As a Special Operations Team Commander with Marine Raiders, Bryan led multiple teams in deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (Africa), South East Asia, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (Helmand Province). Developed rapport with numerous host nation forces, enhanced capability and capacity within the host nation units, and briefed US Ambassadors. Led a 20 man Marine Raider Team to Afghanistan that mentored, trained, and conducted over 40 combat operations with an Afghan Special Operations Battalion. Bryan also deployed twice to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Marine Infantry and Marine Reconnaissance.
Bryan, is an accomplished sales and operations leader. Distinguished background in leadership, policy, training, management, operations and strategic decision making. Adept in negotiation, alliance formation and organizational communication. Ability to forge productive partnerships among stakeholders and reach high-level decision makers within sophisticated organizations, ensuring free and productive flow of information. Counsel and assist those within and in association with governmental agencies, along with private sector, to adopt best practices in compliance with applicable regulations and statutes. Bryan worked at a successful EdTech firm as a Sales Manager achieving multiple awards in sales and grew his territory nearly 20% in a three year period. Bryan is a graduate of Villanova University.
-Awarded Bronze Star Medal with "Combat Distinguishing Device" for Heroic Service.
-Awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during combat operations.
Andy Miears was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Upon graduation from High School, Andy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Andy spent a total of 12 years in the Marine Corps, seven of those years were spent at 1st Marine Raider Battalion. His deployments include Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regions around the globe in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2015, Andy separated from the Marine Corps. He was looking for a way to get some sleep, help with chronic pain, which led him to utilize medical cannabis. Over the past five years, Andy has experimented with cultivating his own medicine and caught the “gardening bug.” In a way, medical cannabis was his gateway drug into sustainable agriculture. It has helped him transition from a warrior to a gardener. Andy’s passion is helping vets learn about medical cannabis along with sustainable cultivation.
Andy is currently enrolled at Mira Costa College in their Sustainable Agricultural program. He is on track to graduate in the Spring of 2020.
My career began in the Marine Corps on the yellow footprints of MCRD San Diego in June of 1997. In what seemed like a blink of the eye, I found myself transitioning after 20 years of illustrious service. I’ve been stationed on both coasts and deployed around the world serving in Marine Security Forces, the Infantry, as a Drill Instructor on Parris Island SC, Marine Reconnaissance / Force Reconnaissance and Marine Special Operations Command. It was during my decade-long career at 1st Raider Bn that I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Andy and Bryan as we partnered with Afghan Commandos and led and mentored multiple Special Operation units throughout the Helmand River Valley.
I was blessed to serve with, and for, some of the most amazing people and developed an understanding and respect for the diversity in culture as I traveled the world in peacekeeping missions and in combat operations. As a Veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, I learned to value a new perspective of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and will be eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by our nation. What drew me to Helmand Valley Growers Company was an environment that embodies what I cherished most while on active duty. Leadership, trust and confidence, strategic vision, complex problem solving, and a true sense of selfless service.
I wake up every morning with a smile because I know how blessed I am to be a part of this incredible industry and I love coming to work every day knowing what we do at HVGC is making a positive impact in people's lives.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin and being admitted to the California Bar, Mr. Ozanne worked as an associate attorney for some of San Diego's most prestigious insurance defense firms. His initial practice focused on representing insurance companies and real estate developers in professional liability matters and subrogation claims related to complex real estate disputes.
Expanding his practice areas, Mr. Ozanne was asked to become general counsel for an insurance investment and general agency in Newport Beach, CA. There his practice centered on both litigation of contractual disputes as well as transactional matters related to capital raise evaluations, trusts, financing arrangements and private equity.
Finding a personal interest in insurance and finance, Mr. Ozanne accepted the general counsel position for UTC Financial, LLC, where he handled all litigation matters for the firm, while also collaborating with publicly traded banks and hedge funds on capital investments and structured financing opportunities.
With over 17 years of litigation experience and drafting complex documents related to insurance and investment transactions, Mr. Ozanne currently represents a wide variety of businesses from real estate development firms to start-up companies, providing counsel on litigation matters and the creation of transactional documents and investor facing documents.
Brendan brings a wealth of business and legal experience to help assist Battle Brothers Foundation in developing strong community ties and benefits for our valued veterans.
Board of Directors
Matt is an award-winning sales and marketing leader with nearly 30 years of sales and sales management experience in both education and industry. He’s built and led high performance teams at McGraw Hill Education (MHE), Pearson Education and MacMillan and at Time Inc, led the turnaround of Entertainment Weekly magazine.
His passion is teaching, mentoring and coaching at all levels and abilities. He loves helping individuals and organizations meet – and exceed – their expectations, to unlock their full potential and to operate at peak performance.
Matt has combined his passion for teaching and mentoring with his profound respect and admiration for those individuals who have chosen to serve their country to help ensure transitioning veterans are prepared for life after service. While at both Pearson Education and McGraw Hill Education, he led initiatives to develop Officer Leadership programs designed to actively recruit, hire and develop transitioning officers. He’s deeply proud of the impact he’s made in the lives of these service men and women.
Matt recently joined Area9 Lyceum after nearly 25 years in higher education and is excited to continue advancing the mission of transforming education for the 21st century fall all learners in both education and industry.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Oklahoma.
Board of Directors
Bill is fully retired with 50 years experience in the field of Industrial Process Control and Systems Engineering. The majority of his employment was with a premier Manufacturers Representative organization in the Delaware Valley Region (PROCONEX – formerly C.B. Ives and Co., Inc.). Their business focus was to service a variety of industries including Steel, Pulp and Paper, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Power, Gas Transmission and Distribution and Refining. He began his career in inside sales. After receiving his BSME degree from Drexel University, Bill was promoted to Outside Sales. His subsequent positions included Senior Account Manager, Project Manager, Marketing Manager, and Operations Manager.
After an early retirement, Bill also spent several years consulting as a cryogenic control valve specialist for the Ives Equipment Corp. Bill was a member of several business related professional organizations where he served in various positions including as Philadelphia Section President of the Instrument Society of America. His interests include scuba diving, sailing, antique firearms, reloading, hunting and fishing. Bill is a member of the American Legion, National Rifle Association, Garand Collectors Association and Saw Creek Hunting and Fishing Association (past President, current VP and Director).
Bill is the proud father of four (yes, Bryan is his son). He and Connie have 11 grandchildren. Bill is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. After serving proudly in the United States Army Security Agency he completed his college education at Drexel University Evening College. He is a strong supporter of our military veterans and a regular contributor to the Wounded Warrior Project, MARSOC Foundation, National Museum of the United States Army, and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.
Board of Directors
Scott comes to the team with a lifetime of business and life experiences. He spent 30 years in Palm Desert, in the Coachella Valley, as a builder of tract homes. He moved on to building custom homes and income properties. Scott is a licensed CA Real Estate Broker. He owned and operated a very busy and successful Appraisal Firm for 25 years. Upon exiting his private businesses, Scott spent time fine tuning his golf game, which he now says is not up to par because he is so busy in his new role.
After moving out of the Coachella Valley, Scott was pursued by a large Real Estate Investment Trust. For the past 6.5 years, Scott has worked in the Senior Housing industry. He is currently a District Senior General Manager for Holiday Retirement, an industry leader. Scott’s many duties include training new GMs, as well as fine tuning all aspects and details of the company’s senior housing communities, which operate as all-inclusive, full-service retirement businesses.
His role is mentoring and building teams to provide excellent customer service, auditing and maintaining operations and systems and ensuring these communities run as successful and profitable businesses. Scott is an avid supporter of America’s brave men and women who service to keep our country safe and free.
Board of Directors
Corey Potter is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Mr. Potter was selected, by his peers and coaching staff, to be named Captain of the 2002, University of Massachusetts football team.
During his time at UMass, he won an NCAA Division 1-AA National Title and two Atlantic Ten conference titles. Upon graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Mr. Potter moved to Southern California and began working as a translator/construction project manager. For the last 12 years, he has worked on large industrial scale construction projects, serving as the liaison between state, city, and county officials and his supervisors, to ensure public safety. Mr. Potter was also charged with overseeing the completion of projects in a timely manner. Despite never having served in the military, helping Veterans in need is a personal passion of his.
Board of Directors
Charles Dimry is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Diego Chargers. After graduating from Oceanside High School he continued on to play college football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He was drafted by the Falcons and played 12 years in the NFL. He was twice awarded the NFL's Ed Block Courage Award and was twice named the Chargers' Most Inspirational Player. He resides in Carlsbad, California, with his wife Erin and their six children: Erin, Carlee, CJ, Sophie, Soleil, and Gia. After retiring from the NFL, he coached at USD with Jim Harbaugh. He is a previous owner of the Velocity Sports Performance training facilities in San Diego. He also is a correspondent for San Diego's prep football show Prep Pigskin Report with his own segment.
He is thrilled to join an organization that not only focus on our nation heroes, but helps to provide them with the ability to live their American Dream.
Board of Directors
Chad Gordon is a 25-year Technology industry veteran with experience across communications, network, electrical, and physical security disciplines. His work in the industry began as an installer working in Southern California helping some of the largest corporate and health care companies deploy new infrastructure of Fiber Optics and communication cabling for what has become today's modern networking. Eventually relocating to the East Coast and becoming a member of the IBEW he apprenticed to become an inside wireman while continuing to work with advancing low voltage technologies as well. It was at this point that Chad found a calling in the world of Physical (Electronic) Security. Bringing to bare a deep understanding of building code, building construction, and installation best practices he climbed the ranks from Installer, to foreman, to Project manager, eventually to systems designer and engineer.
Mr. Gordon’s practical understanding of Advanced Technology, installation practices, and practical applications have led he and his company to deploy some of the most innovative solutions across multiple industries and vertical markets. Throughout his career he has been recognized for building one of the fastest growing integration companies in the country, noted in Forbes for work using Video Surveillance to increase business intelligence and optimize supply chain efficiency, and most recently contributed to a study on the positive impact of technologies (Video surveillance, environmental and irrigation control systems, IOT sensors, and seed to sale tracking software) integrated at a logical level to give companies an advantage over their competition with an eye to protecting margins and operational efficiency in the Industrial Agriculture market.
While always maintaining a focus on his primary career, Chad found time to become a Firefighter (retired) and Father to 3 boys. Today he manages the business development focus, marketing strategies, and technology selection with his business partner at Visible Intellect LLC. Still finding time to give back, he works to mentor young entrepreneurs with the Dragon Kim Foundation, volunteered locally with the food-bank, cooks for families in need at the holidays, and has committed to roasting Thanksgiving Turkeys for the Troops at Camp Pendleton.
Board of Directors
JD enlisted as United States Marine in 1984 and retired from the Navy as a Commander in the fall of 2019 after 35 years of service.
JD is a graduate of the Fleet Seminar program for Amphibious Warfare School, US Army Special Forces Jumpmaster Course, and a Distinguished Graduate of the USMC Command and Staff College. He holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Profession as well as an MBA from Boston University in addition to other graduate degrees in Exercise Science and related fields. He and his wife Patti reside in San Marcos, California and have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.
Of all his experiences in the Military he has felt most fulfilled working with wounded service members across all services. He continues to be amazed by their resilience, duty, and commitment and has a special place in his heart for those Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airman who have served this country so faithfully.
Board of Directors
Etienne is Vice President and Co-Owner of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG). BPG is the nation's oldest, and most respected medical cannabis dispensary, established in 1999. For two decades, Etienne has helped position BPG as a model medical cannabis dispensary, with a vision to lead the emerging industry as it expands, evolves, and becomes more professional. He has founded medical and recreational cannabis retail, cultivation, and processing facilities in Berkeley, Emeryville, Incline Village, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Reno, Sparks, and West Hollywood.
As a business owner, Mr. Fontan is focused on making operations predictable, while continually working to improve the quality and affordability of medicine for patient members. Mr. Fontan has an extensive background as an engaged activist and public speaker, seeking to make cannabis legal and safe. Starting in 1993, he was a director of the Cannabis Action Network and traveled through 47 U.S. states speaking at rallies, teach-ins, and tours, and reaching out to the general public on all cannabis-related issues. Mr. Fontan lobbied local, state, and Federal governments across the country for cannabis and industrial hemp rights. He is a combat veteran of the first Gulf War and now lobbies on the veteran’s behalf for the use of cannabis to treat PTSD and post-war injuries.
In 2011, Mr. Fontan was invited by top medical cannabis researchers in the Netherlands to undergo training and tour the Medical Cannabis program as run by the Dutch Government. While there, Mr. Fontan learned how to perform laboratory tests on medical cannabis and studied the supply logistics of the Dutch regulatory system. Mr. Fontan is a founding board member who served on the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Board of Directors from 2010 to 2020, including as Board Chair from 2012-2013.
Advisor to the Board
Alon Blatt is a veteran of the Israeli military serving as an Intelligence Officer. Alon is based in Los Angeles, Alon runs NiaMedic’s business development activity in the USA. Prior to joining NiaMedic, Alon worked in investment banking and business development in a variety of fields.
Alon believes very deeply in the mission of Battle Brothers Foundation and is a tremendous asset to the team.
Advisor to the Board
John F. Gillis is a Certified Mortgage Planner and Mortgage Advisor with Benchmark Mortgage. Both his personal and team production rank him among the elite in the nation in many of the statistical categories while serving over 200 families each year. John and his team The John Gillis Team has been doing home loans in San Diego and the surrounding area for over 25 years.
Their success is widely a result of their ability to provide top shelf service which is why almost all of their clients are by referral. A big part of that top shelf service is their willingness to meet face to face with their clients to ensure that the selected loan is strategically chosen to meet each of their needs and circumstances for the short term and long term. John and his team especially pride themselves in working with active or retired military, all fire and police and first responders as well as all first time homebuyers.
Their system for communicating throughout the process is unmatched as every client is made aware during their initial consultation of every document and every step necessary for a successful and stress-free closing. After that it only gets better as everyone receives a weekly updates of every action taken along with a real-time accounting of where the file is in process. Each client receives a customized mortgage plan, their top-ten written guarantees and a clear list of Do’s and Don’ts to insure a smooth transaction.
John graduated from the University of San Diego in Business earning a B.S. degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and accounting. His background has not only been a great asset in advising self-employed clients, but also in creating and drafting tax-saving strategies for clients with a variety of backgrounds. John has served on several boards and was the President of the Parochial Sports League, a youth sports league for many years.
John and his wife Kimberly live in Carlsbad, California, with their six children. When John isn’t busy studying mortgage strategy and programs or meeting with clients he enjoys spending time with his family. John loves to coach his children in sports. The entire Gillis gang are avid sports fans with a love for the outdoors, so if they aren’t watching one of their own competing in softball, baseball, football, horse riding, tennis, dance, golf, or basketball, you might find them at a San Diego Padres or San Diego Gulls game or maybe hiking a local trail or relaxing on the beach.
Director of Operations
Briar Buckley was born and raised in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. Upon graduating La Quinta High School at the top of her class, she attended San Diego State University.
At San Diego State, she pursued and graduated with a degree in Finance. After working in Finance for a brief time, Briar decided to pursue a creative career in the field of cosmetology. She moved to LA to learn her craft and then brought her skills back to San Diego. She now owns her own business, Briar Madelyn Inc.
Briar has spent seven years building relationships and working with the Veteran community. She continually looks for new and creative ways to give back to our nations heroes. Briar is a wife, mother and business woman and brings a wealth of life experiences and her compassion for Veterans to the Battle Brothers Foundation.
Director of Treatment and Recovery
Luke Chittick has been working on the front lines of addiction and mental health disorders since 2009. Luke started in this industry as a Counselor at Beit T’Shuvah, one of the largest non-profit residential Treatment facilities in the nation, where he acquired over 6,000 clinically supervised hours. In December 2012, Luke joined Transcend Recovery Community as the Program Director for two of their Sober Livings.
In his capacity as Program Director, Luke oversaw operations for the two facilities, facilitated communication between the Intensive Outpatient clinicians and house staff, and ensured continuity of care for all residents. Luke’s role often required therapeutically-oriented intervention with clients in need of additional support. In July of 2015, Luke, along with the Chief Operating Officer of Transcend, created and implemented a comprehensive recovery curriculum for a new sober living called, the Verve, with particular attention to the structure, necessary therapeutic programing and accountability required for the early stages of recovery.
Luke later transitioned to Director of Business Development for Transcend in January 2016. As Director, Luke developed and integrated market plans to efficiently position the company brand within targeted markets. He generated new accounts by implementing effective networking and content marketing strategies. During this time, Luke spent a year traveling the country to visit with and learn about different treatment programs and modalities. In November of 2016, sparked by the desire to return to more clinically-focused and direct client care, Luke joined Patrick Hart Consultants as a Clinical Case Manager.
His extensive experience with clients suffering from substance abuse, anxiety and psychotic disorders provides him a wealth of strategies and interventions to employ with individuals and families in crisis. He is a certified Field Model Crisis Interventionist, holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has been sober since 2009.
Kris retired from the Marines after serving as an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Master Technician and Marine Raider Regimental EOD Chief. Kris’ actions and policy development substantially increased the survivability of countless troops forward deployed as explosive threats dramatically increased during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
His consistent devotion to optimized processes is a result of decades of expert training, research and instruction. Kris’ bonafides include certifications from agencies such as US Special Operations Command and The Federal Bureau of Investigations. Kris is a subject matter expert on threat and vulnerability analysis and a thought leader on counter-terror principles.
As Ambassador Director for Battle Brothers Foundation, Kris helps coordinate all Ambassadors during events for Battle Brothers Foundation and pairs up Ambassadors with veterans transitioning from active duty.
-Bronze Star Medal (with Combat “V”)
-2x Meritorious Service Medal
-2x Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Combat “V”)
Battle Brothers helped me navigate the extremely confusing process of resubmitting my VA disability claim at a time when I desperately needed help. My body bears witness to twenty years of active military service, most of which was spent in the Marine Reconnaissance and Marine Special Operations communities. Initially, the VA failed to fully acknowledge the full scope of these injuries.
While changing careers, moving my family out of state and attending school, I had neither the time nor the experience required to competently resubmit my disabilities package to the VA. With the help of Battle Brothers, I was equipped to fully understand this process and navigate its pitfalls.
This is an incredible organization whose goal is to ensure that veterans who sustained life-changing injuries in service of our country are given ample guidance as we communicate our disabilities to the VA. Without their help I would still be carrying a huge weight on my shoulders.
The Battle Brothers Foundation helped me as I was transitioning out of the Marine Corps and getting settled into my life with my family and career in the civilian world.
After working as an F/A-18 pilot, Police Transition Team Lead in North West Iraq and Company Commander with Special Purpose MAGTF and four out of five combat deployments, my mind and body have taken their toll and continue to remind me daily of that toll. Working with the VA, to acknowledge my disabilities through my years of service, I was struggling with the VA system and was overwhelmed by the paperwork/bureaucratic process, what to do, how to do the paperwork, and who to meet with to help me pursue my claim. I got an immense amount of help from the Battle Brothers Foundation. Battle Brothers is an amazing organization that helped me successfully resubmit my VA disability claim.
From the moment I touched base with them they could not have been more friendly, insightful, and extremely respectful in helping me understand how to go about this process. They walked me through a step by step process of the forms and people I needed to work with. I am extremely grateful for the help and kindness this group has shown me. It was easy and seamless and without their help I do not believe I would have ever received my benefits.
Dillon served 5 years in the United States Marine Corps with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion where he was trained in ground and amphibious reconnaissance, raid operations, as well as surveillance to provide accurate information to Marine intelligence communities. He specialized in training various military units in close quarter combative tactics where he led training evolutions for various entities around the globe, to include forces from the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Thailand, Brunei, Africa, and the Middle East.
After honorably serving within the Marine Corps, Dillon transitioned into the non-profit space as well as the fast-paced tech industry. At DoorDash, a leading on-demand tech company founded out of Silicon Valley, Dillon led initiatives that increased efficiency throughout the entire market, analyzed data to forecast market trends for optimal supply-chain functionality, and oversaw relationships for a multitude of customers, merchants, and contracted fleet personnel. Presently, Dillon works with entities within the agripharma space to strategically fulfill various operational needs.