A decorated United States Navy officer, Captain David Schnell assumed command of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5) on September 4, 2009, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Tarawa-class amphibious assault vessel. The ship’s 19th commanding officer and its first surface warfare officer, Captain David Schnell was serving as the Peleliu’s commanding officer during the 2010 floods that affected a full one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area.
During the crew’s 18-month mission to embark, deploy, and land U.S. Marine Corps troops in support of U.S. military action abroad, it was called upon by the government of Pakistan to assist in aid relief to the country’s flooded Arabian Sea coast. The crew delivered goods and emergency supplies to the towns and villages in need with the assistance of Pakistan’s government and military. In total, the U.S. military helped rescue more than 3,000 people and moved nearly 150,000 kilograms of supplies into the country.
Before his retirement after 27 years of service, Navy Captain David Schnell commanded two U.S. Navy warships. He currently holds the position of general manager of Los Angeles Metro Express Lanes with the Americas Commercial & State Government Transportation Group, a Xerox subsidiary. A devoted server of his community, David Schnell is on the board of Walden Family Services.
Inspired by 19th century writer Henry David Thoreau’s vision of every person’s potential, Walden Family Services began its caring for young people by finding single-family homes for children living in group institutions. Serving a large part of southern California, the organization believes that all children should have a loving family and the chance to realize their potential, both for themselves and their communities. With this goal in mind they support children by creating nurturing and lasting relationships.
Walden Family Services is known today for its focus on supporting children through their foster care years, especially those with special health needs, developmental disabilities, and behavioral and emotional challenges, as well as youth who identify as LGBT. Its services also include finding temporary or long term foster care families for youth who need to escape home environments which may include physical abuse, substance abuse, mental illness, and neglect.
Formerly a warship commander in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell holds responsibilities as an executive with a Xerox subsidiary and as executive director of the Christ Kitchen nonprofit agency. Captain David Schnell also serves on the board of Walden Family Services of San Diego.
The agency began in 1978, with the mission of supporting youth before and after their experience in foster homes. Its transitional housing-plus-foster-care program addresses the needs of the 65 percent of California children who have no home after emancipation at age 18.
Walden was one of the first groups in California to provide foster care until age 21, provided individuals continued their education and obtained employment. The organization provides necessary structure while encouraging youth to develop life skills such as job-hunting, budgeting, preparing meals, and attending to their studies.
Through Walden’s therapy services, participants work through issues, such as domestic violence and substance abuse. Crisis counseling also is available at all times. Further, mentors help with the challenges of employment and parenting.
Walden also provides access to necessities, such as SAT preparation, school supplies, driving instruction, and public transportation. Uniforms and clothing for job interviews are also made available.
A retired Navy officer who holds a Meritorious Service Medal among other honors, Captain David Schnell currently serves as general manager of Los Angeles Express Lanes for the Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group. Captain David Schnell is also involved with multiple charitable organizations and serves as executive director of Christ’s Kitchen in San Diego, California.
The focus of Christ’s Kitchen is providing food for people in need throughout the San Diego area. A nonprofit organization affiliated with the Bread of Life Ministry of San Diego and the American Red Cross, Christ’s Kitchen is dedicated to serving the thousands of homeless individuals who currently reside in greater San Diego. Christ’s Kitchen also reaches out to numerous individuals (many of whom are children) who face “food insecurity” and often lack the recourse to obtain adequate nutrition. According to recent statistics, Christ’s Kitchen contributes meals to more than a thousand San Diego residents.