Don Shapiro – Chairman of the Board

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Don Shapiro has been a seasoned worker in the field of youth development and community service for over fifty years, and is dedicated to helping young people build meaningful and productive lives. Highlights of Don’s career in community and youth services have included – in New York City – pioneering work in adolescent substance abuse treatment and services for runaway-homeless youth where he was a co-founder and organizer/administrator of The Door-A Center of Alternatives (from 1972-1990) an internationally acclaimed comprehensive free-clinic and multi-service center serving inner-city adolescents, currently in its 43rd year of successful operation and where his efforts won for The Door, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Community Service and where he was recipient of the NYC Mayor’s Award for Youth Leadership Development.

Don’s published works include “Many Doorways: A Comprehensive Approach to Intervention and Treatment of Youthful Drug Abusers” (NIDA/DHHS Monograph Treatment Services for Adolescent Substance Abusers (1985) and chapter author of “Planning to Live: Evaluating and Treating Suicidal Teens in Community Settings; A Holistic Treatment Model for Working with Suicidal Youth.” (1989).

Don is a graduate of Empire State College in New York City with a degree in Community and Human Services. After moving to New Mexico, his experience in organization and leadership development and his graduate studies at The New School for Social Research/Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy led him to the University of New Mexico in 1997 where he served for seven years as an internal organization development consultant seeking to strengthen inter-departmental teamwork, strategic planning and change management.

In 2004, experiencing an “existential” longing to resume his work with young people, Don signed on with the New Mexico Children Youth and Family Department where he has served for over 10 years focused initially on community collaboration and partnership building within the behavioral health system and currently with the Transition Services helping young people in the juvenile justice system transition back into the community and into adulthood. Don’s concern for young people who have lost too many years of their young lives in prison and in the JJ system’s facilities has led him to become a strong advocate for justice reform, and a supporter and volunteer, and recently Board member for Wings For life, Intl. Don’s other passions include playing guitar – Flamenco and worship music, natural medicine, eco-spirituality, and environmental health and healing.

James Zanios – Vice Chair

James Zanios is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Independent Auto Dealers Association.  He is also the owner of Zanios Car & Truck Gallery.  James is married and the father to two sons. James and his family have been supporting Wings For LIFE International and their programs for over 22 years.  He is passionate about helping change the lives of at-risk kids and the families that support them.

Rob Koehler – Treasurer

Rob works for KPMG as an Auditor. He has experience auditing several types of entities including: Employee Benefit Plans, Non Profits, and Private Industry. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Eastern Michigan University. He has lived in New Mexico since December 2007 at which point he went back to school for Accounting and took the necessary exams to obtain the CPA designation. He also holds the CFE and EA credentials. Rob enjoys working for non profits.

Gary Pennington – Secretary

Gary graduated Claremore High School in OK. He attended OSU vo-tech with certificate in Auto Parts and Auto Mechanics. He received a certificate for 4 years of Architectural Design from Chicago Technical College, an Associate degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Gary has done a lot of community service, including:


 Junior Chamber of Commerce with many awards in Community Development programs. Served as local president, District Director and State Programming Vice-President.
 Toastmasters International. Achieving level of ATM Silver and Distinguished Gavelier.
 Served on the Board of Directors for the following programs: Inter-tribal group of Native American NAACP, Community Awareness and Cultural Exchange Club, and the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Sangre De Oro-New Mexico chapter for bleeding disorders.

Wings For LIFE International: Gary began attending meetings in 2012, was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2015, was elected Secretary of the Board and has served 4 terms. Gary has participated in numerous Wings For L.I.F.E. programs over the years and served as Emcee of the Celebration of Champions.

Carlos Torres

I moved to Albuquerque in August of 2017. While in Oklahoma City, I volunteered at different non profit organizations helping kids. I wanted to continue working with kids in my new home state, and WFLI was a great fit. Working with kids is a passion that I have which WFLI’s program has an excellent curriculum for kids.  I am excited to be part of a great group of loving dedicated people who look to make a difference in peoples lives as well as those who are incarcerated. I am currently employed at Modulus Architects Inc.

Nancy Davenport

Hello, I am Nancy Davenport. I have a servant’s heart to serve God and his people. My greatest joy comes from partnering with others to help them realize their significance and potential and helping them reach for their dreams. It is an honor to be a part of Wings for LIFE’s work and mission to serve families and the incarcerated. I am a fourth generation Native New Mexican. I’ve earned three degrees, including an Ed S, from UNM. I have been employed by Albuquerque Public Schools for over thirty years as a classroom teacher and staff developer. I retired from APS in 2015 and returned to work in 2017 to be the District Title I Coordinator for Family Engagement. During my short retirement I became a licensed NM real estate broker (a way for me to continue to serve people in a different role). I continue to work with buyers and sellers assisting them with their real estate needs. My husband and I live in Albuquerque where we have raised three exceptional daughters, Grace (Houston, TX), Julia (New York City, NY), and Lauren (Albuquerque), all in their twenties. We love to hike, work on our house and yard, volunteer in the community, travel and visit with friends and family.

Sharon Cook

Married to Mark W. Cook, mother of seven children and expecting her 8th grandchild. Bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Mississippi School of Nursing. Employed as RN, 9 years in Cardiac, Med-Surgery and Terminal Oncology. Homeschooled my children for 24 years. Director of Community Relations for 13 years for my husbands restaurants. Chick-fil-A Paseo Del Norte and Chick-fil-A Wyoming BLVD. I have spent 10 years in outreach for our CFA restaurants hosting families, customers, community and church groups to introduce, and mentor volunteers to pack close to 75,000 lovely school box gifts. For 8 years I have been a coordinator of Year Around Volunteer Team for Operation Christmas Child on the Community Relations Team. Some special interests that I can bring to the board are special events, public speaking, community relations, strategic planning and stewarding the resources entrusted to Wings.

Tom Keesing