Colonel David W. Sutherland is the co-founder and Chairman of the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. He actively contributes to numerous national veteran and military family committees and boards. Sutherland speaks in communities at universities, businesses and conferences around the country as a vocal advocate and leader for transformational change. He is a vocal advocate for our service members, military veterans, their families, and the families of our fallen.

Colonel Sutherland culminated his 29 years of service following Brigade Command, as the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with principle focus on Warrior and Family Support. By visiting hundreds of communities and assisting thousands of organizations, he created a nationwide network of support utilizing grassroots solutions for veterans and their families. As the Chairman of the Dixon Center, Sutherland brings innovative approaches that harness existing community-based support to deliver profound results for veterans and their families.

Awards and decorations include, among others, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge Second Award and Senior Parachutist Badge. He is also the 2008 Freedom Award recipient presented by the No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, the 2011 Meritorious Service Award recipient presented by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and the 2013 Commitment to Service award presented by Give An Hour for his work on behalf of returning service members, veterans, military families and families of the fallen.

He holds a Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in History and Economics and a Masters in Strategic Studies.

Blue and Gold Star Family Partner

Latrese Dixon is the mother of four children and a Gold Star wife. After marrying Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon in 1994 she proudly lived the life of a military spouse. She understands the challenges, solutions, and joys of being a Blue Star family. Since Donnie's death (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2007) she understands the challenges of a Gold Star wife and family. She always displays courage, resilience, pride, and a compassion that is enabling her children to achieve their life goals.

Latrese received her Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2012 and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management in 2013. She assists the Dixon Center with program and solution development and research as well as providing volunteer services in her community and schools. Latrese is also the Author/ Publisher of her very own book: "From Tragedy to Triumph: The Life of A Widow". A soft spoken woman, she provides insights and expertise on the practical needs of our military and Gold Star families. Latrese's expertise is the result of living the life of both joy and tragedy, but never giving up.  


Colonel Duncan S. Milne is the President of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. He is an experienced leader with 25 years of active duty combat and non-combat experience in the United States Marine Corps. While on active duty he primarily served as an AH-1W attack helicopter pilot.  Colonel Milne has served at the highest levels of our military and government and brings a wealth of knowledge on interagency coordination as well as executive level private sector interaction.

Colonel Milne’s career after active duty has been dedicated in service to those who have had the honor and courage to wear our nation’s military uniform. Colonel Milne is an expert in veteran and military family issues, having served with Dixon Center since 2015. Colonel Milne is the recipient of numerous combat, operational, and support awards. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air War College, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

Vice President

Colonel (R) Sam Whitehurst is the Vice-President (Programs & Services) of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. He is an experienced leader with over 29 years of active duty combat and non-combat experience in the United States Army. He has led Soldiers in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan and has a deep understanding of the issues impacting our service members, veterans, and their families and the sacrifices they make in service to our country.

Colonel Whitehurst’s last assignment was the director of the Soldier For Life program; he was responsible for developing programs and creating opportunities for the over 100,000+ Soldiers that transition into the workforce or higher education every year.  He understands the value that our service members, veterans and family members bring with them from their military experience and he also understands the challenges in making that transition.  Colonel Whitehurst is the recipient of numerous combat, operational, and support awards. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a Master of Military Art and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Louisiana State University, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National War College.  

Director of Strategic Philanthropy

Nancy Lee is the Director of Strategic Philanthropy for Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. She is a dynamic non-profit leader with 13 years of experience in resource development, public relations, marketing, strategic planning, and program management.

Lee began her career coordinating the largest one-day charity golf event in the nation, raising over $5.5 million dollars for 500+ charities. She has been invited to share her experience in fundraising and program development at Wake Forest University, Virginia’s Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations, Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Conference, Furman University, and Habitat for Humanity Virginia. Lee has volunteered on numerous nonprofit committees and boards, serving as executive leader of the Julie Valentine Center’s board of directors for two years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Furman University.

Program/Administrative Manager

Sara Heidenheimer is the Program/Administrative Manager for the Dixon Center team. She is a proud Texan and received her Bachelor's of Business Administration from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Sara brings with her an array of skills in the areas of business administration, marketing, special events, and social media.

Her background includes work with the military and their families as the Newsletter Editor and Community Services Coordinator at Lincoln Military Housing in San Diego for five years. While there she produced and edited their newsletter, maintained relationships with other military affiliated organizations, and planned events large and small to enrich the lives of those in the military community. Prior to that Sara worked at the San Diego Armed Services YMCA as an Administrative Assistant and Program Coordinator where she helped facilitate and manage volunteer activities, provided outreach to military families at homecomings, and led tours of San Diego for those new to the area. 

Sara also volunteers with several different organizations, military minded as well as community minded, and has for years.  She is a proud military spouse and has been married to her husband for 17 years. He is currently serving in the United States Navy as a Chief Petty Officer. They have two sons, a dog, and a cat.  

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