Our ambassadors are veterans, first responders and family members who share their stories of service and sacrifice to encourage Americans to learn about Carry The Load and how they can honor and celebrate our nation’s heroes. To request an ambassador to speak at your company or next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradford E. Adatto decided to become a lawyer during sixth-grade Career Day, when he promised to represent his best friend, a future doctor. A few decades and many miles later, he started his own law firm that focused on representing health care and corporate clients. And yes, his best friend from sixth grade is among them. Brad’s background is in regulatory, transactional, and securities law. Having worked in health care law his entire career, he has an in-depth knowledge of the “do’s and don’ts” of this heavily regulated industry. As the son of a medical doctor and grandson of a medical doctor and dentist, Brad has the health care industry in his blood. He enjoys helping his clients build successful businesses by showing them how to avoid legal problems, create new opportunities, develop new partnerships, and form new entities. “I’ve always known this is what I wanted to do. To me, it’s about helping people create something they are proud of and to ensure they achieve it.” Brad enjoys reading, biking, and spending time with his family. He is active in the health care community, and often speaks at conferences, associations, and educational events. He is also actively involved in various community and philanthropic associations and services. Brad has been a key member of Carry The Load since its second year, 2012.
Cody Bandars grew up in Omaha, NE, enjoying all the pastimes of the Midwest: Hunting, Fishing, Football and stomping through the woods. Nearing the end of high school he gave serious thought to joining the Marine Corps with a few close friends. They did - he didn't. Our nation wasn't at war but things were boiling internationally. Instead, with the suggestion of his parents he chose the safe option - College. While Cody was attending the University of Nebraska, 9/11 unfolded. After graduating college with an engineering degree, Cody relocated to Dallas, TX to start his professional career. Still holding the heart to serve his country, he made the decision to Enlist in the Navy and pursue a contract to become a SEAL. He served seven years in the Navy as a SEAL.Cody currently lives in Dallas serving as an Ambassador for Carry The Load.
Tess has eleven years of banking operations and project management experience, and joined JPMC in 2012. Tess is currently a VP in Project Execution in the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) Technology organization, leading high-performing teams in envisioning and creating complex technology solutions across the firm. Prior to this, she worked as a project manager in CIB Transformation, working to transform the onboarding experience for institutional clients. In addition to her work activities, Tess is the Illinois Co-Chair for the VETS BRG and Chicago Chair for the Volunteer Leadership Group at JPMC. Tess is based in Chicago and resides with her fiancÚ and a “zoo” of animals including a dog, two cats, and two turtles. She also is on the board of Voice of the City, a nonprofit that connects fine arts to underprivileged youth, and serves as their VP of Resourcing. In her spare time, Tess enjoys traveling and has 28 countries remaining on her “Bucket List”.
Sean Bulmann was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1996 as an infantryman and served with Alpha Company at Marine Barracks 8th & I and with the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines. Sean left the Marine Corps in 2001 and attended DePaul University in Chicago,IL and is currently the general manager for a civil construction company in Phoenix, AZ where he resides with his family. He has been serving as an Ambassador for Carry The Load since 2017.
Jimmy Carnes a third generation Army soldier who followed in his father’s and brothers’ footsteps into the Military Police Corp. Jimmy enlisted in 1990, while living in Berlin, Germany, shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall and was assigned to the Berlin Brigade in Berlin Germany. Jimmy graduated from K-9 school in Ft Sam Houston, TX, on his second enlistment and continued to Ft Carson, Co as a Patrol Dog Handler and assigned to the Drug Suppression Team under the Criminal Investigation Division. Jimmy continued his enlisted in Wiesbaden Germany and deployed to Bosnia during Operation Joint Endeavor with NATO. Jimmy is currently an Executive Director of Banking at JP Morgan Chase Bank and serves as the Co-Chair for the California Veterans Business Resource Group. Jimmy has led the Carry The Load campaign in California since the West Coast routes established in 2016.
Retired from Industrial Distribution business after 45 years. In retirement I now enjoy my life at home with my wife and daughter. Several years ago I got associated with Carry The Load after my Uncle was buried at the National Cemetery in Houston and now work with CTL to give back to the veterans and first responders that gave their lives for us. We also work with the Young Mens Service League to help the younger generation appreciate the sacrifices our veterans have made.
Nathan Crocco was born and raised in Chicago IL. He enlisted in the United States Army Reserves in 2008 and served as a Paralegal Specialists.Nathan served one tour in Afghanistan deployed near Bagram Air Force Base during Operation Enduring Freedom before receiving an honorable discharge in 2016.Nathan is currently a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase and serves as the Chair-Emeritus of the Illinois VETS Business Resource Group.Nathan joined JP Morgan Chase in early 2009 after an exciting 10 years in restaurant and hotel management.At JPMC Nathan has been in numerous roles managing the CCB Risk Automation program, managing wholesale risk as a Functional Controls Officer (FCO), and roles supporting Corporate and Investment Bank’s legal Document Management Operations where he developed an automated control reporting program.Nathan lives in the Suburbs of Chicago with his wife Bernadette, three sons,(Alexander,Finnigan,and Raphael) and daughter Aurelia.
Alissa Dare graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Biology. Coming from a family of Air Force, Army, and Navy veterans, she entered the Army as an Engineer Officer and was the first female officer assigned to a mechanized combat engineer unit. After serving 4 years in various leadership roles, she left the Army to return to school and become a physical therapist. While attending PT school in Virginia, she was activated from the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). She served in Afghanistan in a Civil Affairs unit where she oversaw the construction of hospitals and schools. Upon returning from her deployment, she moved to Texas where she worked as a Program Manager in the construction industry. She is married with two kids. When she is not teaching kids’ science as part of their co-op, she is working with Carry The Load as a volunteer.
Glen Dare graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1996, where he earned a degree in systems engineering. As an officer in a Combat Heavy Engineer Battalion, Glen was deployed on multiple national and international missions. After leaving the Army in 2001, he joined Raytheon as a manufacturing engineer before being called out of the Inactive Ready Reserves in 2006 to deploy to Iraq. There he worked with the Multinational Security Transition Command and the Department of Homeland Security to help secure Iraq’s ports of entry and borders. He returned to Raytheon in 2008 and is the vice president of operations for RAYVETS, Raytheon’s Employee Resource Group focusing on veterans both inside and outside of the company. He also serves on the USO Advisory Board for the DFW area. Glen’s wife, Alissa, is an Army combat veteran who served in Afghanistan. He’s been a part of Carry The Load since 2012 and lives in North Texas.
Joshua Davis is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned his psychology degree and played football. In 2004, Josh was commissioned as a field artillery officer and in 2007 served as a battery commander. He deployed to northern Iraq in 2008 for Operation Iraqi Freedom as the fire support officer for an 11-man military transition team. He completed his MA in Economics at the University of Oklahoma in 2009. Josh served as the Carry The Load National Relay Chair for three years and is an on-going corporate team leader. Josh lives in the Conneticut.
Andrew ‘Drew’ DeLeon
Drew DeLeon was born and raised in Dallas, where he attended Skyline High School. He joined the Marine Corps in 2002 and served for eight years. He was stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, NC, with MALS 14 and then with the 14th Marines HQ Battery at the JRB in Fort Worth. Drew joined the Dallas Fire Department in 2014 as a fire prevention and inspection officer. In 2017, he reenlisted in the Air Force Reserves and is a staff sergeant with the 489 MXS Bomb Group out of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene. Drew is part of Carry The Load’s relay team and he carries his fellow Marine Sergeant Thomas Callahan (KIA 2006) and his father, Alex, who passed away in 2008. Drew lives the Dallas area.
Mark “Dill” Driscoll is from a family of people who served through each generation. Dill has always given back to others personally and through his many business enterprises. He founded one of the largest experiential marketing companies in the world, Momentum, and as an encore with his wife, Susan, founded ignition, a global experiential marketing company. As well as an entrepreneur, Dill has served as co-Dean, with his wife, of the Stafford School of Business within the University of Georgia System. Jack Furst called Dill in June 2011 and asked that he come to Dallas to meet Clint Bruce and create a National Program for Carry The Load. The National Relay was born and in May 2012, Dill and the team stepped off from West Point and for 27 days made their way walking to Dallas. For the first five years, Dill walked for the month of May with the team. Today Dill continues to provide support and helps recruit and train the great young people that work each year on the now four simultaneous National Relays. Dill lives with Susan in Osierfield, GA and Lake Placid, NY when he is not Carrying The Load.
Jesse Dunlap grew up in Lubbock, TX to a family of Navy & Army veterans. He joined the US Coast Guard after graduation and served in various Command & Control functions at Coast Guard units in New Orleans, Honolulu and finally Houston, TX. During his time in the Coast Guard, he was involved in setting up and managing communications facilities and Command & Control infrastructure supporting rescue operations after the ’89 earthquake in San Francisco and the Colonial Pipeline oil spill in Houston, TX that occurred during a major flooding event. Additionally, managed communications teams supporting rescue operations during the flood. After exiting the military after 8 years, Jesse is currently working at JPMorgan Chase & Co., for the last 20 years in Houston and leading the Houston chapter of their Veterans employee group. The VETS group supports the Veterans Jobs Mission and many veteran non-profits in the Houston area. The team has supported Carry The Load Relay since 2015 when the first West Coast Rally was announced and continues an ongoing collaboration with Carry the Load.
Steve Dunnahoe is a native Texan, born in Corpus Christi and raised in North Texas. He served six years in the US Coast Guard with duty stations in Texas, California, Alaska, North Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Utilizing the leadership and logistic training he received in the Coast Guard, Steve has gone on to have successful and multifaceted careers both in aerospace – with assignments in Singapore, Australia, and Panama – and the water industry. Steve is the business development manager for Aqua America and organized support for Carry The Load by providing water for participants in the national relay. He is a passionate and vocal advocate for veterans and first responders. Steve lives in Fort Worth, TX.
Since Justin Ellis was a child, he knew he wanted to be a detective. He began his career in law enforcement in 2004. In 2016, he had just passed the detective entrance test when, serving as Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer, he was in a life-altering incident while on his patrol motorcycle. Critically-injured, his journey to recovery was long and difficult. However, Justin persevered is back where he always dreamed he'd be, working as a detective for DART. He is a true inspiration to everyone he meets. In addition to his detective work, Justin is a member of the Assist the Officer Foundation, vice president of a local police association board. He has also earned his master peace officer’s license. Justin lives in the North Texas area.
Rod Gregg is from Mesquite, Texas. He started his police career at the Garland Police Department in 1982. During his tenure, he served as a detective, rescue diver, hostage negotiator and investigations supervisor. He retired as a lieutenant in 2003 while assigned to an FBI task force for computer forensics. The next day, he was sworn in with the FBI at the Dallas Division assigned to the North Texas Regional Computer Forensics Lab as a digital forensics examiner specializing in digital and video forensics, having investigated notable cases, including Enron and 9/11. He traveled extensively as a national instructor for the FBI. He left the FBI as a senior forensics examiner in 2008 to work in the private sector for an international forensics firm and later for the Department of Justice as a contractor writing training curriculum. Afterwards, he worked as a private investigator on digital forensics cases notably involving a New Orleans PD kidnapping investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of the suspect. He lives in Rockwall, Texas with his wife and works from home as a graphic artist specializing in military and law enforcement designs and custom logos. A friend convinced him to attend an event at Reverchon Park in 2013. The following year, he became a participant with Carry The Load in 2014 and has been a Load Master every year, captaining a top ranking team since 2018.
David Haas was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas. He enlisted in the Navy in 1982 and served for four years in various roles, ultimately being forward-deployed out of Guam and participating with allied naval forces in joint exercises throughout Indonesia and the Indian Ocean. David now works with non-profit organizations to develop fundraising strategies, particularly for organizations championing veteran causes. David currently serves on Carry The Load’s Operations Committee. David lives in Lewisville, TX, and is a sales manager for a technology company.
Chris Harding graduated from West Chester University with a BA in Political Science and an MBA in Business. Chris has served on the Yardley Borough Council for eight years, and is currently in his second term as the Mayor of Yardley Borough. Additionally, he is a senior loan officer with Northeast Equitable Mortgage in Bucks County, PA. Yardley Borough has hosted Carry The Load rallies every year since 2014 and has a team of six that walks in the relay from Washington Crossing, PA, to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, covering just under 40 miles in 15 hours.
Steven Hensley was born and raised in north central Wisconsin. He graduated with an Associate Degree in Fire Science and Paramedicine, and has worked as a structure firefighter, hotshot, heli-rappeller, as well as in the Wildland Fire Service. He was a field training officer and a corporal for eight years. He was recently promoted to operation supervisor for clinical services and is an educator at the Mayo Hospital. Steve is currently a member of the La Crosse County Tactical Team and the Statewide ALERT Tactical Team. Steve has been a key member of Carry The Load’s National Relay for the past six years.
Cody Huggins was born in South Korea and raised in Wasilla, Alaska. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where he ran cross-country and earned his degree in business management. After graduating on the Dean’s List, Cody was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Army, where he spent his first four years at Ft. Bragg, NC, serving as a rifle platoon leader, company executive officer, and company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps. Cody’s last assignment was as a ranger instructor and battalion operations officer in the second phase of the US Army Ranger School with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. After his service, Cody was selected to be a part of a highly competitive JP Morgan Chase & Co. rotational program designed to recruit and develop top-tier military officers into executive private sector leadership positions. Cody lives in Austin, TX.
John Kohlschein grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and upon graduating from high school proudly joined and served in the United States Air Force from 1986 1990. Stationed at Cannon AFB in Clovis, New Mexico for his entire enlistment, John volunteered and became a distinguished member of the Cannon AFB Honor Guard Team. John moved to Texas in 1993 and attended Tarleton State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. In 2013, John was hired by Pioneer Natural Resources Information Technology Team. In 2016, he became the Vice President of Communications of the Pioneer Military Resource Group where he was introduced to Carry The Load and its mission and purpose and quickly became a passionate advocate. In 2018, John became the President of the Pioneer Military Resource Group (having big shoes to fill by fellow veteran, co-worker, CTL advocate, and brother Brian Larson) and continued the legacy that the Pioneer Military Resource Group had established with Carry The Load as its flagship organization and event. In 2019, John with gratitude, exited Corporate America and became a proud veteran business owner of Gotcha Covered of Lewisville, where he continues to advocate and evangelize Carry The Load. John lives in the DFW area with his wife and three kids.
Brian Larson graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2005 and commissioned as an Infantry officer. He deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with the 1 st Cavalry Division as a platoon leader and company executive officer and served in the 3 rd US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at Arlington National Cemetery. His final military assignment was commanding the Presidential Salute Battery. After leaving the Army in 2010, Brian moved to Texas and works in the oil & gas industry. He has a Masters in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M, a MBA from Baylor, and is currently Director of Oil & Gas Development for North American Coal. At his previous company he was the founding President of the Military Employee Resource Group and a Carry The Load corporate team leader. He lives in the DFW area with his wife and two children.
J.J. Leonard graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1995. He then served as an intelligence officer in the US Marine Corps for five years, specializing in aviation intelligence and strategic targeting. Currently, J.J. is the managing director of the Dallas division at Stream Realty Partners and has more than 18 years of commercial real estate experience. J.J. serves on Carry The Load’s Operation Committee and lives in the Dallas area.
Josh Lewis enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 2003 and served deployments with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment in both Afghanistan and Iraq. After leaving the Marines in 2011, Josh earned his degree in international business at the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently a Commercial Banker with JPMorgan Chase. Since inception, Josh has participated in Carry The Load’s National Relay and the Dallas Memorial March to honor five warrior brothers who were killed by an IED in Iraq on June 15, 2005. He walks for their families, to recognize their great sacrifice and the times they had together, sharing their stories with friends and family along the way. Josh lives in Dallas
Kyle Lund enlisted in the US Army in 2004, when he was just 18 years old. Assigned to the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Ft. Lewis, WA, he served two deployments in Iraq. Kyle reached the rank of staff sergeant before being honorably discharged in 2011. Since then he has been a driver engineer with Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, where he received a Meritorious Service Award. Kyle is also a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Lavon, TX. Kyle serves as a medic on the Carry The Load National Relay and lives in North Texas.
Sean Magee joined the US Navy in 1990 and served aboard the USS Thorn in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He is the founder of Anchor Media Services and has more than 22 years of experience in media, finance and corporate trade. Sean serves on the board and advisory council for several veteran organizations. He is a rally chair for Carry The Load and lives in Congers, NY.
After marrying a Marine in 2003, Michelle Mangio channeled her passion for helping others into serving the families of troops and veterans through various outreach programs. She’s volunteered at the Brook Army Medical Center Burn ICU, where she assisted severely-injured patients and their families after life-altering injuries. She currently volunteers with the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and serves as the Family Readiness Advisor for the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior detachment, helping patients with the recovery process. Michelle lives with her family in San Antonio and is an amazing resource for families in the military.
Brian Marren is the Vice President of Operations for Arcadia Cognerati, a service provider specializing in assessing, developing and conducting training and education to address urgent safety and security needs in some of the most challenging environments on the planet. Brian is also a former Marine Scout Sniper with multiple deployments to the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, a High Threat Protection security professional, and a Subject Matter Expert on Human Behavior Pattern Recognition & Analysis. Brian has spent the last sixteen years conducting both real world and training operations all over the United States, the Middle East, and both Central and East Asia. Brian holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and Masters in Applied Psychology from the University of Southern California. Brian dedicates his time to studying and teaching human behavior based threat prediction so that he can train others how to PREVENT catastrophic events from occurring. Brian’s goal is to make people SMARTER, STRONGER, and HARDER TO KILL.
JoHanna Martinez leads talent acquisition efforts for AT&T with specific focus on military and ethnic diversity. Her career began 19 years ago in the AT&T ASI training organization in San Antonio, Texas, where she grew up. JoHanna successfully led AT&T’s campaign to hire 20,000 veterans by 2020 and accomplished that goal over a year early. She has actively been involved as a Memorial May participant with Carry The Load since 2014. Her desire to support her community recently earned her an invitation to join the DFW Hispanic 100, an organization that serves as a catalyst for increased participation of Hispanic Women in employment, procurement and social issues. Currently living in North Texas, JoHanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and also served four years of honorable active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. She’s a proud baseball mom, loves spending time with her husband and family in San Antonio when she is not shopping for shoes.
Scott McLachlan was born in Detroit and graduated from Gaither High School in Tampa, FL. In 1987, he enlisted in the US Army as a combat engineer and completed one deployment to the Middle East participating in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During his time in the Army, McLachlan served with a mechanized combat engineer detachment for the NATO Allied Mobile Force. This provided McLachlan an opportunity to cross train with NATO countries in Norway, Denmark, France, Turkey and Italy. After his military transition, he attended the University of South Florida where he earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science. He currently specializes in Enterprise Architecture and serves as an Information Technology Architect for Chase Merchant Services. He is active in the Tampa community where he devotes time to many different charities including Carry The Load.
Charles Meachum’s father and grandfather were both military veterans. His father flew round-the-clock air vigilance with Strategic Air Command during the Cold War, and later he flew in Vietnam. Back at home, his dad was his Cub Scout Pack Leader and Troop Scoutmaster and stayed involved in scouts until his passing. Inspired by his father’s service and integrity, Charles continued that legacy of scouting with his two sons, who are now both Eagle Scouts, serving as their scout leader while they were young. He continues to support the scouts in various district positions, such as a commissioner, Lone Star District Chairman and currently he is the finance chair for the district. Charles was the liaison for the scouts for the Dallas Memorial March from 2011-2018 and continues to serve on Carry The Load’s Operations Committee.
Junior Ortiz is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the US Marines and the former Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment. He has more than 30 years experience in government, corporate and the non-profit sector. Junior has served on numerous corporate board of advisors, board of directors and board of trustees of associations and organizations throughout the United States. He has also participated in a number of White House Task Forces and public policy initiatives. He is a Life Member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, the Military Officers’ Association of America, the American GI Forum and the American Legion. Junior has been an integral part of Carry The Load’s Operation Committee since 2011. Junior lives in the Dallas area.
Steven is the child of immigrants who fled Vietnam after the War. They came to U.S. with the hopes of achieving the American dream by giving their children opportunities that only could be provided here. Because of these risks and sacrifices, Steven has been afforded the opportunity to complete his parent's dream of going to college and furthering his education into graduate school. He currently works for JPMorgan Chase & Co and is extremely active in his community. With causes such as affordable housing, children's grief services and small business development, he provides leadership through the perspective of an immigrant child who grew up in poverty. Through hard work and education, he was able to achieve stability for himself and his family. He has a deep rooted love for our country, his home of Portland,OR and our troops. Having been a part of 5 west coast relays in the Pacific Northwest, he has literally and figuratively been waving the flag for CTL for years.
Andrew Pfeiffer is a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase & Co., head of Operations Technology Solutions Team within Human Resources Service Delivery - Recruitment Operations and Employee Onboarding, located in Tampa Florida. The global team is dedicated to improving efficiency and user experience through innovative strategic and tactical solutions. Andrew is a Veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as an Artillery Senior Non Commissioned officer for nearly two decades. He served in various leadership capacities and was deployed in both overseas combat support operations and domestic disaster relief efforts. After separating from the service, Andrew has continued to find ways to support current and former service members. He is the Co-Chairman of the JPMorgan Veteran Business Resource Group (BRG) for the state of Florida, which advocates for opportunities that will deepen the firm’s commitment to veterans and their families through development, growth and outreach programs. He is an accomplished public speaker, who each year speaks at engagements to raise awareness on challenges facing our service members. He is part of the Carry The load Tampa Rally operating committee, and sits on the board of directors of multiple Veteran Nonprofit Organizations. Andrew also partners with the University of South Florida to develop veteran-specific trainings and mentor transitioning Veterans.
Ron Redding is a retired Chief Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force with 32.5 years of military service. Ron served as the Air National Guards Chief of Emergency Management for FEMA Region 6 consisting of all air wings in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. He deployed to northern Iraq in 2005 for Operation Iraqi Freedom as the CBRN Senior NonCommissioned Officer subject matter expert for the SWA AOR. Ron is currently serving as a DOD Firefighter with the Arkansas State Military Dept. Ron served as the Ambassador for Carry The Load National Day of Volunteering at the Fort Smith National Cemetery. Ron lives in the Paris, Arkansas.
John Reed was born and raised in Dallas and attended W.T. White High School before enlisting in the Marine Corps where he served with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines Weapons Platoon. He was deployed to Panama, Japan, the Middle East and Somalia and rose to the rank of corporal. After leaving active duty, John graduated from Southern Methodist University with a finance degree and is currently a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch in Dallas. John was a charter member Carry The Load’s Operation Committee, which oversees the logistics and production of the Dallas Memorial March.
Erin Rheinschild has always been an avid and passionate supporter of the Military Community and is the daughter of a Korean War US Air Force Veteran. Erin graduated from UCLA in 1982 after studies in Kinesiology and Psychology. While at UCLA Erin was inspired by aviation and pursued the dream to fly. Erin earned her pilot wings and spent time as a flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot. Erin was hired by United Airlines in 1985 and retired a Boeing 767 Captain in 2004. In 1990 Erin qualified in the P-51 Mustang,”Missfit” and became the first and only female Unlimited pilot to race in the Reno and Denver Air Races where, in 1990,she won the Bronze Class at Reno. Upon retiring from United after 20 years of service Erin engaged in the philanthropic world serving as a Board member for 3 local non-profits. Since 2011 Erin has been honored and proud to serve as the Honorary Commander for the Mountain Home AFB 366th Operations Group. For the past 10 years Erin has dedicated her time and talents as Director of Philanthropy for Higher Ground Sun Valley. Under her leadership in the fundraising sector,Higher Ground has consistently produced a balanced budget and solidified strong donor relationships, while increasing organizational visibility on local and national levels. Erin has 3 grown children; Rudolph, Hailey, and Sage. Her passions, outside family and Higher Ground,are scuba diving,running, skiing, wine education, archery,waterskiing,paddleboarding, volunteering and of course flying airplanes.
Jamie Rufolo is the proud wife of an active duty officer and is currently part of the Public Safety Solutions Organization supporting the FirstNet Program at AT&T. Her team is responsible for delivering on AT&T’s commitment to successfully deploy the nation’s first public safety broadband network, dedicated to America’s first responders. Jamie served as the 2014-2016 National President of AT&T Veterans, an employee resource group and non-profit with over 10,000 members and 43 chapters across the country. She continues to serve by leading AT&T’s sponsorship efforts with Carry The Load. She and her family live in Maryland.
Justin Salsano of Madison, WI, first joined protective services his senior year in high school when he became a volunteer fire fighter. For the past nine years, he's been with City of Madison fire department as a fire figther and paramedic. Justin is also a member of the department’s Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT). It’s been during this time Justin has become more aware of the sacrifices made by our military and the dangers faced by police, fire, and EMS personnel. Justin is a medic on the Carry The Load’s National Relay Team.
Jason Santos became a first responder in 1999 when he joined the Onalaska Fire Department, where he served for 13 years. Jason completed EMT basic education in 2001 and in 2005 studied at Western Technical College where he became a Nationally Registered Paramedic. Jason then worked for the Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance service as a paramedic. In 2016, he completed his certification as critical care paramedic at the University of Baltimore. He currently works as a certified flight paramedic on a medevac helicopter for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Paul Schecklman lives in Wisconsin where he is a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Madison Fire Department. Paul has been in emergency services for more than seven years in multiple cities. Paul is the Task Leader in Wisconsin for Sons of the Flag, a burn survivor non-profit organization, and sits on the University of Wisconsin Burn Advancement Board. Paul co-founded a recovery and supplement company, helping hundreds of first responders and veterans regain health and wellness. He also organizes the Badger Fire Conference, a charitable training event benefiting Sons of the Flag and the UW Burn Center.
William Searles is a Minnesota native, currently living in Onalaska, WI. William has been a paramedic since 1998 and has been with the Tri-State Ambulance in La Crosse, WI, since 2002. Throughout his career, William has trained in multiple facets of emergency medicine; including confined space rescue, tactical EMS, critical care paramedicine and EMS information technology. William has supported Carry The Load since 2012 as a medic on both the East and West Coast National Relay and at the Dallas Memorial March. Smitty is carrying Minnesota State Trooper Ted Foss who was struck and killed during a routine traffic stop near Winona, Minnesota, on August 31st 2000.
Mark Smith, a U.S. Navy Veteran, bravely served in the Brown Water Navy in Vietnam. Upon retiring from the Navy, Mark spent 45 years in the cattle business. He has traveled extensively to countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Australia. He continues to serve his community by volunteering as an Ambassador for Carry The Load.
Rilea Stapf was born and raised in middle Georgia and graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with her Bachelor of Science in Business and Economic Development. Rilea started her journey with Carry The Load in 2015 by joining the East Coast National Relay Team as a leg captain through her connections with Dill Driscoll. Since her start with the CTL organization, Rilea went on to participate on the first West Coast National Relay Team as a leg captain in 2016, and has committed to joining the CTL Family in Dallas every year for Memorial Day to welcome all National Relay Teams and participate in our Dallas Memorial March. Coming from a military family, Rilea walks in remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation and for their families/friends to share in their stories and keep their loved ones alive in our hearts so that we may never forget the true meaning of sacrifice and the TRUE meaning of Memorial Day.
The daughter of United States Marines, Ramona and Michael Zarrella, Stephanie Stone is the Chief Deputy Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. She is a Navy Veteran who has used her 20 years of exemplary military service and over 19 years of nonprofit experience to support the Greater Los Angeles Veteran community since 1997. Stephanie was the first woman to serve as the Chair to Los Angeles Mayor’s Military and Veteran Affairs Committee and returned to the role under Mayor Garcetti’s administration, focusing on veterans’ homelessness. She went on to serve as a commissioner on the Los Angeles County Veterans Advisory Commission, and was elected to be the first female to hold its chairmanship. While on the commission and as its sole female she focused on the needs of all veterans with a special attention on female veterans. In her current role as Chief Deputy of DMVA, she has led the partnership with the Department of Mental Health and the World Champions, LA Sparks. This was the first of its kind partnership with a major sports teams connecting Veterans to resources through a yearlong program. Stephanie Stone holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Southern Illinois, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from University of San Francisco, was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in Los Angeles, and is currently a doctoral student studying Policy, Planning, and Development at University of Southern California.
Ken Tarr graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006. He then served as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps for 11 years, specializing in mountain operations. Amoung his duties he deployed 3 times to Iraq, Haiti/Africa and Japan and taught at the Naval Academy. Currently, Ken is in the Reserves and is a leader at an Apple Retail Store in the Fairfax, VA area and a founding member of Apple's Veteran Association in Retail.
Mr. Tony Temerario was born and raised in the Washington DC Area. His Mother and Father were WWII Combat Veterans serving in the Pacific Theatre and the Normandy Invasion respectively. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from The University of Maryland at College Park. He is a retired US Army “Green Beret.” Currently, Mr. Temerario is the AT&T Director/Client Executive for AT&T’s Mobility IoT Operations team supporting the Public Sector. He is a Member of AT&T’s Veterans Group. On September 11th 2001, he and his AT&T (Then Cingular Wireless) Team responded immediately to the attack on the Pentagon by establishing Mobility Connectivity at the Impact Area and distributing devices to First Responders on that tragic day/night and maintained a 24/7 onsite First Responder Mobility Support Tent at the Pentagon. Shortly after 9/11 he was deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Mr. Temerario’s awards and decorations include, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medals with Campaign Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, State of Maryland Governor’s Citation for distinguished Military Service, and Three Maryland General Assembly Official Citations for Honor, Valor, and Bravery. Mr. Temerario resides with his Wife in Connecticut.
Matt grew up in New Jersey, but from 2001-2005, he served in the U.S Army Infantry with the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas. In 2004, Matt deployed to Iraq with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment (C Co, 1/9 CAV) during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his tour, he returned home to NJ and Philadelphia to complete his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in technology, and has since pursued a career in product development. His career path eventually lead him back to Texas which he now lovingly calls home with his wife and two daughters. Matt has held numerous leadership positions in both professional and non-profit organizations. He currently serves on the board of Farmers Assisting Returning Military (F.A.R.M.). He is a founder of the Samsung Electronics America (SEA) Veterans Community which focuses on corporate outreach to military veterans. He also lead the effort to organize the first SEA corporate sponsorship and participation in Carry The Load's National Relay—rallying SEA veterans andadvocates in offices across the U.S. Matt is particularly supportive of any organization that helps vets reacclimate and prepare for civilian careers.
DeMarcus was born in Palestine, Texas where he spent his early childhood years before moving to Houston. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA majoring in Criminal Justice. DeMarcus joined the Dallas Police Department in 2010 where he is currently a Patrol Officer. During his tenure with DPD, he has served in the narcotics unit, on the Violent Crime Task Force and worked as an intelligence officer. DeMarcus is the 2nd Vice President of the DPAFOP #716 and also serves on the Board of the non-profit, Assist The Officer. DeMarcus has been involved with Carry The Load since 2015. He resides in Dallas and is married to a law enforcement officer. They have two beautiful daughters who also participate with Carry The Load.
Tanika was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She eventually moved to Dallas where she became a police officer for UT Southwestern in 2015 after serving 5 years as a police dispatcher. She went on to complete her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in journalism while being a full-time officer, wife to a Dallas Police officer, and mom to two beautiful daughters. As a wife and friend to many first responders, she has witnessed the sacrifices that have been made and are currently being made for our country. Her involvement with Carry The Load and our mission of honoring and remembering those heroes gives her the ability to connect with others who feel the same.
Aaron White knew he wanted to be a Marine when he was just 11 years old and enlisted before graduating from high school. He served for five years as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Specialist in the 2nd Tank Battalion and was the recipient of two Naval Achievement Medals. Aaron is now a multi-unit owner of Mooyah Burgers and a director at HEB. In 2012, he was a member of the Collin County 40 Under 40 class for young entrepreneurs. Aaron was part Carry The Load’s first Dallas Memorial March and has been an active member of the all-volunteer board since. More recently, Aaron has been an integral part of the planning and presentation of the Vietnam Veterans’ pinning ceremony at the Dallas Memorial March.
Madison Woodson was raised in South Georgia, where she continues to reside today. As the daughter of an Army veteran, a sense of pride and respect for Military and First Responders was instilled in her at a young age. Madison graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economic Development in 2018. While at ABAC, she was involved with multiple philanthropic organizations, including Carry The Load. Madison joined Carry The Load to find active ways to support our nations heroes and spread the importance of honor and respect with the younger generations. Madison has been a member of Carry The Load’s National Relay Team since 2016.
Beau Travis York grew up in Crandall,Texas. He received an associate’s degree from Trinity Valley Community College andtransferred to Dallas Baptist University to study Criminal Child Psychology and Religion. While at DBU, he applied to the Dallas Fire Department and was hired by age 21. He has been a firefighter paramedic for almost 12 years.Beau began participating with Carry The Load in 2015 and has walked in our national relay on both the East and West Coast routes. He also works with the Krodle Memorial Foundation and takes any opportunity to support the Dallas Fire Department.
Upon graduation from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Zim went to work for General Dynamics in Fort Worth. He held various positions with GD, Lockheed and Lockheed Martin before retiring in 1999 as the VP of Product Support. Zim has been an active part of the community serving as an executive volunteer in the Tarrant County United Way, the March of Dimes, and other charitable organizations. Zim served as a Fort Worth City Councilman for eight years. In retirement, He continues to do consulting work as well as sit on the board of John Peter Smith Hospital. Zim and his wife Mac have two sons Eric and Lance. Zim enjoys spending time with his grandchildren as well as playing golf. Zim has been an integral part in establishing the Carry The Load rally in Fort Worth.