Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the members of the Mayor’s Military Veteran Advisory Council (MVAC), which will have its first official meeting on February 27th at Los Angeles’ Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. The council, comprised of four Mayoral appointees and 3 City Council appointees, will advise Mayor Garcetti’s administration on issues affecting the military community. The MVAC will work to enhance the well-being of the Los Angeles veteran community by advising Mayor Garcetti and the City Council on emerging policies and programs.

“Serving those who have served our country is of utmost importance,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I look forward to working with the leaders on the Military Veteran Advisory Council to better coordinate local, state, and federal resources to enhance the quality of life of our veteran community, especially for those who need it most.”

The MVAC is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, created by the Mayor to address the needs of veterans’ community in Los Angeles, home to the highest concentration of veterans in the country. The office is working to coordinate resources with a variety of stakeholders to support veterans in Los Angeles and seek strategies to mitigate the potential for long-term unemployment, instability and homelessness.

In conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, Mayor Garcetti has debuted a page on his website where veterans can learn about resources for housing, employment, medical, and mental health services as well as contact the Veterans’ Affairs coordinator with questions. The site is available at

MVAC members are all residents of Los Angeles who have served or had a family member serve in the United States Armed Forces and serve as leaders in the military community. The council is comprised of:

Dr. Anthony Hassan—Dr. Hassan is an Iraq veteran who served in the US Army and US Air Force. A nationally recognized expert on veterans’ issues, he currently serves as the Director of The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Chair of the Military Social Work program at USC. Previously, he served as Deputy Department Head of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership and Director of the Masters Program in Counseling and Leadership at the United States Air Force Academy, and CEO/President of the Macdill Community Mental Health Center on the United States Air Force Macdill Airforce Base in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Hassan also serves on the L.A. City Workforce Investment Board. Dr. Hassan is a Mayoral appointee.

Jason Hwang—Mr. Hwang is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and President of New World Consulting, a legal firm. He also currently serves as the Vice President of the Korean American Veterans Association of Los Angeles and on the Olympic Police Station Advisory Committee and the United States National Defense Corps., 8th Division. Mr. Hwang is a Council appointee.

Maribel Marin—Ms. Marin is the Executive Director of LA County 211, the non-profit agency dedicated to helping LA county residents access information and obtain referrals on a 24/7 basis, in over 140 languages, for social services in their community through the 2-1-1 dialing code. She previously served as the Executive Director of Los Angeles Redistricting Commission for the LAUSD, a Commissioner of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works and a Senior Associate at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ms. Marin is a Mayoral appointee.

Rafael F. Nadal—Mr. Nadal is a veteran of the United States Army, 509 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Airborne. He currently works as a building contractor with a specialty in interior design. He has also served on the Harvard Heights Neighborhood Council. Mr. Nadal is a Council appointee.

Stephen Peck—Mr. Peck is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He now serves as the President and CEO of the United States Veteran Initiative, a non-profit/ for-profit partnership that provides transitional housing, employment assistance, and clinical counseling to homeless veterans. He previously served as an Outreach Social Worker at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and was Founder and President of the Far From Home Foundation, a non-profit formed to bring attention to the homeless veteran issue nationwide. Mr. Peck is a Mayoral appointee.

Armen Ross—Mr. Ross is a veteran of the United States Army and is the founder and president of The Ross Group, a consulting firm. He previously served as Deputy Mayor for Homelessness, Director of Homeless Services, and Assistant Chief of Staff under Mayor James K. Hahn. Mr. Ross is a Council appointee.

Stephanie Stone—Ms. Stone served in the United States Navy for 21 years. She currently serves as Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, where she oversees operations at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall for use by and for veterans and veteran service organizations. She formerly served as the Veteran Employment Representative for Goodwill Southern California and was the Vice President of Outreach at Coro Southern California. She also served as chair of the Mayor’s Committee on Military and Veteran Affairs under Mayors Riordan and Hahn, and as chair of the Los Angeles County Advisory Commission on Veteran Affairs. Ms. Stone is a mayoral appointee.