Board of Directors

Vice Admiral Lou Crenshaw

Vice Admiral Lou Crenshaw, U. S. Navy (Retired), was an A-6 Bombardier/Navigator in the fleet and subsequently commanded an Attack Squadron, Carrier Air Wing and Carrier Battle Group.  He also was Commander of Navy Region Europe and was the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements and Analysis.  He now enjoys retirement on Virginia’s Northern Neck with the lovely Mrs. Crenshaw and a host of grandchildren. VADM Crenshaw has served as NSHF’s Chairman of the Board since 2012.

Rear Admiral Jeffrey Hathaway

Rear Admiral Jeffrey Hathaway, U. S. Coast Guard (Retired) is a 34-year U.S. Coast Guard veteran, retiring from active duty in 2007. During his active duty career RADM Hathaway had command of several major cutters. While serving as the Navy’s Director of Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection, he was stationed at the Pentagon on 9/11/2001, when American Airlines flight 77 tore through the building. Surviving himself, 27 of his immediate staff  perished as a result of the attack. He is currently president of Security Shield Associates and serves on several non-profit board of directors. RADM Hathaway has served as NSHF’s Vice Chairman since 2012.

Captain Mark Vanderberg

Captain Mark Vanderberg, U. S. Navy, retired from the Navy in 1997 after 27 years of active service. Where he commanded three aviation commands (HS-5, HS-1 and COMHSWING ONE) and two ship commands (USS MOBILE (LKA-115), USS NASSAU (LHA-4).  He has served on the board of the U.S. Naval Institute, Association of the U.S. Navy, and as director and trustee for the Naval Helicopter Association. As a life member of the American Association of Individual Investors, he served as the Treasurer and later as President of the Washington D.C. chapter until 2006. CAPT Vanderberg has served as the NSHF’s Treasurer since 2020.

Vice Admiral James Amerault

Vice Admiral James Amerault, U.S. Navy (Retired), a member of USNA Class of 65, loved every moment of his 36-year career from Brown Water Navy to his last 4 years at the Pentagon. Presently, VADM Amerault helps his youngest daughter give back to NSHF through the apparel brands they started together, The Admiral’s Daughters & Old Salt, and as the coordinator of the Annual Southeast Region Golf Tournament. VADM Amerault serves as Chairman Emeritus, on the NSHF Board of Directors and is a founding member.

Chris Decker

Chris Decker is the President and Founder of Planate Management Group with more than 35 years of U.S. Navy Installations military and civilian installation management experience both in uniform and as a senior government civilian and contractor. Since 2007, Mr. Decker has led a diverse team of technical experts who are experienced in working in some of the most complex and difficult environments worldwide providing planning, design, construction, and professional services solutions mostly for Navy/NAVFAC/CNIC clients. Mr. Decker serves as Senior Vice President, on the NSHF Board of Directors and is a founding member.

Heidi Weller

Heidi Weller is a Registered Nurse with 15 years of in-hospital experience. A navy spouse for 13 years, Ms. Weller found reward in giving back when she began volunteering with Navy Safe Harbor Foundation in 2014. Serving as Secretary from 2015 through 2018, Ms. Weller assumed the position as President in 2019, a position she continues to fill.

Dr. Patricia Watts Kelley

Dr. Patricia Watts Kelley is a retired Navy Captain who is a Family and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and research scientist. Her area of research and expertise is care of military and veterans and their families – specifically in the area of caregiver support and health promotion. She is currently on the NSHF board and serves as the  Secretary.

Arne Nelson

Arne Nelson, Captain U.S. Navy Retired).  He is a 31-year veteran Naval Aviator, followed by 16 years leading non-profit charity organizations. He currently volunteers time in the non-profit community arena. He recently earned a Certificate in Children’s Book Writing from the University of California, San Diego.  CAPT Nelson has been on the NSHF Board for 2 years as a Director.

Admiral Christopher W. Cole,

Rear Admiral Christopher W. Cole, U.S. Navy (Retired), served in the United States Navy for thirty-two years.  A Naval Aviator, he commanded two helicopter squadrons and two amphibious warships.  As a Flag Officer he commanded Navy installations in the Republic of Korea and the five-state Mid-Atlantic Region.  His final Navy assignment was as the Director of Ashore Readiness for the Chief of Naval Operations. Since retirement from the Navy in 2004 Chris has worked as a consultant to private industry and the Department of Defense.  He now serves on the Board of Directors of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation.

David Vardeman

David Vardeman, Department Head Not for Profit and Global Business Development, at Capital Bank, focusing on Veteran Service Organizations and traditional Not for Profit Organizations throughout the USA.  Over the last eight years he has learned about and now specializes in:  Military Veteran Health Care, Military Professional Transition, and Military Historical Preservation.  Mr. Vardeman has been on the NSHF Board of Directors since 2016: and currently focuses on the Annual Veterans Day Luncheon at the Army Navy Country Club, Arlington VA.  This annual event honors the US Navy/US Coast Guard Wounded Warrior-Sailor of the Year.

Kip Route

As a Navy spouse of 50 years, Kip Route has been involved with military family issues for several decades. She was the CNO’s Ombudsman-at-Large; was a director of a non-profit devoted to Navy family readiness; and continues to facilitate a course for senior spouse leaders at National Defense University. Ms. Route serves as Director, on the NSHF Board of Directors.

Ms. Kuruvilla

Ms. Kuruvilla has nearly 25+ years of executive level leadership. She became the CEO of CC Pathways in June of 2015, an executive coaching and leadership development services firm. She also serves as Chief Operations Officer of GMHILL Engineering. She serves as a Director on the NSHF Board, where she was Treasurer from 2014-2018.

Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon a Vietnam Veteran served in the United States Navy in various sea and shore billets. Retiring as a Master Chief in 1980 was employed by Northeast Utilities as a telecommunication manager at the Millstone Nuclear Power Station.   Following retirement, in 1998 he volunteered at the Naval Submarine Base New London, CT Retired Activities Office (RAO) and currently serves as Director.  Though this position he plays a vital part in yearly briefings of Military Retirees in Connecticut and surrounding States.  He presently serves on Congressman Joe Courtney’s (D-2CT) Veterans Advisory Council.   He serves as a member of the Secretary of the Navy Retiree Council,  and is the President of the Nautilus Chapter of the AUSN.

Jerry Hieb

Mr. Hieb retired in 2022, after a distinguished 35- year civilian career with the Navy. He served in a number of senior leadership positions, including a position in the Senior Executive Service as Director of Fleet and Family Readiness (N9) for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).   In addition, he served as the CNIC N9 Deputy Director and prior to that he was the Executive Director Navy Region Midwest.