Meet Our Team

Board of Directors

Victoria M. Newman

President

Victoria M. Newman (Vicki) began her journey of law enforcement life just five weeks after she and her husband, Chief Brent Newman of the California Highway Patrol, were married. Six months after he entered the Academy, they moved to Los Angeles to begin what would become a 31-year career. His career included involvement in the Rodney King Riots, the Yosemite Murders, five promotions, several line of duty deaths and suicides, multiple moves, overseeing many critical incidents, four years as Commander of the CHP Academy, the Stephon Clark protests in Sacramento, and the Camp Fire. Victoria walked through all of these incidents with her husband, providing practical, emotional and marital support for him and others involved. She also provided help and support to other law enforcement families throughout the years.

In response to increased LODDs and suicides within the department, Victoria researched and wrote A CHiP on my Shoulder—How to Love Your Cop with Attitude in 2011. Based on the input of 35 families and her own experience, the book was written for law enforcement wives. That book generated letters from spouses as far away as Australia, and soon she began speaking to spouses and officers across the country, Canada, and the Philippines.

After co-writing (with SSG Emmett Spraktes) and publishing Selfish Prayer, a military book that gave her an indepth look at the emotional toll of war, she tackled the request for a relational book for officers. It took 18 months of research, a national survey, and interviews with over 100 police families. She published A Marriage in Progress—Tactical Support for Law Enforcement Relationships in December 2015. This opened the door to speaking for law enforcement leadership, peer support, and departments. She also was trained as a law enforcement chaplain in Sacramento and as a peer support member with CHP.

In 2013-2014, Victoria partnered with Heidi Paulson to create the VOWS Retreat (Veterans Of the War on our Streets), a wounded officer marriage retreat held yearly near Belfry, Montana. She’s written several articles for Law Officer magazine, and created Backup for the Home, a 4-hour seminar on Law Enforcement Marriage. She also attended a Medal of Honor Ceremony at the White House, as research for Selfish Prayer unearthed key evidence that led to the medal for Army Captain William Swenson. 

In 2017, she rewrote her first book, adding 30,000 words of additional information based on her experience and coming alongside police families. The new title is A CHiP on my Shoulder—How to Love and Support Your Cop.

Based on Brent’s schedule and the needs of her family, Victoria homeschooled her children for ten years and “retired” to her current career once the kids were grown and off to conquer the world! She counts those years inside the home as precious, and now enjoys the fruit of four amazing young adults who all contribute to others in a positive way. She also has an adorable little grandson with golden curls.

Victoria serves as Founder and President of How2LoveOurCops, utilizing her skills of writing, speaking, strategic networking, listening, and coming alongside hurting people. She tells a hilarious “Chubby” story, is an awesome cook, and is a forensic crime show junkie!

Contact Victoria at victoria@how2loveourcops.org.

Janine D'Agostini

Vice President, Active Duty

Janine and her husband, Sheriff John D’Agostini, have been married for 33 years. They are the parents of three beautiful daughters and one handsome son. They are also proud grandparents of four amazing grandchildren—two boys and two girls. They are the loves of her life.

Janine has owned and operated her event planning business, It’s One Fine Day, for 20 years. Among many weddings, community and political events, some notable events include: the Grand Opening for Red Hawk Casino; coordinating (in partnership with the El Dorado County Tourism Authority) the World Gold Panning Championship, hosting 22 countries for 7 days, and included a Parade of Nations; and two years of hosting political events to aid her husband in his successful campaign for Sheriff of El Dorado County. Janine was also a Mortgage Loan Officer and Realtor for 14 years.

Janine leads the organization she founded, Thrive with 10-35, which supports and advocates for law enforcement and their families. In nine years, they have accomplished much—creating an environment of care, support, and community within the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. The evidence of this is during the tragic shooting death of Deputy Brian Ishmael, October 23, 2019. The response and support for the surviving family and the officers has been incredible—they’ve given comfort, needed funds, therapy, and provided a healthy environment to grieve and heal.

Janine grew up in Santa Cruz, played classical violin in the Youth Symphony and was a competitive gymnast. Her biggest pet peeve is the little stickers put on apples…why on earth do that?!

Janine still organizes private weddings and events on the family ranch, serves on the Board of Directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and is very honored to serve as Vice President, Active Duty for H2LOC.

Stephanie Thompson

Secretary

Stephanie and her husband, Bill have been married for 20 years. Their relationship began shortly after Bill began his service in the United States Marine Corps in the fall of 1997 and that uniform captured Stephanie's eye. Bill served as Military Police but always had his eye on California Highway Patrol, which he entered the academy in 2001. During those six months, Stephanie lived in nearby Folsom with a gracious aunt and uncle, continuing her education and recovering from ACL surgery. Bill broke in as the Lee Vining Residence Post on the Eastern side of the Sierras, remaining there for over seven years, and together they brought three children into the world. For the last ten years, they’ve lived in the Sacramento area.

In 2000, Stephanie earned her Associates Degree from San Diego Mesa College. She counted it as a stepping stone and continued her education pursuing a bachelor's degree in Social Science with an Online Specialization. Despite attending a total of seven different colleges/universities, raising three children and living in five different cities, Stephanie finally achieved the title Graduate in 2019. Though this is a major accomplishment, she plans to pursue a master's degree in Disaster Management in the near future.

Stephanie has been an avid soccer player since the age of nine, playing a few seasons of college ball, and still can't get enough! Not even ACL reconstruction surgery has kept her from participating in sports of all kinds. Last summer she took on Half Dome in Yosemite with the men in her life, completing all 17 miles!

With Bill's unpredictable schedule, the Thompsons chose to have Stephanie be a full time parent. According to the kids' schedule, Stephanie has worked part-time as a Substitute Teacher and Cross Country/Track Coach. This year her kids will attend three different schools! With all of their activities, Stephanie is perfecting her driving skills, logging the miles, and considering pursuing a new career as UBER/LYFT Driver.

Stephanie is our beloved Secretary, a team player and Jack of All Trades. She’s always willing to fill in as needed, whether it be recording the minutes, managing paperwork, figuring out problems, or manning the merchandise table. Her organization, phone skills, and inclusive attitude are invaluable!

Contact Stephanie at stephanie@how2loveourcops.org.

Lorie Osborne

Treasurer

Lorie Osborne has been married 13 years to her husband Chris, a sergeant and SWAT with Rocklin (CA) Police Department. They have an amazing 9-year-old son who will be a very tall man someday!

She has been working in business and finance for over 10 years at an auto business and a local high school. She has joined our Board as our Treasurer, and she is getting the books set up for long-term growth. Her knowledge and attention to detail has been very beneficial to our organization!

Lorie grew up in Paradise, California, as the daughter of a Butte County Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant (now retired). Her father’s best friend and coworker was killed in the line of duty, so she watched him deal with his grief, along with other aspects of the career. In addition, Chris has also had several critical incidents in his career, so Lorie has not only experience as a daughter of a cop, but also supporting her husband through a challenging career.

Lorie was once a 4-1-1 operator named Rosetta, she coached high school girls’ volleyball for over 10 years, and she’s never had her ears pierced! Her pet peeve is dried food on the dishes in the sink—all she asks is to rinse them a bit!

A woman - Kathryn Hamel in a blue jacket standing with arms crossed.

Kathryn Hamel PHD.

Board Member

Dr. Kathryn Hamel joined our Board of Directors and comes to us with non-profit leadership and law enforcement experience. Kathryn is currently the Vice-President of Mobile Operations for Be Well OC. Before that, she served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Hecht Trauma Institute (HTI), a nonprofit dedicated to providing education, information, and services to traumatized persons since July 2020. In addition, she has been involved with Be Well OC initiatives since 2021 on various committees and sub-committees.

Before transitioning into nonprofit leadership, she worked in higher education as the Dean of Criminology and later as the Senior Vice-President of Human Resources and Organizational Development for a private, accredited international university.

She also served her community for nearly 25 years as a law-enforcement professional for two mid-sized municipal police departments. She has worked as a police lieutenant, police sergeant, special victim’s unit detective, public information officer, and task force officer.

Dr. Hamel is a certified facilitator, a certified trauma and resilience professional, and a seasoned educator. She has spoken at numerous conferences and engagements on trauma and resiliency throughout North America. She is also the best-selling author of Body Mind & Badge: Strategies for Navigating Trauma & Resilience in Law Enforcement.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Dr. Hamel is the 2023 recipient of the Advocate of the Year award from the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce and the 2022 recipient of the Mental Health Association of Orange County’s Professional of the Year.

She is pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Psychology with a completion date in 2024, and she is actively pursuing licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. In addition, Dr. Hamel holds two professional certifications in trauma and resilience (Level 1 and Level 2) from Florida State University, a Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership & Criminal Justice from Capella University, a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Vocational Education and Occupational Studies from California State University, Long Beach.

She has almost three decades of experience guiding nonprofit and charitable organizations as a committed community volunteer. She is currently an appointed member of the Human and Civil Rights Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a Board Member of KinderVision, a nonprofit co-founded by her late mother, Ashby Sebastian, dedicated to addressing the exploitation of children.


Advisors

Heidi Paulson

Vice President, Wounded Division

Heidi grew up on a ranch in south central Montana, learning the value of hard work, family, and community. She graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, and has worked many years in international business, including textiles and software.

Advocacy and support for the most vulnerable in our country has long been a passion of Heidi’s, second only to her husband Ladd of 33 years, two adult children, and three grandchildren. Ladd is a retired Billings Police Motor Officer who was critically injured during a traffic stop in 2002. She knows what it’s like to get that call we hope never comes, to sit for hours in hospital waiting rooms, and sleep in a chair by her husband’s bedside. Her experience has taught her that although hard, the journey after the hospital was most difficult.

Heidi and Ladd’s faith and experience following line of duty disability retirement prompted Heidi to write and publish Dependence Day, a book that includes struggles many disabled officers and their families face—from thankfulness to financial difficulties, isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Sharing their story has been instrumental in forming a support network for injured officers and their families. Heidi maintains an online forum for families, allowing these heroes to connect, encourage one another, and share resources.

It is no secret that law enforcement life is hard on families. Both the suicide and divorce rates in law enforcement families are way too high. Following line of duty disability, these rates jump even higher. Heidi heads up our VOWS marriage retreat program for disabled LEOs and their spouses as our Vice President, Wounded Division.

The Paulsons’ experience and growing network led to the realization that a number of state and federal issues pertaining to disabled officers needed to be addressed. Heidi has advocated for disabled first responders at both state and federal levels for over a decade. Her efforts have resulted in legislation being passed, with bills currently pending in the US House and Senate, and she’s not done! Heidi also serves with Wounded Blue as Vice President, Legislative Division, and most recently invited to represent wounded officers in the PSOB Stakeholders Group under the direction of Bureau of Justice Assistance (Dept of Justice). This is the first time disabled officers have been represented in this group.

In yesteryear, Heidi flipped bales before school, drove a truck, and shoveled out granaries. Although she lives in town now, she can’t wait for the seed catalog and spring planting!

Contact Heidi@how2loveourcops.org.

Richard Manies

Tax Advisor/Marketing

Bio to come.


Core Team Members

Melissa Bailey

Event Coordinator

Krisha Halstead

Administration

Nicole Irdvig

Home Watch Coordinator and Merchandise

Annie Brazeal

Prayer Lead

Kim Rossiter

Social Media Administrator

Chris Ruiz

B.R.O.S. Liaison

Jennifer Schopf

Traci Davis

State Liaison Coordinator

Karin Bloesch

Marketing and Website Administrator

STATE LIAISONS

It is the goal of How 2 Love Our Cops to have a representative in every state of the union. The role our State Liaisons hold is to bring our resources, programs, events, and connection to a vast support system to areas we can’t touch personally from the west coast. They are our eyes and ears as well, taking note of the unique needs and dynamics of each state. Here are our current liaisons:

Kim Ingram

Florida

Kimberly Ingram joined the family of blue just three short days after she and husband Nate were married. Upon completion of the academy, their 24-year adventure began, both together and in law enforcement. Nate has been in public safety for 30 years—EMT for five, in law enforcement for the remainder. He currently serves as a part time police officer with the City of Flagler Beach. They have four adult children, a beautiful granddaughter, and one energetic Australian Shepherd. Throughout her life, Kim has served in several churches in leadership positions and in the missionary fields both foreign and domestic. Currently, she and Nate have a motocross ministry numerous weekends a year, providing church and ministering to riders and their families.

After staying home with the kids for 20 years, Kim graduated with a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. She is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified First Responder Counselor. Kim and Nate own Wellspring Mental Health Group where she specializes in first responders and their loved ones.

When she has spare time, Kim enjoys spending time on the boat, traveling to the Florida Keys, and time with her granddaughter!

Contact Kim at Florida@how2loveourcops.org.

Angie Lopez

Illinois

Angie is a veteran LEOW of 23 years to her police officer husband, Frank. Also, she has recently also became a mom to a LEO in the same city. Her second son is also planning on a career in LE as well. She loves to help people get connected and find resources they need, as well as encourage and support those who are struggling with this challenging lifestyle and calling.

Contact Angie at Illinois@how2loveourcops.org.

Jenny Lanzen

Indiana

Jenny Lanzen serves as chaplain with the Goshen City Police and Fire Departments as well as on their Crisis Response Team. Jenny is the conference coordinator for the annual “Breaching the Barricade LE Conference” held in Northern Indiana each year. Jenny has facilitated numerous law enforcement events including an 11-state regional conference for the “International Conference of Police Chaplains.” She enjoys speaking for spouse events and chaplain training seminars, sharing her experience as a law enforcement spouse and first responder family. Jenny and her husband, who is a deputy with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana, have four teenage daughters that have been part of the thin blue line family for 17 years. Jenny’s main goal is to provide law enforcement spouses in her community with training, spouse academies, book studies, mentoring, peer support and counseling.

Contact Jenny at Indiana@how2loveourcops.org.

Rixie Albright

Louisiana

Rixie has been married to Adam Albright, a Louisiana State Trooper, for 19 years. They live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with their two children who keep them very busy.

Rixie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has worked in the mental health community for 20 years after completing her Master's degree at Baylor University in 2001. Rixie volunteers with both the Louisiana State Police and Baton Rouge Police Department peer support teams. Rixie is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trained and is working towards certification. Rixie's caseload is primarily working with First Responders.

Rixie enjoys working out, cheering for her kids at their activities, attending sporting events, and hopes in the future to travel much more!

Contact Rixie at Louisiana@how2loveourcops.org.

Tina Ingemi

Maine

Christina Ingemi has been a law enforcement spouse for over 20 years. She loves getting outside to hike, kayak, cross country ski, etc. and coming alongside other LEO families to offer support and encouragement.

Contact Tina at Maine@how2loveourcops.org.

 

Katie Brown

Massachusetts

Katie Brown,is the wife of a Haverhill Ma police Lieutenant. They been together for 17 years, meeting while we both worked in EMS. She is a retired EMT current Respiratory Therapist. She is also a mom too two boys. She has spent the past few years following her passion of spousal /peer support. "Having been a first responder myself for many years I know the importance of having people who understand you."

Contact Katie at Massachusetts@how2loveourcops.org.

Corina Shipp

Washington