Veterans Helping Veterans
Vetizens is a registered non-profit U.S. 501(3)(c) not-for-profit organization and is a registered entity with the State of Nevada Secretary of State.
To educate, equip, support, and empower veterans for success in employment and in life.
Collaboration, communication, bridging gaps, non-duplication of other services.
Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life and senior veterans reentering civilian workforce.
MEET THE TEAM
Cynthia A. Donahe
Executive Director / Co-Founder
Cynthia's dedication and compassion to provide assistance to fellow veterans was borne from her own personal story. Cynthia's first hand experiences in the value of both giving and receiving when there is a time of need occurred during her childhood. Those experiences carried through from her youth, into her college years at Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California.
Cynthia knew her life was headed on a different path, leaving her teaching career in Southern California in 2003 to join the U.S. Army. Cynthia served six active years which included training at Fort Huachuca, AZ, and Monterey, CA, then duty assignments in Texas, Korea, and Iraq. Cynthia began another journey at the end of her active service and continues to serve in the Army Reserve as Chief Warrant Officer.
Cynthia believes that success is not measured in personal wealth, but rather in faith and dedication to serving others. Cynthia works for the State of NV as a Management Analyst in Reno, and continues her studies to achieve her Doctor of Public Administration (DPA).
Michael A. Donahe, Sr
Director / Co-Founder (Director, Information Security and Operations Officer)
Michael's nearly 29 years of service in both the Army and Air National Guard of Massachusetts and California spanned from Vietnam, through the Cold War years, to Desert Storm. Those years included being both a traditional Guardsman and Active Guard Reserve soldier. Mike's various assignments provided him opportunities from the age of 17 through the years to achieve the rank of Sergeant Major.
Mike leveraged his military experience in the areas of Military Support to Civilian Authorities and Incident Command and began an entrepreneurial path with a focus on security, risk, crisis management, and disaster management consulting, This path provided him real-world disaster experience through his post-risk assessments and planning resulting from the 911 World Trade Center terrorist attack, and on-site response supporting the 2004 Banda Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami, the 2015 Peru Earthquake, and the 2007 Bangladesh Cyclone, along with other client-related consulting and disaster support.
In addition to being the co-founder of Vetizens, Mike is a Disaster Recovery Institute (DRII) Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and recently retired from MUFG Union Bank, N.A. as the Director of Crisis and Critical Incident Management for the Americas.
Chip is a Marine Corps veteran, commissioned in 1971 and served as a 4002-Data Processing Officer until leaving service as a Captain in 1976. Chip's industry experience varied between the oil & gas, mining & minerals, manufacturing and drug development industries until his retirement in 2017.
As a certified Project Management Professional, Chip's job responsibilities over his career covered the range from programmer, systems analyst, and IT Telecommunications Manager to Global Application Development Manager.
Chip likes to stay active, and regularly participates in Scuba Diving, Skiing and a variety of racket sports.
Lia Bensing is a designer, artist and decorator, who has received acclaim for her work as a businesswoman and as a contributor to military-oriented non-profits. She is also the wife of a former military officer and the mother of an active duty officer candidate in the U.S. Navy. As a military spouse, Lia commanded many moves of the family home, all with young children, and endured multiple deployments.
Lia’s patriotic and value-based bearing have prompted her involvement into numerous volunteer roles for Nevada-based charities, including her passion for the mission of the Nevada Military Support Alliance (NMSA). NMSA is a state-wide 501c3 which is committed to helping military members, veterans and their families transition out of the service into civilian life.
Lia graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a B.S. Degree in Graphic Design. She lives in Reno, NV with her husband and has four children – all of whom are happy, extraordinarily productive and call home too infrequently.