United Legacy has a dedicated hard working group of volunteers that make our work possible. Please let us introduce to you our Management team.
Deanna Villella — Founder/President
Deanna Founded United Legacy after her brother went missing in 2014. Her family was faced with searching for her brother for 9 weeks, most of which was coordinated by the family. (You can find more information about Christopher’s case under the about section.) She wanted to start an organization that would help bridge the gap between families, law enforcement, and media, to ensure families do not have to go it alone.
Deanna is the mother of 3 boys and is married to her husband Ryan. Before founding United Legacy, she was working as a chef, after having earned her degree in culinary arts. Since founding United Legacy she has been focused on supporting the families that we work with, creating support groups and relationships with other agencies such as the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
Sarah Syverson — Chief of Business Operations
Sarah became involved with United Legacy in 2015 after helping with a search and later attending an orientation. Sarah was an EMT, and aided in Search and Rescue with her unit. She earned her BA in Business Management in 2011, and in 2016 became a certified CPR/1st Aid instructor. She now certifies all United Legacy members, as well as community volunteers.
In her role with United Legacy, Sarah oversees all day-to-day business operations. She helped write the policy and procedure manuals, is the first point of contact for families or law enforcement, and oversees the administration team. Sarah also recently accepted the position of Treasurer for United Legacy’s Board of Directors.
Sarah loves being a stay-at-home mom to her twin boys, and enjoys baking, and time with her family.
Jay Norman — Chief of Field Operations
Jay became involved with United Legacy after he participated in a search and attended an orientation. He is a Certified Wilderness First Aid Responder, and certified through Emergicare to teach Wilderness First Aid, which has allowed him to train United Legacy members. He is also a senior member of the Backcountry Trail Patrol and former member of the National Ski Patrol, and National Mountain Bike Patrol.
In his role as Chief of Field Operations, Jay does all the search planning and management, runs Incident Command, and coordinates all training of United Legacy members. He interacts with Law Enforcement and other agencies, during searches, to ensure a clear line of communication to all involved.
In his free time Jay enjoys camping, hiking and paddling with his family.