Our Dedicated and Experienced Team

Nathan D. Johnson - County Veterans Service Officer

Nathan currently serves as the Contra Costa County Veterans Service Officer and the host of Veterans Voices a monthly live talk show featured on Contra Costa Television. His office assists Veterans and dependents in applying for federal and state Veteran’s benefits. His office is located at 10 Douglas Drive in Martinez. Nathan has been an adjunct faculty member at Golden Gate University since 2017. Nathan served in the Marine Corps as an intelligence analyst with 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, CA. After September 11, 2001, Sergeant Nathan Johnson deployed to Pakistan with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines where he supported Operation Enduring Freedom, and again on January 17, 2003, where he crossed the border into Iraq with Regimental Combat Team 1 in combat operations to defeat the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Republican Guard, and the Saddam Fedayeen. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in August of 2003. Since his completion of duty in the Marine Corps, Nathan moved to the Bay Area and earned his BA in Communications at CSU Stanislaus and his MSW at UC Berkeley. And he has just begun pursuing his MBA at Golden Gate University. He has two daughters, Olive and Violet.

Sidney "Bo" Jones - Veterans Service Manager

Bo was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina by a military father and family who served in the Air Force. Bo also served in the Air Force as a Satellite Communications Technician Operator from March 1982 to November 1992. After discharge, he went to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Rating Specialist and Decision Review Officer from November 1992 to April 2012. Upon retirement from the VA, Bo joined Veterans Services as a Veterans Service Representative and is now the Branch Office Manager.

F. Michael "Hoff" Hoffschneider - Veterans Service Representative

Hoff is from Oakland, California and served in the U. S. Army from November 1966 to November 1969. He has a B. A. degree in Political Science from U. C. Berkeley and a Master of Public Administration from John F. Kennedy University. He retired as a Veterans Claims Examiner from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs in October, 2004 with 31 of service years. He has worked as a Veterans Service Representative with Contra Costa County Veterans Service since March, 2005.

Jill Martinez - Veterans Service Representative

Jill’s family has a long history of military service. Her Grandfather served in the Army in WWI, her father served in the Army in WWII, and other family members served in Korea and Viet Nam. Currently her son Brian is a LtCmdr in the Navy. Jill previously worked for social services as a clerk and eligibility worker. Jill started working in Veterans Service in October of 1986. She was the first female and non-Veteran to be a VSR. She retired from Contra Costa County in March of 2011 and continues as a volunteer VSR. We are very fortunate to still have her aboard.

Fred Schobert - Veterans Service Representative

Fred grew up in Lewisburg, PA, graduated from Mansfield State University and commissioned in the Navy as an officer of the unrestricted line (surface warfare). He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in September, 1994 and began working for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in December of that year. During this service he was a Decision Review Officer working on appeals, special interest cases, training and mentoring VSR’s and rating specialists until he retired in August, 2013. Fred is married to Teresita, they live in Pittsburg and have been blessed with two children, Fred and Sarah, who herself is a Navy Veteran.

Silvana Shields - Veterans Service Representative

Silvana was born Italy and immigrated to the United States at the age of 8. Her father and grandfather were both Marines of the Italian Navy. She became a part of the Veteran’s Service Office team for Contra Costa County in December of 2015, after spending over 5 years being a VA School Certifying Official, where she assisted veterans with their educational benefits. Silvana holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration, has been a resident of Contra Costa County for over 18 years, and in her free time enjoys hiking in local trails.

Buck Carmichael - Veterans Service Representative

Buck joined the Veterans Service Office in October of 2016. His family has deep roots in the military service. Like his father, Buck served in the Marine Corps from 2001 through 2005. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004. His father was a Drill Sergeant during the Viet Nam War and his grandfathers were involved in the invasion & occupation of Europe during World War II. Buck resides in Brentwood with his wife and 2 children. Spending time with his family and golfing bring enjoyment to him.

Rachel Davis - Veterans Service Representative

Rachel joined our team in January 2020.  She grew up in northern Florida and served in the Marine Corps from February 2010 to February 2015.  During her time in the Marine Corps, she was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA and served two tours in Afghanistan.  After the Marine Corps Rachel utilized her G.I. Bill at both MiraCosta College and U.C. Berkeley where she earned her B. S. in Society and Environment.  Prior to working at our office, she worked as a school certifying official assisting fellow veterans with using their education benefits.

Ben Yang - Veterans Service Representative

Ben joined the team in June of 2020 and has been helping veterans for quite a while. Before joining this team, Ben served as the Veterans Program Coordinator at SF State for over 5 years. Ben served in the US Navy on the CVN-75 from 02-05 as an AO. He and his wife live in Concord, CA, and have two wonderful boys. He is excited to be able to assist his fellow veterans obtain the benefits they so deserve within his own community! If you love fishing or golf, you may spot him out on the delta or at one of our local golf courses.

Susan Ferguson - Executive Secretary - Accredited

Susan joined Contra Costa County in November 2010 after spending 6 years as a volunteer at the Concord Vet Center. She has a long family history of military service. She majored in Economics at College of Marin, and then spent 24 years working for Wells Fargo Bank. Her husband and two sons have lived in Contra Costa County for the past 36 years.

Joshua Lang - Clerk Specialist

Josh joined the Veterans Service Office team in August 2015, and is the son of two Marine Corps Veterans. He was born at Balboa Naval Hospital and then moved to the East Bay after his parents discharged out of the military. He is married and continues to reside in the Bay Area.

Dee Assael - Clerk Senior

Dee was born and raised in San Jose, Ca and has lived in the Bay Area her entire life.  She currently resides in Crockett with her Fiancé and 4 cats.  Dee is a proud mother of two children, a son who graduated from college in the Pacific Northwest, and a daughter who attends college in Brooklyn, NY. Yoga and reading are some of Dee’s favorite hobbies although remodeling her house is usually what keeps her busy on the weekend.  Dee really enjoys working with people and is a devoted animal lover. Fun fact:  She completed a Tough Mudder and was bottom of a 4-person plank.