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Our Board


Our board members consist of individuals with a diverse background in business who are committed to fulfilling
our mission and seeing the success of each Sentinel within the program. Their leadership
provides guided professionalism and a passion for helping wounded veterans complete
their education and transition into successful post-military careers.

Mike ConklinChairman and CEO
Sentinels of Freedom

“In SOF’s mission, we are meeting our national responsibility as citizens to support those severely wounded veterans who have served and sacrificed to defend our freedom.”

Mike SandyBoard Secretary and CFO
Sentinels of Freedom

“Over the history of our great nation, the price of our freedom and safety has been paid by men and women who were willing to serve. Our wounded veterans have paid a disproportionate share of that burden. Sentinels of Freedom helps give some back by helping these exceptional soldiers in their transition to exceptional civilians.”

Kent StrazzaBoard TreasurerManaging Director
Alternatives Group Franklin Templeton Investments (Retired)

“It is our responsibility as Americans to support those who serve and protect our freedoms. The Sentinels program is about hands-on support for severely injured vets. It prepares them for the future.”

Jason ChurchGraduated Sentinel
State Counsel
Office of US Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

“I may have lost my legs, but the Sentinels program has given me a big step forward into a new life. And importantly, the help we Sentinels get is not temporary, not just a one-time gift … Its benefits are there for the rest of our lives.”

Stacy HadekaSenior Associate in Government Contracts
Hogan Lovells US LLP

“Each Sentinel leaves the program with a new mission, a new purpose, and the support he or she needs to build a great future.”

Mary KingVice President, Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer
Pacific Gas & Electric

“I can tell you from personal experience that transitioning from military to civilian life is not easy. The rules are different. The pace is different. Especially if there’s a significant injury.”

Ron LoweMajor General Ronald Lowe, US Army (retired)
Executive Director of General Contracting (retired) AT&T

“These men and women stepped up to defend America, and they’ve been injured in the line of duty. It’s our obligation to look out for them.”

Chris MarzilliExecutive Vice President
Information Technology and Mission Systems General Dynamics

“I see Sentinels not as a charity but as an investment vehicle. The upside created by unlocking the potential of these veterans is truly ‘off the charts.’”

HT TranGraduated Sentinel
Founder, CEO, and President
DNW Ventures, Inc

“What makes the SOF programs different from other similar programs? SOF has higher expectations — it’s about ‘earning rather than giving.’ That’s why I see our Sentinels as ‘thrivers’ not just ‘survivors.’ ’’

Pete WalshFounder, President, and CEO
Owards LLC

“I like that Sentinels requires its candidates to be accountable — to go back to school or work as soon as their injuries allow. I also like the requirement to meet with a financial planner to get their financial lives in order.”

Dan ColemanDirector of Design
Planning Engineering and Construction for River Islands Development

“I was fortunate to be there at the start of Mike Conklin’s vision for what Sentinels of Freedom would become today. As with many great endeavors, they tend to start with a small simple step. Mike came to my office and expressed his desire to help a local wounded warrior with his need for housing upon his discharge and return home. I was grateful for the opportunity to help and offer him housing.”

Board of Directors Secretary, 2007-2019

“Our focus on ‘education first’ is spot on with what most wounded veterans need most. That includes an individual, hands-on focus on each veteran, including the commitment to support them until they graduate.”

Samantha ChapmanVice President of Programs
Sentinels of Freedom

“Following along the side of our Sentinels journey, from application to graduation and beyond, I have witnessed the growth, success, and positive impact the Bridge for Education program provides. Sentinels of Freedom offers support when the tough situations arise, encouragement along the way, and celebrates as goals are accomplished.”

David HalversonLieutenant General Halverson, U.S. Army (retired)
President of Cypress International

“Without this program, I would not have internal peace or a place to call home. While we all have our ups and downs, life is a bit easier with Sentinels of Freedom. Thank you so much for continuing to support my career and educational needs. For life I will always give thanks to Sentinels of Freedom.”

Richard Casillas
U.S. Army, Bachelors of Sociology from California State University Long Beach