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Portland Regional Office

Meet Our Leadership Team


Emmett O'Meara

Acting Director: Emmett O'Meara

Mr. O'Meara is the Acting Executive Director for the Portland and Anchorage VA Regional Offices. As Director, Mr. O'Meara leads the Veterans Service Center, Veteran Readiness and Employment Division, Support Services personnel, and the Human Resources Department.  Mr. O'Meara is a proud Navy Veteran. 

From 2009-2012, he served as the Assistant Director in the Appeals Management Center, Washington, DC. From 2012 to 2014, he served as the Veteran Service Center Manager with the Albuquerque Regional Office and from 2014 to 2016 at the Los Angeles Regional Office. From 2016 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Director in the Los Angeles Regional Office. From 2017 to present he serves as the Director of the Los Angeles VA Regional Office. 

Mr. O'Meara received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN.

Assistant Director - Edmonds

Assistant Director: Aaron Edmonds

Mr. Aaron Edmonds was appointed to the position of Assistant Director for the Portland and Anchorage Regional Offices in November 2020.  As Assistant Director, Mr. Edmonds provides operations oversight for all operational aspects within the Anchorage Regional Office and Human Resources.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Edmonds held the position of Director of VBA's Product Management and Delivery at the Office of Business Integration. Mr. Edmonds served on active duty as a Flight Operations Specialist for the United States Army.

Assistant Director: Melissa Bay

Ms. Melissa Bay was appointed to the position of Assistant Director for the Portland and Anchorage Regional Offices in August 2021. Prior to this, she was selected to be the Veteran Readiness Officer in June 2018. She relocated to the Portland Regional Office from the Hartford Regional Office in February 2017 as the Assistant Veteran Readiness Officer. Ms. Bay has worked for VA Veteran Readiness & Employment Services Division since May 2013. She began her career with VA as a Pathways student intern and accepted a position as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in August 2013. Ms. Bay received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from CCSU. Ms. Bay is also a 2018 LEAP graduate.


Veterans Service Center Manager: Kevin Kalama

Mr. Kevin Kalama accepted this position in January 2006. He is responsible for administering VA’s Compensation program for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors in Oregon. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Kalama served as the Veterans Service Center Manager at the Honolulu Regional Office. Mr. Kalama began his VA career in 1992 in California at the Oakland and Los Angeles Regional Offices.


Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer: Jonathan R. Penna

Mr. Jonathan Penna was selected as the Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer at the Portland Regional Office in November 2021.  He graduated with his master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Albany (Albany, NY).  He began his career as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Newark Regional Office.  In 2018, he was selected as the Supervisory Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Seattle Regional Office.  He serves as a mentor within VR&E's New Manager Training, is the Pacific District's representative on the Quality Assurance Advisory Committee and is a graduate of the 2021 LEAP cohort.

Mr. Penna is passionate about serving Veterans and their Families so as to ensure their success in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment. Mr. Penna prides himself on promoting a culture of learning, growth, and self-empowerment.