The Veteran’s Opportunity Center, dba as CBVC, Inc. is a nonprofit business that operates out of two office suites located at 1600 N. 20th Avenue, Suites 1 and 2 Pasco, WA.
The primary mission of the Veteran’s Opportunity Center (VOC) is to assist veterans in receiving benefits they’ve earned through their service to our country. However, many folks may not know that we also operate a clean and sober house for veterans going through transitional events in their life and also a home for student veterans using their GI Bill benefits.
In order to be able to serve veterans on a more extensive level, we house counselors and case managers from the Walla Walla Vet’s Center who offer counseling to both combat and sexual trauma vets and their families without cost. Other agencies housed at the Veterans’ Opportunity Center here in Pasco are the Veteran’s Administration HUD VASH Program, which assists in housing homeless veterans in Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla Counties; VetCorps, who advocate for and assist veterans looking for educational opportunities; WestCare, a new Federal program designed to provide veteran outreach to rural area vets, WorkSource, which assists vets in obtaining employment and skills and DAV that provides assistance for disabled veterans.
We’re also pleased to announce that there are now two certified service officers here at VOC two days per week to assist with veterans applying for medical and disability benefits.
CBVC also administers our own Veteran Relief Program, provides periodic Life Skills classes (Budgeting, Landlord/Tenant Laws/Job Finding Skills), hosts a veteran’s closet that provides casual and business clothing to vets as well as hygiene kits, and houses a computer lab that’s open and available to vets every business day.
Through the combined efforts of the agencies and programs housed here at the VOC, we were able to serve veterans with over 2,000 visits and appointments out of this location alone in 2014. We’re serving approximately 40-50 vets here every week. Each year since 2012, we’ve seen these numbers rise by about 40%, and we expect the number of vets that need the services we provide will continue to rise.
We’re very pleased to be able to provide these services and take pride in the number of local vets we serve each week.
as of 5/27/15
Mary Ann Parkhurst, President >>
Mary Ann Parkhurst, President
Term Expires -
Officer 12-31-16 / Member 12-31-17
Mary Ann Parkhurst McDonald is a retired research scientist with a master’s degree in counseling psychology and extensive coaching training in trauma and the stress, anxiety, and depression it can create. She was recruited in 2008 as a volunteer counselor for CBVC to assist service veterans with trauma and civilian adjustment issues. A Board member since April 2014, MaryAnn is the current Board president.
Irene Berger, Vice President >>
Irene Berger, Vice President
Term Expires -
Officer 12-31-16 / Member 12-31-16
Jason Schlegel, Secretary >>
Jason Schlegel, Secretary
Term Expires -
Officer 12-31-17 / Member 12-31-18
Jason holds degrees in psychology and higher education, and is in the final stages of completing a PhD in higher education and adult learning from Oregon State University. He has spent time as an NCO in the Army, led community engagement efforts for AmeriCorps, is a top-rated psychology instructor at Columbia Basin College, and Principal Consultant for Blue Rudder. For his public service efforts, Schlegel received the Americanism Award from the American Legion as well as the Good Citizen accolade from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mary Ball Chapter. Schlegel directed the nationally recognized First-Year Introduction Program for first-time college students, which was bestowed the Terry O'Bannion Shared Journey Award by the League of Innovation in the Community College. Most recently, Schlegel founded the Veteran Services Program at Columbia Basin College, and has spent time helping develop new programs for public colleges including Centralia College, Linn Benton Community College, and Spokane Falls Community College.
Brett Riley, Treasurer >>
Brett Riley, Treasurer
- Officer 12-31-17 / Member 12-31-18
Brett Riley serves as the Director for Business Office Services, Grants and Contract Management at Columbia Basin College. Prior to CBC, he served as Research Manager at the Sleep and Memory Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan. During his time at the University of Michigan, Brett contributed to a number of scientific publications focusing on the impact of sleep on learning and memory consolidation, while securing increased funding for sponsored research. Brett has lectured in a number of undergraduate and graduate courses at Washington State University and the University of Michigan.
Gary Earp >>
Term Expires - 12-31-17
Jim Rodriguez >>
Term Expires - 12-31-16
Mr. Rodriguez has a proven track record in working with various organizations and people to accomplish their goals. He is currently a board member of the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Local Indian Child Welfare Advisory Committee (LICWAC), and has served as the President of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a past founding member of the Association of Washington State Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, past board member of the American Red Cross of Benton County, past member of the Economic Development Committee for the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments, past/founding member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Columbia River Professional Chapter and past Vice Chairman on the Laguna Industries, Inc. Board of Directors. In these positions, he has provided business leadership and effective coordination of the business and educational climate in and around the Tri-Cities and the region. Also, he assisted in setting policy to insure that these organizations carried out their objectives, to make certain that the organizations had developed strategies, and that long range planning was being completed.
Jim is of Native American and Mexican decent and grew up on the Pueblo of Laguna Indian Reservation located in west Central New Mexico. He attended school on the reservation and served in the U. S. Navy. In 1984 he graduated from the University of Albuquerque with a Bachelor of Business Degree in Data Management.
Jim and his wife Annabelle moved to Richland, Washington in 1991 and have three daughters, Jessica, and identical twins Natalie and Valarie.
Gordon Walsh >>
Term Expires - 12-31-17
I served in the United States Army for over 24 years, serving with the 82nd Airborne and Special Forces (Green Berets). God called me to ministry in December of 2010 and at that moment I began a new mission, a mission to utilize the training and experience I received in Special Forces.
You Served Your Country -- Now Let Us Serve You!