“ with your service you have recruited us to serve you “
Kathy Dent serves as the Executive Director of Global Business Development & Veteran Affairs & Initiatives for Saba Charitable Foundations and SHE CAN Productions, where she is responsible for directing philanthropic giving specifically for veteran and military causes.
Prior to joining Saba Charitable Foundations, Kathy has worked in the veteran and military non-profit sector for more than a decade. Some of the non-profits and initiatives she has worked with in the past and continues to support, include but are not limited to: Camp for Heroes, Operation BBQ Relief, providing assistance for wounded veterans and their caregivers, and supporting NYC fire fighters, and many other first-response agencies and state National Guard units across the country.
Kathy is a native of Columbia, SC where worked for 21 years in the banking industry. She began her work in the medical profession in 2001 as a registered nurse. She has always been involved in community support and volunteerism . She is dedicated to putting others before herself and demonstrates an unwavering commitment and passion for serving the military and first response community.
Leslie Nicole Smith
Director of Communications
Leslie Nicole Smith, a retired Army Captain, graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia with a degree in Communications/Public Relations. She received her commission from the Army ROTC program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Leslie was assigned to the Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) Corps and attended the Army Defense Information School to serve as a Public Affairs Officer for additional duties.
Leslie served in a variety of positions including NBC Instructor, Recruiting and Retention, and Media Relations Liaison with the Military District of Washington in 1998 during the highly publicized sergeant major of the U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Belvoir. In 1999, she was featured on the official
U.S. Army Uniform Poster and was deployed to El Salvador for Task Force New Hope to support Hurricane Mitch relief and recovery mission efforts.
Read more about Leslie Nicole Smith
Leslie deployed to Bosnia in September 2001 with the 29th Infantry Division for Stabilization Force 10 during Operation Joint Forge. She developed a blood clot and returned stateside two weeks before the end of her deployment. Leslie was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for complications resulting from exposure to a chemical agent or toxin.
Leslie lost her left leg below the knee and vision leaving her legally blind.
Staying positive despite her injuries, Leslie forged ahead and returned to work for the USO World Headquarters and then for the Department of the Navy Joint Warfare Analysis Center. Now she passionately advocates for veterans, wounded, ill, and injured warriors, first responders, and their families. Most recently, Leslie was recognized as a HillVets Top 100 of 2018 Honoree for her service as a Secretarial Appointee with the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She was also selected for the HillVets LEAD Protege Program on Capitol Hill. Leslie participates with the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program by providing input and testimony on behalf of the Vision Loss and Prosthetic programs. She is a member of the Council of Advisors for the U.S. Army Heritage Center Foundation and serves as an Ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation, Camp 4 Heroes, and Wreaths Across America. She is a member of the National Campaign Team for the Wounded Warrior Project. Leslie serves as a peer mentor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and McGuire VA Hospital.
In addition, Leslie is a spokesperson for many organizations including Canines for Veterans, the USO, the Fisher House Foundation, and was teamed up with actor Gary Sinise to raise awareness for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. She is the national spokesperson and co-founder of Fatigues to Fabulous, a nonprofit organization that assists female veterans. In 2007, Leslie served as the Wounded Warrior Advocate on the Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors established by President George W. Bush. The following year, she spoke during prime time at the Republican National Convention for presidential candidate John McCain and then campaigned across the country as a Tier 1 Surrogate Speaker with the Veterans for McCain team.
Leslie has been featured in several national campaigns including the Department of Defense “Hiring Heroes”; Toyota “100 Cars for Good”; Department of Veterans Affairs “Make the Connection”; Wounded Warrior Project for Military Times publications; and a Fatigues to Fabulous public service announcement that debuted at the New York Yankees Stadium.
Leslie has appeared on NBC’s Days of Our Lives to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress and on Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars where she represented female service members in the Army. She joined Oliver North on the Katie Couric Show to discuss her story that was included in his book, American Heroes: On the Home front, The Hearts of Heroes.
She has portrayed a veteran in background scenes on CBS’s Criminal Minds, CSI:NY, Netflix’s House of Cards, and played a zombie in the Chernobyl Diaries movie. Leslie filmed a promotional commercial for TLC’s This Is Life Live and was cast as a psychologist based on her real life experiences in the upcoming and inspirational Heroic Episodes series.
Along with numerous print publications, podcasts, and radio interviews including the Brian Kilmeade Show on FOX News Radio, Leslie has appeared on media outlets including FOX News, MSNBC, WJLA, CBS Talk Philly, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, News Close Up with Marvin Scott, CNN HeadLine News Morning Express with Robin Meade, Inside Edition, and the Pentagon Channel. She has shared her resilient and motivational story all around the country including the White House, Wall Street, and West Point. More recent speaking engagements include HeroFest, Camp4Heroes Summit, Premiere Broadway Theatre, Catholic University, Saluting Women Veterans at the Benton Convention Center, The Heritage Foundation, American Veterans Center “Wounded Warrior
Experience” for FOX Business News, True Beauty Conference, Achilles Freedom Team at Mar-a-Lago, Kennedy Center, Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Day and Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Villagers for Veterans, Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters, PBS, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance, United States Patent and Trademark Office Military Association, Redbook Magazine, National Association of Counties, Newman’s Own, Dignity U Wear, Citi Kids & Citi Group, GI Film Festival, America’s Warrior Partnership Symposium, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Corporate Headquarters, United War Veterans Council, Center Stage Studio for Performing Arts, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She had the honor to participate as a guest speaker for the “Women Veterans Career Development” Forum with First Lady Michelle Obama; VA Secretary Bob McDonald; Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics; and Lisa Axelson, Senior VP of Design for Ann Taylor, at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
She recently participated as a guest on the Welcome Home Veterans Radio WIBG, along with Lisa Regina, Creator and Producer for the Heroic Episodes series and Mike Ferraro, President and Co-founder of Bridging the Gap Foundation in a joint collaborative effort to raise awareness for veterans’ stories and assistance with finding employment. Leslie also recently worked with Fashion Merchandising and Design Department students at Marist College by contributing ideas for their Senior Capstone Project that created a line of apparel designed for people with vision loss.
Along with advocacy, Leslie has completed four marathons including Marine Corps, New York City (2), and Miami with the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans. She participated in Ski Spectaculars with Disabled Sports USA; Soldier Rides with the Wounded Warrior Project; Challenged Athletes Foundation triathlon swim; and was recruited to try out and play for the 2008 U.S. Paralympics Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team.
Leslie is a member of the American Legion Post 89, the Military Officers Association of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Amputee Coalition of America, and Association of the United States Army. She is a life member with the Blinded Veterans Association, Disabled American Veterans, and their National Amputee Chapter 76. Leslie previously served on the Board of Directors for the Never Forget Foundation and the National Alliance for Thrombosis and Thrombophilia (NATT), now known as the National Blood Clot Alliance. She served as a
Field Staff Representative for Prois Hunting and Field Apparel for Women to promote outdoor activities to female veterans before losing her vision.
Leslie’s recognition include the Gary Sinise Foundation Commendation of Service, Joining Forces Mentoring Plus Certificate of Appreciation, Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, Lycoming County Brotherhood Alliance Pickelner Brotherhood Citation Award, Citations of Service from both Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Army Surgeon General Special Guest for Twilight Tattoo, Wreaths Across America Friendship Award, Women Injured iN Combat (WINC) HER2 Military Women of Excellence Award, and the Camp4Heroes Phoenix Award. Leslie’s service dog, Issac, also received the first annual Military Service Animal Award 2017 for his devotion to serve from Wreaths Across America at Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall.
Leslie continues to stay engaged within the veteran community with releases including the book, Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal. She shared her story for the documentary, The Veterans Project: Media in Medicine that focuses on bridging the communication gap between medical professionals and veterans to improve healthcare and also for the documentary, Project Home: The Next Battle directed by the Click and Pledge Foundation that includes the story of Leslie and Issac. She was featured in The Road Home documentary about several wounded warriors and she served as the film’s narrator.
Leslie is currently serving as a Subject Matter Expert for the Dogs of War documentary. She is developing a “HEALED UP: No Fear, Walk Strong” campaign that focuses on empowerment after facing loss and tragedy.
Leslie & Issac reside in King George, Virginia. Together they are working on a campaign called “Paws Off Please” (POP) to educate the public about service dog protocol and proper etiquette. In November 2017, she co-authored an op-ed piece, “Veterans and Their Service Dogs: Keep Your Paws Off, Please”, for Fox News and the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper.
Issac enables Leslie to live life with confidence, determination, happiness, independence, and most importantly, a “Paw-sitive” Attitude of Gratitude!!!
Honorary Board Member
Boone Cutler is an author, columnist, music video director and Warfighter Rights leader that has become the first nationally recognized radio talk show personality who is also a combat veteran from the current war.
He began writing his Iraq War inspired novel “Voodoo in Sadr City” during his combat tour in Iraq and later completed it during his two-year recovery from wartime injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, during the Neglect Scandal of 2007.
After his recovery Boone began to see a major void in the Warfighter community and decided to approach Fox News affiliate 99.1 FM Talk with the concept of a new show that focused on national, international and social events based on the Warfighter’s perspective.
Read more about Skyball XVII
American Airlines Sky Ball XVII, in Support of the Airpower Foundation
Saba Charitable Foundation attended this patriotic extravaganza over three days filled with celebrations, tributes, and educational events that culminated with the Home of the Brave black tie gala to honor our nation’s military service members, veterans, first responders, and their families. Saba Charitable Foundation was proud to sponsor the VIP Reception for the Salute to the Heroes concert that featured country singers Austin Allsup, The Voice Season 11 Team Blake contestant, and Stoney LaRue. Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine prepared the delicious meals along with his team of active duty military chefs who work at the White House and Pentagon. Sky Ball XVII was a huge success and will continue to help those in need.