N.O.V.A. Principles Foundation

2018 Governing Board

N.O.V.A. Founders

Sergeant Charles Wakamatsu started his law enforcement career in 1984, working for the Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii. He was assigned as a patrol officer in downtown Waikiki, and then to the Intelligence and Enforcement Unit investigating organized crime. He moved to Utah in 1988, to work for the Orem Police Department.

In Orem City, he worked patrol and on the Gang Task Force Unit. He became a certified firefighter in 1990 as well as an Arrest Control Tactics Instructor. In 1993, he was promoted to Police Sergeant. He supervised Community Education and taught safety programs for 10 years.

In 2003, Charlie assigned to create a new drug awareness program for Orem City. With the help of several officers and Dr. Paul Jenkins, a child and family Psychologist, the “N.O.V.A. Principles” program was created. The program had such success in Orem, that he founded “N.O.V.A. Principles LC”, along with Dr. Paul Jenkins, in order to market N.O.V.A. to other Law Enforcement Agencies. He retired from the Orem PD in 2010 and was soon hired as a part-time officer to teach N.O.V.A. in Orem City, and he continues to do so to this day.

Charlie and his wife Renee, have been married for 37 years, have 5 children, and 14 grandchildren.

Dr. Paul Jenkins is a psychologist specializing in pathological positivity. He was mentored by Dr. Randy Hyde and spent the first years of his career as a child and family psychologist. During his time working with families, he discovered he had a passion and a “sweet spot” for positivity psychology. He has written three books on the subject, gives keynotes and training on positivity and related topics, produces a weekly podcast called Live On Purpose Radio, has a YouTube Channel show, Live On Purpose TV, and sees individuals clients for positive psychology counseling.

Dr. Paul’s first book, Pathological Positivity, sold more than 15,000 copies in the first year after its launch. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and has taught the craft of positivity to thousands.

In 2004, he co-founded N.O.V.A. Principles LC, with Sergeant Charlie Wakamatsu, of the Orem City Police Department. He was instrumental in program development, and he continues to train instructors and develop and update program curriculum.

Dr. Paul served a two-year mission for his church in Finland, where he met his future wife, Vicki, who was also serving a mission. They were married in 1988 and have four wonderful children. He enjoys music (piano and guitar), puzzles, basketball, sketching, and the outdoors.

Lori Bellitti is a principal in Alpine School District, at Scera Park Elementary.  Her educational career consists of being a teacher of fourth grade, sixth grade, and computers to K-6 grades.  She served four years as a TSA, or facilitator and for two years as a Clinical Faculty Associate at BYU.  She also taught in Jordan and Alpine School Districts. 

Her greatest joy is her family, which is growing every year.  She has a husband, six children, with four grandchildren, (but soon to be five!).  She is passionate about N.O.V.A. and is grateful to be a part of the Board.  

Greg Blackbourn spent 20 years working in the personal finance industry and currently serves as the Chief Relationship Officer at Links Consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Utah.

Greg is a devoted father of six children. He is a board member for The Gentlemen Project, which focuses on helping fathers learn how to be great dads who teach their children with love and respect. He believes people are his greatest assets. He loves all activities involving his kids and spent 7 years coaching youth football.

Jodi Orgill Brown is a C.F.R.E. certified nonprofit consultant, a professional speaker, a best-selling author, and a brain tumor survivor. She earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Utah and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from BYU.  Her work focuses on Giving and she encourages clients and readers to Amplify the Good, Personal, Professionally, and Purposefully. 

Her memoir, The Sun Still Shines, won the 2016 Gold Quill and is an Amazon Bestseller. Her second book, Rise Above Depression, was released in November 2017 and hit the #1 spot on Amazon in February 2018.

Jodi has lived in the Middle East, and on both U.S. coasts, but believes home is where you make it. She is the wife of Tolan Brown and they are parents to four amazing children.

Marlan Platt graduated with an Accounting degree from BYU in 1978.  After a short stint in public accounting, he was the accountant for companies in various industries, including recreational vehicles, hydraulic components, mining, and agriculture in Nevada and Washington.  Since 2001, he has been the Chief Financial Officer for the local franchise of Prudential Real Estate (now Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Elite Real Estate) in Orem.

Marlan plays guitar and enjoys bicycling and reading.  He frequently teaches Dave Ramsey classes locally. He and his wife, Linda, are the parents of eight children, and have twenty grandchildren.

LT Bart Smith has been a Lehi Police officer for 20 years and currently leads the patrol division for the police department. He started teaching DARE in 2001 and took over the youth programs for Lehi city in 2004. One of the first changes he made was to switch from DARE to the N.O.V.A. Principles Program in 2005. This allowed LT Smith to be one of the first officers outside of Orem to be trained to teach the N.O.V.A. Program, which he has been teaching ever since.

Kirk Weisler is currently the Chief Morale Officer for companies and organizations around the globe. Kirk is a past leader of the National Speakers Association, a master team builder, and a professional storyteller. He has been a part of 7 start-ups, 4 of which were widely successful. One of these startups created over 1,000 jobs for aspiring IT professionals.

 

Kirk’s book “The Dog Poop Initiative” has sold over 80,000 copies. It has been translated into German, Spanish, and Hebrew. While this book is written for all ages and can be found in many public school libraries, the #1 buyer of the book is Boeing Aircraft who use it for their Six Sigma Lean program. Managers often use this book for their morning huddles or weekly kick-off meetings. Kirk’s second book “The Cookie Thief” is another metaphorical story that teaches a powerful lesson. Kirk’s popular T4D (Thought for the Day) blog reaches thousands of individuals on a weekly basis. He is also featured in the book “Speaking on Success” with other famous authors such as Stephen Covey.

Daniel Ybarra graduated cum laude from the Woodbury School of Business in International Business Management and then earned his  Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Mr. Ybarra spends most of his time managing operations at The Ybarra Legal Group, meeting with new clients one-on-one, and fighting to win his clients’ cases.

Mr. Ybarra has a reputation for being insightful, compassionate, and professional. He has won high-profile criminal, personal injury, and civil cases and has successfully negotiated and handled the acquisition and formation of several large businesses.  In 2016 Mr. Ybarra was nationally ranked Top 10 Under 40 for excellence in the field of family law by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys and in 2017 was voted by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Utah for exceptional and outstanding client service.

Mr. Ybarra is fluent in Spanish and is committed to serving his community.  While not practicing law, Daniel enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking and spending time with his wife and daughter. 

Lyman Gifford has been a nonprofit executive for more than 34 years. He is the first Executive director for N.O.V.A. Principles Foundation. He earned his Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy, graduating with honors from Baypath University. He has worked for the nonprofit sector in Utah, Idaho, Texas, Alaska, and Washington. His career has seen a broad discipline of responsibilities including 27 years in senior management, 15 years as an executive director.

Mr. Gifford has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 1995. He is the recipient of the Fundraising Executive of the Year from the AFP Idaho Chapter.  He has been an active participant of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, has served on local chapter boards and at the AFP International level as a member of the International Education Committee.

He and his wife have been married nearly 40 years and love spending time with their three children and nine grandchildren.