We founded the NFRF with the idea of becoming, a trusted source of emergency assistance dedicated to every first responder with a touch-point to emergency incidents; the dispatcher to every man or woman that is called to the scene. First responders are there for us on our worst day, we founded the NFRF to be there for them on theirs.
JOE ALIOTO VERONESE & JULIE VERONESE
I was drawn to the cause of first responders early in my life, but not until my service as a San Francisco Fire Commissioner did I truly understand the gaps in front-line services to first responders throughout the State of California and nationally. My wife Julie and I founded the organization withe help of Doug, Greg, John, and hundreds of volunteers who were drawn to helping the dedicated men and women first responders who are just a phone call away on our worst day.
Joe has been exposed to first responders and their causes for more than two decades. He began his career as a Reserve Police Office at the San Francisco Police Department after graduating from a Los Angeles County police academy where he obtained his California P.0.S.T (Peace Officers Standards and Training) certification. He then received another P.O.S.T certificate as the President of the 185th class of the San Francisco Police Academy. He served for nearly five (5) years with the San Francisco District Attorney's Criminal Investigations Bureau culminating in his promotion to Senior Criminal Investigator. He was appointed as San Francisco Police Commissioner for a four year term by Mayor Gavin Newsom. Mr. Veronese served seven (7) years as an appointee of the California Senate to the California Criminal Justice Commission, advising then Governor Schwarzenegger on criminal justice policy and acting as a funding agency for federal criminal justice funds to the State of California. Mr. Veronese currently serves on the California Senate's International Relations Foundation. Additionally, Mr. Veronese serves as Fire Commissioner to the San Francisco Fire Department as an appointee of the late Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee.
Mr. Veronese received a Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco in 2000 and practices as a trial attorney and corporate/general counsel to small and mid-size companies.
DOUG HARVILL, PRESIDENT
I was drawn to the NFRF and supporting first responders when I was approached to help publicize the 2017 San Francisco Stair Climb. As I gained knowledge of the traumatic stress injuries first responders bear I knew I wanted to help provide support. First responders experience tragedies on a daily basis that the rest of us do not want to experience in a lifetime. The NFRF was formed to assist these heroes navigate the path to the support they deserve for healing and thriving.
Doug Harvill has dedicated 29 years to a career in broadcast media, most recently the Senior Vice President and Market (General) Manager for CBS Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area including the flagship all-news radio station KCBS. Doug has a dynamic history of growing ratings and revenue in the broadcasting industry. He is skilled in driving revenue in traditional media as well as through unique sponsorship opportunities, digital platforms, concerts, events and experiences. He looks forward to bringing those skills to scaling the NFRF to a world class organization serving our first responders. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
GREG COLLACO, FIREFIGHTER
As a San Francisco firefighter, Greg was drawn to the cause of helping first responders through his own personal experiences. As a co-founder of the San Francisco First Responder's Stair Climb, Greg joined the NFRF to help get first responders who are suffering out from the shadows and into the light to reclaim their lives.
Greg Collaco is a first generation San Franciscan born to immigrant parents that came from China who taught him hard work, gratitude, loyalty and the importance of community. Greg joined the San Francisco Fire Department in 2000 to fulfill his dream to assist people and serve them in their hour of greatest need. Through his exposure to on the job critical incidents, Greg sought out assistance to help him with post traumatic stress injuries. It was here that Greg discovered major gaps in services to first responders suffering in silence from post traumatic stress. In 2009, Greg began organizing stair climbs as a way to raise awareness for fire fighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those left behind from critical incidents. In the spring of 2017, Greg invited San Francisco Fire Commissioner Alioto Veronese to join him on a climb of 1197 stairs. It was there that the idea was born to create an organization to not only raise awareness, but to raise money that could break down barriers and directly impact the lives of first responders. Greg's fundraising efforts have contributed to many first responders and their families through his efforts. Greg continues to work as a peer supporter to first responders on their path to a better life.
JOHN CHRISTY, FIREFIGHTER- PARAMEDIC
My experiences with the San Francisco Fire Department Stress Unit are the most rewarding experience in my career, because of the trusted of supporting my brothers and sisters in their times of greatest need. I was drawn to the NFRF because of the opportunity to use fundraising dollars to help a greater number of fist responders.
Firefighter Paramedic John Christy leads the Stress Unit of the 1400 member San Francisco Fire Department. As a first responder to his peers, John responds to calls for assistance from active duty and retired Fire Department Members and their families at all times of the day and night..
John began his career as a first responder in 1980. When he was 18 years old, John completed Paramedic school and was acknowledged as the youngest trained Paramedic in the State of California at that time. By 1981, John began working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Paramedic Division, and continued as a Paramedic and Acting Paramedic Supervisor through the merger with the San Francisco Fire Department in 1997 where he worked as a Paramedic Captain. John cross-trained as a Firefighter, and by August of 2000, was one of the first Firefighter Paramedics the Fire Department cross trained from the Health Department Paramedics. Over the course of his 36 year career, John has been called to thousands of medical and fire emergencies, and witnessed and engaged in countless incidents associated with working in a metropolitan city, like gang violence, homelessness and multi casualty incidents.
Like some of his peers, John was affected by the devastation and suffering he was exposed to on the job, eventually experiencing severe symptoms of PTSD. Facing that challenge and recovering from those symptoms has forever changed the course of John’s involvement in Emergency Services. There is an understanding that those that call for assistance know that John has faced a similar challenge. As a respected leader within the fire department, John is known for his calm presence and ability to lead with direction.