On May 7, 2023, Shelia Jackson was appointed to the position of Director, Columbia Regional Office (RO), Columbia South Carolina. Ms. Jackson is responsible and accountable for administering federal benefits to approximately 393,792 Veterans and their families living in South Carolina. These services total approximately $3 billion in annual compensation, pension, and survivor benefit payments. An additional $4.3 million is spent in the operation of the Regional Office. The Columbia VA Regional Office also includes out-based Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) offices in Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina. Additionally, the Columbia VA Regional Office has a presence at the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) locations at Fort Jackson, Shaw Air Force Base, Beaufort Naval Hospital, Charleston Naval Hospital, Charleston AFB, Charleston Naval Health Clinic, and under the Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) initiative, a presence at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Jackson was assigned to the Office of Administrative Review with the primary mission to establish the Nation’s three Decision Review Operations Centers (DROCs) and implement the Appeals Modernization Act of 2017. In this capacity, Ms. Jackson has served as the DROC Manager at the St. Petersburg RO since 2018. From 2015 until 2017, Ms. Jackson was the Director of the VA Regional Office in Reno NV. During her assignment as the Assistant Director at the VA Regional Office in Los Angeles from 2012 until 2015, Ms. Jackson served as the Acting Director of the VA Regional Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms. Jackson served 20 years in the United States Army in positions of Military Police, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Specialist, and Army Recruiting Command.
Charles Kimberger was appointed to this position in October 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Director of VA’s Office of Performance Analysis and Integrity in Washington, D.C. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in July of 2017. He served as a rifle platoon commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004/2005.
Woody Middleton took this position in May 2010. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Director of the Pittsburgh RO.
James “Ricky” Ard joined the US Department of Veterans in January 2000 as a Rating Veterans Service Representative. He has held the positions of Rating Veterans Service Representative, Coach, and Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager prior to being selected as the Veterans Service Center Manager for the Columbia VA Regional Office in February 2011.
As a combat, disabled Veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Ricky pursued a course of education through the Veteran Readiness and Employment Division prior to joining the Department. He has dedicated his entire professional career to serving Veterans, their dependents, and survivors.
Reubin Bookert is a native of Columbia, SC. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. He earned a Master of Science Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and a Master of Science Degree in Management from Salve Regina University, Newport, RI. Reubin is a Navy veteran with 32 years of service. While on active duty he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. He retired from active duty in March of 2006. Reubin began his career with the Veterans Benefits Administration in 2008. He was selected for his current assignment as Chief of Support Services in June of 2009.
E. Wayne Martin, III is originally from North Augusta, SC and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of South Carolina Aiken in 2001. He began his VA tenure at the Regional Office in Columbia, SC as a Veterans Service Representative in the spring of 2002. After gaining valuable experience with both the Pre-Determination and Post Determination sections, Mr. Martin was selected as a Rating Veterans Service Representative in July 2004 where he served as one of the station’s Training and Performance Support Systems (TPSS) facilitator and as a Subject Matter Expert for various Centralized Training sessions. After almost three years of serving as a member of the Rating Board, he was promoted to Supervisory Veterans Service Representative, providing first-line supervision for claims development and rating activity teams. In September 2009, Mr. Martin was promoted to Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager at the Columbia VA Regional Office providing second-line supervision to the station’s development, rating, training, and adjudication sections. In November 2018, he transferred to the Columbia Fiduciary Hub as an Assistant Division Chief, and he was selected as Fiduciary Hub Manager in March 2021.
Mr. Martin is married to his wife of almost five years, and they have four children between them. Interests include American History, travel, playing the piano and great coffee. His free time is spent walking, reading, and enjoying time with his family.
William Johnson joined the U.S. Department of Veterans in April 2009 as a Legal Administrative Specialist. He has held the positions of Lead Legal Administrative Specialist and Coach. He was selected as the Regional Contact Center Manager in October 2022. Prior to joining US Department of Veterans Affairs, he served with the U.S. Marine Corps.