Ron Demonet is the Founder and Managing Director of Veteran Scholarships Forever. Ron’s goal is to establish endowed scholarships at accredited colleges focused on vocational and skilled trades training—this training will help Veterans and/or their spouses acquire skill sets that can lead to rewarding jobs with long-term growth potential. As a Veteran of the Vietnam War era, he knows the challenges our Veterans face as they transition back to civilian life. Ron is a retired business executive with over forty years of experience in the fields of engineering and manufacturing. Ron is an Alabama native and graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology.
Board of Directors
Veteran Scholarships Forever (VSF) is overseen by a Board of Directors, whose primary functions are to: 1) steer VSF towards its Mission, and 2) determine which colleges and programs will be funded by VSF scholarships.
Craig Robinson has always been active in the non-profit community during his 40+ years as a banking executive in South Carolina. His background and expertise will help VSF achieve the goal of helping Veterans get the education they need. Craig is currently Senior Vice President, Upstate Market President, and Small Business Executive for Certus Bank in Greenville. In prior years, he was a senior executive for Pinnacle and First Citizens Banks, along with 30+ years with Bank of America. Craig earned his Marketing Degree at the University of South Carolina, and is a graduate of the Banking School of the South at LSU.
Princella Lee-Bridges is a Desert Storm Veteran who served 13 years in the Air Force as an Aeromedical Evacuation Nurse and Medical Crew Director. Princella is Founder and Executive Director of Bridges from Augusta, a non-profit organization serving burn survivors in the Upstate of South Carolina. She is a commissioner of the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, on the Memorial Community Advisory Council of the Greenville Hospital System, and an active volunteer with United Way of Greenville. She has nursing degrees from Greenville Technical College and Graceland University, along with her Masters in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Bert Strange
Dr. Bert Strange served 24 years in the U.S. Army (the last 20 as a chaplain), retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has taught at five colleges and universities, including Furman and Greenville Technical College, where he is currently an adjunct instructor in religion. Since retiring from the Army, he has been active in the community, including serving as the President of the Greenville Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and President of the Rotary Club of Greenville. Bert is a graduate of Furman, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Duke University, and the University of Exeter (England) where he received his Ph.D.
Ray Tinkler retired from the U.S. Army as an Aviation Officer having served in multiple command and staff positions during his 20 year career as a Vietnam Era and Gulf War veteran. After retirement he worked for several defense support companies such as Defense Support Services (now PAE), Akima Technical Solutions, and his most recent position as President of M&E Technical Services. He has served on the Board of The Meyer Center for Special Children and the Aeronautics Commission of Pickens County. He has a B.S. in Business from Winthrop University, a MBA from Clemson University, and completed numerous military leadership and training programs.
Jan R. Howard – In her honor we celebrate
On Friday, August 7th, VSF lost dear friend and board member Jan Howard. This deep loss grieves us, and yet reflecting on her life of service and her part in VSF’s success feels like a celebration. A life so well lived deserves applause and cheering. It brings about true joy.
Ron Demonet reflects, “Jan was the catalyst that really helped VSF during our developmental stage. She was instrumental in growing the Board of Directors and was my mentor in regards to learning about the non-profit community. Her energy was infectious and kept everyone moving forward. Jan was an inspiration to everyone she met, and she will be sorely missed.”