Charlie was born and raised in Staten Island, New York and as a young adult he moved to Old Bridge and later Millstone, New Jersey. His success in the financial services industry allowed him to rise through the ranks of First Union/Wachovia, ultimately leading him and his wife, Sandy, of 30 years, and their two daughters, Melissa and Kristen, to Charlotte. He assumed the role of the director of sales, marketing and product development for the Wachovia Insurance Group, a legacy Wells Fargo company; he left the company in 2003.
His story of surviving two tragic accidents, including the major brain trauma of a car accident and an “electrocution” in which he burned over two thirds of his body, Charlie became the focus of the 2012 award winning docu-drama called Charlie's Scars.
The inspiration for the founding of Project 2 Heal came in part from Charlie’s recognition of the care he needed and received from his parents during, and after, his two trials from the accidents, but also from the recognition of how many friends offered to help his family during that time.
Sandy was born in Staten Island, NY and has been married to Charlie for 30 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Melissa and Kristen, and as of October, 2018, a son in law, Seth. Sandy and Charlie have eight of their own personal dogs. Although Sandy loves Labradors, her true loves are her Chinese Crested powder puffs, Oscar and Murray, and her “extra appendage”, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lacey.
Sandy graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Mathematics.
She worked as a Benefit Administrator for Buck Consultants until she left to be a full time mother and homemaker.
Since the inception of Project 2 Heal, Sandy has been the Chief Administrative Officer. She and board member, Lori Manalis, are the event planners for Project 2 Heal’s annual “Putt for Pups” golf outing and Wine ‘n Wags wine tasting fundraiser.
Sandy is a member of Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Indian Land, SC and volunteers with their hospitality committee. She enjoys doing puzzles with her daughter, Kristen, and loves to bake, especially at Christmas time.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Finance – University of Phoenix
Certified Financial Planner®
Mike has spent most of his career helping individuals plan for and reach their financial goals. After a 15-year career with big companies, he started an independent financial planning and asset management firm specifically designed to help the underserved.
He is passionate about encouraging and motivating families to reach their financial goals and be good stewards with the resources they have been blessed with.
Mike has a passion for helping veterans, since many in his family have selflessly
served in the military. He and his wife, Brandy, live in Cramerton, NC with their 8 year old son. They enjoy traveling, experiencing new things together, and spending quality time together
Allison Gommo graduated from CW Post with a B.S. in Art Therapy. She continued her education in art therapy by attending CW Posts Masters Program. While attending graduate school, Allison worked full-time at Sunrise Psychiatric Clinic as an Art Therapist in the Day Treatment Center, located in Amityville, NY, where she wrote treatment plans and ran individual and group art therapy sessions.
After several years, Allison went on to work as an Art Therapist/Case Coordinator for the Sunrise Psychiatric’s adolescent girls group home, located in Deer Park, NY. Her responsibilities included intakes/discharges, treatment plans and group art therapy sessions. In 1998, Allison, and her husband William, started a family. Allison become a full-time, stay at home mom, to 2 sons and 1 daughter. Carter 21, Cole 18 and Campbell 14.
In August 2018 Allison began taking her daughter, Campbell weekly to participate in Project2Heals Pet Therapy sessions. The time spent with the puppies and amazing staff has been extremely beneficial in reducing Campbell’s anxiety and depression. I was so impressed with everything they do that I became a Project2Heal volunteer. Through these weekly visits I truly fell in love with Project 2 Heal’s mission along with one spectacular female puppy named Chelsey. On January 4, 2019, we officially became Chelsey’s chaperone family.
National Desk Deputy Mgr./
Media Content at NBC Universal
Eddie Perez is a broadcast journalist, currently working as National Desk Deputy Manager for NBC News Channel since 1995. He is experienced in field producing breaking news situations and foreign and political events. NBC News Channel is the affiliate feed service for NBC News which provides editorial and technical content to more than 200 + NBC Stations and more than a dozen foreign clients.
Eddie’s Professional Highlights: Covered numerous major world events during the last two decades, including National Political conventions, candidates election night headquarters and primaries, Pope John Paul II’s historic visits to Cuba and Mexico, Pope Benedict’s visit to Yankees Stadium, Mother Teresa’s Funeral in Calcutta, Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Super Bowl XLVI. Eddie is bilingual Spanish.
He is a Little League Umpire for the Myers Park-Trinity Little League/Dilworth Little League. Eddie is also an Assistant Coach for St. Stephen United Methodist Church/Men’s Youth Basketball. Eddie is a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC.
Wes graduated with a B.A. from the University of Maryland, has M. Ed. From Marymount University and Summer Fellow at Peabody Professional Institute for Independent School Leadership.
Wes has dedicated his professional career to educating children. Throughout the past twenty years, he has served in a variety of roles in independent schools including classroom teacher, admissions director, diversity coordinator, and Head of Elementary school. Currently, Wes is the Head of the Middle School at Davidson Day School in Davidson, North Carolina. Along with his school responsibilities, Wes is involved in his church community and volunteers weekly as the middle school Sunday school teacher. For the past two years, Wes has also served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for St. Alban's Episcopal Church Preschool, in Davidson. He and his wife, Carrie, live in Mooresville, NC, with their three children (Dalton, age 15, Hayden Claire, age 13 and Grayson, age 8) and their three dogs. The Wehunt family enjoys spending time together - especially at Charlotte Checkers ice hockey games.
Lori graduated from the State University of New York College, at Oneonta, with a B.S. in Business Economics and earned her MBA with a Specialization in Human Resources Management from Adelphi University.
Beginning with a management training program with the Grand Hyatt in NYC, Lori’s entire career has been built around customer service. She continued her career on the management team at Green Point Financial, where she helped lead the Benefit and Processing Units for 13 years. Once the Manalis Family relocated to North Carolina, Lori concentrated on her most important role as mom to help the family transition more smoothly to a new area. While enjoying this precious time with her family, Lori continued to serve the community by volunteering on a daily basis in her children’s schools, serving as an executive on PTO boards, and teaching Sunday School for over 13 years.
Lori has done everything from running fundraising events, coordinating book fairs, festivals, and golf outings while serving on many boards.
Lori resides in North Carolina with her husband, John, two children, and their beloved dog. The Manalis family has been volunteering for P2H in various roles since 2010. Wearing several hats throughout the years, Lori was a preschool teacher for eight years, worked as an insurance agent in her husband’s business, Manalis Insurance Group and is currently a Patient Services Coordinatior for Novant Health. The Manalis family is a house divided and enjoys cheering for rival schools-The WolfPACK and the Tar Heels!