About

/About
About 2017-12-06T02:26:05+00:00

Contact Us

If you’d like to attend one of our monthly breakfasts,  join us on a day trip, volunteer, or talk to us about recording a veteran’s oral history.

Main Contact: Todd DePastino, Exective Director

Write: 200 Magnolia Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Phone: 412-623-9029

Emailtodd@veteransbreakfastclub.com

Our Mission

The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten. We believe that through our work, people will be educated, healed, and inspired.

The Veterans Breakfast Club is a non-religious, non-political 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Goals

  • To create communities of listening around veterans and their stories.
  • To promote veteran storytelling programs.
  • To capture, preserve, and share veterans’ stories for future generations.
  • To raise public awareness about the veteran experience.

Meet Our Team

Todd DePastino
Todd DePastinoExecutive Director
Todd DePastino is the founding director of the Veterans Breakfast Club, which he co-founded in 2009 with Dan Cavanaugh. Todd’s interest in veterans’ stories first grew out of his work as a historian.

Todd is author and editor of seven books, including the award-winning Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front (W.W. Norton), a biography of the famed WWII cartoonist.

He has a Ph.D. in American History from Yale University and teaches at Penn State Beaver and Waynesburg University, where he received the Lucas-Hathaway Award for Teaching Excellence. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters.

Nick Grimes
Nick GrimesStorytelling Project Director
Nick Grimes develops storytelling programs and coordinate oral history interviews with post-9/11 veterans.

Nick is an Army veteran who served from 2004-2011, including a total 27 months in combat in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division.

“I’m excited to join the VBC staff and launch this important project,” says Nick. “I think many of us who served since September 11, 2001 are ready to start telling our stories, and I think people are ready to hear them. I look forward to our voices joining those from the older generations heard at VBC breakfasts and in.”

Lauren DelRicci
Lauren DelRicciDirector of Outreach
Originally from New Jersey, Lauren DelRicci came to Pittsburgh in 2017 to work with The Bank of New York Mellon, but her passion has always been to work with the veterans community.

As part of her fellowship with The Mission Continues— a veteran organization that empowers veterans to find purpose through community impact—Lauren joined the VBC team where she contributes to furthering organizational outreach, co-hosting the Longest War podcast, and emceeing veterans storytelling events.

Lauren holds degrees from Rowan and Monmouth Universities, where she studied public relations and corporate communications.

She is a veteran of the US Navy and she lives in the North Hills with Linus and Lucy, her beloved service dogs.

Kevin Farkas
Kevin FarkasMedia Producer
Kevin Farkas is an award-winning multimedia producer working in association with the Veterans Breakfast Club. He is also the founder of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative and The Social Voice Project, Inc.

His productions appear with the Veterans Breakfast Club, StoryCorps, the Senator John Heinz History Center/Smithsonian Institution, and in several documentaries, museum exhibits, as well as oral history coursework and publications.

Donald Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate, recognizes Kevin’s creative audio stories as a significant example of an innovative new genre of public-minded oral history.

Kevin is a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania and a US Navy veteran.

Board of Directors

Ray Amelio (President)

Ben Stahl (Vice President)

Michele Zmijanac (Secretary)

Amber Spells (Treasurer)

Rocky Bleir (Honorary)

Clem Blazewick

Dana Del Bianco

Julian Gray

Betty Karleski

Ben Wright