Who We Are
Easter Seals Dixon Center is changing the conversation about veterans and military families to highlight their potential and create life-changing opportunities. We work nationally and locally to break down barriers and connect individuals and organizations with easily accessible solutions veterans and military families need to access meaningful employment, education, and healthcare.
In communities across the country, Easter Seals affiliates deliver services that veterans and military families need to live productive, successful lives. Easter Seals Dixon Center’s national credibility and community-based reach provide an unmatched resource enabling our veterans and military families to succeed where they live.
David W. Sutherland
Colonel David W. Sutherland is the co-founder and Chairman of Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services and the Chief Strategy Officer, Easter Seals 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 Easter Seals 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.
Kimberly Mitchell is the President and Co-Founder of Easter Seals Dixon Center. Kim speaks at conferences across the country, and is a vocal advocate for our military service members, veterans, military families, and families of the fallen. She is also an official spokesperson for the Department of Defense 50 Year Vietnam War Commemoration Committee.
Kim served in the United States Navy for 17 years as a Surface Warfare Officer serving onboard surface ships and at shore commands. Her last 2 years on active duty were as the Deputy Director for the Office of Warrior and Family Support. She has visited hundreds of communities and has assisted thousands of organizations and together with Colonel David Sutherland, has created a nationwide network of support utilizing grassroots solutions to address the challenges of transition and reintegration for our service members, veterans and military families.
Kim has spoken at the YWCA of San Gabriel Valley Women of Achievement Awards Dinner; several events sponsored by Bank of America; General Federation of Women’s Clubs; Society of Fundraising Professionals Conference on Philanthropy; Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Annual Father’s Day Ceremony at the Wall; and the first Vietnam Veterans Honor Flight in 2013.
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 Easter Seals Dixon Center with program and solution development and research as well as providing volunteer services in her community and schools. A soft spoken woman, Latrese provides insights and expertise on the practical needs of our military and Gold Star families. Her expertise is the result of living the life of both joy and tragedy, but never giving up.
Senior Vice President
Colonel Duncan S. Milne is the Senior Vice President, Easter Seals 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, serving primarily 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 has spent the last several years advocating for Veterans issues and most recently served as the Easter Seals Veterans Staffing Network representative on the Veterans Opportunity to Work/Veterans Employment Initiative (VOW/VEI) program in support of the VA. Colonel Milne is the recipient of numerous combat, operational, and support awards. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Management and Master’s Degrees from the Air War College in Military Operational Art and Science and the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies.
Sara Heidenheimer is the Administrative Coordinator for the Easter Seals Dixon Center team. She is originally from Texas where she 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 is a proud military spouse and has been married to her husband J.G. for 14 years. He is currently serving in the United States Navy as a Chief Petty Officer. They have two sons, Zachary and Ryan, a dog names Zeus, and a cat named Hermes.