We are excited to announce that the 2015 Gala will take place November 11, 2015 at
Join us as we encourage our nation’s heroes to Stay the Course, and keep working towards their goals, no matter the challenges they may face!
Veteran’s Passport to Hope (VP2H) is a Veteran Friendly 501(c)3
founded in 2012
VP2H’s mission consists of three main focus areas: Awareness, Fundraising, and Cooperation.
AWARENESS: VP2H’s Primary mission is to raise awareness within the Colorado area about the issues Veterans face: Multiple tours in combat zones, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), high unemployment rate, high homelessness rate, high divorce rate, and a record high suicide rate. As the military mission winds down in Iraq and Afghanistan and veterans reintegrate themselves into civilian society, we believe that this awareness will foster an understanding of their efforts and compassion for their struggle.
FUNDRAISING: VP2H’s secondary mission is to raise money for Veteran friendly non-profits. Through due diligence and research, we organize fund raising events which support local, Veteran friendly non-profits. We only support high quality charities that maximize their accountability to veteran’s causes and are transparent in their fund raising and giving practices.
COOPERATION: VP2H’s tertiary mission is to act as a rallying point for other veteran friendly non-profits. Our goal is to organize and conduct meetings with the leadership teams of these groups within the Colorado area with the goal of finding ways for us to work together more efficiently. We believe that by working together and by sharing ideas, we can reduce competition between non-profit groups and more efficiently and more effectively help veterans. We also consolidate information about resources that are available at no charge to veterans and families by keeping our veteran’s resource website (www.veteransresourceportal.com) up to date and relevant. The Veteran’s Resource Portal is a list of resources utilized as an online resource center where veterans and their families can search for and rate available resources.
Meet The Board Of Directors
Dave Fingers, Board President
Dave Fingers is the President of Source Pointe, Inc. Source Pointe is an Executive Search Firm that specializes in direct recruiting of Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders nationally. Dave is an Army Veteran with 10 ½ years active duty. His military career included a tour supporting the 5th SFG & 10th SFG. Additionally, Dave was assigned to the 8th ID 4th Aviation Brigade in Wiesbaden, Germany and spent time as an Army Recruiter in Kansas City. Dave left the Army with an Honorable Discharge as a Staff Sergeant. After the military, Dave started his sales and marketing career in the IT consulting industry where he helped lead a company from $4 million in annual revenues to $30 million in annual revenues in just over four years exclusively through organic growth.
Shane Schmutz, Founder, Board Member, Past President
Shane Schmutz is the Founder, past President of the Board, and past Executive Director of Veteran’s Passport to Hope (VP2H) – a non-profit founded in order to help our nation’s veterans. Shane currently lives and works in Utah after having moved back to his home state in 2013. Shane brings a wealth of experience to the VP2H team having had various roles in the private sector to include: Medical Device sales, Private Wealth Managment, Private Jet sales, and Software sales. Before joining corporate America in mid-2008, Shane was a Captain in the United States Army. As a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Schmutz served three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom during which he received the US Army’s Bronze Star. Shane continues to serve as a board member with VP2H and is very involved in the day to day activities of the 501c3, the non-profit symposiums, and the grant awards.
Andrea Bock, Secretary
Andrea Brock was born and raised in northern Wyoming before moving to Colorado in 2007 where she attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She studied Hospitality and Tourism Management before graduating from CSU with her Bachelors degree. Andrea currently works for Wells Fargo Bank as a Business Associate with the Commercial Banking department in Downtown Denver. Andrea’s true passion lies in travel and tourism, specifically in the scuba diving industry. She is the Marketing and Sales Manager for her family run scuba diving business and focuses on planning exotic dive vacations and running sales operations. After moving to Denver, Andrea focused on finding volunteer and community service opportunities. In 2013 she joined Veteran’s Passport to Hope as a Sponsorship Committee Chair. During the past two years she has focused on raising funds and gathering sponsorships for VP2H’s Annual Gala. In 2014 Andrea combined her passions of scuba diving and volunteering with veterans and founded her own non-profit, WASP Diving. WASP (Warrior Adaptive Scuba Program) is aimed at teaching wounded military adaptive scuba diving.
Timothy Kitt, Board Member
Tim Kitt is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel with over 23 years leadership and management experience with assignments in the US, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. He has a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science degree from Colorado State University and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. After completing his military service he owned printing business for 4 years. After turning it into a profitable business by increasing sales 75% over four years, he sold his business. He then was employed by Sun Microsystems Learning Services Division for over 8 years, initially as a web project manager and then as a web program manager. He is also a real estate investor with numerous rental properties in Wyoming.
Trudy Kennedy, CPA, Treasurer
Trudy is a CPA with 12 years of experience with nonprofit organizations Her background includes 501(c)(3) applications, 990 tax filings, nonprofit accounting and management, budgeting and compliance, staff supervision, marketing and networking, board development and liaison, and strategic planning. She is a highly motivated individual who enjoys challenges, problem solving, and collaboration in the accounting and business world. Trudy brings to the table the desire to enhance the effective and efficient use of community resources and support the development of charitable projects and nonprofits in the veteran community. She currently serves as the CFO for Employer Essentials which is a professional services company offering payroll, human resource, accounting, and staffing services.
Conor Overstake, Vice President
A Colorado native, Conor joined Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.(Denver Colorado Office) in 2014 shortly after the doors opened as an Account Executive and Assistant Vice President. Today, he focuses on both Commercial Lines and Employee Benefits. Prior to joining the Insurance Industry, Conor was an Officer and Pilot in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently a Major in the USMC Reserves. Professionally Conor assists organizations with developing and implementing insurance/risk management strategies aimed at finding a unique and balanced approach to risk management/transfer. He predominantly consults with middle-market enterprises broadly engaged in Technology, Medtech, Biotech, and Healthcare industries. He is also involved in consulting with startup businesses in high growth industries. Conor is passionate about lending his experience in a meaningful way to help enable and empower Veterans because he believes that Veterans are one of our countries greatest resources.
Conor graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.
Scott MacDonald, Board Member, Fundraising Chair
Scott MacDonald is an ex-Infantry officer with the Fourth Infantry Division and was stationed at FT. Carson Colorado during his career. He is currently the Vice President of Client relationships at enVision Business Consulting a regional Management consultancy with a national reach. His responsibilities include maintaining client connections, developing strategy, expanding business, acquiring talent, and the overall growth at enVision. Scott comes from a military family having spent his early childhood in military installations in the United States, Germany, Scotland, and Greece. His father retired as a senior NCO from the USAF, after splitting his career between the Army and Air Force. His mother served in the USAF until marring his father. His two bothers served In the USMC and USAF and his sister is a retired LTC from the ARMY.Scott earned an Executive MBA from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science from North West Missouri State University where he attended on a Basketball scholarship.
Scott brings 20+ years of operations, consulting and business development experience to his clients. He has provided business transformation services including developing strategic vision, managing growth, reducing operating expenses, deploying large technical systems, process optimization, and developed human capital solutions through proven methodologies and experience. Scott partners with senior management to understand their unique needs and challenges which allows him to provide the best possible solutions. Whether it’s leading large or small teams, being out front or behind the scenes Scott understands how to make his clients successful.
Chris Hermen, Board Member
Chris Hermen was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. He has an extensive professional background in both operations and personnel management. In his current role he works in the Financial Services industry as a Product Manager for First Data Corporation (Greenwood Village, Colorado office). Chris is tasked with driving product development and enhancements including market analysis and road map development for the small and medium sized business component of First Data’s prepaid product offering. In addition, he is the COO of a startup company in the technology industry. Prior to his civilian career, Chris enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he obtained the rank of Sergeant. He served as an infantryman with Third Battalion, First Marines, Company I at Camp Pendleton, California, as well as Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Chris has earned an Executive MBA, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University.
Joseph Lovett, Director Of Public Relations
Joseph “Joey” Lovett is a Denver native. After graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School, Joey enlisted in the US Navy (1999-2005). Serving as an AEGIS Fire Controlman (Surface Warfare Specialist), Joey was stationed aboard the USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73) based out of Pearl Harbor, HI. He deployed twice in support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom earning countless advanced qualifications and several medals and awards. Upon transitioning from the US Navy, he became a weapons and tactics instructor for the Center for Security Forces, learning site Ford Island. Following that, he moved back to Colorado and he was hired and trained as commissioned Colorado (P.O.S.T. Certified) police officer for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Joey spent several years on patrol, eventually ending up on the IMPACT pattern crimes unit. While at ACSO, he was recognized for creating several different community oriented policing projects. Leaving police work, temporarily, Joey served on the Board of Directors for GammaBrite, LLC as the Director of Product Development, focused on printable light and various other nanotechnologies. Currently, Joey works as a Police Officer for the State of Colorado, and works part-time for a 3D rendering, design, and marketing firm called VIZ Graphics.
Joey is passionate about military transition to civilian life and is deeply motivated to make sure that servicemen and servicewomen’s sacrifices are not forgotten. He earned his BSBA in Business Admin from Hawaii Pacific University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree from Regis University in Criminology, living in the Denver metro area.
John Hellickson, Board Member
John Hellickson is the Chief Information Security Officer at First Data, responsible for managing risk while enabling the business through the leadership of the Global Information Security strategy, governance, and risk intelligence programs. John joined First Data in November 1998 as a hands on security engineer. Throughout his career in information security, he transitioned into leadership roles driving multi-million dollar initiatives to enhance the cyber security posture of the firm.
Prior to First Data, John enlisted in the US Air Force. Following in his father’s footsteps who had retired from the Air Force years prior, John served over seven years all within the continental US, supporting base communications, information technologies, and managing the security of classified systems that directly supported the United States nuclear war plan – Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP).
John grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Currently, he has more than 24 years of experience in information technology, with the last 18 years focused on information security and risk management. John holds a bachelor of science of computer information systems from Bellevue University, and is a certified information systems security professional (CISSP) and certified risk and information systems control (CRISC). John is also a board member of the Security Advisor Alliance, a non-profit focused on promoting information security within the community.