Jared Stepp

Jared Stepp

Executive director

Service Affiliation: US Army Veteran

Jared brings experience in small business and law firm management to the role of Executive Director. Jared served for six years in the US Army Infantry, including a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2004. After being honorably discharged, Jared graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with dual degrees in Finance and Economics. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law. After gaining experience in civil litigation, Jared established his own firm with a focus on elder law. In 2019, he relocated to Colorado where he currently resides with his wife and three children. In addition to his leadership role at the Post 1 Foundation, Jared remains an active member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1.

Board Members

Headshot of Michael Mitchel, Executive Director of Post 1 Foundation

Michael Mitchel

Board Chair

Service Affiliation: US Navy Veteran

Michael owns OC National Search and served as the Executive Director for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 from 2013-2016. In 2014, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (DMCC) named VFW Post 1 the Small Non-Profit of the Year and 9News selected him as one of three 2016 Leader of the Year Finalists. In 2014, Michael created the Post 1 Foundation as a 501c3 to support the VFW Post 1 Veteran Community Center Capital Campaign. He also created the Veterans Arts Council that has grown to become a signature program at VFW Post 1.  As the Executive Director of the Post 1 Foundation, he has expanded its mission to build, support and preserve Veterans’ service programs for VSOs throughout the Metro Denver community.

Andy Benson

Board Member, Secretary

Service Affiliation: US Army Veteran, USMA graduate

A Systems Engineer with the Defense Contract Management Agency, Andy oversees risk oversight on satellite design, development and production. Andy’s prior experience includes roles as a Systems Engineer at the VA, and Senior Program Manager with the Home Depot Foundation. After graduating from the United States Military Academy, Andy served with distinction as a US Army Ranger and was awarded multiple Bronze Stars. Andy is a West Point Society of Denver Board member. 

Kyle B

Kyle Brengel

Board Member, Treasurer

Service Affiliation: US Army Veteran, USMA graduate

A distinguished Special Forces Veteran. turned Private Equity leader, passionate about driving operational excellence and giving back to the community.

Kyle brings over 10 years of experience in the United States Ary Special Forces, where he served with distinction and honed his leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Following his military service, Kyle transitioned seamlessly into the business world, earning a MBA from The Wharton School and joining McKinsey & Company. 

Today Kyle leverages his diverse background and expertise as a senior executive with Private Equity portfolio companies. He has held various leadership roles including COO, CRO, and Operating Executive, playing a key role in driving growth and maximizing shareholder value. 

Beyond his professional pursuits, Kyle is deeply committed to giving back to the community. He has served in leadership roles with several non-profit organizations, including Team Red, White & Blue, the Wharton Club of Colorado, and the Normandy French Resistance Monument.

Tom Ramar

Board Member, Partnerships

Service Affiliation: US Navy (ret.)

Tom is a serial business development startup entrepreneur executive. A “Mustang”, Tom enlisted in the United States Navy and retired as a Lt. Commander.  Tom has extensive experience in cybersecurity both while on active duty and in the technology sector. An active member of the Denver Veteran community, Tom served on the USS Colorado Committee to raise funds for the Plank owner crew of SSN 788. Additionally, he served as the VP of Legislative Affairs, National Director and Regional President of the Rocky Mountains for the Navy League of the United States. A graduate of Pepperdine with an MBA and US Naval War College, Tom enjoys all the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer.

Erin Morris

Board member, Compliance

Service Affiliation: US Army Veteran

Erin is an attorney and a Partner with Sedrick, Schumann, Johnson, McGarr, Kaminsky, & Shirley, where her practice focuses on insurance coverage litigation and defense, as well as all employment-related matters. A former Major in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Erin served as JAG in the 101st Airborne Division and Advisor for the U.S. European Command. She is also the author of the children’s book, “Who is Sam the Soldier?”

Erin is active in the Colorado Bar Association Military and Veteran’s Affairs Section, a board member of Defenders of Freedom, and an advisory board member of the National Military Spouse Network.

Lacey Golonka

Lacey Golonka

board member

Service Affiliation: Colorado Army National Guard

Lacey Golonka is currently the Community Affairs Manager with Molson Coors Beverage Company where she executes strategic and effective outreach to diverse organizations and communities. Ms. Lacey is also responsible for engaging, aligning, and managing local community-based nonprofit organizations. 

Prior to her role with Molson Coors, she spent seven years at Xcel Energy as the Inclusion and Diversity Consultant and Social Investments Lead along and led the DEI and Veteran recruitment. 

Ms. Lacey has served over 19 years with the Army National Guard where she has four combat tours. 

Lacey serves on the board for the Colorado Governor Appointed Board of Veteran Affairs, Red Cross Associate Board, Community College of Aurora Foundation, and the Asian Chamber of Commerce. A

strategic partners

Mark

Mark Goldschmidt

Partner Liasion

Service Affiliation: Army, USMA

Holland & Knight, a global law firm with deep ties to supporting Veteran organizations nationally, counts Mark among its dedicated members. He brings a wealth of experience, having served with the 82nd Airborne, teaching as an Assistant Professor of Military Science, and earning his JD at Boston College. His impressive legal career spans prestigious firms like Hogan Lovells and Patton Boggs, culminating in his current role as a Securities and M&A Partner at Holland & Knight. 

Ellen Winiarczyk

Program Advisor

Ellen Winiarczyk (win-ar-zic), Ed.D. is the Academic Director and Teaching Assistant Professor for University College’s Nonprofit Leadership master’s program and is the University’s lead advisor for the Leadership Veteran program. 

For 18 years, Dr. Winiarczyk consulted in leadership development, program/grants management, strategic planning, and diversity/equity/inclusion for national and local nonprofit organizations. She holds a BS in Environmental Conservation and Physical Education from the University of New Hampshire, and an Masters in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. She received her Doctor of Education from the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.

University of Denver

Volunteer Staff

Angie Johnson

Research

Service Affiliation: Military Family; Veterans Advocate

Angie is the Director of Research, Talent Sourcing and Operations with OC National Search. She supports the Foundation with research, resource identification and other critical operational needs. Both of her grandfathers served in Europe and Korea while in the United States Army. Her uncle was a fighter pilot in WWII.

Advisory Board

Kevin Shuba

Advisory Board chair

Service Affiliation: US Army

Kevin is an accomplished business executive whose leadership roles include Group President of the Americas for $1.6B CHEP, executive leadership team for $5BN Brambles and CEO of OmniTrax, a top 10 US railroad company and numerous past and present board positions for middle market companies nationally.

General George Casey

General George W. Casey, Jr. (Ret.)

Advisory Board

Service Affiliation: 36th Chief of Staff United States Army

General George W. Casey, Jr. served 41 years in the U.S. Army following his graduation from Georgetown University. He is an accomplished leader and an authority on strategic leadership.

He led the Army from 2007-2011 and is widely credited with restoring balance to a war-weary Army and leading the transformation to keep it relevant in the 21st century. He was a stalwart advocate for military families, wounded Soldiers, and survivors of fallen, and took on tough issues of suicide and reducing the stigma attached to combat stress. Prior to this, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. In his 15 years as a general officer, he held numerous senior leadership positions in Europe, the Middle East and in the United States. 

He is currently lecturing on leadership at the SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University, and to leaders of national and multinational corporations. He also lectures on International Relations at the Korbel School, University of Denver, where he is the Rice Family Professor of Practice. 

He serves as the Chairman, USO Board of Governors; and on the boards of Denver University, Leondaro DRS; ColtCZ North America; the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality; the Center for Global Development, and several other organizations that support our servicemen and women, our Veterans and their families. 

Joe Aldaz

Advisory Board

Service Affiliation: US Air Force

Joe is an active leader in the Colorado Springs community. Currently serving as the CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he also has strong ties to the Veteran community through his work on the Home Front Military Network Board of Directors and his previous role as Program Manager for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Joe also served as its Director of Athletics before retiring from the Air Force.