HillVets Advisory Board

The Honorary Secretary Chuck Hagel

Chairman of the Advisory Board

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 and took the significant steps necessary to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. Hagel also led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault, and accounting for missing personnel.

Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability, and continuity of mental health services and support. Hagel also launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health system.

Ken Falke
Ken FalkeCEO, Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc.
Mr. Falke is a 21-year combat Veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired Master Chief Petty Officer. Ken Falke is highly respected around the world and known as an innovative and forward thinking leader. Ken is passionate about subjects of wounded warrior care, military and Veteran transition, counterterrorism and training and technology development. At the present time, Ken is the current CEO of Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc., a technology and multi-media company. In addition, he is the chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness and the EOD Warrior Foundation.
Sean Foertsch
Sean FoertschLegislative Director, Wounded Warrior Project
Sean is currently serving as the Director of Government and Community Relations at Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), however, Sean has previously served as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Foertsch has also worked as a Congressional staffer —holding Chief of Staff, Press Secretary and Legislative Director positions — for ten years. Sean is currently pursuing a Masters in Communication Management from the University of Miami, in addition to holding a Master’s from Georgetown University.

Garry Augustine
Garry AugustineExecutive Director, DAV
Garry Augustine, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran, was appointed Executive Director of the 1.3 million-member DAV National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in August 2013. His responsibilities include oversight of DAV’s National Service and Legislative Programs. He is the organization’s principal spokesperson before Congress, the White House and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).In his previous position as National Service Director, Mr. Augustine managed all activities of DAV’s National Service Program, which employs approximately 270 professional National Service Officers (NSOs), 34 Transitional Service Officers (TSOs) and support staff in 100 offices throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico.
Matthew Sanderson
Matthew SandersonMember, Caplin & Drysdale
Matthew Sanderson is a Member in the Political Law and Exempt Organizations practice groups of Caplin & Drysdale. Mr. Sanderson helps corporations, political committees, candidates, and advocacy groups comply with the increasingly numerous and complex federal, state, and local laws that govern political activity and commercial interaction with public-sector clients. Specifically, he advises clients on campaign-finance, “pay-to-play”, ethics, and lobbying rules.
Mr. Sanderson served as General Counsel of Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign, Outside Counsel for Governor Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign, Legal Counsel to Governor Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PACs, Campaign Finance Counsel for Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, and General Counsel for a government reform commission created by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. He, along with the rest of The Colbert Report team, received the prestigious Peabody Award in 2012 for efforts related to television personality Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC.

The HillVets Board

Justin Brown
Justin BrownChairman of the Board & Executive Director

Justin Brown is a senior staffer on Capitol Hill with more than a decade of Veterans’ focused experience and advocacy. He has been fighting on behalf of Veterans and their families, trying to increase educational and employment opportunities, while expanding access to benefits and healthcare. Justin began his commitment to public service at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the United States Navy. There, he completed one deployment in support of Operation Southern Watch and two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following Justin’s service, he attended the University of Utah, graduating with dual bachelor’s degrees in three years. He became active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) where he served as the youngest All-American District Commander and Department Chief of Staff in its history.

Saki Ververis
Saki VerverisBoard Member

Saki Ververis is a recently minted Congressional Relations Officer with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to taking a position with the VA, Saki was a Senior Legislative Assistant for the House Veterans Affairs Committee, minority staff, for almost 3 years. Saki was an active duty Air Force Airman before going to law school at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas, in 2008.

Matthew Stuart
Matthew StuartBoard Member

Matthew Stuart served as a Soldier in the U.S. Army from 2000 – 2004. Mr. Stuart deployed to Kosovo in 2001 and served in Iraq, 2003. Upon completion of his 4 years active duty commitment, he attended the University of Utah and graduated with a BS in Geography, BS in Environmental Studies, and received a Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS).
Mr. Stuart is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #3586 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has served in various capacities within the VFW organization, having achieved All American Post Commander status during the 2008 – 2009 & 2014 – 2015 administrative years. He has served the VFW organization both local and national in numerous offices and committee positions, to include Commander for the Department of Utah VFW 2011-2012. He achieved the coveted Triple Crown All American Commander status within the largest Combat Veteran Service Organization. Mr. Stuart is involved in numerous Veteran-centric organizations and programs including Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Military Order of the Cooties, and Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of WWII Veterans. Mr. Stuart currently serves on the VHA Post Deployment Veterans Community Board advising VHA with improving outreach and educational efforts in regards to environmental exposure programs and services.

Willie Floyd III
Willie Floyd IIIBoard Member

Willie Floyd III comes from a family with a deep history of service in the Armed Forces and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps directly out of High School. During his 10 years of service he completed 3 combat deployments in the Infantry, served as a Combat Marksmanship Trainer at Parris Island, South Carolina and served as an Information Operations Planner & Martial Art Instructor Trainer at MCB Quantico, Va. Willie began his transition from the military intending to focus on a career as a professional mixed martial artist. However; after volunteering at a Veterans Service Organization, he decided he should be fighting on the Hill instead of a ring. Willie is currently enrolled at The George Washington University and is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science while double minoring in Law and Society & History. He will also begin participating in the Dual Degree Program in the spring and will be working towards a Master’s in Legislative Affairs. His hope is to employ the leadership & decision making skills he learned the Marine Corps in our legislative branch. He believes the characteristics that makes our veterans successful on the battlefield are the key to solving a lot of the challenges our country faces today.

David Bell
David BellBoard Member

David Bell joined the Portland Cement Association (PCA) in the April 2015 as a Government Affairs Analyst. In this position David is responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and advocating on a variety issues falling under each of PCA’s reporting committees (Environment and Energy, Transportation and Infrastructure, Occupational Health and Safety). In addition, David assists with the day to day management of PCA’s PAC and has editorial responsibilities for PCA’s Government Affairs Bulletin. Further, David spearheads the association’s advocacy efforts at the state level.

David comes to PCA from Prime Advocacy where he managed over 30 legislative conferences for an array of trade associations while leading business development efforts resulting in 20 percent growth in annual revenue. Previously, Mr. Bell worked in the offices of Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ-3) and Congressman John Adler (D-NJ-3). In these offices, Mr. Bell handled constituent casework related to Social Security, Medicare, Veterans’ Affairs, and HUD. Mr. Bell is originally from New Jersey and earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice/Political Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.