board of directors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Founder & Chairman

Ken Falke

Vice Chairman and Co-Founder

Fred Malek

Treasurer

Lesley Kelly

Secretary

Braden Edwards

Robert W. Assenmacher

James Ball

Jane-Scott Cantus

Lieutenant General John A. Dubia (Ret) U.S. Army

Rob Gaines

Tony Giachinta

Frank Killoran

Frank Larkin

Paul Lombardi

Ryan Miller

Mike Monroe

Pinakin Patel

Brian Rathjen

Will Walker

Rob Wilkins

Founder & Chairman

Ken Falke

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. 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 20 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 and the EOD Warrior Foundation.

Ken is married to Julia Falke (for the last 38 years) and has two daughters Gennavieve (31) and Rhian (28). Ken’ daughter Genna is married to Brayden Keller. Ken and Julia are grandparents to Troy, Riley, Cameron, and Gwendolyn.

Vice Chairman and Co-Founder

Fred Malek

Fred is an entrepreneur, operator, and investor with a primary focus on the broader hospitality industry with several successful exits. He is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of District Hospitality Partners: an investment company focused on investments in hospitality real estate, hospitality technology, insurance, and the data center verticals. He is also the Founder of Hospitality Benefits, a hospitality insurance consolidation play initially focused on health insurance and related health and wellness offerings for hospitality employees.

Fred has founded, led, and successfully exited several successful ventures to include Founder and CEO of TIG Global which became the largest internet marketing company in hospitality and travel (now the hospitality e-commerce services arm for Oracle), Co-founder of Hubs1, one of the largest hospitality reservation system consolidations in China (now owned by Jin Jiang Hotels – the largest hotel company in China), and HotelMe, a hospitality online review platform (now owned by Gannett and USA Today). Previously, Fred also financed several billion dollars for hospitality investment projects (Hedge Fund – Nomura Capital) and managed hotel and restaurant private equity investments in a variety of roles.

Fred is also a Naval Academy graduate who served in the Navy Special Forces (SWCC) with several tours, including a combat tour in Desert Storm. Fred also holds an MBA from the Wharton School Of Business.

Treasurer

Lesley Kelly

Lesley Kelly joined Venrock’s New York VHCP team in 2020 as Head Trader. In previous roles, she has traded healthcare on the buy-side and the sell-side–most recently joining from RBC Capital Markets. Prior to finance, Lesley served on active duty as an Intelligence Officer and Jumpmaster in the U.S. Army. She continues to support several Veteran philanthropies.

Lesley earned her B.S. from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University

She resides in New York with her husband and two children.

Secretary

Braden Edwards

Braden Edwards is a Managing Director of Equity Sales and Trading with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). He held similar positions the past 15 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 11 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, CA with his wife, Carolyn Feinstein, and three children – Jack, Charlotte, and Sophie and their dog, Steeler.

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, AZ, 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 four years working in banking for JP Morgan Chase bank in Phoenix AZ.

Professionally Rob is also involved in multiple real estate investment LLCs , 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, CO.

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 water-sports. Some of their best memories were living abroad in Santiago, Chile in 2011 when Rob opened up a manufacturing and service company as a subsidiary to CAID.

James Ball

James Ball is Managing Director and Head of Cash Sales Trading for the Americas. James joined the Firm in 1997 as a sales trader in New York. From 2001 to 2009 was Head of Sales Trading for US Cash and Derivative customer business in London.

Mr. Ball earned a B.S. in Economics in 1990 from the US Naval Academy. From 1991-1996, he served as a Navy SEAL officer. In 1997, James earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Jane-Scott Cantus

Ms. Cantus is Managing Principal, Strategic Services and General Counsel of The ILEX Group, a veteran-owned small business providing corporate strategy and communications, government relations, and lobbying services to high growth technology companies and related private equity and venture capital firms, among other industries. Concurrently, she serves as Principal Member of ILEX Leadership Associates, LLC, a woman-owned small business registered to do business with the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ms. Cantus has over 25 years of experience working with Boards, executives, and entrepreneurs in innovation-led high growth advanced technology and emerging technology companies across multiple industries, including aerospace/defense, cyber, financial services, media/new media/social media, healthcare, industrial, smart city, and transportation, along with professional and technical services firms. As an operating executive, she held management positions in corporate strategy, operations, marketing/business development, and program management, including interim C-suite positions to affect growth and turnaround strategies. She advises private equity/venture capital firms and investors on selection and management of their portfolio companies, develops and implements senior executive talent strategies, and recruits senior management and Board members to start-up companies. She is a Group Chair for Vistage Worldwide leading CEO peer advisory forums.

As a Fellow at the Institute for Business in Society at the University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business, Ms. Cantus examined the relationship between C-suite executives and stakeholders, including the Board, investors, employees, and external constituencies. Her research continues to focus on determining the impact of corporate strategic decisions on the constituencies and the impact these constituencies have on the C-suite’s corporate strategic decision-making.

Ms. Cantus earned a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School, a Master of Business Administration from UVA Darden School of Business, and a Bachelor of Art in History from Duke University. She is a Member of the Virginia State Bar.

Ms. Cantus joined the Board of Directors, Boulder Crest Foundation in 2020. She serves on the Board of Advisors, Smart City Works, and as an Advisor to emerging technology incubators Inova Personalized Health Accelerator and Mach37. She served as a National Advisory Board Member, PenFed Foundation from 2009 to 2019. She was appointed by Governor Mark Warner and reappointed by Governor Tim Kaine as Board member to the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (2004-2011) and appointed by Governor McDonnell to the Virginia Small Business Commission (2012-2014). She served as Board Member, Executive Council Member, and Chair, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (2017-2019) and received the NOVA Chamber Chairman’s Award (2018). As a management consultant, she works with Boards and C-Suites of small, mid, and large cap companies to develop and implement strategies that create competitive advantages. Recent assignments include visioning and alignment of vision-mission-values-culture to strategy, long-term strategic planning, and conducting Ideal Board/C-Suite assessments designed to optimize form, function, and composition. She helps her clients develop succession plans and recruits C- level executives and Corporate Directors.

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 14 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 United 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 joined the 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 1,900 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 Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and completion of the Advanced Management Program at Rutgers University School of Business.

Rob Gaines

Rob Gaines is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, leading their Arizona & New Mexico Wealth Management business for the past 16 years. Previously, he held advisory and leadership roles with the firm in Wisconsin.

In addition to his work on the Boulder Crest Foundation Board, Rob currently serves as a Civic Leader group member with Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Georgia, and as   an Honorary Commander assigned to the 944th Fighter Wing Command, Luke AFB, Arizona.

Rob earned a BBA in Finance from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife and two teenage children.

Tony Giachinta

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.

Frank Killoran

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 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.

Frank Larkin

Frank Larkin is a national advocate for veteran suicide prevention and traumatic brain injury research. He currently serves as a board member for the Boulder Crest Foundation. Frank is also aligned with several other non-profit organizations working to positively impact the health and survivability of our veterans and first responders. He recently served as the vice president for corporate development at SAP National Security Services.

Frank was the 40th United States Senate Sergeant at Arms. As chief law enforcement and executive officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms enforces rules of the Senate; provides a range of technical and administrative services to Senators in their Washington D.C., and state offices; and maintains security in the Capitol and Senate office buildings.

He had direct oversight of the US Capitol Police Department, a 2200-member agency, and led numerous national security events. Frank was a member of the federal Senior Executive Service for almost 15 years, serving as both the Acting Director and the Vice Director of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) and Director of the Counter IED Operations-Intelligence Integration Center (COIC) within the Department of Defense.  He led the integration of technical capabilities, information analysis and human resources against the global IED threat and terror networks.

Frank served for more than two decades as a special agent and senior leader in the United States Secret Service (USSS). He conducted complex criminal investigations and protected four US presidents, until his retirement as the Deputy Assistant Director for Protective Research and the agency’s Chief Technology Officer.

In the private sector, Frank continued to support the defense and intelligence communities. He recently was the Vice President for Corporate Development at SAP National Security Services. In the past, he was the Director for Program Management & Leadership for the Raytheon Company and Senior Program Manager at Lockheed Martin’s Defense & Intelligence Solutions.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Frank served as a special warfare operator in the Navy SEALs. After his military service, he was a uniformed patrol officer with the Norristown (PA) Police Department, a homicide detective with the Montgomery County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, and a Maryland State Trooper-Flight Paramedic. He has been a nationally licensed paramedic for 40 years and still serves Maryland as a volunteer firefighter-paramedic for the City of Annapolis.

Frank holds a BA degree in criminal justice and a MS degree in public administration from Villanova University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, to include the USSS Valor award, the Department of the Army’s Exceptional Civilian Service award and the Superior Civilian Service award.

Paul Lombardi

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 founded and served as the Executive Chairman of TeraThink Corporation (TeraThink), a management and technology consulting firm that provided services to the Federal Government, prior to its sale to a publicly traded global consultancy. 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 eight 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.

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller serves as Managing Principal of Cushman & Wakefield’s Greater Washington DC area. In this role, Ryan is responsible for optimizing operational and financial performance, and supporting the organization’s occupier and investor clients through the thoughtful alignment and integration of complementary disciplines and resources across the enterprise.

Previously, Ryan led Newmark’s Mid-Atlantic region, working collaboratively with the company’s regional professionals and global leadership team to create value for clients and drive sustained growth for the region.

Prior to Newmark, Ryan served as managing director in CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions group, leading portfolio optimization and strategic transaction leadership for a global Fortune 500 technology company. Over his career, Ryan has represented a diverse range of companies, from established global corporations and professional services firms to leading investors and owners of trophy-class office buildings in hundreds of transactions with a combined value of over $500 million.

Ryan lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife and three children. He is actively involved in numerous charitable, civic and business organizations throughout the Washington, DC area.

Mike Monroe

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 nonprofit 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.

Pinakin Patel

Pinakin Patel is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ITC and responsible for our strategic vision, innovative business model, and financial performance. Under his leadership, ITC has experienced tremendous growth based on the principal that “our success is measured only by the success of our clients.”

Before joining the company, Mr. Patel served as the Department Manager and Deputy Director of the Information Security Solutions consulting practice with a large Department of Defense consulting firm.  Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Pinakin served with the United States Air Force as a Communication Officer.  Mr Patel received a Masters in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science at Rutgers University.

Brian Rathjen

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 $9 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 on-board 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 the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD 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, NY with his wife, Wendy, and two daughters, Sydney and Charlotte.

Will Walker

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 $2 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 did not 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.

Rob Wilkins

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 Foundation.