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, Past President, Trusted Partner.
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 NYC after having moved out of Colorado 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 501(c)3, fund-raising, gala planning, and the grant awards. Shane ended his official involvement with VP2H in 2017, but will always be a guiding light for our vision.
Theresa McDowell, Treasurer
Theresa works exclusively with clients to bring their employee benefit plans into compliance with plan documents and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) ERISA requirements. She collaboratively assists clients through their compliance audits with the IRS and DOL. Under her leadership, the EBP practice at EKS&H helps more than 200 client groups to address benefit plan compliance and business issues.
Theresa works with multiple not-for-profit organizations and performs financial reporting and bookkeeping functions.
Theresa is an active member of various professional and community organizations:
- Western Pension Benefits Plan Council – Board Member
- CHADD – Finance Committee Member
- Castle Pines Storm – Board President
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 in 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.
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.
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.
Kevin Prior, Fundraising Chair
Kevin was born and raised in southern Colorado and now resides in Littleton with his wife, Crystal. He attended Adams State University and while he earned his Bachelor’s Degree and also played for the Men’s Basketball team there. Kevin currently works as an Account Executive for Insight, a Global IT reseller, and has a successful track record with over ten years of experience in IT Sales and Consulting. His previous experience and background comes from IBM where he was a Data Security and Privacy Specialist. Prior to working at IBM, Kevin was an Account Executive for a local IT reseller and telecom provider. He credits his success to his ability to build rich and meaningful relationships with clients and business partners; always conducting business with integrity and strong ethics.
Kevin has a passion for helping people and shared this passion with his father, John, who was a US Navy Veteran and Combat Medic, supporting the 3rd Marine Regiment, in Vietnam. John was involved in the Tet Offensive and treated over 1,800 casualties in 3 days. His father suffered from PTSD and other medical issues connected to his service while in combat. Kevin’s father started counseling Veterans returning from combat. Kevin assisted his father in developing a program and serve this population but the effort was cut short when his father unexpectedly passed away.
Kevin continues efforts to fulfill he and his father’s mission and found VP2H through his network and connected with one of the Board Members and expressed his interest in wanting to serve and be involved. Sometimes, all we need is hope and Kevin wants to serve those that have served for him.
Jeff Schottler, Board Member
Jeff Schottler is an investment banker with Colorado Financial Service Corporation (CFSC) where he focuses on raising institutional capital for early and expansion stage companies as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory for companies in the lower middle market. Prior to CFSC, Jeff was an investment banker at Headwaters MB and ClearCreek Partners. Additionally, Jeff has had stints in Corporate Development with First Data Corp and Qwest Wireless as well as equity research with Roth Capital. Jeff has advised or co-advised on dozens of business transactions including M&A and raising venture capital, private equity and debt for technology based companies across the United States.
Jeff is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving with the 75th Training Command (TC) as a Chief Observer, Controller, Trainer (CHOT). The 75th TC provides Battle Command Staff Training primarily to Army Reserve Component battalion and brigade staffs. Additionally, the 75th often works with Active Army Component staffs during large exercises. Jeff has over 27 years of service with the U.S. Army and has a deep passion for the men and women who serve and have served, in the United States military.
A Colorado native, Jeff enjoys spending free time with his family, playing Lacrosse or any of number of other outdoor activities.
Jeff has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in Finance from University of Colorado at Denver. Jeff is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter-Holder and holds the FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities licenses.
Stephanie Strong, Gala Chair
Stephanie was born in Denver, CO and lived in Ohio, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento Area before moving back to her home state in 2013. She currently works as a Sales and Marketing Analyst for Antero CRM. She is passionate about finding ways for technology to solve human business problems, and currently focuses on CRM platforms. With 5 years of non-profit event planning experience Stephanie found VP2H looking for a way to get involved in her community. She worked as the gala chair in 2015 and became a board member in 2016, continuing the responsibility as the gala chair. (please email for volunteer opportunities: email@example.com )
Stephanie’s has multiple veterans in her direct family including her grandfather, who served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force retiring as a Technical Sergeant and then 30 years in civil service for the U.S. Government, and her father who was a U.S. Marine. She is passionate about helping veterans in her community in a real and substantial way.
Shara Hubert, Marketing Chair
Shara Hubert currently serves as the VP of Sales and Marketing with Plumb Marketing, where her true passion for the business community, and over a decade of experience in Sales, Management, Operations, and Marketing are put to use on a daily basis. She has a successful track record in helping companies more finely tune their business processes and increase both revenue and ROI through Operational and Marketing improvement. An AS in Business Management, and BS in Business Marketing from University of Colorado at Denver, lend to the knowledge and depth of experience she brings to her team.
Shara not only has a passion for running a business and sales organization efficiently and profitably, but is very involved in the business community running Corporate TeeBox, a unique networking organization for business leaders, and participating in many others. She enjoys working with the entrepreneurial community and helping them connect the dots for their businesses and communities. After several years of involvement with VP2H, in various capacities, and gaining a growing awareness for its reach and mission she is thrilled to be a recent addition to the board. She believes in strongly in the leadership ability and talents of our Vets and is excited to support them in their endeavors.
George Rosales, Board Member
As a US Army veteran, nothing trumps my love for country, except for my wife and wonderful children. They are the driving force in helping me to see beauty in everything around me. My love for art began at an early age and knew that it was my life’s calling. And nothing makes me happier than helping people bring their design visions to life.
Through over two decades of design experience I have successfully evolved and transformed my craft. My versatile skill set includes print, web, video, photography and more. In my career I have been able to work in education, training, telecom, defense and oil and natural gas industries. I have spent the last 13 years working for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation as Design & Communications project lead and sit on Anadarko’s Veteran’s committee and am also board chair for Anadarko’s Fitness Committee.
Rod Kennard, Board Member
Rod Kennard is one of the founding members of Veterans Passport to Hope in Colorado and served previously as its Vice President and Chief of Staff. He is a former U.S. Army Captain and pilot flying the OH-58 Kiowa and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. Rod served with the 1st and 7th Cavalries, the 1st Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne, and is a graduate of the Army’s Air Assault and Airborne schools.
Rod serves as Regional Vice President of Operations for Valet Waste, the largest provider of concierge services to the multi-family industry. Previous roles included VP and Director level positions in operations and sales as well as leadership roles in engineering, technology, quality and project management with various Fortune 500 companies.
Kyle Grivette, Board Member