Board of Directors

Our board of directors includes representation from three branches of the United States military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the spouse of a military combat veteran.


Lance G. Newman, CWO4, USMC (Ret)

OPS Chair

Lance Newman is a U.S. Marine combat veteran (Iraq 1990-91). He currently serves as the director of the military and veteran program for SC Thrive. He is also a veteran peer-to-peer specialist and facilitates the Combat Veterans Support Group at Bethesda Church of God.

Newman has a bachelor of science degree in security management from Dover University, as well as a bachelor’s in emergency disaster and master’s in security management/emergency disaster management from American Military University. He is also a certified professional investigator and forensic interviewer.

He is a member of the Marine Corps League, American Security Society and Bethesda Church of God, where he serves as director of security.


Robin J. White, Capt, USN (Ret)

Assistant Chair

Robin White is a retired U.S. Navy submarine veteran with a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and master of science degree in engineering acoustics from the Naval Postgraduate School.

White is a member of the Northeast Presbyterian Church Combat Veterans Support Group, Naval Academy Alumni Association, Naval Submarine League, United States Submarine Veterans Inc., (USSVI) Palmetto Base, Military Officers Association of America ( MOAA) and Sigma Xi–the Scientific Research Honor Society.


John L. Pressly

Legal Chair

John Pressly is a retired attorney (Virginia State Bar) and counsel to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He also serves as a mediator for the Columbia Mediation Service and is an active board member for Ben Lippen School in Columbia, S.C.

Pressly is graduate of Erskine College and earned his Juris Doctorate law degree from the George Mason School of Law.


Cecilia R. Newman

Grants Research Chair

Cecilia Newman is currently employed as a development specialist in the non-profit sector and certified county coordinator for the volunteer tax program.

Newman is the wife of a combat veteran and member of Bethesda Church of God. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Phoenix.


Arno R. Goerski

IT Specialist

Arno Goerski is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Goerski graduated Cum Laude from Colorado Technical University with a bachelor’s degree in information technology with a focus on security. He is also CompTIA A+ Certified and a member of Bethesda Church of God.