MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY
Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, ND, Executive Director, is an Army wife of twenty years and mother to an active duty soldier. She taught in the overseas Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the Caribbean and currently works for the federal government. In 2002, she compiled the stories of over 150 University of Maryland, Munich, Germany alumni, resulting in two books documenting the history of that campus’ 40-year history. She has been recognized for her unique education programs in the US and abroad and has been published in Eddiciones Santillana’s Strategies for Teaching English in Puerto Rico. She has been featured in the Army Times and has been quoted in scholarly books about growing up on military bases overseas. Circe belongs to the Blue Star Mothers and co-edits the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS) Quarterly newsletter.
Dr. Allen Dale "Ole" Olson, Public Affairs, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education, and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and doctorate in General Administration from the George Washington University. Ole is a World War II-era veteran and spent most of his civilian career with the United States Defense Department assigned to the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe. Following his retirement, Dr. Olson served as Dean of the Graduate School of Schiller International University and as the Executive Director of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Ole co-edits the AOSHS Quarterly newsletter, and is the Vice President of the Museum Collaborative Council of Albuquerque.
Meet the Executive Board:
For information about donating items to the museum, please call
To submit digital photos or audio/video memories, please email them to:
email@example.com or use the contact form (on right)
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 5085
Albuquerque, NM 87185-5085
Jayne Pilley, Treasurer is an Administrative and Financial Executive with much experience driving operations and sales, creating innovative, strategic internal processes and growth strategies promoting sales and service and increasing profits and mentoring staff. For over a decade, Jayne was the Regional Administrative Manager for Inter-Tel Technologies and prior to that, she was a Controller for Duke City Videos, Inc. Jayne's father is a WWII and Korean War Veteran. As a military spouse, Jayne lived on Ft Bliss for several years. She has a daughter and grandson.
Iain M. Woessner, Social Media Manager is a writer, a web designer, and a Military Brat. A graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Iain has spent the past years honing a variety of multimedia skills, which he’s put to great use helping out the museum. Iain’s passionate about preserving the stories of Military Families, and hopes that this museum will showcase and honor the pain and sacrifices that every family goes through in service to its country. Born in Bad Hersfeld,Germany, he has lived in Puerto Rico, Maryland, Alabama, South Carolina, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona and, most recently,Kansas.
Member of the American Alliance of Museums
Member of the New Mexico Association of Museums
Museum Collaborative Council of Albuquerque
New Mexico Business Coalition
Jude O' Reilly, Fundraising Committee and Special Events Planner can trace her military roots back to
the American Revolution. She graduated from Salve Regina College in Newport RI. While in Newport, she
had the pleasure of meeting many military families and was impressed with the support they gave to each other.
Jude then attended LSU school of Allied Health in New Orleans and after completion of her internship returned to New England and started her 30 year career with the VA hospitals. Her fundraising began many years ago and has benefitted such organizations as the American Cancer Society, The Symphony Orchestra of New Mexico, Boston Neighborhood Associations, Operation Food Basket, and several arts charities. She
is looking forward to working with MAMF in their future endeavors.
Polly McLaughlin has extensive marketing, public relations and communications experience. Polly managed all aspects of marketing, advertising and public relations for four financial companies. She planned and executed marketing strategies, selected media and purchased print and television advertising and was responsible for planning and executing marketing and sales events. She developed advertising content, brand management strategies and wrote copy. As a small business owner, Polly was responsible for sales, public relations and marketing. She also served as board member and Board President of Silver Horizons New Mexico, Inc. and was involved with the working board in most aspects of managing a small non-profit and helping it grow.
Brat Liaison --Joe Condrill grew up around the world as an 'Army Brat.' In 19 years he saw 21 homes, attended 12 schools in 12 years before graduating from high school in Iran in 1973. In 1986 he founded the OVERSEAS BRATS organization that involves former military & overseas dependents. In his capacity with OVERSEAS BRATS, Joe has worked with hundreds of alumni groups, published a magazine three times a year, and hosts annually regional get-togethers, an annual national convention and every three years an all-school reunion event. He is happy to be part of the Museum of the American Military Family team. Joe can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com
Veteran Liaison--Larry Hurtado is a Vietnam veteran who, following the combat death of a friend in Vietnam, conceived the idea for and became the driving force behind the establishment of the Vietnam Memorial/Monument in Bernalillo, NM. With the backing and financial help from the Sandoval County Commission and volunteer help from military veterans, family and many friends, the project came to fruition with a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day 2006. Larry is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, whose mission is to honor fallen heroes and support their
families. With an abiding respect for those who serve, they attend funerals of U.S. armed forces members as well as military veterans, police, firefighters and first responders. Larry can be reached at LordiLordi40@live.com
Dr. Wanda L. Umber, Ed.D., Director of Operations & Strategic Planning is a military brat with a passion for connecting people with skills and information. After finishing her Master’s in Health Administration, she joined the Civil Service to continue to serve in the community in which she was raised. She is currently the Chief of Strategic Planning & Learning Resources for a Federal Agency in the Albuquerque Metro. She and her staff are noted for their creative instructional strategies, and recently were the recipients of the Baldridge award. Wanda hopes to use those creative ideas to help share the stories and experiences of military families.
Joseph C. Long is the Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center for the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services. Born and raised in New Mexico, he is a graduate of Roswell High School and Eastern New Mexico University. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1966 and retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2004 with the rank of colonel. His personal military awards include the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.
Col Long’s last three years in uniform, plus five years in government service, were spent as the Marine Corps’ Project Manager for the creation of the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia which opened in 2006. He then established Joseph C. Long Consulting, LLC, a museum project management consultation firm with such clients as the National Museum of the United States Army, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, the New Mexico Veterans Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.He is also a retired minister.
Donna Musil is a writer, documentary filmmaker, and proud Army “brat.” She is also the Executive Director of Brats Without Borders, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1999 to honor the contributions and improve the welfare of current and former military children and other “Third Culture Kids” (www.USAbrat.org). Donna’s award-winning film, BRATS: OUR JOURNEY HOME, is the first documentary about growing up military, narrated by Kris Kristofferson and featuring General Norman Schwarkzopf. BRATS has been broadcast on AFN television in 178 countries, screened in over 100 theaters and military bases around the world, and featured on CNN’s “This Week at War,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the Stars & Stripes and many more media outlets. Donna is currently designing “Growing Up Army,” the first permanent exhibit dedicated to Army brats for the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and co-curating with artist Lora Beldon “UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show,” the first traveling art exhibit about growing up military, and winner of the 2012 Newman’s Own Award.
David A. Wilson, a small business owner and Veteran’s advocate, is a 6th generation New Mexican and a decorated US Army Combat Veteran who served as a US Army paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam from 1968-1969. He currently is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association apprenticeship program, and is a member of the New Mexico Municipal League, which represents and serves New Mexico in developing policies, laws and regulations. He is a registered lobbyist working to benefit and support Veterans, the Public Education Department and the Youth Build Program. He has been a New Mexico State Delegate as well as a Certified Veterans’ Official since 2003 for the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. Appointed in 2009 as the Village of Tijeras Planning and Zoning Commissioner, he was instrumental in the financial and physical building of the Veteran’s Memorial in the Village of Tijeras, NM. As a talk show host for Vanguard Media, a locally owned AM radio station, he addressed Veterans’ issues targeting disability benefits, loans, education, medical and financial support and involvement with homelessness issues. He was the recipient of the East Mountain Outstanding Citizen in 2011. He currently serves on the Tijeras Village Council.
Writer in Residence Caroline LeBlanc, MFA, MS, RN is the creator and leader of Writing For Your Life © creative writing circles for active duty service members, veterans and their family members. As a veteran of both the Army Nurse and Public Health Service Corps, and as a military spouse and mother, she is familiar with many aspects of military life. Her poetry and essays, published in the US and abroad, include a 2010 chapbook, Smokey Ink and a Touch of Honeysuckle. Currently, she writes about her New France ancestors’ 18th century saga, the experience of 20th century French Canadian immigrants to the US, and her military related experiences.
Parent Liaison Catherine (Cass) Crown is a retired Navy Chief Boatswain’s mate, who served active duty with the Air Force from 1975 to 1979 and active and reserve duty with the Navy from 1987 to 2005.
She has two sons-- one serving active duty Navy and one serving with DOD.
Her civilian career was all law enforcement. She was a Deputy Sheriff for seven years and then accepted a commission with the State of Alabama as a Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Law Enforcement Officer (Game Warden) and retired from those duties in 2006. She presently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has the honor of serving our Nation’s Veterans by working at the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center.
Mary Edwards Wertsch, a seasoned investigative reporter and writer, is the author of the non-fiction book Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood inside the Fortress, which broke new ground in its analysis of the military as a home culture for the children raised within it. Wertsch has an authentic brat resume of her own: The daughter of a career Army infantry officer, her childhood encompassed three countries, 20 different houses, and 12 schools by the time she was 18. Her B.A. in philosophy was earned at the College of William and Mary, a popular college destination for military families of the time. Currently she lives in St. Louis in dwelling no. 43 with her husband, James V. Wertsch, with whom she has two sons. She continues to write and lecture about the military brat cultural identity she has been credited with identifying since Military Brats was first published in 1991, and she is at work on a sequel to Military Brats.
Artist in Residence Joan Y. Olson taught in the Defense Department Schools for 30 years. She is an artist, a chef and a writer. She is a laureate of La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in France and has taught classic French cooking for more than thirty years. Much of her training came from her association with some of the most renowned chefs in France — Emile Jung, Paul Haeberlin, Georges Blanc — to name a few. With her husband, she has produced seven guide books to restaurants in Europe. Mrs. Olson has prepared and hosted dinners for ambassadors, counts, generals, Michelin-starred chefs, and some of the most prestigious wine producers in France and Germany. She has taught cooking and done cooking demonstrations at Schiller International University in Strasbourg and at the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, Indiana where she also taught art and served as the Artist-in-Residence for eight years. One of her paintings hangs in the Governor's Residence in Indianapolis. She also managed an art gallery in the 19th century Story Inn in Brown County, Indiana. She is the grandmother of Army Soldier.
Paul Silva, Construction Projects Manager, has 40 years experience in construction. From 1966 to 1969- he was in U.S. Army Aviation, CH-47 Chinook Flight Engineer, Vietnam Veteran. His construction career started in 1971 as a Carpenter Apprentice, and then as a Journeyman Carpenter. From 1974 to 1977, he helped build the Washington D.C. subway system. He moved to Albuquerque, NM, where from 1977 to 1981, he built custom homes and commercial projects. From 1981 to 1994, Paul was a Carpenter Foreman, then General Superintendent for a contractor supporting Sandia Labs. From 1994 to 2007 he was a Sandia Laboratory Architectural/Structural/Civil Building Inspector, mobile crane/bridge crane Inspector, and level 2 rigging Inspector. From 2007 to 2011, he was a Sandia Laboratory Facility Building Manager (Reactor Facility [Area 5], Solar Tower, radiological & explosive component facilities).
Vanessa Lasater currently serves on the Executive Board of Albuquerque's Rio Grande Valley Blue Star Mothers - Chapter 2. The mother of three adult sons, her middle son Andrew currently serves with the USMC, 1st Radio Battalion, Camp Pendleton. Vanessa's family genealogy includes a rich family tradition of service to our country beginning with the War of Independence, and including the War of 1812, Civil War, WWI, WW2, Vietnam, and peacetime service.
She feels a liaison between the museum and the Blue Star Mothers is a perfect fit as Blue Star and Gold Star families have been and continue to be the face of the American military family. Any family who has had a member serve, is a Blue Star family, and any family who has lost a service member, is a Gold Star family. Vanessa looks forward to supporting the museum in any way she can and is hoping to put her research skills to work. She may be contacted at RGVMarines@gmail.com