Board Members

The People who help us take care of our veterans

Meet our CEO

Ramona Evey

CEO of Orenda Veterans Project, INC.

Soroptimist International of Conejo Valley
Interim District 1 Director
Camino Real Region DIBI Chairperson
Camino Real Region District Secretary

I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Newbury Park, California in 1976. I attended Newbury Park High School and after graduation enrolled in California Lutheran University. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and an MBA with an emphasis on Non Profit- Social Enterprise. Certified Grant Writer.

I am the CEO and Executive Director of Orenda Veterans Project, an organization for homeless Veterans in Apple Valley, California. Before working at Orenda House, I worked as a Program Manager at a pharmaceutical company for 20 years called Amgen,
located in Thousand Oaks. I retired from Amgen in 2017.

I volunteer for the following organizations: Susan G. Komen walk for breast cancer awareness, Girl Scouts of America, the Marfan Foundation, the Family Assistance  Program, the Michael P. Nosco Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association and the Marine Corp League Detachment 1383.

My hobbies include photography, scrapbooking, cooking, writing and reading. I also like to participating in 5k, half marathons & tri-athlons, hiking, spending time with friends & family, traveling and going to the gym.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

Board of Directors

Billy Morgan

Board President

Bill Morgan joined the Board October 2020.  He retired as a Corporate Executive in the Food Industry and moved to Sun City, Apple Valley from Orange Country with his wife Jeannie in 2008. He continues to manage and operate a Food Packing Brokerage Company he has owned since 1995.  Bill started a 40+ year career in the food industry shortly after being discharged from the Army.  As a Vietnam Veteran, Bill is passionate about serving active duty military and veterans of all eras and branches of service. To that end, he has been an active member and Ride Captain with the Patriot Guard Riders since 2007.  The Patriot Guard Riders offer assistance, support, respect and honor to all members of our military and their families including those killed in action, active duty deaths and veterans living and deceased.  Bill is also a member of the Sun City Cruisers Car Club in Apple Valley and has been supportive of Orenda for the past six years. His professional interests are photography and videography, working in the television industry, motorcycle riding and traveling.

Alonzo Lewis

Board Member

is a Air force Combat Veteran and spends most of time volunteering in the community especially veteran services. As the Sgt of Arms at the DAV Chapter 12 High Desert, the mission is to get stumbling veterans back onto their feet.  As  a hobby Alonzo specializes in helping others with employment and exposure opportunities. Alonzo joined the Board

Michael Brewer

Secretary

Michael “Mike” Brewer was born in South Bend, Indiana. Raised in Dixon, Illinois and Tucson, Arizona. He is married to Lydia Benson/Brewer and have three adult children, four grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and one great-grandson.  He has a passion for helping Veterans.  His accomplishments leads him to be an expert in his field – Gestalt therapist, member of Pointman International Ministries, graduate of Trauma Resource Institute for Resiliency Training, graduate of Brain States Biofeedback training for Veterans, Chaplain Rim of the World Veterans.  Mike earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tucson University and Graduate of Retreat Management at Merritt Center in Payson, Az Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, Lydia, reading and playing with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Estaban Penameza

Board member

Esteban grew up in Los Angeles, California.  After High school he attended Porterville, College and shortly after that he joined the US Marine Corps at 19 years of age. Esteban retired the Marine Corps in May 2014. 

In 2019, Esteban started working at Victor Valley College as a Financial Aid Technician at the Veterans Resource Center.  He does everything possible to ensure Veteran students are successful.  He recently became a volunteer for the Excelsior High Desert Young Marines.  On his days off he loves hanging out with his family. 

Anthony Bonato

Treasurer

has been a professor at Victor Valley College teaching Construction and Manufacturing Technology.  He holds a MBA in Finance from San Diego State University.  He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.  On his free time he likes to volunteer with veterans and spend time with his family.

Kelly Maxwell

Founder

The Founder of Orenda Veterans Project established in 2013.   Kelly was raised in Redondo Beach, California where he attended public schools and later went into active duty of the US Air Force.  Maxwell served from March 1972 to December 1975 in the US Air Force as an Auto Pilot/Navigation Systems technician working primarily on the Galaxy C-5A cargo transport aircraft.  Kelly Maxwell attended business college after his military commitment, and worked as an investment counselor and a real estate investor until he returned to aerospace in 1981. In 1990, Maxwell became aware that there was a gap in services for the homeless and Veteran populations, and came to understand that many homeless vets were in dire need of services with respect to substance abuse and mental health therapy. Maxwell felt compelled to lease and purchase homes throughout Southern California to help alleviate the gap in services.  Kelly enjoys spending time with veterans, learning about airships and hanging out with his dogs.

He Saw a Need & Changes Lives

To date Orenda Veterans Project has helped 216 Veterans in the San Bernardino County.  Kelly saw many of his fellow veterans really needed some expert help and personal support navigating through “the system”  to get their earned benefits.  So he did something about it.

In 2019, Orenda Veterans Project became a s501c3 veterans organization and was restructured. We wanted to grow and provide supportive services.  Helping veterans with their benefits and claims is where it all began, but it soon became clear that veterans need assistance in a lot of other critical areas. Employment, Education, Health and Wellness, Housing, Food, Clothing and Money Management. Veterans now have case management to receive comprehensive, integrated and personalized care. We are proud of what Orenda Veterans Project has become, a much needed community for Veterans.

Michael Brewer

Secretary

Add text

Alonzo Lewis

Board Member

Add text