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Columbia Regional Benefit Office

Meet Our Leadership Team

 

Director: Leanne Weldin

Leanne Weldin was appointed Director of the Columbia Regional Office (RO) on July 14, 2013. She administers benefits and services to the Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors in South Carolina. Ms. Weldin served in the Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Charles Kimberger

Assistant Director: Charles Kimberger

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. 

Portrait of Woody Middleton

Assistant Director: Woody Middleton

Woody Middleton took this position in May 2010. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Director of the Pittsburgh RO.

Portrait of James Ard

Veterans Service Center Manager: James R. Ard

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 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Division prior to joining the Department. He has dedicated his entire professional career to serving Veterans, their dependents, and survivors.

Paul Knight

Vocation Rehabilitation and Employment Officer: Paul G. Knight

Paul Knight took this position in August 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the Assistant VRE Officer of the Columbia RO.  He served four years in the United States Air Force and two years in the Air Reserves.  Mr. Knight graduated from the Uniform Code of Military Justice Academy and served as a Legal Specialist and Court Report..

Marcia Hempy

Fiduciary Hub Manager: Marcia Hempy

Marcia Hempy joined the US Department of Veterans in September 1994 as a Veterans Claims Examiner. She has held the positions of Senior Claims Examiner, Rating Veterans Service Representative, Coach, and Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager prior to being selected as the Fiduciary Hub Manager for the Columbia VA Regional Office in 2011.

Reubin Bookert

Support Services Chief: Reubin Bookert

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.

Wayne Oswald

National Call Center Manager: Wayne Oswald

Wayne R. Oswald began his VA career in September 1999 as a Veterans Service Representative at the Columbia Regional Office. In January 2008, he was promoted to a coach position in the Columbia National Call Center. In December 2009 Mr. Oswald accepted his current position of Call Center Manager. Mr. Oswald earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Saint Leo University, Saint Leo Florida while serving in the United States Air Force.