AFF Boards and Staff
With over 150 Members of Congress, and distinguished Government and private-sector executives, the AFF Board assists with the foundation.
Board of Directors
- Patricia Driscoll – President & Executive Director – View Bio
- Brian Cooke – Chief of Staff – View Bio
- Wendy O’Neil – Director of Family Services – View Bio
- John Purcell – Director of Programs – View Bio
- Matthew Ballard – Director of Public Affairs – View Bio
- Joe Maiellano – Director of Development – View Bio
- Meg Garrison – School Initiative Coordinator – View Bio
- Matt St.Jean – Programs Associate – View Bio
- Joe and Monika Finch – Hospital Liaisons – View Bios
President and Executive Director
Ms. Driscoll serves as President and Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation. Since 2003, when Ms. Driscoll assumed the position of President and Executive Director, annual revenues have increased from $100,000 to $8,000,000 annually. Of these contributions, 94% go directly towards the foundation’s programs. Ms. Driscoll’s vision and the subsequent successes of her organization have been celebrated and recognized by the President of the United States, the United States Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Education, and numerous other departments and organizations.
In 2008 Ms. Driscoll co-authored the book, Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts, Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, a publication which takes an intimate look into the life of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The book focuses most of its attention on those service members who are affected by PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and Traumatic Brain Injury. Hidden Battles, published through the renowned publisher of military history, Casemate Publishing, was one of the first books published on PTSD and its effects on the family and corporate America.
Through her work, Ms. Driscoll has close relationships with Members of Congress and senior military officials and has been a frequent guest of Former President George W. Bush at the White House. In addition to raising funds for the AFF and its efforts, Ms. Driscoll has been a frequent contributor on the Fox News Network, often tapped as an expert when discussing hardships facing military families.
Awards and Special Recognition
Ms. Driscoll has achieved a high level of accolade for her professional accomplishments. Below is a list of awards and special recognition:
- Legion of Merit and the Humanitarian Award: Four Chaplains
- Special Recognition: U.S House of Representatives, Congressman C.W. Bill Young
- Exemplary Service Award: Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts
- Special Recognition: President George W. Bush at the Military Breakfast, White House Lawn
- Merit of Honor Award: State of New Hampshire, New Hampshire National Guard
- Outstanding Service Award: Washington Redskins
- Special Recognition: President George W. Bush during a speech in the East Room of the White House
- Special Recognition: Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings
- Special Recognition Award: Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway
- Grand Marshall TalladegSpeedway
- Special Act Award: Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
- Special Recognition: Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon England
- Special Recognition: Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff
- Outstanding Service Award: History Channel
- Special Recognition: President George W. Bush, Top 15 Military Foundations Supporting our Troops in the Country
- Special Act Award: Deputy Secretary of Energy, Samuel W. Bodman
- Outstanding Service Award: AMVETS
- Special Recognition: Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham
- Special Recognition: Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson
- Special Recognition: U.S House of Representatives, Congressman Joe Wilson
- Participant: 2004 Inaugural Parade Montana Float
- Highlighted Guest Speaker, British Embassy Trade Tour, United Kingdom
Chief of Staff
Brian joined the Armed Forces Foundation in January 2013 as Chief of Staff. Prior to the Foundation, Brian was a Senior Policy Analyst at a government affairs consultancy, The Charles Group, where he specialized in national security policy and management issues. Before that, Brian worked at the Institute of International Education as the Program Coordinator of the ROTC Language and Culture Project, a Department of Defense-sponsored program that delivers foreign language and cultural education to ROTC cadets. From 2005-2008, Brian served on active duty as a US Army Field Artillery officer, deploying to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a platoon leader and staff officer in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Brian is a 2005 graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he majored in International Politics, specialized in Security Studies, and studied Russian. Brian also holds an MA in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University, earning honors for his thesis, “The United States Army and Counterinsurgency: History, Culture, Application, and Institutionalization.”
Originally from Freehold, New Jersey, Brian now lives in Washington, DC. He is an avid CrossFitter and Irish pub enthusiast—two pursuits that he recognizes are necessarily in conflict.
Director of Family Services
Wendy has worked as the Director of Family Services in the AFF’s Fayetteville, NC office for over four years. Having been a military dependent for over 17 years makes Wendy uniquely qualified for her position as Director of Family Services. She has a firsthand knowledge and understanding of the challenges that military family life presents. Her insight into the day-to-day needs of soldiers and their dependents gives her a distinctive ability to assist them with their issues.
While growing up in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, Wendy was an age group Jr. Olympic swimming qualifier, state qualifier and record holder and played on a Jr. Olympic Volleyball team. She then went on to attend college on a volleyball scholarship. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, Wendy served as the Mayor of Columbus, GA liaison between the city and the U.S. Olympic Softball Committee.
Wendy is a former classroom teacher, volleyball coach and has worked with special needs children. She also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Columbus University. In her spare time she volunteers as a volleyball coach at the local middle school, participates in triathlons and enjoys boating and fishing. She is the mother of two active teenage boys.
Director of Development
Joe joined the Armed Forces Foundation in February 2013 after more than six years as a professional fundraiser in Washington, DC. Previously, Joe owned Maiellano Political Consulting, LLC, which specialized in major donor relations, event fundraising and direct marketing. He has raised millions of dollars for non-profits, PACs and candidates for office.
Originally from Philadelphia, Joe is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He’s an avid hunter and off-roader, but also enjoys the opera and gin martinis.
Joe lives in Arlington, VA with his wife Sarah and their dog Teddy. He’s also very proud of his brother, an Army officer currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Director of Public Affairs
Matthew began working at the Armed Forces Foundation in February 2013 as the Director of Public Affairs. Prior to joining AFF, Matthew served as the Communications Director for Congressman Larry Bucshon of Indiana.
A Kentucky native, Matthew first moved to Washington, DC upon graduating the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Economics to serve in the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Bush administration. Matthew’s extensive work in communications, political campaigns, government, and nonprofits has taken him across the United States, living in Las Vegas, upstate New York, central Kentucky, and Evansville, IN.
Matthew enjoys going on backpacking trips in the Appalachian Mountains, shooting trap and skeet, and reading espionage thrillers.
John Patrick Purcell
Director of Programs
John joined the Armed Forces Foundation team in October 2011 and serves as Program Manager. He is a Connecticut native, who studied political science at the Catholic University of America located in Washington, DC.
During his senior year of college, John had the opportunity to intern for the Office of Senator Scott Brown and shortly after graduation began working for Senator Joseph Lieberman. During his time on Capitol Hill, he had the privilege of working with several of the exceptional men and women who serve in the military, which only went to further develop his deep and profound appreciation for our armed forces.
While at Catholic University, John played both on the Lacrosse and Football teams. He still remains competitive today, participating in softball, kickball, and flag football leagues throughout the city.
School Initiative Coordinator
Meg joined the Armed Forces Foundation in May 2012. In August 2010 Megs’ fiancée was injured in Afghanistan giving her firsthand knowledge and understanding of the challenges that injured services members and their families face.
As school initiative coordinator, Meg coordinates Operation Caring Classroom a National Education Initiative of the Armed Forces Foundation which reaches 100 schools across the United States.
Meg attended Dalton State College where she studied Early Childhood Education. There she received the award for Excellence in Mathematics Education. She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy at Loyola University Maryland.
In her spare time Meg enjoys going to the movies, reading, painting and shooting her crossbow.
Matt St. Jean
Programs & Fundraising Assistant
Matt started his journey at the Armed Forces Foundation in December, 2012 and currently the Programs and Fundraising assistant.
A Boston native, Matt graduated from Rollins College (Winter Park, FL) in May 2011 where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. After college, he worked an internship in PR in Boston at Elevate Communications, which lead to a job in Washington, D.C. at the office of Senator Scott Brown. Matt served as a staff assistant for the Senator from February 2012 through November 2012 where he was able to soak in Capitol Hill and learn about an array of legislative information. Working for Senator Brown was a great experience and he worked closely with the Military Legislative Assistant, who is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Matt developed a new appreciation for the military and the sacrifice of the men and women of the armed forces.
When Matt had the opportunity to interview for a job with the AFF, he did not hesitate. Now working for the AFF, he wants to do whatever he can to help out the men and women of the armed forces and their families.
In his spare time, you will find Matt in whatever sports league he can find, whether it be the softball, football field or basketball court he likes to stay active.
Joe and Monika Finch
“Uncle Joe” became acquainted with the anguish of wounded troops early in his Army career. As a helicopter pilot he medically evacuated over 800 wounded troops from the battlefields in Vietnam. As wounded troops began to return from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan with not only amputations but also traumatic brain injuries, Joe and Monika found a way to help.
In 2002, they began with cook-outs and Christmas parties for the troops in the hospital. Monika has been preparing meals for over thirty seven years, knows how to set a table and has a knack for making people feel comfortable. Joe was medically retired from the Army in 1990 and is well acquainted with Walter Reed from both a patient’s perspective and as an outsider trying to help.
In late 2003, Joe and Monika discovered the Armed Forces Foundation saw how valuable a combined effort would be. They have been working with the Armed Forces Foundation in coordinating monthly hospital dinners for the troops and staff. This not only provides a break from hospital food but also an environment where the families of wounded troops can network and the AFF can identify patient and family needs that hospitals and government are not able to meet. Joe and Monika have devoted thousands of hours to helping our wounded veterans and Joe was recognized by the Marine Corps with Bob Hope’s “Spirit of Hope” award in 2008.
AFF Arkansas Chapter
- Bill Adams, President
- Steve Gray, Vice President
- Kim Derose, Secretary