BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Andrew Barnett

Andrew Barnett is currently a Partner and the Director of Investor Relations of Governors Lane, a New York based investment firm in which he was one of the founding employees in 2015. Prior to Governors Lane, Andrew was a Vice President in the Goldman, Sachs & Co. Prime Services business where he joined in 2011 as a member of the Capital Introduction team assisting in global institutional investor coverage, and spent the last two years as a member of the sales/relationship management team. 

Prior to Goldman Sachs, Andrew was a Partner and member of the investment committee at Alternative Investment Management, LLC where he spent six years evaluating hedge funds and private equity funds for the multi-family office. He began his career in the Arlington, VA office of Cambridge Associates, LLC.  Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington & Lee University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Andrew lives with his wife Tori and their three children in Darien, Connecticut. He is active in the local community, coaching youth athletics and serving as a Council member of Trinity Church.

U.S. Army Sergeant Mat Best

Mat Best joined the Army at the age of 17 and deployed five times to Iraq and Afghanistan with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. After leaving military service, Mat deployed to a variety of overseas locations as a contractor during his five years with the CIA. Mat graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts, and began creating satirical videos and building brands like Article 15 Clothing, Leadslingers Spirits, the Drinkin’ Bros Podcast, and Black Rifle Coffee Company. Mat is the Vice President for BRCC. 

Mat Best recently released a book, Thank You For My Service, where he was named the Best Selling Author from New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal.

Ric Bonnell

Fort Worth, TX native, Dr. Ric Bonnell, is a pediatric emergency medicine physician who currently teaches at the Texas Christian University and University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine. He is also the medical director for two juvenile correctional facilities. Ric’s father served in the medical corps during Vietnam and his grandfather was a pilot during World War II. In 2013, Ric, his brother, Jon, and their friend, Dan Roberts, started an annual fundraiser benefiting Boot Campaign, to help meet the needs of deserving veterans.

A 1990 graduate of Duke University, Ric completed postgraduate premedical studies at TCU from 1994 to 1996, and earned the M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 2000. He and his wife, Dr. Wendy Bonnell, live on a working cattle ranch with their eight children near Tolar, Texas.

Retired U.S. Navy Seal Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Ekoniak

As a 25-year Combat Veteran of the SEAL Teams with Naval Special Warfare, Robert deployed for Special Operations in support of USSOCOM, USCENTCOM, and USPACOM. He was responsible for the developing, building, and management of joint service and joint coalition Task Forces conducting Special Operations around the world. 

Throughout his career, Robert was a part of executing and developing the highest levels of human performance in military special operations and is committed to helping others attain the next levels of human potential.

Robert joined the SEAL Future Foundation (SFF) in November 2020 to lead the SFF Health Support Program. A graduate of BUD/S class 184, Robert makes his home in southern California with his wife and son.

John W. Hughes Jr.

John Hughes is a native Texan born in Ft. Worth and settled in the town of Hico, as an adult. He is an adventurer who loves his country, and wholeheartedly supports the military community, first responders and peace keepers in the communities he touches.

The founder of JW Hughes Excavation which was established in 1999 as a heavy equipment/dirt work operator and has experienced tremendous growth in the past 19 years. A company that prioritizes safety and environmentally friendliness first, JW Hughes Excavation now has core capabilities in the areas of energy related services, oil field services, railroad, farm and ranch, that has established it as one of the most diverse and well-respected excavation companies in Texas. From building tanks, lakes, roads and oilfield pads, to buildings and general contracting, the company’s experience, knowledge and customer service has enabled it to become a trend setter within the industry.

In 2007, he started the JW Hughes Excavation Hico Christmas Fund, providing gifts for 185 children in his hometown of Hico with help and generous support of the local community. Along the journey, Hughes has found opportunities to assist local law enforcement in several communities, including the building and donation of police training facilities in Hico and Jourdanton, Texas.

Prior to founding JW Hughes Excavation, Hughes toured the U.S. from 1993-98 with the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals), building the temporary facilities and sand courts of the pro beach volleyball tour, in addition to the AVP’s subsidiary qualifying tour. He also was responsible for producing the largest amateur volleyball tour from 1992-96.

A long-time supporter of Boot Campaign, Hughes is a member of the Texas military nonprofit’s board of directors and his company has been a proud partner since 2013. A recipient of numerous community awards, Hughes currently resides in Poteet, Texas, with his wife, Pamela, and two sons, Coleman, and Wyatt.

Retired U. S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Johnny “Joey” Jones

Johnny “Joey” Jones enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after high school, served eight years and deployed twice — once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. In August of 2010 while overseas as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD/Bomb) Technician, Joey suffered a life-changing injury, resulting in the loss of both of his legs above the knee. 

While recovering, Joey created a peer visit program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Jones went on to create a fellowship on Capitol Hill with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where his contributions resulted in direct policy changes within the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, Joey has dedicated his work to improving the lives of all veterans and their families.

A graduate of Georgetown University, Joey currently serves as a Fox News Contributor, providing military analysis across all Fox News Media platforms, including FNC, Fox Business Network (FBN) and Fox Nation. Joey was raised in Dalton, Georgia, and still resides in the Peach state with his wife, son and daughter. 

Alan Martin

Alan is a proud patriot and long-time military supporter, but his passion for giving back to those who serve was amplified when his son returned from a second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Beginning in 2009, Alan, Alan Jr., and an outstanding team of proud Americans created a multi-day chili cook off event in Waller, Texas benefiting organizations that give back to military veterans and their families. 

Alan currently holds the title of Manager of Field Services of HRST, Inc., and is a Director on the HRST, Inc. Board of Directors. In these roles, he lends expertise in multiple areas, including reviewing financial reports, making operational adjustments, and developing goals, expectations, and operational benchmarks. 

An avid outdoorsman, Alan enjoys hunting, fishing, and futile attempts at golf in his free time. Married for more than 35 years to his wife, Miriam, Alan lives in Buna, Texas.

Josh Mayfield

Josh Mayfield is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Ivy Hall Capital, LLC, a Dallas based financial services firm focused on providing debt and equity capital to small and medium sized companies.

Prior to Ivy Hall, Mr. Mayfield spent 19+ years with ORIX USA, the North American subsidiary of international finance firm ORIX Corporation (NYSE: IX) where he held a variety of leadership positions focused on providing capital across a number of industries including energy, media, financial services, alternative investments, real estate, and more. 

Mr. Mayfield has served in leadership positions with multiple non-profits, including serving as the President of the ORIX Foundation (2015-2019) where he led a 40-person board. Mr. Mayfield is currently an active board member for On the Road Lending, the Men’s Advocacy Group for New Friends New Life, and Boot Campaign. Mr. Mayfield is also an advisory board member for the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. 

Mr. Mayfield holds a BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University and a MS in Real Estate from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a graduate of the Stagen Leadership Academy’s Integral Leadership Program.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Tom O’Donnell

After full careers in both the U.S. Army and multinational oil and gas corporation, ExxonMobil, Tom is now focused on giving back to veterans who have given so much for the freedom we sometimes take for granted.

Tom enjoys organizing fundraising events to support veterans, military families, and his surrounding communities, wherever life in or out of the military has taken him. He organized several community events in Iraq to deliver hats donated by U.S. school children to Iraqi children, a waste recycling campaign for northern Iraq and a drive in

Congressional offices to provide magazines to patients at Walter Reed Hospital after the first Gulf War. While in the military and after, he could always be seen at veteran events, lending a helping hand or sharing a story or two.

As a disabled, Operation Iraqi Freedom war veteran, Tom is no stranger to the VA, the veteran’s hospital systems and their rehabilitation programs. He now wants to ensure all veterans and their family members get the care and support they need and deserve.

Tom is one of nine children whose parents were both World War II veterans and he is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Command and General Staff College, Central Michigan University and the National War College. He now lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife, Shelly. Their son Adam is currently a Major in the U.S. Army and their daughter Mary is an elementary school science teacher.

Leigh Ann Ranslem

A born leader with a competitive and collaborative spirit, Leigh Ann holds a master’s degree in education and enjoys connecting with people.

A third-generation Fort Worth, Texas native, she graduated from the University of Texas and now lives in Houston. Before joining Boot Campaign, she put her passion for education and fundraising to work with the Junior League of Houston, as president of the PTA for her daughters school and for a variety of other national charity events. Leigh Ann’s skills in organizing, leading people, raising funds and bringing awareness to causes laid the foundation for her work with the Boot Campaign.

Retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Torrie Rogers

Retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Torrie Rogers completed a decorated, 22-year-long career in the military in 2017 before transitioning into a leader and a catalyst for financial change at Northwestern Mutual.  

Torrie joined the military with a personal purpose to pay it forward for others and serve something bigger than herself. She enlisted in 1995 and made her mark on the medical field of the military community as a Navy Corpsman. She continued her tour of duty in various locations around the world, including a six-year stint at Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Torrie deployed more than 10 times alongside troops overseas, aboard aircraft carriers and in combat zones, including a tour in Iraq and four tours to Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Her personal military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (four awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (six awards), Armed Forces Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, NATO Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.

In her short time at Northwestern Mutual, Torrie has earned numerous accolades including Pacesetter 40, Pacesetter 60, Million Dollar Round Table Qualified Member (2019, 2021), Silver (2019), Bronze -Top 50 (2019), Bronze – Top 10, Gold (2020), Sapphire (2021), New Client Bonus (2019,2020, 2021), New Client – Top 100 (2021), 100 Lives Southern Summer (2019, 2020), 150 Lives (2019, 2021), 75 Lives (2020), Sapphire (2019), and Life Impact Award (2019, 2020, 2021). 

A Louisiana native, Torrie received her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Southern Illinois University and her Master’s in Public Health from Trident University. She resides in Boerne, Texas with her husband, Retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jeffery Ulfig, a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran.

Mike Rouse

Mike Rouse is among this country’s most elite runners and a long-time supporter of American military personnel, the U.S. Navy SEAL community and associated charitable organizations. Running is not just what Mike does, it’s who he is. Mike has run hundreds of marathons, ultramarathons and Ironmans, as well as dozens of 50 kilometer races, 31-mile, 50-mile and 100-mile races. He has 3 world championships to his name, and he’s trained some of the best runners in the country. 

His “why” stems from an adult life peppered with highs and lows, at one point serving as a successful, North Texas businessman to receiving a five year, federal prison sentence. He was determined to rebuild his life after prison, and to continue his passion for running that sparked while he was incarcerated.  

While restarting his life and career in San Diego, Mike befriended a group of Navy SEALs, including running buddy and Petty Officer Jon “JT” Tumilson. Mike became very close to these men, and somewhat of a father figure to JT, even earning the nickname “Pops.” On August 6, 2011, JT was aboard a military helicopter that was shot down in Afghanistan. JT and the 31 servicemembers on board all perished in what was the single greatest loss of life incident from Operation Enduring Freedom. 

That’s when Mike began using his running ability to raise money in support of the families of fallen military men and women – especially the Navy SEALs lost that day. Today, Mike resides in Abilene, Texas where he owns a running and triathlon consulting business called Ultra Endurance Sports. Even as Mike nears 70, he continues to run his age in miles on his birthday each year.

Tish Stropes

Tish Stropes is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Fisher House Foundation. Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. At Fisher House, Tish is responsible for the Hero Programs which help keep families connected during the healing process. These programs include Hero Miles, which use donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, and Hotels for Heroes, that redeems donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers when a Fisher House is not available. 

Additionally, Tish is responsible for Fisher House’s involvement and sponsorship of the Warrior Games and Invictus Games. These international sporting competitions showcase the resilient spirit of today’s wounded, injured, and ill service members and veterans. Finally, her portfolio includes developing and sustaining long-term partnerships with organizations that support the mission and vision of Fisher House. 

Tish graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Political Science and International Affairs. She went on to earn a Master of Science, and also received her teaching certification. Prior, Washington D.C. employment included working with the White House and the Department of State. As an Air Force spouse, Tish taught at the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Japan. In addition to Japan, Tish and her family have lived in Australia, California, Florida, Alabama, Minnesota and Virginia. 

Tish, along with her recently retired Air Force husband, two teenage children and chocolate lab now live in Arlington, Virginia. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, and can often be seen rink-side watching her kids play hockey.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Chris Talcott

After serving for more than 20 years in Army leadership positions from Lieutenant to Colonel, he turned his focus to education – specifically, military science. Intrigued by military psychology and the desire to create great future leaders, Chris taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point and was a Professor of Military Science at Texas Christian University where he led the area’s ROTC program there, at Baylor and the University of North Texas for several years.

Chris then became Deputy Director for the Brain Performance Institute, an organization adept at working with and treating military veterans – among other things – once they return from service. There, he was responsible for the organization’s strategic planning and operations of the $34 million facility. He then led Operations and Program Development as the Chief Operating Officer of Boot Campaign before joining Partsmaster, a global leader in industrial and commercial maintenance products and services, and is currently Vice-President for Operations.

Born into a military family, Chris’ passion is truly servant leadership – yet another reason he is a perfect fit for the board Boot Campaign.

James Webb

James’ father was a Marine Sergeant, his uncle was Army Air Corps and other family members include three Army and four Navy service members. Upon meeting his son-in-law (who was active duty Navy at the time), James learned of the issues returning service members face. That’s what led him and his wife Dobby to Boot Campaign. For many years, James and Dobby have been best known as Mr. and Mrs. Clause and have particularly enjoyed supporting Boot Campaign’s holiday program, Santa Boots.

James has served in the building industry for more than 45 years working with two different fortune 500 companies and has been Vice President of National Door Industries for the last 14 years.  He has been responsible for leading the sales and marketing team for O.E.M., Distributor and Dealer distribution sales in the U.S. and abroad.

James and his wife, Dobby, live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and have been blessed with two daughters, one son and six grandsons. James is an avid car enthusiast and enjoys sports and hunting.