Board of Directors
John Brulane “Dru” Brannen, CPA (Treasurer)
Certified Public Accountant & Founding Partner of Friedman Brannen, LLP
Mr. Brannen is a founding partner with the San Diego-based firm Friedman Brannen LLP, an innovator in estate, trust, business, and individual tax planning and protection. For more than three decades, Mr. Brannen has provided multi-level tax and tax consulting services to individuals and all forms of business entities. His expertise also includes representation before various governmental taxing agencies. He is an active member of the American Institute and California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Brannen attended both the University of Colorado and San Diego State University, graduating from SDSU’s School of Accountancy in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. He has also completed graduate courses at Golden Gate University.
Kristen Cole, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology / Behavioral Sciences, SDCCD
Dr. Cole is a licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego City College. In addition to teaching, Dr. Cole develops curriculum for the Mental Health Work Certificate Program, and serves as the faculty advisor to the Psi Beta National Honor Society in Psychology club on campus. Through her private practice she provides clinical supervision to military drug and alcohol counselors and conducts forensic psychological evaluations. She is a volunteer member of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team and a volunteer with the Camp Hope California grief camp for youth. Dr. Cole is editor of the book Helping You Help Others and the co-editor of the book Introduction to Academic and Career Opportunities in Psychology.
Partner at RJ Realty Investors
Jamie Looney works in partnership with Rodger Grove to oversee a real estate portfolio in Southern California and Arizona. Mr. Looney has expertise is the areas of personnel development, asset management, project planning, leasing and tenant relations. He has a proven record of success creating value for investors across a variety of property types in a dynamic and changing market. Mr. Looney served in the United States Marine Corps from 1990 – 2005 and obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was first stationed with Marine Security Force Company Norfolk, Virginia and then trained and deployed with the Second Battalion 5th Marine Regiment out of Camp Pendleton, California. He has been an active volunteer for P.O.W. since 2013.
Dianne Sparks, MS (Secretary)
Senior Human Resources Director, Hughes Network Systems (Ret.)
A Human Resource Executive for over thirty years, Ms. Sparks served most recently as the Senior Director of Human Resources at Hughes Network Systems where she managed and motivated employees while working closely with other senior executives to accomplish business objectives. Her specializations include organizational development, leadership and strategic planning. Since her retirement, Dianne has been actively involved in nonprofit leadership and philanthropy, having served as Chairman, board member, Advisory Council member and volunteer for the international nonprofit United through Reading; and as a founding board member and of Pugilistic Offensive Warrior Tactics, Inc. Ms. Sparks is recipient of the prestigious YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN Award 2010). She holds a BS in Criminal Justice and Corrections from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and an MS in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University.
Stephen P. Swinton, Esq.
Partner, Latham and Watkins, LLP
Mr. Swinton concentrates his practice on complex litigation involving patent rights and related intellectual property matters. Mr. Swinton has represented clients in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret matters in a variety of industries including software, electronics, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, semiconductor and telecommunications. Mr. Swinton has extensive trial and appellate experience. He has served as lead or trial counsel in utility and design patent disputes, as well as trademark and trade secret matters.
While in law school, Mr. Swinton served as an extern to the Honorable Roy L. Stephenson, Judge, US Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served with distinction as a Surface Line Officer (Surface Warfare Specialist) in the United States Navy and later worked as a process and manufacturing engineer with Procter & Gamble. Mr. Swinton is admitted to practice before numerous trial and appellate courts including the US Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California, and California Supreme Court. Mr. Swinton is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Circuit Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association and State Bar of California.
Todd Vance, B.A. (President and CEO)
Army Combat Veteran and Founder of P.O.W.
As a squad leader (Sgt.) in the U.S. Army Mr. Vance led more than 250 combat missions and 75 successful raids. He specialized in urban assault, high value target detaining, and close quarters combat. Mr. Vance began his fight training at San Diego’s original Muay Thai Training gym, Black Tiger, at just 14 years of age. Since leaving the military, he has competed twice in amateur MMA and is 2-0.Todd developed the P.O.W. program in 2010 while studying social work at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in San Diego, California. Mr. Vance earned his B.A. in social work from PLNU in 2013, and P.O.W. became a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2013.
Charles A. Williams, Esq.
Tax Manager, Friedman Brannen, LLP
For almost a decade, Mr. Williams has provided a full range of tax services – both through his work with Friedman Brannen LLP and previous experience with Ernst & Young LLP. He currently supports the firm as Tax Manager in providing services to individuals and all forms of business entities within the United States, Canada and foreign countries. These services may include individual and business tax consulting, tax return preparation, foreign filings, trust and/or and estate returns. Before joining Friedman Brannen LLP, Mr. Williams obtained his juris doctorate from the University of San Diego Law School, bringing with him a unique background to the field of tax law. He attended San Diego State University and obtained a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He is an active member of the San Diego County Bar (Taxation Section), and is certified to practice in Military Courts. Mr. Williams is a former member of the United States Marine Corps Western Region Defense Bar/Continuing Education, MCB Camp Pendleton, California. When not busy at work, he can be found running or swimming near the beaches in San Diego.