Meet the Valley Forge Team

VFMAC Main Telephone: 610-989-1200
VFMAC Toll Free Telephone: 1-800-234-8362
VFMAC Main Fax: 610-688-1545

Leadership

Senior Leadership

  • Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCR (Ret.)
    Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCR (Ret.)
    VFMAC President
  • Col Stuart B. Helgeson, USMCR
    Col Stuart B. Helgeson, USMCR
    COO & Commandant of Cadets
  • Vincent Vuono
    Vincent Vuono
    CFO
  • Greg Brinn
    Greg Brinn
    Vice President of Institutional Advancement
  • LTC Nathan Minami, USA
    LTC Nathan Minami, USA
    Professor of Military Science
  • Sandra R. Young
    Sandra R. Young
    Valley Forge Military Academy Head of School
  • Maureen Malone
    Maureen Malone
    Dean of Valley Forge Military College
  • Rich Casey
    Rich Casey
    Director of Athletics

How to call Staff & Faculty:

Unless otherwise noted, all phone numbers begin with 610-989-XXXX. Add the 4-digit extension, listed by department, for the person you wish to reach.

How to email Staff & Faculty:

If you know a staff member’s name and would like to reach him/her via e-mail, the following format can be used to do so:
“first initial, last name” followed by “@vfmac.edu”. Therefore, if the individual’s name were John Public, it would translate into: “JPublic@vfmac.edu”

Mailing Address:

Valley Forge Military Academy & College
1001 Eagle Road
Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087

Staff Contact Information Table
President, Valley Forge Military Academy & College Colonel John C. Church 1203
Chief Operating Officer & Commandant of Cadets Colonel Suart B. Helgeson 1256
Chief Financial Officer Mr. Vincent Vuono 1232
Dean, Valley Forge Military College Mrs. Maureen Malone 1453
Head of School, Valley Forge Military Academy Mrs. Sandra Young 1360
Vice President, Enrollment Management
Vice President, Institutional Advancement Mr. Gregory Brinn 1330
Vice President, Facilities Operations COL Bryan Geiling ’94 / ’96C 1353
Adjutant COL Kenneth Seitz, VFMAC 1254
Director of Marketing & Communications Mrs. Mary Heller 1345
Director of Alumni Relations Mr. Thomas Goldblum ’69 1329
International Student Recruitment Ms. Erica Diaz 1561
Bandmaster / Director of Music  Mr. Vincent DeMarro
Bursar / Cadet Accounts Manager Mr. Stephen Berezansky 1236
Cadet Store Mr. Josh Konoza 1540
Chaplain, Director of Character Education CAPT Gerald Hale, USCG (Ret.) 1506
Controller Mr. Chuck Steinmetz 1229
Director of Athletics Mr. Rich Casey 1491
Director of Choir Mr. Harry Sokol 1252
Director of Academy Guidance Ms. Megan Sullivan 1384
Director of Health Service Ms. Debbie Hammer 1521
Director of Horsemanship Ms. Maria Metz 1502
Director of Human Resources Ms. Marianne Meade 1240
Director of Information Technology Mr. Michael G. Brock 1246
Director of Library Services Ms. Dana Kerrigan 1364
Director of Special Events Ms. Jessica Sekerak 1509
Director of Student Activities Ms. Elizabeth Wahlberg 1253
Director of Summer Camps Ms. Elizabeth Wahlberg 1253
Professor of Military Sciences (SROTC) LTC Nathan A. Minami 1440
Director of Financial Aid Ms. Elizabeth Sierra 1300

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

Col John C. Church, Jr., USMCR (Ret.)
VFMAC President

Colonel Church retired after 35 years of active enlisted, midshipman and active and reserve service. His last tour of duty was as the commanding officer of the 3D Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Ill., which was where he began his military journey as an enlisted sailor.

As a combat engineer officer, Colonel Church deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, and later commanded Company C, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Lynchburg, Virginia, from where he led a deployment to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. With 4th Civil Affairs Group, Colonel Church served in Kosovo, completed two tours of duty in Iraq, served in Afghanistan, and taught Civil Affairs to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Prior to returning to Valley Forge Colonel Church served as an Assistant Professor at Immaculata University.  He had also taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the U. S. Naval War College, George Mason University, Temple University, Holy Family University, and Rosemont College. Colonel Church is a doctoral student in Mass Media and Communication at Temple University and earned an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U. S. Naval War College, a M.A. in Communication Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy. His personal reflections of duty throughout the world have been featured in both the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2009, John’s submission, “The Best Seven Months of Our Lives: The War in Iraq and the Battle in Hollywood” won first prize for “Top Graduate Competitive Papers” in the Pennsylvania Communication Association Writing Competition. In 2010, his “This I Believe” essay was featured on WHYY and National Public Radio. His essays regarding the service of minorities, what constitutes good training, and the true meaning of Memorial Day were featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Mainline Suburban.

His personal decorations include: the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star. As a midshipman John was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy’s nationally ranked lacrosse program. As a junior officer, he was a member of the USMC All-Marine Rugby team on four occasions. Colonel Church and his wife, Mary Kay, a retired Marine major, are the proud parents of John Carl Church, III (11) Travis Joseph Church (10) and twins Harper and Claire (8). He is the son of He is the son of Colonel and Mrs. John C. Church, Sr., USMC (Retired) of Clinton Township, Michigan.

Colonel Church is the 13th president in the history of Valley Forge Military Academy and College.

Education

Col Stuart B. Helgeson, USMCR
COO & Commandant of Cadets

Colonel Helgeson attended Penn State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.  At Penn State, he played Varsity Lacrosse and later walked on to the football team as a receiver on the 1986 National Championship and 1987 Citrus Bowl Teams. Upon graduation, Col Helgeson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Following The Basic School, and subsequently the Infantry Officer’s Course, Col Helgeson reported for duty with 1st Battalion 2D Marines, 2D Marine Division, stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC.  During his tour, he served with Company A as a Rifle Platoon Commander.  He participated in Exercise Alpine Warrior, and later was deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Upon his return in 1991, he was selected to be the 2D Marine Regiment’s Scout Platoon Commander.

In October 1991, then 1st Lieutenant Helgeson was selected for duty with 2D Force Reconnaissance Company, 2D SRIG, II MEF. As a platoon commander at 2D Force Reconnaissance Company, he participated in operation Victor Square and was deployed as the Detachment and Platoon Commander with the 22nd MEU (SOC) where he participated in operation Provide Promise and Deny Flight (former Yugoslavia) and Continue Hope (Somalia).  Upon return from Deployment in 1994, he received orders to The Basic School.

Upon reporting to The Basic School, Colonel Helgeson was assigned as the primary patrolling instructor.  In 1995, he was assigned as an instructor at the Infantry Officer Course.  In August 1997, upon completion of his duties at the Infantry Officer course, he attended Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, VA, from where he graduated in May 1998.

In June 1998, Colonel Helgeson was assigned as the Head Coach for the Sprint Football team at the United States Naval Academy. While assigned to the Naval Academy, then Major Helgeson was also assigned duties as a leadership instructor, Marine Corps Capstone Class instructor, OIC of the Physical remedial program and member of the Marine Corps Selection team. In June of 1999, Major Helgeson and three other Marines Biked and Ran across America to raise money for the Children’s Hopes and Dreams foundation, completing the ride and run in 27 days.

In August 2000, Colonel Helgeson left active duty for civilian employment with MBNA Bank in Wilmington, DE and transferred to the IRR. In 2004, he joined the Selected Marine Corps Reserve and took command of Co B 6th Engineer Support Battalion in Wilmington, DE. During this time, he completed the Command and Staff College. In May of 2005, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and in October of 2005 was assigned to The Marine Emergency Planning and Liaison Officer Program (MEPLO), whose team covered the Mid-Atlantic and National Command Region of the United States.

In 2009, LtCol Helgeson joined 4th Reconnaissance Battalion as the Executive Officer and then assumed Battalion Command. LtCol Helgeson and Marines from 4th Reconnaissance Battalion participated in Exercise Commando Raj with The British Royal Marines and 2nd Royal Ghurka Battalion in Brunei and the South China Sea.  In 2010 Lieutenant Colonel Helgeson was mobilized and transferred to Marine Corps Special Operation Command (MARSOC) and deployed to Afghanistan assigned to Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A), where he performed the duties as Director of Special Operations Plans and Liaison Element for RC-W. In August 2010, after returning from Operation Enduring Freedom, then Lieutenant Colonel Helgeson help create the MARSOC G-9 Recruiting, Assessment & Selection Branch where he was responsible for recruiting and screening Marines for duty with MARSOC. Upon completion of his mobilization in October 2011, Colonel Helgeson began working in business development for Sechan Electronics, Inc., a defense electronics manufacturing service provider based in Lititz, PA.

In January, 2013, while employed at Sechan Electronics, Colonel Helgeson was promoted and transferred to MAGTF Staff Training Program Reserve IMA Detachment in Quantico VA.  In July 2013, he was mobilized to support II MEF FWD as the Special Operations Coordinator (SOCORD) for RC-SW, Helmand & Nimroz providences. After returning from Operation Enduring Freedom in February 2014, Colonel Helgeson returned to his role at Sechan Electronics.

In April 2015, Colonel Helgeson joined Marine Forces Europe/Africa, in Stuttgart, Germany Reserve IMA Detachment where he assumed duties as the Deputy G-5.   A year later, Colonel Helgeson was selected to his present billet to be the Regional Coordinator, Reserve Support Program Region 3, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Vincent Vuono
CFO

Mr. Vincent J. Vuono serves as the Valley Forge Military Academy Foundation’s Treasurer and VFMAC’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Vuono is responsible for Finances, Information Technology, Facilities, Human Resources and serves as our Risk Manager.

Mr. Vuono has been with Valley Forge since 2006 and joined the Forge with 21 years of experience in commercial finance serving in various leadership positions in the insurance financing industry with companies owned by the Reliance Insurance Company and later Aon, the world’s largest insurance broker. Previously, Mr. Vuono was a public accountant with KPMG and has been a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Pennsylvania since 1982. He is a member of both the American and Pennsylvania Institutes of CPA’s.

Mr. Vuono earned his BS in Accounting from LaSalle University, and an MBA in Finance from Drexel University. He and his wife Mary have two children, Caitlyn (married to Michael Sheehan) and Vincent (married to Cassidy Hobbs).

Greg Brinn
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
LTC Nathan Minami, USA
Professor of Military Science

LTC Nathan A. Minami received his commission from the United States Military Academy in 1997.  Following graduation he attended the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Airborne School and Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia.  He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment in Schweinfurt, Germany where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Infantry Company Executive Officer, Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, and Battalion Assistant Operations Officer.  In 2001 he attended the Infantry Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia and was subsequently assigned to the 25th Infantry Division (Light) in Hawaii.  LTC Minami then served as the Deputy Chief of G3 Exercises and Training and as the 2nd Brigade Assistant Operations Officer prior to assuming command of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment in Iraq.  Upon completion of company command, LTC Minami attended Advanced Civil Schooling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was then assigned in 2007 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems Engineering at West Point.  In 2009 LTC Minami was assigned as the Brigade Plans Officer for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.  He then served as the Battalion Operations Officer and Battalion Executive Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment at Fort Drum from 2010-2012.   In 2012 LTC Minami was assign as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Mississippi prior to assuming command of the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment at Fort Stewart Georgia in January, 2014. During 28 months of command, LTC Minami deployed two rifle companies to Djibouti in support of the East Africa Response Force, one company to Malawi, and deployed with the Battalion to Ukraine in support of Operation Fearless Guardian II.  Following Battalion Command, LTC Minami was assigned as the Professor of Military Science at Valley Forge Military College.

LTC Minami’s operational and combat deployments include Operation Able Sentry in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia in 1998, Operation Joint Guardian II in Kosovo in 1999, Operation Iraqi Freedom II from 2003-2005, Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10 from 2009-2010, and Operation Fearless Guardian II in Ukraine in 2016.

LTC Minami’s civilian education includes a B.S. in Arabic and French Language from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.A. in National Security Studies from American Military University, an M.S. in Engineering and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Northcentral University.

LTC Minami’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, the NATO Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Airborne Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Ranger Tab.

LTC Minami is married to the former Melissa Tantaro of Foggia, Italy.  LTC and Mrs. Minami have two children, Selina (age 13) and David (age 10).

Sandra R. Young
Valley Forge Military Academy Head of School

Ms. Sandra Young has been the Head of School for Valley Forge Military Academy since 2014. In her time at VFMA, Ms. Young has been involved with the successful completion of Middle States Mid-Term Review, helped to launch new academic programs, continues to aid fundraising efforts, and supervise Academy enrollment.

Prior to coming to VFMA, Ms. Young spent 17 years within Catholic Education, where she started her career as a classroom teacher in 1998 at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School. From there, she moved on to become Assistant Principal for Student Affairs and Assistant Athletic Director for Women’s Sports at Bishop Shanahan High School. Ms. Young has also served as President of John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School from 2010-2014.

Ms. Young earned her Bachelor of the Arts for Religious Studies and Secondary Education from Holy Family College. In addition, she earned her Master of Science in Education/ Instructional Technology and received her PA Instructional Technology Certification from Saint Joseph’s University. Currently, Ms. Young is a Doctorate of Education student at Cabrini University.

 

Maureen Malone
Dean of Valley Forge Military College

Ms. Maureen Malone was appointed College Dean in August 2016 after serving Valley Forge Military College for nine years in numerous leadership capacities, which included Assistant Dean of Academic Services and Assistant Dean of Academics and Assessment.  Dean Malone brings a diverse educational and business background to her appointment. She began her career as a Treasury Analyst Assistant for Health America, and then became an Associate Accountant for the CPA firm Kisel, Grenel and Associates. Eventually, she took a position as the business manager for a medical practice that specialized in podiatry medicine.

Having been successful in business, she expanded her professional career into “for-profit” education, and became a member of University of Phoenix’s advising and financial services team. Dean Malone came to Valley Forge Military College in 2007 and served as the College Registrar. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and a Masters in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Rich Casey
Director of Athletics

Mr. Richard Casey has been the Director of Athletics for VFMAC since June 2013.

Mr. Casey has been an active participant in Philadelphia athletics for more than 20 years as a player, coach, and athletic director. He began his athletic career as a high school basketball and baseball player for North Catholic High School in the early 80’s and continued playing both basketball and baseball in college. Mr. Casey began his coaching career at the Friends Select Middle School, where he coached the girls’ basketball team while spending his summer coaching girls’ basketball for Cathy Rush’s, Future Stars Basketball Camps.

Mr. Casey went on to coach men’s basketball at Archbishop Ryan High School under the direction of Coach Dave Mulholland, and soon entered the college coaching ranks at Manor College. After much success at Manor, he accepted the Head Men’s Basketball coaching position at Neumann University, and continued his career with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) as Assistant to the Athletic Director, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, and Head Women’s Softball Coach. Additionally, Mr. Casey has spent the last six summers as Director for the Philadelphia 76ers summer and seasonal camps. After leaving USP, he was excited to continue his growth as an athletic administrator as the Athletic Director at John W. Hallahan High School for Girls where he also served as Head Women’s Softball Coach.

Mr. Casey graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Management. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Caroline, and their two daughters, Gwenyth and Darby.

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