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Columbia Regional Office

Meet Our Leadership Team


Director: Vacant

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. 

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.

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

James Lester

Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer: James Lester

Dr. James M. Lester came to Columbia in April 2019, as his 4th relocation with the VA. Dr. Lester has been involved in many pilots, workgroups, and innovations. He is a US Marine Corps Veteran and has accomplished multiple degrees and certifications. Dr. Lester is considered an expert in his field, having his research and work published more than once, including a five-year innovative study regarding cognitive variances in military Veterans and its implications for rehabilitation and reintegration to civilian life. He volunteers his time in several leadership development programs in and outside of the VA. Dr. Lester’s ability to lead and make executive resolutions is recognized in the community, as he also serves on several board of directors, as well as two international councils.


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.

Edward Wayne Martin

Fiduciary Hub: E. Wayne Martin, III

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, Jr.

Regional Contact Center: William Johnson, Jr.

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.