Meet Our Board of Directors

COL (retired) Pete Farrell, President

Pete graduated from Hancock Central School with the famous Class of 1971 and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He graduated from West Point in June 1975 and served on active duty with the US Army for 27 years during the Cold War era.

Pete commanded Signal units at every level from Platoon Leader through Brigade Commander and he culminated his career as the Deputy Commander of the US Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, GA.In 2010 Pete was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the US Army Signal Regiment.

Pete and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Augusta, GA.

Pete joined Legacy of Honor, Inc. in order to help keep alive the memory of SSG Justin Whiting, a true hero soldier from Hancock, NY and to help veterans and young people in his hometown of Hancock.

Mr. Randy Whiting, Founder of Legacy of Honor, Inc.

Randy Whiting graduated from HCS with the famous Class of 1971.  In 1973 Randy enlisted in the US Army where he served as a Cobra helicopter mechanic.  He was honorably discharged in 1976.  He settled in Texas for several years until the beloved family farm which he grew up on in upstate New York called him home to Hancock.  After returning home, Randy ran the dairy farm that had been in his family since the early 1900’s. In 1992 the dairy barn burned and Randy transitioned the farm into a beef raising operation.  

Randy is most proud of the fact that all of his children and his step-son decided to serve in the military and have made it their career. Even today Randy views serving in the Army as one of the most rewarding times of his life and his children credit his fondness for his time in service as the reason why they made the decision to serve themselves. 

These days you can find Randy tending to the 70 foot flag pole he erected on the farm and taking care of his black Angus beef.  Randy started the Legacy of Honor Foundation in memory of his son Justin to help veterans and to continue teaching children that serving your country will enrich your life and will make the world you live in a better place.

Mrs. Cindy Whiting, Secretary

 Cindy Whiting was born and raised in Hancock, NY.  Cindy works for the law firm of Coughlin & Gerhart.  She is also the Treasurer of the French Woods Cemetery Association and a member of the Emory United Methodist Church.  She has worked in the school system with children of all ages and has two children of her own.  Patriotism is an important part of her life, her father fought in World War II and her son is a soldier in the United States Army.  Through Legacy of Honor she would like to encourage all children to become Patriots of our beloved Country.

Mrs. Barbara Leonard, Treasurer

Barbara Leonard has been a member of the Hancock Community since 1978 when she came here as a newly hired Elementary School Teacher.  In the ensuing years, she and her husband Mike raised their 5 sons and she spent 16 years teaching preschool at the Hancock Community Preschool before retiring in 2016.  Barbara was very active in the Boy Scout Troop 74 for many years, is an active member of St. Paul the Apostle church Family, served on the Board of Directors of the Equinunk Historical Society and is currently a board member of the Equinunk Watershed Alliance.  She is honored to help keep the memory and values of SSG Justin Whiting alive through programs of Legacy of Honor.

Mrs. Diane Layman, Director of School Programs

 “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

 This quote holds a special place in Diane’s heart..

Born & raised in Hancock, NY, Diane Nearing-Layman is one of 7 children ( the only girl!) & the mother of 4 sons.. Diane spent many years as a military wife that allowed her to live in lots of different places & experience many amazing things. Diane has always been very involved w/ all kinds of things “kid-related”.. She has worked from the age of 15 trying to help engage & inspire children to be the best they can be.

Diane is the director of Hancock’s Summer Rec. Program, the treasurer of her church, and the “go-to” person for child care..

Diane’s life is her 4 sons & providing them with as many mind stretching experiences as she can. Diane hopes to bring the message of The Legacy of Honor & plant the seeds of patriotism in her community & beyond!