Skip to main content
Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Main Content

About Our Presenters


Francesco Bazzocchi

Leadership Development Consultant
Bazzocchi Consulting 

Francesco Frenchie Bazzocchi (M.ED, CTRTC, LMC) is a leader who uses unique teaching styles to engage his audience, bringing a wealth of expertise to schools, boardrooms, and supporting arenas. He is currently President of Bazzocchi Consulting, which focuses on coaching, consulting, leadership development, and Emotional Intelligence and Choice Theory training. He is an author and writer for Glasser Canada and sits on the Glasser Canada Board. Francesco is a high performance hockey coach, NCCP facilitator with the GTHL, passionate consultant, coach, and former high school teacher with over 30 years of experience. He was just named head coach of the Toronto Aeros Junior U22 Women’s Hockey Team for the 2022-23 season.


Jon Blumenfield 

Youth Leadership Consultant 
Ask Them LLC

Jon has been a leader in youth-serving organizations for over 20 years, both internationally and domestically. Most recently, Jon has worked with Colorado nonprofits, including Boys & Girls Clubs, The Colorado Education Initiative and Denver Public Schools specializing in youth development, educator professional development design and facilitation, competency-based learning, user-centered design, and program management. Jon has earned a Master’s degree in Equitable Education and Leadership and is certified in Instructional Leadership in Service-Learning with the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). He is also a former CAP cadet and senior member. 


Lt Col Wayne Brown

Cadet Programs Staff Coordinator
Civil Air Patrol

Wayne joined CAP as a California Wing Cadet in 1978, where he served in a variety of leadership roles including Wing CAC Chair, and encampment Cadet Commander. He earned the General Carl A Spaatz Award #704 and transitioned to Senior Member where he has continued to serve cadet programs currently in the role of Deputy Director for California Wing while also serving in the additional duty role of Staff Coordinator for the National Cadet Team.

Wayne was commissioned in the US Army Military Police, and served in Desert Storm as a Battalion Logistics Officer and later as a Company Commander in the 49th MP Brigade. He is currently working as a Senior Operations Manager for a large consumer electronics company in Silicon Valley and lives in Gilroy, CA with his wife Paige. Wayne is the father of three including a former CAP Earhart Cadet, now Senior.     

Gregory Doss

Director of Organizational Development and Military and Outreach Services
Boys & Girls Clubs of America


Dr. Deborah Gilboa, MD

Resilience Expert

Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka “Dr. G” works with families, organizations, and businesses to identify the mindset and strategies to turn stress to an advantage. Dr. G is a leading media personality seen regularly on TODAYGood Morning America and is the Resilience Expert for The Doctors. She is board certified attending Family Physician and is a Clinical Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh School of medicine. Dr. G lives in Pittsburgh with her four sons, one of whom is a Cadet Senior Airman in Squadron 602. 


Dr. Meghan Grace

Dr. Meghan Grace is a generational researcher and has been studying Generation Z since 2014. Dr. Grace has conducted 4 original studies on Generation Z and is the co-author of the books, Generation Z Goes to College and Generation Z: A Century in the Making. She is also the host of the podcast #GenZ, where she interviews members of Generation Z to juxtapose their lived experiences with research findings. Meghan also serves as a consultant with Plaid, LLC., where she specializes in organizational development, research and data strategy, and program design. 


Elizabeth Hornbach

Youth Development Training Program Manager
Civil Air Patrol

Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience working in youth development. Prior to joining the National Cadet Team in May, Elizabeth spent her professional career in leadership at various youth development organizations including the Girl Scouts, the American Youth Foundation and most recently as the Youth Programs Manager and Summer Camp Director at a well-known public garden outside of Philadelphia, near where she resides.  She holds an M.Ed. in Alternative Education and a Bachelor’s in Professional Writing.

Elizabeth joined CAP as a cadet, earning the Eaker Award prior to turning senior, and then moved up to captain.  She was heavily involved with emergency services and at the Hawk Mountain Search & Rescue School, where she held many positions including Cadet Deputy School Commander and Senior Training Officer. Eventually she earned the title of Expert Ranger, #247. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and camping. Traveling is another passion of hers and she has visited 9 countries, thus far. 


C/Lt Col Reef Ide

Vice Chair, National Cadet Advisory Council
Civil Air Patrol

C/Lt Col Ide joined the cadet program in 2016 and has since completed six National Cadet Special Activities and six encampments. He is currently a student-athlete at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a triple major in Neuroscience, Economics, and Psychology. In his free time, Cadet Ide volunteers as an EMT with Baltimore County. An avid reader of books on leadership, Cadet Ide's primary focus in the cadet program is to develop the next generation of cadet leaders and inspire others to achieve their goals. 


General Raymond E. Johns, Jr. 

U.S. Air Force, Retired
Civil Air Patrol Senior Member

General Johns, Jr. retired from active duty in 2013 with assignments culminating in Commander, Air Mobility Command at Scott AFB, Ill. A 1977 graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, General Johns started flying at age 14 and achieved command and test pilot ratings in the Air Force with more than 5,000 hours experience in more than 80 aircraft. Upon retirement, Ray joined Flight Safety International, where he retired as CO-CEO in 2018.  Currently, General Johns serves as President of Pacific Aviation Services and is a member of Civil Air Patrol’s Oahu Composite Squadron in Hawaii.  In an interview after he joined in June 2020, General Johns said, “So many people helped me along the way from my first instructor pilot in the Cessna 150 to NCOs, civilians and others who trusted me, shaped me, challenged me and clearly defined my career in the Air Force. Now it’s about inspiring our youth.”



Curt LaFond

Director of Cadet Programs
Civil Air Patrol

Curt LaFond leads CAP’s National Cadet Team, serving as the focal point for cadet curriculum, program management, and policy development. Curt is a proud alum and Spaatz Award recipient from Laconia, NH.

Cadets use his textbook, Learn to Lead, which provides an academic foundation for their leadership development, with assistance from Aristotle, Yoda, Rosa Parks, Batman, and other exemplars of moral change.

Curt completed a program in nonprofit executive leadership at Harvard Business School. Currently, he’s writing a doctoral dissertation on age-appropriate constructs for youth leadership at Pitt.


Joanna M. Lee

Youth Development Program Specialist
Civil Air Patrol

Joanna is a former cadet and Mitchell Award recipient from the California Wing, still a proud member of Sq. 36 in San Jose, though now living in Alabama. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Modern Literature and studied teaching at San Jose State University.  She’s been a CAP member for over 20 years and worked on the National Cadet Team for eight years. Her absolute favorite thing to do in CAP is serve as a training officer at encampment.  

Joanna is the Youth Development Program Specialist at CAP National Headquarters.  Her work is focused on the cadet curriculum including cadet advancement, leadership programing, testing, fitness, encampment, and most recently, helping launch Cadet Interactive and the new Cyber module.  She’s currently working on an update to the Cadet Great Start program, launching soon!


Col “Ned” Lee

Senior Policy Advisor
Civil Air Patrol

Col Lee is the National Cadet Programs Manager, the senior ranking volunteer on the National Cadet Team.  Col Lee is himself a proud alum and Spaatz Award recipient. A longtime Cadet Programs Officer, Col. Lee has previously served as the DCP for  California Wing, as well as a the DCS-CP for the Pacific Region.  As vice chairman of the CAP Board of Governors, Col Lee was a leader in the evidence-based redesign of the CAP governance structure as well as the creation and implementation of the Cadet Protection Program.

Outside of CAP, Col Lee was recently appointed by U.S. Attorney General to serve as a federal Immigration Judge, following his nearly 30-year career as a California Superior Court Judge presiding over serious felony matters including murder, child sexual assault, and complex high-tech crimes. As an internationally recognized expert in judicial ethics and training, Lee has been tasked by the U.S. State Department to train judges and prosecutors. 

Col Lee is a retired Army National Guard Infantry officer. Ned has been married for over 40 years to Christine Lee, a former Spaatz cadet herself. 


Lt Col Stephen Leighton, MD, ABFP

Senior Program Manager for Health Services
Civil Air Patrol 

Dr. Leighton is a semi-retired Family Physician with a 40+ year practice of family medicine. He grew up mostly in the northeast until coming to North Carolina in 1979 for a Family Medicine Fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill, and subsequently ended up staying in North Carolina until the present. He joined CAP in 2013, and became the NCWG Medical Officer in 2016, then the Deputy Senior Program Manager of Health Services at the National level, transitioning to the Senior Program Manager position in 2021. He has been active on the National COVID-19 Plans Team and has developed a very active Health Services Advisory Team that continues to serve CAP at the national level, assisting Regions and Wings in responding safely and effectively to the Pandemic.


Major General Edward D Phelka

Chief Executive Officer & 
National Commander, Civil Air Patrol 

General Phelka leads more than 56,000 members in fulfilling the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary’s congressionally chartered missions. He joined CAP in 1987 as a cadet and rose through the ranks to earn his Spaatz . Following transition to senior membership, General Phelka served in many positions, including Director of Cadet Programs, Wing and Region Commander, National Controller, and National Vice Commander. He holds a Master Rating in Cadet Programs. General Phelka is a commercial, multi-engine and instrument-rated pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, CAP Mission Pilot, Cadet Orientation Pilot, and Check Pilot Examiner with more than 2,100 flying hours. Outside CAP, he spent 15 years in leadership roles within the airline and software industries and works as a Certified Flight Instructor and Corporate Pilot. Phelka holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with major fields of study in economics and the German language.


Chris Rehs-Dupin


Chris spent the majority of his professional career (17 years) in youth development in the outdoors, including 8 years in overnight programming, and 9 years in day programming, including summer camp and environmental education. Chris began speaking at Professional Camp Conferences in 2009, and has presented sessions on: Trans* Inclusion, Staff Morale, Intersectionality, Motivating Millennials for Success, and has sat on numerous panels including Inclusive Care of LGBTQ Individuals, Intersectional Equity Panels, and LGTBQ Inclusion in Churches.  He recently became an international keynote speaker during a Trans-Continental Conference. Participants agree that Chris works to meet them where they are and educates in the absence of shame. 

Chris loves to speak to large and small audiences. With a background in theatre, he weaves entertainment and storytelling into his workshops and trainings which creates an impactful environment for learning and growth. Chris believes that if you look close enough the inclusion of all people is an integral part of youth development and must be part of the industry’s sustained commitment to giving ALL youth spaces to thrive.


Adam C. Russell, MTS

Youth Development Professional, Consultant
PF Leadership Consultants

With over 20 years’ experience in the experiential education and year-round camping field, Adam has honed his craft of working with youth and with the adults who serve them, engaging them where they are to help them see a path continuing toward their best self. He employs these group work skills in his current role managing a non-profit in Michigan, through his consulting venture, PF Leadership Consultants, and previously as the former Senior Program Director, working with the American Youth Foundation for over 18 years. 

Adam has spent his career developing dynamic staff teams that achieve excellence. He’s gained significant expertise in connecting curricular student needs with highly effective experiential programming. His primary focus has been giving voice and confidence to young, emerging leaders and professionals. With his cohort and colleagues, he developed the concept of Expectational Leadership, creating a community of high expectations that allow all people to buy in and thrive at the highest levels. 

Capt Shawn Stanford

Assistant Director of Cadet Programs for New Hampshire Wing
Civil Air Patrol

Shawn served as a Cadet in Connecticut Wing from 1977 to 1981, as a Senior Member in Missouri and Pennsylvania Wings from 1998 to 2006, and in New Hampshire Wing since 2018. He is Master rated in Cadet Programs, and his CAP awards include the Unit Citation Award, the Gen Chuck Yaeger Award, and the Gen Billy Mitchell Award. Capt Stanford served in the Marine Corps from 1981 to 1989, and joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2001, where he is still serving as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the Field Artillery. Capt Stanford deployed to Iraq in 2004, Afghanistan in 2008, and Saudi Arabia in 2020. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and several campaign medals.

Capt Stanford has always liked playing in the woods and 'adventurous' activities. He rappelled during his first squadron bivouac three weeks after joining CAP, he attended the Air Force Academy Survival Course NCSA in 1981, and he suffered through Winter School at Hawk Mountain in 2002. He also spent his fair share of time in the field with the Marines and the Army. In 1984, he deployed to the Philippines and lived for two months in a GP-Tiny. In the summer of 2021, he spent two weeks on an artillery range where he slept on a horrid Army cot under a mosquito net, was almost bitten by a rattlesnake, and never showered or changed his socks.


© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.