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 Program Manager 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.
Matt Gardner retired from the US Army in 2012, having served nearly 21 years on active duty. A native Texan, he attended Texas A&M University before he began his Army career. Initially an enlisted helicopter mechanic and crew chief, he completed flight school and continued his career as a warrant officer, retiring from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. After spending half of his career overseas in Europe, Asia, and on multiple deployments to the Middle East and Central Asia, he is glad to finally be back in Texas. He is employed by S3 Inc. and the Royal Netherlands Air Force as a CH-47 instructor pilot, and is a Lifetime Member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Nightstalker Association.
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.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Lee graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Health and received her commission into the Air Force. As an Air Force Veteran, she supports those who continue to serve in the military today and in the past. Ms. Lee moved to Austin in 2012 to work for the City of Austin Veterans program working with the Veterans Program Manager who is also the Chairman of Honor Flight Austin with Military affairs. Tina advocates, supports and assists Veterans employed by the City of Austin, those serving in the Guard and Reserves along with the community members who also served in the Military. Ms. Lee is committed to Honor Flight Austin’s mission; send and honor every willing and able bodied World War II Veterans to see their memorials in Washington D.C.. For questions concerning veteran and guardian applications email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
Commander 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 Commander, 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. Commander 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.
Brian Smallwood – Director of Fundraising
Mr. Smallwood retired from the US Marine Corps in 2006, having served 22 ½ years on active duty and 6 years in the reserves. Started his Marine Corps career as an enlisted aviation electronics technician and ended his career as a Lieutenant Colonel serving as the IIMEF Headquarters Group Executive Officer. Brian established the first Injured Support Unit and the Wounded Warrior Barracks for the Marine Corps. Brian currently works for Texas Department of Transportation and also serves as a Brigadier General and Commanding General of the Texas Maritime Regiment of the Texas State Guard. Brian is honored to compassionately serve those that have served our great nation by providing recognition of their accomplishments and sacrifices by getting them to their memorials in Washington D.C.
Honorary Board Member
As an honorary board member, Former 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.
Matt Mathias – Son of the “Grandfather” (Vic Mathias) of Honor Flight Austin
Ernest Banasau – Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
John Burkhardt – Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1919
Dr. Charles Edwards – Retired Army General, Chaplain