Kristin Downey

Chairman


It was two years ago I noticed there wasn’t any solid communication with veterans about their benefit opportunities. I think back to my brother-in-law who is a disabled vet, injured during service, and he was continually denied benefits. He was forty-two years old, and it seemed to be that his application kept falling through the cracks, but 12 years? Unacceptable.​

I realized just how big of an issue this was for veterans not getting resources and senior veterans, feeling forgotten, not being educated on all the benefits available to them. ​

Military Movement came together organically as I recognized there is a much-needed initiative to help coordinate government and community outreach efforts for the veteran community of SWFL. ​

I’m taking root in Southwest Florida and have a vision to go nationwide. There are roughly 90,000 local veterans, not including our seasonal friends, in Collier & Lee Counties requesting communication solutions addressing challenges veterans and families are up against. 


When you hear Military Movement, think “A Crusade to Connect.” This crusade effectively increases awareness of both government benefits and community resources and is intended to support, unite and give back to our country's heroes.​

The challenge requires MM to be inquisitive and innovative and we are committed to the delivery of a better solution for reaching veterans of today, yesterday, and tomorrow. ​

For us, you paid the price. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. ​

United we stand,

Kristin Downey

President​​


Founder, Military Movement, Naples, FL

Founder, Military Movement, Naples, FL

Sarah Blanchette, u.s. air force

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Co-Chairman

Rick LoCastro, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired)

President

After serving 24 years in the U.S. Air Force and retiring as a full Colonel in 2012, Rick was recruited to Naples, and into Hospital Administration serving as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Physicians Regional Medical Center.  For 4 years he was responsible for all day-to-day operations of the hospital and directly supervised 13 Departments.  He also led the design, construction, and oversaw the hospital's opening of a Walk-In Clinic, Rehab Center, and Primary Care office on Marco Island… as well as the design and construction of a second Walk-in Clinic and Primary Care center in East Naples.

In January 2017, Rick joined Avow Hospice as Senior Director of Development.  He was a key leader securing major gifts, oversaw donor management, and implemented strategic healthcare plans to improve and expanded hospice services.  He also served as the senior military advisor for the Avow “We Honor Veterans” program ensuring patient and family satisfaction for military veterans, hospice care, child services, and bereavement programs. 


Rick is currently devoting a full-time role to his consulting company as President, RJL Consulting Team based in Naples.  His firm specializes in Healthcare, Retail Businesses, Physicians Practices, Construction, Security, Energy & Environmental, Government & Military Contracts, Non-Profit Organizations, and Accelerating Employee & Team Performance… by providing strategic/operational expertise to maximize revenue, volume, and staff efficiency.  


Previous to running his consulting company, his Avow position, and hospital COO role, Rick was a senior Air Force officer commanding in leadership positions worldwide.  He held military positions in Germany, Hawaii, the Pentagon, and NATO, and lived and worked in 80+ countries.  He served as a senior Commander on Andrews Air Force Base supporting the President of the United States and all Air Force One missions.  He then led a multi-national NATO unit at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where he was responsible for all security, engineering/maintenance, transportation, administration, human resources, supply, logistics, food service, safety, and linguistic translation, supporting the 26-nation command.  


Following his Europe assignment, Rick next served as Deputy Base Commander of Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  There he ensured support to the 725 square mile base (Department of Defense's largest installation) and directed all base operations for over 35,000 personnel with $16 Billion in infrastructure.  He led strategic planning and oversaw all housing, healthcare, food service, facilities, security, construction, safety, fire/rescue, human resources, IT, environmental, logistics, activity programs, 3,000+ houses, and 1,000+ dormitories.  He also supervised the Air Force’s 4th largest Medical Center encompassing 1,500 medical staff supporting 85,000 beneficiaries and 300,000 annual patient visits. 

Rick next served as Base Commander of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, responsible for 4,500 personnel and all support to the 25 square mile installation including the U.S. Service Academy.  He commanded all Air Force Academy base support, housing, food service, and a Medical Center supporting 4,000+ cadets, a military community of 35,000+, and 500,000+ visitors annually to the military service Academy.  Finally, he was Director of Manpower & Personnel for U.S. Strategic Command, overseeing all human resources programs for the United States' classified nuclear and space forces. 


In 2001, he commanded his unit to selection as U.S. Air Force Mission Support Squadron of the Year, and was also personally selected as the 2001 U.S. Air Force Senior Personnel Officer of the Year.


Rick has worked for two U.S. Presidents (Bush 41 & Bush 43), for General Norman Schwarzkopf, and was also the Aide to an Air Force 4-star General for three years.  He has extensive operations and healthcare experience as well as leadership expertise working with the USO, Wounded Warrior Program, Air Force Academy Foundation, American Red Cross, Fisher House, and many Chambers of Commerce nationwide.


He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and three Master of Science degrees--to include one in Public Administration & Policy from Central Michigan University.  Living on Marco Island, he is also very active in the local community and currently serves on the Board of Directors, Marco Island Chamber of Commerce; Board of Trustees, Admiral Farragut Academy (St. Petersburg, FL); is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a graduate of the 2013 Naples Chamber of Commerce Leadership Collier class.

President, RJL Consulting Team 
Naples, Florida

President, RJL Consulting Team Naples, Florida

Bruce lopes

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Vice President