chief Law Enforcement Mentor

James P. Rooney Jr. has served as a Marine Officer for over 30 years both on active duty and as a member of the Selected Marine Corps Reserves. During his career he has served two tours as a Company Commander and has served as a Staff Officer at the Battalion level. Most recently he was assigned as the Marine Corps representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region Two in New York City. He is a certified Department of Defense Homeland Security Planner and has been designated as an Emergency Planning Liaison Officer.

As a civilian, Colonel Rooney is a 32 year member of the Suffolk County Police Department. Presently, he is a Detective Lieutenant and is the Commanding Officer of the Arson Squad. He previously served as the Commanding Officer of the Warrant Squad, staff aide to the Police Commissioner, and Commanding Officer of the Criminal Intelligence Squad. During his assignment as C.O. of Criminal Intelligence he designed and implemented joint intelligence concepts that resulted in the formation of the Long Island Satellite Intelligence Center.

James Rooney is a graduate of the 195th Session of the FBI National Academy. He holds an undergraduate degree from C.W. Post College a master’s degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Leadership from St. John’s University. He is also a graduate of the U.S.Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, Command and Staff College and the Homeland Security Course at the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College.

Colonel Rooney is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Suffolk Community College, State University of New York at Farmingdale and St. John’s University. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor for the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Jeremy Starr

Midwest Regional Manager

Jeremy Starr

Midwest Regional Manager

Jeremy Starr is a firefighter with Milwaukee Fire Dept Heavy Urban Rescue Team on Rescue 2. He has been with the Milwaukee Fire Dept since 2009. Jeremy is currently a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, IL as a Civil Affairs Specialist. Prior to 3rd Civil Affairs Jeremy was a Infantry Unit Leader and Mortarman both as a reservist and on active duty with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines. He deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and 2007 in Fallujah.

Kevin Bury

South Central Regional Mentor

Kevin Bury

South Central Regional Mentor

Kevin Bury is a firefighter with the Ft Worth Fire Department. He currently serves as a firefighter at Station 1. He is also a member of the FWFD Honor Guard and the Technical Rescue Team. He has served in the Marine Corps Reserve since 1999, is a Gunnery Sergeant and was activated in 2003 and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2007. He is an instructor with the National Honor Guard Academy, teaching fire, police and EMS throughout the country how to execute a military or public safety funeral.

Mark Williams

Southwestern Regional Manager

Mark Williams

Southwestern Regional Manager

Mark Williams is currently a Fire Fighter for the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District and is assigned to Station 2, Engine 2. Prior to entering the professional fire service, Mark enlisted as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps and deployed 4 times to Afghanistan, Asia and Europe. While enlisted, Mark served as a Squad leader and Platoon Sergeant during combat operations abroad. Mark is proud to continue to serve our Nation's Warfighters by assisting them with transitioning into the modern workforce.

Matthew Wiatrowski

Southeastern Regional Manager

Matthew Wiatrowski

Southeastern Regional Manager

Matthew "Ski" Wiatrowski is a twenty year veteran of the fire service and has been serving with the Charlotte Fire Department since 2008. Ski is currently assigned to Engine Company 27 in "University City" and was previously assigned to Ladder 31 and Ladder 40. He also serves as a representative for Charlotte Fire Department Honor Guard. Ski is currently the President/co-founder of the "Crowntown" F.O.O.L.S. in Charlotte. Ski is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was wounded during training and subsequently medically retired from the USMC.

Devon Richio

MidAtlantic Regional Manager

Devon Richio

MidAtlantic Regional Manager

Devon Richio is a Lieutenant of the Philadelphia Fire Department and currently assigned to the Fire Training Academy. He is also a Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps and a combat veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Devon is currently pursuing study in Fire Science at Community College of Philadelphia.

Charles Swank

Northeast Regional Manager

Charles Swank

Northeast Regional Manager

Charles Swank is a firefighter/paramedic with the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, OH and a Lieutenant with the Fredericktown Community Fire District (FCFD). He is a certified fire instructor and serves as the training officer for the FCFD. He holds an associate degree in EMS/Fire Science from Columbus State Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration from Bowling Green State University. Charles served as an airborne infantryman in the U.S. Army, 82d Airborne Division from 2002-2006. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during his enlistment.

Christopher Soldano

IT Director

Christopher Soldano is a retired U.S. Marine that has served 3 tours in Iraq. He is an avid supporter of the first responder services, however, due to injuries could not pursue that direction. During his time in the military he was an instructor / trainer, and was an avid user of many of the technical IT traits that he uses today. After retiring he went back to school to get his Bachelors in Digital Media Production, and is now maintaining and working to help non-profits such as ours reach our potential in regards to IT and web administration.