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Salt Lake City Regional Office

Meet Our Leadership Team

Emmett O'Meara

Acting Director: Emmett O'Meara

Mr. Emmett O’Meara was appointed Director on November 26, 2018. He has also served as the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles VA Regional Office. Mr. O'Meara is responsible for administering a range of benefits to the Veterans and their families living in the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles office. Prior to this appointment, Mr. O’Meara served as the Veterans Service Center Manager at the Los Angeles VA Regional Office. Mr. O’Meara has over 17 years of experience in civil and military service.

Kimberly Albers

Assistant Director: Kimberly Albers

Ms. Kimberly Albers was selected as the Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Salt Lake City Regional Office, effective February 2020. She is responsible for 845 full-time employees and administering VA benefits and services to 134,313 Utah Veterans and their families. She is responsible for the annual disbursement of over $998 million compensation and pension benefits paid to 56,190 Utah Veterans and dependents. She is also responsible for the Salt Lake City Veteran Readiness and Employment program, the Salt Lake City Incident Team (completes all potential benefit fraud cases for VBA nationwide), a National Call Center, the nation’s only IRIS Response Center, and the Salt Lake City Fiduciary Hub, which serves 13 western states, Guam, and provides funds management of over $951 million in VA benefits.

Ms. Albers previously served as the Veterans Service Center Manager in the Salt Lake City Regional Office from December 2009 to January 2020. Prior to that she was an Assistant Service Center Manager in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Regional Office from July 2006 to December 2009 and a Management Analyst in the VBA Western Area Office from July of 2004 to July of 2006. Ms. Albers began her career with VA at the Los Angeles Regional Office in June of 2001, where she served in the capacities of rating specialist and supervisor.

Ms. Albers grew up in northern Idaho and attended the University of Idaho, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She also attended the University of Idaho, College of Law and received her Juris Doctor in May of 1997. She is a member of the Idaho and the California State Bars and a registered neutral/mediator in the State of Georgia.

Assistant Director: Jeff Jones

Jeffrey Jones was selected as the Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Salt Lake City Regional Office, effective December 6, 2020. Jeffrey Jones has served in the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Division for over 15 years and most recently served as the VR&E Officer for the Roanoke Regional Office. Prior to the Roanoke Regional Office, Mr. Jones was the VR&E Officer at the Togus Regional Office. Jeffrey worked in both state and private vocational rehabilitation settings prior to joining the Togus Regional Office as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in 2004.

In addition to overseeing successful VR&E Divisions, Jeffrey has worked on several regional and national projects focused on contracting, employee development, and program management. Jeffrey also served on the Field Advisory Change Committee and participated in several Veterans Benefits Administration developmental programs. He has also been a participant, trainer, and mentor in the VR&E New Manager Training Program and Managerial Enhancement Program.

Jeffrey is married and has two adult sons. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa, M.S. in Rehabilitation Administration and Juris Doctorate from the Southern Illinois University. He has held certifications as both a Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE) and Certified Vocational Counselor (CRC) in the past. Jeffrey enjoys outdoor activities in his free time.

Ian Willard

Veterans Service Center Manager: Ian Willard

Ian Willard has served in the Veterans Service Center for over 25 years and was appointed to the position of Veterans Service Center Manager in June 2020. Prior to serving in this position, he was the Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager in the Salt Lake City Regional Office from December of 2009. As the VSCM in Salt Lake City, he is responsible for 332 full-time employees and administering VA benefits and services to 134,313 Utah Veterans and their families. He is responsible for the annual disbursement of over $998 million compensation and pension benefits paid to 56,190 Utah Veterans and dependents.

Ian began serving in VA as a Work Study in the Veterans’ Office of Brigham Young University in September of 1991. He began his career in the Salt Lake City Regional Office in July 1995, when he was hired as a Rating Specialist (RVSR). His management career began in July 2000, when he was selected as a Coach. As the SLC Regional Office grew, he served in the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) Unit, where he oversaw the processing of original disability claims from military service members discharging throughout the Western United States.

He served in the Utah Army National Guard from 1986 through 1999. He completed a BA at Brigham Young University, majoring in Italian with a minor in French. While a student at BYU, he taught first semester Italian for 2 years. Ian lent his language skills to the 2002 Winter Olympics, where he served as a volunteer in International Client Services.

Cassandra Gurch

National Call Center Manager: Cassandra Gurch

Cassandra Gurch is embracing a new journey as the National Call Center Manager for the Salt Lake City Regional Office effective December 06, 2021. In her new role, Mrs. Gurch has responsibility for 200 fulltime employees, accepting incoming calls nationally through the Department of Veteran Affairs Interactive Voice Response System (IVR).  

Mrs. Gurch is accountable to managing performance elements for the Call Center Agents, Coaches, Supervisors, Leads, Quality Review Team, Training Coordinators, Management Analysts, and the VA Solid Start Team.  Answerable for distributing correct benefits information to Service Members, Veterans, Family Members, Surviving Spouses, Veteran Service Officers (VSO’s), Fiduciaries, Private Attorney’s, Internal Customers, Frontline Employees, and Management. Call Center initiates specific benefit actions for eligible recipients per VA’s Procedural Guidance(s).  Call Center directives are outlined specifically for each administrative: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA); Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the National Cemetery Administration. Responsible for division’s specific actions on Congressional, White House and special inquiries.

Mrs. Gurch grew up in Central Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, TN in Management Human Relations.  Mrs. Gurch began her federal career with the Nashville Call Center starting October 12, 2012 to December 06, 2021.  She has served in the capacities of Call Center Coach, Training Supervisor, MY VA 101 Training Ambassador, VA Solid Start Train the Trainer, Board of Veterans Appeal Train the Trainer, CRM/UDO Subject Matter Expert, Designated Management Official for Reasonable Accommodations, Team Morale Lead, Fact Finding Investigation Representative, Lead and Public Contact
Representative.

Bevan Llewelyn

Fiduciary Hub Manager: Bevan Llewelyn

Bevan Llewelyn was selected as the Salt Lake City Fiduciary Hub Manager in June 2022. Bevan supervises the administration of program operations for the appointment, maintenance, and oversight of Fiduciaries resulting in the protection of more than $79 Million in monthly VA benefits for approximately 23,000 Veterans and Beneficiaries covering 13 Western states with the largest geographical area of all six Fiduciary Hubs.  

Bevan’s federal service began in March 2001 when he served as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot in the US Army before transitioning to the Salt Lake City (SLC) Fiduciary Hub in October 2010. Bevan supported the SLC Fiduciary Hub as a Legal Instruments Examiner and Quality and Training Program Specialist. In February 2015, Bevan moved to Washington, DC where he joined Pension and Fiduciary Service to serve as a Fiduciary Analyst. In June 2018, Bevan returned to the Salt Lake City Fiduciary Hub where he served as a Coach and Assistant Fiduciary Hub Manager.

Bevan grew up in Utah. He holds a B.S. in Technical Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an M.A. in Community Leadership from Westminster College. In his spare time, Bevan rides his Vespa scooter, works on the addition to his historic bungalow, takes photos as an amateur photographer, and travels with his wife Catherine.

Chief, Support Services Division: Vacant

Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer: Vacant