MEET OUR TEAM
Passionately committed to serving our military community
Founder: Christina Etchberger
Christina Etchberger is the Founder and CEO of It's a Military Life Corporation. She is an Army spouse and a mother of two little boys, while currently residing in South Korea. IML began as a lifestyle blog and a community to bring the military community together, and now it has evolved into a nonprofit organization. Christina continues to be a connector, by providing educational and resourceful programs for the military community as a whole. She is very grateful for her professional volunteers consisting of military spouses, veterans, service members, and fellow patriots. Christina looks forward to seeing It's a Military Life grow and serve as many people as possible!
Program Director of the Veteran Pen Pal Project: Brooke Hawkins
Brooke Hawkins is the Program Director of the Veteran Pen Pal Project, focusing on military mental health and suicide prevention. Brooke is an army spouse currently residing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida with their three young boys. Brooke has an educational background, consisting of a bachelors, masters, and PhD dissertation in criminal justice with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy. Throughout her career, Brooke assisted in the transition of federal female inmates from prison to society. This eventually led Brooke into her passion of helping military service members in their transition out of the military. Additionally, Brooke has a strong and personal passion for military mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Brooke's notion is that, so long as there is so much as 1 service member suffering from mental illness, she will continue her fight and advocate. She enjoys providing service members and their spouses the appropriate educational and resourceful services and/or programs.
Operations Manager: Kimikawa Alexander
Kimikawa Alexander joined the IML in December 2021 as the Operations Manager. She primarily handles overseeing the organizational activities of businesses, government agencies, non-profit groups, and other organizations. Supporting operational leadership in a variety of departments from finance and IT to human resources and accounts payable. At both large and small organizations by also supervising, hire, and train employees, manage quality assurance programs, strategize process improvements, and more. Kim has also handled Executive Assistant work which entails executive scheduling, hiring and travel, meeting arrangements and the administrative duties.
Veteran Pen Pal Project Team
Assistant Program Director of Veteran Pen Pal Project: Lexie Coppinger
Lexie was born and raised as a military child and lived all over the world with her family. Moving created an opportunity for Lexie to be exposed to different cultures, develop a love of all international foods, and embrace the concept that people are more similar than different. Now, as a military spouse for over 12 years, Lexie still thoroughly enjoys traveling and going on new adventures with her husband, and has taught her own “military”children to savor the adventures! She is an energetic relationship builder, enthusiastic volunteer & event coordinator, & passionate about veteran, spouse, & military family advocacy.
Veteran Pen Pal Project School and Community Liaison, Lead Ambassador: Alex Molieri
I am a stay-at-home Mom to two beautiful little girls. One very active and outgoing 3-year old, and one almost 10 month old. I also work part-time for MilHousing Network as. a Senior PCS mentor, helping military families PCS all over the world!
I joined IML to volunteer and give back to the military community. Being stationed in Jacksonville, FL we are not living on base or really even attached to a base here. I wanted to feel connected again to the military community and give back as a spouse. I love the message behind the Veteran Pen Pal Project. My grandpa, who passed away almost 3 years ago, was a retired Lt. Col. in the Air Force. I saw first hand the life of a veteran and I wish we would have discovered a project like this for him. I think it is also important to show my two daughters the importance of volunteering and giving back to our nation's heroes.
Strategic insights volunteer with a keen interest in Behavioral Science & Health Policy Research: Sun Young (Sunny) Park
Sun Young (Sunny) Park is a strategic insights volunteer at IML with a keen interest in behavioral science and health policy research. She is an Army Veteran currently studying psychology (Columbia University GS'22), prospectively aiming to continue her academic research in public policy and administration as well as global and public health policy. Her core interest in policy research is inspired by not only her military experience, but also to advocate for the culturally, socially, and politically suppressed--and concealed-groups within organizations and society.
She hopes to reshape institutionally conceptualized norms by exploring social-structural processes as indicators of stigma and intersectionality in order to bridge health and political, social and economic gaps that are evidently present today in both global and domestic-populations.
Cohort Immersion Program Team
HR Manager, Cohort Immersion Program: Keiry Vargas
Keiry Vargas is the Human Resources Manager for It's a Military life Corporation. She is an Army National Guard Active-duty spouse and a veteran herself consisting of 12 years in the Army National Guard of both NY/NJ; she knows how important it is to connect and assist military spouses, family members of soldiers, and the soldiers with the proper resources available to ensure they get the guidance they need on their professional journey. Keiry has an educational background consisting of a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree both in Human Resources Management. She is passionate about all things relating to HR and guiding others on their professional journey. Keiry loves to read and give back to the military community and create memories with her two young daughters.
Curriculum and Instruction Designer: Kim Lara
Program Coordinator: Samson Mogusu - Intern
Samson is our Program Coordinator. His position requires him to work closely with the Program Team Director and assist with establishing program goals and objectives, monitoring and analyzing program performance metrics, generating budget expenditure reports, and evaluating outcomes to determine need for process improvement efforts. His goals include growing in the field of public policy, leveraging experiences and education to further his passion for improving society while making a positive impact in every way possible. He is an expert in managing/building relationships with various internal and external stakeholders in the national and international stage.
Web / Admin
Marina V. Rodriguez: Webmaster
Marina is the Webmaster for It's a Military Life Corporation. She has been a Marine spouse for 20yrs and possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Interactive Media Design. She manages and implements website updates, performs ongoing optimization, conducts site troubleshooting, SEO execution, and UX/UI website innovation. All technical interfaces related to the company's web presence are under her cognizance. In addition, she also collaborates with the Marketing team on blog and social media posts. She is detail oriented, takes the initiative, and is genuinely dedicated to providing informative content to the military community.
Judy Castillo: Editor in Chief
Judy is the Editor in Chief in which she positively represents the brand with relevant and engaging content. She collaborates with marketing team on any social media projects and blog posts to ensure deliverables are met in a timely manner. Planning, management, communication and staying organized are key skills needed to succeed on an ongoing basis.
Executive Assistant: Chantal Leduc-Ruddell
Hello, I’m Chantal Leduc-Ruddell. I have been in the administrative field for over 21 years. I joined IML to further my skills and meet new people. I am a stepmom to two amazing young men, one of which has already started his adult life with his sweetheart. My youngest and I live with my mom as I have recently become caretaker as she was in need of company.
Treasurer: Becca Zettwoch
Becca Zettwoch is the Treasurer of IML and joined the team in December of 2021. Becca is an Air Force spouse and currently resides in Florida with their daughter and younger brother. Becca is currently working towards her Bachelor's degree in Accounting. Her career aspirations are to obtain her CPA and work in public accounting.
It's a Military Child Life Team
Military Family and Child Advocate: Lara Jouben
Lara Jouben is a military family and child advocate and will soon be hosting a podcast for this demographic. She is an Army Veteran and Air force Spouse who looks to educate and advocate for our military members , families, and dependents for the ability to access education, careers, medical resources and a positive balanced life. She is a professional administration / education researcher and passionate volunteer who can be found exploring trails with her husband , cultivating her vegetable garden, or cuddling with her new pup.
Help us Support our Veterans
VPPP connects veteran communities such as veteran centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and VA hospitals with pen pals around the world. We also host large holiday initiatives where we call on our pen pals to send general 'Dear Hero' holiday cards to our participating facilities.
Attention Milspouses and Milso Professionals!
It's a Military Connection provides a voice, resources, and hands-on experiences to military spouses for their professional journey. Through a 12-week cohort immersion series, participants are given the opportunity for professional development and networking opportunities that align closely with their goals.
Connect with Us
It's a Military Life