Our Team

Sonja Dingle_QoLF_Bio

Sonja Dingle

Family Support Coordinator

Sonja Dingle grew up in a military family and is a spouse of an active duty service member. She attended Morgan State University receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. While supporting her family, Sonja has volunteered for the Red Cross, DoDEA/public schools, Lending Closet and various areas in the military sector. She is active with outreach in supporting children and the homeless. She treasures spending time with her family, community and church. Sonja is excited to be a part of the Quality of Life Foundation team and gratefully appreciates the opportunity to assist the families who have given selflessly for our Nation.


Sharon LaVier

Family Support Coordinator

Sharon began her career in the health care profession as a social worker in the Handicapped Children’s Clinic at the University Of Virginia Hospital. She continued in that field as a supervisor of the Respite Care Program for the City of Virginia Beach. During that time, Sharon grew the program to provide multi-functional services that provided opportunities to disabled persons of all ages. Sharon has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Virginia.

Sharon proudly claims her status of “army brat” growing up around the world. She has lived on military bases up and down the West Coast as well as in Europe and the Far East. Following her retirement from the City of Virginia Beach, she contacted the Quality of Life Foundation as she saw it as an extension of her background both professionally and personally. While Sharon enjoys retirement, she is also happy to have a challenging and significant role as a Family Support Coordinator for the Quality of Life Foundation. Sharon’s tenacity, can-do attitude, compassion, and problem-solving skills make her a tremendous blessing to the families she serves.


Carmen Mendez

Family Support Coordinator

Carmen’s career in human services began in 1977 at the Jewish Guild for the Blind in New York, training individuals with multiple disabilities in work skills. She moved to Virginia in 1978 as a military spouse and continued working in the disabilities field at the institution for intellectually disabled individuals in Chesapeake. In 1981 she began working as a Support Services Aide with the City of Virginia Beach Human Services Department in their vocational program for persons with intellectual, mental, and other disabilities. Having found her niche and life’s work passion in the field of vocational habilitation, she became manager of the program and helped it expand from facility-based to fully community-based, competitive pay employment services, helping hundreds of individuals become as self-sufficient as possible and active members of their community.

Carmen recently retired from VBDHS after 35 years of service but, firmly believing that people want and deserve a hand up and not just a handout, she sought employment with an organization that would allow her the opportunity to continue to help others. Having many family members who have served in the Armed Forces, Carmen has special regard and respect for military personnel and their families and deeply appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the mission of QoLF.


Shawn Pharo

Marketing and Technology Specialist

Shawn was raised in a military family and has a heart for the families who serve alongside their service member. Having an Air Force pilot as a dad meant many moves and new experiences while growing up. When she is not serving as a Family Support Coordinator, she is working behind the scenes here at QoLF to keep operations running smoothly. Shawn genuinely enjoys working in the community to improve the quality of life for the caregiving families of wounded veterans and she derives great satisfaction by helping to give back to those who have given so much in service to our nation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and spending time outdoors with her dogs.

From Our Community Nationwide

“I don’t know how, but you made things move and it seems all our prayers were answered in a single day.”

Caregiver of a Wounded Veteran

“Every issue that I brought to you and the organization you all found an avenue to deal with it wonderfully.”

Caregiver of a Wounded Veteran

The service that this organization provides has been invaluable to wounded warriors and their families.

Teaming Organization

"You guys are doing an excellent job and I am so grateful to be able to work with this foundation."

VA Case Manager

"The service that this organization provides has been invaluable to wounded warriors and their families."

Teaming Organization

"I absolutely loved working with QoLF…anytime we had a problem You were able to make sure to find ways to help us out. We are now pretty well sustained without too many issues, thanks to the help we received."

Caregiver of a Wounded Veteran