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Meet The Team



  • National Council on Mental Health

  • Mental Health America

  • National Alliance for Mental Illness

  • International  Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF)

  • Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Association

  • VOCAL Military Advisory Council

  • VA DVS & ORS Military Peer Council

  • National Coalition to End Homelessness

  • National Small Business Association

  • ExecRanks


Sharon (Schlerf) Newcomb

MA Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

BA Counseling, BA Business Administration

Founder, President, Chaplain, Beacon Institute (2001)

Beacon Institute: Veteran Pathways Home (2012)

Sharon comes from a military-involved family. She is the daughter of US Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lyons--a 3-war veteran who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. She also has two brothers who are Vietnam veterans and a son and daughter in-law both of whom serve in the Air Force. Two of Sharon's nephews served on active-duty with the Navy and the Army through Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Currently, Sharon's grandson serves active-duty in the Army, where he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom.

She has  first-hand insight into the  physical, mental, and spiritual needs of our Service Members, Veterans & Families and has vast experience serving as adjunct faculty and providing technical assistance for US DHHS SAMHSA Faith-Based & Community Organizations from 2012-2015.


O: 804. 384.9323

F:  804.201.4816

"Compass" is Sharon's Service Dog. She is a German Shepherd originally bred and trained for Military and Law Enforcement  K-9 services.

She was purposefully named by Sharon to reflect the compassion and direction her 'Battle Buddy' provides everywhere. This is her 'parade rest' pose.


  • National Council on Behavioral Health

  • Mental Health America-Virginia (Advisory Council)

  • VOCAL - Military Advisory Council

  • VA DVS & ORS Military Peer Council



O: 804. 384.9325

F:  804.201.4816

Michael 'Mike' Newcomb

BA Business Administration, V-CPSS, Peer Bridger

Co-Founder, Vice-President, Trainer

Beacon Institute: Veteran Pathways Home

Michael ‘Mike’ Newcomb is the Master Trainer for Veteran Pathways Home's Courage to Change programs. He is a US Army Veteran and one of Virginia’s pioneers in advocating Peer-to-Peer mental health professional recognition, evidence for best practices, and proper credentialing (2006). As a US Army Veteran, Michael recognized the serious lack of military behavioral health support services and became a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) and Peer Bridger in the civilian community until 2013. 


He is the son of World War II Army Veteran Frank Newcomb, who served on the battlefields of Germany, struggled with PTSD, and  was married to Mildred, for sixty years before passing away in 2012.


  • United States Naval Academy Alumni Association

  • Hampton Roads USNAAA

  • Military Officers Association of America




O: 804. 384.9325 ext 3

F:  804.201.4816

Michael Brown
Executive Director

Veteran Pathways Home


Michael T. Brown is a US Naval Academy Alumni and US Navy Veteran now serving as the Executive Director of Veteran Pathways Home's Courage to Change (C2C) programs.  With extensive training and experience conducting operational planning and risk management, he has encountered a wide array of combat and non-combat related threats to sound mental health. 


Michael considers his greatest accomplishments to be the restructuring of deployment related resiliency programs at multiple commands, and the inclusion of wellness & warrior mindset training in various curricula. He understands the reality of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSD/PTSI).  As an Ambassador of Hope, Michael continues his mission of service to others with the Veteran Pathways Home team.


He is extremely proud of his family’s long history of honorable Military and First Responder service. With family members who have served in every war or conflict since WWII, and others currently serving in all branches, he has seen the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress on families and the relationships they maintain.


Steve Warnecke
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Beacon Institute


Steve has served in marketing and public relations for over 25 years, where he has worked for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Of late, Steve has been part of marketing teams for theatrical release promotions including serving on a panel discussion at Ft Belvoir in 2017 for the film “Hacksaw Ridge.” 


Over his career in television and media, Steve has marketed PBS programming, served as a co-production executive for children’s animation specials, licensed and sold TV programming around the globe, led programming management of domestic TV stations as well as national cable channels, and negotiated rights programming

with major studios and sports leagues for several international TV channels and platforms.

Steve and his wife Jill, along with their sons, have called the Hampton Roads region of Virginia home for over 30 years. He has a Master’s of Government and International studies from Regent University.


  • Healing Place Alumni

  • Submarine Brotherhood Member



O: 804. 384.9325 ext 8

F:  804.201.4816

Will Richardson
Peer Recovery Specialist

Veteran Pathways Home


Will has extensive training in the Peer recovery system and has several years of experience guiding men and women through the process of recovery.  He has gone through the process of recovery himself a  journey that began in 2012 and has been a life/ game changing experience.  

William is a firm believer that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished with Faith, Focus and Perseverance.  He is a key member of our Courage to Change team with his constant dedication helping our brothers and sisters rebound from a troubled time. Focusing on a solution and striving towards that goal of complete recovery.   

William has a very long history of Military in his family dating back to World War II.