Staff

USO of NC, Executive Staff

President & CEO – John Falkenbury was appointed as President for USO of NC in March 2009. He is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the operations of the state headquarters, five USO fixed centers and a mobile center in the areas in and surrounding Jacksonville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. These base and airport centers provide a full range of services including critical resiliency, transition assistance, financial literacy and children’s educational programs; Travel Assistance at Charlotte Douglas International, Raleigh-Durham and Fayetteville Airports; deployment and homecoming operations; internet and video link access; military and civilian community outreach programs; Fallen and Wounded Warrior escort services; Holiday feasts; and extensive morale-boosting activities.With over 25 years’ experience in demanding corporate and military environments, he has successfully created business growth and operational successes through sound business management, organized strategic communications and marketing, and motivational leadership. Mr. Falkenbury served over twenty years in the U.S. Army, with assignments throughout the United States and in Germany, including Battalion Executive Officer, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Chief of Operations and later Director of Public Affairs, 56th Field Artillery Command, Germany; Director of Public Affairs, US Army War College and Carlisle Barracks at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Upon leaving active service, he returned home to North Carolina to become the president and CEO of Five Oaks Nursing Center in Concord, managing partner of the Falkenbury Family LLC and president of the Stephen D. Falkenbury Jr. Foundation in Charlotte. Mr. Falkenbury established and operated the first North Carolina division of Fleishman-Hillard International Communications holding the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager and serving as the Chair of the North Carolina Advisory Board. He was an adjunct faculty member in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Communication Studies. In Charlotte, Mr. Falkenbury served as WBT-AM radio station’s on-air military analyst and was a credentialed military consultant and frequent guest for News14 Carolina. He was also heard on WPTF-AM in Raleigh.

Vice President of Operations – As Vice President of Operations, Chris Froeschner leads, and develops five center directors, their staffs and over 800 volunteers to handle the day-to-day operations of the USO of NC organization at locations throughout the state including Jacksonville, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and a mobile center. He joined the USO of NC in April 2013 shortly after his retirement from the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel with 23 years of service. The son of an Air Force officer himself, Chris grew up following his father to assignments around the United States and Guam. As a military brat, combat veteran, father to a military family, and former USO volunteer, Chris has a unique understanding of the challenges facing our service members and their families and considers the USO of NC as an extension of his life’s mission to serve his brothers and sisters in arms.

Vice President of Partnerships and Development – Kathy Bull joined the USO-NC in 2013 and oversees the development of partnerships – corporate and individual – across the state and marketing and communications efforts that promote these partnerships. She also leads resource development activities, including corporate partnerships and corporate campaigns, direct mail, grants, email marketing, major gifts, fund development special events, employee engagement campaigns, and the 1941 Society. Kathy was born in Naples, Italy when her Air Force father was stationed, and grew up surrounded by military in every place she has called home. Kathy has over twenty-five years of executive experience in the nonprofit and corporate sector, specializing in organizational development, fundraising, marketing and public relations with certifications in Nonprofit Administration, Fundraising and Volunteer Administration. She has worked extensively on behalf of the military and military families including executive roles at Caring Services, an organization that provided housing, treatment and job training to homeless veterans and Executive Director of Patriot Rovers, an organization providing mental health service dogs and support services to soldiers with PTSD and/or TBI and their families.She has been a guest lecturer in nonprofit studies at High Point University and the University of NC at Chapel Hill, in Character Education at Greensboro College, a Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies at UNC-Greensboro, and is frequently a presenter or motivational speaker at conferences across the state. Kathy currently serves as Co-Chair of the Piedmont Veterans Community Engagement Team. She believes that her work to support our soldiers and their families is not just a passion; it is part of who she is; she is honored to be able to work with so many committed volunteers and staff in serving our military and their families.

USO of NC, State Office Staff

Field Operations Director – Megan Grady is a 2006 addition to the USO of NC team. After relocating from the Washington, DC metro area to Charlotte, she joined the USO of NC and helped open the Charlotte Center. The daughter of a retired soldier, with a brother currently serving in the Army, Megan has a profound appreciation of our troops and their contributions, and a strong understanding of their families and their sacrifices.

Warrior & Family Programs Director – Kelli Willoughby has eleven years experience working in nonprofit program management. Her father was career Army and she continues to utilize skills and traits developed as a military brat in her own career. Kelli graduated from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, NC while her father served as a battalion commander on Ft. Bragg. Kelli has worked for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Bay Area Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity, but she truly feels honored to return home to North Carolina and serve with the USO of NC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management, both from the University of Central Florida. For Kelli, it is a sincere privilege to support the men and women who defend our nation and their families.

Warrior & Family Programs Manager - Randy Baker has six years’ experience of working in nonprofit program management and development. As the daughter of a former United States Marine, sister of a United States Navy Commander and wife of a former Royal Marine turned Soldier in the US Army, taking care of our military and their family members is a cause that is close to her heart. After attending the University of South Carolina, Randy took an assignment with the USO and served two years in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Randy also spent 3 years in England and supported the UK Forces through her development work for the Royal British Legion. After moving back to her hometown of Cary, North Carolina Randy served as a volunteer with USO of North Carolina assisting with events and programs across the state and officially joined the Warrior and Family Programs team in June 2016.

Executive Assistant to the President & Office Manager – Katie Kassa, a Camp Lejeune native, joined the USO of NC team in 2008. The daughter of two career Marines, she has a personal understanding of the military lifestyle and needs. Katie feels privileged to continue more than 12 years of non-profit work and being able to help our troops and their families through the USO of NC.

Financial Manager – Ellice (Lee) Beard joined the USO of NC in November 2006 on a temporary basis as Financial Manager and accepted the permanent position in May of 2007. Lee moved to Jacksonville in 1970 when her father, a Navy Chaplain was based at Camp Lejeune and her two sons-in-law are active duty Marines, so she has strong ties connecting her to the military community. Lee is excited to have witnessed the continued growth of the USO of NC over the past several years and feels it is an extreme honor to serve our military in any capacity.

Associate Director Partnerships & Development – A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Tony Sylvester graduated with a BA in business from Francis Marion University where he played for the golf team. A former golf professional in Charleston, Tony then transitioned into sales and from there to the non-profit sector, working as a director of development for the MDA, the American Heart Association, and most recently with Voices Together. Adept at capital fundraising, cultivating corporate sponsorships, marketing, and event planning, Tony is excited to begin his new venture with the USO of NC.

Corporate Alliances Officer – Tom Klecker recently joined the USO of NC Team after a 32 year career in sales with Kraft Foods and Mondelez. A Wisconsin native Tom relocated several times with Kraft until finally settling in Charlotte, NC where he and his wife Jane have called home for 22 years. As the Corporate Alliances Officer Tom’s responsibilities will be to establish, maintain and enhance relationships with individuals, corporation representatives and foundation staff that result in securing charitable gifts for the USO of North Carolina. Tom’s father was a Marine, had a brother in the Army and currently has a son that is an Officer in the Navy after attending NC State through the NROTC Program. Tom is excited to be joining the USO of NC and considers it to be an excellent opportunity to help provide the additional resources our troops and families need.

Communications Director - Margaret Clevenger is the newest addition to the USO of North Carolina team. Prior to joining the USO of NC, she served as an account manager at a boutique communications firm in the Washington, DC area, working with nonprofit and corporate clients supporting the military community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and policy studies from Syracuse University, and was named a PR Rising Star in 2016 by PR News. Clevenger is the daughter of a retired soldier. Her family moved nearly a dozen times and endured multiple deployments, and she is honored to be able to continue working to support the military community in her new role with the USO of NC.

USO of NC, Jacksonville Center Staff

Jacksonville Center Director – Holly Coffer comes to the USO of NC with a wide variety of business, government and community relations experience, including service as a member of the Jacksonville Center Advisory Committee. A former small business owner, she was responsible for program management, budget development, financial management, marketing, sales and team development. Prior to owning her small business, Holly served on the staff of two U.S. senators and has been the lead organizer for multiple events in the political, private and non-profit sectors.

Jacksonville Center Assistant Director – Amy Leuschke joined the USO of NC team as a USO legacy, her Grandmother was a USO girl during World War II. With a diverse background in Aviation and Commercial Property Management Amy brings a variety of experience ranging from instructing and overseeing airline operations to shopping center repair and maintenance. Her true experience lies in her six years as a volunteer and then Advisory Committee member where she realized her true patriotic passion to support the Military. She looks forward to sharing her creative ideas with the Jacksonville area and considers her service as one of the most honorable tasks ever afforded her.

USO of NC, Raleigh-Durham International Airport Center Staff

RDU Center Director – Patricia DeZetter is a June 2010 addition to the USO of North Carolina Team. After working 8 years in Military Clubs with the Air Force both in Germany and Miami, she spent 8 months learning and working with a non-profit organization in her hometown of Chicago. The opportunity to actively support the military once again and move to warmer weather led her to relocate to North Carolina. Patricia feels it is an honor and a privilege to be selected to serve and support America’s Military and their families.

RDU Center Assistant Director – Anna Martin joined the USO of North Carolina team in May of 2010 as the Administrative Assistant. In 2013, she was promoted to Assistant Director at the RDU Center. A North Carolina native, she and her family reside in Wake Forest. Her background is in Children and Family Services. Her deep appreciation for the military and desire to provide comfort during their travels through Raleigh makes the USO of North Carolina the perfect place for her.

USO of NC, Charlotte Douglas International Airport Center Staff

Charlotte Center Director – Ellyn Brotherton joined the USO of NC, Charlotte Center team in February 2012 as Center Coordinator and took over as Assistant Director in the fall of 2012. With a Bachelor of Social Work degree, she truly has a heart for helping others. She has been serving as Charlotte Center Director since September of 2014. Ellyn considers it a privilege to support our service members and their families through the USO of North Carolina. She lives in Huntersville with her husband, Paul and their labradoodle, Milo. separator

Charlotte Center Assistant Director – Julie Milani joined the USO of NC, Raleigh State Office team in January 2015 as Partnerships and Development Associate. She recently took over as Assistant Director of the Charlotte Center in August of 2016. With a Bachelor of Aviation Business degree, her passion for helping the military and their family members has been a priority for over 25 years. She now calls Charlotte home with her dog, Emma-Daisy.

USO of NC, Fort Bragg Center Staff

Fort Bragg Center Director – Renee Lane joined the USO of North Carolina in June 2010 as the Fort Bragg Center Director. She has experience as an Army spouse and has actively participated in Family Readiness Groups at Fort Bragg for the past 17 years. Renee’s professional experience encompasses over 25 years of marketing and public relations in the public and private sector. She is excited to serve the Fort Bragg community in a new capacity and provide USO of NC support and services to military members and their families.

Fort Bragg Center Assistant Director – Beverly Jackson joined the USO of NC in May 2010 after a year and a half with the USO in Southwest Asia, serving on bases in Qatar and Iraq. She is newly married to a soldier currently serving at Fort Bragg. After seeing first-hand the sacrifices that are made by our deployed troops, Bev is excited to now be able to use those experiences to better serve the military families in North Carolina.

USO of NC, Mobile Center Staff

Mobile Operations Director – Bob Brown served for 6 years in the United States Marine Corps in Southeast Asia. While serving, he has such good experiences with the USO that he always wanted to give back in some way. Bob became a USO of NC volunteer at the RDU Center working both in the center and at special events. In August of 2011, he accept the Mobile Unit Coordinator position. His business experience in planning and executing special events, public relations and business development add a valuable dimension to the USO of NC and Mobile Unit operations.