The Eyes of Freedom Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Kelly Jones-Swenson to our team as our new Executive Director, effective May 1, 2023. In this capacity, Kelly will lead and position the organization for long-term growth and financial sustainability. She will also engage with a variety of communities to further the vision and mission of the Memorial in support of Veterans. “It is a true privilege to be joining the Eyes of Freedom,” said Kelly. “I’m excited to work with the Board to raise awareness around Veterans’ mental health issues and honor the ultimate sacrifice of Lima Company.” As a U.S. Army veteran and nonprofit professional, Kelly brings a wealth of management experience to the role. Her career has included work in the tourism and hospitality industry, with a focus in the audit and compliance area. Kelly earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives and has a certificate in Public and Nonprofit Leadership from The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Kelly serves on the Board of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Buckeye Chapter and is active in WELD - Women for Economic Leadership and Development. ‘Kelly’s commitment to helping our nation’s Veterans is powerful,” said Edward Gibbons, Board Chair, Eyes of Freedom. “Her expertise and passion will help guide our organization into the future.”
Sean has been involved with Eyes of Freedom since Anita Miller’s first brushstroke hit the canvas. He has documented the entire two-and-a-half-year process of the creation of the Memorial and now travels full-time with the exhibit alongside Cpl. Mike Strahle. Sean’s initial involvement with the project started as a way to pay tribute to his friend, Sgt. Justin Hoffman, with whom he worked at an insurance company in Columbus, Ohio. Sgt. Hoffman, one of Lima Company’s fallen Marines, was the first Anita painted. Sean maintains EoF’s website, produces its periodic newsletter, and books sites for the Memorial to visit.
Alissa’s experience in the financial and accounting industry, which spans 20 years, includes accounting and analyst positions at local and nationally recognized organizations. For nine years she served as controller of a small PR firm in Columbus, Ohio. In 2010 she started her own financial business, AT Consulting. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Otterbein College in Accounting and Business Administration, she went on to get an MBA from Capital University. She has also taught accounting at the university level as an adjunct faculty member.
Eddie Gibbons served with WPNS PLT Lima Co. 3/25, from January 2002 until June 2004. Eddie is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University were he teaches a range of graduate and undergraduate courses in the School of Leadership Human Resource Development as well as MBA courses for the E.J. Ourso College of Business. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, an MBA from Tulane University, and both an M.S. and PhD in Human Resource and Organizational Development from Louisiana State University. Eddie has worked as a consultant and as a turn-around executive with Success Labs, a Louisiana-based management consulting firm, helping companies in the industrial sector with leadership development, executive coaching, organizational development, and strategic & succession planning. He has worked with several Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, including Fluor Federal Petroleum, CF Industries, Genesis Energy, Albemarle Corporation, and Axiall Corporation. As a college professor, Eddie has taught courses in leadership development, human resource development, organizational behavior, and process analysis at LSU. Additionally, he has served as a Faculty Senator for the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education and currently serves as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the LSU School of Leadership and Human Resource Development. Additionally, Eddie serves as a board member for the Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resource Management.
Jody Davids recently retired from her role as Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of PepsiCo. As the leader of the IT function at PepsiCo, Jody and her teams delivered all information technology and digital services to PepsiCo through a large network of IT associates and partners worldwide. Jody has over 40 years of experience leading and developing technology for large companies. Prior to joining PepsiCo in 2016, Jody was CIO for Agrium Inc. and over the course of her career, she led at Best Buy, Cardinal Health, Nike, Inc., and Apple Computer, Inc.. She actively serves as an independent director for four companies; Premier Inc., Midcontinent Independent Service Operator (MISO), Movista, and Paymentus. After retirement, she began serving as an executive coach. Jody is a Gold Star mother, having lost her oldest son, Wesley, a US Marine, in Iraq in 2005. Her second son, Steven, then joined the Marines and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Having a heart for those who have served our nation, Jody serves on the board of two non-profit organizations; The Eyes of Freedom, honoring all who have answered our nation’s call to service, and the National Veteran’s Leadership Foundation. Her bachelor’s degree in business and her MBA are awarded from San Jose State University. She currently splits her time between New Albany, Ohio, and Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
The creator of the Lima Company Memorial, Anita began painting and drawing at 30. After Studying at the Columbus College of Art & Design, she taught drawing and painting in her little-log-cabin studio in rural central Ohio as well as workshops in Greece and Europe. After creating and having managed the Eyes of Freedom Memorial, she is sculpting the Silent Battle, a life-sized bronze to honor the service and sacrifice of returning vets struggling with PTSD and suicide. Anita now lives outside Boulder in Lyons, Colorado, with her husband, Rob. There she enjoys creating art and mountain hiking.