Margaret Ann Matthews, LICSW is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Veteran Advocacy Services. Ms. Matthews holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts, Social Work, from Boston University. She has achieved full accreditation from the United States Veterans Administration as a Veterans Administration Agent, and has been providing advocacy for over twenty years to veterans nationwide.
Victor A. Núñez Ortiz, MSOL is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Veterans Advocacy Services. Victor’s family emigrated to the United States when he was seven years old to escape the civil war in El Salvador. In 2001, Victor enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and was based at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He served for five years that included deployment as a combat engineer in during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2005. Returning home to continue his education at the University of Massachusetts Victor became deeply concerned about the dilemmas faced by returning combat veterans and went to work for the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services and then U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, where he developed a unique skill sets particular to veteran reintegration, suicide prevention, local state and federal benefits.
Paul Bolger, MS is Director of Development and Chief Operating Officer for Veterans Advocacy Services. Mr. Bolger holds a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University. He has a decade of experience in human services and state government, and has been responsible for the statewide administration and audit of nonprofit human services agencies.
Edward Matthews, M.Ed. is Director of Crisis Intervention for Veterans Advocacy Services. Mr. Matthews is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over three decades of professional experience in direct provision or administrative oversight of clinical services for acute populations in the most challenging settings, including prisons and secure psychiatric units. He is expert in matters of crisis counseling and referral and brings rare and highly-developed expertise and skills set as well as a long record of successful outcomes to the work of Veterans Advocacy Services.
Amanda Liberty, PMHNP-BC, is Director of Community Outreach for Veterans Advocacy Services. She is graduate of UMass Lowell and Regis College and is a Psychiatric Nurse Practicioner. Amanda is the sister of the late Nicole Ortiz (OIF ARMY Veteran) and Mallory Ortiz (OIF/EOF USMC Veteran). She has been serving our Nations Veterans since 2010 when she spear headed fundraising efforts for the SemperFi Fund and other Veteran Organizations. Amandas philanthropic dedication to serve our nations Veterans and VAS is a mere reflection of the assets Amanda brings to the VAS Team.
Shawn Ryan is Special Operations Outreach Consultant, Navy SEAL, Paramilitary Contractor, Combative Firearms Instructor, Mindset Coach, and Founder of Vigilance LLC. Sean enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 18 and began his journey of becoming a Navy SEAL where he served with SEAL Teams 2 and 8 deploying to multiple conflict zones and fighting in both OIF (Iraq) and OEF (Afghanistan). After leaving the US Navy and Navy Special Warfare Community, Shawn continued to serve his country as a paramilitary contractor involved in US intelligence clandestine operations.
During his 14 years of combat experience as both a Navy SEAL and paramilitary contractor, Sean made over 20 deployments to combat zones in 14 different areas of operations. As the focus of this country’s fight against terrorism expanded from the anti-Al-Qaeda and Taliban Operations “Enduring Freedom” and “Iraqi Freedom” to The Islamic State (ISIS) Operation “Inherent Resolve”, Shawn left the Special Operations Community to pursue a new career and bring his skillset to the home front.
As the fight against terrorism has increasingly found its way to the United States, Shawn founded Vigilance in December 2015 to provide training to those in the civilian and law enforcement sectors. Vigilance’s purpose is to teach and instill the unique skills and mindset of a Navy SEAL to those who want to learn to defend themselves and their families against imminent threats.
Shawn is also very involved with helping his brothers in the special operations community who are ready to transition into the civilian life. As the Special Operations Outreach Consultant for Veterans Advocacy Services, Shawn educates special operations veterans on their entitled benefits and helps facilitate the complex and difficult transition from elite warrior to civilian.
Devin Bolger, is Director of Research. Devin holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts Amherst where he majored in legal studies and grew a passion for advocacy and dispute resolution. Devin is a certified mediator and a graduate of the Daniel Webster Honors Scholar program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. During law school, he interned at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Disability Rights Center - NH.
On this Memorial we would like to take a moment to Remember those brave men and women who have perished in the line of duty, and to those whom we have lost from the hidden wounds of war. Lets us HONOR their service with RESPECT.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!