Honorary Commissioners

Ret. Sheriff Jim Voutour, Niagara County Sheriff’s office, NY
Honorary Commissioner, The National Command & Staff College

On January 1st, 2009, Sheriff Jim Voutour was sworn in as the 56th sheriff of Niagara County. Sheriff Voutour was re-elected in 2012 after running un-opposed with the endorsement of every political party in Niagara County. He was re-elected again in 2016 and once again had the nomination of all political parties. Sheriff Voutour came up through the ranks of the sheriff’s office starting as a road patrol deputy, sergeant, captain and chief deputy.

 Sheriff Voutour received his Bachelor of Science Degree from SUNY Brockport in 1988, majoring in Finance and Management. He returned to college in 2011 and received his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Niagara University. He is a graduate of the 76th class of the FBI LEEDS School and a graduate of the New York State Executive Institute.

Sheriff Voutour is a past- president of the New York Sheriff’s Association where he serves on several committees. He is also a member of the National Sheriff’s Association and is co-chair of the National Traffic Safety committee and a member of the Emerging Technology committee. Sheriff Voutour was awarded the prestigious J. Stannard Baker National Award for Traffic Safety in 2018. He is a frequent lecturer on criminal justice topics at the national, state and local levels and is an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Niagara University. 

Sheriff Voutour volunteers his time with several Niagara County Agencies. Sheriff Voutour is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Niagara and was voted “Top Speaker” in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, Sheriff Voutour was voted “Leader of the Year” in Niagara County. He also volunteers for Opportunities Unlimited, Community Missions, Health Association of Niagara County, AARP, PAL, UNYTS, the YWCA and numerous block clubs.  Sheriff Voutour was elected to the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame, the SUNY Brockport Athletic Hall of Fame and is a former professional baseball player. He resides in Lockport with his wife Pilar (DiCarlo) Voutour, a teacher at Barker School and their two daughters, Julia, 19 and Lydia, 16.

Sheriff Voutour retired in 2019 and formed an LLC, Blue50Tech which provides consulting services for law enforcement around the United States.

Chief Master Sergeant John J. Chacon
United States Air Force
Honorary Commissioner & Faculty, The National Command & Staff College

Chief Master Sergeant John “JC” Chacon is the Operations Chief for the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Chief Chacon holds a Master of Science Degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and 3 Associate in Applied Science Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force.

CMSgt Chacon was born in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, and raised in Clifton, Arizona. CMSgt Chacon enlisted in the Air Force 10 January 1996. His first assignment was to the 820th RED HORSE Squadron where he deployed and supported expeditionary operations across the globe. In 2003, he was selected as a military training leader for the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer School. In 2008, Chief Chacon was reassigned to the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron as NCO in charge of the Water and Fuel Systems Maintenance. Subsequently, because of his “can do” attitude and exemplary work ethic, he was assigned as the NCO in charge of facility operations and maintenance for 14th Air Force and 30th Space Wing Headquarters. In 2010 – 2011, he deployed with the Army on a joint tasking to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, where he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Combat Action Badge and the Air Force Combat Action Medal for his actions against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in the Kunar Province. Chief Chacon was also selected for Enlisted Professional Military Education in 2012 as a NCO Academy instructor at the Robert D. Gaylor Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and was later hired in 2013 as the Commandant of the SSgt Cierra M. Rogers Airman Leadership School at Joint Base San Antonio.

Chief Chacon is also a Master Resilience Trainer for the United States Air Force. He has been instrumental in assisting law enforcement and first responder agencies, such as the FBI National Academy Associates and the Texas Department of Public Safety, develop their Health and Wellness Resilience Courses.

Reuven Bar-On, Ph.D.
Founder & President, Bar-On Test Developers
Major, Israeli Defense Forces (Ret.)
Honorary Commissioner, The National Command & Staff College

Dr. Bar-On is acknowledged as one of the leading pioneers, researchers and practitioners in the field of emotional intelligence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuven_Bar-On). During his doctoral studies in 1985, he coined the acronym “E.Q.” and introduced the idea of an “Emotional Quotient” to measure emotional intelligence.

He has examined the impact of his model of emotional intelligence on a wide range of behavior and performance including physical and psychological health, cognitive functioning, innovative thinking, academic and occupational performance, resilience, job satisfaction, as well as organizational effectiveness and productivity. For many years moreover, he has focused his professional interest on studying, measuring and enhancing various aspects of performance, teamwork and leadership in the corporate world as well as in the military.

In 1998, the U.S. General Accountability Office submitted a Congressional Report to the Senate Committee on Armed Services recommending the application of the “Bar-On EQ-iä” throughout the U.S. Armed Forces. Additionally, a team of psychometricians at the University of Oxford recommended to the British Department of Education using another one of his assessment instruments in schools throughout the United Kingdom.

In addition to his efforts to determine the most robust emotional and social contributors to human performance, Dr. Bar-On has continued to explore a greater array of key factors and has developed 12 psychometric instruments to assess these factors since 1978. An example of his interest in evaluating and enhancing a wider area of performance is the development of a multifactor conceptual and psychometric model of performance based on the following five composite factors that comprise a total of 22 individual factors: (1) physical fitness and stamina; (2) cognitive functioning; (3) intrapersonal strength; (4) inter-personal compatibility; and (5) motivation and drive. He developed the “MMPä” (“Multifactor Measure of Performanceä”) to measure this expanded model of human performance.

The following is a selected list of well-known organizations that have applied Dr. Bar-On’s products and/or services: FBI; Royal Canadian Mounted Police; U.S. Armed Forces; Israeli Defense Forces; Irish Defense Forces; Canadian Forces; World Bank; Harvard Medical School; Walter Reed Medical Center; British Foreign Office; Center for Creative Leadership; and NASA. His company, Bar-On Test Developers, is currently partnering with an American software firm for the purpose of developing a VR simulator to assess and strengthen emergency management. This project was recently granted funding from the National Institute of Health.

Dr. Bar-On has authored and co-authored over 50 publications and has presented research findings at numerous professional conferences worldwide. His publications have been cited over 9,000 times in scientific publications to date.

He has held adjunct professorships in the Medical School at Tel Aviv University, in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch as well as in the School of Education at the University of Pretoria. In 1998, Dr. Bar-On became affiliated with the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at the University of Chicago. In the same year, he was accepted as the first non-founding member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University. In 2005, he was also asked to be a consultant at the National School Climate Center in New York. Dr. Bar-On has joined the editorial boards of four different journals; and more recently, he was appointed to the position of Associate Editor in the Organizational Psychology Section of Frontiers in Psychology.

Sergeant Robert Peters
Los Angles Police Department

Honorary Commissioner & Senior Faculty, The National Command & Staff College

Robert Peters is a 30 year  veteran of the United States Navy, where he continues to serve in the US Navy Reserve; and, he is a 25 year member of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he currently serves as Officer in Charge of a Special Problems Unit for the LAPD’s Transit Services Division.

In his Naval Career, Robert has served in many roles to include ship’s crew aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) from 1991 – 1992, navigator for Lansing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCAC) in 1996, and a firearms and basic combat skills instructor for 31st Seabee Readiness Group (31st SRG) from 2000 – 2005. In addition, Chief Peters has performed in various leadership roles as an Enlisted Officer in Charge of a Naval Security Force and has served two tours as a member of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) from 2007 – 2011, where he is currently the Senior Enlisted Advisor at SEAL Team 17 volunteer training unit in Coronado CA. Chief Peters has served in Iraq and Afghanistan in direct support of SEAL platoons and NSW Task Units in force protection,  intelligence and counterintelligence roles.

As a Sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department, Robert is well recognized for his leadership. He has taught firearms and tactics for recruit and in-service officers as both a full-time and adjunct instructor since 1999. Most recently Sergeant Peters spent two years presenting classes on leadership, command and control, Use of Force and Public Trust to in-service officers and line supervisors as the LAPD adjusted its policies in those areas. Currently, Sergeant Peters is the Officer in Charge of a Special Problems Unit for the LAPD Transit Services Division.

Robert is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in United States at Grand Canyon University and has plans to continue his education with a Master’s degree in military history.

Galia Cohen, Ph.D
University of Texas, Dallas
Honorary Commissioner, National Command & Staff College

Dr. Galia Cohen is the Associate Director of the Justice Administration and Leadership (JAL) Master’s Program, housed in the Department of Criminology, at The University of Texas at Dallas. She specializes in human resource management and organizational behavior and has more than 10 years of experience in teaching and consulting in the public sector. She teaches: ‘human resource management for public sector’, ‘leadership in public and nonprofit management’, and ‘negotiation and conflict resolution’ at the graduate level for executives and professionals in law enforcement agencies across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Dr. Cohen received her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Organizational Sociology from Bar-­Ilan University, Israel. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Dallas. She has published academic articles and book chapters and her research interests include Strategic Human Resource Management, Organizational Theory and Behavior, conflict management and public safety administration.

Dr. Cohen is a District V representative for The American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) national council and an advisory board member for the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA).

Michael Apter Ph.D.
Founder, Apter International
Founder, Reversal Theory
Honorary Commissioner, The National Command & Staff College

Michael Apter was born in 1939, and spent his early life in Bristol (UK), attending Clifton College before going on to Bristol University where he obtained a B.Sc in 1960, and a Ph.D in 1965.  He also spent a graduate year in Princeton and a graduate year in King’s College London while working on his doctorate.  He was on the faculty of Cardiff University from 1967 to 1988, being awarded a Readership in Psychology in 1984.  During the seventies, collaborating with the psychiatrist Kenneth Smith, he established the foundations of a new theory of personality, motivation and emotion that became known as “Reversal Theory.”   This has generated much research and been the subject of numerous books, papers, international conferences and dissertations. There is also an International Reversal Theory Society, and a Reversal Theory Journal (The Journal of Motivation, Emotion and Personality: Reversal Theory Studies).  In 1988 he emigrated to the United States where, in parallel with consultancy work, he has held visiting faculty positions at Purdue, Chicago, Northwestern, Yale and Georgetown.  He has also had visiting positions in Toulouse (France), Marseilles (France), Barcelona (Spain), Bergen (Norway), Louvain (Belgium) and elsewhere.  In 1998, with colleagues, he set up a management consultancy company based in the UK – Apter International – using reversal theory for such purposes as self-development, team-building, leadership, and social advocacy. Subsequently offices were set up in the U.S.A. and a sister company – Apter France – was established in Paris. He has written or edited 19 books, together with numerous research papers, conference presentations and book chapters. He has given invited talks in many countries. His books have been translated into ten languages.  Michael Apter is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (since 1978) and a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (since 1985).      He lives in Louisiana with his wife Mitzi Desselles who has an endowed chair in Psychology at Louisiana Tech University. They have three daughters and three grandsons.

Chief Mike Alexander (Ret.)
Founder, LION Organizational Development Institute
Honorary Commissioner, The National Command & Staff College

Mike Alexander attended St. Edwards University in Austin Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie Texas. Mike has spent 30 plus years in law enforcement which began as a Correctional Officer and Deputy Sheriff at the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Mike continued his career at the Austin Police Department as a Patrol Officer and a D.A.R.E. Instructor, teaching adolescents the importance of staying drug free. Mike spent 25 years with the Austin Police Department. Mike worked in patrol, as a patrol officer, corporal and sergeant. Mike also worked as a District Representative where is was responsible for developing strategies to effectively address, crime, the fear of crime, disorder and quality of life issues. Mike retired from the Austin Police department as a Sergeant. Mike’s last assignment with APD gave him the opportunity to lead the Continuing Education Division and the Leadership Command College. Mike also worked with the Louisiana Community Policing Institute where he evaluated the performance of police departments and sheriff offices in the area of community policing; he made recommendations for implementation. Mike designed leadership and ethics curriculums that are currently being taught throughout the United States. After his retirement from APD Mike was employed as a Major with the Office of Inspector General Internal Affairs Section, where he was in charge of a statewide Internal Affairs investigation division. This division is responsible for investigating State Employees accused of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and people who are mentally and physically incapacitated and who reside at state supported living centers, state hospitals, group homes. Mike’s team also investigated various other criminal and administrative violations committed by state employees or any outside entity that had an affiliation with state government as it related to Health and Human Services.

Mike retired from the business as a City Manager after serving first as the Police Chief and Interim City Manager in Palestine Texas. Mike later served as the Interim Chief of Police for the City of Corinth Texas. Mike is the founder LION (Loyalty Integrity Optimism Nobility) Organizational Development Institute. LION is a leadership development institute with a focus on Healthy Work Environments, Officer Wellness, Ethics, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. Mike is also the Co-founder of Commandpresence.com with a focus on stress management, mental health and the effects of trauma within emergency services. He is also the co-owner of LION Strategy Group with a focus on organizational audits, organizational development, security—onsite assessment; crime prevention through environmental design; violence in the workplace, active attack, personal safety training, expert witnesses, leadership placement and risk mitigation.

Mike is a National Certified Instructor on Ethics and Integrity through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).  Mike traveled the Nation, training officers and Community members on Ethics and Integrity issues. Mike spent time in Belo Horizonte Brazil as well as the Virgin Islands, teaching and lecturing on Leadership, community policing, ethics, etc. Mike is also a licensed Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) instructor as well as a national instructor with the Multijurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training Center (MCTFT) located in St. Pete Florida. He is also a Master peace officer. He is a graduate of The University of Texas Leadership Academy, which is a collaborative effort between the Austin Police Department, the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs. Mike attended and graduated from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership train the trainer program on Developing Police Leaders. Mike is an instructor with the Texas Police Chiefs Association on Developing Police Leaders in Texas. Mike is also a leadership consultant for Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool working with cities across Texas. Mike is a trainer and Executive Coach using the Enneagram Narrative Tradition.

Chief Joe Cardella
Honorary Commissioner, The National Command & Staff College

Chief Joe Cardella is a 42 year law enforcement professional who recently retired as the Chief Criminal Deputy of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office for the last 18 years.  St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) has a compliment of over 400 personnel and is situated in the metro New Orleans, Louisiana area.  Joe began his career in 1973 and worked through the ranks in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and New Orleans Police Department from cadet to detective Lieutenant before attending the FBI National Academy in 1985.  In 1987, Joe joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he conducted investigations as a special agent assigned to the Foreign Counter-Intelligence Unit and Organized Crime Squad.  Joe transferred into the Inspector General’s Offices of the U.S. Department of Energy and completed 10 years of Federal law enforcement service as the Resident Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  During his Federal Law Enforcement career, Joe successfully investigated sensitive cases involving La Cosa Nostra (LCM) crime families, major drug diversion cases and threats to national energy strategies.  In 1996, Sheriff Greg Champagne appointed Joe as second in command of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office where he manages its day to day operations. Joe has reorganized St. Charles Parish’s 911 Communications Operations whereby Sheriff’s Deputies operate the center and dispatch Fire, EMS and Police as a Consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) over a radio system owned and managed by the SCSO.  Joe has also created a development team to research active shooter events and related phenomena resulting in a dynamic holistic program called Integrated Multilayered Planning for Active Shooter Events (IMPASE).  A recent IMPASE exercise involved over 800 Federal, State and local first responders, school administrators, students and faculty.  Joe is a graduate of Loyola University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, U.S. Department of Personnel Management and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). He has completed advanced instruction at Louisiana State University and the University of Virginia while lecturing at Law Enforcement venues nationally.

Master Sergeant Andrew J. Post
United States Air Force
Honorary Commissioner & Faculty, The National Command & Staff College

Master Sergeant Andrew J. Post is the Commandant, Rogers Airman Leadership School, 802d Force Support Squadron, 502d Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland Texas.  Master Sergeant Post leads a seven member instructor cadre in the delivery of the 192 hour ALS curriculum in the largest ALS in the CONUS, graduating 672 students annually.  Additionally, he ensures compliance with Air Force policies and programs by evaluating the facilitation of 30 EPME course subjects, and preparing the 26K square foot facility through judicous mamangement of a $70K annual budget. 

Master Sergeant Post entered the Air Force in January 2003.  He has an extensive experience in Air Force communications systems.  His background includes theater deployable network infrastructure and telephones; Air Operations Center Falconer weapon system support; and the acquisition, depot maintenance, and lifecycle management of offensive and defensive cyber weapon systems.  In 2009, he was one of 15 communications technicians selected to deploy with Army Special Operations Forces to Afghanistan in support of intelligence collection missions for OEF.  Before assuming his current position, Master Sergeant Post was the Superintendent of the Responsive Cyber Acquisitions Branch in the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division and was responsible for the operations and management of 250 military and civilian personnel providing the only lifecycle acquisitions programs for cyber weapons in the Air Force.  His assignments include bases in Arizona, Texas, and Germany.  Master Sergeant Post assumed his current position in February 2017. 

LtCol Joseph R. Strohman, USMC (Ret)
Sgt Hanover County Sheriff’s Office (Reserve)
Honorary Commissioner, the National Command & Staff College

Joe is from Blue Grass IA and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1982 and retired in 2006.  Career highlights include: enlisted, Infantry officer, UH-1N Huey pilot, Marine Weapons and Tactics Instructor (MAWTS), MWSS executive officer, HeadQuarters Squadron CO.  Multiple combat deployments.  Since retirement from the USMC Joe served as a fulltime police officer with Henrico County PD working patrol operations and as a detective in organized crime.  Retiring early in 2013 to put more emphasis on his LE/Military distribution company Joe joined Hanover County Sheriff’s Office as a Reserve deputy and currently serves there as a Sgt in Patrol.

BA in Political Science and Criminal Justice from University of Northern Iowa.

Graduate of USMC Amphibious warfare school, Command and Staff College, and the DEA Drug Unit Commanders Course.  Military awards include: Bronze Star, Meritorious Service medal, Navy Commendation, Navy Achievement X 2, Combat action ribbon X2, Marine Corps expeditionary medal.