OFFICERS (Click on picture for a short bio)
As a peer focused group, we understand that everyone’s journey to recovery is unique. Our peer-led organization encourages participants to share their lived experiences in a safe environment. Our community offers a place of support, acceptance, and understanding to those looking to recover from trauma. This type of support system creates an environment for recovering individuals to thrive and find the peace they need to move forward in their journey.
Lari Jones, Chairperson
Hi, I am Lari (prounced “Larry”). The reason I agreed to help with this organization is multi-fold, however one thing is for sure, helping people, helps me. I discovered this about myself in my late 20’s and it has been something that I have strived to do in some way, in each stage of my life.
I have spent 20 years in the home healthcare field providing care to the elderly and physically challenged, beginning with caregiving and eventually as a Director for a non-medical home care company. During this time, I served on a volunteer Board of Directors for James Irwin Charter Schools. In my 10 years on the BOD, 4 of those years, I served as Vice-President. What started out as curiosity about education and parent choice, quickly evolved into a commitment to providing quality, character driven education to all children. In addition, I spent many years volunteering for the church I attended as the Hospitality Director.
I have been married to my husband, Rick for 23 years and we have 3 grown sons that we could not be prouder of. Two years ago, we decided that we needed a change and moved from Colorado Springs, CO to Hiawatha, Kansas. The quiet, small town life is perfect for us! Currently, I am employed as a Family Support Worker for a child placement agency. Our goal is to re-integrate children who have been removed from their home to their parents. It is certainly a different career path than I expected but I find it challenging and rewarding. I am also a full-time student, working towards a degree in Healthcare Administration.
Daniel Krahn, Vice-Chair
Daniel Krahn is a 28 year veteran of Fire/EMS and a Retired Captain/Paramedic from the Mesa Fire/Medical Department in Arizona. He has also worked in a large volunteer and small and medium career fire departments in Wisconsin. He currently works as a registered nurse and has worked in several Emergency Departments over the last 8 years.
Daniel retired with a PTSD disability in 2018 and has taught Behavioral Health and Wellness in the hospital setting, for the local community colleges and for First Responders since then. He has taken the 16-hour North Carolina Peer Support training to better serve our Brothers and Sisters. He and his wife Cathy run the Facebook group The PTSD Warehouse for First Responders, which helps others and their families better understand PTSD.
Dianne Chambers, Secretary
I am Dianne, a Registerd Nurse by trade. I have been in nursing since 1986 when I worked in cardiac surgery, until 12 years ago when I became school nurse for my community school district. I also have been an adjunct nursing instructor for going on 11 years. I currently serve as an EMT-Exempt and firefighter in my small community of Lacona, Iowa.
I agreed to join this endeavor as I believe strongly, that this entity is very important to the men and women in law enforcement,EMS, and all the other service men and women we work for, in providing mental health services when needed. If I can make it easier for one person to seek out help instead of struggling, or worse yet, ending their life, it will be worth it.
Gabe Taggart, Treasurer
Sandy Cupples, Nursing Liaison
Starting out I knew I wanted to help people , I went to a High School Job Fair and decided at that moment when speaking with the nurses that came that’s what I wanted to do, after graduating High School went to Work as a Certified Nurses Aide worked in a nursing facility for a few years then went on to get my Certified Med Aide , LPN and Finally RN license . Was lucky enough to work at the Jasper County Care facility as Nursing Supervisor until its closing, after it closed was hired as Nurse at our local hospital, worked ED and Med Surg, then became House Supervisor for the last 11 years , in total was at the hospital for 20 years. Left the local hospital due to changes in staffing worked at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics as House Supervisor for 5 years , then opportunity opened up back at local hospital and worked then as Case Manger for last 4 years, also worked as needed , for Jasper County as Medical Examiner Investigator for 7 years. My family and I love traveling and spending time together!
Shawn Thomas, Law Enforcement Liaison
Shawn, a deputy sheriff in Seattle, WA. has been on the job for 23 years to her husband, Jeff, a retired deputy himself. a
In September 2016, Shawn’s peer support captain suggested she organize a health and wellness conference for first responders and their families. The conference was a huge success and first responders reached out for assistance. That is when Shawn realized how important the conference was and other department’s and organizations asked for her to organize a conference for them. In the first year she organized five conferences in Seattle, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Arizona. Now the organization has had twenty conferences and have many more planned in the coming year. Shawn is passionate about helping first responders because she has experienced her own difficult times and want to help guide others so they can maintain an enjoyable career and live a healthy life.
Carl Frank, Veteran’s Liaison
My name is Carl Frank, I live in Ankeny, IA. I spent 20 years in the Navy as a Personnelman (HR). I served on 4 ships, completed 3 deployments, cross trained as a legal yeoman (for Non Judicial Punishments), mail handling, Master at Arms, and at sea fire team (first responders for at sea emergencies) I retired in 2005 from Navy recruiting in Omaha, and moved to Des Moines to work at Military Entrance Processing Station as the Navy Military Liaison, 1 year as the MEPS Commander’s secretary, and recently switched to work at Social Security as a Claims Representative and Customer Service Representative.
Since I have separated from active duty, I have sought out the brotherhood that most people feel in the service. I found the American Legion Riders and within 2 years, I was elected President (1st year I was the chapter secretary) and also served as state secretary too. In 2012 I was introduced to the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, the brotherhood was stronger than I would have thought it could have been. I often missed times when my family needed me or expected me to be there. I have left my family because I received a call that a vet needed to talk to someone, or was alone on a holiday. I have done what I could for anyone. I have sometimes failed my family and friends, but I have learned and will always do my best. I will do my best to help someone, and if I cant I will help find the right sources to help them in their time of need.
Craig Keith, Dispatcher Liaison
I am Craig Keith, I have been a 911 dispatcher for since 1999. I enjoy being able to help others in the time of need when that issues arises. I enjoy being the voice behind the radio that doesn’t get seen very much. Each of my shifts is not the same . We don’t get paid to work , we get paid to be busy. Over the years I have talked people though CPR, to help their family in the time of scare. I have helped families bring children into the world by giving them instructions while waiting for EMS personal to arrive at residence. I have heard the scream from families as the fire department is on the way to their house that is on fire, I have talked the family into getting out of the house safe, as soon as possible, until the fire department arrives. Over the years many things has changed, but one thing that has not changed is my drive to help people in the time of need.
Mike Crowe, Firefighter-EMS Liaison/Administrator
Mike finished his career in firefighting and EMS in 2013 after starting as an EMT-A in 1992. Mike was medically retired due to 2 specific calls he responded to that he had difficulty with afterwards and was diagnosed with chronic-PTSD and major depressive disorder. Mike is continuously working on his recovery by attending therapy, managing a grounding group, and spiritual healing. Heroes Comfort, he believes, is his purpose in life and his God-given mission.
He has 4 grown children, 3 girls one boy. The “baby” of the group just graduated high school early, the next week started EMT school and desires to “follow in dad’s footsteps”.
We are currently looking to fill this position.
Eddie Hutchinson, Veteran Liaison
Eddie is a veteran of the Army, first achieving the rank of E7/SFC in 2007, when he won the coveted Audie Murphy Award, and went to Warrant Officer Candidate School to become a Blackhawk pilot. Serving 5 combat deployments in 7 years (2 as a pilot in Afghanistan and 3 on the ground in Iraq) Eddie decided to make a change.
After Eddie finished 20 years in the Army, he got into real estate, specializing in finding homes for transitioning members of the Armed Services. He now spends most of his time selling homes, but leaves tons of time for his beautiful daughter, Olivia.