Navarre CERT Board & Staff

Here are the people who are running your Navarre CERT team.
Charlie Palocy
Charlie PalocyCoordinator &
Prior to entering the USAF, Charlie was active as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He enlisted as a weapons loader, then AC-130H Spectre Gunner, serving numerous combat tours in Afghanistan. After earning his Paramedic license, Fire Instructor III and other certifications, he earned a Bachelor's in Emergency and Disaster Management with American Military University, and a Master's Degree in Homeland Security / Emergency Management / Public Health. He recently completed a Master of Public Administration program with Columbia Southern. Charlie previously served as CERT Coordinator and Program Manager for Escambia County, FL. He has served on the Florida CERT Committee and assisted with shelter management with BRACE. Charlie is also a certified CERT Trainer. Charlie currently works for Lifeguard Ambulance Service as a paramedic and EMS instructor for Northwest Florida State College.
Mark Chapman
Mark ChapmanVice President
After retiring from the Air Force as an Air Force Command and Control (C2) Communications officer, Mark spent 10 years as a C2 Systems Subject Matter Expert and another 5 years as an Industrial Security program manager and subject matter expert in International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Upon final retirement, he joined Navarre CERT in October 2016, and obtained his Amateur Radio license in 2017. Mark is also the Executive Vice President for Communications with the Hurlburt Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA) and serves as the Executive Vice President for the AFA’s Florida Region.
Wendy Witaszek
Wendy WitaszekAdmin Section
Wendora (Wendy) Witaszek joined Navarre CERT in November 2018. She is a wife, mother of 2 girls, "Memaw" to 3 grandsons, and has lived in Navarre for 12 years. She has been an Emergency Department nurse for 24 years. Currently, she is the President-Elect for the Northwest Florida Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Prior to nursing she was an EMT for a volunteer ambulance service and a member of a rural First Responder organization in Mississippi.
J.P. Nelson
J.P. NelsonLogistics Section
Mike Sandler
Mike SandlerTraining
Mike is a retired Chief Master Sergeant of the USAF where he spent his career as a Pararescueman. He was instrumental in many real-world personnel recoveries. Once he retired, he became active in the Navarre community by becoming involved with several non-profit organizations (including CERT). He is also a member of the Navarre Chamber of Commerce and an active SCUBA diver, assisting in care of the many area reefs.
Steve VanDenAkker
Steve VanDenAkkerWebmaster, Communications
Steve served in the Air Force for 20 years as a Ground Radio Technician,15 years of which were spent in the Special Operations area with Air Force Special Tactics Teams. Upon Air Force retirement in 2001, he was employed with the Federal Aviation Administration as an Electronics / Fiber Systems installer. Steve has an AA in Electronics Technology, and a BA in Computer Science. He has always had an interest in communications, having obtained his Amateur Radio license in 2004. He enjoys combining his love for computers and Amateur Radio into one fascinating hobby. He has deployed on many emergency events for tornadoes, hurricanes (typhoons), earthquakes, and even volcanoes. He is a certified CERT instructor, an ARRL "Intro to Emergency Communications" instructor, and a Volunteer Amateur Radio Examiner.