Lance Corporal Dale K. Graham, U.S. Marine Corps, is a living legend – encouraging and helping veterans to file their benefits claims for almost 30 years.
He returned from Vietnam in June of 1967 and was discharged. In 1990 he began doing volunteer work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he studied the rules of veteran benefits procedures. He later became a federally accredited agent.
Beginning as an impassioned work to care for others just like him, the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has now helped more than 19,000 living veterans, spanning all 77 counties in Oklahoma, 45 states and four foreign countries. People drive from all over the United States to file their claims at the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation.
Our mission is to serve military veterans and their families. Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation’s primary focus is to share its collective knowledge and experience to help with the Veterans Administration claims process. The organization also provides assistance and guidance for a temporary source of food, rent, utilities, shelter and transportation to and from medical facilities when necessary for veterans and their families.
Board of Directors
Jeri D. Holmes, J.D.
Nonprofit Solutions, P.C.
Jeri Holmes has been practicing law in Oklahoma for over 20 years and started Nonprofit Solutions in 2004. Jeri has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. As a lawyer for tax-exempt organizations and government entities, Jeri helps organizations create a foundation for future growth by ensuring legal compliance and strong governance.
Her services extend beyond simply providing legal counsel to organizations. Her goal is to ensure their ongoing success by strengthening governing documents, policies and operational efficiencies. She guides organizations in writing or rewriting bylaws and policies to ensure compliance, helps navigate the world of contracts and complex relationships, and helps them obtain or change tax-exempt status. In some situations, Jeri has served as interim CEO to provide more in-depth support for organizations facing a significant change or challenge.
Jeri also facilitates board trainings and legal responsibility classes for a number of organizations and foundations and teaches a Law and Nonprofit Organizations class for the master’s program at Oklahoma City University. She has a Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma. Jeri is also a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class XXIX.
Through the addition of Alex Towler, J.D., Nonprofit Solutions has expanded services to include Human Resources and Estate Planning for philanthropists.
Lora Malone, Executive Director
Lora Malone is currently the Executive Director of the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation. She has served in this role since June, 2017. She is responsible for the overseeing the day-to-day operations of the foundation, she works with the volunteers and board of directors to accomplish the Foundation’s goals. She works to collaborate with others in the community to increase and maintain the foundation’s visibility. Before coming to Foundation, Lora served as the Vice President of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, President of the UT Arlington Alumni Association, and served Oklahoma City University as the Principal Gift Officer.
Lora and her husband, Gallen, have one daughter, Reagan and currently reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.
She currently serves as the Secretary for the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation Board of Directors.
Darla Jackson is a member of the Law Library staff at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to working at OU, she served as the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) Practice Management Advisor, providing assistance to attorneys in using technology and other tools to efficiently manage their offices.
While at the OBA, she was involved with Oklahoma access to justice initiatives. Access to Justice is a cause to which she is committed. She serves as the Vice Chair of the OBA Access to Justice Committee and supports the OBA Heroes Program, which provides legal advice and assistance to those who have honorably served this country and are unable to afford to hire an attorney. She is also a member of the OBA Military & Veterans Law Section, Indian Law Section, and Law Office Management and Technology Section.
She is a technology enthusiast, legal information and research professional, an experienced instructor, and a veteran practitioner. Prior to joining the OBA, she served as the Director of the Law Library at the University of South Dakota and as the Associate Director of the Oklahoma City University Law Library. Before entering academia, she was a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, serving in a number of postings including Associate Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma. She also holds a Masters of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Oklahoma, an LL.M. in International Law from the University of Georgia School of Law and a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University. She is currently enrolled in a second LL.M. program studying Indigenous Peoples Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
In addition to her work with the Oklahoma Bar Association, she also serves as the Vice Chair of the Computer Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Librarians and is the Secretary for the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation Board of Directors.
Joshua’s personal philosophy is to be an influence in all that he endeavors. To that end, he has dedicated himself to service in his community through both his professional career and civic efforts.
Hinkle works as Assistant Vice-President, Treasury Management Officer for Republic Bank & Trust in his hometown of Norman, OK.
With 15 years in the financial industry and 13 years working with various non-profits, he has been able to find a balance between serving small-businesses and non-profits, with the understanding that our community is only as strong as the organizations that it is comprised of.
Hinkle received his B.A in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma in 2008, and his Master’s in Public Administration from Randall University in 2017.
Hinkle was the recipient of the Journal Record Achievers Under 40 Award in 2018, as well as the Next Under 40 Award presented by the Norman Chamber of Commerce in 2016. Hinkle also received the Outstanding Program Award from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in 2013 for his efforts in response with the Moore Public Schools Foundation to the May 20th, 2013 tornado.
In addition to serving as the inaugural President for the Dale K. Graham Veteran’s Foundation, Hinkle is also a member of the Norman Arts Council, The East Side Business Association of Norman, The Norman Chamber of Commerce / Norman Next, Legacy Rotary of Norman, Duck’s Unlimited, and participates in the Citizen’s Police Academy of Norman. As well as actively fundraises for the United Way, Bridges, and The Center for Children and Families.
Hinkle lives in Norman with his wife of 10 years, Chelsea and their two daughters’; Madison and Avery.
Marlon Tenal James
Marlon T. James is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he attended Northwest Classen High School. Upon graduating from Northwest, Marlon was able to attend Langston University on an academic scholarship. While enrolled at Langston, Marlon simultaneously served in the Oklahoma National Guard and was a cadet in the ROTC program at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). He successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management from Langston and days later, received his commission from UCO, as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
After graduation, Marlon entered active duty and has been stationed all around the world. Throughout his 23-years in the Armed Forces, he has held positions of increased responsibility in management, human resources, operations, and leadership. Marlon was fortunate to command two companies, including one in combat where he was awarded the Bronze Star with “Valor” due to his actions (Read the article).
Now retired from the Army, he is currently employed with the Department of Defense as a Program Analyst in the Strategic Planning Unit, located at Tinker Air Force Base; he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Marlon most recently completed a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership degree from Webster University. He is also a proud and active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and is active in many roles throughout the community, his church, and other organizations.
Marlon has been married to Karrie L. James for five years and they have five awesome children: Marlon James II, Victoria, Kasey, Michael, and Nicholas. In his spare time, Marlon enjoys spending time with his family, friends, mentoring, tutoring, public speaking and serving the community.
David A. Poarch is an active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) where he served as the state-wide organization’s elected president in 2015. Prior to his service as its president he twice served as a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors, 2001-2003 and 2010-2012.
Mr. Poarch earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1973 and graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1977. He attended college and law school following service in Vietnam as a combat medic with the United States Army, 1st Cavalry Division (1967-1968).
He began his legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney in Oklahoma City. He currently practices with the firm of Bailey and Poarch in Norman, Oklahoma, where he is engaged primarily in the areas of estate planning, probate, and real estate.
Following service as in-house general counsel and chief operating officer for a private financial services business later acquired by a Fortune 500 company, he accepted an appointment as the Assistant Dean for External Affairs at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, where he served from 1997 until his retirement in 2011. In that capacity he also taught paralegals and law students.
He is a member of the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations, as well as a past and present member of several local bar associations, including the Cleveland County Bar. He is a former elected member of the American Law Institute of the ABA (ALI-ABA), and fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Foundation.
Mr. Poarch is also serves as the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of Norman.
Les Nunn, a lawyer, was a Combat JAG in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He served in the USAF at March AFB, California, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, and Hahn Air Base, Germany. He worked for the Navajo Tribe and was the Administrator of the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry. Les is a former trial lawyer who retired as a professor and the Chair of the Accounting and Finance Department, College of Business, University of Southern Indiana. He lives on a ranch in Pauls Valley, OK.
Having contracted Lymphoma cancer from Agent Orange in Vietnam, Les is a 100% Disabled Veteran who understands problems facing veterans. He serves on the boards of directors of the Dale K Graham Foundation, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Garvin County Cattlemen’s Association, and is a member of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and the New Mexico Wool Growers Association. Les graduated from the University of Evansville, University of Denver College of Law, and the King Ranch Institute of Ranch Management certificate program at Texas A & M.
Marilyn M. Kaplan
Marilyn M. Kaplan (formerly, Geiger), retired in December, 2014, from her position as Vice President of Philanthropy for Mercy Oklahoma. She is a Certified Public Accountant, who, prior to joining Mercy, was Executive Director of Norman Regional Health Foundation in Norman, OK.
Marilyn, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University. She has worked either full- or part-time in public accounting throughout her career, specializing in income tax and estate tax planning. Marilyn also gained valuable financial planning experience as a life insurance agent and registered representative for five years. She has taught accounting at the college level, both in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Ada, Oklahoma, and has served as faculty for a number of professional seminars locally on topics including Estate Planning and Charitable Gift Planning. She has served as faculty for OSCPA’s Journey to Financial Freedom Conference and for The Center for Nonprofits. In Marilyn’s eleven years of full-time fundraising, she assisted in securing gifts of over $35,000,000 for capital projects and ongoing programming in healthcare organizations.
Marilyn is a charter member and past president of Cross Timbers Rotary Club in Norman, and past club treasurer. She completed a three-year stint serving as Treasurer in Rotary District 5770, she served ten years as a member of the Rotary Bi-District Foundation Banquet Committee, and she has chaired Rotary District 5770’s committee to promote attendance at the Rotary International Conventions. She served as Rotary District 5770 Governor in 2015-16. She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and of Leadership Norman, has served on the board of Norman Chamber of Commerce, and is a past member of the board of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, and past Trustee of the OSCPA’s Educational Foundation. At the June, 2007, Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, Marilyn was named one of five Distinguished CPAs in Oklahoma. In September, 2010, Marilyn was named Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry for the State of Oklahoma. In July, 2013, Marilyn was named one of Fifty Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma for 2013 by The Journal Record.
Together, Marilyn and her husband Steve are parents of six adult children, and they have eight grandchildren. They love to travel, and she always has a good book near at hand.
Shelli Ribaudo is a Technical Account Manager with the Microsoft South Central team. Shelli has experience in the Oil and Gas industry where she has worked closely with business and IT groups leading enterprise technology implementations and change management initiatives. In her consulting and internal roles, she helped drive strategy, end-to-end process and end-user adoption. She is passionate about technology as the foundation for building value. “It’s a win to build alignment between technology and the business that fully accelerates the way an organization works.”
Shelli and her husband, David, call Oklahoma City home. Shelli has three sons that’s she is very proud of. Shelli’s oldest son is an Air Force Combat Communications Reservist and electrical engineering student. He and his wife live in Norman. Her middle son is a Navy Corpsman based in Naples, Italy. Her youngest son is 14 and conquering middle school. He has promised his mom he will not join any military branch any time soon.
Shelli earned her MBA from Oklahoma City University. She is a photographer and a fencer. She holds her Moniteur d’Epee fencing coach certification and teaches youth fencing. She is a Denver native and takes any excuse offered to travel, hike, ski or just hit the mountains.
Charles B. Debellevue
Colonel Chuck DeBellevue earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF in January 1968. He attended Undergraduate Navigator Training and, after F-4 upgrade training, was assigned to the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. He was assigned to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in October 1971. While there, Chuck flew 220 combat missions—96 of which were over North Vietnam and is credited with the destruction of six North Vietnamese jet fighters in aerial combat–four MiG-21s and two MiG-19s. Chuck is the leading “ACE” from the war in Southeast Asia.
Following his combat tour he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training and upgraded into the F-4. He served in a number of squadron, staff and command positions. He was the commander of the 432nd Combat Support Group at Misawa Air Base, Japan and the 95th Air Base Wing at Edwards AFB, CA. His final assignment was as the commander of AFROTC Detachment 440 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Chuck and his wife, Sally, were the 1994 recipients of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award, given to the top wing commander and spouse in Air Force Material Command. He, along with the two other AF Ace’s, received the MacKay Trophy in 1972. Chuck is a command pilot with over 3,000 flying hours, 550 hours of which were in combat.
His military decorations include the Air Force Cross, 3 Silver Stars, 3 Legions of Merit, 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 18 Air Medals. He retired effective 1 Feb 1998 with 30 years of service and was the last American Ace on active duty.
Following retirement from the Air Force, Chuck worked for a number of companies, both local and national, and for Oklahoma State University. He currently works for Performance Aircraft Services, Inc., enhancing legacy aircraft reliability. He is a member of the board of directors of Edmond Family Counseling, Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation and is also the Vice President for Veteran Affairs for the Gerrity Chapter of the Air Force Association (central Oklahoma).
Chuck was selected as the Outstanding Alumni of the University of Louisiana – Lafayette for 2008 and was inducted into the Louisiana Aviation Hall of Fame on May 22, 2011 and the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame on November 9, 2012. In September 2014, the Air Force Association awarded the American Fighter Aces their Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, he, along with all the American Fighter Aces, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014. He was the Air Warrior Courage Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year for 2017.
Chuck DeBellevue is married to Sally Kanik of Rancho Cordova, CA. They have two daughters and a son and four grandchildren.
Stanley L. Evans
Stanley L. Evans assumed the position of Assistant Dean for Students at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in August, 2003; immediately after his law school graduation. His selection for this position was unprecedented in two ways. It is almost unheard of for a person to be a student one year, and be the Assistant Dean responsible for all student related actions and activities the following year. Second, Dean Evans is the first African American to be appointed to a Dean position at any law school in the state of Oklahoma. As Assistant Dean for Students, he had responsibilities encompassing the entire range of law student activities and services. Although he retired from OU Law in 2012, he has continued to help students and the College as a counselor, advisor, and recruiter.
Almost immediately, upon his assumption as Dean of Students, positive changes were seen at the College of Law:
- The minority first year enrollment rate jumped from 17 % to 28 % in one year.
- Not only did the numbers of all minorities at the College of Law increase, the group of incoming minorities had the highest LSAT and GPA averages ever.
- The bar passage rate of the College of Law graduates jumped from 90 % to 97 %.
- The bar passage rate of OU minority graduates jumped from 75% to above 90%
- Five times since 2005, the OU minority bar passage rate has been 100%
- At the same time, the retention rate remains at 94% and the hire rate remains at 96%.
- During his tenure as Dean of Students, OU Law was recognized in 2009, as one of the 20 best law schools for diversity in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
Dean Evans was appointed by Governor Keating (R) and again by Governor Henry (D) to the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission. He energized the entire state on Human Rights awareness and sought recognition for people that have been giants in this important area of Oklahoma History through his management of the State’s annual Human Rights Day Program. In 2008, Dean Evans was selected as the Chairman of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission where he provided leadership to the commission and the two state offices.
He just began his third term on the Board of Trustees of the University of Saint Mary at Leavenworth, KS. He played a critical role in the selection of a new university president that has positively changed the social and academic fabric of St Mary. He also participated in the successful navigation of a fiscal crisis that had a strong likelihood of closing the University. Today, the University is thriving and fiscally sound. In 2016, Dean Evans was appointed to the Langston University Board of Trustees for Oklahoma City and Tulsa by Governor Fallin.
From 1995 to 1997, Colonel Evans was the Garrison Commander of Fort Leavenworth, where twice during his tenure; the Fort was selected as runner-up for “Best Managed Fort in the entire Army” with an $85,000 cash prize. Fort Leavenworth was also designated as the “Best Hometown in the Army” under his leadership.
Stanley L. Evans retired from the United States Army in March, 2000, with almost 32 years of military service, and started law school at the age of 54. Colonel Evans’ final military assignment was as a Dean of the Army’s Command and General Staff College, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There, he was responsible for the daily operations and management of the Army’s premier academic institution that had a yearly student body of over 5700 officers. He led the Fort’s initiative to provide over 700 computers to Kansas public schools. He was honored as the Alpha Phi Alpha’s “Leavenworth Man of the Year” in 1998 and again in 1999. In the years, 1997-1999, he was instrumental in helping prepare and present the Congressional Proposal that led to the new $130M Lewis and Clark Military College Facility.
Dean Evans has been involved in a number of community and civic activities. He was selected to be the Military Delegate of the Anchorage Alaska School Board. He has worked in tutorial programs for elementary age children in Alaska, Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma. He has coached little league sports and been a Scout leader. The honor of Delta Sigma Theta “Man of the Year 1979” was bestowed on Colonel Evans in Tyler, TX for his significant contributions to that community.
In Oklahoma, he served as the Chairman of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s (OBA) Military and Veteran’s Section; and is one of the lead volunteers in the Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes program which provides free legal services to soldiers, veterans and their families. He is also the chief legal coordinator for Oklahoma City’s MAKE-A-WILL Program, which provides free wills and trusts to African American families. For his work in these projects and his mentoring of Oklahoma young lawyers and law students, he received the OBA Pro Bono Person of the Year in 2011 and an Oklahoma Governor’s Commendation. His work on these community projects and others continues.
The Evans are very active in their church – Wildewood Christian, Oklahoma City – where he was the chairman of a recently completed $2,500,000 sanctuary construction project. He also leads “Children’s Church” on a monthly basis, and he also serves on the regional Commission on the Clergy which selects and disciplines ministers within the Christian Church.
While an OU law student (2000-03), Dean Evans received the Joseph Rarick Award for Student Contributions, the OU Legal Clinic Distinguished Student Award, and the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Scholarship. He has also served on the Academic Accreditation Committee, and as coordinator of the OU Law Mentor Program.
He was born in Athens, Texas, and was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is a 1964 graduate of Douglass HS. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree at the University of Central Oklahoma and was awarded a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Texas (Tyler). Dean Evans received his Juris Doctor (JD) at the University of Oklahoma. His professional military education includes graduation from both the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft Leavenworth, KS and the Army War College at Carlisle, PA.
Colonel Evans is a Viet-Nam War Veteran, who has received numerous Military Honors and Awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star. He also received the Silver Order of Mercury for service as the 5th Regimental Adjutant of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, where he oversaw the revision of the entire Signal Enlisted Soldier Career Structure. He was also selected to the OCS Hall of Fame at Ft Sill, OK in 1997.
In 2009, Dean Evans received the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, recognizing exemplary communication and leadership while serving his community, State, and Nation. He was previously singled out by the Oklahoma City Urban League to receive its Annual Equal Opportunity Community Recognition Award in 2005. He was also received Governor Henry’s Commendation for his work in Human Rights in 2003. In 2011, Dean Evans received the Oklahoma County Bar Association “Pro Bono” Award for his leadership in community service projects in Oklahoma. Later in the same year, Dean Evans received the Oklahoma State Bar Association “Pro Bono” Award. He was again given the Governor’s Commendation Award by Governor Mary Fallon in 2012. Stan Evans was selected for the OBA Diversity Award and the Oklahoma HeartLine Community Leadership Award in 2014. He received the OBA Trailblazer Award in 2016 (a lifetime achievement/service award).
In 2006 his article My Thoughts on Law School and on Becoming A Lawyer, was published in The African American Law School Survival Guide and he made a CLE presentation to the Tulsa Bar Association on Diversity – Recruit, Retain, and Advance. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dean Evans authored wide-ranging articles supporting military operations and initiatives.
Dean Evans and his wife of 48 years (Saundra) have two children, Lisa (deceased – former OKC TV News award winning anchor Lee Evans) and Stan II (a commercial video-photographer and movie producer). Dean and Mrs. Evans currently reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
He and Saundra have established several scholarships in the memory of their daughter Lee Evans; including an annual $1000 scholarship for an Oklahoma City HS senior active in community activities, and an annual $4000 scholarship for an OU journalism major. They also contribute to student support at the OU College of Law.
The Dale K. Graham Veteran’s Foundation has one full-time employee, and every dollar raised goes back to the veterans.