Board of Directors
Born and raised in Texas, Luttrell and his twin brother, Morgan, attended Sam Houston State University. They began training for the SEALs at age 14 with former United States Army soldier, Billy Shelton, who lived nearby. As kids they loved to hunt and fish and wrestle alligators! Martial arts training has been an important role in Marcus’ life from the time he was a child.
Luttrell joined the United States Navy in March 1999. He began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training with Class 226 in Coronado, California. He graduated with Class 228 after suffering a fractured femur early in his training. Marcus graduated 18 Delta in 2001, making him a team Medic.
On June 28, 2005, Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 were assigned to a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah (nom de guerre Mohammad Ismail), a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for killings in eastern Afghanistan and the Hindu-Kush mountains.
The SEAL team was made up of Luttrell, Michael P. Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson. Luttrell and Axelson were the team’s snipers; Dietz was in charge of communications and Murphy the team leader. A group of goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs, the four SEALs immediately took control of the situation and discussed what to do with the herders. After taking a vote and basing their decision on ROE, Michael Murphy made the final decision to let them go. The herders were subsequently released and disappeared over the mountain ridge. Luttrell believed they immediately betrayed the team’s location to local Taliban forces and within an hour, the SEALs were engaged in an intense gun battle. In the ensuing battle, the rest of the SEAL team members were killed. Team leader Michael P. Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the battle. Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson, and Marcus were awarded the Navy Cross. An MH-47 Chinook helicopter was dispatched with a force consisting of SEALs and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment “Nightstalkers” to rescue the team, but the helicopter was shot down by an RPG. All 16 men on the Chinook were killed.
Luttrell was the only survivor. Badly wounded, he managed to walk and crawl seven miles to evade capture. He was given shelter by an Afghan tribe, who alerted the Americans of his presence, and American forces finally rescued him six days after the gun battle. Following his physical recovery from Operation Redwing, Marcus went back and completed one more tour before being medically retired. He then wrote the book, Lone Survivor, to share the amazing story of his brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
In 2010, Marcus started Lone Survivor Foundation to restore, empower, and renew hope for wounded service members and their families.
Marcus and his wife Melanie have a son Axe, who is named after Matthew Axelson, and a daughter, Addie.
Tim Byrom has owned his own business since 1976. He has served as a board member and board chair for All Saint’s Episcopal School and Junior Warden for St. Stephens and St. Mark’s Episcopal Churches. He is currently service on the executive board for Garth House, which is a nonprofit child advocacy group that represents physically, sexually and mentally abused children.
Tim has been married to his wife Susan for 34 years, and has two sons, Brian and Clint Byrom, who are currently in charge of BRINT Construction, Inc.
Reed Smith, Central Regional Vice President for the GEO Group, Inc., the first fully integrated international real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development of correctional, detention and community reentry facilities.
Mr. Smith oversees a geographical area that includes, Texas and Oklahoma, which comprises of (14) facilities serving Local, State and Federal clients. Mr. Smith joined what is now the GEO Group in 1997 after retiring as a Warden with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Helping organizations such as Special Olympics and Lone Survivor Foundation, Mr. Smith has marshaled the efforts of staff and vendors to annually make significant contributions via golf tournaments and fund-raising events. This, in effort to give back to the community in which Geo works on a daily basis.
Mr. Smith has long recognized the efforts of our veterans, through his corporate efforts to recruit and help with reentry into the civilian work force, now appreciates the opportunity to work with LSF to help those who are so traumatically affected in service to Country.
Reed Smith is an avid golfer and outdoorsman, father of (6) children and (1) grandchild, he resides in New Braunfels Texas with his wife Stephanie.
A Vietnam Era Marine Sniper, Tom Fordyce served with the 1st Battalion 26th Marines from 1966 – 1968, and medically retired in March of 1968 due to combat injuries. Over the last 42 years he has served on many boards and commissions, including being the Director of Agricultural Business Land/Minerals, Commissioner Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, charter member and present Chairman of the Huntsville Economic Advisory Council, charter member of the Huntsville Veterans Advisory Council, and member of the Texas Veterans Commission advisory board.
In addition, he is a former member and Vice President Board of Directors for Brownfield Memorial Hospital, Board for Lease (minerals) Texas General Land Office, and former member of the Walker County Grand Jury.
John “J.B.” Billheimer, Sr. has more than 34 years of business operating experience, running and managing multiple businesses. His main company, MAS Service, is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and provides HVAC, refrigeration and food equipment services throughout California. As the founder and CEO of MAS Service and the mechanical air service corporation JB Mechanical, Inc., Billheimer has decades of experience working with countless service, civic, and community organizations and causes.
Throughout his professional career, Billheimer has held a number of leadership roles in his local community, serving as president of multiple organizations including Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Sheppard’s Gate shelter for women and children in need in Livermore, California., and the Tri-Valley Executive Association serving the Bay Area. He has earned Rotarian of the Year and Tri-Valley Executive of the Year honors.
Throughout the years, Billheimer also has been a long-time supporter of the U.S. military as a civilian volunteer and holds board positions with a number of private companies and organizations, including Boot Campaign and the Lone Survivor Foundation.
Additionally, Billheimer is an instrument-rated commercial pilot, and volunteers his time and airplane with Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation for any legitimate, charitable, medically related need.
In his free time, he enjoys extensive travel with his wife Corinne, three children and two grandchildren, and is an avid outdoorsman and antique firearms collector.
President of Earl Campbell Meat Products, Heisman Trophy Winner and former Houston Oiler.
Lorenzo Fertitta Jr.
Lorenzo is currently an analyst at Fertitta Capital, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles CA. Lorenzo is responsible for supporting the investment team on all aspects of an investment’s execution, from initial due diligence through final close and ongoing asset management.
Lorenzo graduated from Villanova University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, where he majored in Finance and minored in Managerial Information Systems. Lorenzo began his college career playing D1AA football for Villanova for 3 years, where he played cornerback. While at Villanova, Lorenzo completed an internship with Zeke Capital focused on supporting the investment team on research and various investment related projects.
Picture and bio coming soon!
James J. Sorebo, CLU is President and CEO of Four Seasons Financial Group, Inc. (FSFG), a wholesale provider of fixed and variable life, and annuities to financial institutions nationally.
FSFG works with over 150 banks and 3000 financial advisors. Jim provides the vision and leadership for FSFG.
“My chance meeting with a wounded warrior involved with the foundation, Captain Chad Fleming, retired, changed my life. My patriotism, while always strong has risen to new heights because of him. In addition, my nephew is a Naval Academy grad and the son I’ve never had. His time with the NSA in Djibouti, and his 9-month deployment with Seal Team 7 resulting in a Bronze Star are just part of the reasons why I want to give back to those that defend our country.”
Brigadier General (TX) Connie McNabb DVM is a Veteran of 23 years of service in the United States Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard. She was the Chief of the Joint Staff for the entire Texas National Guard from 2009 through 2011 and was the Senior Medical Planner for all Air Force and Air National Guard Support to Texas’ Hurricane Season 2008.
As Chief of Staff, she was responsible for a $500 million budget and over 25,000 troops and personnel actively engaged in multiple overseas and homeland deployments and Contingency response operations. She represented the Guard in numerous State Agency and National Guard focus groups addressing the challenges of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and Military Sexual Trauma for returning Veterans and their families as soldiers and airmen returned to their civilian lives but were forever impacted by their experiences on the battlefield.
After retirement in 2014, Dr. Mcnabb studied at Texas A&M, Bush School of Government and earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She actively supports Veteran organizations such as Lone Survivor Foundation and the VFW to overcome the current Veteran Suicide Epidemic and seek the methods and means to address the monumental challenges our Veterans and Military families face every day.
Texas called once more. She returned from retirement to command and re-organize several hundred medical professionals and troops in the Texas State Guard, Medical Component to become the essential medical manpower element to Texas’ Medical Evacuation Air Hubs during disaster. She was the Senior Officer for a massive, total force Air Evacuation Hub during Hurricane Harvey at Bush Intercontinental In less than 48 hrs., they were prepared to move 8000+ hospital patients by military airlift if the regional Hospital system called.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) David Yebra is the Director of the Training and Leader Development Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Prior to coming to TDCJ, he was the Director of Emergency Management at Sam Houston State University. David developed and still facilitates the 9-month long SHSU High-Potential Employee Leadership Academy experience. He is a graduate of West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering Management. He also has a Master of Science Degree in Counseling and Leader Development from Long Island University.
David served the Nation as an Officer in the U.S. Army for 24 years that included three years deployed to combat in Iraq. He is a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was awarded four Bronze Star Medals during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also selected as the U.S. Army Cadet Command Professor of Military Science of the Year in 2011 out of 273 university programs in the country. He received the Legion of Merit upon retirement in 2014.
David continues to serve as a facilitator for leader development events for numerous organizations including the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas’ Leadership Command College and Texas Constables Leadership Course, the Texas Justice Court Training Center, SHSU athletics, and various university and community groups.
David is a native from SE Texas and received both his undergrad degree and MBA from the University of Texas Austin. As the Managing Partner as well as one of the founders of Radical Firearms he has grown the company from it’s infant stages to where it is today. He is also the main proponent of Radical Defense which is a Tier 1 and Tier 2 defense contractor providing mission specific defense solutions to modern day issues.
David is a huge philanthropist, and has donated to multiple foundations such as youth, law enforcement and military based charities.
In his free time, he enjoys travel with his wife and two children.
HONORARY FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS
Master Chief Peter Naschak
Pete was raised in Los Angeles, California and joined the Navy shortly after graduating from Venice High School in 1987. After his initial job training, Pete completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training and became a qualified SEAL in 1989. Pete retired from the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams after a 21-year career, where he held various operational and leadership positions, lived overseas, and participated in military contingency operations throughout the world. His final tour was with SEAL Team FIVE as their Command Master Chief where he got to know Marcus Luttrell. Throughout his career, Pete has had direct experience and involvement with wounded warriors and the families under his care and is dedicated to continuing that support in the future.
After retirement, Pete finished a Master of Science degree in Global Leadership, a qualification as a Project Management Professional, and a certificate in Global Business Management and Strategy. Pete currently runs his own business that focuses on specialized consulting efforts for companies such as Nike, Inc. and Red Bull North America.
Pete lives in San Diego, California with his wife Tanya.
John Folkert, CLU
John joined Northwestern Mutual in 1993 after receiving a degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. Since beginning his career, he has received numerous awards as a consistent top producer nationally with Northwestern. He is a Business and Estate Planning Specialist that works on a National Level. In 2001, John was recognized by Grand Valley State with the distinguished alumni award.
John’s passion for supporting the troops stems from observing and living through the residual effects of Combat…as witnessed through his Grandfather. A WW2 Veteran that endured 3 1/2 years of battle in multiple theaters, leaving him with multiple physical and emotional scars that impacted both his post-combat life, along with his Wife, Children, and Grandchildren. Additionally, as John states, “This is the first time in the history of America that our country has been at war and nothing extra has been asked from the American people. It is time to change that”.
John also serves on the Board of Governors for The Van Andel Institute: A world class Parkinson’s Disease and Cancer Research Facility.
John resides in Byron Center, MI and is married to Melynda and have three children: Parker, Alexis, and Cassidy.
Kala is a native Houstonian and the Vice President of Special Events for the Houston Astros Baseball Club. She is responsible for all non-baseball special events at Minute Maid Park and is in her 12th season with the team. Each year, Kala and her staff are responsible for over 500 events and meetings held at Minute Maid Park throughout the calendar year. Kala and her team have been involved in organizing such events as President George Bush’s 80th Birthday Party, the Rachael Ray Show Weddings of Houston, concerts to include Madonna and Jimmy Buffett and the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in Houston, to name a few. In addition, Kala served as the Co-All Star Week Coordinator with Major League Baseball for the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston. Kala currently serves on the board of directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Texas.
Kala has always had a strong sense of pride for those who serve in the Military. Her father served as a Marine in the Korean War. Her family is so proud of the service he gave to our Country. He held his service in a calm, reserved manner but he has, rightfully so, been proud of what he did for America. With a few photos and his enlistment paperwork hanging on the wall of their family home, it has always served as a constant reminder of those who have given, and currently give so much for us to be free. Kala’s nephew Chris currently serves in the United States Army as a Captain and resides in Germany with her niece Allyson.