Capt Ken Stefanisin enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in 1987 where he served on the Colorado River Patrol, Lake Havasu, AZ. Commissioned as an Ensign in 1991 he was assigned to the Marine Safety Office San Diego, CA. Transferred to Port Security Unit 311, he served as Unit Security Officer, Boat Officer and Operations Officer. Completing a tour at Naval Coastal Warfare Group One as the First Lieutenant he returned to PSU 311 as the Executive Officer and assumed command of the unit in 2006. He would move on to serve tours at US Northern Command J35 Directorate (Operations and Planning) Colorado Springs CO, and then as the Liaison to FEMA District 14 Honolulu HI. His final assignment was the Deputy Chief Maritime Force Protection Training Advisor Group Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he served until July of 2014. He has deployed to the Republic of Korea for Operation Freedom Banner 95, Foal Eagle 96, 97, 99 and 2000.
Active duty recalls included September 2001 on a two man “Red Cell Team” conducting Antiterrorism/Force Protection assessments around the Pacific Rim. December 2002, Operation Iraqi Freedom; serving as the unit Executive Officer and Officer in Charge of boat operations in the Port of Umm Qasr, Iraq. Retained on active duty assigned to build a highly specialized Non-Compliant Boarding Team for Pacific Area Counter Terrorism operations. In 2008 he was assigned as the Force Protection Officer for Naval Expeditionary Warfare Task Group 56.5; while commanding his unit in a combined Navy/Coast Guard Operations in Kuwait and Iraq.
Capt Stefanisin was recognized as the Coast Guard Reserve Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year in January 2000. His awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services, Coast Guard, Navy and Army Commendation Medals and a Coast Guard Achievement Medal amongst other awards.
In his civilian career, he retired as a detective on the Phoenix Police Department with over 40 years in law enforcement. His last assignment was as an Intelligence/Terrorism Liaison Officer after completing over 16 years on the Special Assignments Unit (SWAT). His law enforcement career has covered uniformed patrol, night walking beat, criminal investigations and street crimes.
Denise Stefanisin is a University of Arizona Master Gardener in Maricopa County (2004), and since 2007 has served on Advisory Boards to organize a number of farmers markets in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. She has also helped organize the City of Phoenix Food Day Celebrations and is a member of the Maricopa County Food System Coalition.