Todd DePastino is founding director of the Veterans Breakfast Club. Todd’s interest in veterans’ stories first grew out of his work as a historian. Todd is author and editor of seven books, including the award-winning Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front (W.W. Norton), a biography of the famed WWII cartoonist. He has a Ph.D. in American History from Yale University and has taught at Penn State Beaver and Waynesburg University, where he received the Lucas-Hathaway Award for Teaching Excellence.
Nick Grimes, Project Manager. Nick joined the VBC in 2016 to head up our programming for post-9/11 veterans. Nick served in the Army from 2004-2011, including a total 27 months in combat in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. He hosts the VBC podcast “Longest War” and is currently producing a follow-up series titled “Truth About War” that will explore various aspects of the American military experiences.
Development and Communications Officer
Lauren joined the VBC in 2017 and has served in many roles, from developing programs to emceeing events. This year she heads our development efforts while continuing to work our lives events and craft panel discussions and special events. Lauren is a Navy veteran who joined at age 17 and had tours on the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 in Yokosuka, Japan, and onboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz CVN-68 in San Diego. Her post-service work as a Community Outreach professional, together with her passion for serving veterans, is what led her to the VBC.
Graphic and Website Design & Communications
Ellie, Todd’s daughter, has been attending events since the VBC was just a small group of WWII vets who gathered for breakfast. She graduated from the College of Wooster in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and is now living in Chicago. She does print & digital media production for the VBC, handles desk duties, and manages the VBC’s social media & website.