Diena Thompson, the mother of Somer Thompson, saw the immediate need in 2010 to start the The Somer Thompson Foundation after the tragic & horrific loss of her daughter. Diena quickly became the voice and advocate for not only her own child but children across the country who have been victimized and in some case murdered by these unspeakable individuals. Ms. Thompson has appeared on numerous television shows including The Today Show, Dr. Phil & CNN as a strong voice for those children who can no longer be heard. She has been involved with the passing of several pieces of legislation included Cherish’s Law which increases prison time for sexual predators. Diena has Co-authored a book with Jack Campbell, The Secret Success and is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Mr. Bowling is the grandfather of Somer and the father of Diena Thompson. Mr. Bowling is a veteran of the United States Army. He also retired from the Department of Defense after 27 years and the held the titles of Special Agent, Senior Special Agent and Special Agent- in- Charge. Mr. Bowling also worked for the U.S. Customs and various other Federal Agencies before retiring in 2014. His has been involved in numerous volunteer efforts and currently sits on the Somer Thompson Foundation board. His current duties and responsibilities include oversight of all day to day operations as well as due diligence for all grant recipient activity.
Mr. Patangan has been Senior Legal Counsel and Privacy Officer of Medtronic Surgical Technologies since 2012. Previously, he was a senior counsel with the international law firm Holland & Knight LLP from 2006 through 2012. Mr. Patangan is very active in the community, serving on the Pro Bono Task Force of Medtronic plc and as a member of the board of directors of Catholic Charities – Jacksonville Regional Office. He holds a law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. As a member of The Somer Thompson Foundation board of directors, Mr. Patangan assists with the corporate governance and strategy related to the Foundation’s activities.
Paul proudly serves on the Somer Thompson Foundation assisting with grant administration and organizational fundraising. Mr. Rigdon is a North Florida native and has a degree from Coastal Carolina Community College in Construction and Facilities. He has also served on the board for the YMCA and has been involved with the Christ Starfish Foundation. Mr. Rigdon is currently employed with Anheuser-Busch and is a recipient of the prestigious Crane Award, which is presented to an employee who contributes to the betterment of their company workplaces or for their work in the community. He also is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corp. “I serve because I truly believe in the mission of the foundation which is to help these desperate children & their families.” -Paul Rigdon
Robert Ingram is the co-founder and was instrumental in the development of the Somer Thompson Foundation. Mr. Ingram used his fundraising experience for the initial creation and sustainability of the foundation. He is a recipient of the “Paul Harris Award” for outstanding community service and achievement and also served as a Congressional Page for Congressman Charlie Bennett. Robert is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, marketing and finance. Mr. Ingram is currently working toward his Juris Doctor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.