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Honorary Board

General Burwell B. Bell, U.S. Army (Retired)

General Burwell B. Bell

General B. B. Bell retired from the U.S. Army on August 1, 2008 following thirty nine years of service. He concluded his military career at the four star general officer level as Commanding General of United States, Allied, and United Nations Forces in Korea. Prior to Korea, General Bell served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army in Europe, and simultaneously commanded NATO's Land Component in Heidelberg, Germany. As a lieutenant general, General Bell commanded the Army's Third Corps headquartered at Ft. Hood, Texas; and as a Major General he commanded the U.S. Army's Armor Center at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

General Bell is a lifetime member of the New York based Council on Foreign Relations. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chattanooga, and holds a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He has been awarded three Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Maryland, University College; Keimyung University, Republic of Korea; and the University of Tennessee.

General Bell was commissioned an Armor/Tank Officer in the Regular Army through the Army ROTC program in 1969. He was an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. General Bell spent nearly fifteen of his thirty-nine years of military service overseas, serving in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in both peace and war.

General Bell received the following awards: The Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit (4 Oak Leaf Clusters); Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Commendation Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters); NATO Meritorious Service Medal; Polish Army Medal (Gold Award); Spanish Great Cross on Distinguished Military Service; the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; and the Order of National Security Merit, Tongil Medal, Republic of Korea. He was also awarded the Army Ranger Tab and the Army General Staff Identification Badge.

General Bell has received the following recognition: Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow (two awards); University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Distinguished Alumni Award (2003); Member, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Alumni Board and Chancellor's Roundtable Board; Member Board of Directors, Military Child Education Coalition; and Honorary Rock of the Year (2005), National Organization of the Rocks.

General Richard A. Cody, U.S. Army (Retired)

General Richard A. Cody

Richard A. Cody became a four-star General in the United States Army. He served as the 31st Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from June 24, 2004 to July 31, 2008. He retired from the Army on August 1, 2008.

General Cody was born in Montpelier, Vermont, on 2 August 1950. He was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation in 1972 from the United States Military Academy.

Prior to his current assignment, General Cody spent 32 years in a variety of command and staff assignments, most recently serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3, United States Army. Other key assignments include Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell; Director, Operations, Readiness and Mobilization, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Headquarters, Department of the Army; Deputy Commanding General, Task Force Hawk, Tirana, Albania, and Commander 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

General Cody has served several tours with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as Commander, 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (Attack) during Operation Desert Storm; Aviation Brigade Executive Officer, 101st Aviation Brigade; Battalion Executive Officer and Company Commander in the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion, and Battalion S-3 in the 55th Attack Helicopter Battalion. He served as a platoon leader in the 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry and A Company (Attack), 24th Aviation Battalion and as Commander, E Company (AVIM), 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia.

General Cody and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, both serving as commissioned officers in the United States Army.

Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates, SC, USNR (Retired)

Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates

Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates, SC, USNR (Retired), a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1963 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a commission through the NROTC (Supply Option) Program. Upon graduation from the Navy Supply Corps School in November 1963, he served in USS PAWCATUCK (AO-108) as Assistant Supply Officer.

Upon release from active duty in December 1965, Rear Admiral Crates returned home and joined the family business, SIMCO (later Crates) Leather Co., Inc. as Executive Vice President. He retired from that business in 1992 and is currently involved in civic volunteer activities. Rear Admiral Crates has been recalled to temporary active duty four times including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he served as Deputy Commander, Navy Cargo Handling Force. He has attended Harvard University's National Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Naval War College Junior Command and Staff Course, and the Army War College Senior Reserve Officer Course. He was selected for flag rank in 1992 and was promoted to Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in 1996. Rear Admiral Crates retired from the Naval Reserve on April 1, 2000 after 38 years of distinguished Naval service.

Rear Admiral Crates served in a wide variety of Naval Reserve logistics billets including: Supply Officer, 20TH Reserve Naval Construction Regiment; Assistant Director of Logistics, Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region Seven; Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Cargo Handling Battalion Four; Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Naval Supply Center Charleston, Headquarters A 107; Chief of Staff, Naval Reserve Cargo Handling Force; Command Evaluation Officer, Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region Nine. Flag Officer assignments include: Deputy Commander, Logistics Task Force Atlantic; Commander, Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Fleet Supply and Ordnance, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Commander, Logistics Task Force Pacific; Commander, Naval Logistics Forces Korea; and Assistant Commander for Mobilization, Naval Supply Systems Command. Rear Admiral Crates participated in numerous logistics war games and served as a pillar head for three CNO (N-4) sponsored Naval Logistics War games conducted at the Naval War College. He served as a member of the Secretary of the Navy's National Naval Reserve Policy Board from 1994 to 1997. Rear Admiral Crates has been awarded the Legion of Merit (with three gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, other service awards and holds the Seabee Combat Warfare Officer designation.

A Life Member of the Navy Supply Corps Association, he served as national President in 1988-89 and national President of the Navy Supply Corps Foundation, Inc. in 1996-2000. Other military activities include: Past Council and Area President, and Current Region President of the Navy League; Past President, Sixth Naval District, Naval Reserve Association; Past President, Tennessee Department, Reserve Officers Association; and Vice President, Chattanooga Chapter, Military Officer's Association of America.

Civic activities include: Past President, World Trade Council of Chattanooga; Past Chairman, East Chattanooga Council of the Chamber of Commerce; Past Chairman, St. Matthew's Night Shelter for homeless men; Past Vice President and a Board Member of the Hosanna Community of Chattanooga, a home for the physically challenged; a Volunteer, and past Chairman of the Board of the Greater Chattanooga Area Food Bank; Secretary and board member, Greater Chattanooga Area Crime Stoppers; a volunteer of the Episcopal Metropolitan Ministry; Secretary, Treasurer and Board Member of the In-As-Much Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church; Chairman of the City of Chattanooga's Board of Sign Appeals; President (Elect) of the North River Rotary Club, Member and Clerk of the Vestry, St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He was selected for a McCallie School Alumni Achievement Award in 2004. He also taught at Chattanooga State Technical Community College as an adjunct instructor in the Behavioral Science Division.

A widower, RADM Crates was married to the late Dr. Gladys Hayes Crates, Retired Professor of Mathematics and Dean of the Arts, Sciences and Humanities Divisions at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. He has two sons: Robert B. Crates of Fort Worth, Texas and Dr. John M. Crates, an orthopedic surgeon, of Plano, Texas. He is the very proud grandfather of three granddaughters, Chandler, Cameron and Campbell.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is partly Western and partly Southern. His signature "bull rider" hat and belt buckle, his lifestyle on Twin Pines Ranch (a boyhood dream come true), his love of horses, cowboy lore and the heroes of championship rodeo, Western movies, and Louis L'Amour novels, identify him as a Westerner. The son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth, his music - rock, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel – is quintessentially Southern.

It hasn't been so much a style of music, but more the values consistently reflected in several styles that have connected Charlie Daniels with millions of fans. For decades, he has steadfastly refused to label his music as anything other than "CDB music," music that has been popularized on a variety of radio formats. Like so many great American success stories, the Charlie Daniels saga begins in rural obscurity. Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville's 50,000-watt mega broadcasters WLAC and WSM.

While enroute to California in 1959 the group paused in Texas to record "Jaguar," an instrumental produced by the Bob Johnston, which was picked up for national distribution by Epic. The two wrote "It Hurts Me," which became the B-side of a 1964 Presley hit. In 1969, Daniels moved to middle Tennessee to find work as a session guitarist in Nashville. Among his more notable sessions were the Bob Dylan albums of 1969-70 Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait. Daniels produced the Youngbloods albums of 1969-70 Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind.

Daniels broke through as a record maker, himself, with 1973's Honey In the Rock and its hit song "Uneasy Rider." His rebel anthems "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The South's Gonna Do It" propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to multi-Platinum status.

Following stints with Capitol and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in New York in 1976. The contract, reportedly worth $3 million, was the largest ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979 Daniels rewarded the company's faith by delivering "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," which became a Platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became an international phenomenon, earned three Country Music Association trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniel's Million Mile Reflections album to Triple Platinum sales levels. The CDB was voted as the Academy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year Music in both 1980 and 1981. Daniels was the recipient of The ACM's prestigious Pioneer Award in 1998, and in 1997, Daniels and manager, David Corlew started Blue Hat Records.

On Saturday night, January 19th, 2008, Charlie's life long dream became a reality. He was inducted as a full-fledged member into the Grand Ole Opry. "It is an honor that I can't begin to articulate, there is no way I can express what it means to me", says Daniels. "I pursued my dream in music and by the goodness of God have been able to have a wonderful career, which has spanned fifty+ years". "I have been blessed with Gold, Platinum and Multiplatinum albums, I have appeared many times on network television, even in moving pictures. I have won multiple awards from The Country Music Association, The Academy of Country Music, The Gospel Music Association and even a Grammy. I have even played on the Grand Ole Opry many times. But I was always on the outside looking in. I was always a guest, never a member.""Ain't God good"!!!!!!!!!!

In 2009, Charlie Daniels was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame along with Chet Atkins, Billy Cox, Dick Dale, Victor Feldman, Fred Foster, Paul Riser, and Toto. Dickey Betts, former guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, hosted Daniels' induction in Nashville. The CDB performed a tight performance that included "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

That same year, Music City awarded Daniels with a star on the Walk of Fame along with other 2009 honorees, Dolly Parton, Kid Rock, Tootsie Bess, and Ernest Tubb at the official unveiling of commemorative sidewalk markers on at the Hall of Fame Park in downtown Nashville.

"I used to say, 'I'm not an outlaw, I'm an outcast,'" says the Grammy Award winning star. "When it gets right down to the nitty gritty, I've just tried to be who I am. I've never followed trends or fads. I couldn't even if I tried. I can't be them; I can't be anybody but me. CDB music is purely American music with something for everyone, At least that's what I've hope for in my 50+ years in music."

Julie Gold

Julie Gold

Julie Gold is a New York singer/songwriter. She is best known for Bette Midler's version of her ballad song "From a Distance" which won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1991. Other artists who have covered Julie Gold songs include Patti LaBelle, Patti LuPone, Lea Salonga and Andrea Marcovicci.

Nanci Griffith, the first to record "From a Distance", has also recorded Gold's songs "Heaven", "Southbound Train", "Good Night New York", and "Mountain of Sorrow".

Gold's Grammy Nominated lyric "We're 4 New York" is currently running on the local NBC affiliate. Her song "Thanks to You" was featured in the motion picture Andre, and her song "Dream Loud" was featured in the motion picture Unfaithful, starring Richard Gere. "Dream Loud" is also a favorite song of The Girl Scouts of America.

Julie Gold is originally from Philadelphia; she graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1974 and from 1990 to 1994, she was a member of Four Bitchin' Babes, along with Christine Lavin, Megon McDonough, and Sally Fingerett.

Kelsey Grammar

Kelsey Grammar

Hero Portraits welcomes to it's Honorary Board Mr. Kelsey Grammar.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, Grammer is the first actor in television history to receive multiple Emmy nominations for performing the same role on three series. He received two nominations for his original portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane on "Cheers" (1982), another for his guest appearance in that role on "Wings" (1990), and nine nominations (earning four awards) as Outstanding Actor for his work on "Frasier" (1993). Over the years, Dr. Frasier Crane has become one of television's most endearing and enduring characters.

In addition to his Emmys, Grammer has won two Golden Globe Awards, two American Comedy Awards and a People's Choice Award for his portrait. Grammer's distinctive voice has been heard in several hit animated features, including the voice of "Stinky Pete" in Disney's hit Toy Story 2 (1999) and a part in Anastasia (1997). On television, he has also been seen in several mini-series and movies. In 1996, he hosted an hour-long salute to Jack Benny for which he served as executive producer. He also starred in HBO's award-winning The Pentagon Wars (1998) (TV).

Born in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Grammer was raised by his mother and grandfather in New Jersey and then Florida. After his grandfather's death, Grammer was drawn to the works of William Shakespeare and spent two years at the prestigious Juilliard School. He then dove into the world of regional theater, eventually making the leap to Broadway with roles in "Macbeth" and "Othello." He joined the cast of "Cheers" (1982) in 1984. His autobiography, "So Far", was published in fall 1995. He most recently was seen on Broadway in the hit musical La Cage Aux Folles. Grammar has also been a long time supporter of the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jamie Huysman

Jamie Huysman

Jamie Huysman, PsyD, LCSW, CAP, CFT has dedicated his career to supporting the resilience of the human spirit. In the 80's he championed those with addictions and other mental health challenges. In the 90's he became the "Robin Hood of Talk TV," creating TV Aftercare™, which provided nearly 7 million dollars of free follow up care for guests from talk, court and reality television shows. Now his passion and commitment is focused on the fastest emerging, under-served phenomena in our culture – the caregiver.

He created the Leeza's Place program, a psycho-social, community drop in model providing free services and support for family caregivers on behalf of the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, which he co-founded in 2002.

Dr Jamie, LCSW, is an official spokesperson for the National Association of Social Workers and sits on their committee to establish national protocols for certification and standardization of caregiving practices.

A noted author, Jamie co-wrote the caregiving tome Take Your Oxygen First and contributed to The Healing Project's Voices of Caregiving and Voices of Alcoholism.

He also writes a blog for Psychology Today called "Life in the Recovery Room."

Dr. Huysman serves as an adjunct professor at Florida International University, clinically overseeing Doctoral students throughout South Florida. Maintaining a private practice in Miami and Hollywood, FL, he runs wellness workshops and intensives for organizations, professionals and family caregivers.

His website is

The Judds

The Judds

The Judds were recently heralded by Billboard Magazine as the 15th most influential country music act of the last 25 years. Starting with their 1984 chart topper "Mama, He's Crazy," the duo notched 14 number one hits at country radio ranging from the sassy tale of love gone wrong, "Have Mercy," to the rural themes of family and home found in "Young Love." The hits kept coming and so did the accolades. Their trophy cases carry the weight of more than 60 industry awards, including five Grammys, nine CMA Awards and eight ACM Awards to name just a few. With over 20 million albums sold to date, The Judds became one of the nation's top concert draws. By the time they released their fifth LP, 1990's Love Can Build a Bridge, it seemed The Judds were unstoppable.

The duo's upward momentum came to a halt in October 1990 as Naomi announced she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and would retire following a farewell tour. That 116-city trek made The Judds country music's top grossing act of 1991 and led to Their Final Concert, which became the highest rated pay-per-view special of all time.

The end of that chapter in The Judds' story was only the beginning of a dazzling second act for both women. After Hepatitis C threatened to end not just Naomi's hard won career, but also her life, she fully recovered and penned her bestselling memoir, 1993's Love Can Build a Bridge. Naomi went on to author a total of eight books, including three bestsellers from adult titles to children's books, hosted her own radio and television shows and joined the speaker circuit recounting her inspirational story of survival. Her post-tour plans include opening a state-of-the-art neuroscience treatment facility in Franklin, Tennessee.

Wynonna embarked on a wildly successful solo career earning four number one hits from her self-titled 1992 project, which was the bestselling country album ever by a female artist at that time. In 1994, Wynonna received the coveted Top Female Vocalist of the Year trophy at the ACM Awards, and Rolling Stone called her "the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline." Though her roots have always been firmly planted in country music, Wynonna has shared the stage with music icons such as The Rolling Stones, U2, and Sting along the way. Engaging the soulful, bluesy side of her voice only hinted at with The Judds, Wynonna went on to sell more than 10 million albums and reach new creative heights with six chart toppers of her own. In 2005, she added New York Times bestselling author to her long list of accomplishments with the release of her memoir, Coming Home to Myself. Wynonna plans to release her first novel, Restless Heart, in February 2011, which follows the rise of a young Kentucky girl as she pursues her musical dreams.

No matter how glittering Wynonna's duet partners have been, none of them could match the spark produced when she teamed up with Naomi again. That magic was evident as the duo reunited for a sold out one-off concert on New Year's Eve 2000 in Phoenix, Arizona, which turned into the full-fledged Power to Change tour, sponsored by Kmart.

10 years later, The Judds are gearing up for their final victory lap, putting a coda on their three-decade journey. Though this 18 city Winter tour is billed as The Last Encore, their fans know it's never really the end with Wynonna and Naomi. The creative energy also spilled over in to the studio where they've recorded several new songs capturing what The Judds would sound like today had they never stopped recording. They'll be included on Wynonna's highly anticipated eighth solo project, due out Fall 2010 via Curb Records.

John Ondrasik

John Ondrasik

If every album provides snapshots of where an artist's mind at heart is at the moment, Slice, the latest offering from John Ondrasik (aka Five for Fighting), is a collection of digital jpegs and faded Polaroids. The album takes stories of friends, family and even American servicemen, and sets them to music shot through with the spirit of the great songs of his youth. It's a diary, or a blog, in which Ondrasik speaks his mind about current issues, experiences and sentiments, while setting those thoughts to piano, bass and drums.

The title track, featuring Ondrasik's soaring falsetto, comes from a daydream that we've all had at some point in our lives—that moment when we long for a simpler time when life seemed better and the songs were bigger. It's a sly play on one of those grand songs, Don McClean's "American Pie": "There was a time a long, long time ago/Chevies and levies played on the radio/No cell phones just 20,000 lights, swaying on a Saturday night."

Academy Award-winning composer Steven Schwartz (who penned the songs for acclaimed musicals such as Wicked, Godspell and Pippin), helped Ondrasik bring the idea to fruition, co-writing "Slice" (as well as the song "Above the Timberline"). "We sat down at a coffee shop to talk about writing together," says Ondrasik, " I told him about my idea for 'Slice," and 'American Pie' actually came on the radio. It was surreal. Stephen immediately wrote the first two lines on a napkin, and we were off and running.

"I've been a fan of Five for Fighting since I first heard 'Superman'," says Schwartz, "and then was blown away by '100 Years.' I got the full CDs and was really impressed by John Ondrasik's writing—great tunes and smart and surprising lyrics. So naturally I didn't hesitate a moment when John asked me to co-write a couple of songs with him. It was, as I expected, great collaborating with him—experiencing first-hand his musicality and gift for melody, his incisive way with words, and the passion and care he puts into each of his songs."

The release of Slice is being led with first single "Chances," a sweeping, grand pop song with a simple message: "Until you crash what have you done/Is there a better bet than love." Says Ondrasik, "It's all about taking the swing—there's beauty in the scars."

The celebrated, Southern California-born singer/songwriter's fifth album under the Five for Fighting banner, Slice finds Ondrasik spreading his creative wings, ever so gently incorporating his love for classic R&B on songs like "Love Can't Change the Weather" and even firing up a Marshall stack on "Transfer." Lyrically, he honors his family ("Story of Your Life" was written for his wife of 12 years), friends and personal heroes, from fitness pioneer Augie Nieto to American servicemen serving around the world. If it's a tribute to a bygone era, Slice, the follow-up to 2006's Two Lights, is also an accurate and well-rounded snapshot of who Ondrasik is at the moment, as an artist. Produced by Ondrasik and Gregg Wattenberg, and partially tracked at his Southern California home, the album features sweeping statement songs like the title track, but quiets on sparse ballads like "This Dance" and the ageless "Hope," before ramping up again on tracks like "Note to the Unknown Soldier".

It was of course his tender playing and touching vocal on the Grammy-nominated "Superman"—from the Five for Fighting album America Town (2000) — which thrust Ondrasik into the national spotlight eight years ago. While written and released well before 9/11, "Superman" has endeared Ondrasik to the survivors and families of those lost in that tragedy, as well as to servicemen serving around the world.

The events of 9/11 are at the core of the Slice song "Tuesday," on which Ondrasik sings: "The thing about memories/They're sure and bound to fade/Except for the stolen souls/Left upon her blade". Ondrasik explains: "That song isn't 'Superman Part 2,' there's none of that in there. It's much more of a plea for us to not forget the lessons we learned that day."

Ondrasik's relationship with those survivors and families has led to life-changing experiences and celebrated philanthropic work for the singer, who has since found performed USO concerts around the world. His audiences have included General David Petraeus and the National Guardsmen at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ondrasik also conceived and produced For the Troops, a series of compilations featuring superstar recording artists that are available for free to every active service member in the U.S. Armed Forces (the forthcoming collection, For The Troops III, will feature comedians exclusively). Ondrasik's charity work doesn't stop there. His site collects money for various charities.

The singer's ongoing support of servicemen and women, and his dedication to his own wife and children, even led to him receiving a special fatherhood award from the National Fatherhood Initiative's 2009 Military Fatherhood Award Ceremony. Married with a daughter and son, Ondrasik says it was actually his devotion to all three and his desire to stay home that is to blame for the new album taking a little longer than previous albums. That, and of course the fact that he fills his life with myriad projects, from writing a column for Sports Illustrated to co-writing with the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Josh Groban, and scoring music for such films as August Rush and Chicken Little.

It's all a culmination of a life literally spent playing music. Born in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley and raised in a musical family, Ondrasik was just two when he started playing piano, later adding guitar. Yet it wasn't for almost three decades (and four years after the release of the debut Five for Fighting album, Message for Albert), before he became a mainstream star via "Superman" from the critically lauded America Town album, which Ondrasik and company followed up in 2004 with The Battle for Everything, a springboard for the classic "100 Years." Ondrasik's songs "Superman," "100 Years," "World," and "Freedom Never Cries" continue to endure in America's songbook proving Ondrasik's ability to stand the musical test of time.

"Every round I try to write the best songs I can, and perhaps step out of the box a bit. To me, records are about offering my worldview while providing sentiments to which people may attach themselves or escape into. Slice is where I've come from, where I am, and a few scraps I've picked up in between. All in a slice of time."

Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera is currently host of "Geraldo at Large" on FOX News Channel (FNC). Most recently, his program is nationally syndicated by Twentieth Television.

Previously, Rivera was a war correspondent at FOX News Channel (FNC), which he joined in November 2001. He was immediately stationed in Afghanistan to cover Operation Enduring Freedom and later in Bethlehem to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most recently, he covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to that, he secured an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson on the evening before his trial for child molestations charges, and also covered the Iraqi elections from Baghdad.

Rivera began his career as a reporter for WABC-TV in New York where he presented a series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School for the mentally ill. These award-winning reports led to a government investigation and the institution was eventually shut down.

He then began an eight-year association with ABC's "20/20" as an investigative reporter. One of his hour-long reports, "The Elvis Cover-Up" was for more than two decades "20/20's" highest rated show. In 1987, Geraldo began producing and hosting "The Geraldo Rivera Show" for 11 years. In 1998, he hosted a series of investigative specials on NBC.

Mr. Rivera has received more than 170 awards for journalism, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, three national and seven local Emmys, two Columbia-DuPont and two additional Scripps Howard Journalism Awards. In 2000, he won his third Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Prior to joining FOX News, Rivera served as host of CNBC's number-one rated prime time show, "Rivera Live," where his critically-acclaimed coverage of the O.J. Simpson civil trial verdict set an all-time CNBC ratings record.

Rivera is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Brooklyn Law School and is the author of seven books.

Marlon Shirley

Marlon Shirley

Marlon Shirley is one of the fastest amputees in the world. He is the first T44 class athlete to break the 11-second barrier in the 100 meters (10.97), he is hungry to compete against the top world-class able-bodied sprinters. This four-time World Champion, two-time Paralympics Gold Medalist and multiple World Record Holder, is one of the most inspiring athletes in the sports world today. Mr. Shirley has also run the fastest 200M dash to date and in 2004 at the Paralympics Games in Athens, became the Gold Medalist in the 100M dash retaining the title "fastest amputee in the world."

He is a successful speaker as he articulately addresses corporate CEO's. Marlon is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the United Nations' "Role Model of the 21st Century", two "ESPY" Awards and the "U.S. Olympic Spirit Award. Marlon is an avid pilot with training and schooling in Aeronautical Engineering and also helped design the sprint foot that he and many of the T44 athletes use in competition around the world.

Mr. Shirley has not only found a way to prevail, but he has also found a way to become a World-Class Elite Athlete and role model to all.

General Charles F. Wald (USAF, Ret.)

General Charles F. Wald

General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), director and senior advisor to the Aerospace & Defense Industry for Deloitte Services LP (Deloitte) since March 2009, is responsible for providing senior leadership in strategy and relationships with defense contractors and Department of Defense (DOD) program executives. He is a subject matter specialist in weapons procurement and deployment, counter terrorism, national, energy and international security policy. General Wald has delivered over 75 speeches on Energy Security issues at private industry, institutions and universities, in addition to providing dozens of radio and television interviews and numerous war games involving energy strategy and development.

Prior to joining Deloitte, General Wald was the Vice President, International Programs for L-3 Communications Corporation, based in Washington D.C. Previously serving as deputy commander of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), a position he held from 2002 until his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in July 2006, he was responsible for all U.S. forces operating across 91 countries in Europe, Africa, Russia, parts of Asia, the Middle East, and most of the Atlantic Ocean. During his command, he developed the European Command Strategic plan that included energy assurance and sustainment for the EUCOM AOR. Prior to that, he served as the US Air Force deputy chief of staff for Air and Space Operations at the Pentagon.

With over 35 years of service, General Wald was a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours, and 430 combat hours. As the Supported Commander, he led the coalition air campaign in Operation Enduring Freedom, leading to the extraction of Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

General Wald has received major military awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is a graduate of North Dakota State University and received a Masters Degree in International Relations from Troy University. He has also completed coursework at Harvard University and the National War College. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from North Dakota State University.

Areas of Specialty:

  • Aerospace & Defense industry issues
  • Alternative and renewable energy sources
  • Counter terrorism
  • Energy dependence and our lack of energy security
  • International, National, and energy security
  • Leading in challenging times
  • National & Defense strategy
  • Strategic Planning


  • Atlantic Council: Board Member and Strategic Advisors Group
  • Bipartisan Policy Center: Board Member and National Commission on Energy Policy
  • Canadian American Business Council
  • Center for Naval Analysis Military Advisory: Board Member
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • East West Institute: Board Member
  • Securing Americas Future Energy: Board Member
  • Supreme Allied Commander Europe Strategic Advisory Group
  • The National Academies
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce 21st Century Energy Center: Advisory Board Member

Points of View:

  • Big Issues In Government: Security
  • Energy Security: America's Best Defense
  • A lasting legacy: How major sporting events can drive positive change for host communities and economies
  • Powering America's Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security
  • Powering America's Defense: Resolving our Energy and National Security Risks
  • National Security and the Threat of Climate Change
  • Testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Climate Change Threatens National Security
  • Choke Points - As Threats to Oil Supply Grow, A General Says U.S. Isn't Ready
  • Oil Shockwave: Oil Crisis Simulation
  • Top Navy Officials Speak at Climate, Energy Symposium
  • Cyber Shockwave: We were Warned
  • National Security Implications of Climate Change on U.S. Naval Forces
  • Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development
  • Meeting the Challenge: When Time Runs Out
  • Holding Steady: 2010 Midyear Outlook for the Global Aerospace and Defense Sector

In the News:

  • Pentagon could save lives by cutting fuel use-study, Reuters
  • For U.S. Military, More Oil Means More Death, Forbes
  • Dubai air show unlikely to see big deals of 2007, Associated Press
  • New report: alternative energy methods key to securing troops on battlefield, Federal News Radio
  • Wartime Fuel Use Steadily Increasing, Sustainable Business
  • Where Defense dollars will go in the year ahead, Federal News Radio
  • DOD Seeks More Control Over '12 Budget, Defense News
  • U.S. Military MRO Market Exudes Angst, Hope, Aviation Week

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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

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