The Patriot Advisory Board serves as an advisory body to Freedom Is Not Free's management. It assists in the promotion of Freedom Is Not Free programs, initiatives and fundraising activities. The Patriot Board is comprised of a diverse group of individuals with complementary personal and professional backgrounds, skill-sets and experience. All Board members share the passion for the mission and the willingness to make a difference. They offer honest, unbiased feedback, new ideas, and an invaluable knowledge-base that assist Freedom Is Not Free's management team and operations.
David Dominguez, founder of Freedom Is Not Free, also serves as the Chairman and CEO of The Andrew Lauren Company. Andrew Lauren is a new home builder services company that owns and operates new home design centers in Arizona. Andrew Lauren specializes in all types of flooring for new homes; in addition, Andrew Lauren sells, fabricates, and installs cabinets and granite counter surfaces for new home builders in Arizona. Mr. Dominguez has served as president, managing partner, and/or CEO of a wide range of companies over the last 28 years. Some of the companies that Mr. Dominguez has served as CEO include: Saunders Telecom, a fabricator of relay rack, cabinets and cable runway systems for telephone and internet back room distribution centers; Polo Players, d.b.a. the Polo Ralph Lauren Shops, the chain of Polo retail stores in California, Arizona and Hawaii; and Standards of Excellence and Standard Plumbing and Supply, where he served as a turnaround CEO. Mr. Dominguez also founded Earthcraft and Main Street, his first company, founded in 1975, which grew to a chain of 36 specialty stores. Mr. Dominguez has served on the boards of Independence One Bank, General Steel in Cleveland Ohio, and as Chairman of the San Diego Young Presidents Organization. In addition, he serves on a variety of community organization boards including the Salvation Army, The Village Church Foundation, and World Presidents Organization (WPO).
Robert Kaplan, Ph.D., heads up TriWest's Health Plan Design and Management division. He is responsible for designing health plans around local markets, overseeing TriWest's internal consulting firm, and forging an even stronger relationship with the various elements of the Military Health System.While serving as a vice president for Aetna Health Plans, Dr. Kaplan managed an earlier version of the TRICARE contracts in California and Hawaii. Before joining TriWest, Dr. Kaplan was a partner in the Torrey Pines Health Group, La Jolla, CA, and a principal for Seniormetrix, Inc., in Nashville, TN, on whose board of directors he still serves. He also served as president of U.S. Behavioral Health Plan in San Diego from 2000-2002. Dr. Kaplan earned his Ph.D. and Master of Public Affairs degrees at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and his Bachelor of Science in Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is an assistant clinical professor at the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Mediciine. Dr. Kaplan has been a guest lecturer at the School of Public Health, San Diego State University, and at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kevin Keller is currently a strategic partner for BottomLine Marketing, a San Diego-based business and marketing strategy consulting firm. BottomLine Marketing specializes in helping organizations develop effective strategic marketing platforms and marketing strategies to drive profitable business growth. Throughout his 28-year senior sales and art director career, Mr. Keller has successfully built a broad array of marketing communications programs for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. From 1987 to 2001, Mr. Keller served as founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Goss Keller Martinez, a San Diego firm specializing in corporate communications and publication design. Under his leadership, GKM became an industry leader working with consumer and technology clients including Pacific Life Insurance Company, Ford Motor Company, Dupont, and The Salk Institute. Mr. Keller earned his BA in fine arts from San Jose State University and studied at The University of South Carolina. Previously, he served on the advisory board of Crossflo Systems, a software data sharing platform for mission-critical information systems used by first responder, justice and intelligence agencies. Currently, Mr. Keller serves on the advisory board of The Family Literacy Foundation, a non-profit organization which encourages parents and communities to read aloud with children in order to strengthen family relationships.
Michael Leb is an attorney and business executive. Mr. Leb is the principal of The Leb Law Firm where he specializes in labor law and employment litigation. He also acts as a mediator/arbitrator and is a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court Alternate Dispute Resolution Panel, a Hearing Officer for the City of Santa Monica, and a mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On the business side, Mr. Leb is the President of Hytone International Foods, LLC, a company he founded, and a member of the Board of Directors of Trade Technologies, Inc., based in Austin, Texas. Mr. Leb previously held the position of Senior Vice President - Corporate Human Resources for Wal-Mart. Prior to that, he served in two senior executive posuitions at Safeway. He was Safeway's Vice President of Labor Relations for several years before moving into operations as the Vice President of Manufacturing overseeing the company's 44-plant, private-lavel manufacturing division. Mr. Leb is a cum laude graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School. He lives in Pasadena, CA, with his wife, Nancy Hytone Leb, and beagle, Otis "My Man" Leb.
Clark Libenson is a corporate partner in the Del Mar Heights office of Allen Matkins. With 25 years experience representing domestic and international clients in the real estate, finance, technology, banking, manufacturing and services sectors, Mr. Libenson has built a diverse corporate finance and business practice. His practice focuses on representing cliients in corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and private placements of equity and debt, real estate securities, employee equity and compensation arrangements, corporate governance and board advisory matters. On the international front, Mr. Libenson has extensive experience counseling clients on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, secured financings, equipment leasing and multi-jurisdictional distribution arrangements. Mr. Libenson also counsels clients on general commercial issues, including commercial lending and secured transactions. Mr. Libenson is admitted to practice law in California. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School (J.D., 1982), where he was Financial Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College (A.B., 1979, cum laude) and received a Certificat de Langue Francaise from the University of Paris (Sorbonne).
Mark Palmer is a senior healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has both for profit and not for profit industry experience, and over the last 15 years has served as the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Executive Officer for medium to large acute care hospitals and health systems. Mr. Palmer served as the President and CEO for West Penn and Forbes Hospitals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2006 to 2007, and as CEO and COO for Alvarado Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, California, from 1999-2006. He currently advises health care organizations on leadership and strategy. Mr. Palmer currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Alumni Association of the USC Marshall Graduate School of Business and is affiliated with Connect, a not for profit organization dedicated to the growth of life science technologies in San Diego, CA. Mr. Palmer has served on the Board of Directors for the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the American Heart Association. He has been an active supporter of the Salvation Army "Adopt a Family" program and with the YMCA "Wounded Warrior" program. Mr. Palmer earned his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California.
Michael E. Thornton, a native of South Carolina, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1967. He entered basic training at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, California. Mr. Thornton was subsequently selected for specialized training in Basic Underwater Demolition training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, CA, and the Navy's elite Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) community. Upon successful completion of training, he was assigned to SEAL Team One based in Coronado, CA, from 1968-1974. During the period of October 1968 to January 1973, Mr. Thornton completed several tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam and Thailand. During this time, Mr. Thornton was the recipient of numerous awards. His most prestigious decoration was bestowed on him for heroic actions during his last tour of duty in Vietnam, resulting in saving the life of a fellow SEAL. For this action during a reconaissance and intelligence gathering mission, Mr. Thornton received our nation's highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor. From 1974-1977 Mr. Thornton served as an instructor at the SEAL training command in Coronado, CA. In 1977 he transferred to SEAL Team Two, Little Creek, VA, where he was the senior enlisted sailor in an operational platoon, and also served as an instructor for SEAL Basic Indoctrination. In 1978 Mr. Thornton deployed to the United Kingdom to serve two years in an exchange billet with the Royal Marine British Special Boat Squadron (SBS). Upon completion of his successful tour with the Royal Marines, he returned to help establish and operate with SEAL Team Six. He was instrumental in developing new and innovative operational techniques and hardware that formed the foundation for future unique special operations missions. In June 1982, Mr. Thornton received his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. He completed Basic Officer Diving and Salvage Training and was assigned as the Officer-in-Charge of the Second Class Dive School at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Norfolk, VA. In January 1986, Mr. Thornton reported to USS Edenton as the First Lieutenant and Diving and Salvage Officer. In April 1990, Mr. Thornton reported for duty as Bravo Company Commander where he coordinated a rapid response deployment in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. Mr. Thornton retired from the U.S. Navy in May 1992, as the last Congressional Medal of Honor recipient on active duty in the Navy. Since his retirement, Mr. Thornton has held numerous executive positions with both public and privately-held companies, and continues to serve on the boards of directors of corporate and charitable organizations. Mr. Thornton is a highly sought-after public speaker and consultant. He resides in Texas.
Freedom Is Not Free is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting wounded service members and their families, and the families of the fallen. Freedom Is Not Free makes grants to Purple Heart recipients and their families to meet their immediate financial needs, including but not limited to, the expenses associated with medical care, travel, home modification, and paying bills. We support community projects and provide activities for wounded service members and their families.
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U.S. Troops Killed in OIF: 4,422
U.S. Troops Killed in OEF: 2,100
U.S. Wounded in Action: 50,407
As of 14 May 2013