Meet Our Board of Directors
Paul Lavelle, CMSgt, USAF, (Ret), MSC
Founder and President
Paul Lavelle, CMSgt, USAF (Ret), MSC is the Founder and President of Operation Restored Warrior (ORW), a ministry dedicated to stopping the veteran suicide epidemic gripping our nation. Serving for 26 years on active duty in the United States Air Force Medical/Dental Service, Paul served in major commands and senior leadership positions, culminating his career at the 10th Medical Group at the United States Air Force Academy, where he retired in 2001.
He is the recipient of several military decorations and medals and earned a Masters Degree in Counseling, from the University of Phoenix.
While attending a Wild at Heart event in Colorado in 2003, this former atheist had an amazing encounter on the side of a mountain and as a result, invited Jesus into his life. About a year later, Paul began a four year learning experience working with bestselling author, John Eldredge and the Wild at Heart ministry team as a member of their team. During that amazing time, he developed a deep desire to see healing and freedom come to his fellow military veterans.
In 2008, Paul founded ORW with fellow military veterans representing each of the services. Over the past 15 years he has helped to heal and restore our nation’s warriors struggling with the ongoing suicide epidemic. National and international leaders from politics, business, education, professional football, entertainment, and ministry have also attended the ORW Drop Zone programs and received restoration. Paul has been honored to participate in the healing and restoration of Gold Star Fathers who have lost their sons and daughters in combat.
He has appeared on several national television, radio, and podcasts programs to share the miraculous impact of ORW. ORW has been highlighted in three documentaries and six books.
Chad Smith, President, Veterans Lodge
Chad Smith is a licensed contractor in the state of Florida, and began his career working in construction during summer breaks. He attended Valdosta State University graduating with a B.B.A. with a major in finance and minor in accounting. Afterwards, he worked as a tax auditor for 12 years. Always knowing his real passion was for building, he built his personal home in 2004. During a scheduled inspection from the building inspector a conversation arose and he asked Chad if he wanted to be a contractor. Chad agreed and the inspector helped him get certified. In 2005, Chad started Chadwell Custom Homes and has built custom homes in north Florida and south Georgia. In 2009, Chad was contacted by Julie Connell, who needed his help with a veteran project. That conversation turned into a non profit for veterans called Veterans Lodge and a blessed marriage of 11 years and still counting. In 2019, Chad and Julie were introduced to Paul and Operation Restored Warrior. Chad attended a Drop Zone the same year and saw the powerful impact that ORW has on our veterans, first responders, and national leaders. As a result of his life-changing experience, a lifelong friendship and a sincere desire to spread the good news of Jesus and help veterans was born.
Jon Iadonisi, PhD
CEO, Vizsense, Inc.
Dr. Jon Iadonisi designs and builds new types of technology businesses that tackle antiquated methods and legacy thinking. He’s successfully founded, scaled, and exited two profitable technology companies that spanned public safety and cyber security industries. Currently, he is the Founder and CEO of VizSense (also known as Viz), a Dallas-based Influencer Marketing and Sales Intelligence Firm that works with Fortune 500 clients, delivering highly specialized marketing and sales campaigns engineered to a specific brand’s DNA. Jon is a computer scientist and former Navy SEAL, who invented new capabilities for the Special Operations Community and Central Intelligence Agency. He is a combat-wounded and decorated veteran who earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the US Naval Academy, and M.S. in Homeland Security from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Haven, with a focus on Cyber-Crime. Jon is also a frequent contributor to national news outlets and conference venues.