Our staff is comprised of experts in the field of mediation, trauma-informed yoga and trauma resolution. All members of our staff and retreat team are Veterans or civilians experienced in working with our unique population.
FOUNDER of Vetitation
Erik is the founder of Vetitation and a U.S. Army combat Veteran who suffers from PTSD. He found that meditation was the only thing that helped to reduce the severity of his symptoms. The success of recent medical studies of Veterans with PTSD who practiced meditation encouraged him to strive to help others in need, as the Veteran suicide crisis personally affected him and those he served with.
Email Erik at Erik@vetitation.org
Director of Programming and retreat educator
Michelle Kole is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of military trauma. Michelle has worked as a civilian contractor for the VA, and currently has a private practice in San Diego, CA. Michelle is also a Vedic Educator, having received teaching certifications in meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda through the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA. Michelle serves on the Executive team and is a valued part of the retreat staff. Michelle is a retreat educator and teaches meditation, trauma fundamentals and yoga.
Email Michelle Kole at Michelle@vetitation.org
director of program development and retreat facilitator
Vanessa Hughes is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps where she served as a firefighter. She is trained in Somatic Experiencing (SE), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Emotion Freedom Techniques (EFT), Touch Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). She holds Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Theology and Clinical Psychology. Vanessa has 20 years of experience working with trauma including 10 years of experience working with Veterans in the VA as well as in community settings. Vanessa’s expertise is the somatic approach to treating Combat Trauma, Moral Injury and Military Sexual Trauma.
Email Vanessa Hughes, MA, SEP at: Vanessa@vetitation.org
Director of operations and retreat coordinator
Dawn spent 25 years practicing and working in Sports Medicine, Rehab and general population Fitness Management and Corporate Wellness. Her career specialties include athletic training, group exercise instruction, exercise metabolic assessments, personal exercise planning and testing, biometric screenings and corporate/community health outreach programs. She led the Twin Cities chapter of Team Red, White and Blue for 2 years and has worked with the Veteran population since 2014. She is a yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation student and is a proud Navy mom and sister!
Email Dawn at Dawn@vetitation.org
David is currently an officer in the Army Reserve and is passionate about helping our brothers and sisters who are currently struggling, both active and Veteran. Having served in the US Marines and Army Reserve, as an officer as well as enlisted, David has a unique perspective on who we are trying to serve.
Email David at David@vetitation.org