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Staff

Lona SpissoLona Spisso
President & Founder, Senior Consultant

Lona is a dedicated professional with a myriad of civilian and military experience. A combat veteran and former United States Army Officer she served as a Captain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan. Lona has over 14 years of experience in the Military Intelligence, Personnel, Operations, Logistics  and Leadership arenas.

Serving with Task Force Phoenix VII she supervised, trained, evaluated, counseled and coordinated the work for a 500 plus person Logistical Task Force Battalion. She was responsible for personnel and database management, medical support coordination, unit support, policies, records management, legal assistance, quality assurance, technical administrative operations and coordinating, resourcing, planning, and executing all formal military functions and ceremonies.

After the military, Lona served as the Senior Operations Officer and Executive Officer for the Distributed Common Ground Systems – Army (DCGS-A). She served as the technical expert in the areas relevant to the Product Manager in the areas of operations, programs and projects. Lona maintained the management of the day to day activities such as planning, coordination’s and logistics. As the Executive Officer, Lona supervised and coordinated the staff; including maintaining, tracking and status of key actions, monitored and reported all daily, weekly and monthly actions for the organization.

Lona also has a comprehensive background in the mental health field and is proficient at identifying factors and/or life stressors leading to crisis situations, which hamper performances in today’s mangers and athletes. Lona has former experience in both individual and group therapy settings, having worked with all developmental ages ranging from toddler years to adulthood. She also has extensive field performance in crisis management, identifying potential factors and coaching how to adapt and overcome an unstable living environment. Lona uses her unique ability to focus on strengths, empowerment and uses a teamwork approach to personal and leadership development, which allows for one to improve their quality of life in order to successfully manage daily life stressors.

Lona holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology. She also holds a Top Secret Security Clearance.

As Founder & President of Elite Leadership Training LLC, Lona has set the standard for both Veterans and Women serving in the corporate community.

JB SpissoJ.B. Spisso
Performance Coach & Lead Consultant

J.B. retired from the U.S. Army in with over 29 years of military, leadership and management experience, including 10 years in Special Operations where he led U.S. Army Rangers in combat (Panama – 1989 & Haiti – 1994). He has achieved the prominent rank of Sergeant Major, the highest and most respected Non-Commissioned Officer position in the military. He has extensive experience as a leader, trainer and educator, including experience as: a Drill Sergeant, Special Operations Instructor, U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Instructor, Company Tactical NCO and Senior Enlisted Advisor – Department of Military Instruction at West Point, First Sergeant and Head Baseball Coach of the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, First Sergeant of the New York Army National Guard Officer Candidate School and Sergeant Major of the Advanced Combat Training Team, Task Force Phoenix VII.

J.B.’s career included serving as a Rifle Team Leader, Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant in the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. As a Tactical NCO and First Sergeant, J.B. was the Senior Enlisted Trainer for potential Army Officers both at West Point and through Officer Candidate School. As part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008, J.B. served as a Sergeant Major in the Training Advisory Group at Camp Alamo, Afghanistan where he conducted countless numbers of military operations including training and mentoring the senior military staff of the Afghan National Army Advanced Combat Training Team. J.B. earned the Joint Meritorious Service Medal for his work with coalition forces while deployed (British, French, Romanian and Polish Military).

J.B. continued to serve the United States Military Academy as a General Manager of the Army Athletics Sports Complex at West Point, where J.B. supervised and managed Division I Collegiate Athletic events involving groups from 2,500 to 38,000. He was responsible for the planning and security operations at these locations as well as emergency preparation.

J.B. has attended numerous leadership and special operations courses throughout his military career including Ranger School, Airborne, HALO, Static Line and HALO Jumpmaster, SERE, Pathfinder, Drill Instructor and is a certified Advanced Scuba Diving Instructor. JB’s military and civilian education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer’s Course, the First Sergeants Academy, the Sergeants Major Academy, and holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Organizational Management & Leadership from Nyack College.

J.B. is well known throughout the military, sports world and civilian community for his ability to inspire and motivate with a passion that speaks louder than words. His dedication to duty and commitment to excellence has forged a foundation for character building in youth groups, military and civilian professionals, and professional athletes.

Seetha DeMarcoSeetha DeMarco, CPT, CES, FNS
Health & Wellness Director & C.O.R.P.S. Performance Coach

Seetha DeMarco is Elite Leadership Training LLC’s Health and Wellness Director, forging a brand of nutrition and excellence for professional clients at many levels. As a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and through her accumulated experience, Seetha has developed an Integrated Practice of Nutrition in order to identify inflammation, expedite recovery, promote growth, strength speed, endurance, and improve body composition. She routinely consults, trains, and assesses the nutritional intake for many professional athletes as well as planning teams’ pre and post game meals to maximize success and recovery. Her nutrition, wellness and sleep-hygiene seminars have become a staple for many professional organizations and directly resulted in the completion of team goals.

Seetha is also our C.O.R.P.S. (Condition, Optimize, Regulate, Perservere, Sustain) Performance coach. She has combined her business experience along with her lifelong passion for wellness and Chronic Disease Prevention to design elite customized programs that focus on prevention of injury and illness through innovative approaches. Corrective Exercise has been imperative among her many tools in addressing muscular skeletal imbalance, preventing injury, and encouraging longevity in the careers of our athletes,

Seetha has competed professionally in fitness competitions, and attained many endorsements through Corporate Sponsorships. She is a Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist who has extensive experience in Business Development, Strategic Planning, and Marketing for Senior Level Directors and Designated Clinicians.

Seetha has honed in on her focus of development, growth, and sustenance of our athlete’s careers.  She is a subject matter expert in Integrated Nutrition, Corrective Exercise, and the Nutrition for Performance venues.

William GrizzlyWilliam Grizzly
Senior Consultant and Primary Trainer

William is a Police Officer currently assigned to the New York City Police Department’s elite Emergency Services Unit. As part of his training, he underwent rigorous instruction that involved his obtaining Emergency Medical Technician certification, SCUBA certification, Hazardous Materials Technician certification, and ROCO Rescue ropes technician certification. He received extensive training in urban tactics and other components of emergency services, as well.

William is a retired United States Army Officer with over 20 years of dedicated service as an Enlisted Soldier and as an Officer in the United States Army and the Army National Guard. He graduated from Army Ranger School and the Officer Candidate School. A veteran of foreign combat, William volunteered to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for that service. William has served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. During Operation Enduring Freedom, William served as a Captain training the Afghan National Police in remote and dangerous areas of that country. He is no stranger to gun-fights and combat operations, engaging the enemy in close-combat on several instances. William is a graduate of Iona College where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

William has been personally commended from both professional sports teams and Fortune 500 companies for his ability to communicate and assist their organizations in problem solving and conflict resolution.

Scott ScmilinichScott Smilinich
Senior Consultant and Task Team Leader

Scott is a High School Teacher and a 20 year veteran of the Army National Guard, rapidly moving through the enlisted ranks and earning the coveted rank of Sergeant Major. Scott graduated from the Army Primary Leadership Development Course as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. He has completed numerous other military courses, including: Air Assault School, the Basic and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course, the Battle Staff Course, Mortar Leader’s Course and the Army Instructor Training Course. Scott is also a graduate of the Sergeant’s Major Academy, finishing in the top 1% of his class.

Scott was one of only 50 Non-Commissioned Officers, nationwide, selected to participate in an exchange program to train in Scotland with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Scott was deployed for over a year fighting the war on terrorism in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed he served in multiple leadership positions to include Senior Operations Non-Commissioned Officer. Scott was also recently selected to serve as the Battalion Command Sergeant Major for a Military Police Battalion in New York, the highest Non-Commissioned Officer billet in the unit.

Scott holds a Secret Security Clearance and his civilian education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Alfred University.

Robert L DanaRobert L. Dana
Consultant, Academic Trainer and Task Team Leader

Rob is a veteran of leadership serving for more than 25 years in multiple critical US Air Force roles. He is currently a New York Air National Guard Plans and Integration Superintendent who holds the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. Rob is credited for planning and executing the deployment of hundreds of war fighters and thousands of tons of tasked equipment in support of critical wartime operations. His experience in deliberate and crisis action planning is hands-on as well as academic. Rob served in-place as the personnel and logistics supervisor at Ground Zero in New York City following the attacks on the World Trade Center. He received his education, specializing in Organizational Management through SUNY Orange and Nyack College in New York.

In addition to his logistics accomplishments, Rob has more than a decade of experience in sales, marketing and human resources processes and has facilitated self-inspection and continuous improvement processes at Air Force installations across the nation. In addition to many others, his Air Force awards and decorations include: five Air Force Achievement Medals; three Air Force Commendation Medals and three Air Force Meritorious Service Medals.

Kevin CorrinetKevin Corrinet
Consultant, Primary Trainer and Task Team Leader

Kevin is currently an 8th Grade Algebra-1 Teacher, Math Department Chair, and Department Teacher Leader for R.H. Dana Middle School in Hawthorne, CA. Prior to this position, Kevin taught for three years in the Los Angeles inner-city as a corps member and alum of the organization Teach for America.

Before transitioning into education, Kevin graduated as an Army Officer from the United States Military Academy, West Point. He served over 5 years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army. He held the positions of Stryker Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Support Platoon Leader. He has graduated from Airborne School, Sapper Leader Course, Infantry Officer Basic Course, and Ranger School.

Kevin is a decorated Combat Veteran serving a year in Iraq against the war of terrorism during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II. He conducted countless numbers of successful combat operations with the Elite Special Operations units Task Force 121 and Task Force 626. His unit was instrumental in the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Kevin also served at Arlington National Cemetery, and conducted hundreds of highly visible military funerals and ceremonies within the National Capital Region.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Management from the United States Military Academy, West Point, as well as a Masters Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University.

Jim AderJim Ader
Consultant, Primary Trainer and Task Team Leader

Jim is a Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army with a career dating from 1991. He served with the NYARNG’s 2nd BN, 108th Infantry in Operation Iraqi Freedom II. It was during this time that he was actively involved in quashing the Maahdi Army uprising in the Spring of 2004. During his 10 months in the Sunni Triangle, Jim ran in excess of 400 Combat Patrols, keeping the “26 clicks of Paradise” free from bombs, bullets and bad guys! It was during this deployment that Jim first came face to face with enemy combatants and engaged them with his truck mounted machine-gun and assault rifle.

After redeploying from Iraq, Jim began work as Close-Personal Security for a member of Congress. For the next two years, Jim planned and coordinated the movement and security of the Congressman, his staff, as well as visiting V.I.P.’s and dignitaries which included former Presidential Candidate, Senator John McCain. Though the Congressional assignment was rewarding, Jim could not ignore the call of duty any longer. He was fortunate enough to link up with Lona and J.B. at their unit, the 106th Regiment. It was in this duty assignment that saw Jim deploy to combat again in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as part of Task Force Phoenix VII. Immediately recognizing the real life experience Jim had, J.B. ensured he was assigned to the Convoy Operations Section of their camp. For the next 10 months, Jim was directly responsible for the movement and safety of the Camp Commander throughout the greater Kabul Metropolitan Area as well as anywhere in the region the Commander would travel.

Jim’s awards and decorations include the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Ribbon just to highlight a few. Jim’s education includes an Associate Degree in Business Administration from HVCC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Siena College. Jim is also a local lodge volunteer and National supporter of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars.

Jim AderJohn McCaskey
Consultant, Primary Trainer and Task Team Leader

John is an Infantry Officer with over nine years of experience. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, KS. In 2008, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. John’s platoon was selected to be the Battalion Time Sensitive Targeting Platoon, responsible for receiving intelligence and launching a mission to capture high value targets with 45 minutes of notification. John lead over 400 combat patrols through the suburbs of Baghdad, include the former “Triangle of Death” and Abu Grab.

John was then assigned the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, KY. In 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan, while deployed he held a number of position including the Battalion Operations Officer for 3-187 Infantry. While serving as the Battalion Operations Officer he was the third person in charge of a 900 Soldier Battalion. His battalion conducted the most Air Assault (helicopter-borne) Operations and conducted the most raids of any conventional Battalion in Eastern Afghanistan at the time.

John’s awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, there Army Commendation Medal, and “Governor’s Twenty” tab as one of the top twenty rifle and pistol marksmen in the State of Illinois just to highlight a few. John’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. John’s Army certifications include the Infantry Captain’s Career Course Graduate, Air Assault Badge, Combat Lifesaver Certification, Squad Designated Marksman, and Combatives Level I. John is also a certified Rifle and Carbine instructor by both the FBI and State of Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

andyAndrew Smilinich
Consultant, Primary Engineer and Task Team Leader

Andrew is currently the Director or Capital Projects at the State University of New York at Alfred. His current duties include overseeing and implementing the programming, design and construction of capital projects on the campus.  Andrew also serves as the advisor and instructor for the Pioneer Tae Kwon Do club on campus and holds the rank of first degree Black Belt in Chung Do Kwan.

Andrew previously served in the United States Marine Corps for six years holding several leadership positions including Scout Team Leader. He served in combat during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm as well as two tours in Operation Desert Stay where he trained foreign forces in combat tactics. He also participated in security and relief efforts in Somalia. Andrew was also a Pistol and Rifle Marksman Instructor as well as a Combat Water Safety Survival Instructor.

Andrew’s military awards and decorations include the Rifle Expert Badge, Pistol Expert Badge, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 3 Stars, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Andrew’s civilian education includes an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management from Alfred State College. Andrew is an avid outdoorsman, expert bow hunter and enjoys hunting and fishing in New York.