Board of Directors
Samantha (Sam) Horwitz, President
Sam is a 9/11 First Responder, former United States Secret Service Agent, speaker and author.
With her B.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, her J.D. from the Howard University School of Law, and experience as a Law Enforcement Officer, she has become an expert in handling stress and managing post-traumatic stress (PTS). She has spoken nationally to Law Enforcement, Veteran, business, and faith-based communities on how to recognize and combat the effects of PTS, how to minimize the damage stress can cause in the workplace, and how to support those who have PTS.
Sam’s been featured in People Magazine, on FOX, ABC, CBS, Blaze TV with Glenn Beck and in other local and national media. She is the author of The Silent Fall: A Secret Service Agent’s Story of Tragedy and Triumph After 9/11. Sam also serves on the board of Frontline Crisis Response Solutions, Heroes on the Water, and is the co-host of the award-winning MAD (Making a Difference) Radio show.
Jeff Freeman, Vice President
Officer Jeff Freeman was selected as the 2007 Officer of the Year in Rowlett, TX. He has been a police officer with the department since August 1999 and has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
Jeff has received 19 commendations and seven letters of appreciation during his tenure with the department. He was also recognized as the 2002 Officer of the Year.
Jeff holds an Advanced Peace Officer Certification. His special duties include crime scene, FTO training, and instructing.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, watching sports. Jeff has been instrumental in developing and instructing in-house training classes including mandated and specialized training. The classes have been made available and taught to outside departments and other personnel as well.
John Salerno, Secretary
John Salerno is a 9/11 first responder, a retired NYPD Detective turned Comedian (aka- The Comedy Cop) and the host of MAD (Making A Difference) Radio.
Growing up in Long Island, John has spent most of his life as a first responder working as a Fire Fighter/EMT and retiring from the NYPD as a Detective. Working the rough streets of Brooklyn, John has seen his fair share of how bad things can get. But he has also seen and recognized the good.
Since his diagnosis of PTSD, he decided not to allow his condition to stop him from making a difference in others’ lives. John is dedicated to bringing awareness to the suicide epidemic plaguing our first responder community. We are overloaded with bad news; it is time to hear about the GOOD things!
Steven Horwitz, DC, CCSP, CSCS, Treasurer
Steve is a wellness and performance consultant. His passion is to assist people (at any conditioning level) in obtaining an overall improved state of health and while increasing performance in any sport or competition type. He has dedicated himself to both identify and overcome the true causes of health and performance issues, treating the source of the problem. Steve is the co-owner and founder of Thor's Hammer Resilience and Recovery Solutions.
John Edmonson, LPC-S, Director of Programs
John is the Director of Wellness and Life Coach at Healing Springs Ranch in Tioga, TX. He integrates preventative medicine, mindfulness, and experiential therapy with the Healing Springs Ranch holistic integrated treatment model.
John is a bilingual therapist, with a reputed talent for program planning and management. He takes the lead as an educator, trainer, and coach for both the medical and mental health clinicians, bridging the gap and integrating the innovative treatment approach at Healing Springs Ranch.
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, minoring in Psychology and Communication at The University of Texas, and a Masters in Science in Counseling from Texas A&M. John is licensed with the state of Texas as a Counseling Supervisor and holds certifications as a K-12 teacher and school counselor.
He is passionate about making sure that his clients receive the proper treatment. He has firsthand knowledge that an ethical and holistic treatment approach improves the lives of the clients as well as their family, friends, and co-workers. John has made it his life’s mission to help people discover their purpose and recognize their potential. He does this by empowering both clients and those in the helping professions to be aware of their own need for self-care, and know their true potential. He coaches on how to move towards implementing that self-cultivation and spiritual insight into their lives.
He is a lifelong student of different cultures and languages and always at least one book going at any given time. John is a connoisseur of coffee and enjoys the discovery of a new café, and he is on a quest for the world’s best veggie burger, all while enjoying the great outdoors.