Ben Stahl, D.Sc.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ben Stahl is the Chief Executive Officer of Veterans Leadership Program. A Pittsburgh native, Ben grew up in the working-class borough of Swissvale and is a proud graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School. A Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he has served onboard the USS Gladiator, USS Avenger, USS Dextrous and at the Naval Sea Systems Command Southwestern Regional Maintenance Center.
Ben is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans, and has been included in Smart Business Magazine’s “Smart 50”. Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in Social Science, with a dual concentration in History and Government; a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership; and a Doctor of Science in Information Systems and Communications, all from Robert Morris University.
Toshua Jarrett, MS
Chief Development Officer
Toshua Jarrett is the Chief Development Officer of Veterans Leadership Program. A native of Marion Center, Pennsylvania, Toshua was a Combat Medic in the United States Army and is a Veteran of the historic 1st Infantry Division, otherwise known as “The Big Red One”.Toshua holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Seton Hill University and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University.
Toshua is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans, and has been recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times as a “2019 Woman of Influence”. Toshua and her team, work to create and increase current revenue streams to effectively increase programming and organizational sustainability.
Chief Operating Officer
Christy Pietryga, a Pittsburgh native, is VLP's Chief Operating Officer. Christy attended Oakland Catholic High School, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services and Nonprofit Organizations from Bucknell University. Christy joined the VLP team as a Housing Case Manager in 2014 and has worked alongside Veterans experiencing housing instability to locate and move into permanent housing.
Christy is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc’s Leadership Development Initiative, included in the 2018 class of WHIRL Magazine’s “20 In Their 20’s”, and the 2019 class of Pittsburgh Business Times “30 Under 30”. On a daily basis, Christy and her team provide essential services to local Veterans.
Director of Finance
Dana Curtin is the Director of Finance at Veterans Leadership Program. She oversees the finance department of this $4.9 million not-for-profit organization and is responsible for its financial administration.
Soon after graduating from Langley High School, Dana started her career as a New Business Administrator in the life insurance industry. She earned her Life & Accident Insurance license, and through much hard work and dedication became an Operations Manager- a title she held for over 30 years before coming to VLP.
Dana now manages all grants awarded to VLP. She audits expenditures for all programs at VLP, making sure the staff follow organizational and governmental policies and procedures. In addition, Dana handles preparing and submitting invoices in a timely manner, approving check requests, and verifying payroll for processing- plus she completes on-boarding for new employees.
Dana is originally from Pittsburgh, and resides with her son in the Pittsburgh area.
Director of Business Development
Randy Levander is the Director of Business Development at Veterans Leadership Program.
A native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Randy is a proud graduate of Uniontown Area High School.
He served for 16 years in the United States Air Force Security Forces and is a graduate of Chapman University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology.
Randy has served his fellow military members and veterans since 2011 within Veterans Courts and as a Deployment & Reintegration Coach and Financial Coach. He was a contributing author to “Promoting Successful Integration”, a modern guide for service members transitioning to civilian life.
Director of Public Relations
Melissa Ernst is the Director of Public Relations at Veterans Leadership Program. Melissa's passion for Veterans comes from her large military family, including her father who served over 30 years in the United States Air Force.
Melissa has worked in the Veteran industry since 2014 in the fields of employment, suicide prevention, and housing. She is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she studied Pre-Law and Military Studies. She also completed a Social Marketing Specialization through Northwestern University.
Melissa was recognized as a 2019 "Who's Next" for Advocacy by The Incline and a 2018 "Empowering Woman in Philanthropy" by Inspiring Lives Magazine. Melissa works to effectively increase mission awareness and engage the community.
Director of Client Experience
Timothy Martin is the Director of Client Experience at Veterans Leadership Program & licensed Social Worker. Tim proudly served in the United States Army and deployed to Afghanistan. From the moment Tim left the military it became his life’s mission and passion to help change the lives of his fellow veterans. He has experience working with multiple subsets of the veteran community ranging from the Wounded Veteran population, Homeless population, Criminal justice involved, Geriatrics, group and individual counseling.
On his free time Tim enjoys fishing, hunting, camping and spending time with his friends and family. He holds a Bachelors & Master’s degree in Social Work Magna cum Laude and Presidential Scholar Recognition for Academic Excellence from California University of Pennsylvania.
Tim has received Senate and Congressional recognition for his service to the veteran community.
Director of Veteran Employment
Amy Knight is the Director of Veteran Employment at Veterans Leadership Program. She is a native of Akron, Ohio and enlisted in the United States Navy immediately following high school in 1999 as a Cryptologic Technician Communications (CTO). While enlisted, she completed operational assignments on USS DECATUR (DDG 73) and Special United States Liaison Office, London (SUSLOL) at the American Embassy, and USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73). In 2010, she was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer and assigned to USS BULKELEY (DDG 84) as the Electronic Warfare Officer, followed by COMNAVSURFPAC as the Corrosion Control Program Manager, and USS VANDEGRIFT (FFG 48) as the Force Protection Officer. Prior to joining the VLP family, she was assigned as the Officer in Charge of Talent Acquisition Onboarding Center, Steel City where she led a team of professional Navy recruiters. Amy retired from the United States Navy after 20 years of honorable service.
Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University and a Master of Science in Leadership from Duquesne University.
Director of Programs
Janine Wytovich, the Director of Programs at Veterans Leadership Program oversees VLP’s sixteen Veteran programs throughout Western and Central Pennsylvania. Janine's desire to work with Veterans comes from her military family, including her father who served over 20 years in the United States Army and her brother who served 8 years United States Air Force.
Janine holds a License in Social Work for the State of Pennsylvania and has over 15 years of experience working in social services. Janine has a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Sociology minor from Waynesburg University and a Masters Degree in Psychology from Walden University. She is also a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania Summa Cum Laude with a Masters in Social Work. Janine and her team work diligently to provide Veterans with services to meet their needs.