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The course will be taught by instructors with veterans program, educational, and career expertise from the California Department of Veterans Affairs; the University of California, Merced Junior College, the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, CalFire, and possibly additional agencies and corporations. 

Annette Wholaver


Annette Wholaver is a United States Army Veteran, who served in the Army Security Agency, Field Station West Berlin from 1975-1978. Trained as an Electronic Intelligence Analyst, Annette worked with Allied Forces to coordinate and communicate highly classified Intel to the United States Intelligence Community. Following military service, Annette used her GI Bill and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from California State University, Fresno. Annette was a retail executive for 28 years and served as the Director of Price Management for Gottschalks Department Stores for twenty-four years. Annette was one of the initial staff hired for Operation Welcome Home at the Employment Development Department and later became an EDD Veterans Representative for eight years. Annette currently works for the California Department of Veterans Affairs serving eight counties, from Stanislaus to Kern and is stationed at the Fresno County Veterans Service Office. As a Local Interagency Network Coordinator, Annette is a veteran advocate and resource assisting veterans and their families get connected to their California State and Federal Benefits.


Virginia Sanchez


Virginia Sanchez is a U.S. Navy Reserves veteran, Chief Petty Officer, and is the Research Librarian for Yosemite National Park. Virginia Sanchez enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve in April 1999 and served in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008. Virginia attained her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Arizona in 2004 and assumed the position of Research Librarian at Yosemite National Park in November 2014. She has a long track record in libraries of many types, from the Scientific and Technical Library at China Lake Naval Weapons Station to the public library in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Los Angeles, California. Upon her return from Afghanistan, conducted a three-year stint as an Intelligence Analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. She has been a Director on the Executive Board of the Armed Forces and Federal Libraries interests groups for the American Library Association since 2010 and has numerous awards for her service.





David Thorpe is a Navy veteran, who served from 1988 through 1992 as an Electronic Warfare Technician on the USS Cook and in Japan with the Afloat Training Group for Westpac from 1993 through 1995. He is a park ranger who is the Chief of the Branch of Telecommunications at Yosemite - a career field that began in 1995. David designs, engineers and maintains communications systems in Yosemite and throughout the Pacific-West Region of the National Park service.  He is the winner of the 2012 California EMA Larry Peabody Award.





Elizabeth Lewis is a Senior Recruiter with Union Pacific Railroad and manages all hiring for Northern California and a portion of Nevada. She is a graduate of Hastings College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is a Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management. She has over ten years experience helping individuals find employment through her work with staffing agencies, vocational rehabilitation, and recruiting for the Railroad. Now, for the past six years, she has been recruiting future talent to join Union Pacific in their union careers and management opportunities.




Tammy Meyer



Tammy Meyer is a Senior Instructor with Union Pacific Railroad. Previously, she has worked as a Conductor and a Manager of Yard Operations. She is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and is a Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management. She spent four years active duty Air Force in Security Forces from 1990-1994 and seven years in the Air National Guard.