Ricks life took an interesting turn in the summer of 1976 when on the way home from work one day he left his motorcycle and sailed through the air introducing himself to a car coming the other way. Needless to say, they never did become friends. A T-8 spinal cord injury gave Rick new perspective on life and with the gauntlet being thrown down, he accepted the challenge.
Ricks goal was to get his college degree and re-enter the workforce. His first degree was in Physical Education with the second being in Business. The dynamic duo he thought and he was right, they led him to the rehab segment of the healthcare industry where he worked for 32 years. Rick stated that getting the chance to meet so many incredible people and to get the opportunity to change a person’s life is incredibly rewarding. in 2015 Rick was asked by United Spinal Association to start a Chapter in Southern California which after much thought he agreed. Awfully glad they asked he thought. I love being a part of a team of dedicated people, whose mission is to provide resources that will have a positive impact on a person’s life and the lives of those around them.
On a personal note, Rick has been married to his beautiful wife Karen for 36 years and has five incredible children (Rick, Richelle, Jenna, Aimee and Kyle) and five fantastic grandkids (Isabella, Lucas, Reese, Parker, and River). Ricks passion is to be involved with great organizations such as Spinal Network, helping to improve the quality of life for those living with paralysis.
Warren is 60 years old with a zest for life. In 2016 he was injured as a passenger in a car accident which resulted in a C-4/5 complete spinal cord injury. As a glass half full person, he is learning new and exciting things every day, and welcomes any advice from the community on how to move around this new world of his.
Warren grew up in a small town in New Jersey, and went on to be a CYO regional state champion in wrestling. He attended San Diego State University to pursue his love for acting, working towards a degree in Theater and Arts. Warren later moved to New York City where he did some off Broadway for 4 years, eventually moving back to Southern California in 1989.
For the last 30 years, he has been an accomplished VP/Partner in a prestigious global Executive Search Firm where he has worked with Fortune Companies (ie: Amazon, Sony, to name a few) around the globe assisting with high level employee search projects. Upon returning to a consulting and advising role, Warren thrived with the help of his previous employer/mentor/boss, Purcell International Group, which set him up with complete home automation office.
Since his injury Warren has greatly appreciated all of the help and mentoring from people within the spinal cord injury community, and he is truly devoted to giving back to that community. He feels truly blessed to be able to still live life to the fullest and he is excited to be a part of Spinal Network where he hopes he can mentor others in their recovery by sharing his experience mentally and physically.
Director, Corporate Partnership
Chelle Struve is an accomplished marketing and advertising professional specializing in integrated marketing programs. These include social, print, broadcast and digital production, multicultural campaigns, product launches, market research, media placement and branding for business-to-business and consumer national accounts in agency, nonprofit and corporate settings. She has produced award winning campaigns for Toyota, Mattel, AMN Healthcare, Embassy Suites and Foothill Transit. Her nonprofit experience includes her previous role as Director of Marketing at Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and client San Diego VeloYouth.
Sean Petersen was born and spent his childhood just outside of Tampa, FL. He then attended Ohio State University where he was a student athlete and member of the ROTC program.
After college he joined the United States Marine Corps where he honorably served 8 years and left as a Captain. During that time he also got his masters degree from the University of San Diego. After leaving the Marine Corps, Sean spent much of his time in marketing and advertising but was looking for a company or product that was meaningful and made a difference.
In 2009 Sean found what he was looking for and starting working with GoldenBoy Mobility. 11 years later his mission is the same, to help provide independence and freedom through mobility vehicles and equipment. This is done through education, community involvement and a passion to make a difference.
Director of Community Engagement
Director, Social Media
Alexandra is a San Diego native and graduated from San Diego State University in 2017 with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. She has worked as a mentor, tutor, case manager and was involved in the county's COVID project to help individuals who are unable to leave their home recieve an in-home COVID vaccine. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and currently works within Child Welfare Services with the County of San Diego. On her free time she enjoys going to the gym, creating TikToks and hanging out with family and friends.
Debra Jackson suffered a spinal cord injury (T7 complete) in 2019 while riding her bicycle in Switzerland where she was living at the time. After spending 8 months in rehabilitation at the Swiss Paraplegic Center in Nottwil, Switzerland, she returned home to San Diego to be closer to family and friends
Debra serves on the advisory board of Padres Pedal the Cause, an organization that funds grants to local cancer research institutions through an annual fundraising cycling event. In addition to being on the advisory board, Debra led her corporate team and has participated in the event (pre and post injury) for the past 10 years. Debra also recently became involved with peer mentoring through Spinal Network, helping individuals who are new to a spinal cord injury.
Debra graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a major in Quantitative Economics and pursued her MBA from San Diego State University. She had a successful 30+ year career in corporate finance and supply chain management, the past 13 of which were with Becton Dickenson, a fortune 500 medical technology company. She resides in Escondido with her husband, Dan, and enjoys being active outdoors riding her hand-cycle and visiting local wineries with friends.
Chief Financial Officer
Richard Green, LCSW
Director of Social Engagement
Richard was a social worker at Sharp Rehabilitation Hospital in San Diego for over 40 years working with the SCI population. He is co-founder of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation and facilitates the Men with SCI Network group that meets monthly at Sharp. Richard is the Sharp Rehab liaison with the United Spinal Association. Richard has recently accepted a volunteer position with Spinal Network as the Clinical Social Worker Consultant and runs the Family Caregiver Support Group.
Dominick Taitano’s life changed 33 years ago after he was involved in an ATV accident. He is a C3/C4 ventilator dependent quadriplegic. He did his rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos for twenty-three months. After rehab, he pursued earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Cal State University San Marcos. After graduating, he worked for a leather goods company for 14 years doing data entry and purchasing. He has also been involved with a family-owned company that provided resources and services to individuals with disabilities.
Dominick grew up San Diego and stays very active despite his high level of injury. He feels life is too short not to embrace all that it has to offer. Staying positive is what has helped him the most. He has also been blessed with the loving support of his family. He strives to do the most he can even with all of his limitations. He enjoys attending sporting events, concerts, plays, amusement parks, places with incredible scenery, and spending time with family and friends. He also finds pleasure in traveling and experiencing new adventures. Dominick has been a peer mentor to those with SCI, which he finds very fulfilling. He figures he should share the knowledge and insight that he has gained after living with his injury for so long. He has also been a guest speaker at colleges and numerous functions. Dominick finds strength in sharing his personal story with others and hopes others will benefit from his life experiences.