Born and raised in Massachusetts, Hank spent more than ten years in a wide range of environmental law enforcement, supervisory natural resource protection, emergency hazardous waste contingency response and white-collar crime investigation with the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service and the United States Secret Service.

Hank received his:

  • Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a concentration in Natural Resources Law Enforcement
  • a Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from Boston University
  • a Master of Arts in Holistic Counseling and a Master of Arts in Holistic Leadership from Salve Regina University
  • two certificates of advanced graduate study in Holistic Counseling and Holistic Leadership
  • two certificates of advanced graduate study in Counseling
  • a Doctorate in Educational Administration & Leadership from Seton Hall University

He is a graduate of

  • the Assisi Institute’s Two-Year Archetypal Pattern Analyst Program
  • and Air University, Air Command and Staff College

In addition, Dr. Brightman is

  • certified clinical hypnotherapist
  • certified clinical trauma professional
  • and certified personal trainer through the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America

Hank is currently a full professor and Acting Director of the Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Program within the College of Maritime Operational at the United States Naval War College. He also serves as the distinguished EMC Informationist Chair (an eight-year, endowed appointment). From 2008-2016, he served as an Associate Professor, Professor, and Director of Applied Research & Analysis in the War Gaming Department of this institution.

From 2000-2008, he served as a tenured Associate Professor and Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Saint Peter’s University, and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Salve Regina University, Saint Peter’s University, and Utica College, where he teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Criminology and research methods.

In his Navy Reserve career, Commander (CDR) Heath “Hank” Brightman serves as Commanding Officer of Navy Reserve, Cryptologic Warfare Group in Massachusetts. A fully qualified Navy Reserve Cryptologic Warfare Officer, CDR Brightman’s most recent active duty mobilization was from March 2018 through February 2019, assigned to the Office of Military Commissions, Military Commissions Defense Organization (Washington DC/Guantanamo Bay, Cuba). In this capacity, he served as the Senior Intelligence Investigator on a 9/11 high-value detainee case team.

For the past seven years, Dr. Brightman has maintained a part-time, private trauma and wellness practice in Newport, Rhode Island, focused on applying a variety of holistic techniques to support client recovery. His primary approach combines Jungian, Gestalt, narrative, and expressive therapies with clinical hypnotherapy, physical fitness, and nutrition.

Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is the 11th Sheriff of Sarasota County and began this new leg of his long service to our community earlier this year.

Sheriff Hoffman began his law enforcement career as a deputy with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office in 1989. He served the Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto communities for more than three decades as both a prosecutor and as the general counsel for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office since 2005. During his tenure, he was promoted to Captain, Major, and Colonel prior to winning the 2020 election to become our new Sheriff.

Sheriff Hoffman has a rich family history of service in both local and state law enforcement as well as the US Military. He has a passion for the veteran community, his family, and his hometown. He and his wife Teri reside in Venice.

Project 180 residents had the opportunity to sit down for a virtual meeting with three attorneys who were eager to answer their questions and offer support for what is oftentimes a stressful and confusing task: filing taxes.

Gulfcoast Legal Services, a non-profit organization that provides high quality legal services at no cost to the client, gave a detailed presentation Monday evening about how to properly file annual taxes and answered questions during a group discussion with Project 180 residents.

“I think perhaps the most important thing that happened [tonight] is that these guys now have a personal relationship with 3 tax lawyers,” said Wendy Cox, tax attorney for Gulf Coast Legal Services who led the workshop.

The workshop addressed vital information and explained how to properly fill out a W-4, how to receive a stimulus check, where to file taxes at no charge and so much more.

“I think the key will be if they contact us for 1:1 advice.  That’s where we can really help people,” Wendy added.

Gulf Coast Legal Services kicked-off Project 180’s first Resident Workshop that was designed to bring industry experts and professionals once-a-month to help educate Project 180 residents on a broad spectrum of topics.

If you or your organization would like to provide a workshop for Project 180 residents, please email

“We can’t thank Wendy and her team at Gulfcoast Legal Services enough for sharing their time and knowledge with our residents,” said Barbara Richards, Project 180 Founder and CEO. “Our residents had several questions about their taxes and they were relieved to have answers from trusted professionals who want to see them succeed.”