Meet the Curriculum Development Team

Meet the Team

Curriculum Development

Team Leader

Gary FergusonGary Ferguson

Founder & CEO

Gary Ferguson is a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran
(Tet 1967 – 1968)

"Pathways for Veterans was created as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to help other veterans understand the VA resources and offerings. The Pathways program will enroll you in transformational activities that help guide you along the way."


Team Support

Jon_Cordas_bioJon Cordas, PhD

Transitioning from an organizational consulting career to strategic planning at Pathways for Veterans has provided a greater sense of meaning and purpose as I live my life in service to others.

With a PhD in psychology and a Masters in sociology, I spent over thirty years worked as a consultant with clients such as the FAA, NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Intel, Lockheed and General Dynamics. I helped these organizations innovate and collaborate more effectively. In addition to working with great people and great companies, I found much personal satisfaction teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in organizational leadership.

While I enjoyed helping people work together more effectively, I found a new level and clarity of purpose and meaning working in service to veterans at Pathways. I find profound satisfaction every day as I engage my passion for focusing convergences of extraordinary people with resonant values and vision. My varied roles at Pathways include:

  • Board member
  • Director of Curriculum Development
  • Coordinator of coaching programs
  • Trainer for VIA Institute signature strength and mindfulness coaching
  • Strategic planner and facilitator
  • Project management


2016-10-17Stewart Christensen

Contract Manager

With extensive experience in Military and Government contracting, Stewart is dedicated to helping our Veterans on many levels.  Ensuring they have access to the most cutting edge therapeutic programs available, and helping provide job opportunities and placement for our many Veterans nationwide.


Mary Kay Slesinger-Rich

Kay was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1936. After high school graduation, Kay received her BA in psychology from Ohio University. While in college, Kay married Frank Kendrick and had her first child, Frank Kendrick, Jr. In October 1958, an auto accident tragically claimed the life of Frank Sr.

In 1959, Kay moved her family to Clearwater, Florida and took a position as district director for Pinellas County Girl Scouts.

Two years later the l7 year old brother, Johnny, was in a car accident and was killed. This led to Kay returning to Ohio University to get her Master of Art degree in Human Relations.

After marrying John W. Slesinger in 1963, the family moved to Macomb, Ill. where Kay directed an 800-population dormitory while John received his M.A. in Education.

Moving to Urbana, Ohio, Kay taught school and John became assistant principal of the high school. Their daughter Kim was born in 1963.

Following the birth of another daughter, Kay started a real estate business in Xenia, Ohio in 1967. Finding sales coming quickly, Kay thrived in real estate, becoming one of the first female brokers in the area. After 48 years in the real estate business, Kay now manages over 100 properties and a mobile home park.

Through the real estate and family rearing years she was on many boards including the Chamber of Commerce in Xenia and Beavercreek, Ohio and the Multiple Sclerosis Board. She was President of the Ambassador Club, and organized a Junior Ambassador Club at the high school.

In 1990, Kay became an author and public speaker. Kay’s book, "You’re It", shares her inspiring life journey. Kay went on to host local radio and TV talk shows. After the passing of her husband John, she became a motivational speaker on cruise ships. During a cruise in 1998, she met Paul J. Rich, Jr. and quickly began their life-long love affair and l3-year marriage. Kay and Paul settled in Buffalo, NY. They had a wonderful marriage until Paul’s passing in 2012. Kay subsequently wrote and starred in a movie celebrating her blissful marriage with Paul.

Kay is currently supporting Pathways for Veterans and her book is being used to help female veterans live their dreams. Kay is committed to sharing her insights about how to have a successful marriage.

“There is nothing more valuable or healthy than living in a loving relationship.”


Julie_Rodriguez_bioJulie Rodriguez

Julie Rodriguez is a Certified Dream Builder and Spiritual Life Coach who has a deep passion to inspire and empower you to reach your highest potential to live the life you would love living. Offering techniques, strategies and support every step of the way to close the gap from where you are now to living the life of your dreams. Julie will empower you to shine your light brightly so that you can give your unique gift to the world! Also certified as Meditation Teacher, Neuro-Linguistics Programming Practitioner (NLP) and Hypnotherapist, Julie is well-equipped to teach and work with you to incorporate the predictable laws of the universe into your life to overcome the obstacles and circumstances that often hold us back from experiencing true joy and fulfillment.

In addition to her coaching, Julie also has a Masters degree and is a professor of psychology at Folsom Lake College. In addition to her teaching, she has also been involved in course and curriculum development, student mentoring and student learning assessment processes on campus.

Before developing the skills and finding the path to living her purpose, she worked in the corporate sector in various Human Resources settings. She is now living her dream and wants nothing more than for others to do the same.


Chris_Wagner_bioChris Wagner

Chris Wagner a Certified Spiritual Life Coach and DreamBuilder Coach. She is also on track to become a Spiritual Practitioner accredited through the Emerson Theological Institute.

Also certified as a Meditation Teacher, Neuro-Linguistics Programming Practitioner (NLP) and Hypnotherapist she is well-equipped to teach and work with you to incorporate the predictable laws of the universe into your life to overcome the obstacles and circumstances that often hold us back from experiencing true joy and fulfillment.

Through principles of her own teaching, Christine has been able to fulfill her own goals in entrepreneurship by founding and managing her own successful Private Dog Boarding Service that embodies her love and compassion for these beings by providing a healthy and nurturing environment for her clients and their beloved pets.

Her passion is to inspire and empower individuals to let their light shine brightly and live a life of true purpose and deep meaning. Chris truly believes living a life that you love is a blessing to those around you causing a ripple effect that reverberates out into the world in a positive way.


Debbie DiManno

The 30 years I spent working in Western medicine and my own extreme health issues have made it clear to me that Western medicine does not have all the answers. I understood that much of my mystery illnesses were only to be healed by looking within. My biography was now my biology and I was really the only one that was ultimately responsible for my own health and well-being.

I soon began to understand and use all the mindfulness tools that were available to help me heal my body, mind and soul. I was becoming well as a result of my encounters with growth and healing modalities like mindfulness, meditation, fitness and spirituality.

I have always been a natural coach, teacher and mentor. I now found myself inspired to share everything that I had learned and experienced with others.

Through my own experiences and witnessing healing in others, I have come to absolutely believe that we all have the potential to change and heal our own lives in ways that will create more freedom, aliveness and vitality; therefore increasing our effectiveness and impact on the entire planet!

I know that everyone can use the tools of mindfulness and create positive turning points that will then become positive tipping points giving rise to greater love, joy, connection, wealth, health and harmony…


Linda Gillman

Following a long career in non-profit management during which time Dr. Gillman earned the professional designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE), she served various nonprofits in the role of Executive Director. In 2007, Dr. Gillman graduated from Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee, North Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Social Work. In 2010, she earned a Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) and in 2013, she graduated from ITP with a Ph.D. in Psychology.

Dr. Gillman’s doctoral research topic was, The Psychospiritual Dimensions of Living with Life-Threatening Illness, which was published in 2013. Dr. Gillman, is both a long-term cancer survivor and twice a widow, and has an active private Therapeutic Life Coaching practice. She loves working with individuals who are seeking health of mind-body-soul, and who are seeking permanent weight loss, and how to redesign their lives to deal with everyday stress. Dr. Gillman teaches clients various meditation techniques, the use of HeartMath™, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and how to use Mindfulness to achieve permanent transformational change.



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