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Atlanta Regional Benefit Office

Meet Our Leadership Team

 

Al Bocchicchio

Director: Al Bocchicchio

Al Bocchicchio was appointed Director of the Atlanta Regional Office (RO) on April 13, 2008. Mr. Bocchicchio is responsible for administering benefits and services to the estimated 773,000 Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors living in Georgia. The Atlanta RO administers approximately $1.4 billion in annual federal benefits, is one of four regional GI Bill processing centers in the country, and is one of eight VA regional loan centers.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Bocchicchio served as the Executive Management Officer in the Office of Field Operations (OFO). Mr. Bocchicchio was responsible for assisting the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations, Area Directors, Regional Office Directors, Central Office staff, and OFO staff with the oversight of 57 regional offices. The regional offices employed more than 13,000 employees and administered benefit programs that annually pay more than $31 billion to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors. Mr. Bocchicchio worked with regional offices to ensure VBA priorities, responsibilities, and assignments were conveyed clearly and concisely and that priorities and goals were realized.

Mr. Bocchicchio began his VA career in 1990 as a Veterans Claims Examiner at the Philadelphia RO and Insurance Center. While there, Mr. Bocchicchio held progressively responsible management positions, including Veterans Service Center (VSC) Manager with oversight of the Compensation and Pension program for the 40 eastern counties of Pennsylvania and the seven southern counties of New Jersey and for the remote management of the Wilmington (Delaware) RO.

Mr. Bocchicchio is a member of the Leadership VA (LVA) Class of 2004 and the LVA Alumni Association. He is a graduate of VBA’s Leadership Coaching program and the One VA Senior Executive Service Career Development program. He has a bachelor’s degree from LaSalle University.


Steven Furrer

Assistant Director: Steven Furrer

Steve Furrer was appointed to this position in March 2010. In this capacity, Mr. Furrer is responsible for the effective and efficient direction, control, and operation of benefits delivered to Veterans in the RO’s service area.
 
Prior to this position, Mr. Furrer was Executive Management Officer in the Office of Field Operations (OFO) in Washington, D.C. There he was responsible for assisting the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations, Area Directors, Regional Office Directors, Central Office staff, and OFO staff with the oversight of 57 regional offices.

Mr. Furrer began his VA career in 2001 as a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) at the Milwaukee RO in 2001. He was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility in the Veterans Service Center, including Rating VSR and coach before joining the Office of Field Operations staff as a Management Analyst in January 2007.

Mr. Furrer is a 2006 graduate of VBA’s Leadership Enhancement and Development program, a 2008 graduate of Leadership Coaching, and a 2010 graduate of the Assistant Director Development program. Mr. Furrer earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Ursula Britt

Assistant Director: Ursula Britt

Ursula Britt was appointed to this position in January 2012. Ms. Britt is responsible for the effective and efficient direction, control, and operation of benefits delivery to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors, and she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Education, Home Loan Guaranty, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) divisions at the Atlanta RO.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Britt served as a Lead Management Analyst and Budget Officer in VBA’s Office of Field Operations in Washington, D.C. In this role, she assisted the Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations in the oversight of 57 regional offices. As Budget Officer, Ms. Britt oversaw an approximately $1.3 billion annual operating budget and was instrumental in all aspects of overall budget formulation and execution for the 57 regional offices throughout the country.
 
Ms. Britt began her VA career in 2001 as a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) in the Winston-Salem RO. She became certified in the position in 2006 and later transitioned into the role of Program Analyst for the Veterans Service Center Manager. Ms. Britt was also an assistant coach prior to joining the Office of Field Operations as a Management Analyst in September 2008.

Ms. Britt is an instructor for various VBA training programs, including Introduction to Leadership, Workload Management, and Division Leadership Management. She previously instructed at the annual Management Analyst Workshop and represented VBA during Employee Orientation briefings for new central office employees.

Ms. Britt graduated from East Carolina University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems.


Thomas H. Buffton Jr.

Home Loan Guaranty Officer: Thomas H. Buffton Jr.

Thomas H. Buffton Jr. was appointed to this position in March 2003. Prior to this position, Mr. Buffton served the Atlanta Regional Loan Center as the Assistant Home Loan Guaranty Officer, a position held since August 1985. He began his VA career in 1975 as a Loan Specialist at the Roanoke RO. He earned his degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.


Douglas C. Chapman

Veterans Service Center Manager: Douglas C. Chapman

Douglas C. Chapman is responsible for administering benefits and services to Veterans in the Atlanta RO’s service area.

Mr. Chapman began his VA career in 2002 as a Veterans Service Representative at the Columbia Regional Office. During his tenure, Mr. Chapman held progressively more responsible positions including Management Analyst, Rating Veterans Service Representative, Triage Supervisor, and Rating Board Supervisor. Mr. Chapman’s most recent assignment was as the Veterans Service Center Manager for the Wichita RO.

Mr. Chapman is a graduate of the Leadership Development and Leadership Coaching programs. He is currently participating in the Assistant Director’s Development program.

Mr. Chapman, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2000, received a bachelor’s degree from Regents College.


Angela K. Seelhammer

Education Officer: Angela K. Seelhammer

Angela Seelhammer was appointed to this position in March 2008. Her key responsibility is administering the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Veterans Retraining Assistance programs.
In early 2008, she helped train VBA participants in the Presidential Management Fellows program. In 2004, she served as a mentor in the Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) program. Prior to that, in 2002, she was Assistant Education Officer.
Ms. Seelhammer began her VA career in 1990 as a Veterans Claims Examiner (VCE) in the Education Division at the Atlanta Regional Processing Office, where she has spent most of her career. She has served as coach and in a variety of other positions.

Ms. Seelhammer holds a Master in Public Administration from Georgia State University.


Amy Thompson

VR&E Officer: Amy Thompson

Amy Thompson has served in this position since February 2009 and, before that, was Assistant VR&E Officer. Prior to that, she was Supervisory, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

She began her VA career in July 2001 as an evaluator charged with creating an in-house testing program. As case numbers grew, she assumed a caseload and still served as the Assessment Team Leader. She also acted as back up for an Employee Assistance Program counselor and oversaw contracting services.

Prior to working at VA, Ms. Thompson was a rehabilitation counselor in private rehabilitation services for 16 years. She coordinated workers’ compensation, long-term disability, and liability cases for those with a variety of physical and psychological disabilities. Ms. Thompson conducted vocational assessments, employability assessments, labor market surveys, job analyses, transferable skills analyses, medical care coordination, plan development, and placement services. She also worked on federal workers’ compensation cases and provided expert testimony in Social Security, railroad retirement, and liability cases.

Ms. Thompson earned a Master of Health Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.