Meet the Team

We’re a crew of entrepreneurs, business owners,
and passionate community builders

Leadership

Blake Hogan

Blake Hogan

Chief Executive Officer

Marine Corps

Reggie Ordonez

Reggie Ordonez

Chief Operating Officer

Marine Corps

Becca Keaty

Becca Keaty

Chief Development Officer

Army National Guard

Todd Connor

Todd Connor

Founder of Bunker Labs

Navy

Blake Hogan

Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps

Blake’s goal is to ensure that the American dream can be a reality for military veterans and military spouses and, that in doing so, we build a truly inclusive economy. He is focused on guiding Bunker Labs to help close the systemic gaps military veterans and military spouses face, such as access to capital.”. Blake is also the co-founder of a safety product company, BreakAway Safety Solutions, which provides emergency exits for outdoor events making it easy to get fans out of fenced in events. He served as an officer in the Marine Corps from 2008–2012.

Reggie Ordonez

Chief Operating Officer, Marine Corps

Reggie oversees Bunker Labs marketing and is focused on building goals and processes that accelerate social and economic impact for Veterans and military spouses. He is the founder of a local charity that helps youth train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and served in the Marine Corps from 2004-2016.

 

Becca Keaty

Chief Development Officer, Army National Guard

Becca drives Bunker Labs’ development portfolio to include corporate and foundation giving as well as donor campaigns. Prior to joining Bunker Labs, she worked with the Tribune Media Group and co-founded the literacy social enterprise, Open Books. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a 20-year retired veteran of the Army National Guard.

Todd Connor

Founder of Bunker Labs, Navy

Todd is the founder of Bunker Labs, a national entrepreneurship organization with chapters in 30 states across the U.S., which works with military veterans and military spouses who want to start their own business.

Todd Connor is a widely sought-after speaker, thought leader, and consultant who leads individuals and organizations to unlock their full entrepreneurial potential.

He is also the founder of The Collective Academy, Emerson House, as well as other for-profit and philanthropic organizations.

Board Members

Lenore Karafa

Lenore Karafa

President

Marine Corps

Kelly Perdew

Kelly Perdew

Treasurer

Army

Charlotte Coker Gibson

Charlotte Coker Gibson

Secretary

Todd Connor

Todd Connor

Navy

Fred Deese

Fred Deese

Navy

Lenore Karafa

President, Marine Corps

Lenore Karafa is currently a partner at First In.  First In invests in early-stage Cybersecurity, AI, defense tech/dual use, and data intelligence/automation companies.  First In is committed to empowering entrepreneurs that secure our freedom and expanding opportunity for those who have served.

Lenore Karafa was previously Head of People for Engineering and Global Equities at Citadel responsible for talent transformation, culture, leadership development, performance management, and compensation strategy for 500+ employees. Prior to Citadel, she was a Managing Partner at McChrystal Group (MG), overseeing clients in the technology, healthcare, and financial services sectors.  She has experience driving transformational change in global organizations and advising c-level executives.  She joined MG while it was still a start-up, working closely with other senior leaders to develop MG’s consulting methodology and overseeing a period of 3x revenue and team growth.

Prior to joining MG, Lenore worked in financial services at Bank of America in Debt Capital Markets and SoFi.  During her time at BofA, Lenore was the recipient of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Award.  Lenore is a former Council on Foreign Relations Term Member and 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Lenore graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 2000. She was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, serving on active duty for seven years in various positions, including as a Warfighting Instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and as a team leader in Iraq. In addition to these leadership posts, Lenore has been honored with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

After leaving the Marine Corps in 2007, Lenore received her Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  She currently lives in Park City, Utah with her husband and four young children.

Kelly Perdew

Treasurer, Army

Kelly Perdew is the managing general partner at Moonshots Capital a $20M committed fund and he has previously invested over $13M in 60+ companies through his angel and syndicate deals. Perdew has founded or held senior executive operating roles in ten companies and his notable investment, advisory, and board roles have included: LinkedIn (LNKD), Pandora (P), TrueCar(TRUE), Active Networks (ACTV), ID.me, Scopely, Fair, CrossChx, RideScout (DAI), Harvest.ai(AMZN), Ustream (IBM), Klout (Lithium), Fitmob (ClassPass) and Bitium (GOOG).

Perdew co-founded, with his wife, DuMont Project, a direct-to-consumer consultative media agency that accelerates growth for Fortune 500 and growing venture-backed companies such as J&J, P&G, GNC, Brooks Brothers, Guess, Lucky, Casper, Zillow, Hulu, Tile, Bonobos and many more.

Perdew earned a BS from the US Military Academy, West Point and served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer and completed Airborne and Ranger training. He earned his JD and MBA degrees from UCLA.

In 2005, Perdew won Season 2 of The Apprentice and worked directly for President Donald Trump in New York on multiple projects and published his book, Take Command, focused on applying military leadership principles to business. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dawn, and 8-year-old twins Grant and Grace.

Charlotte Coker Gibson

Secretary

Charlotte brings more than 25 years of experience in various facets of diversity and inclusion, HR and corporate social responsibility management as the Executive Director of the PwC Charitable Foundation.

Throughout her 15 year tenure at PwC Charitable Foundation, she has held various leadership positions, most recently as Director and Employee Engagement leader on the firm’s Corporate Responsibility team. In this role, she was responsible for identifying and implementing employee engagement strategies, national non-profit partnerships, scalable programming components and skills-based volunteer opportunities in support of the firm’s Earn Your Future (EYF) commitment, a five-year, $160 million dollar investment supporting youth education with an emphasis on improving the financial competency of American youth.

Prior, Coker Gibson, under PwC Charitable Foundation’s National Office of Diversity, led its Impact Program—a national early minority talent development program. As well, she served as the region’s Washington Metro Diversity Leader, responsible for leading and driving the diversity and inclusion strategy throughout the market.

Before joining PwC Charitable Foundation, Coker Gibson was the Vice President of Corporate Volunteer Development at the Points of Light Foundation, the world’s leading nonprofit volunteer organization. A member of the Foundation’s executive team, Coker Gibson was responsible for overseeing the corporate volunteer strategy, including corporate member services for Fortune 500 companies, training, product development, and research for business practitioners. Additional experiences included Vice President of Business Development for Social Entrepreneurs Alliance for Change, a start-up nonprofit and HR and Corporate Responsibility management roles with Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae).

Todd Connor

Navy

Todd Connor is currently CEO of Veterans for Political Innovation, an organization he co-founded to give a voice and a platform for the military-connected community to address political polarization through election reforms and innovations. Todd is also the founder of Bunker Labs, a national entrepreneurship organization dedicated to helping the military-connected community start and grow businesses. Founded in Chicago in 2014, Bunker Labs has grown to over 40 chapters across the United States and serves over 1,200 entrepreneurs annually. Bunker Labs works to support the military-connected community by offering programs for entrepreneurs to connect with the people, resources, and opportunities they need to be successful with their early-stage ventures.

Todd is a former management consultant, U.S. Navy veteran, and has held many leadership roles in the public and private sectors. In addition to Bunker Labs and Veterans for Political Innovation, he is also the founder of The Collective Academy, a leadership development consulting firm, as well as Emerson House, a luxe retreat venue in La Porte, Indiana. Todd holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is the author of Third Shift Entrepreneur (Wiley, 2020).

Todd serves as the lead facilitator for the President George W. Bush Veteran Leadership Program in Dallas, Texas, and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has been recognized as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Presidio Fellow, and is a thought leader on entrepreneurship, veterans issues, and economic development. Todd, his husband Andrew, and their son Jasper live in Northwest Indiana.

Fred Deese

Navy

The owner of just shy of a dozen businesses across the federal, state, local and commercial sectors, Deese is best known for his information technology contracting company Visual Connections, which, since 2007, has won 42 federal contracts totaling $215M in contract value. Owner, executive chairman, or investor in a suite of additional companies in spaces ranging from trucking to private equity, Deese got his entrepreneurial start in the early 2000s following two heavily awarded stints in the U.S. Navy, where he developed the skills and acumen to pursue his professional interests in any sector.

Elizabeth Gore

Elizabeth Gore

Nikki Hartung

Nikki Hartung

Military Family

Tim Hsia

Tim Hsia

Army

Lewis Runnion

Lewis Runnion

Army

Charlynda Scales

Charlynda Scales

Air Force

Elizabeth Gore

Elizabeth Gore is a highly accomplished business leader and entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the world of finance, technology, and social entrepreneurship. As the co-founder and president of Hello Alice, she is committed to empowering small and medium businesses to achieve equitable access to capital, by building the largest community of business owners in the country, hosting over one million SMBs. Through her work, Elizabeth is breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, including women, people of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

Prior to her role at Hello Alice, Elizabeth served as the entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell Technologies, where she played a key role in driving initiatives to support small and medium businesses to scale and prosper, expanding global entrepreneurship. Currently, Elizabeth sits on the Board for Bunker Labs, an entrepreneur organization for Veterans and military spouses. She also advises the growth of purpose-driven companies, such as Scoop and Go-Fund-Me, and is an investing limited partner with Portfolia fund. Elizabeth is an advisor to Ring Ventures, a Texas A&M University oriented investment fund, and part owner of Gore Family Vineyards in Sonoma County.

Elizabeth’s contributions to social entrepreneurship are unparalleled. She served the United Nations Foundation for nearly a decade, where she was the vice president of global partnerships. During her tenure, Elizabeth founded strategic grassroots efforts like Nothing But Nets and Girl Up which have had a profound impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. Elizabeth is the emeritus chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council and continues to play an active role in supporting entrepreneurship initiatives around the world. Elizabeth is a proud former United States Peace Corps Volunteer where she served in Bolivia, South America.

Elizabeth has been recognized for her work in various media outlets, including ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business, Fortune, Glamour, and Time. She has also been named one of People magazine’s “Top 100 Extraordinary Women,” one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Women to Watch.”

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Elizabeth is a world champion equestrian, a sprint triathlete, and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness on behalf of the UN. She serves on the board of The Global Entrepreneurship Network, which operates a platform of projects and programs in 180+ countries.

Elizabeth holds an undergraduate and masters degree from Texas A&M University and resides in Sonoma County, CA with her husband, James Gore, a California elected official, and their two hilarious children.

Nikki Hartung

Military Family

Nikki Atkins Hartung is the Managing Director and Regional Director of Consumer Banking and Chase Wealth Management for Southern California at JPMorgan Chase.

As Regional Director, Nikki is responsible for the consumer branches and financial advisors throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire, managing over $27 billion in assets. In this role, Nikki and her team strive to fulfill the savings and long-term financial needs of individual clients and small business owners. Working with bank clients to meet their everyday banking needs has always been the motivating factor for Nikki. In addition to helping her branches serve Chase clients, Nikki is responsible for the development of her team, representing Chase in the Southern California community, and creating job opportunities as the retail branches continue to grow. Under Nikki’s leadership, the San Diego market has moved from #4 in market share to #1 in seven years.

Nikki recently celebrated 25 years with JPMorgan Chase. She started in the bank’s Retail Management Training Program and has held various leadership positions in consumer and wealth management.

Nikki’s passion for military causes began when her brother enlisted in the USMC in 1999. Born and raised in Houston, her first trip to San Diego was to attend her brother’s graduation from boot camp at Camp Pendleton. She eventually moved to San Diego in 2009 at the time of the Washington Mutual/JPMorgan Chase merger to oversee Southern California. The large military presence in San Diego became the perfect place for Nikki to make a difference and give back to the military community. Within JPMorgan, Nikki is the Executive Sponsor for Chase’s Voices of Employees That Served (VETS) program and is involved in numerous internal military initiatives.

Nikki graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing and attended the Graduate School of Retail Banking at the University of Virginia. Nikki lives in San Diego with her husband and her two children (15 and 17 years old), and spends her free time cheering them on at their sporting events.

Tim Hsia

Army

Tim Hsia is a distinguished honor graduate of West Point and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the US Army. Tim deployed twice to Iraq: he served as an infantry platoon leader in combat with 1-24 Infantry, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Mosul, Iraq.

As an executive officer with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (3/2 SCR) he helped the unit move from Ft. Lewis, WA to Vilseck, Germany. He then served as a logistics officer for 3/2 SCR during its fourteen-month deployment in support of the surge in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star.

Tim transitioned from active duty in 2010 and graduated from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School in 2014. While at Stanford he taught ROTC to cadets at Stanford and Santa Clara University. Tim is the CEO & Founder of Media Mobilize (an online ad network, marketing agency, and media company).

Tim is the founder and Managing Partner of Context Ventures, a venture fund that invests in military veteran founders and also in consumer startups. Tim’s startup investments include Workflow (acquired by Apple), Morning Brew (acquired by Business Insider), The Hustle (acquired by HubSpot), Thredup (IPO), Proterra (SPAC), Bright Cellars, FabFitFun, Verb Energy, Lime (scooter), and Secureframe. Tim is a board member at Service to School (co-founder) and the Marine’s Memorial Association (Marine Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco). He is also a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar.

Tim is a published writer in the Infantry Magazine, Small Wars Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times (two op-eds and first military writer for the NYT At War blog). Tim and his family live and work in San Francisco. He enjoys running, reading, and spending time with his family.

Lewis Runnion

Army

Lewis Runnion co-founded Eleven 09, LLC to deliver innovative solutions to American businesses, government agencies, and philanthropies helping them develop transformative programs impacting active military, their families, and the Nation’s veterans. As co-founder and Managing Partner, he advises senior executives and organizations on building integrated programs and helps them in navigating complex environments to best apply the resources available to gain measurable outcomes.

Lewis has a nearly 20-year history in the financial services industry both in private banking and, most recently, public policy. Lewis’ experience includes engagements with national organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, as well as local, state, and federal governmental entities.

As Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Director of Military Affairs at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he oversaw initiatives that assisted military veterans and their families with needs related to financial services, education, employment, and housing.

During his career, Lewis has helped to construct workforce development programs that have proven track records of success by adding more than 8,000 veterans to the workforce. He has been the lead architect in the allocation and management of tens of millions of dollars of philanthropic partnerships taking close care to align outcome-based programs with strong, integrated marketing and communication strategies for the organizations and communities that he serves.

Lewis and his team were innovators by initiating government/private partnerships, such as the first-ever Social Impact Bond (SIB) focused on veteran employment programs. Discovering a need for veteran entrepreneurs to access low-cost capital, Lewis helped to build national programs to make tens of millions of capital available through Community Development Funds. Lewis has built some of the most recognized post-9/11 veteran programs in America.

Lewis serves on the board of directors for both America Warrior Partnership and The Infinite Hero Foundation and he was a co-founder of Veterans on Wall Street. His previous board roles included Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, YMCA Fort Worth, and The R4 Alliance, among others.

Prior to beginning his financial services career, Lewis served as both an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer in the United States Army, attaining his commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Following his discharge from active Army, Lewis spent an additional five years in the United States Army Reserve.

 

Charlynda Scales

Air Force

Charlynda Scales is a TEDx speaker, brand ambassador, Air Force Veteran, social media influencer, and the founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce, LLC, a company that makes “the sauce for every meal.” Mutt’s Sauce was the Grand Prize Winner of Bob Evan’s Farms’ 2017 Heroes to CEOs Contest.

She is a Clemson University graduate, with a degree in Aerospace Science and Business Management. She also holds an MBA in Strategic Leadership. She started the company Mutt’s Sauce, LLC while she was still serving on active duty in the military.

Charlynda has been featured in Forbes.com, MadameNoire.com, CBS News, Black Enterprise Magazine, Military.com, Army.mil, and Air Force Association Magazine. In 2016, she was crowned 2nd runner up, Ms. Veteran America. Charlynda was also selected for the March 2018 cover of Military Spouse magazine.

Work With Us

Staff Members

Chris Carlson

Chris Carlson

Experience Manager, CEOcircle Program

Military Family Member

Haley Chapman

Haley Chapman

Project Manager, Growth Programs

Xavier Clarke

Xavier Clarke

Program Director, Growth Programs

Marine Corps

Jihan Tchamba Diallo

Jihan Tchamba Diallo

Director of Foundations and Grants

Military Family Member

Erin Ehrhardt

Erin Ehrhardt

Designer

Brittany Gibbons

Brittany Gibbons

Director of Partner Engagement

Military Spouse

Richard Gonzales

Richard Gonzales

CEOcircle Resource Manager

Army

Jenny Hans

Jenny Hans

Director of Corporate Giving

Military Family Member

Lexie Jones

Lexie Jones

Executive Assistant

Keith Kappel

Keith Kappel

Content Writer

Navy

Rosie Lee

Rosie Lee

Resource Manager, Growth Programs

Liz Marion

Liz Marion

Program Director, CEOcircle

Military Spouse

Olivia Marvel

Olivia Marvel

Systems Administrator

Amy McHaffie

Amy McHaffie

Human Resources Manager

Amy Mortensen

Amy Mortensen

Marketing Project Manager

Devin Sizer

Devin Sizer

Director, Nonprofit Strategy and Operations

Mike Steadman

Mike Steadman

Podcast Host

Marine Corps

Karri Suh

Karri Suh

Director of Marketing

Military Family Member