Picture of Tom Zampieri

Dr. Thomas Zampieri – National President
Email: t.zampieri@hotmail.com
Phone: (301) 204-3291

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My Biography

 

Dr. Thomas Zampieri served three years of active duty as an Army Medic from 1972 to 1975. He retired as an Army Major from the National Guard after 22 years of service in August 2000, having worked as a military flight surgeon for 13 years. Dr. Zampieri graduated from Hahnemann Medical University Physician Assistant Program in June 1978 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York. He received a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in May 2003 and completed his Political Science Ph.D. with Lacrosse University in December 2005.

For 25 years, Dr. Zampieri worked in a variety of clinical settings as a Physician Assistant in private practice, university medical centers, and for the Department Veterans Affairs in three different VA Medical Centers. He co-authored medical journal research articles and presented medical lectures nationally, including three national medical teleconferences. He served in various leadership roles and on various committees in the Physician Assistant field, resulting in extensive work on Capitol Hill over the years.

From 1988 to 1993, Dr, Zampieri was a member of the Federal Services Task Force in the American Academy of Physician Assistants. In May of 2000 he was honored as the Federal Physician Assistant of the Year by the Academy.

Legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa and medically retired from VA since 2001, Dr. Zampieri was serving as the secretary of the BVA Greater Houston Regional Group when he was hired to be the Director of Government Relations at BVA National Headquarters. He served in the position from April 25, 2005 until November 22, 2013. Known for his tenacity and passion in the position, Dr. Zampieri was instrumental in the growth of BVA’s Operation Peer Support and Project Gemini British Exchange initiatives. Dr. Zampieri, his wife Ginger, and daughter Jazmin now reside in Pearland, Texas.

Photo of Joe McNeil

Joseph D. McNeil, Sr. – National Vice President
Email: josephdmcneil@gmail.com
Phone: (706) 570-1210

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Joseph D. McNeil, Sr., Georgia Regional Group, was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-Westside. He was the oldest of seven brothers and sisters and the first in his family to graduate from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources.

After graduating from high school, Mr. McNeil joined the Army National Guard and worked his way through college, joining the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation, he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Field Artillery. His duty assignments included 2nd Infantry Division Korea, 42nd FA Brigade, V Corps G3 Operations Germany, 197th Infantry Brigade Fort Benning and 18th Airborne Corps Fort Bragg. He held numerous staff jobs during his tenure. Upon his diagnosis in October 1989 of Retinitis Pigmentosa, he was processed off of active duty as a Captain after which he re-enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard and served for four years before his vision prevented him from doing his assigned duties as Personnel Staff Noncommissioned Officer.

Mr. McNeil is a multi-graduate of three different blind centers. He joined the Blinded Veterans Association in 2005 and has held the position of Georgia Regional Group vice president. He was president of the Columbus Chapter of the group from 2005 to 2007 and simultaneously the Georgia Regional Group secretary. He was the Georgia Regional Group President from 2007 until 2015. In 2015 he was elected BVA National Treasurer, serving until 2017. He then served a term as Secretary during 2017-19 and will now serve as the organization’s National Vice President until 2021.

Since his professional retirement, Mr. McNeil has become an accomplished entrepreneur, father of six, and grandfather of four. He serves his community by sitting on numerous boards representing the blind community as an ambassador, especially for blinded veterans and their capabilities. He has membership in multiple service and civic organizations and is a certified National Veterans Service Officer (NVSO) for BVA.

Some favorite mottoes one may hear from Mr. McNeil include: “Information is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power, and Power Wielded properly is an awesome Weapon,” and “Perception is not Reality.” You can find him speaking to civic groups and churches about blindness and the help that is available to those with vision loss.

Danny Wallace, National Secretary

Danny Wallace – National Secretary
Email: ret1sgwallace@yahoo.com
Phone: (636) 266-1550

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MILITARY HISTORY

First Sergeant (ret) Daniel L. Wallace joined the Army as an infantryman and attended one stop training to include basic airborne school at Ft. Benning Georgia in 1985.

His assignments include tours with 2-325th AIR, Ft. Bragg, NC; 1-508th Ft. Kobbe, Panama; 5th RTB Dahlonega, GA: 1-508th Ft. Kobbe, Panama; 6th RTB Elgin AFB, FL; 1-502th Ft. Campbell, KY; ROTC instructor Montana State University Bozeman, MT; 1-187th Ft. Campbell, KY. He has deployed twice to the Sinai (MFO duty), twice to Honduras, and once to Iraq (OIF I).

He has served as a Rifleman, RTO, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Ranger Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, Company Executive Officer, ROTC Instructor, and Company First Sergeant.

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Mr. Wallace holds an Associate Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He is a graduate of the Primary, Basic, and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Courses, and The U.S. Army Instructor Trainers Course. Other courses include the Infantry basic course, Basic Airborne, Jump Master, Ranger, Pathfinder, Air Assault, and Sniper.

Mr. Wallace was wounded by a suicide car bomb attack in Tel Al Far Iraq on Dec 9th 2003 after multiple surgeries he retired in Dec 2005 with over 20 years of service. He currently volunteers as a peer mentor for fellow veterans and has been an active member of the Blinded Veterans Association for 7 years. During his time with the BVA he has served as the National Sergeant at Arms, the National Treasurer and he has chaired numerous committees. Mr. Wallace has made many trips to Capital Hill to advocate for vision research and fight for the rights for his fellow Blinded Veterans. He has many military awards including; Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster’s), Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster’s), and several others.
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Elizabeth Holmes – National Treasurer
Email: bebcol773@gmail.com
Phone: (706) 615-3346

 

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Ms. Holmes has been an active member of the Georgia Regional Group Columbus Chapter since September 2015. In November 2015, she was appointed chapter secretary. In January 2016, the regional group president asked if she would be willing to serve as the secretary of the entire body, which she gladly accepted and has not relinquished, even with her election as National Treasurer.

Ms. Holmes began assisting in successful state conventions beginning in 2016. She is one to voice her opinion and is always willing to help in proofreading written matter dealing with the regional group. She has also recorded and submitted state convention requirements in a timely manner. She has many attributes that have resulted in the success of the Georgia Regional Group.

In the chapter setting, Ms. Holmes organized the chapter members to participate in the March of Dimes Walk in 2016. She has been an independent participant in the walk herself since 2005. To bring community awareness to the Columbus Chapter, she asked its members if they would support her. In 2017, the Columbus Chapter then walked as a team. In 2018, with even greater participation, the March of Dimes presented the group with a plaque for its $1,350 donation. To date, the Chapter has raised some $3,500 for the March of Dimes. Ms. Holmes has made herself available and accessible to all regional group members. She keeps three other chapter secretaries abreast of their duties as well. This attention includes one-on-one training in needed areas. While attending the Blind Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, Alabama, she recruited eight new members.

Ms. Holmes was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Ordnance specialty in 1976. She holds the record for the largest number of firsts: she was the first female to be commissioned in the Chicago area, she was first in her university, and she was among the first group of women to attend summer camp at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1975.

Liz’s first duty assignment was at Fort Bliss, Texas, where she worked as the Assistant Battalion Maintenance Officer (S4) and as the company’s Executive Officer. She later became the Transportation Officer for the 2/52 ADA Battalion, a mobile missile company. In 1979, she became the Shop Officer in Korea for the 595th Maintenance Company. Her position included travel throughout Korea visiting supported units.

In 1981, Ms. Holmes was assigned as the S4 Officer in the 701st Ordnance Battalion and later joined the Division Material Management Center (DMMC) until her reassignment to the General Staff in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1986, Ms. Holmes was assigned to Foreign Science Technology System (FSTS).

Ms. Holmes attended both the Basic and Advance Ordnance Course and Airborne School during her Army career. She retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2014 due to her loss of sight. During her tenure as a postal worker, however, she worked in nearly every craft. She was a member of four different unions, representing each craft with which she worked. While a member of the American Postal Workers Union, she held the position of secretary for three years and that of State Coordinator for the Post Officer Women for Equal Rights (POWER), representing Georgia at national conventions.

Retired with 36 years and one month of federal service, Ms. Holmes is a widow with two grown children: Bianca, a registered nurse, and Benjamin, a Mechanical Engineer. She has one grandchild, Scarlett. She is on the Mayor’s Commission for People with Disability Executive Board and attends monthly meetings advocating awareness for the disabled. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies and a Master’s Degree in Human Relations at DePaul University.

While in Germany, Ms. Holmes became a member of the Masonic Family, holding a position in five Auxiliary houses. As a hobby, she crochets blankets and other items that can be used as gifts. She has donated blankets to the Blinded Veterans Association’s Silent Auction for the past three years. She also has enrolled in the Hadley School for the Blind to refresh herself in Spanish conversation and will be taking Excel and Braille courses in the near further.

Ms. Holmes has been a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles since 1975 a membership she proudly shares with General Colin Powell.
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