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, Fund-Raising, 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.
FUND-RAISING: 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.
Veteran’s Passport to Hope Founding Officers:
Executive Director, Shane Schmutz
Shane R. Schmutz is the founder and Executive Director of Veteran’s Passport to Hope. Prior to assuming the Executive Director role with VP2H, he was a Financial Advisor with Bernstein Global Wealth Management in their Denver office. He worked closely with high-net-worth individuals and families to help them achieve their financial goals, tailoring plans that addressed lifetime spending, multigenerational wealth transfer and philanthropic objectives. Before he joined Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Schmutz was a bariatric account manager for Ethicon Endo-Surgery (a Johnson & Johnson company), where he was responsible for operating room bariatric sales and training in northern New Jersey and Manhattan. Before that he was a Captain in the United States Army; a Blackhawk pilot, and he served three combat tours in Iraq. Schmutz holds a BS in American legal systems from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned the Johnson & Johnson Forecast Achievement Award in 2009 and 2010, as well as the firm’s Black Onyx Club Award and Peer Leadership Award in 2011. Schmutz received the US Army’s Bronze Star. He is the founder and executive director of Veteran’s Passport To Hope, is a board member of Project Sanctuary and is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and Cancer League of Colorado.
Director, Rod Kennard
Rod Kennard is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Truman State University, commissioned as an Army Aviator. He served ten years in this capacity rising through the ranks to captain and culminated his military career with a successful command at the 101st Airborne Division. After leaving the military, Rod held various senior roles in technology, operations and sales with two different Global Fortune 500 companies and currently leads a regional sales team for another Fortune 500 company. Rod recently helped start a new business in Denver, Colorado manufacturing longboards and provides consulting expertise to other regional and national businesses. Rod serves as Veteran’s Passport to Hope Vice President and is on the Board of Directors.
Director, David Jackson
David Graduated from West Point in 1973, commissioned in Air Defense, Artillery. Served in Army 7 yrs, Germany, S Korea, CONUS. After separation, he worked for Bettis Atomic Power Lab (Westinghouse) at Idaho National Lab and was trained in the Naval Reactors program (Navy ensign nuclear training). Completed all levels of qualification (nuclear plant engineer, shift supervisor, department engineer, chief test engineer). Trained the naval officers and enlisted for ten years at the A1W Prototype plant. In 1990, David moved to Denver, and began work with EG&G at post-FBI raid Rocky Flats Plant. Was put in charge as facility manager at building 371, later building 771, later both. Both were plutonium processing facilities, both deemed “dangerous” (b771 declared to be America’s most dangerous building on 60 Minutes). In both last two jobs, was used by Sr. Management as the subject matter expert, and as a fire-fighter for problem areas. In 1997, went into semi retirement. David trained himself in financial area of cash flow management. He currently works with small businesses, helping them leverage their existing assets into a cash lump sum. This uses tools like factoring, inventory back sales, equipment leasing and others. Other leverage-able cash flows for individuals include private note holdings & settlements.
Director, Dave Fingers
Dave Fingers is the President of Altitude Business Group. Altitude Business Group provides online marketing solutions for local businesses. 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.
Director, Kerrie K. Pott
Kerrie Pott graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S in Business and Marketing. After graduation, she was the public relations and event coordinator for a pension software company in Santa Barbara, California. She returned to Colorado and spent several years at the Courtesy Auto Group working as the finance manager. She also served as the customer relations manager and executive assistant to the general manager. Kerrie is now a partner in several local automobile dealerships including Courtesy Acura, Courtesy Mazda and Interstate Ford. She is the mother of two teenage children. Kerrie served as the Entertainment co-chairperson during the inaugural VP2H gala in 2012.