Jeff Zyburt

Jeffrey Zyburt, president

Jeffrey Zyburt serves as president of WIROC and brings 30 years of experience in a wide variety of management roles to the organization. Mr. Zyburt served 25 years with Chrysler in a variety of roles including specialization in facility management, product development, testing, quality control, union relations and international business. He has led a team of more than 1,000 people while managing two major US-based automotive proving ground and major testing laboratory.

While managing those facilities, he increased efficiency by 42% through the application of lean-process methodologies. His leadership also led to the development of various measurement techniques that accurately predict Consumer Reports Ratings. In 2008, Mr. Zyburt founded an independent consulting firm, DCYI, and serves clients nationwide in areas including: organizational structure building, process development and deployment, and metrics development and deployment. Mr Zyburt is a highly creative thinker, and has 10 patents to his credit. Mr. Zyburt has been a key figure in the vision, planning, structure and implementation of WIROC.

Dr. Carmen Russoniello

Carmen Russoniello, PhD, LRT, LPC, BCB, BCN

Carmen Russoniello has more than 20 years of clinical experience as a therapist/counselor as well as a researcher on the effects of gaming and biofeedback on stress related medical disorders. He is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at East Carolina University and serves as scientific advisor to Biocom Technologies.

Dr Russoniello is a fellow in both general and neurofeedback from the Biofeedback Certification Association of America (BCIA) and is a past member of this board where he served as chair of the ethics committee. Dr Russoniello is also past president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and is past president of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Tim Maxwell

LtCol Tim Maxwell, USMC (ret.)

LtCol Maxwell served as an infantry officer and advisor to the Wounded Warrior Regiment until June 29, 2009, when he retired due to combat injuries after 21 years of honorable and dedicated service.

LtCol Maxwell is currently President of SemperMax Support Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports wounded/ill/injured warriors, their families, and Gold Star Families. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Operations Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. He deployed six times throughout his career with three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

During his final deployment to Iraq, LtCol Maxwell suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on October 7, 2004 when his forward operating base in Kalsu was mortared and shrapnel tore through the left side of his brain.

Through his recuperation, he discovered that for himself and others, recovery was enhanced by being together with other wounded warriors. Today, due to his extraordinary leadership and vision, Marines at the Wounded Warrior Barracks (Maxwell Hall, named in his honor) located on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, find improved recovery through team healing.

His push to ensure that the needs of Wounded Warriors are met and the success of Maxwell Hall became a catalyst of reform and wounded warrior programs throughout DOD. His insight is attributed to the development and establishment of The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment.

E. Steve Harris

E. Steve Harris

Mr. Harris has held a diverse array of senior financial positions through a 30-year career that began in the public accounting profession at the firm Coopers & Lybrand (C&L). He remained with C&L for five years, moving up through the professional structure with clients in automotive, steel manufacturing, education and precious metals.

He then moved into the automotive industry, joining Chrysler Corporation in corporate accounting, initially working on accounting research and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting. Through his career at Chrysler he held positions of increasing responsibility including finance director of global alliance operations, director of procurement and supply financial control, director of corporate financial analysis, director of corporate accounting, director of manufacturing group accounting and group controller for Chrysler Canada. He also served as the controller for the Chrysler Foundation.

Mr. Harris has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Albion College and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a registered certified public accountant and a member of the MACPA and AICPA.

Tom McAlear

Thomas C. McAlear is the chairman and CEO of the McAlear Management Group LLC. The group specializes in executive consulting, management coaching and development and financial investments. His clients include Booz Allen, Sears Roebuck, Ventech LHG and Lotus Cars, USA among others.

Tom’s prior business experience includes serving as chief operating officer (COO) for DaimlerChrysler Services North America, and president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Insurance Company. He was also president and CEO of Mercedes Benz Credit Corporation, and COO of Chrysler Financial. He retired from DaimlerChrysler in 2002 after 27 years of service.

Currently, Tom is affiliated with the following business and charitable organizations:

• Board of Trustees and Treasurer, Drury University, Springfield MO
• Board of Directors, The Hantz Bank and Hantz Holdings Inc.
• Board of Directors, Event Solutions International Inc.
• Board of Directors, Nexus ISR Inc.

In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of, RouteOne (a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler Services, GMAC and Ford Motor Credit), the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, and the Board of Visitors, Oakland University, as well as being a past trustee of the Farmington Hills/Farmington Community Foundation. He was recently CEO of Tomcar LTD, an Israeli off-road vehicle company, and a partner in TradeMark Auto Group, a Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealership in Bryan, Texas.

Tom was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Drury University in 1972 and an MBA from the Drury Breech School of Business in 1975. He is an inductee in the Drury University Breech Business School Hall of Fame. He has also attended executive management courses at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and the Harvard School of Business.

Tom and his wife, Ann, reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and have three children.

Warrior Institute was founded by father-daughter team, Jeff and Tonia Zyburt in 2011.

Tonia Zyburt is the co-founder and program director at Warrior Institute. Zyburt received her bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan in ‘Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science’ where she focused on Neuro-motor Behavior, and completed her master’s degree at East Carolina University in ‘Recreational Therapy Administration’, and is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. Zyburt has done extensive work and research in recreation and activity participation among individuals with various disabilities. She has worked as a recreation therapist at Shands Rehab Hospital; collaborated with the Freedom Alliance and East Carolina University (ECU) on research exploring impacts of outdoor recreation on warriors returning from active duty; examined the outcomes of activity participation for individuals with spinal cord injury; and provided autogenic training and biofeedback data collection at the Pitt County Memorial Hospital Wound Center. Zyburt has also worked with several adaptive sports clinics across the country, worked as a backcountry trip-leader in Colorado, and taught several outdoor recreation courses at ECU.


Tonia Zyburt, Director

Michigan native Tonia Zyburt is the co-founder and program director at Warrior Institute. Tonia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science and her master’s degree at East Carolina University in Recreational Therapy Administration, and is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, having previously worked as a recreational therapist at Shands Rehab Hospital. Tonia has assisted with various adaptive sports clinics across the country, worked as a back-country trip leader and instructed several outdoor recreation courses prior to starting the Warrior Institute. Tonia is also a certified yoga instructor and currently teaches at the Gainesville VA Hospital.

John Porter, Wilderness Program Manager

Alabama native John Porter joined the Warrior Institute team in 2013 as the Wilderness Program Manager. John brings over 10 years of experience leading expeditions ranging from 6-72 days in length all over the world. John has worked with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) & various Outward Bound Schools. John also developed & managed an OEF/OIF wilderness program for veterans in Alabama. John plans, implements, and manages the single & multi-day recreational excursions for Warrior Institute in addition to assisting with program development.

GM Foundation

General Motors Foundation generously awarded Warrior Institute with a $25,000 grant! General Motors established the GM Foundation in 1976 to ensure continuity of its philanthropic efforts. The GM Foundation is committed to supporting organizations and programs designed to affect and improve the quality of life in communities. The grant funds are going towards our programs and general operations. To learn more about the GM Foundation, please visit their website at:


R4 Alliance
Warrior Institute is a recognized program of excellence through the R4 Alliance. The R4 alliance is a collaboration of recreation service providers striving to share and achieve a standard of excellence driven by the member organizations to impact research, education, training, and continuum of care.

East Carolina University
including the departments of: Biofeedback, Recreational Therapy, Family/Marriage Therapy, Addiction and Rehabilitation Studies, Nursing, and Family Life Skills) for program design and implementation.

Outward Bound for Veterans
for collaborative recreation and trip planning and implementation.

Iconix Inc.
for branding, communications and marketing strategies and support.

Thornhill Communications LLC
for public relations, communications strategies, content development, consulting and support.

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