Board of Directors

 

GABRIELA CAMARGO

Founder and Managing Director

rc_2Gabriela Camargo is the Founder and Managing Director of the Stay in Step foundation . She grew up in Venezuela and she graduated from Law School in Caracas, Venezuela in 1998. She has over 10 years work experience within the administration and legal field. She has well developed skills in human relations/ interpersonal interactions. For more than 5 years she has been an advocate for the military and civilian spouses and family members of people with spinal cord injuries. Her love, compassion, dedication and loyalty to her husband and her desire to help people with spinal cord injuries is the motivation to impulse this great project of the Stay In Step Center in Tampa. Her approach is not just manage and provide a service through Stay in Step , but also touches and changes peoples lives who are living with a spinal cord injury, sharing with those people’s an attitude of faith, hope and optimism during the process of rehabilitation and recovery.

“Five days a week, he would either travel to the Haley VA Hospital or to the only rehabilitation center available, in Orlando, Florida. Because of the circumstances Romy and I have developed a tremendous knoweldge of the SCI treatment and recovery environment. This is my reality, and Romulo’s reality every day. We know it better than most anyone. Driven by our focus on Romy’s recovery within our own family, we also know that most local SCI patients don’t have rehabilitation options in the immediate Tampa area. It is for this reason that we decided to create the Stay in Step Recovery Center.”

– Gaby Camargo

Board of Advisors

We can’t run Stay In Step by ourselves, of course. Our Board of Advisors are some of the most talented, passionate, dedicated and professional people in the field. We’re honored to work with them.

SCOTT MANN

Special Advisor/Chief Communicator

advisors_mannScott Mann believes in leaving tracks.

It’s a lesson he learned from his father, Rex. “Leaving tracks” means giving back to causes larger than one’s self, and Scott began at a young age. He spent 23 years in the US Army (18 of them with Special Ops, and 15 as a Green Beret) before leaving for other pursuits. His list of titles now includes entrepreneur, CEO, stability expert, and mentor.

Scott was deployed in Afghanistan with Romy and they immediately became friends. He was then placed on assignment with a different unit. Scott happened to be in D.C. when he heard about Romy being in the hospital. Scott joined a group of soldier friends who stayed in the hospital room in order to give Gaby a break. Each took shifts throughout the night watching over Romy. Scott remembers vividly one particular shift. He awoke for his 4 am shift and as he approached the bed he felt eyes staring at him. As he looked down, Romy was not only awake…but he simply said, “Scott, are you ok?”

Of all things, Romy was more concerned about Scott than himself. Scott was immediately touched and vowed to stay by Romy’s side and support whatever mission he chose in his recovery.

Scott realized as Romy progressed through his rehabilitation, the vision that he and Gaby had for creating a facility. When he heard this vision, he quickly understood that they were all on the same page when it came to “leaving tracks.” Scott immediately knew what he could do to help…he could bring the business structure to ensure the vision of Romy and Gaby could be brought to life. “While Stay in Step has local implications, its potential impact for helping other wounded veterans and civilians get back in the game is profound,” says Scott.

In addition to his work with Stay In Step, Scott is also the Founder/CEO of Patriot Families, a non-profit dedicated to helping military families and wounded veterans.

DR. JOHN MERRITT

Chief Medical Advisor

advisors_merritt Dr. Merritt served as the Chief of SCI Center at Haley Hospital in Tampa and was Romy’s doctor while Romy was treated there. When Dr. Merritt heard about Romy and Gaby’s vision, he had just retired and he immediately stepped up to serve as the Chief Medical Advisor. He commented that he was amazed with Romy’s positive attitude, overall fortitude and determination throughout the entire ordeal. In fact, Dr. Merritt was one of many who advocated for Romy’s stem cell procedure in Portugal. For Romy and Gaby it was always important for the person in this board position to not only understand spinal cord injuries, but to also grasp their vision, passion and personality. Dr. Merritt certainly fit the bill and was thrilled to step up and serve in this role.

With more than forty years of experience in the field, there’s no one more qualified to help anyone suffering from a spinal cord injury. He’s worked with over a hundred active duty, spinal injury patients since he was recruited in 2003 as Chief of the Spinal Cord Injury Center at the James A. Haley VA Hospital, at the beginning of the global war on terror. Now retired from the VA, he continues to research, publish, and present internationally on cutting edge spinal cord injury developments, and in devoting his energy to the Stay in Step program.

LT. GEN. MARTIN STEELE

USMC (Ret.) Director of Community Outreach

advisors_steele When we started looking for someone to help us reach out to the community, there was one name at the top of the list, Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele. General Steele is not only a decorated veteran with an extensive, distinguished career of service, but he is also the former CEO of the largest naval museum in the world: the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He’s also the chairman and founder of Steele Partners, Inc., and is the executive director of military partnerships at the University of South Florida.

General Steele is one of the foremost experts on outreach between the military and civilian sectors. When he heard Romy and Gaby’s story, he knew he had to lend his skills, talent and contacts to further this extraordinary vision. For him, it was more than a vision. When General Steele looked into Romy’s eyes, he could see the level of determination and commitment that it would take to make this mission possible. At that moment, he knew he needed to bring his personal level of commitment to the organization because he could see the number of veterans and civilians that could be helped by the efforts of one soldier and his wife.

General Steele brings his vast network of contacts, determination and relentless commitment to our foundation and we are truly grateful for his efforts.

GREG PARSONS

Corporate Relations/Possible Chair

50240577-1d3e-4c5c-812d-9a03cd370671Greg joined Semper Capital Management in 2008 as the Chief Operating Officer and in 2010 became the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. In addition to leading Semper Capital, Greg serves on the Risk Management and Compliance committees. Prior to joining Semper Capital, Greg served as Founding and Managing Member of CP Capital Partners, LP. He previously served as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company in the Financial Services Group. Greg began his career over 20 years ago and served as a Captain and Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He earned an AB from Princeton University.

LESLIE A. LEAVER

MBA, PMP, CMMI Associate President, Strategic Business Solutions

50240577-1d3e-4c5c-812d-9a03cd370671Ms. Leaver is the President and Founder of Strategic Business Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in strategic business development and organizational and human performance improvement. Ms. Leaver brings over 20 years of experience in the state and federal marketplace as well as large and small businesses alike. She has supported a variety of industries from education and health care to manufacturing and services.

Ms. Leaver has extensive experience working with extremely complex organizations and programs at the executive level. She routinely consults with C-Suite leaders, Public officials, General Officers, and Flag Officers. Ms. Leaver has served on the Boards of Examiners for the National Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program as well as the Florida Sterling Council, and she applies the Baldrige framework in her consulting engagements as well as in her own organization.

Ms. Leaver is equally committed to giving back to the communities in which she lives and to those less fortunate, having served on the boards of the John F. Germany Friends of the Library and Live Hope Learn. She also commits her time and professional services to Hope Children’s Home, My Hope Chest, The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, and a number of other local non-profit organizations.

DAVID J. SCOTT

Major General USAF (retired)

david-scottMajor General David J. Scott retired from the United States Air Force on 1 September, 2009. Prior to retirement he served as Deputy Director, Center for Special Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Major General Scott’s military career included duty as Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and command of flying operations at squadron, group, and wing levels including Special Operations aviation units in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and the USAF C-130 flight training base at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. Along with stateside postings General Scott served in Germany, the United Kingdom, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

After retirement General Scott started, partnered with, or co-founded several companies and now owns Home Port Gallery in Apollo Beach and Bad Monkey Pub in Ybor City, Fl.. He is founder and President of Chinthé Consulting, Inc., contributes to several Tampa economic development efforts, and serves on the board of “Stay in Step” (innovative programs for spinal cord injury rehab), the “Brian Bill Foundation” (PTS, TBI, and chronic pain for veterans) the “Doolittle Institute” (facilitator for innovation at SOFWERX and AFRL), “All American Productions” (cultural and veteran event management) “@RISK” Technologies (cyber security), the “American Victory Ship” Maritime Museum (WWII vessel), and “UCANN” (medical cannabis research).

STEVE PARKER

Business Development/ Business Operations

50240577-1d3e-4c5c-812d-9a03cd370671Steven J. Parker, LC is an entrepreneur, industry leader, author, teacher, mentor, and licensed captain. Steve has 36 years experience primarily with start-up companies, which now total 7. As president of the last two startups in Tampa, he has created jobs and award – winning organizations. Steve has just completed a book titled Lighting the Way to North America – from startup to EBITDA.

When Gen Scott asked him to help out with SIS, he could immediately see the benefits that the center provides to veterans, civilians , and the community. He is committed to helping the organization and the people they serve. Steve became fast friends with Romy, Gaby and the staff at SIS. His guidance with banking, forecasting, budgeting, accounting systems, insurance , and management has been a welcome help to the operation.