Executive Board

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President Scott Shaffer is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. Scott now works as an operations research analyst and a part-time Faculty Associate as well as holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. He holds a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University. Scott currently serves as an elected member of the Spring Valley Community Planning Group and as an appointed Commissioner to the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission. 


North Chapter President Rob Knecht is a Reserve US Marine Corps Infantry Officer and veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, with the rank of Major. Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University San Marcos and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego, and is currently a full-time Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies candidate at the University of San Diego. 

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East Chapter Interim President Tiffany Gonzalez was born and raised in the Imperial Valley and joined the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program after high school, spending over seven years as an electrician. She made her home in San Diego after being stationed aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz and lives in Spring Valley, where she also serves on the Spring Valley Community Planning Group. Tiffany earned her BA in Sociology at Cal State San Marcos and is a substitute teacher in the La Mesa-Spring Valley and Grossmont Union High School districts. She is president of PFLAG San Diego County, was co-chair of the board for San Diego LGBT Pride, serves as a court appointed special advocate, and volunteers at a drop-in center that provides services to youth survivors and those at risk of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

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Vice President Aaron Brennan has more than 30 years of service in the United States Navy Reserve. Enlisting in 1988, he joined the Naval Special Warfare community as a Special Warfare Combatant Craft (SWCC) crewman in 1993 and received his commission as a Limited Duty Officer in 2010 from President Barack Obama, currently holding the rack of Lieutenant. He retired from the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department in 2019 with 25 years of service and ran for San Diego City Council in the 2020 election. His primary focus as a member of the Veterans Democratic Club of San Diego County is to ensure that local elected officials address veteran homelessness and mental health effectively.


Secretary David Garcias served in the Army as a Military Policeman in the 1980s. After training at Fort McClellan, David served with the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, with US Army - Europe as an undercover Military Police Narcotics Investigator, and at Fort Irwin, California as a Military Police Investigator.  After leaving the Army David worked at UCSD and the City of Imperial Beach and attended both Southwestern College and Central Texas College. He is currently President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 221, representing over 12,000 public sector workers in San Diego area.


Treasurer Mark Gracyk served in the US Army as an engineer during the 1980s, serving at Ft. Bliss with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and in West Germany with the 8th Infantry Division. He is a proud graduate of San Diego State University where he majored in Public Administration and Political Science, and also attended Grossmont and Cuyamaca Community Colleges. Mark has had a long career in Southern California working in the construction and water industries, and today is the Recycled Water Supervisor at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.  Mark is also an elected Director at the Helix Water Board and has served with the Lemon Grove School Board and several local organizations.


Director of  Communications Tom Iarossi is a Vietnam veteran, having spent six years as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and twenty-one years as an Army Medic before retiring as a First Sergeant in the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix, and taught in the San Marcos School District after retiring from the Army. He now devotes his time to serving on the boards of multiple Democratic clubs, consulting on numerous political campaigns, and working to form new Veteran Democratic Clubs throughout the state for the CDP Veteran Caucus.