Meet the team

Our Story

Remembering Heroes was founded by Cathy Heighter and cofounded by Carol Pryor in 2015. We started off as “Remembering VETS.” and rebranded to “Remembering HEROES in 2022.”

Cathy Heighter


A native New Yorker, Cathy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Remembering Heroes. After losing her youngest son, Corporal Raheen Tyson, in Iraq in 2003. Cathy chose not to allow her son’s sacrifice and the sacrifices of so many to go without the honor they deserve.

“I realized that I had a choice, I could live the rest of my list hurting, asking why him? consumed with anger and pain, looking for someone to blame or I could choose a different route.”

Cathy made a conscious decision to take all this pain and suffering and turn it into something positive and powerful. That effort is how Remembering Heroes has come to be.

Cathy’s goal with Remembering Heroes is to promote advocacy, sharing information, and referrals to resources. As we continue to foster community awareness of veterans, First Responders, Military Families, and Community issues.

Remembering Heroes offers several programs and services which are set up to enrich the lives of our heroes. Some of our programs focus largely on connecting heroes with programs and services which are available to them through the community and government agencies.

“As CEO of Remembering Heroes, I am so honored and proud to have had all the opportunities I have had over the last 20 years of my life to honor, remember and serve our heroes”

Stephen Swarner

Executive director

Branch Manager and VA Loan Specialist at Approved Mortgage Source and U.S. Navy Veteran.

After Stephen’s Service in the Navy, He moved to Naples, Florida, where he briefly served as a Fire Fighter for the East Naples Fire Department. He left Naples to move to Nashville, TN. where he and his Beautiful Wife Brittney began to build their family with 4 boys. Stephen owned and operated his own Marketing and Distribution business, While simultaneously performing marketing for Discount Tire.

Stephen has been partnered with Remembering Heroes since his move back to Florida 2 years ago. Stephen and CEO Cathy Heighter have become a real estate and mortgage duo that specializes in helping our Veterans. Stephen started working with the Non-profit previously known as Remembering Vets as the Director of Marketing, and after about 8 months he took over as Executive Director.

Stephen’s passion is to help our veterans who struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, or guilt. Stephen’s story of overcoming his struggles is nothing short of amazing. Stephen brings a sincere passion for helping our veterans and first responders and considers the mission of Remembering Heroes to be some of the most important work he has done in his life.

Chase Russell

CMO, Chief Marketing Officer / Public Relations

A native of Charlotte County, Florida, and an Air force veteran serving three tours in Afghanistan and Kuwait. After separating from the U.S Air Force his passion for business lead him to start his own business in the private aviation sector. Chase has a Bachelors in Business from Embry Riddle University and is currently undergoing pre-law studies to foster a career in politics. Chase enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Kiersten and his three children Marley, Georgia, and Benjamin.

“I join Remembering Heroes because I have a passion for veterans and the community of heroes that make up our nation. Without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t have the country and the freedom we have to this day. Our mission here at Remembering Heroes couldn’t be more aligned with my values as a veteran and as an American.”

Michael Arnold

CFO, Chief Financial officer

Michael started working in the financial industry in 2002 and has worked with an institutional retail brokerage in New York, NY. He moved to Palm Coast, Florida in 2016 with His daughter Madeline and wife Anna from New Jersey to enjoy the beautiful beaches, temperatures, and Disney World. Michael is a member of the Elks and enjoys working with charitable organizations as one of his main passions.

Michael’s strengths are with quality control, His focus is on performance and making sure the financials of an organization work as intended. He also makes a primary focus on relationships and making sure the organization or companies, investments meet expectations.

Michael is currently completing his certification process on grant writing and is the Person of Contact (POC) for the Remembering Heroes grant committee.

Make a real and positive impact on our Heroes

Kodi Coles

Remembering Heroes Ambassador : Brevard County

CEO & Founder of Veterans Home Buyer LLC, as a Professional Real Estate Agent and Army Veteran.

Mr. Coles is extremely passionate about connecting Veterans with the right resources to ensure their needs are met. Kodi Coles always puts his fellow veterans’ needs in front of his own and is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all.

Mr. Coles also designed this business Veteran Home Buyer LLC. which helps Veterans who are first-time home buyers and or seeking to buy/sell a property they can do so by way of calling Mr. Coles personally. Kodi Coles, a Veteran himself, can identify with some of the challenges many Veterans face and can lead them in the right direction. During Kodi Cole’s six years in the Florida Army National Guard with one of those years serving in Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006.

Kodi Coles, a Florida Native. Hometown, Lake City Florida. Mr. Coles decided he wanted to follow his mother’s path by attending the very Historically Black College and University she graduated from. Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University where Mr. Coles would go on to graduate in 2008 with his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and in 2013 with his master’s degree in Corrections from Kaplan University.

Kodi Coles worked from 2009 to 2016 at the Federal Bureau of Prison. Kodi has been working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since 2016 to present

“I decided to partner with Remembering Heroes because I know the importance to have a support system for veterans and heroes. ALL VETERANS and HEROES deserve the highest support in some capacity so that is one of the many reasons I joined”

Renee DeVincenzo

Administrative Strategist and Coach

Renee DeVincenzo is formally from Mahopac, NY, and relocated to Palm Coast in 2018. Renee has family and 3 grandchildren. She is the owner of MDR Administrative Services, LLC, with over 25 years of experience in Administrative Management and over 10 years in experience in Direct Sales. Renee’s responsibilities are to plan, coordinate, and assist with the administrative services of the organization.

Renee is proud to be a military family and feels privileged to be working with Remembering Heroes offering her talents to help the organization with their programs to provide to help all heroes.

Sean Paul Fernandez

Remembering Heroes Ambassador

CEO and Founder of Military Minds Management Group LLC. (M3G).

Originally from Spartanburg SC and currently residing in Daytona Beach FL, Sean Is a veteran of the Marine Corps, Air Force, and U.S Army. During Sean’s service, he was provided the opportunity to travel the world. During these travels, Sean made it his mission to soak up as much culture as possible (language cuisines religious/spiritual energy architecture, etc.) These experiences had a profound impact on Sean’s direction and changed his thinking in regard to “what’s really important”.

Sean’s Company, M3G, performs the development and redevelopment of global communities comprised of energy-efficient, self-sustaining homes, with a zero-carbon footprint. These communities are designed to better withstand and maintain functionality before during & after extreme weather events.

Sean has made it his mission to be the change he hopes to see in this world and has made Remembering Heroes part of his overall goals for creating a better future for everyone.

Sean is currently training in the environmental engineering & energy sustainability field at the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa.

Remembering our  heroes

“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”

George S. Patton Jr.

“Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory.”

Jocko Willink

“If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for. With privilege comes responsibility.”

Eugene B. Sledge