The Team

We have assembled an extraordinary team

Dare Mighty Things is a Veteran-Owned Business that was founded by our Senior Advisor, David Van Patten, a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dave has nearly 40 years of leadership experience within the federal government, nonprofit and private sectors.

DMT is led by its Chief Operating Officer, Jacqueline Bessette. Jacqueline has over a decade of experience, establishing trusted partnerships with nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies. She is a creative and service-oriented leader bringing passion and commitment to our wide array of services and products with a focus on lasting results that have contributed to our partners’ success for more than 25 years. Jacqueline is a graduate of Bryant University and earned her Master’s in Communication Studies from San Diego State University.

Our team represents a wealth of intellectual capital and experience in social sciences, human services, business, not-for-profit, government, and military leadership. The entrepreneurial and professional ingenuity of a combined 500+ years of thought leadership and action are embodied in our senior management and staff.  Independent consultants serving as DMT Associates provide subject matter expertise in variety of important areas.

Corporate Management
Jacqueline Bessette, MA, Chief Operating Officer

Professional Staff
Amber Anderson, Creative Systems Architect
Shannon Langtry, Analyst

Jim Seevers, MBA, Senior Advisor
David Van Patten, MPA, Founder and Senior Advisor
Roger Allen, MA, MS, Senior Consultant
Karen Baetzel, Senior Consultant
Nancy L. Baird, MS, Senior Consultant
Mary Bergner, Consultant
Holli Carpenter, Consultant
James P. Desrosiers, MM, Consultant
Julie Golkowski, MA, Consultant
Ted Kehr, Senior Consultant
Michael Kreinbring, Consultant
James Murray, MA, MS, Senior Consultant
Melissa Nemon, Ph.D., Senior Consultant
Pierre Perez, Consultant

Corporate Management

Jacqueline Bessette, MA
Chief Operating Officer
Jacqueline is a project management and training and development specialist with more than a decade of experience establishing trusted partnerships with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies; providing training and technical assistance, performance and outcome measurement, program design, and capacity building. As Chief Operating Officer at Dare Mighty Things (DMT), Jacqueline provides innovative leadership to a multi-disciplinary team in the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of technology-infused learning products. Jacqueline has presented at several national training conferences and contributed to industry publications, focusing on exciting new approaches for reaching learners through online content. As a featured writer in Learning Solutions Magazine, she ranked among the top 10 most-read articles of 2014. She is an award-winning Toastmaster and also taught public speaking at San Diego State University, where she earned her Master’s in Communication Studies. In addition to her leadership in DMT, she serves as an adjunct professor in the field of Communication with Southern New Hampshire University, has provided pro bono training to City Year New Hampshire, and served on the Board of Directors for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

Professional Staff

Amber Anderson
Creative Systems Architect
As the Creative Systems Architect for the Creative Learning Solutions team at Dare Mighty Things, Amber brings eight years of experience in the fields of information technology, social media, website design and development, animation, graphic design, branding, and e-marketing. She has served a diverse range of clients, including nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies in which she focuses her high energy and forward thinking to design products that are highly customized and branded. Amber delivers engaging and modern user interface designs that are focused on client branding and consistency, which are also mirrored in manuals, reports, print products, classroom based materials, and custom collateral. Amber is proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite for design, web-based, video, sound, and interactive products as well as a toolbox of handpicked supporting software programs. She takes a hands-on approach to ensure standards compliant code, efficacy, cross-platform browser compatibility, interactivity, and search engine optimization for all web-based and mobile products. Amber has received multiple certifications, including XHTML, CSS/CSS3, and JavaScript, the creation of HTML standards for browser display, including mobile devices, and MS Access Database Applications Design.  She is fluent in WordPress and the customizing and implementation of themes, layouts, visual elements, content specific sidebars and footers, content delivery systems, automatic feeds, and identity specific branding. Amber also contributes a supporting catalog of knowledge in jQuery/JQuery Mobile which pairs with an e-learning framework for optimal user experience and content delivery, present in an ongoing project for our clients.

Shannon Langtry
Shannon St. Pierre is an Analyst with experience in classroom-based and online training development, as well as program design and assessment. As a member of the Creative Learning Solutions team, she contributes to the analysis, design, development, and evaluation of technology-infused learning products. Prior to becoming an Analyst, Shannon was a Carsey Social Innovation Intern for Dare Mighty Things where she gained her passion for aiding vulnerable populations through creative learning and program design. She has been an active member in many community service organizations, such as Alpha Phi Omega, Kiwanis, and other leadership programs. Shannon earned a BA in Spanish and Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.



Jim Seevers, MBA
Senior Advisor
Jim’s thirty-six years of performance management experience touches all aspects of Dare Mighty Things projects. His primary contributions continue to be in program development and management, including strategic planning, organizational development, performance-based analysis, and change management. His experience with initiatives for vulnerable populations includes training and technical assistance for positive youth development, programs for military families and veterans, and capacity building for providers of faith- and community-based services. Jim has twenty-eight years of federal government experience, including service as the Manpower and Personnel Director for U.S. forces throughout the Pacific region. He has developed innovative methods and tools for successful outcome-oriented and process-based results in the public, nonprofit, and commercial sectors. Jim earned a BS in political science from the United States Air Force Academy and an MBA with a focus on management science from Louisiana Tech University.

David Van Patten, MPA
Founder and Senior Advisor
Dave Van Patten founded Dare Mighty Things in 1991 to help public sector entrepreneurs launch large scale social programs that impact high risk populations. As President and CEO, Dave fosters relationships with key stakeholders and guides the life cycle of all client engagements. His expertise has been instrumental in the development of dozens of programs impacting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and adults in nearly every state and several countries of the world. As a result, Dave has received national accolades for program innovations in mentoring high-risk populations, prisoner rehabilitation, new venture creation, and building faith-based organizations. Dave received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the United States Coast Guard Academy, and earned his Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Dave has authored numerous reports, articles, and books, and has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, and other universities in social entrepreneurship, not-for-profit management, and volunteer management.

Roger Allen, MA, MS
Senior Consultant
Brigadier General (RET) Roger L. Allen was the founding Director of Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy in February 1999 and remained the Director until 14 October 2010. He is a retired educator with experience teaching regular education and vocational education and he has administrative experience as a High School Principal, Special Education Director, and Alternative High School Principal. His military career spans over three decades with the Active Army and the Michigan Army National Guard. He retired as a Brigadier General of the Line in 2004. Roger holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Strategic Studies, from the United States Army War College; Masters of Arts Degree in Education from Central Michigan University with additional course work and certification as a secondary school counselor; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Michigan State University.

Karen Baetzel, MS
Senior Consultant
Karen joined DMT in 2006 serving the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program as Senior Consultant and Program Director. After a thirty-year career in the United States Navy, her extensive leadership resume is impressive and unique. Karen retired as one of the Navy’s most senior female aviators and one of the very few naval aviators of either gender to hold the Aircraft Commander qualification in Navy jets, propeller and helicopter airframes. She is a leadership development expert, serving an international client base of government and corporate clients, including NASA and the Johnson Space Center and Microsoft. She is also an author, keynote speaker and certified International Conflict Mediator. Karen holds a BA in Economics and a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, where she is also an Adjunct Professor.

Nancy L. Baird, MS
Senior Consultant

Nancy’s eight years of experience as the Director of the California Youth Challenge Program represents the heart of the National Challenge Institute mission and curriculum.  As a result of her organizational and leadership abilities, the California Program was awarded Best All-Around Program in 2005.  Nancy served in the California Army National Guard for twenty-three years in a variety of positions, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel,  Intelligence Officer,  with the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized.)  In addition to her experience in the National Guard, Nancy has extensive experience working directly with youth, as a Court Investigator for Children’s Protective Services, as a Domestic Violence Counselor, and as the Director of the California National Guard’s first residential youth program, the Federal Youth Program. Consequently, Nancy provides relevant depth and expertise to a number of DMT’s initiatives. She earned a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Davis and an MS in Counseling Psychology from National University.

Mary (Bergner) Divine
Mary’s eighteen years of Military and federal experience include her tour as a ground commander in Iraq, with the Army Reserve National Guard, and as a Yellow Ribbon Program Manager for the New Hampshire National Guard. She led development of a deployment cycle support initiative that has served as a best practice within the Yellow Ribbon Program, and served as Special Project Officer and key contributor to the outcome measurement report drafted for NH’s Military-civilian, state, federal, private partnership program. This report was published and referenced by Senator Ayotte to substantiate the effectiveness of reintegration programs when she addressed the Armed Services Committee. Most recently, Mary served as Director for an instrumental organization charged with treating Veterans and their Families. Mary’s record of success includes program management, program analysis, evaluation and measurement, all with a focus on supporting Service Members and their Families. Her range of experience has provided her a depth of understanding assessing and providing for needs faced in all deployment phases. She earned her BS in Health Sciences from Excelsior College. She is currently pursuing her MBA, with a focus in Marketing, from the University of Phoenix.

Holli Carpenter
Holli Carpenter joins the DMT team with a lifetime of military experience. She brings a diverse skill set to her engagements, with talents that include creation of surveys and needs assessments, data analysis, and extensive knowledge of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP). In 2009, Holli served on the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Geographically Dispersed Task Force, where she traveled to YRRP events and interviewed YRRP coordinators, service members and their families. Prior to focusing her career interests on military family consulting, Holli spent more than ten years working in childhood education, managing learning centers, and coaching families on fine tuning parenting skills both in one-on-one sessions and group lectures. Holli graduated cum laude from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, and a minor in psychology.

James P. Desrosiers, MM
Jim’s organizational consulting, executive training & coaching, performance management, and youth development experience equip him to serve our clients well. In addition to a vast array of management, supervisory, and soft-skills, he is an award-winning expert in employee and personal productivity, goal setting, time management, and motivation. Jim has implemented over 180 outcome-oriented programs to include his own goal achievement technology with organizations serving vulnerable populations, and benefiting over 18,000 people of all ages. Jim is passionate about his work, inspiring his audiences due to his own life experience ‘at-risk’. He provides clients with real-world training and tools to achieve more potential and greater program results. Overcoming his childhood experience, Jim went on to serve in the United States Air Force, to found a for-profit training company and a nonprofit organization, and to earn his Master degree in Management, with a dual-concentration in Leadership in Human & Organizational Dynamics and Nonprofit Organization.

Julie Golkowski, MA
Julie Golkowski has been working with youth and their families for over 25 years as a counselor in a program for H.S.dropouts, psychotherapist, supervisor, consultant, clinical coordinator of residential programs for youth, and as Director of Child Adolescent and Family Services in a community mental health center. She received her MA in Counseling from New York University and then received a Professional Diploma in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hofstra University. She has been an adjunct faculty member of University of New Hampshire and Antioch University. Julie has been a statewide and national presenter at conferences covering topics in the fields of resilience, trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, child and adolescent sexual abuse, suicide prevention, and the neuroscience of brain development as it relates to attachment theory. She’s has also trained and supervised clinicians in evidenced based practices in children’s mental health, in mindfulness based stress reduction and in adolescent substance abuse. She’s trained and supervised direct care staff in therapeutic mentoring.

Ted Kehr, MS
Senior Consultant
Ted Kehr offers facilitation and training to several Dare Mighty Things and National Challenge Institute course offerings, both in Portsmouth and around the nation. He completed more than forty years of meritorious service in the U.S. Army and the New Hampshire National Guard, and retired in 2002 at the rank of Colonel. His civilian background, which includes fifteen years in public education at the secondary and collegiate level, allows him to excel as he continues to lend his collaborative skills to strategic initiatives within the DMT practice. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Findlay College in Ohio, and his Master of Science from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Mike Kreinbring
Mike’s experience reflects over 30 years of experience in the US Army, as a member of the Active Army, the MN National Guard, and the US Army Reserve, and has been involved with the USAR YRRP program from its inception. As the Non-commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) for the 88th RSC’s Yellow Ribbon Program, he was responsible for all planning, implementation and follow-through of the program. He developed and put into place methods for contracting, event support, budgeting, and strategic planning. Mike was asked to represent the USAR as the NCOIC for the OSD Joint Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Event. In this capacity, he was also responsible for training the NCOIC’s from other components and was in charge of the operations center. Mike earned a BS in Criminal Justice from the Winona State University.

James Murray, MA, MS
Senior Consultant
Captain Murray is a decorated twenty-seven year veteran of the United States Coast Guard with extensive expertise in coastal command and operations. As a member of our adjunct faculty, he taps over twenty years of his experience in leadership development, education, and training. He has served on the faculties of the United States Coast Guard Academy, University of New Haven, Naval War College, and most recently as Department Head at the Naval Academy Preparatory School where he led a faculty team in the development of performance-based curricula for at risk students. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Master of Science in Operations Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Master of Arts in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.

Melissa Nemon, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant
Melissa Nemon has an extensive background in program/project management, strategic planning, performance measurement, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, and research methodology. Professionally, she has worked closely with nonprofits, for-profits, and government entities both advising and implementing impact modeling, logic models and frameworks, socioeconomic investment impact assessments, and community-based outcomes through evaluation. Academically, she has developed and taught program/project management, research methodology, and evaluation courses for graduate-level university programs. As a consultant, Dr. Nemon focuses on projects that seek to make better communities, address social issues, and create access to knowledge and resources in order to improve social conditions. She holds two Master’s degrees (Community Social Psychology; Community Economic Development) and a Ph.D. in Community Economic Development.

Pierre Perez
Pierre Perez brings eight years of military experience and eleven years of experience with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program’s Alaska Military Youth Academy to his role as a consultant on DMT’s training efforts through the National Challenge Institute (NCI). With five years as a mental health specialist in a behavioral systems hospital, Pierre is well-equipped to provide training to ChalleNGe staff. Pierre is certified as an American Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor, a certified Crisis Prevention Institute instructor, and he has received the Leadership Award at the Rehabilitation Training Instructors Course.