Contact Us

Office Location

Operation Education
Email Operation Education
Phone: (208) 885-9026
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3150
Moscow, ID 83844-3150

Questions about giving?

Email Jim Zuba
Phone: (208) 885-4142
Jim Zuba
Operation Education Development

Advising
Email Dan Button
Phone: (208) 885-7979
Dan Button
Veterans Advisor

Advisory Council

Bonnie Amos
Honorary Co-Chair

Bonnie Amos has a strong connection to the University of Idaho through her husband, Gen. James F. Amos, who is a University of Idaho alumnus (B.S Bus ’70) and Commandant of the Marine Corps. She is dedicated to providing help for wounded military personnel. She was instrumental in the creation of the first Run for the Warriors to Lejeune, an event dedicated to the men and women who have received a service related injury after Sept. 11, 2001.
Dr. Mary Beth Staben
Honorary Co-Chair

Dr. Mary Beth Staben was born in Georgia, but grew up in Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts. In 1978, she graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with a B.A. in Chemistry and went on to do graduate work in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980, she began work with IBM – later Lexmark – and served in several positions, including manufacturing engineer, engineering manager, marketing representative and product developer. In 1994, she began a new chapter of life as a medical student at the University of Kentucky. She completed her M.D. and internal medicine residency in six years and began practice in 2000. She has practiced as a hospitalist in solo practice in Lexington, Kentucky, and is now practicing in Idaho. Mary Beth and her husband, Chuck, the president of the University of Idaho, have three college-aged children: Mac, Cal and Rae.
David G. Decker
Chair

An Idaho native, David graduated from U-Idaho in 1971. Upon graduation he accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps via the NROTC program. After 18 years in Eastern Idaho with Merrill Lynch he relocated his business to the Merrill office in Boise in 1999 where he is First Vice President-Investments Financial Advisor and PIA Program Portfolio Manager at Merrill Lynch. David currently resides in Eagle and is married to the former Debby Boren of Mulvane, Kansas. David is very interested in providing all veterans an opportunity to continue their education and to have the necessary tools to cope with a changing society, especially those who have been injured in the line of duty.
Heidi Linehan
Vice-Chair

Heidi Linehan grew up in Pocatello, Idaho and graduated from Idaho State University. She is married to Greg Linehan (B.S. Bus, ’68), and both Greg and their son, Thomas, served in the US Marine Corps. Heidi recently retired as executive director of Gritman Medical Center Foundation in Moscow and is an active community member. Prior to that she was appointed to the Idaho Wheat Commission and worked in the offices of Hayden & Ross, CPAs, in Moscow. In 2002 she accepted a position as development officer at the University of Idaho, where she was employed until assuming her current position at Gritman. Heidi was the visionary for the establishment of Operation Education, and served as its first development officer. She continues to have strong feelings about the role and purpose of OpEd in providing a means for our wounded veterans to attain a college degree without incurring massive student.
Donald L. Burnett, Jr.
Member

A native of Pocatello, Don received his baccalaureate education at Harvard, his J.D. degree at the University of Chicago, and his LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia. He also graduated on the “Commandant’s List” of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. He retired as a Colonel and received the U.S. Armed Forces Legion of Merit award. His career has included private practice in Pocatello; service as a judge of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court and as executive director of the Idaho Judicial Council; as a judge on the Idaho Court of Appeals; and a faculty appointment, including a decade of service as the dean, at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville. In 2002 Don returned to his native state to join the faculty and serve as the law dean at the University of Idaho.
Nancy Byers
Member

Nancy Johnston Byers (B.A.’69) and George Byers of Denver, Colorado are ardent supporters of the Operation Education program at the University of Idaho. The Byers definitely come from a military family: George was commissioned through the ROTC program at the University of Mississippi and served in Vietnam; George’s father was a World War I veteran; Nancy’s father served in World War II; the Byers’ eldest son, Jeff, was a member of SEAL Team 1 and since leaving the Navy, continues to serve the U.S. government overseas. Nancy is a Moscow native with a degree in Spanish from Idaho and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Mexico.
Barbara Ware Featherstone & Wray W. Featherstone, Jr.
Members

Barbara was born in Lewiston and came to the U of I in the fall of 1961, where she met her future husband, Wray Featherstone, then an ROTC student. After graduation Wray entered the USAF and was trained as a jet pilot and became a Flight Instructor. The Featherstones’ love of the University of Idaho runs in the family – at latest count more than a dozen family members have attended. They have chosen to serve on this council because they love their university and to honor and remember friends and flight students who served in Viet Nam, many who did not come home and others who suffered terribly as prisoners of war.
Jo Wynne Goesling
Member

Jo Goesling grew up in Texas where she attended Texas State University. After college Jo went to New York to begin a 25-year career as a print and TV model/spokesperson with the Eileen Ford Agency. She was able to travel the world and saw many cultures that made her proud to not only be an American but to realize how fortunate we are here in this great country. Jo has spent the last 28 years as a military spouse and is the proud mother of a USAF Pararescue Parajumper - better known as PJs - and wife to Bill Goesling, USN Ret. Working with our veterans and helping them on their journey to a productive civilian life is a passion for Jo and one she takes very seriously.
Ronald W. and Penny L. Iverson
Members

A career military officer, Ron Iverson spent 32 years with the US Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant General in 1997. He served as a fighter pilot with over 3,200 hours in the F-4, F-5, F15, and F-16 aircrafts to include two tours in Vietnam. Following his military retirement, he held a high-level position in the Department of Defense, was an executive with Northrop-Grumman, joined Lucent in 2006 as a vice president, and ultimately retired in 2012 as the CEO of LGS Innovations. During Ron’s military career, Penny Iverson served as adviser to such groups as Red Cross, Officers Wives Groups and served on an Air Force Blue Ribbon Panel to advise on the role of a commander's spouse. Both are graduates of the University of Idaho, Penny in 1964 and Ron in 1965. They have four children and seven grandchildren, and currently reside in Fairfax Station, VA.
Kay Maurin
Member

James R. (Jim) Pilcher
Member

Jim Pilcher graduated from the U of I in 1970, and after serving three years in the US Navy, returned to Moscow and began his accounting career with Hayden & Ross, CPAs. He has served as chair and member of the Idaho Society of CPAs and the State Board of Accountancy, and currently represents Idaho on the AICPA Council. Jim married his high school sweetheart Judy (Terry) in 1968, and they have three children (all U of I attendees) and six grandchildren. He is an avid Vandal fan and enjoys golf in his leisure time.
George D. and Melinda (Lindy) Stockton
Members

George Stockton served the University of Idaho for thirty years before retiring in 2006. He returned from Vietnam in 1967 and felt displaced, not a part of his community, shunned. He wants to do something positive for returning veterans so none of them have to feel ignored and unappreciated for their sacrifice. Lindy Stockton retired from the University of Idaho in April 2011, ending over thirty years as both employee and student. She came to Moscow in 1979 and found a place that she never wanted to leave. Her dad was a WWII veteran. Her husband is a Vietnam veteran. What they experienced when they returned home from their wartime years could not be more dissimilar and she wants to do what she can to make sure that veterans coming home today know how deeply their service and sacrifice are appreciated.
Denise Thomson
Member

Born in Moscow, Dr. Denise Thomson is a lifetime military family member and twenty-year civil servant with the Department of Navy. The daughter of an Air Force pilot, spouse of a naval aviator, mother and grandmother of the current generation of military families, Denise focused her doctoral research on military spouses. Her Storied Leadership™ model has been presented at several Department of Defense conferences; more recently the model has been disseminated at International Leadership Association (ILA) conferences and supports her current passion for advancing women and leadership. Denise is a member of the Executive Leadership Team of the ILA Women and Leadership Affinity Group, is a Certified Coach and Consultant in Appreciative Inquiry and Whole Systems Intelligence, and a Circle Practitioner trained by the foremost authority in participatory leadership and collaborative conversations. As an Organizational Development Consultant, she manages the Northwest Diversity Learning Series, hosted by Archbright, in Seattle, Washington. Denise and her husband, Tim, reside part-time in the home designed and built in Moscow for her great-grandparents.
Robert Wakefield
Member

Colonel Wakefield was a distinguished military graduate from the University of California, Berkeley (1959). He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and, with Highest Distinction, the Naval War College. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. His command and staff tours have included Operations Officer at Battalion, Regiment, Division, and Fleet Marine Force; Commanding Officer of two Companies, two Battalions, and a Regiment; and Chief of Staff at Brigade and Fleet Marine Force Headquarters. Colonel Wakefield commanded two Reconnaissance units and, as a parachutist and scuba diver, pioneered in the use of submarines for amphibious reconnaissance. He was involved in developing the Marine Corps Live Fire Exercise program to its present form. He saw combat service in Vietnam, including the Tet Offensive and the battle of Hue City. The Colonel is the author of numerous articles on military history, tactics, and leadership to include: "The German Generals 1918-1933," "Queen Elizabeth’s Own Sixth Gurkha Rifles," "A Fond Farewell: A Visit to the Solomon Islands," "Training for Maneuver Warfare," and "Personal Outdoor Equipment." During his tenure as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, Colonel Wakefield was instrumental in the early development of Mechanized Combined Arms team tactics. He continued that development as Commanding Officer, 3rd Marine Regiment (Rein) and is most proud of the two multi-battalion live fire combined arms exercises with tanks, designed and carried out by the 3rd Marines. These exercises prepared the Regiment for the role it was to play in Operation Desert Storm. After he retired as Chief of the General Staff, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, in June 1989, Colonel Wakefield attended Law School at the University of Idaho and graduated Cum Laude in 1992. Colonel Wakefield lives in Moscow where he practices law, serves as a Judge on the Coeur d’ Alene Reservation, and pursues his outdoor hobbies. He was an active member of the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department for 14 years. He served a tour in Afghanistan for the State Department’s Justice Support Program.
A. Edward (Ed) & Karen Whitehead
Members

Ed and Karen Whitehead are both natives to Moscow. After graduating, Ed was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy; three days later Ed & Karen got married and left for Groton, CT. for submarine school. He retired from the Navy 25 years later having spent most of his career in submarines either as a driver or as an Engineering Duty Officer with a tour in Viet Nam thrown in. Karen taught school, primarily K through 3, initially full time and later as a substitute teacher. Upon retiring from the Navy in 1986, Ed worked in the defense industry at Bangor, WA. They moved back to Moscow in 2001. The Whiteheads have four grown children. They enjoy traveling, golf, gardening, a home on Coeur D’Alene Lake and 16 grandchildren.