Board of Directors

Chuck Howe

NVWHC Board President

Peter Alarid

NVWHC Board Vice President

Lawrence Davis

NVWHC Board Treasurer

1964 – 1987. Served as U. S. Army Officer

1987 – 1997. Government Contractor

1997 – 2004. Vice President, Homeland Security Division, U S Investigations Services

2004 – Present. Served on Board and as President of David Westphall Veterans Foundation

2006 – Present. Served as Counselor and Mayor of Angel Fire Village Council

2009 – Present. Founder and Board President, National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center in Angel Fire


BS in Business Administration, University of Missouri 1964

MBA, Texas Tech University 1971

Peter, a combat veteran, was born and raised in New Mexico and is married with 3 children. Peter served in the Navy as a Corpsman during the Iraqi war. Peter and his wife Andrea have been heavily involved in the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center (NVWHC) organization since 2011. His family was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network in a documentary by Lisa Ling that highlighted the NVHWC retreats and the Invisible Wounds of War. Since then, Peter and Andrea have volunteered their time with events, as well as, being a retreat sponsor couple on numerous occasions. Peter has a heart for his fellow veterans and is currently studying to become a licensed counselor through UNM Taos, so that he may further the help he provides to those in need. In his spare time, Peter creates beautiful pieces of woodwork art that he sells or donates to help veterans/organizations in need.

An Oklahoma City native, graduated as an Electrical Engineer from the University of Oklahoma.  Flew the RF-4 and F-16 as test pilot in the US Air Force for over 21 years.  Worked at NASA Dryden, CA, as a Senior Executive, Director for Safety and Flight Operations on many X-planes.  Now working for L3Harris, TX, as an FAA ODA test pilot, having flown over 120 aircraft for 7700 hours.  Married to Judy, live in Angel Fire, have three children, and five grandsons.  Directed an abused kids camp and built a large church.

Spencer Hamons CHICO, FACHE

NVWHC Board Secretary

Dan Rakes

General Counsel, NVWHC Board Member

Harry Patterson Jr.

NVWHC Board Member

Executive Architect & Healthcare Chief Information Officer – NetApp, Inc

Spencer Hamons has been a full-time resident of Angel Fire since early 2012, coming to the area to serve as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Information Officer for Taos Health Systems. In 2014, Spencer transitioned to working for NetApp, a $6.8B technology company based out of Sunnyvale, California. Spencer is an Executive Architect that performs advanced IT and Digital Transformation Consulting with companies, universities, and governmental agencies in North / Latin America.

Spencer is a Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) through the College of Health Information Management Executives; he’s Board Certified in Healthcare Administration and has earned Fellow (FACHE) status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).  Spencer has both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Colorado State University.

During his 20-year career in IT leadership, he has led technology organizations at organizations in Bethel, Alaska, Alamosa, Colorado and in his hometown of Houston, Texas.  Spencer has served on numerous national and global IT committees including The Joint Commission’s Health IT Advisory Board, CMS HIT Advisory Board; currently serves on Northwestern University’s Graduate Studies Advisory Board and was Adjunct Faculty with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Spencer began his career in 1991 as a U.S. Army Combat Medic, and still serves in the Civil Air Patrol as a member of the Taos Squadron.  Spencer is a private pilot and has a single-engine Saratoga that he regularly flies in-and-out of Angel Fire.

Dan Rakes is a rare native born third generation New Mexican.  He was born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico.  He attended local public schools and ultimately the University of New Mexico school of law graduating in 1982.  He was admitted to practice law in State and Federal Courts in New Mexico in 1983.  He was in private practice in Albuquerque from 1983 to 1997.  He was partner in the law firm of Taylor, Gaddy, Rakes and Hall (later to become Gaddy, Rakes and Hall) from 1990-1997.  He moved to Angel Fire in 1997 to become Angel Fire Resort’s General Counsel.  He is currently the Resort’s Executive General Counsel and has served as a board member and Special Counsel for the Vietnam Memorial since the early 2000s. He was instrumental in negotiating and transfer of the Memorial to the State of New Mexico.  He has served as Special Counsel and board member to AF Wellness and Healing since its inception.  He has served on numerous boards and committees in Angel Fire while in Angel Fire.

Reared in Moore, Oklahoma, Harry Patterson is founder of Patterson Auto Group and Recreational Vehicle Dealerships in Wichita Falls Texas.  Patterson Ford-Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep of Bowie, Texas, and Texoma Auto Auction in Wichita Falls Texas.  His Wichita Falls Dealerships include: GMC Truck, Buick, Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Hyundai, Honda, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Kia and Winnebago franchises.  Harry acquired his first dealership consisting of Oldsmobile, Toyota and Mercedes Benz in 1979 with two mentor investors.  The Patterson Auto Group dealerships employs around 400 associates.

Harry attended Oklahoma Christian College for two years and Oklahoma State University for another two years where he majored in Agricultural Economics.  He got into business as a retail automobile salesman during a summer break from college. He never returned for the next semester; he knew after a couple of months that he had discovered his career.

Harry served in the U.S. Army where he was awarded the Bronze Star decoration while serving in Vienam in 1968-1969 with the 5th Infantry Division Mechanized.  He is actively involved in numerous veteran associations and endeavors in Texas and New Mexico.  He is on the Board of Directors for the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center in Angel Fire and donated the land for the new Angel Fire Veterans Cemetary.

Harry and Brenda, his wife of 47 years, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Chuck Zobac

NVWHC Board Member

Janice Podell

NVWHC Executive Director

Markus Podell

NVWHC Retreat Program Director/Co-Facilitator

Chuck and wife Carol have been married since 2007 and reside in Santa Fe. Chuck currently hosts a radio show at KTRC AM/FM, called “Calling All Vets”. The show discusses veterans programs, benefits, etc. Chuck is involved with and supports the following organizations: National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, Angel Fire Veterans Memorial, NM Honor Flight, TUGAN Luncheon Group, Purple Heart Association of NM, Special Forces Association.

Chuck professional  employment past includes: real estate broker, loan officer, former member of the New York Stock Exchange with Rauscher, Pierce & Refsnes, Licensed NM insurance broker and real estate agent.

Chuck earned his BSBA from former college of Santa Fe. Chuck served in the US Army, 1965-1968; Army Intelligence Special Agent, 5th Special Forces served Republic of Vietnam from March 1967 to April 1968

I grew up in a small town in Texas and am the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran. In 2007, I attended Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. During my studies, I met my husband, Markus, online while doing research for a case study on Post Traumatic Stress. He was stationed in Iraq, so we spent the first year of our relationship extremely far apart. We were married in December of 2008 and I earned my B.A. in Psychology the same weekend.  After completing my degree, I worked for The Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth as a public speaker, birthmother mentor, adoption advocate, and retreat planner. In 2016, Markus and I attended our first NVWHC retreat and instantly knew that Angel Fire was where we wanted to be. We were afforded the opportunity to join the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center that same year and became permanent residents of Angel Fire.  I am honored to be here as Executive Director, and even more honored to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing veterans and a variety of talented healers.

Markus was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas and upon graduating high school, enlisted in the United States Army. Sergeant First Class (SFC) Podell served a total of 12 years on active duty with multiple deployments including, Bosnia, Kosovo, and 5 additional deployments in support on the Global War on Terrorism (Iraq & Afghanistan). In addition to being a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, SFC Podell was a Soldier’s Medal awardee, the Army’s highest peacetime award for heroism. Markus was separated in December of 2009 for injuries sustained during combat operations and returned to his hometown of Fort Worth. Since his separation from the military, Markus has served as a Behavior Intervention Classroom Teacher for high risk teens, a Value Stream Manager for Bell Helicopter, and Post-Traumatic Stress Retreat Co-Facilitator for the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center in Angel Fire. Markus holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College and is also a graduate of the College of Health Care Professions Massage Therapy Certification Program,  He, himself, was diagnosed with both Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and he and his wife Janice are prior participants of NVWHC’s 7-day retreat program. Markus joined the National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center team in September of 2016 as a Retreat Co-Facilitator and eventually was appointed to his current position as Post-Traumatic Stress Program Director in 2018. In addition to his work with Veteran families, Markus also serves his community as a Chaplain with the Moreno Valley Chaplain Team and is a volunteer for the New Mexico Wildlife Center where he and Janice conduct rescue transport operations.