Ken Falke - Chairman and Founder
Mr. Falke is a 21-year combat veteran of the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community and retired Master Chief Petty Officer. Ken is highly respected around the world as an innovative and forward thinking leader on the subjects of wounded warrior care, military and veteran transition, counterterrorism, military training, and innovative technology development.
Ken’s passion is taking care of his fellow combat veterans and their family members, and he is chairman and founder of Boulder Crest, an organization focused on the teachings of posttraumatic growth, and the EOD Warrior Foundation. Ken spends the majority of his time educating the public and private sectors on the issues surrounding the long-term care of our returning military personnel and their families from the last 16 years of war. As part of this effort, Ken authored Struggle Well: Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma.
Ken is a serial entrepreneur. He was the Founder and CEO of A-T Solutions, which is a recognized international expert and valuable global asset in combating the war on terrorism. At the forefront of providing training and consulting services in the Anti- and Counter-Terrorism industry, A-T Solutions was named four consecutive years to the Annual Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. Also recognized in Entrepreneur Magazines’ Hot 500 List, the Washington Technology “Fast 50”, Smart CEO’s “Future 50”, and the winner of the very prestigious Greater Washington Area Government Contractor Award in the category of companies $75M-$100M. In 2010, Ken was named as the Entrepreneur of the Year for the Fredericksburg, Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce and selected as a finalist in the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.
Ken also founded Shoulder 2 Shoulder, Inc. a multimedia technology company and prior to selling his share of the company, he served as the CEO for six years.
Ken is married to Julia Falke (for the last 35 years) and has two daughters Gennavieve (29) and Rhian (24). Ken’ daughter Genna is married to Brayden Keller. Ken and Julia are grandparents to Troy, Riley, Cameron, and Gwendolyn.
Prior to Ken’s professional career, he was an avid hockey player and struggling student that barely graduated high school.
Fred Malek - Vice Chairman and Co-Founder
Fred is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of District Hospitality Partners, a travel focused hospitality and technology company set up to build and manage companies in the travel sector. Fred is also a co-founder and board member for several ventures in China including Hubs1, one of China’s largest hotel reservation/distribution companies and private equity investment funds based in Shanghai.
Robert W. Assenmacher
An Arizona native, Rob currently is the President of CAID Industries which is one of largest specialty engineering and manufacturing companies in the western region of the United States. CAID, which is based out of Tucson, Arizona, is a wholly owned group within the manufacturing division of Samuel, Son & Co, headquartered out of Toronto which has over 100 locations globally with over 5,000 employees. Before his career at CAID, Rob spent 4 years working in banking for JP Morgan Chase bank in Phoenix Arizona.
Professionally Rob is also involved in multiple real estate investment LLC’s , a manufacturing company in Chile, and also serves on the board of directors of York Space Systems LLC, a satellite technology firm based out of Denver, Colorado.
Prior to his professional career, Rob earned his BSBA in Accounting at the University of Arizona in 2002 and then while at CAID returned for a graduate degree at the Eller School of Business and earned an EMBA in 2008. He also has held licenses in State of Arizona in Real Estate and Insurance.
Over the last 15 years, Rob has served on charitable boards such as Boys & Girls Club of Phoenix, Ronald McDonald House of Southern Arizona, and Active 20/30 Mens Group. Currently, Rob serves on the board of directors of El Rio Health Foundation, which serves the El Rio Health Centers and operates 12 community health centers in Southern Arizona.
In addition to Rob’s strong commitment to social and philanthropic causes, he is part of multiple professional organizations as an active member in Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Nexus Executives (founding member), and many mining and manufacturing related groups.
Rob and his wife Liana reside in Tucson with their sons William and Robbie. As a family they enjoy traveling, hiking, tennis, soccer and watersports. Some of their best memories were living abroad in Santiago, Chile in 2011 when Rob opened up an manufacturing and service company as subsidiary to CAID.
Lisa Atherton was appointed president and chief executive officer of Textron Systems in June 2017. Textron Systems’ businesses provide innovative solutions to the defense, aerospace and general aviation markets. Product lines include unmanned systems, armored vehicles, advanced marine craft and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, piston engines, simulation, training and other defense and aviation mission support products and services.
Atherton joined Textron Systems after five years with Bell Helicopter. In her most recent role, she was the executive vice president, Military Business, where she was responsible for providing strategic direction and overall management for all government programs and business development efforts. Prior to that role, Atherton was the vice president, Global Military Development, where she led the company’s domestic and international military business development activities. She also held several other positions within Military Programs, including V-22 program manager and director of Military Programs. Prior to joining Bell Helicopter, Atherton was the vice president of Area Attack at Textron Systems, where she successfully led the business to an increased international sales pipeline for the Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) program. During her tenure at Textron Systems, she also served as the vice president of Business Development.
Before her career with Textron, Atherton spent eight years at Air Combat Command’s Directorate of Requirements, helping to shape the budget and operational requirements and needs for the Combat Air Forces and was a contracting officer in the U.S. Air Force. Atherton earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the Mason School of Business at The College of William and Mary and a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and serves on the North Texas American Heart Association board. She has also completed Textron’s Senior Executive Leadership Programs at the Thunderbird School of Global Management as well as Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Christopher W. Clements (Chris) is the former Vice Chairman and CEO of Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. For nearly 75 years, Golden Eagle served as a family-owned Arizona-based wholesaler for several major national brewers including: Anheuser-Busch-InBev and Sierra Nevada. In March of 2016, Golden Eagle was sold to Phoenix-based Hensley Beverage Company.
Under Chris’ leadership as CEO, Golden Eagle achieved several milestones, ranking as one of the largest beer wholesalers in the country with sales at its peak of over 10.6 million cases. Chris led Golden Eagle to enjoy a statewide market-share of over 60% and was consistently recognized for its innovations in delivery technology. In 2012, Golden Eagle was awarded with Beverage World’s “Fleet of the Year” for its successful, cost saving transition to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles for all of its Tucson delivery fleet.
For several decades, Chris was a recognized leader in the beer industry serving on several national and state boards. From 2003 to 2007, he served on the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Advisory Panel. For four years, he served as Chair of the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona (BWDA). From 2011 to 2015 he was State Chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) Board of Directors. In 1998, he testified to the Committee on Ways and Means of the US Congress on behalf of NBWA regarding the need to repeal the onerous Death Tax.
A dedicated philanthropist, in 2003, Chris established The Wings Like Eagles Foundation, a private, employee-supported foundation to provide additional financial support to a variety of charities in communities served by Golden Eagle. By the end of 2015, The Wings Like Eagles Foundation granted over $1.9 Million statewide to many worthy organizations.
Following the sale of Golden Eagle and the ending of the Wings Like Eagles Foundation, Chris established CWC & Associates, LLC, a public policy development consulting group. In addition, he and his wife, Sasha, established Elevation Strategies, LLC, a small business and start up marketing and consulting firm. Sasha, Chris and their three children, are also the founders of the Rise UP Foundation (Isaiah 40), which aims to build upon the legacy established by the Wings Like Eagles Foundation by investing in the growing philanthropy of faith based organizations. Chris is also a Fellow with the Halftime Institute of Dallas, Texas.
Chris is a recognized leader and Legacy Member of the Arizona Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Chris has served in a variety of positions including: 2014-2015 Chapter Chair, 2013-2014 Education Chair and 2011-2012 Membership Chair. Chris is also active in YPO-WPO International having served as Past Chairman and Founder of the Global Diplomacy and Public Policy Network (GDPP); and, Champion of the Conservative Global Public Policy Forum. For several years, Chris has co-chaired the “YPO Inside Washington Seminar” in Washington, DC. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Chris was honored with the YPO-WPO International’s “The Best of the Best” award.
Chris is active in other numerous boards and organizations including: The Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Salpointe Catholic High School Board of Directors, Blood:Water-Mission, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Leadership Network, The Goldwater Institute, The Heritage Foundation President’s Club, The National Republican Club of Capitol Hill, and The University of Arizona Presidents Club. A graduate of the University of Southern California where he studied Law and Political Science, Chris remains active in the USC Associates and a member of USC Cardinal and Gold. In 2014, he was named a USC Ambassador. He is a member of University City Church and maintains memberships at the Arizona Country Club and Tucson Country Club.
Chris enjoys skiing, swimming, strenuous exercise, writing, and reading. He is married to Alexandra Erickson Clements. Together, they take great joy in raising their three children: Grace Catherine (15), William Preston (6), and Campbell Ann (3).
LIEUTENANT GENERAL JOHN A. DUBIA, (RET) U.S. ARMY
Lieutenant General John A. Dubia attended Georgetown University prior to entering the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1966 as a Lieutenant of Field Artillery. General Dubia’s fourteen years of troop assignments include command of three artillery batteries, two in the 2nd Armored Division, and one in combat with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. He commanded a direct support artillery battalion in the 1St Armored Division in Germany, and as a Colonel, the Division Artillery of the 1st Armored Division.
Later, General Dubia served as Commanding General of the Unites States Army Field Artillery Center and Commandant of the Field Artillery School. He also held key staff positions with troops at the battalion, brigade and division levels, to include Brigade Fire Support Officer in combat with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam, Division Artillery Operations Officer and Division Personnel Officer in the 1st Armored Division in Germany. Other key staff assignments included Director of Officer Personnel, US Army, Executive Secretary to SECDEF Dick Cheney during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm; and later, Lieutenant General Dubia culminated his career as Director of the Army Staff.
Upon retirement from Active Duty in the Fall of 1999, General Dubia joinedthe Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association (AFCEA) International as Vice President for Operations, later becoming Executive Vice President. His responsibilities included developing elements of program content for National and International conferences as well as interfacing with senior leaders of the Department of Defense (Military and Civilian), Department of Homeland Security, NATO, International Ministries of Defense and Industry Executives from many of the more than 1900 corporate members of AFCEA International across the Globe.
General Dubia's military education includes the Field Artillery and Infantry Officer Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. His civilian education includes a Masters in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and completion of the Advanced Management Program at Rutgers University School of Business.
Braden Edwards is a Managing Director of Equity sales and trading with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). He held similar positions the past fifteen years at Evercore, Credit Suisse, Robertson Stephens, Volpe Brown and Whelan, and the Capital Group .
Braden graduated from Gettysburg College in 1990 with a BA in Business Administration. Braden was a member of the Men’s lacrosse team and was a co-captain his senior year. Braden was selected as an All American defensemen in 1989 and 1990. In 2009 Gettysburg College honored Braden by inducting him into the Gettysburg College Athletic Hall of Fame. Braden played club lacrosse for many years and spent eleven years coaching lacrosse at University High School in SanFrancisco. Braden and two friends started the Alcatraz Outlaws travel lacrosse program in 2008. The program brings kids back east to help them with the college recruiting process.
Upon graduation from college, Braden entered the Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery National sales and management program. He worked in various sales and management positions in New Hampshire, Hawaii, Arizona, and California. Braden spent a few years with Skyy brands before leaving consumer sales and beginning a new career in finance and equity trading.
Braden currently resides in San Francisco, California with his wife Carolyn Feinstein and three children - Jack, Charlotte, and Sophie and their dog Steeler.
Bruce Gates is Senior Vice President, External Affairs for Altria Client Services, which provides professional services and support to Altria Group and its operating companies. He has held this position since 2011. In his role, Bruce is responsible for leading the company's Government Affairs and Communications and Corporate Citizenship departments.
He brings more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, politics, government affairs and communications.
Prior to joining Altria in 2008, Bruce spent twelve years as a founding partner with Washington Council Ernst & Young, a government relations consulting firm. He was appointed by Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe to the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
He serves on the Boards of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Congressional Institute, the Washington Performing Arts, DC Sail and Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness. Bruce also serves on the Board of Governors of Ford's Theatre.
Tony Giachinta brings over 26 years of construction experience and expertise to Clune Construction Company in the role of Partner and General Manager of the Washington, DC office. Tony earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Marist College, and later a Construction Management degree from New York University. He went on to begin his career in construction, where he started as a Superintendent and worked his way up to his current Senior Management role. Throughout his career, Tony has managed projects ranging in scope and size; some of his notable projects include the United States Agency for International Development, Embassy of Pakistan, and Winston & Strawn.
Lesley Kelly is Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Trading at RBC Capital Markets. She joined RBC in 2014 as a Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Trading. In this role, she synthesizes and collaborates on cross-firm relationships within the healthcare space to maximize quality product, innovation and relevance for the firm’s investors. Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, Ms. Kelly spent seven years at Visium Asset Management as a Partner and Head Trader. Before that, she worked at Citi for four years as Vice President. She has dedicated fourteen years to healthcare trading and is an expert in this field. Ms. Kelly is a former Intelligence officer and Jumpmaster in the U.S. Army (1997-2003).
Ms. Kelly is co-chair of RBCVets which honors, values and supports former military personnel and employees, she serves on RBC’s Foundation which offers grants to charitable organizations. In addition, she is a board member of veteran charities Children of Fallen Patriots and Boulder Crest. She received her MBA in Finance/Accounting from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University and her BS in Biological Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She resides in New York with her husband and two children.
Frank is a recently retired businessman. He was President and CEO of a Canadian public manufacturing company before selling it to a US public company. Frank then spent 15 years as the President, CEO and majority shareholder of a Canadian based company that manufactured engineered process systems for a variety of industries. He sold that company in 2013 to a US public company.
Frank and his wife TJ purchased Apache Springs Ranch in 2013 and enjoyed spending four years developing it into the remarkable healing facility it has become today. They are committed to contributing their future efforts towards supporting the overall success of the Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation PATHH program, with a special focus upon the Arizona location. Frank and TJ have recently become empty-nesters and split time between their home at Apache Springs Ranch, adjacent to the Boulder Crest Arizona facility, and Vancouver, Canada.
Steven Kupka is a partner in King & Spalding’s Government Advocacy and Public Policy group. An expert on the complexities of public policy at the federal, state, and local government levels, Mr. Kupka also focuses his practice on international trade promotion, foreign regulatory issues and foreign asset recovery efforts with a particular emphasis throughout the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) and the Americas.
U.S. and foreign governmental entities turn to Mr. Kupka for specialized advice on myriad topics including regulatory compliance and enforcement issues. He also advises corporations on their advocacy efforts before Congress regarding legislative and regulatory issues and on various interagency rulings issued by the Office of Management and Budget.
Prior to joining King & Spalding, Mr. Kupka was Managing Partner for the Washington, DC office of a national law firm where he also led the firm’s Public Policy, Regulatory, & Government Affairs group. His lobbying practice included a particular focus on the food & agribusiness industries.
Mr. Kupka’s extensive government and public policy credentials include work for The White House Office of Management and Budget, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Omaha and had leadership positions in several U.S. presidential campaigns in Nebraska. Mr. Kupka is also a member of the Republican Governors Association Executive Roundtable,
Paul Lombardi has over two decades experience in business and systems consulting and business development that spans federal and commercial industries in both domestic and international businesses. He is the founder and currently serves as the Executive Chairman of TeraThink Corporation (TeraThink), a management and technology consulting firm that provides services to the Federal Government. For over 15 years prior to merging with Dominion Consulting in 2017, he served as President and CEO, overseeing all aspects of the organization and providing complete leadership to the firm and corporate direction. TeraThink’s consistent success was recognized through 8 consecutive rankings on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies.
In addition to consulting for internationally-recognized consulting firm Accenture, Mr. Lombardi also provided delivery, development, management, and direction of small start-up consulting firms. His broad consulting and executive leadership and management experience encompasses all aspects of business practice, strategic planning, corporate development, financial operations, and business development.
Mr. Lombardi is an active Virginia Tech alumnus serving on the Apex Systems Center for Entrepreneurship Board of Advisors, and Virginia Tech Athletic Fund Board of Directors. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1995.
Mike is a former Marine, graduate of the US Naval Academy, and has served in operational roles within the Intelligence Community. After working some time in private industry, he transitioned to the non-profit field to serve veterans. In 2012 Mike joined Points of Light where he spearheaded the organization’s efforts to serve veterans and their families. Most recently, Mike worked for Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization that utilizes veterans and first-responders as its volunteer base, where he oversaw the activities of the Eastern United States. Mike is currently the Director of the Veterans Portfolio at the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. In his free time, Mike participates in various ultra-endurance challenges to raise money for charities. Mike currently lives in Bethesda, Md. with his wife, their two children and their dog.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL Ray Palumbo, (RET) U.S. ARMY
Ray Palumbo is the founding member and senior partner of Venturi Solutions LLC, a consultancy firm that delivers winning solutions in the global defense, security, aviation, intelligence, and energy sectors.
He is a retired US Army Lieutenant General and has spent the last thirty-four years leading and managing both special and conventional operations forces during peacetime and in combat. His last job in the military was as the Pentagon’s Director for Defense Intelligence where he simultaneously led the department’s Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance Task Force, a position that was instrumental in rapidly delivering critical aviation platforms, sensors, communication systems, and information processing capabilities to US and Coalition warfighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere around the globe. Ray has a bachelor’s of science degree in general engineering from West Point, a master’s of science in administration from Central Michigan University, and a master’s of strategic studies from the US Army War College. Among his numerous military awards and decorations, he graduated from the British Higher Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham, England, and is a recipient of the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Ray and his wife, Alice, live near Washington, DC. They have four grown children and four grandchildren.
Mr. Rathjen is a Founding Partner of Kelson Group. Prior to founding Kelson Group in 2010, Mr. Rathjen worked at Marwood Group for nine years where he started and ran Marwood Group Asset Management.Mr. Rathjen oversaw all business and client service in the Asset Management Group and he was responsible for raising over nine billion dollars from the institutional marketplace as a placement agent. Mr. Rathjen had additional senior responsibilities involving the strategic direction and overall management processes of MGAM. Prior to Marwood Group, Mr. Rathjen worked at Prudential Securities as an Institutional Fixed Income Specialist. Mr. Rathjen holds the Series 24,7,63,66 licenses. Prior to starting his career on Wall Street, Mr. Rathjen was an Engineering Officer in the Surface Warfare Community of the United States Navy. While serving onboard the USS Ouellet (FF-1077) in Pearl, Harbor Hawaii, then Lieutenant Rathjen was awarded both the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service. He graduated from t he United States Naval Academy, Annapolis Maryland with a BS in Economics. Mr. Rathjen is a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of New York where he serves on the Admission Committee. He is a member of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Service Academy nominating committee. Mr. Rathjen also serves as a Trustee for the George H. Laufenberg Scholarship Foundation, which awards academic scholarships to the family members of United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Mr. Rathjen is active with the Naval Academy Alumni Association where he serves as a Blue and Gold Officer helping inner city students with admissions to the Naval Academy and is a member of the USNA President’s Circle. Mr. Rathjen resides in Rockville Centre, New York with his wife, Wendy and two daughters, Sydney and Charlotte.
Henry Stoever is NACD’s Chief Marketing Officer. As a customer-centric marketing professional, Henry has 20-plus years of leadership experience in public, private and nonprofit companies, as well as the U.S. Military.
At NACD, Henry and his team are focused on clearly articulating unique value to NACD members and prioritized prospects. Prior to joining NACD, he was a leader in brand management at Kraft Foods, vertical marketing at Nextel Communications, global information services with LexisNexis and the CoStar Group, and SVP Marketing at StudentLoans.com.
Henry has an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a BS in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1988, Henry spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer, served as an infantry platoon commander and company executive officer, and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for leading Marines in action during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Henry currently serves as a director on the board of Boulder Crest Retreat. He also holds the NACD Certificate of Director Education.
Rob is a Partner & Senior Vice-President for Technology at Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc. Rob is responsible for acquiring, managing, and developing software engineering talent capable of imagining and implementing sophisticated web applications for a diverse set of Defense Department clients using cutting edge web technologies. He leads a team of software engineers in Pittsburgh PA, a location strategically chosen by Shoulder 2 Shoulder for its access to a deep talent pool.
Prior to joining Shoulder 2 Shoulder, Rob was a Senior Manager with Continental Data Graphics (CDG), a Boeing Company. In that role, Rob oversaw both commercial S1000D content management software solutions and diverse Defense Department software systems including solutions for Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program customers.
Prior to CDG, Rob was a Co-Founder of Inmedius, Inc. where he held several officer positions including CEO until its acquisition in 2012 by the Boeing Company. Rob joined the Board of Boulder Crest Retreat in the fall of 2011 & is very active with fundraising activities in Western PA.
Will Walker is a Vice President - Equity Trading in the investment management division of The Capital Group Companies, investment advisor to The American Funds family of mutual funds with over $1.4 Trillion in assets under management. Will has spent the majority of his career in sales and trading roles on both the buy and sell side in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and now Los Angeles.
He graduated from Princeton University in 1993 with a degree in politics. While he didnt serve himself, Will comes from a long line of veterans on both his mother's and father's side of his family and has a particular interest in veterans charities. Will currently resides in Pasadena, CA with his wife Sydney and their two sons, Wyatt and Brooks.
MSgt Rob Wilkins, USAF, Ret., is the Director of Audience Development/Military Ambassador at the Weider History Group, the world’s largest publisher of history magazines. A 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Rob is a passionate supporter of military Veteran Service Organizations, military history and charity efforts. He served on the staff of The Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) and while assigned to the Legislative Liaison Office, Secretary of the Air Force, he was responsible for organizing, coordinating, and escorting Congressional Delegations worldwide. Rob also serves on the board of Rolling Thunder, Washington, DC, Inc. The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally is the world’s largest one-day event with over one million participants. Rob retired from active duty in January 2009 and is honored to continue serving military personnel and their families, by serving on the board of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness