Meet Our Team

Joanna Sweatt
Chief Operating Officer

Joanna is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She served as a Field Radio Operator (0621) and as a Recruiter (8411). She served honorably from 1998-2007 (E-6 SSgt) and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 with 3D MAW, MWSS 373, MCAS Miramar.

Having to overcome her own transition obstacles; Joanna made the commitment to help other Veterans transition more successfully. She became a well-known veteran advocate in the AZ community with her previous work at ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center (2012-2015) and her many involvements in the non-profit/volunteer space. She works tirelessly to help bridge the divide between transitioning veterans and the civilian community. She serves as a voluntary board member with ASU’s Veterans Chapter of the Alumni, S.E.E.4 Vets and the AZ Veterans Court Mentor Project. She volunteers to help raise funds for the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund—AZ campaign, teaches career transition curriculum for, and is a member of the Jar Head Professionals group.

Joanna is married to Mr. Jobiin Sweatt since 1997 and they have three beautiful children, Jeriah (19), Jobiin Jr. (17), and Jordin (15).

Peter Martinez
Data Management and Web Support

Peter Martinez, of GB2G IT Solutions has been providing support for The Veterans Directory from its inception, participating in database and application design meetings, bi-weekly project meetings, the website rollout and providing ongoing support and enhancements of the website and data management system.

Having earned a B.S. in Geography from Arizona State University in 1991, and a M.A. from Northern Arizona University, also in Geography in 1998, Peter has worked for an Arizona municipality and a Fortune 500 company during which time he has worked on numerous projects covering the entire scope of IT services including, planning, development, deployment and maintenance.

The Advisory Board

Danita Rios
Chief Executive Officer Emeritus

Danita specializes in partnering entrepreneurs with key business professionals, financial funding sources and influential supporters in the political and government arena. She has a 15-year background in finance, investing and precious metals trading. She spent eight years with Edward Jones Investments and became a Limited Partner with the firm at 23 years old. She was the President of Rios Trading for six years and assisted her clients with purchasing commodities such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Danita has a history of consulting affluent clients on their financial investments and nonprofit endeavors to create mutually beneficial partnerships.

She grew up in a political family and her father, Pete Rios, was the first Hispanic President of the Arizona State Senate. Her sister, Rebecca Rios, followed in her father's footsteps and they became the first father-daughter team in the House and Senate in Arizona history. Danita has helped with the logistics and organization of political campaigns for nearly 20 years.

Ms. Rios first partnered with the founder of The Veterans Directory to create a comprehensive Veterans directory in 2012 and committed to help make The Veterans Directory a reality as a way of saying ‘Thank You’ to all our Veterans and her 92 year old Grandfather, Army Air Corp Lieutenant, WWII, Raul Mendoza.

Mr. Phillip B. Gordon
Advisor Board Member

Mr. Gordon is an American politician who served as the 51st mayor of Phoenix, AZ from 2004 to 2012. Mr. Gordon has worked in a variety of professions, including as a school teacher, lawyer, business owner, chairman of Landiscor Aerial Photography Company, as well serving on the Madison School Board.

Mayor Gordon’s first action on day one was to establish The Phoenix Veteran’s Commission to help Veterans throughout the state of AZ and the Commission is still in operation. In addition, he established an annual Veteran’s Day at City Hall honoring our Veterans’ contributions in a specific conflict from WWII to current operations. He was also responsible for the 1st Veterans lounge at Sky Harbor International Airport which eventually brought the USO to Phoenix at Sky Harbor Int’l Airport. As a councilman, he and his colleagues pushed an ordinance through the city that continues to this day and is the only city to do so that pays the difference for city employees that are activated in support of their military commitments. Mayor Gordon is still known as the Veterans’ Mayor for his continuous work.

Mr. Gordon has been working with the CSS Institute on efforts for supporting Moonshot 20/20—cancer breakthrough treatments and is the current Director of the CSS NantHealth Foundation.

Mr. Gerry Jones
Advisor Board Member

Gerry Jones’ curriculum vitae is most unorthodox. He was raised during the Depression on a farm in northern Indiana; he went to work on the night shift for Holsum Bakery at age eleven. He left home at age thirteen to seek more permanent work in the southern states.

Mr. Jones joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. He served six plus years in the First Marine Division during World War II and the Korean War. Gerry was a sergeant in the elite Marine Corps Scouts and Snipers, and fought the Japanese across the Pacific. He was wounded in action, with 40% disability, and received the Purple Heart.

Following WWII he lived in north China, where he studied martial arts under China’s three foremost self-defense masters. Mr. Jones taught self-defense and survival skills in the First Marine Division during the Korean War (1950-1952). He also taught professional Judo for twenty years in the United States, and he was on the National Board of the Judo Black Belt Federation of America for thirteen years.

Gerry became interested in extreme terrain architecture in China during the 1940’s. This led to his primary life’s work in architecture. He is totally self-taught in architecture and structural engineering. His architectural career spans sixty-four years (1952-2016) during which he has designed 323 luxury residences on mountain terrain. His work is recognized nationally and internationally. He has a new project on the drawing board at present. Gerry taught graduate architects extreme terrain architecture for seventeen years at Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West School of Architecture.

In a joint-venture with Tom Darlington and K.T. Palmer from 1957 to 1959, Mr. Jones designed and laid-out the master land plan for the newly formed Town of Carefree. He wrote the architectural guidelines, and designed and built the first two homes in Carefree. During his tenure as Planning & Zoning Commissioner for the Carefree area, (1983-1987), Mr. Jones wrote the Hillside Architectural Ordinance for Maricopa County.

He received an invitation from the Chinese government to return to China in 1984 to lecture on extreme terrain architecture. During Gerry’s return to China, he and his lovely wife, Leslie, acquired a large private collection of Chinese contemporary art. A portion of their collection has been featured in special exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum.

In 2005 Gerry became concerned about the political direction America was taking. He began writing position papers and lecturing in military education venues such as Virginia Military Institute, Hillsdale College, and the National World WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Mr. Jones is one of the original founders of The Veterans Directory and is committed to the assistance of military veterans and their families.

Last year Mr. Jones was awarded the Semper Fidelis Award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation for his lifetime achievements.

September 2016, Images Arizona Article

Mrs. Robin Arredondo-Savage
Advisory Board Member

Robin Arredondo-Savage is a veteran of the U.S. Army and is currently the Vice Mayor of Tempe, Arizona.

Since being elected to the Tempe City Council in 2010, Robin led efforts to make Tempe the first Veteran Supportive City and first Veteran Supportive Municipal Employer in Arizona. Through her leadership on local veterans’ issues, Tempe established a Veterans’ Commission, created a veteran services one-stop in partnership with the East Valley Veterans’ Education Center, and initiated the development of a 50-unit, housing project called Valor on 8th that will serve women veterans and families.

Prior to joining the Tempe City Council, she spent eight years on the Governing Board of the Tempe Union High School District. Her passion for education, family, and community issues grew during that time and that experience has formed her strong advocacy for developing and supporting policies that create resources and opportunities for individuals to achieve their goals. She is a principal with the Arredondo & Arredondo Insurance Agency.

Robin is married to former Army Ranger, Chris Savage and has two sons Joey and Jaren.