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Board of Directors

J. Darrell Lynn – Founder and Chairman

Darrell Lynn spent the majority of his career building an International Company with offices around the world. In 2000 he took this public company private through a leveraged buyout. During his tenure as President, CEO, and Chairman, he oversaw an aggressive expansion effort resulting in the start-up and growth of many related companies. In 2007 he orchestrated the sale of this private company to a Philadelphia based public company, thus allowing him the time to move forward with his passion of finding a way to give to others. Hero Portraits was formed by Darrell and his wife Kimberly, in early 2009 and is now serving to provide support and comfort to so many American Heroes.

Prior to taking his company private in 2000, he was on the Executive Board of a $1.5 billion public company listed on the NYSE. Some of his specific areas of expertise include Management Buy-Outs, new market research, global Licensing Agreements, and strategic partnerships.

Mr. Lynn graduated Cum Laude from the University of Memphis in Finance, and continued his professional executive education through concentrated Executive training at UCLA (Mergers and Acquisitions) and Duke University (Strategic Growth Management).

Michael D. Lynn, CEM, CME, CMM, CMP, CPC

Michael D. Lynn has been the Director of Marketing Communications, Exhibitions, Events and Protocol at L-3 Communications Integrated Systems since 2000. He is a very accomplished businessman, pilot and has served in many prestigious positions within the military.

Among the many accomplishments during Mike's career in the United States Air Force, he served as Program Manager and Chief Flight Engineer of Aircraft Modification and Flight Test. In this capacity, he supervised and managed the acquisition, development, retrofit, and delivery of Boeing aircraft specially configured for the President and Vice President of the United States. Mr. Lynn also served as crew member to the U.S. President, Vice President, and Senior U.S. and Foreign Dignitaries.

In his present position with L-3 Communications, he contributes strong organizational talent and long-range planning for the more than 200 exhibitions, events, conventions and high-level protocol functions performed annually. Mike is also responsible for the C-2J JCA Team exhibition program, a joint venture between L-3 Communications and Aliena, at over 30 annual events.

Mr. Lynn was the consultant for the movie "Air Force One" with Harrison Ford. Mr. Lynn has been ranked as one of the Top 5 Exhibit and Event Professionals by Exhibitor Magazine. He is recognized as a guest speaker, trainer and mentor by his industry.

Monica Skipper

Monica SkipperMonica Skipper is Vice President, Brand Experience Marketing for FedEx, a world leader in transportation, e-commerce and business services. FedEx is one of the world’s most respected brands, with operations in 220 countries and territories, annual revenues of $50 billion and a workforce of more than 400,000 team members. Over the past decade, Fortune Magazine has consistently ranked FedEx in the top 15 of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Monica leads Brand Experience Marketing with responsibility for building the brand and experiences supporting it through Advertising, Sponsorship Marketing and Global Brand Management.

Monica joined FedEx as a Senior Marketing Specialist in 2000, was promoted to Marketing Manager on the small business team in 2001, where she was awarded the Five Star, the highest honor at FedEx. She has served in various Marketing Manager roles, including Retail Marketing, Brand Communications and Brand Strategy before going on to become Managing Director of Global Brand Management in 2011. She has led the Brand Experience Marketing team since 2014. Prior to joining FedEx, Monica’s experience was database and direct marketing for financial services.

She holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Memphis. A native New Orleanian, she resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and their daughter Ansley where they are active in their community. She believes to whom much is given, much is expected. With her husband, she created a 501c3, Kole’s Club, supporting families whose children are being treated at St Jude. She serves as Chairman of the Board. She co-chaired the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis fundraiser luncheon, and has lent her branding expertise to other non-profits: Church Health Center, American Red Cross and Morarka Organic of India.

When Monica is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends at the lake and cheering on the New Orleans Saints.

Cody B. Tellis, J.D., LL.M.

Cody TellisCody, a Senior Financial Advisor for Ultra high net worth clients, at Merrill Lynch. He manages a team of solid professionals including a dedicated Customer service associate, Business development officer, financial planner, and portfolio manager that within years of inception manages several hundred million in AUM.

Extensive experience with risk management, financial planning for children and second generation, estate planning and review, lending and banking solutions. Inclusive of Financial planning / application and budgeting; generational wealth succession and planning for families including family home office planning and family mission statements.

Prior to becoming a Merrill Lynch Cody was an executive at Fifth Third Bank. Again, working with ultra-high net worth clientele management within a team of eleven bank officers and administrative associates. Prior to Fifth Third he held Executive Management experience at BB&T in the Western Kentucky and Nashville Markets.

Cody’s education is far reaching and includes:

  • Juris Doctorate from Trinity International, Orange County California 2002
  • Masters in Law and Tax Thomas Jefferson University, San Diego 2005

American BAR Association Specialties:

  • United States Tax 2004
  • Trust and Estate Planning 2005
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Compliance 2005
  • International Tax Planning 2005

His Professional Associations and Community involvement include but certainly not limited too:

  • Nashville Estate Planning Council 2011 to Present
  • Kentucky Estate Planning Council 2009 to Present
  • Unlock the Champion Chairman Board of Directors 2011
  • Member American Academy of Financial Managers
  • Member Royal Society of Fellows
  • Member International Association of Registered Financial Consultants
  • Member Tennessee Heritage Association
  • Family Affairs Ministry (teaching financial management to inner city youth)
  • Teach classes in financial management at WKU.

His Professional Licenses and Certifications include:

  • Series 7, 66, Property and Casualty, Life / Whole Life and Annuity, NMLS
  • Master Financial Professional
  • Chartered Asset Manager
  • Certified Trust and Estate Planner
  • Chartered Wealth Manager
  • Chartered International Tax Analyst
  • Chartered Anti-Money Laundering Consultant
  • Registered Financial Consultant

Cody is married and lives in Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN and has 2 beautiful girls. He is an avid and experienced vintage motorcycle restoration expert.

Our Mission

Board of Directors

Honorary Board

General Burwell B. Bell, U.S. Army (Retired) General Richard Cody Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates, SC, USNR (Retired) Charlie-Daniels Julie Gold Kelsey Grammer Jamie Huysman The Judds John Ondrasik Geraldo Rivera Marlon Shirley General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret) Past Honorary Board Members

Financial Advisors


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