MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Mr. Bergeron is a gratefully retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant; finishing his Marine Corps career from the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, San Diego, California; serving on active duty for 20 years in both the Air and Ground components of the Marine Corps. Allen is one of the founding members of Honor Flight Austin. Allen currently serves as a Veterans Consultant for the City of Austin and Military Ombudsman for the Department of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR). Allen is a passionate advocate for City of Austin employees who are Veterans and those serving in the Guard and Reserves, as well as supports Veterans and Guard/Reserve members throughout the Austin community, providing military and veteran information and benefits offered through local, state and federal resources.
Mr. Spahr was elected State Commander of the 81,000 members of the Department of Texas of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the 91st State Convention on July 1, 2011. Spahr served in the United States Air Force from 1965-1968 with overseas duty at Osan AFB, Korea where he was a Communications Center Specialist. In civilian life, he retired as a Deputy Fire Chief after 25 years of service and currently resides in Georgetown, TX.
Barbara has served many Veterans organizations in various leadership positions for the last twenty years. The organizations include; Sons and Daughters of the Pearl Harbor Survivors as National Secretary, District Director and currently as State chairman, Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign War, Past President and current Vice president, and member of the Blue Star Mothers, the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 201, and is also a member of the Marine Corps Mothers. Her passion for Veterans is also close to her heart for her Father who was a Pearl Harbor Survivor and Husband serving in the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Desert Storm and Bosnia. Her son is currently serving (second tour) in the Marine Corp.
Barbara has lived in Austin for 40 years and is passionate about all that Austin does to honor, celebrate, mourn and take care of our veterans and is extremely honored to serve “The Greatest Generation” once again.
Mr. Davis has been around the military his entire life. His father is a retired Naval Master Chief whose 30 years of service shaped David’s understanding of the tremendous sacrifices our military families endure. During his father’s tour of duty in Europe, David attended a Department of Defense high school in London, England, with other children of American military personnel. After graduating, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, proudly serving for six years.
Mr. Davis is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and spent much of his enlistment in the Middle Eastern theater. His eldest son continues the family military tradition by currently serving in the United States Air Force.
David and his family recently relocated to the city of Austin in early 2012. In addition to serving as interim treasurer for Honor Flight Austin, Mr. Davis is a managing director of independent financial planning firm with offices in California and Texas.
David graduated with honors from Chapman University in Orange County, California, and also holds an MBA in Finance from California Lutheran University.
Dr. Glass grew up in a Gold Star family and learned at a very early age the meaning of patriotism, sacrifice, and courage. Her father served proudly in WWII in the Pacific and was fortunate to return home to his family. Her brother’s father, however, was killed in action in France in 1944. It was that loss plus the loss of many friends in Vietnam that would later influence her dedication to veterans and their families. She considers it a profound privilege and honor to serve on the Board of Honor Flight Austin. Flying WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. is the very least that she can do to honor their extraordinary contributions to our country. These men and women are our national treasures and should be cherished and honored while we still have time. Pictured is Nancy and her father.
Ms. Johnson is the Program and Development Manager at the Samaritan Center where the veteran and military family counseling and Integrative Medicine program, Hope for Heroes is located. Christie’s passion to serve veterans and military families varies from veterans transitioning into college to WWII veterans wishing to visit their memorial in D.C. Christie feels honored to serve those that served our country.
Mr. James is a native Texan and former student athlete with the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing. His professional career included 30 years with the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, retiring in the rank of Colonel. Upon leaving the military, he served as the Executive Director for the American Collectors Association of Texas for 10 years before assuming his current position as the Executive Director for the Texas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency.
Mr. Ryan is a proud U.S. Marine veteran, and he currently serves as Honor Flight Austin’s legal counsel. In addition to Honor Flight, Kory provides extensive legal services to veterans, including Force Recon Association, at no charge. He is an Advance Guard for the Wounded Warrior Project, as well as co-founder and attorney for Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. HCC recruits, mentors, and guides transitioning military veterans into becoming socially responsible entrepreneurs. Kory is the founder and Managing Partner of Ryan Law Firm, LLP, a national law firm headquartered in Austin. He received his law degree, with honors, from Southern Methodist University.
Captain Piker has been serving the community in EMS since 1998. His medical education was conducted in cooperation with the military at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Currently he serves as a field Captain, educator, and Medical Officer for Austin-Travis County EMS. The EMS department has been extremely humbled and honored to provide medical support for the veterans who participate in the life-changing trips provided through the Honor Flight Program. Captain Piker was appointed by EMS as the liaison to Honor Flight to assure that each trip receives the attention to detail required to achieve the highest level of clinical safety and organization. He considers it the highest honor to serve Honor Flight in memory of his late grandfather, a WWII Purple Heart recipient.
Honorary Board Members
As an honorary board member, Mayor Leffingwell was instrumental in the creation of Honor Flight Austin. Mayor Leffingwell, a veteran himself, served as an officer and a pilot in the United States Navy and served in the Vietnam War. After leaving active duty, he served in the Navy Reserves and retired at the rank of Commander. Mayor Leffingwell attended the second and Austin’s largest Honor Flight in October 2012. Mayor Leffingwell is committed to helping Honor Flight Austin serve all local WWII Veterans.
As Navy Veteran, a Council Member and Mayor, Mayor Leffingwell has been very passionate and focused on supporting Veterans; under his leadership and vision, the City of Austin has created an unequivocal Veterans program. The City of Austin has been recognized both locally and nationally for their unprecedented program; most notably is receiving the DOD, Secretary of Defense Freedom Award; one of only 15 employers nationally to receive this honor and of course the DAV’s state and national commanders large employer of the year award.
Betty, wife of WWII Veteran, Ben Schleder served as a guardian on the Inaugural Honor Flight and at that point became committed to raising funds to send our local WWII Veterans to D.C. A resident of Sun City in Georgetown, Betty contacted and presented to local civic organizations, corporations and community members to gather funds so all local WWII Veterans can experience the Honor Flight. Betty’s tireless efforts has seen her raise nearly $100,000 for Honor Flight Austin. Betty’s passion and determination to see all local WWII Veterans make the Honor Flight is inspirational.
Tina Lee- CADCA VetsCorps Prevention Coordinator Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Tina moved to Austin in 2012 to serve as a CADCA VetCorp Prevention Coordinator with the City of Austin Veterans program assisting the Veterans consultant with the City of Austin employees and community who are Veterans and in the Guard and Reserves. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Health and received her commission into the Air Force. As a Air Force Veteran, she supports those who continue to serve in the military today and in the past and has a passion of helping Honor Flight Austin reach their goal of sending all of the World War II Veterans around the Austin area to see their memorial.
Honorary Board Members
John Burkhardt – Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
Ernest Banasau – Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
Raymond Diaz- Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
Dr. Charles Edwards - Retired Army General, Chaplain
Lee Hagan – Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
Ken Wallingford – Texas Veterans Land Board, POW Survivor
Olie Pope- – Travis County Veteran Service Officer