Debbie Childress has had a passion for veterans for many years. As a former military spouse through four deployments in and around Iraq, she has seen firsthand the challenges that PTSD can cause for our veterans and their families.
Growing up in a police family has given her a great respect and appreciation for civil servants. She now serves as the President of the Smithville Area Fire Protection District in Smithville, MO, and is the first woman to ever serve on the district’s board. She is also an Auxiliary with the Kansas City Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit, giving her an outlet for her love of horses and serving others.
Debbie is very involved with church activities at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and enjoys serving on the mission team in Guatemala. Debbie has two kids, Wyatt and Heather and lives in Smithville, MO.
Real Estate & Property Manager
Patrick Coppinger is the Senior Vice President of Colliers International, Kansas City. He became affiliated with the firm in 1998. He began his career in 1994 with the LaSala-Sonnenberg Commercial Realty Company where he specialized in office and retail leasing and sales. Pat now specializes in office brokerage and has been involved in over 450 lease and sale transactions, totaling over 4 million square feet of space, of which 1.4 million square feet have been medical office. Pat works with both buyers and sellers, and has also been involved in several land assemblage assignments for various redevelopment efforts.
Pat's Professional accomplishments include but are not limited to:
Pat graduated from the University of Iowa in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During his time there, he was also a member of the football team that competed in the 1984 Freedom Bowl, 1986 Rose Bowl, and the 1986 Holiday Bowl.
Pat is active and very involved with his community as a past President of the Rockhurst High School Alumni Board and a current member of the Rockhurst High School Alumni Board of Directors. He serves on the Seton Center Advisory Council and he's on the Fundraising Committee for Journey to New Life. We are delighted to have him lend his expertise and time as a Valor Ranch Board Member.
Georgia Johnson has been an active volunteer with many organizations. She was a Girl Scout leader for over 10 years, spent approximately 18 years volunteering with PTA in 2 different school districts serving in many board positions, including 2 years as PTA President. She was treasurer of the Lee’s Summit North Music Parents organization and treasurer of the LSN Project Grad for two different years.
She has always been active in her church including leading Bible Studies, teaching Sunday School, organizing women’s events, etc. She has 10 years of banking experience working in varying departments. She also spent 6 years as office manager for a music ministry handling their money and travel arrangements and 7 years as Assistant to the Executive Director for the Missouri Peace Officers Association where she managed 5 different bank accounts.
Georgia currently works for the Lee’s Summit School District where she handles billing and accounts for their Before and After School Services. She has been married to John, an Air Force veteran, for over 28 years and has two daughters, Stephanie and Hannah.
Joey Roberts grew up on a small hog and cattle farm in a little town called Clarence, Mo.
In 1991, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served as an Infantry Squad Leader and Marksmanship Instructor. After separating from the Marine Corps, Joey became a police officer with the Kansas City Police Department in January of 1997. He held assignments at East Patrol Division, Internal Affairs Unit and the Chief’s Office. In 2005, he was promoted to Sergeant and held assignments at East Patrol Division, Shoal Creek Patrol Division, and the Mounted Patrol Section, where he is currently assigned.
He has been married for almost 26 years and has two children ages 15 and 19, a partner named “Commander” (pictured), and a dog named “Max”. He enjoys hunting, fishing, horseback riding, UTV off roading, boating and pretty much anything that goes really fast. Joey is very much a family man and enjoys anytime he can spend with his family.
Although a native Kansas City resident, Shari has lived all over the U.S.. During this time, she discovered a passion for helping others and has served for several years as an advocate for the homeless.
Whether as a volunteer working side by side with others, reaching out to corporate partners, or giving presentations, she is excited to help Valor Ranch become established and prosper.
Having been married to a veteran, and worked with close friends who faced challenges upon returning from service, Shari is looking forward to answering her passion for helping people, and honored to have the opportunity to provide service for veterans who have sacrificed much through their service.
With more than 30 years of executive-level management experience within the manufacturing sector, the hallmark of Lavon’s leadership philosophy is to educate, develop and motivate management teams to consistently exceed financial and operational targets.
Since joining FLEXcon in 2017, Lavon has leveraged his extensive experience in lean manufacturing and is leading its implementation in all facets of the enterprise. In addition, FLEXcon is expanding their geographical reach to include several international markets. The True North of the company is, “Fortify the Core, Expand the Reach, and Profitable Growth.” Prior to joining FLEXcon, Lavon served as President and CEO of Milbank Manufacturing for eleven years. During his tenure at Milbank, the company earned three U.S. Patents and won numerous awards for excellence including three Champions of Business awards, the Hall of Champions, the Perfect Engine Award for Lean manufacturing, an Impact Award for technology innovation, a Cornerstone Award, and a Brick-by-Brick Award. Lavon began his career with Butler Manufacturing Company as a design engineer. During his 23-year tenure, he held key positions in engineering, sales, construction management and manufacturing operations, ultimately moving into senior management. In 2009, Lavon led Milbank into the renewable energy sector with its PowerGen™ platform.
Lavon recently served on the board of directors of Measurement Control Systems in Santa Ana, Calif. He was appointed by Missouri Governor Nixon to work with the Missouri Energy Dept. on the development of the new State Energy Plan. He serves on the board of directors of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
Lavon earned his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri. He earned his MPPM in Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College .
Director, Veteran Resources
Lt. Col. Knott is a retired Air Force Public Health Officer having served in uniform for 37 years. He holds a BA in Industrial Technology from the University of Northern Iowa, a MS in Environmental Management from the University of Texas and post Masters work in Environmental Engineering from the University of Alabama.
He worked from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency. He was nominated as a Whitehouse Fellow and served as Environmental Liaison for the State Department Embassy in Kuwait. He served as a consultant in Afghanistan for the establishment of the first dairy pasteurization plant in that country. Col Knott served in Iraq, Kuwait, Guatemala, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Spain, England and throughout the United States.
Col. Knott has lectured on PTSD and Veteran issues, and appeared on stage, in films, on radio and television. Col Knott led a team of civilian scientists in Kuwait during the oil well fires measuring air quality. He also assisted in the Public Health arena in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He is past Commander of the 300 member strong Smithville American Legion and currently sits on the board of Valor Ranch, the Smithville Historical Society and the Smithville American Legion. He is married with one child.