Board of Directors

 

Ray Stark, (President & Co-Founder of The Hugs Project) was a Navy Fire Controlman stationed onboard the USS Independence in the middle of the Persian Gulf when a little country church in El Reno, Oklahoma adopted him. Now, he shares that same great feeling with American Troops around the world. He says, “These men and women will come home one day and begin to volunteer to make the world a better place because of how good the support from strangers made them feel”. He should know. Having “been there, done that”, no one is more supportive of our Troops than this man. He works tirelessly to make sure they know they are NOT forgotten.

 

 

KarenStark (ExecutiveDirector) remembers Vietnam Veterans coming home and being made to feel shame. She remembers three of her graduating class didn’t come home at all. Determined that today’s combat troops wouldn’t be treated in the same manner, she and her husband, Ray began The Hugs Project. Her goal is to make sure each of America’s finest know they are loved and respected. She received the Presidental Service Award from President George W. Bush in 2008. Karen has a BA from Northeastern Oklahoma University, She owned Executive Personnel in the 1980’s but her all-time favorite job was driving taxis for a Japanese cab company. She took Sailors and Marines where they were going on Yokosuka Navy base. She loves making crafts and doing acrylic paintings to help fund the project. All her sales are donated back to the project. Her least favorite job is that of THP Webmaster. <grin>

 

Susan Corbeil, (Treasurer) – Susan’s heart for our military dates back to being born on a NATO base. She was raised as an Air Force dependent. Grew up in Turkey, Spain, North Dakota, Texas and Montana. Married Tim Corbeil, an Air Force enlisted troop in 1994 and moved from Montana to Utah to Idaho and finally to Oklahoma City where they plan to retire. Susan has been through countless short-term TDYs, two 7+ month deployments and one 12 month short tour as a Military spouse. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Management and Human Resource Management from Park University and a MBA degree from Saint Leo University. Currently Campus Center Director for Park University at Tinker. Two girls, ages 15 and 16. She has worked with THP making survival bracelets, helping pack care packages and volunteering at events.

 

Julie Citro - lives in Oklahoma City. She has volunteered with The Hugs Project for over 12 years working events, fundraising, making bracelets, packing boxes, and gathering care package items at events and conventions she attends. . Julie is a Database Administrator during the day and a firearms instructor in the evenings. She enjoys sewing, reading, and riding her Harley. On her last big birthday, she parachuted out of an airplane from 14,000 feet. That's officially higher than her Airborne husband has ever jumped. Julie has a son who is a United States Marine so she has a special heart for our Military and all who serve.

 

Martha Duerkson has worked with The Hugs Project for more than 13 years. She brought little bears sewed by the OKC chapter of the American Sewing Guild to the Hugs office and started working packing boxes....she never left! Her family has always been very patriotic, thankful for and admired the Military. Martha believes packing care packages for the Troops is a great way to give back for those who are protecting our country. She has a B.S. degree from Kansas State University. She has lived in Oklahoma for 36 years and is involved with several classic car clubs, ASG and Computer Club of OKC.

 

Erin (Secretary) and Richard McCauley – Richard spent twelve years in Combat Arms (SSG US Army) and served five tours of duty overseas, three of which were in combat zones. Erin spent eight years as a military spouse and has spent several years in the technology industry as an Account Executive. They have three beautiful daughters with whom they enjoy spending time. The McCauley’s are passionate about reaching Veterans and their families in crisis, especially those who suffer from post concussive disorder and traumatic brain injuries. They are active members of Crossings Community Church and love spending time in their community serving God and helping others.

 

Carolyn Stevenson – lives in Oklahoma City and is now retired with 2 daughters and 3 grandsons. She volunteers with several organizations and has been with The Hugs Project for the past 8 years. Carolyn helps with fund raising projects, donation collection, and crafting some of the handmade items for the packages sent to our troops. Her family has a long history of Military service. Her husband served in Vietnam, her father in WII, her oldest grandson is currently in the Marine Corps. She is an avid fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and the OKC Thunder. "It is my privilege to support those who protect and serve."

 

Sherri Woodham is a retired special education teacher, psychometrist, and business owner of Edmond’s first Kumon Learning Center. Sherri and husband Charles (retired Army Lt. Colonel) have two children and four grandchildren whose activities keep Sherri busy. She serves in several volunteer capacities at her church, Henderson Hills Baptist. Shortly after The Hugs Project was formed, Sherri visited to gain ideas for the HHBC Military Ministry. She was so impressed with the heart and dedication of Karen, Ray, and the other THP volunteers, that she began to help with packing, donation collections, the recycling program, and other areas, including helping write grants to help fund our efforts. Sherri received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an avid OSU Cowboys and Thunder fan.





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