CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Prior to forming, Torres & Associates, LLC, a boutique business-consulting firm offering strategic business solutions to small businesses and emerging companies, he held executive positions in large to mid-size corporations and start-ups in California and Colorado. While an executive of a mid-size company in the greater Los Angeles area, he was a key team member that acquired companies. Further, as a sole Angel investor, he funded emerging companies in California and Arizona.
Mr. Torres also has served as a corporate officer for several small firms in the computer integration space and served as a Board member to privately held companies. He is an active community leader in the greater Scottsdale area. He earned an MBA degree at Pepperdine University and Bachelor of Science degree at Arizona State University. He is also a graduate of Stanford University, Executive Development program.
Mr. Torres co-founded and launched S.E.E.4VETS (Support Education and Employment for Vets) on October 2013. It is an Arizona non-profit corporation, 501 c (3) tax-exempt, public charity. S.E.E.4VETS is the only non-profit veteran organization funding Arizona community colleges to prepare the under-prepared student veteran to improve their academic standing in math, English and writing. The organization is also funding Veteran Upward Bound projects in Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Idaho. He selected an elite-board member team to provide thoughtful performance guidance and governance to the organization’s execution, direction and growth.
Vern M. “Rusty” Findley
VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Vern M. “Rusty” Findley (Lt Gen, USAF, Retired) is an independent consultant specializing in the defense industry and is the President of VMFindley Consulting LLC. He consults for Collins Aerospace, the County of Grand Forks ND, and Applied Aeronautical Systems Inc (AASI). He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for WG Henschen, a distributor and supplier of aircraft hardware. In addition to his volunteer work with SEE4Vets, he also volunteers and serves on the Board of Directors of the Airlift Tanker Association (ATA) as the organization’s Senior Vice President. He is a member of Arizona State University’s Flag Officer Advisory Council volunteering time to provide advice and suggested actions to assist in the pursuit of President Michael Crow’s vision for a New American University. He also volunteers as a member of the Board of Advisors for the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of North Dakota.
General Findley served for 35 years in the United States Air Force and had several command assignments ranging from the Squadron to the Wing level. He commanded the 319 Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks AFB, ND; the 92d Air Expeditionary Wing in the Kosovo conflict; and the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC. His senior level staff tours in the US Air Force include tours of duty as the Director, Plans and Programs (A5) for US Air Forces Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany and Vice Commander, 5th Air Force, Yokota AB, Japan. His joint service time includes tours of duty in Korea as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, US Forces Korea from 1994-1996; in Iraq as the Director, Strategy Plans and Assessments (J5) for the Multi-National Forces Iraq from May of 2005-May of 2006; and as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Programs (J5), US Central Command at MacDill AFB, FL from 2006-2008. He retired as the Vice Commander of Air Mobility Command in December of 2011. His military decorations include 3 Bronze Stars, 3 Legion of Merit Awards, 2 Defense Superior Service Awards and 2 Distinguished Service Awards
Toni Cortright’s background comprised of being in the United States Army as a telecommunications Operations Chief. He served in this role for 21+ years achieving the rank of SFC/E7 (Senior non-Commissioned Officer). Some of his combat tours include Iraq (2 tours), Afghanistan (2 tours), Bosnia, and Kosovo. He retired in October of 2015 and became a Veteran/ College Recruiter helping Veterans and College students transition, bridge the gap, and find fruitful careers.
He currently works at Arizona State University’s W.P Carey School of Business as Assistant Director of Employer Engagement finding companies to come to ASU to recruit college students. His passion is changing lives and helping start, or enhance careers, so fitting into the culture was a no brainer. Toni received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and then a Master’s in Business Administration with a certificate in Hospitality Management. In addition, he enjoys all things travel, cooking, and loves playing basketball.
Dr. Mica R. Endsley
Dr. Mica R. Endsley is President of SA Technologies, a cognitive engineering firm, and is the former Chief Scientist for the US Air Force. She has also held the positions of Visiting Associate Professor at MIT in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University. In addition, she is a Fellow and Past-President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California. She is the founder and former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making and serves on the editorial board for three major journals.
Dr. Endsley has authored over 200 scientific articles and reports on situation awareness, decision making and automation and is recognized internationally for her pioneering work in the design, development and evaluation of systems to support human situation awareness and decision-making, based on her model of situation awareness. This human-centered design approach has been found to be critical to successfully integrating people with advanced technologies and automation in a wide variety of domains. She is co-author of two books, Analysis and Measurement of Situation Awareness and Designing for Situation Awareness.
Kevin M. Hudson
Kevin Hudson (Colonel USMC Ret) is native of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He holds a BS (Chemistry) Radford University, MMS (Military Studies) Marine Corps University, MMS, (Information Operations and National Security Strategy) The National War College. Colonel Hudson served for 26 years in the United States Marine Corps as an Attack Pilot, with multiple deployments and combat tours, achieving every aviation designation and qualification.
During his service he served in command, joint and executive level staff billets, including, Aviation Safety Officer, Weapons and Tactics Officer, Instructor Pilot MAWTS-1, Operations Officer, Tactics Officer, weapons acquisition lead, Commander attack squadron of the year, lead manpower monitor, Global Force Manager for the Secretary of Defense, and head marine aviation manpower, weapons and platforms.
Kevin retired from the Marine Corps in May of 2016 and now resides in Scottsdale, AZ as an Director for YAM Management. He and his wife, Jolie, are active in several veterans, youth athletics and church charity-based organizations.
Justin James graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a BS in Political Science. During his military service, Justin spent 3 of his 5 years on active duty deploying twice to the Persian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and once to South America doing maritime interdiction and counter drug operations. Upon leaving the military in 2007, Justin began working at Pride Transport, Inc., an asset based refrigerated trucking company out of Salt Lake City, Utah, where he currently serves as the Director of Sales. In 2009, he graduated from the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business with a Masters in Business Administration(MBA).
In the summer of 2014, Justin and his family relocated to Litchfield Park, Arizona. Over the past eight years, Justin has served in a variety of leadership roles including: President of the Wigwam Country Club(2 years), Planning & Zoning Board Member for the City of Litchfield Park(3 years), Chairman of the Patriot All America Invitational(2 years), and most recently as President of the West Valley Mavericks Foundation. Justin resides in Litchfield Park with his wife(Denise) and two children(Kayson and Kallie).
Recently retired from American Express will over thirty years of experience in the financial service industry spanning roles from operations analyst, business analyst, quality assurance manager and product and compliance manager working with business, travel and technology groups. He also is a current Board member and former president of the AEGA golf league supporting over 200 members, organizing tournaments and team competitions.
Originally from upstate New York and a graduate from Canisius College with a degree in Accounting, David started his career with Household Finance in Rochester, New York, and eventually managed the office in Waterford Connecticut. He later moved on to Fleet Mortgage Corporation in Manchester, Connecticut prior to relocating with Fleet to Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly after the relocation, he began his career with American Express.
A volunteer opportunity in 2017 at American Express lead David to his relationship with S.E.E.4VETS. Since that time, David’s roles and responsibilities have increased allowing him to combine two of his passions, golf and charitable work.
Runs P2 Consulting Services, LLC firm for Government related processes and programs. Primary focus is on the development of human dimension capabilities in the Cognitive, Physical and Belief Domains. Retired after 8 years as director of the General Dynamics EDGE Innovation Network which served as a key construct for General Dynamics innovation efforts. This innovation network managed over a 1000 companies, universities and research labs that supported General Dynamics and government programs and at one point 13 EDGE Innovation Centers both nationally and internationally.
Prior to joining General Dynamics, Pete performed over 32 years of active service as a commissioned officer in the United States Army, retiring in 2009 as a Brigadier General. His experience in the Army includes a wide range of command and staff assignments in the Infantry, training and education both stateside and abroad. His Joint and Coalition experiences include four tours in NATO (Germany), Kosovo and Iraq. In 2005, Pete was assigned to serve as the ARCIC Director of Accelerated Capabilities Development. He managed a broad capabilities development portfolio with responsibility for the development and integration of Dept of the Army future and current forces capabilities documents as well as Science and Technology capability documents for the Army and Joint and Multi-National forces.
Pete received his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the United States Military Academy, MA in National Securities studies from the University of California San Bernardino, MMAS in Operations and MMAS Operational Art. His volunteer service includes: AZ AUSA EXCOM, SEE4Vets, Veterans Heritage Project Boards.
VICE CHAIRMAN – ELECT
Ian Parkinson graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Graphic Information Technology, Summa Cum Laude. Prior to attending ASU, Ian took classes at Scottsdale Community College, where he experienced and witnessed first-hand the challenges student veterans face at the community college level. In the service, Ian served as an infantryman, achieved the rank of sergeant, and served two overseas assignments: South Korea (non-combat), and Afghanistan (combat). While in Afghanistan, Ian lost both of his legs due to an IED (improvised explosive device). Notable awards/decorations include: Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and Jump Wings.
Ian worked as a web developed for 11 years, and currently works as a full-time public speaker. He remains active in the veteran community, most prominently as a state officer for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Ian also worked with the Wounded Warrior Project as a mentor where he met with recently wounded service members, and coached them in their medical transitions through therapy and life.
Gary Schleuger currently serves as CEO and President of Pioneer Government Affairs LLC with operations in Phoenix AZ and Washington DC; he also serves as Senior Advisor to Bose Public Affairs Group in Washington DC. Previously, as Vice President of Government Affairs and Assistant General Counsel at Universal Technical Institute Inc. (NYSE:UTI), he led all corporate government affairs activities from the Scottsdale headquarters and also managed the company’s Washington DC office.
Gary has worked in the field of higher education for the past 25 years, primarily lobbying the U.S. Congress and the Administration on provisions pertaining to the Higher Education Act and other legislation affecting institutions of higher education, veterans, student lending, banking, taxes and related issues. Gary currently serves on the Advisory Boards for Global Kids and Americans for Affordable College. Additionally, in 2013 he was appointed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as a Commissioner to the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education; he was unanimously confirmed by the Arizona State Senate and served until mid-2015.
Gary received his Juris Doctorate from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver where he was awarded the College of Law Scholastic Excellence Award. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, and is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Gary serves on the SEE4Vets Board in honor of his late uncle, LCPL Patrick Joseph Hannon, 2ND PLT, I CO, 3RD BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF, United States Marine Corps, who was killed in action in Vietnam when Gary was 3 years old. Pat was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the VFW (#4666) in his hometown of Littleton Colorado is named in his honor.
BOARD MEMBER & TREASURER
Ira works as a Senior Financial Advisor and Registered Principal with Wells Fargo Advisors FiNet, LLC and recently celebrated his 28th year in the industry. He started his financial services career as a Financial Advisor with Dean Witter in 1991, and was subsequently recruited to both Prudential Securities and A.G. Edwards. Ira started his own Branch in July 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona where he works to help individual investors achieve their financial goals as they transition to retirement.
Ira grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a B.S. in Business with an emphasis in Finance. Upon graduation, he accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was stationed in Tustin, California at Marine Air Group (MAG) – 16. Ira deployed aboard the USS Belleau Wood with Helicopter Squadron HMM-161, and served in Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm. Ira departed the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1991 as a Captain, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.
Committed to improving his community, Ira serves on several local Non-Profit Boards, and is a two-time Past President and Board Member of the Phoenix Squaw Peak Rotary Club. He graduated from the exclusive Phoenix Division FBI Citizens Academy in April of 2016, and is a current member of the Phoenix FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
Still a proud Marine, Ira works tirelessly on a number of Veteran and Marine Corps causes. He sat on the Board of The Veterans Directory, and has been a committed 10 year member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s Arizona Scarlet & Gold committee and is a two-time past Co-Chair of the Arizona Awards Dinner. Additionally, Ira has hosted the Annual Phoenix Marine Corps Birthday Luncheon for the past 24 years.
Scott has over forty years of experience in the financial service industry as an investment advisor working with both businesses and individuals. At one time he had grown his client base to over 2700 accounts. His focus now is on fewer managed portfolios. He is an independent advisor using Cambridge Investment Research as the broker dealer.
Originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin and a football athlete captain graduate from University of Wisconsin at Whitewater with a degree in Business Marketing, Scott started his career with Proctor and Gamble Institutional division in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1979 he moved to Scottsdale and began his financial services career. He can tell you when the intersection of Scottsdale Rd. and Shea Blvd. was just a four-way stop. He also remembers when there was land between the cities.
Scott took up golf in 1996 and joined Ancala Country Club in 2010. On Veteran’s Day they advertised that vets play free. Scott called a few of his friends who are vets and invited them to play. Since then he has been the leader, organizer and driver to make sure this tournament continues. One hundred forty players played last year, S.E.E. 4 Vets was the charity organization chosen for the second year, and a PTSD program speaker was introduced. Scott is a man of action and passion. He like to get things done.
James A Symonds
Rear Admiral Jim Symonds served in the US Navy as a bombardier/navigator and then pilot in A-6 Intruder aircraft over a span of eighteen years, including five squadron tours and six deployments. In 1995 he attended Navy Nuclear Power Training and was assigned as Executive Officer of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and made a Mediterranean/Arabian Gulf deployment in 1998. In 1999 he assumed command of USS NASHVILLE (LPD 13), an amphibious ship in which he deployed with US Marines onboard in 2000. In August of 2003 he assumed command of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76), a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. He was promoted to Rear Admiral (lower half) in 2005 and finished his career as Commander, Navy Region Northwest. He retired in 2010 after 35 years in the Navy.
Upon retiring to Arizona, Admiral Symonds volunteered to work with several non-profit organizations assisting Veterans in their transition to civilian life. He founded Golf for Warriors, with a retired US Air Force officer, and they provide free golf lessons to all Veterans. Admiral Symonds joined SEE4Vets as a Board Member in 2015.