Family Forum Speakers

Betty Welsh

Betty Welsh is married to General Mark Welsh, the twentieth Air Force Chief of Staff. Twenty assignments later, they are now taking on their latest adventure in Washington, D.C.

Betty has enjoyed and survived 35 years as an Air Force spouse. She has been involved in many aspects of the Air Force as her and her husband’s roles have evolved from fighter squadrons to the Pentagon to European operational commands. In 1997, while stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, Betty was named the Military Spouse of the Year by Air Combat Command. She has actively served the Red Cross in both volunteer and leadership positions, taught at every level of Religious Education since being certified in 1975, and has been a member of Officer Spouse Clubs since 1978. She has filled the role of volunteer, coordinator, chairperson, and now advisor as her experience with the Air Force and their families has grown throughout the years.

Holly Petraeus
Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Holly Petraeus is an Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), heading up the Office of Servicemember Affairs. Her office's mission is to partner with the Pentagon to see that military families receive strong financial education; to monitor their complaints to the CFPB; and to coordinate efforts of federal and state agencies regarding consumer protection measures for military families. Prior to joining the CFPB, Mrs. Petraeus spent six years as the Director of BBB Military Line, a program of the Council of Better Business Bureaus providing consumer education and advocacy for servicemembers and their families. She is a military spouse of 37 years and a former Department of the Army civilian employee, with extensive experience as a volunteer leader in military family programs.

Athena Cody

Athena Cody is married to Chief Jim Cody, the seventeenth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Mrs. Cody grew up in Auburn, Washington and entered the Air Force in October, 1984 as an air traffic controller. She earned a promotion into the top one percent of the enlisted force, becoming a chief master sergeant in 2006. Throughout her career, Athena took on a myriad of duties outside air traffic control, including serving as a First Sergeant and a Group Superintendent. She retired from active duty in 2011. Athena continues to serve the Air Force in retirement, dedicating her efforts to caring for Airmen and their families.

Anthony Stramella

Mr. Stramella began his NSA career in 1974. His most recent position was Special Assistant to the Director, NSA/CCS Threat Operations Center (NTOC) where he developed, tailored, and delivered the NTOC corporate message. He speaks extensively on the subjects of cybersecurity, open source threat to networks and information systems, transmission security, computer security, operations security and communications security.

Karen Burkhart, CLU®, ChFC®
Director Wealth Management

Karen Is Director for Wealth Management Centers in Bethesda, MD; Annapolis, MD and Pentagon Row. Karen leads a team of Wealth Management professionals committing to serving our members in the MD and DC markets. Karen has over 15 years financial services experience. Prior to joining USAA, Karen was a manager of a local office of Smith Barney. She was also in charge of recruiting and training for the East Coast. She then was promoted to Lending Director where she helped coach and advise wealth advisors serving the High net worth clientele. These clients were business owners, individuals and families who had complex needs. She ensured they received exceptional client service and that their needs were fulfilled. Most recently she was at Prudential Insurance building markets in CA, PA and NJ. She holds FINRA licenses series 7, 8, 9, 10, 24, 63, 65, and Life/Health. She holds her CLU® and ChFC®.

Debbie Fink, M.A.
President of Harmony Hearth, LLC;
Co-author of The Little C.H.A.M.P.S – Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel

Debbie Fink is an author, educator, and performer, whose books, workshops, lectures, and performances reach audiences globally. As a USO Tour Vet, Debbie has had the honor of ‘edu-taining’ over 10,000 Champs residing in Asia and Europe. She delivers empowering messages of support, comfort, and gratitude to our Nation’s Champs through Operation CHAMPS’ public health and education initiative ( and Operation Thanksgiving Eagle ( She also runs the Mom of Many Hats global health initiative, helping families cope with a cancer diagnosis ( Earlier in her career, Debbie participated in research for the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and wrote a family-focused white paper on health care for the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine.

Brian McGuire
Wealth Manager

Brian McGuire, your personal USAA Wealth manager, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ who helps USAA members meet their financial and life goals. He specializes in assisting members in the areas of retirement planning, estate planning, risk managements and investment strategies. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations and is licensed in all 50 states in the areas of life and health insurance.

Brian has been in the financial services industry since 2004, serving high net worth families and small business owners in accomplishing their goals through the development of personalized and customized financial plans.