US Army Colonel (Ret.)
Chairman of the Board
Joe Brown – US Army Colonel (Ret.) Executive Director
Rod Sands – Founder/CEO of SimplyFresco, LLC.
LTG Raymond V. Mason – US Army, Retired
Charlie Fletcher – President/CEO of Fletcher Consulting
Mike Plunkett – CEO of Alphatec Spine
Steve Speakes – President/CEO of Kalmar RT Center
Robert Avsec – Freelance Writer
Michael Bouchard – Sheriff of Oakland County
Clarence McAllister – Founder/CEO of Fortis
Tom Wheelwright – Founder/CEO of ProVision Wealth
Terry E. Juskowiak – Major General, Retired
Luis Moreno – Corporal of Bandera Support Division
Simeon G. Trombitas – Major General
John Lovett – Retired Business Owner
Kyle Lamb – SGM (R), Founder Viking Tactics, Inc
Max Martini – Actor
Jeff Mellinger – Command Sergeant Major (Ret)
Darren Weeks – Entrepreneur, Investor
Chris Stricklin – Founder, The Thunderbird Way
Mark Graham – Senior Director, Rutgers UBHC National Call Center
Rod is currently on the board of Texas Star Nut and Food Company and serves as CEO of SimplyFresco, LLC.
Before retiring, Rod Sands served as the Chief Operating Officer of Silver Ventures, a private investment firm with interests in public market, private equity, and direct investments. He joined Silver Ventures in 1997 after working with Pace Foods for 15 years. At Pace Foods, Mr. Sands held the positions of Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and was named President in 1993. In 1995 Rod was instrumental in negotiating and selling Pace Foods for the highest multiple of EBITDA and the highest multiple of sales ever recorded for a food company of its size or larger.
Prior to joining Pace, Rod worked with Uncle Ben’s Foods in Houston and Anderson Clayton Foods in Dallas.
Rod served on the advisory boards of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Chase Bank of San Antonio, The Westin Riverwalk Hotel, and The Contessa Hotel. He was previously Chairman of the Board for Desert Glory, Inc. as well as being on the Board of Directors of Nonni’s Food Company, Taco Cabana Restaurants, Discovery Foods, and The Ecce Panis Artisan Bread Company. Additionally Rod was a trustee for The Goldsbury Foundation of San Antonio.
Rod received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and was awarded an MBA from North Texas State University. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
LTG Raymond V. Mason
US Army, Retired
Director – Army Emergency Relief
LTG (R) Raymond V. Mason became the ninth Director of Army Emergency Relief on 1 January 2017. General Mason retired from the United States Army in October 2014, after serving 35 years on active duty, the last 12 as a General Officer. Following retirement, General Mason joined VT Systems in Alexandria VA as the Chief Operating Officer. VTS is a US based company with global commercial and government / military focused capabilities in Aerospace, Shipbuilding, Ground Systems and Electronics; including over 5,000 employees and $1.2B in annual revenue.
General Mason’s last tour on active duty was as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics on the Army Staff, responsible for the worldwide sustainment of Total Army forces across the full range of supply chain management, maintenance, transportation, operational contracting, contingency basing, operational energy and information technology systems. In this position, General Mason served as the Chairman of three boards: Army Depot Maintenance; Army Uniform; Army & Air Force Exchange Service, and as a member of the Defense Commissary Agency Board.
Prior to his duties at the Pentagon, General Mason served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia. FORSCOM is the Army’s largest and most diverse field command, comprising over 800K Soldiers, providing trained and ready forces to Combatant Commanders. During his military career, General Mason commanded and led logistics and multi-functional units from the platoon to national level, across the full range of Army combat and joint operational capabilities. He also had extensive experience in strategic level logistics, to include a tour as the Deputy Director for Logistics, Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the Cdr, Troop Support, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
He served multiple overseas tours in Germany, Australia, Korea and Hawaii. Combat tours included serving as the 82d Airborne Support Command Operations Officer in Grenada, and as the Senior Logistics Officer in 3d Army, with responsibility for providing sustainment to combat forces in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Horn of Africa. His command billets include: Services Company, 21 Supply Battalion, Sydney Australia; 407th Forward Support Battalion, 82d Airborne Division; Support Command, 25th Infantry Division; 19th Expeditionary Support Command, Korea; and 8th Theater Support Command, Hawaii, where he was also the Senior Mission Commander overseeing all Army Hawaii missions.
General Mason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management & Marketing from James Madison University (78); a Master of Science in Procurement & Acquisition Management from Florida Institute of Technology (86); and a Master of Science in Strategic Resource Management from the National Defense University (99). He currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife of 37 years, the former Patti Kay Harris of Williamsburg, Va. They have two children, Nick a professional golfer, and Sarah a civilian employee of IMCOM, Department of the Army, serving in Stuttgart Germany.
President & CEO
Bachelor of Engineering
United States Military Academy
M.S. Systems Management
University of Southern California
M.A. National Military Strategy
National Defense University
Charlie Fletcher is President of Fletcher Consulting. His business experience includes executive positions at Wounded Warrior Project, McLane Advanced Technology, Alion Science & Technology and The Boeing Company. He was the first NATO Logistics Senior Mentor and served in that capability for 8 years. His military career spanned more than 30 years, with nearly a decade as a General Officer. He had eight command tours with his final assignment as the J-3 Director of Operations & Plans, US Transportation Command. He is an Army rotary-wing aviator with over 2,000 flying hours. His assignments including planning and then commanding the Army logistics forces during the 2003 Iraq invasion. His Middle East assignments included Battalion Command in Desert Storm and test pilot instructor in Iran during the 1978/9 Islamic Revolution.
He is married to Dale Anne Fletcher, a retired Army Nurse. They have three children; Charles in Harvard’s Law & Public Policy Master’s Program, Michael an Army LT in Italy, and Marie at Ole Miss.
Michael Plunkett has served as Chief Operating Officer of Alphatec Spine since January 2014 and was also named President in September 2016. Mr. Plunkett originally joined Alphatec Spine in March 2012 as Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining us, Mr. Plunkett held increasing positions of authority from August 2003 to March 2012 at First Marblehead Corporation where his final position was Managing Director.
Prior to joining private industry, Mr. Plunkett served over 24 years active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired with the rank of Captain in July 2003. While in the Navy he served in a variety of ashore and afloat positions. Mr. Plunkett received a B.S. from Saint John Fisher College, a M.S. from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an M.A. from the Naval War College.
Batt. Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) served with the Chesterfield (Va.) Fire & EMS Department for 26 years. He is a NFPA-certified instructor for fire, EMS, and hazardous materials courses at the local, state and federal levels, which included more than 10 years with the National Fire Academy as a contract instructor. Chief Avsec earned his Bachelor’s degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati and his Master’s degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He is a 2001 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s EFO Program.
Chief Avsec now works as a freelance writer creating on-line content for a number of clients. He is a regular monthly contributor to FireRescue1.com and EMS1.com. He also publishes his own weekly blog, Talking “Shop” 4 Fire and EMS, where he discusses leadership and management issues affecting the fire service.
Sheriff Bouchard runs one of the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Offices, overseeing 1,300 employees and managing an annual budget of over $141 million dollars. Sheriff Bouchard brings the experience of 30 years of law enforcement and 30 years as an elected official to the position.
On January 11, 1999, Michigan Senator and Majority Floor Leader Michael Bouchard accepted the appointment as successor to John F. Nichols who passed away suddenly. In November of 2017, Sheriff Bouchard was returned to Office for the fifth time with the largest number of votes for any candidate in Oakland County.
Founder and CEO
As Founder and CEO of Fortis, Clarence leads the company’s overall strategic direction. Fortis is provides design build services to the US Federal Government and to the private sector. Fortis also provides engineering and construction of fiber and wireless networks to the telecommunications industry. Clarence started Fortis in 2000 after an engineering career with Lucent Technologies and Verizon Wireless. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ with operations worldwide.
Clarence holds a Bachelor degree Summa Cum Laude and a Master in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Nova Southeastern University.
He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Registered Communications Distribution Designer. He is also a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a licensed aircraft pilot.
Founder and CEO
ProVision Wealth Strategists
Tom Wheelwright is a leading wealth and tax expert, Best-Selling Author (Tax-Free Wealth), Entrepreneur Magazine Contributor, and CEO of ProVision (Tempe, Arizona). Tom is best known for making taxes fun, easy and understandable, and specializes in helping entrepreneurs and investors build wealth through practical and strategic ways that permanently reduce taxes. As a Rich Dad Advisor to Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad), Tom frequently speaks at conferences worldwide on these topics.
His work has been featured in Forbes, Accounting Today, Investor’s Business Daily, Consumer Reports, ABC News Radio, FOX News, FOX & Friends, CBS 5 News Phoenix, GoBankingRates, Consumer Reports, Money Radio 1510 Business for Breakfast, and many more media. http://taxfreewealthadvisor.com
Terry E. Juskowiak
Major General (Retired)
Major General (Retired) Terry E. Juskowiak is a 1973 graduate of The Citadel with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and the Florida Institute of Technology with a Masters of Science in Contract and Acquisition Management in 1981.
His military education included Infantry Officers Basic Course, Quartermaster Officers Advanced Course, Logistics Executive Development Course, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He served as an Infantry Plt Ldr with the 101st Abn (AA), Co Cdr with the 25th Inf Div, Bn XO with the 3rd Armor Div, Bn Cdr with the 82nd Airborne Div, Bde Cdr with the 10th Mtn Div (LI). His general officer assignments included ADC-S 10th Mtn Div (LI), NATO Support Command, Bosnia, J4 ACOM, Cdr of 1st COSCOM (Abn), G4 FORSCOM, 47th QM Gen of the Army, and lastly as the CG of CASCOM and Ft Lee VA. Staff assignments included aide de camp to the Sec of the Army and a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army. During his 31 year career he served multiple combat tours and is Master Parachutist and Ranger qualified.
Upon military retirement he was an executive with IBM Corporation where he had Profit & Loss responsibilities for the IBM GBS’ Army, USAF and USMC Account.
Corporal, Support Division
Bandera County Sherrif’s Department
Luis “Louie” Moreno was born in La Jolla, California and was raised in Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, California. One of 13 children, Luis grew up in the fast lane and was exposed to gang activity at a very young age. Louie’s parents decided a change was needed. At the age of 18, he and his parents moved to Kerrville, Texas seeking better opportunities. Louie quickly found an interest in becoming an electrician. After about 10 years in the electrical field, Luis was given an opportunity to work in the jail system. He received his jailer’s license and decided law enforcement was a perfect fit for him. He went on and received his Peace Officer license in 2006. Louie enlisted in the Army National Guard 36th Infantry Division in 2007 with the intent of being able to go to college after he served his time. The Army had a different plan. Louie served a combat tour in Iraq in 2009 and served his country until 2016.
Louie has worked for several surrounding law enforcement agencies but has found a home in the Bandera County Sheriff’s Department. He currently works for the Sheriff’s Department as the Corporal in the Support Division. Among many different jobs, one that Louie enjoys the most is courtroom security. Louie is known as the “clown in the courtroom” who helps break the ice with jurors. He helps the jury process in Bandera enjoyable by providing comic relief at no additional cost to taxpayers. He has proudly served the citizens of Bandera County since 2012.
Louie serves his community in many different roles. He coaches for Bandera Little League, Bandera Youth Soccer Assn, and Bandera Boys & Girls Club. He is involved with the planning of National Night Out and is active in most all community events in some aspect.
Luis is married to Christina and they have a beautifully blended family of 5: Paul, Blythe, Taytum, Giovanni, and Maddox Azucena (Maddi Sue in Texan).
Simeon G. Trombitas
Major General (Ret)
Major General Simeon G. Trombitas graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was commissioned as a U.S. Army Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Branch. His military education includes: the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Armor Officer Advanced Course, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Armed Forces Staff College. He also earned a Master of Science in Security Technologies from the Army War College.
Major General Trombitas began his active duty career in the 2nd Armored Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader and Company Commander at Fort Hood, Texas. He was assigned to the Joint Readiness Training Center as a Senior Infantry Company Observer Controller. He served three tours in the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as Operational Detachment “A” Commander, Company Commander, Battalion Operations (S3) Officer, Executive Officer and Battalion Commander. Assigned to USMILGP El Salvador he served as Senior Advisor to the 4th (El Salvadoran) Infantry Brigade. He served as the Assistant Deputy Director for Operations of United States Army Special Operations Command and Commander, US Army Garrison, 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colorado. His joint assignments include: Deputy Director of Operations (J3) with Special Operations Command in Panama; Commander, U.S. Military Group in Colombia; and Chief Regional Special Operations Division (J3) in Washington, D.C.
Major General Trombitas has served as a general officer in various duty assignments beginning as the Commanding General of Special Operations Command, Korea. Following Korea, he assumed command of the Iraq National Counter-Terrorism Force Transition Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was then assigned as the Special Assistant to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. MG Trombitas commanded United States Army South from 2009 to 2012, and most recently served as Senior Defense Official / Defense Attaché at the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Mexico.
Retired Business Owner
After receiving a degree in Political Science from the University of Texas in 1974, John went to work for he Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce where he served as Military Affairs Manager and later as the Membership Fundraising Manager and on the National Board of Membership Managers for Chambers of Commerce.
In 1982 John Founded River City Builders, Inc in New Braunfels and successfully operated that enterprise along with a Millwork company until it was sold in 2013.
Some highlights of volunteer work during a successful business career would be Founding and helping Fund The 24 Hour Club in New Braunfels, a Building for the express use of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups. Founding and helping Fund the New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation. Serving as Chairman of the New Braunfels Long range Planning Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and Economic Development Foundation and Charter Review Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
Today, his time is spent with family and friends , golfing, flying and helping others achieve sobriety.
SGM (R), Founder
Viking Tactics, Inc
SGM (R) Kyle Lamb retired after 21 years with the US Army, spending the majority of his time with a Special Mission Unit as well as 5th and 1st Special Forces Groups. Lamb is also the Founder of Viking Tactics, Inc. a respected tactical training and equipment company. Lamb has also written three books including Leadership in the Shadows, has appeared on several network television shows to include his own show, Viking Chronicles.
Lamb has led on the battlefield and continues to lead in the Outdoor Industry as a businessman, consultant, and personality. SGM (R) Lamb has participated in hundreds of operations around the globe to include Operation Desert Storm (Kuwait/Iraq), Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, Somalia), several deployments to the Balkan Peninsula, and numerous tours in support of the Global War on Terror.
Max Martini’s latest starring roles include the Independent films ‘What The Night Can Do’ and ‘Hellbent’ (2017). Additionally, the Shane Black written and directed pilot for Amazon Studios, ‘Edge’, in which Martini played the title character. Martini also stars in the Legendary Pictures/Universal Studios film ‘Spectral’ currently showing on Netflix.
In 2016 Martini starred in Michael Bay’s ’13 Hours’ for Paramount Pictures. Martini has completed three installments in the Universal Studios trilogy ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’. Martini was recently seen alongside Tom Hanks in Paul Greengrass’ Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated film ‘Captain Phillips’. In 2013, he starred in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’ for Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers. In April of 2014 Martini appeared in David Ayer’s ‘Sabotage’.
He is also recognized for his work in both David Mamet’s feature ‘Redbelt’ and his CBS series ‘The Unit’. Other feature credits include; Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’, John Dahl’s Miramar epic ‘The Great Raid’ and Robert Zemeckis’ feature ‘Contact’.
Command Sergeant Major (Ret)
Jeff Mellinger retired on 31 December 2011 as a Command Sergeant Major, having spent nearly forty years on active duty. Jeff has numerous assignments with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and served in a variety of leadership positions to include machine-gun squad leader, rifle platoon sergeant, weapons platoon leader, drill sergeant, military free fall instructor, reconnaissance detachment team sergeant, ROTC instructor, first sergeant of an airborne infantry company, Senior Army Advisor to the Oregon National Guard, and a command sergeant major for more than 18 years. Her served as a basic training battalion CSM, 1st Ranger Battalion CSM, NCO Academy Commandant, and CSM for the US Army Japan, the First United States Army, the Multi-National Force Iraq (for 34 continuous months), and the CSM for the US Army Materiel Command.
Since retiring, Jeff has worked for QinetiQ (working programs for IED robots and IED-defeat programs) and Bell Helicopter (as a business developer on the Future Vertical Lift Program). Jeff is involved with numerous veteran oriented non-profit and service organizations.
Darren Weeks has always had a passion for investing. In grade six he began investing mutual funds. By junior high school he moved on to penny stocks. In high school, Darren was investing in physical commodities, including silver bars. Using his investment profits, Darren bought his first rental property as a business student at the University of Alberta and he still owns that property today.
In 2001 a friend recommended Darren read a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The book so perfectly articulated all of his beliefs about money that it reignited the passion for investing he had in his youth. Shortly after reading the book, he made the life-altering decision to start the Fast Track to Cash Flow, a company that would teach Canadians the principles laid out in the book in addition to the lessons Darren had learned about money over the years. Fast forward to the present. Darren has amassed an investment portfolio consisting of over 4,000 rental properties across North America, tens of millions of dollars in energy interests, and hundreds of acres of land. He is also the largest individual shareholder in the world’s largest cruise ship terminal, the Port of Falmouth, which is operated by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Darren and his team are still providing events and conferences designed to expand the financial contexts of Canadians.
More than 350,000 people have now attended the Fast Track Group events throughout the country. From a simple idea, the company has branched out to include several divisions. The
success of the company has positioned the Fast Track Group amongst Canada’s business elite, having been ranked on the PROFIT 200 list for three consecutive years. Darren was recently named a Rich Dad Advisor for raising capital and is the cofounder of Rich Dad Global Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Darren’s passion to help others remains as strong as ever. Financial literacy makes financial freedom possible for everyone. Get on the Fast Track.
Chris “Elroy” Stricklin is an award-winning leadership author.
He is also a highly sought after motivational keynote speaker and a Combat-Proven Senior Military leader, with unique experiences ranging from Thunderbird Solo Pilot to White House and DARPA fellowships, and culminating with CEO-Level leadership of a 7,000-person strong, $7B worldwide organization before his retirement after 23 years of service.
Major General (Retired)
Senior Director at Rutgers UBHC National Call Center
Major General (retired) Mark Graham is currently serving as the Senior Director, at Rutgers UBHC National Call Center. Included in his duties is Director of Vets4Warriors and several other programs.
MG Graham retired from the US Army on August 1, 2012 after almost 35 years of service. His final position was as the Director (G-3/5/7) U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In this position, he oversaw the plans, operations and training for Army forces (active and reserve component) stationed in the continental United States and ensured conventional force were prepared for worldwide deployment and combat.
MG Graham and his wife, Carol, are tireless champions of military and civilian efforts to promote mental health and suicide-prevention awareness and to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care. This was done to honor the memory of their sons, Jeff Graham who was killed by an IED in February 2004 and their son, Kevin a Senior Army ROTC cadet who died by suicide in June 2003 while studying to be an Army Doctor at the University of Kentucky. The Grahams established the Jeffrey C. and Kevin A. Graham Memorial Fund to provide the “Question, Persuade, Refer” suicide prevention program at the University of Kentucky. The Grahams were instrumental in establishing the Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Memorial Endowed Lectureship in Psychology for the study of depression and suicide prevention at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Additionally, they support the ongoing efforts of the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership in Colorado Springs, Colorado (El Paso County) through the “Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Support Services”. The Graham’s story is featured in the award winning book, “The Invisible Front: Loss and Love in an Era of Endless War”, by Yochi Dreazen.
MG Graham was commissioned as a second lieutenant of Field Artillery in December 1977 at Murray State University. Spanning almost 35 years, MG Graham served in key command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, and Korea. Past assignments include:
Field Artillery Battalion Command at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Brigade Command in California as the first Active-Duty Army colonel to command a National Guard brigade in peacetime
Commander of the Battlefield Coordination Detachment, Osan, Korea
Executive Officer to the U.S. Forces Korea Commander Chief of Staff
Deputy Commanding General of 5th U.S. Army / Army North where he supported evacuation and relief operations following Hurricane Katrina and Rita
Commanding General of Fort Carson, Colorado, and Division West of First US Army.
In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in political science, MG Graham holds a Masters of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University and a Masters of Science in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
MG Graham’s numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.