Staff

Judith L. Otter

Judith L. Otter

Executive Director

Judith Otter is Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF) and has worked with Mr. Sinise since September, 2009. Prior to the Foundations’s formal launch, in June, 2011, Judith oversaw the full range of organizational, legal, financial and administrative requirements establishing GSF, and currently manages its ongoing operations. 

Over the past 25 years, prior to joining Mr. Sinise, Judith held a variety of senior level positions at leading financial institutions and board positions at philanthropic organizations.  For 10 years prior to joining GSF, Judith was a Vice President at American Home Mortgage and Washington Mutual and Managing Broker at Manhattan Mortgage Company in Southampton and East Hampton, New York. Her responsibilities included managing those offices with full P&L responsibility, recruiting and training staff, originating and/or placing loans, credit review, marketing and advertising.  Prior to moving into the mortgage origination business, Judith spent 9 years in commercial and investment banking at Oppenheimer & Co., Ensign Bank and the Tribeca Group where she advanced from an assistant to a senior money manager to Senior Vice President with responsibilities for a wide range of administrative oversight and real estate leasing responsibilities including the leasing of over 100 commercial properties.  Judith also served as Executive Director at Dances Patrelle, a professional Ballet company. A former professional ballet dancer herself, Judith, was educated at the Juilliard School in New York earned a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. Following her graduation from Juilliard, Judith spent 4 years as a professional ballerina.

Dr. Brenda Solomon

Director of Development

Dr. Brenda Solomon has over twenty years of experience in senior level outreach and advancement at higher education institutions. Before joining the Gary Sinise Foundation, she served as Vice President of Development for Marymount California University, as Senior Director of Development for the Oklahoma State University Foundation, and as Manager for Education Extension at Oklahoma State University. At OSUF, she was part of the $1b comprehensive campaign team and over eight years raised $60.8 million.

Dr. Solomon has brought about strategic change and is recognized for her work in understanding how donors learn. Recently, her article “Inside the Minds of Donors: Understanding How Your Donors Learn" helps fundraisers engage their donors Passions and Purpose for Giving and was featured in the Sept. 2013 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education issue. She has presented on this topic and others at the Big 12 Development, the Academy of Human Resource Development, the University Continuing Education Association, and the CASE Region VII conferences.

Dr. Solomon also serves as the parliamentarian for the Palos Verdes Juniors Women’s Club helping to raise $250,000 annually for women and children in crisis in the South Bay and previously served on the board for the Stillwater Junior League. A native Californian, she earned her Bachelor's from Cal State Northridge, Master’s degree from Loyola Marymount and doctorate from Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Solomon is married to attorney G. Michael Solomon and they have three sons.

Bill Wagasy

Director of Programs & Outreach

William (Billy) Wagasy is the Director of Programs and Outreach for the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF), joining the foundation in April of 2014.  It is his mission to reach out to those who wore the uniform and in collaboration with non-profits, for-profits, military institutions, communities, and other charitable and service oriented organizations developing programs to help empower our veterans and their families as they transition into the civilian world and strive to reach their full potential.

A former Outside Linebacker and Special Teams player for the University of Notre Dame under Coach Lou Holtz from 1992-1996, he graduated with an accounting degree and a second major in philosophy in 1996.  He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University in 2000 and his Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine in 2001.  Following the attacks of September 11th, he enlisted in the navy and became a U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. in 2003.  He completed four combat tours, three to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Stephanie Lanier

Event & Entertainment Manager

Stephanie Lanier is the Event & Entertainment Manager for the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Prior to joining the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2013, Stephanie held a variety of positions within the Event & Entertainment Industry.  For four years she managed American Idol, Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks while also managing actress Meaghan Martin and facilitating day-to-day details for numerous other artists, including the Jonas Brothers.  Prior to her time in Artist Management she worked in corporate event production both freelance and as a part of Marlyn Productions, a technical production company based in New York and Las Vegas. During this time she was a project manager and assistant stage manager for a variety of corporate clients such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Abbott, Allergan, Novartis, FedEx, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, James Beard, Diageo, Moet & Chandon, LVCVA & Times Square Church. Stephanie also spent four years as the Executive Assistant/Coordinator to the Vice President of MTV’s Special Events group in Times Square working on all of Viacom Networks' Upfronts, Corporate Meetings and numerous other high-profile events.