If you have experienced military sexual trauma, and in crisis call 988 and press 1
If you have experienced military sexual trauma, and in crisis call 988 and press 1
Shannon Hough, Founder/CEO
Tracy Urban, Co-founder/Instructor
Gina McDonald, Board of Directors/Administration
Mike Crum, Board of Directors
LtCol John Harman, Board of Directors
Penny Carlson, Board of Directors
Chris Carlson, Board of Directors
Paul "Pablo" McKellips
Honorable Cheryl Mason
Shannon Hough is our CEO and Founder. She is a Lady Veteran of the Navy, a military wife and mother. Shannon has also served as a mayor, congressional staff member and as a city administrator. Shannon holds an MPA and MBA from Norwich University.
Shannon endured sexual assault in the Navy over 25 years ago and never fully recovered from what happened to her. While Shannon was serving as a congressional staffer she encountered several service members who needed help with their own sexual assaults while serving in the military. She decided to create Shield of Sisters as a way to help her sisters that endured MST.
Shannon's passion is helping others find restoration and supporting her sister service members. She is an avid reader, loves to cook and spend time with her family, including her dog Zeus.
Tracy is a 24 year Veteran of the Wisconsin National Guard and is focused in service member support. She is a LCSW and has supported a National Comprehensive Wellness Program.
Mike Crum is a Master Resilience Trainer for the Army National Guard. Mike is a Marine Corps veteran and over the last 7 years has worked in the world of suicidology with veterans, the military, and the first responder community. Mike is trained as a trainer through LivingWorks to provide safeTALK training a 3 -4 hour training on why people miss, dismiss and avoid the conversation about suicide, and is trained as a trainer in ASIST a two-day workshop to help people explore their beliefs about suicide and how to utilize the Pathways to Assisting Life Model to help keep someone safe for now until further resources can be provided.
After serving in the Marine Corps, it took a while for Mike to find his purpose but he eventually found social work and completed a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Slippery Rock University, a master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Wisconsin Green Bay and is currently working on his Doctorate of Social Work from Capella University.
Mike’s passion is education, training, coaching, and mentoring others in resilience and suicide intervention. Mike currently lives in Madison, WI, and enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and meeting people from all over the country who keep Mike humble and grateful for the opportunity to impact their life.
John is a multi-tour, combat veteran who recently retired from the Marine Corps after 28 years of active service.
Over his distinguished career, he served in numerous operational and staff assignments spanning every level of the Marine Corps from platoon to Headquarters Marine Corps, including all three Marine Expeditionary Forces and within all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF). His Joint assignments include duty as the Director of Logistics (J4), Joint Task Force 170 (JTF-170), Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Combined Joint Force Land Component Command (CJFLCC) Deputy Sustainment Director (DJ4) in Iraq.
John has deployed on multiple combat tours in support of Operations Enduing Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve along with countless exercises across the U.S., Central and Indo-Pacific Commands.
He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School (now Expeditionary Warfare School), the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Air Force War College.
John is a full member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), serving on the Board of Officers for the Maryland Society - SAR and recently completed a three-year term on the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Currently Serving Advisory Council. He commits much his off-duty time to supporting volunteer organizations that provide services to the active military and veterans community.
He is married to the former Jodi Lynne Wolf and they have two sons: Nathaniel and Timothy.
Gina is the daughter of an Air Force Veteran. She comes to Shield of Sisters with many years of banking and finance knowledge. She is passionate about helping active duty service members and veterans.
Penny’s passion is advocacy, training and helping others develop resilience and working through trauma. This passion has led her to Shield of Sisters. She has recently been certified as a Master Resilience Trainer and in Motivational Interviewing for advocates. She holds an associate degree (AAS) in Paralegal studies and a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security from Herzing University.
Penny has been serving in the Army Reserves for 15 years and has over 12 years of working with Service Members in advocacy and prevention roles in both the Army Reserves and her fulltime civilian position with the Wisconsin National Guard. She is also Level III certified as a D-SAACP credentialed Victim Advocate.
Penny currently lives in Mauston, WI with her amazing husband and 3 energetic and comical dogs and two loyal cats. She is also a military wife, mother to one Son, Cameron and grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters, Kaylee and Leia.
She enjoys the outdoors with her husband to include concerts, biking, kayaking, Jeeping, exploring state parks and marking places off their bucket list. Penny has a second passion for dogs and is a certified dog obedience instructor who enjoys helping other pet owners gain a better understanding of their pets. One of her goals is to become certified to train service dogs for military Service Members.
Chris Carlson is originally from Ft. Wayne, IN and now lives in Mauston, WI, with Penny, the love of his life, and their five fuzzy fur babies. They enjoy kayaking, car shows, traveling, and rooting for the Colts & Packers.
Chris is an Ammunition Specialist Career Management Field Chief / Instructor and Victim Advocate at Ft. McCoy, WI, working for the U.S. Army. Chris is a D-SAACP Certified Level III Victim Advocate and has served MST survivors in various capacities over the last eleven years. Chris has trained in several prevention and response courses in civilian and military forums such as SHARP, Green Dot, ASIST, Equal Opportunity, and MRT. He enjoys sharing in the learning and growth to impact molding future generations through teaching critical thinking skills.
As a Civilian, he served with the Indiana State Police (Road Trooper/Color Guard/Motorcycle Team) before his career as an Army Civilian Corps member in the SHARP program (VA/SARC/PM/Instructor). Chris worked with Army DoD and Army Civilian Corps Leaders to develop and execute short-term strategies and long-term initiatives to satisfy changing cultural awareness needs in a dynamic, evolving environment supporting Soldiers and Army Families.
He believes in the importance of the individual's personal worth, dignity and respect, mentorship, selfless leadership, the centrality of human values, and the creative, active nature of Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families. He loves being a Soldier and believes that Senior NCOs set the standard for getting the job done while treating everyone with dignity and respect while demonstrating competency and proficiency.
Paul R. Lawrence is a businessman, author, and passionate Veteran advocate. He has 35 years of experience solving management problems in large, complex organizations. As a private sector executive, he was a consulting Partner at two Big-Four accounting firms and a Vice President in two Fortune 500 companies. He is a government management thought leader, having written several books on the subject.
For almost three years, Lawrence served as Under Secretary of Benefits at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018. As Under Secretary, he was in charge of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) leading a team of 25,000 people with an operating budget of $4 billion, administering $120 billion in benefits annually. He implemented proven business practices, streamlined the bureaucracy, and created a public presence rebranding VBA as an organization successfully supporting Veterans.
During his time as Under Secretary, Veterans received more benefits faster and at lower cost than any time in VBA history. His 2021 book, “Transforming Service to Veterans: How I Pursued Performance Excellence at VBA,” describes the accomplishments during his time as Under Secretary. To make the benefits experience easier for Veterans, later this year his new book, “Veterans Benefits for You” will be available.
He serves on the Board of Directors of Vets2Industry, a non-profit organization helping Veterans pursue a career in the private sector and the Board of Trustees of Purpose Built Families, a nationally-accredited nonprofit that delivers compassionate, informed care to address underlying causes of Veteran homelessness. He is also a Senior Advisor to Search & Acquire, a non-profit focused on helping Veterans become CEOs via Entrepreneurship through Acquisition.
He was selected three times by Federal Computer Week as one of the top 100 public service leaders. In 2019 he was recognized as Government Executive of the Year by Service to the Citizen. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Lawrence earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Tech. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He is an Army Veteran, having completed his ROTC requirement as an Airborne-qualified Captain.
The Honorable Cheryl L. Mason served for nearly 5 years as the fourth Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee and first woman and military spouse Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As Chairman, Ms. Mason led a team of approximately 1200 personnel including Veterans Law Judges, attorneys, and operations and administrative professionals, and executed a budget of $228 million to meet the Board’s mission of conducting hearings and deciding appeals on benefits and services for Veterans and their families. During her tenure, the Board implemented several technological innovations to include the interactive decision template (IDT), CASEFLOW – a modernized end to end process of tracking claims and appeals through the Department, and Virtual Tele-hearings, which revolutionized the hearing process and improved both customer experience and employee experience by enabling Veterans to have hearings on their cell phones at locations of their choice. She expanded the Veterans Law Judge corps, recommending and onboarding over 65 new Veterans Law Judges and expanding the Board’s budget by more than $100 million. She also championed and implemented the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) appeals process putting veterans at the center of the appeals process giving them choice, control, and clarity in the appeals process. Chairman Mason delivered results increasing and improving access and outcomes for veterans and their families by nearly doubling the number of hearings held and decisions issued in less than 5 years and driving the resolution of legacy appeals from over 472,000 to less than 96,000 during her tenure. Ms, Mason is credited with turning the Board from a dysfunctional organization with low morale and trust and lackluster results into a high functioning organization delivering results to veterans and increasing trust and morale in her employees. Ms. Mason was recognized by Disabled American Veterans as the 2021 Outstanding Federal Executive and was a recipient of the FedHealthIT 2020 Leading for Impact: Women in Leadership Award. As recognition of her fierce commitment and actions around military spouse employment, she was awarded the Hiring Our Heroes 2022 Bonnie Amos Lifetime Achievement Impact Award by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout her career, the Ms Mason held several positions at VA and other Federal agencies, including at HQ USAFE at Ramstein AFB, GE and Federal Labor Relations Authority. Ms. Mason is the spouse of an Air Force veteran, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (retired), and is the daughter of a World War II Navy Veteran. Personally impacted by suicide in her family, she advocates for supporting and changing the culture and increasing awareness surrounding whole health, mental health, and suicide awareness/prevention.
Originally from Portsmouth, Ohio, Ms. Mason received her B.A. with Distinction in Political Science and Psychology from Ohio Northern University and her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law.
Ms. Mason regularly speaks and presents on Relational Leadership- being a catalyst through connections, Military Spouse engagement and employment- why it is so important to our nation, the transition of the service member and family to Veteran status – it’s a family affair and it’s not one and done, and Suicide Awareness and Prevention – a personal perspective.
SOS is a 501c3 EIN 88-4176126 DUNS 118924053
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