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Walk The Talk America (WTTA) Adds Two New Board Members to Strengthen Mental Health Awareness Efforts in Firearms Community

The non-profit organization welcomes Tonnie Schmidt and Ron Staffieri to its Board of Directors, bringing extensive experience and expertise to the organization’s mission.

Las Vegas, Nev. (March 2023) Walk The Talk America (WTTA), a non-profit organization designed to bridge the gap between the firearms industry and owners and the mental health industry, is proud to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Tonnie Schmidt and Ron Staffieri bring extensive experience and expertise to WTTA’s board and will help guide the organization as it continues to make a positive impact in the firearms community.

“I’m excited for the fresh perspective that Tonnie and Ron will bring to our organization,” said Michael Sodini, founder and executive director of WTTA. “They both have ties to the firearms community and care very deeply about mental health and suicide prevention. Our values and goals for the WTTA mission align perfectly and I’m excited to see what they bring to it.”

Schmidt is a co-founder and co-owner of Delta Defense LLC, the service provider to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. As a member of the company’s Board of Directors, Schmidt is involved in setting the company’s vision and strategy to ensure the company’s future success. Schmidt works extensively with national and local philanthropic organizations on initiatives related to responsible gun ownership, firearms and mental health, trauma recovery, law enforcement, and Second Amendment advocacy. She is passionate about education that builds children’s self-reliance, resilience, and self-awareness. She considers it her solemn obligation to educate others on the importance of responsible firearms ownership.

Schmidt also serves as a member of the West Bend Community Foundation. She is an advisor for The Volunteer Center of Washington County, Wisconsin, where she previously served as a board member. Schmidt has served two terms as a publicly elected school board member of the West Bend Joint School District No. 1 in West Bend, Wisconsin.

She has three adult children, all of whom carry on her passion for responsible gun ownership through education and training.

“The USCCA is mission-driven to save lives, including those that would be lost to suicide. WTTA is leading the way in normalizing mental health wellness. Our community supports this solution by collaborating with WTTA in our Mental Health and Wellness Video series and offering gun culture training for therapists,” Schmidt commented.

Staffieri is a senior executive with over forty years of professional experience. Staffieri’s professional experience includes Things Remembered (CEO); KB Toys (CEO); Lil Things, a start-up kid’s business (CEO); and Borders Group (President of Waldenbooks, Outlet Stores, Chief Administrative Officer of Borders Group). He has also served on multiple boards, including CSSI, Harold’s Stores, Craft & Hobby Association, Natural Wonders, First Agricultural Bank/Bank of Boston, Norman Rockwell Museum, Adelphi University, and the Parent’s Advisory Board at the University of Texas.

Staffieri is married with five children. He received his BBA and MBA from Adelphi University. He was the president of the SAE fraternity, a three-year starting member of the baseball team, a four-year member, and a squash team captain. Staffieri was elected to the Adelphi Hall of Fame in 1997. He received multiple academic and athletic awards. He also attended the Harvard Executive Management program.

“I have joined the WTTA board because I believe in their mission. I am passionate about the subject of mental illness and hope to help in raising the awareness of this all-important subject,” Staffieri commented. “My experience in running companies and serving on boards should give WTTA the additional support needed to fulfill its mission.”

WTTA, the brainchild of Sodini, a firearms industry veteran, spearheaded a movement within the firearms industry to bridge the gap between mental health and responsible firearm ownership to reduce suicide by firearm and gun violence. Through educational programs, podcasts, and training programs, WTTA is paving the way for educating mental health professionals about gun culture and breaking down the negative stigmas around mental health for gun owners. Through its various programs and offerings, such as instructional flyers and slides for firearms instructors, classes in Cultural Competence, and Introductory Courses in The Intersection of Guns and Mental Health, WTTA is leading the conversation and opening doors throughout the firearms industry and mental health industry.

With the addition of these new board members, WTTA is well-positioned to continue its important work and expand its reach even further.

For more information on how to become involved, visit Take the WTTA Mental Health Screening Test. Following the screening, you will be provided with information, resources, and tools to help you understand and improve your mental health.

About Walk the Talk America:

Our mission is to fund research and development for the outreach and promotion of mental health to reduce the misconceptions and prejudices that exist when it comes to mental illness and firearms. We believe we can be a catalyst for change by working with experts in the mental health industry.