The former Executive Officer of the USS Peleliu and USS Ford, Captain David Schnell currently serves as vice president of operations with the Xerox Electronic Tolling Collection division. Outside of his work with Xerox, Captain David Schnell recently joined the board of directors for Walden Family Services.
Walden Family Services believes that all children deserve a loving family that helps them become self-sufficient and productive members of society. The organization offers a number of youth services designed to improve outcomes for young people exiting foster care.
Walden Family Services works closely with former foster children ages 18-21, helping them transition to their lives as independent adults. The organization helps young adults earn their high school diploma or GED and apply for college scholarships and financial aid. Participants in the extended care program also receive employment assistance such as resume development and work readiness training.
For young parents with a child involved in First 5 San Bernardino, Walden Family Services provides a series of 16-week parenting classes at local educational facilities. Participants in the program develop empathy, self-esteem, and self-awareness, enabling them to meet the emotional and developmental needs of their children. After completing the course, participants receive assorted childcare items.
The general manager of Los Angeles Express Lanes for the Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group, Captain David Schnell served 27 years in the United States Navy. Over the course of his military career, Captain David Schnell commanded two American warships including the USS Ford.
An Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate, the USS Ford bears the name of Gunner’s Mate Second Class and Vietnam War hero Patrick Osborne Ford. The Los Angeles division of the Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation constructed the ship. Todd Pacific laid the USS Ford’s keel on July 16, 1983. The ship’s christening took place June 23, 1984, and the Navy commissioned the vessel on June 29, 1985.
The USS Ford measured 453 feet in length and supported 17 officers and 198 enlisted sailors. Using two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines and two 350-horsepower electric-drive auxiliary propulsion units to power a single five-bladed propeller, the ship was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 28 knots. Decommissioned on October 31, 2013, the USS Ford received a formal farewell ceremony at Washington State’s Naval Station Everett.
A retired captain who served in the United States Navy for nearly 30 years, David Schnell now works as an executive with the Xerox Corporation in California. He balances his professional activities with various charitable pursuits in his local community. Captain David Schnell serves as the executive director of Christ Kitchen and supports other organizations, such as Walden Family Services, a nonprofit that oversees programs to assist children in foster care.
In an effort to raise awareness and the funds needed to continue its work, Walden Family Services participates in a variety of events throughout the year. The organization recently partnered with several other local organizations to present RaiseAChild—MakeAHome as part of National Foster Care Awareness Month.
The event, which took place May 1, 2016, at the Jim Henson Lot in Hollywood, California, featured food tastings, cocktails, auctions, and live entertainment. In addition to offering a fun evening, the event honored special guests Jillian Michaels and Heidi Rhoades and helped raise much-needed funds for Walden Family Services, Penny Lane Centers, Adoptions at Vista Del Mar, and other groups.
Walden Family Services currently has several upcoming events scheduled, including Wine D’Vine. It will take place in La Jolla, California, on October 27, 2016, and will honor longtime youth advocates Harley and Maryanne Sefton as well as raise money for children and youth in the foster care system. For more information about upcoming Walden Family Services events, visit www.waldenfamily.org.
Captain David Schnell retired from the U.S. Navy after 27 years of service. Having commanded two naval warships, Captain David Schnell was awarded numerous medals over the course of his distinguished career. Among them is the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM).
On November 3, 1977, then President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12019 establishing the DMSM. It is the third highest Defense/Joint peacetime award. The DMSM has similar criteria as the Meritorious Service Medal, but it is bestowed upon those assigned to specified joint activities.
Aside from U.S. armed forces members who are on active duty, the award is also given to armed forces members of friendly foreign nations. The meritorious service rendered is primarily for a time period of more than 12 months and covers a person’s entire joint assignment, including any extensions. The achievement or service must clearly separate the individual from his or her peers.
United States Navy Captain David Schnell currently serves as the executive director of Christ Kitchen in San Diego, California. When he is not dedicating his time to helping others, Captain David Schnell enjoys running marathons; he ran five half-marathons in 2011 and the Carlsbad Full Marathon in January 2012.
Training for a full marathon of 26.2 miles is not an easy task, but it can be a rewarding one. One important first step is rehearsing on the race course where the marathon will take place. This will help create familiarity with the site so that the day of the marathon will go more smoothly. Professional runners and coaches suggest running over the last half-mile of the course at least twice, as it is the most important part of the course for runners to know.
It is strongly recommended that first-time racers line up in the back at a marathon, as lining up in the front might slow down more experienced runners. First-timers should take the race slowly, to become accustomed to the experience. It is also advisable that they stay near the side of the road, as they will be taking more walk breaks than their more seasoned counterparts.
Captain David Schnell, general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes, has long been active in giving back to his community. Since his honorable discharge after a 27-year career in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell become a counselor at Royal Family Kid’s Camp, a nonprofit providing recreational opportunities for foster children.
Foster children can face difficult living situations, both in foster care and post-adoption. More than half of all children adopted from the foster care system have health care needs, as opposed to 19 percent of non-foster care children. Almost three-quarters of kids adopted from the foster care system have adoptive parents who suspect their child was exposed to drugs or alcohol before birth, and many suspect neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional or physical abuse, as well.
Children are sometimes faced with difficult situations after adoption, too. They often move frequently and sometimes encounter abuse. Foster care system caseworkers often have inadequate training or excessive caseloads, leaving the system overwhelmed and unable to investigate post-adoption incidents of abuse or neglect.
About Captain David Schnell
A decorated officer of the United States Navy, Captain David Schnell earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Metal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal during his many years of service.