Meet the Board of Directors
The team behind We Are One Inc. is dedicated to helping military families in need. The more you learn about our board members in Southern California, the more it becomes clear that our mission is very personal to them. Take a look below to learn more about all of our directors, and then contact us to find out how you can join them in helping make the world a better place.
A retired US Marine, Duane spent 23 years in the corps working his way up from private to Major. He was deployed globally on numerous occasions throughout his career, leading and participating in missions of combat, humanitarianism, and peacekeeping. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, one of the military’s highest awards for achievement, on two separate occasions during times of both war and peace.
While in the service, Duane still worked hard to raise a happy family and earn his undergraduate degrees in Management and Psychology from the University of Maryland. His strong desire to continue to serve–even after his retirement in 2014–led him to work for a community-based agency as their COO in 2018 after earning his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.
Duane founded We Are One Inc. as a way to give back to the community that helped him make his family’s success possible. He knows just how challenging it was to be a young Marine, especially one with a family, and he remembers the days of joking about “saving enough to have a family movie night every three months.” Despite these financial challenges, his commitment to serve never wavered. Now, in his current position, he wants to extend support to other military families who might be struggling just as friends, family, and the military community did for him during his times of need.
Originally from New Orleans, Patrick enlisted in the United States Navy upon completion of high school. After serving eight years, he separated from the military in 1996 to help raise his newborn son and support his active duty spouse. During his time in the service, Patrick both deployed as well as acted in a support role for others who were deployed on humanitarian and combat missions.
After serving, Patrick transitioned into the role of a dependent spouse before taking on the role of a single parent. During this time, he completed his undergraduate degree in Health Care Management through Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He continued his academic pursuits by then completing his Master of Social Work degree through the University of Southern California.
In his role as a supervisor within the federal government, Patrick actively seeks out opportunities to help those in need. He joined our organization to leverage his unique perspective on the military experience as both an active duty member and a dependent spouse to help improve the lives of current service members and their families.
Kingsley Emeka Okon Sr.
A pillar of strength in his community, Kingsley is a graduate of California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice/Sociology and a current sworn peace officer with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. An expert in his field, he is skilled at working with the most rebellious, volatile, and mentally and emotionally disturbed youth from the inner cities.
Growing up as an only child in a low-income community in Los Angeles, he struggled against poverty and gang violence to grow up to become a community leader. Driven by his love of humanity, he is passionate about uplifting those in need so that they too can beat the odds against them. A member and former vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Kingsley is very active in his community to help those in need.
As a board member of We Are One Inc., he continues to lead and participate in numerous community service events and fundraisers that connect local and nationwide service members’ challenges to solutions