VETC Board of Directors
(Officers to be seated August 19, 2018)
Dan Barth earned a Forestry Degree from the University of Michigan in 1969. Dan was later drafted and enlisted in the Army, and is a service disabled Vietnam combat veteran. His forestry background helped him to become an Assistant Post Forester for the Army while stationed in Arizona after returning from Vietnam. Dan also served in the WA National Guard. After discharge, he worked for the the WA State DNR for several decades, retiring in 2002. He now enjoys another career, working as a shellfish aquaculture consultant with Patriot Shellfish Farms LLC, with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and as an adviser to VETS_CAFE, among a host of other ventures. Dan brings years of experience in working with developing small ag and forestry business, as well as a passion for serving his fellow veterans.
Penny Is completing a degree at Portland State University with a focus in Biology and Psychology. She served in the Army from 2004-2008 as a pharmacy specialist, and saw first hand the true cost of war.
Upon her honorable discharge she began to work with multiple veterans' groups where she learned to manage and inspire grassroots organizations. She developed the first veteran taught Permaculture course in the United States, Boots to Roots, and is a voting Member of VETC, having earned her PDC Certificate. She has a firm belief that permaculture can be vital part of holistic veteran reintegration to civilian society.
During her military service she repeatedly encountered a feeling of being labeled ’other', and never fitting in or feeling accepted due to her gender and orientation. As a veteran, this feeling demanded she choose a proactive, rather than reactive, means of managing others projections. Today she works with Minority Veterans of America to ensure that all veterans stories, and the culture that brought them to service, are recognized and honored. Being a member of the VETC board is a natural way for her to expand that work and share its rewards.
Nate Ford is a Viet Nam Veteran having served in both the US Navy Air and the US Army from 1964 through 1968. He spent the majority of his working carrier representing northwest shipyard workers as an officer in the labor movement. In 1987 to 1988 Nate was a congressional staff member in Washington’s 7th Congressional District serving Veterans, Maritime Industries and Disability Communities. In 1992 through 1995 Nate served on the Washington State Governor’s staff advising on Veterans Affairs, and analyzing proposed legislation for several state agencies.
In 1995 the Governor appointed Nate as Chairman of the Washington State Liquor Control Board where he served through January 2000. From 2000 to 2001 he served on the State Personal Appeals Board. Upon completing his appointed terms with the State, Nate returned to the shipbuilding industry as Manager of Labor Relations at Todd Pacific Shipyards Seattle retiring in 2012.
In retirement Nate has been involved in volunteer work with veterans. He is currently the Treasurer of Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound. Nate is the Senior Vice Commander of the Disabled American Veterans, West Seattle Chapter #23, and has service connected disability due to agent orange exposure. Although retired Nate has also remained involved with the shipbuilding industry serving as a Management Trustee on three separate Health & Welfare, Pension and Apprenticeship Trusts as the chairman of each trust.
Cyril O. Miller is a Vietnam era Army Airborne Special Forces veteran who served from 1956 to 1959, recalled in 1961 served until 1965. 1966 to 1969, he worked in the family construction business in South Florida; 1970 to 1978, he served as IAM 145 union representative for employees at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.
In 1979, Cyril came to the Pacific Northwest. He worked for Sea-Land Corp and started Seattle Super Smoke in 1983, a wholesale purveyor of gourmet smoked meats. Active in public affairs, he served on the Boards of North Seattle College, South Seattle College and the Leukemia Society. In 1990, Cyril was appointed by Mayor Norm Rice as a member of his Child Care Task Force that was created to make recommendations for regulating childcare centers in Seattle. In 1991, he was asked to join the Leukemia Society’s Celebrity Waiters serving until to 2000. During his tenure the charity received donations of over $35 million for cancer research.
Medical issues in 2001 forced Cyril to move on from his business and in 2007 he received a kidney transplant that greatly enhanced his quality of life. During after-care treatment provided by VA Puget Sound Health Care System, he became aware of the lack of staffing and the previous closure of aquatic therapy facilities whose services were recommended for his rehabilitation.
To have a greater impact for change in the VA, Cyril along with several other volunteers created a nonprofit organization, Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound, which advocates for veterans and their families and concentrates on improving services at Seattle VA. Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound (VAF) successfully advocated for advanced therapeutic pools and exercise facilities at VA Puget Sound Health Care System and it continues to match willing donors with unfunded needs to help veterans and their families.
In 2015, Cyril brought together VAF, the VA, the University of Washington School of Architecture, Landscape Build and generous private donors to create a "Healing Garden", a quiet sanctuary in the middle of Seattle VA Hospital; dedicated in June 2016. (Please see the mini-documentary “Building a Healing Garden” at (https://vimeo.com/181831898). This remarkable public/private partnership is a model for further cooperative endeavors in other facilities across our great nation.
Cyril remains actively engaged as a voice and an advocate for veterans in our community.