Meet the Team

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

Leadership

Blake Hogan

Blake Hogan

Chief Executive Officer

U.S. Marine Corps

Sumeet Chahal

Sumeet Chahal

Chief Experience Officer

U.S. Marine Corps

Joe "Hark" Herold

Joe "Hark" Herold

Chief Operating Officer

U.S. Air Force

Becca Keaty

Becca Keaty

Chief Development Officer

U.S. Army National Guard

Todd Connor

Todd Connor

Founder of Bunker Labs

U.S. Navy

Blake Hogan

Blake Hogan

Chief Executive Officer, U.S. 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.

Sumeet Chahlal

Sumeet Chahlal

Chief Experience Officer, U.S. Marine Corps

Sumeet focuses on how Bunker Labs can directly impact and advance the entrepreneurial endeavors of military veterans and military spouses. He oversees program development and execution, direct community engagement and nonfinancial partnerships development and management. Additionally, Sumeet also works as a Culture Index consultant to CEOs of fast-growing companies across the country. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1994–1998.

Joe "Hark" Herold

Joe "Hark" Herold

Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Air Force

Hark oversees all Bunker Labs programming development and execution as well as training and content creation. This includes direct entrepreneurial support as well as programs designed to help develop entrepreneurial ecosystems both nationally and locally across the U.S. Hark is also CEO of Design Thinking Denver, a consulting firm based on the principle that a human-centered approach to innovation can transform organizations and their processes and services. Hark retired from the Air Force as colonel after 28 years of service.

Becca Keaty

Becca Keaty

Chief Development Officer, U.S. 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

Todd Connor

Founder of Bunker Labs, U.S. 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

Doug McCormick

Doug McCormick

Board President

U.S. Army

Lenore Karafa

Lenore Karafa

Vice President

U.S. Marine Corps

Kelly Perdew

Kelly Perdew

Treasurer

U.S. Army

Charlotte Coker Gibson

Charlotte Coker Gibson

Secretary

Ben Cheatham

Ben Cheatham

Doug McCormick

Doug McCormick

Board President, U.S. Army

Mr. McCormick is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at HCI Equity Partners and oversees the origination, management and development of the firm’s investments. Current portfolio companies that he is actively involved with include AmerCare, Summit Interconnect, TotalContainer Group, Naumann/Hobbs Material Handling, Inc. and Quadel Consulting Corporation. Mr. McCormick joined the HCI team in 1999 and has served as a Managing Partner since 2006.

Before joining HCI Equity, Mr. McCormick worked in the Investment Banking Division of MorganStanley & Co., where he was involved in the completion of numerous mergers and acquisitions and acquisition-related financing transactions. Mr. McCormick previously served as a Captain in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, receiving numerous awards for performance and achievement.

Mr. McCormick serves as a board member of Team Red White and Blue, a veterans service organization, and is a Henry Crown Fellow.

Mr. McCormick received his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Lenore Karafa

Lenore Karafa

Vice President, U.S. Marine Corps

Lenore was most recently Head of People, Technology at the Citadel. She is a transformational change agent with experience advising C-level executives on leadership and adaptability to drive better business outcomes. Lenore is passionate about seeing leaders and teams realize their potential.

Previously, Lenore was a Project Leader with McChrystal Group, managing a global workstream to implement CrossLead, a key component of McChrystal Group’s longest-running consulting engagement with a Fortune 500 technology company. She was also a senior leader in McChrystal Group’s West Region.

Prior to joining McChrystal Group, Lenore spent three years at Bank of America in their Debt Capital Markets group. She also had a brief stint in a successful venture-backed start-up, earning her experience in both a large mature company as well as in a small, highly dynamic business environment. During her time at Bank of America, Lenore was the recipient of the Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion Award.

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

Kelly Perdew

Kelly Perdew

Treasurer, U.S. 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

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, 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’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, 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).

Ben Cheatham

Ben Cheatham

Ben leads Advanced Analytics for McKinsey & Company’s Public Sector Practice, focusing on Defense and Security. He serves NATO and FVEY defense agencies with a particular focus on improving operational efficiency while preserving and enhancing combat readiness. He also leads the Firm’s work globally on topics related to criminal justice including policing and corrections. His recent work has addressed a broad range of issues related to improving military logistics, designing more effective law enforcement organizations, and developing bespoke advanced analytic solutions to deliver mission outcomes.

Fred Deese

Fred Deese

U.S. Navy

Nikki Hartung

Nikki Hartung

Military Family

France Hoang

France Hoang

U.S. Army

Kimberly Jung

Kimberly Jung

U.S. Army

Traug Keller

Traug Keller

Fred Deese

Fred Deese

U.S. 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.

Nikki Hartung

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.

France Hoang

France Hoang

U.S. Army

France Hoang is a veteran entrepreneur who has been on the founding teams of companies that have generated over $600 million of combined sales and employed over 1,200 professionals across the fields of law, aerospace, defense, government services, and technology: MAG Aerospace, FH+H, Chisel, and Campaign Partners.

France also has over 20 years of national security experience, with service in every branch of the U.S. Government. He clerked for Chief Judge James E. Baker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. France was appointed by President George W. Bush as an Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President. Shortly after leaving the White House, France mobilized in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM where he served as the Executive Officer of a U.S. Army Special Forces Company on a combat deployment in Southeast Afghanistan.

France previously deployed to the Former Yugoslavia during Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard and later served as the Deputy Chief of Police and SWAT Commander for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He also previously worked as a lawyer at the law firm of Williams & Connolly and briefly served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

France graduated in the academic top 1% of his West Point class (where served as the Brigade Executive Officer and founded the Law Enforcement Tactics Club), received a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Washburn University, and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He somehow also managed to pass both Ranger School and the CPA exam.

France’s current and previous board service includes MAG Aerospace, the Stimson Center, Marymount University, Bunker Labs, and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. France also serves as an advisor to the ABA Standing Committee on Law & National Security. France has been quoted by Law360, American Lawyer, National Defense Magazine, and the Federal Times, and his commentary has been published by the Wall Street Journal.

France was born in Saigon, left Vietnam in a hurry in 1975 before the age of 2, and was raised in Tumwater, Washington.

Kimberly Jung

Kimberly Jung

U.S. Army

Kimberly Jung is the former CEO and a co-founder of Rumi Spice and has served on the Board of Directors of Bunker Labs since 2016. While serving in the US Army as an Engineer Officer, Kim led a route clearance platoon in the Wardak and Ghazni provinces of Afghanistan in 2010–2011. She also served with provincial reconstruction teams as a female engagement team member to help empower Afghan village women. Kim’s passions include women and girls in STEAM, BattleBots, civil discourse, and volleyball. Kim earned her MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS from the US Military Academy at West Point.

Traug Keller

Traug Keller

Experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the SaaS and real estate industry. Skilled in Intelligence Analysis, Operations Management, Analytical Skills, Government, and Business Development. Graduated from Texas Christian University and the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management.

At WeWork, Keller is responsible for the development, articulation, and execution of the go-to-market strategy for the combined Federal and Defense Market. Serves as an internal consultant advising and supporting Brand offering management on the emerging needs within the market to ensure that WeWork is well-positioned to win in the long term.

John Morris

John Morris

Padden Guy Murphy

Padden Guy Murphy

Todd Ohlms

Todd Ohlms

U.S. Air Force

Charlynda Scales

Charlynda Scales

U.S. Air Force

Raj Shah

Raj Shah

U.S. Air Force

John Morris

John Morris

John Morris was previously a Senior Banker in the Nashville office of J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In this role, he was responsible for advising high-net-worth clients in Tennessee on investment management, estate planning, tax, and trust. For over 22 years, John has been involved in professional investment management and private wealth management. Prior to joining J.P.Morgan, he was a Partner of GenSpring Family Offices, where he advised clients on family office activities. He also served as Executive Vice President of SunTrust Banks and Market Executive of Bank of America. John began his career in New York with Bankers Trust/Deutsche Bank and rose to Managing Director responsible for Prime Brokerage. A native of Rochester, New York, John received his B.S. from Syracuse University and M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in New York.

Padden Guy Murphy

Padden Guy Murphy

Padden is Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Reef. Previously, Padden was the Global Head of Public Policy & Social Impact at The We Company. Padden has held senior business development, public affairs, and marketing roles at Getaround and Lyft.

Padden has Bachelors and Masters degrees from Tufts University and Oxford University where he studied US-Chinese relations, economic development, and technology & innovation policy. A proud Montanan, Padden lives in New York City with his incredible wife, Lumay.

Todd Ohlms

Todd Ohlms

Todd Ohlms is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group and is Co-Leader of the Commercial Litigation Team at Freeborn & Peters. His practice involves advising and representing clients on their business-critical litigation matters. He has substantial experience in actions involving temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and in the substantive areas of intellectual property, fiduciary litigation, securities and shareholder litigation, antitrust and trade regulation and complex/multi-jurisdictional disputes. Todd attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Charlynda Scales

Charlynda Scales

U.S. 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.

Raj Shah

Raj Shah

U.S. Air Force

Raj Shah is the chairman of Arceo.ai, a cyber-security start-up. Raj is also a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Most recently he was the managing partner of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), reporting to the Secretary of Defense. Raj led DIUx in its efforts to strengthen U.S. armed forces through contractual and cultural bridges between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon. Previously, Raj was senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks, which acquired Morta Security, where he was chief executive officer and co-founder. He began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Raj serves as an F-16 pilot in the US Air Force and has completed multiple combat deployments. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Taranto

Nick Taranto

U.S. Marine Corps

Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart

Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart

U.S. Marine Corps

Stacey Nash

Stacey Nash

Nick Taranto

Nick Taranto

U.S. Marine Corps

Nick Taranto was born in New York to a Turkish Dad and a Mom from Minnesota. Nick received his BA at Dartmouth and then moved to Java, Indonesia on a Fulbright grant, where he taught English and started a microfinance group. In graduate school Nick studied for his MPA and MBA at Harvard. After earning his MBA at Harvard Business School, Nick was commissioned as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps. Post active duty, Nick spent six months on Wall Street before leaving to found Plated.com as founding President and Co-CEO. Plated is a technology-driven food company on a mission to create a world where healthy, affordable, and delicious food is available for everyone. Prior to its sale to Albertsons in September 2017, Plated raised over $75 million in venture capital, created over 1,000 jobs in 4 different states, and shipped tens of millions of meals across the United States. Nick is a husband, father of two young daughters, and is an Ironman triathlete.

Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart

Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart

U.S. Marine Corps

Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after more than 38 years of active commissioned service to the nation. On his final tour of duty, he served as the Deputy Commander United States Cyber Command, one of the 11 Combatant Commands of the Department of Defense with military and civilian personnel stationed worldwide. Prior to that assignment, he served as the 20th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), culminating an intelligence career by overseeing the global defense intelligence enterprise supporting customers from the President of the United States, to the troops deployed around the world. In His other General Officer assignments, he served as the Commander, Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command and as the Director of Intelligence, for the U.S. Marine Corps.

A career intelligence officer, with over thirty years’ experience in national defense, cybersecurity, information technology development and customer support, he served around the globe in leadership positions for both the Marine Corps and the National Security Agency, specializing in Signals Intelligence and Cyber Operations.

Lt. Gen Stewart earned a Baccalaureate Degree from Western Illinois University and Masters’ degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. and in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. Additionally, he has completed executive development programs at Harvard University.

Among his awards and decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.

Stacey Nash

Stacey Nash

Stacey Nash leads the Enterprise Financial Crimes Management team within the Enterprise Security Group for USAA. In this role she has accountability for the prevention, detection, investigation and recovery of member fraud for USAA. Member security and enterprise authentication strategy is also a key accountability of this function.

Prior to joining USAA Stacey was a leader in the Risk organization for Santander in Boston MA. During that time, she established and led the Fraud Risk, Payment System Risk and Sales Practice Risk programs for the bank.

Stacey began her career at TD Bank in Toronto Canada before relocating to Cherry Hill NJ. During her 19 years at TD she held roles in Contact Center Operations, Product Management, Branch Management, Collections and Recovery, Auto Finance and Fraud.

Stacey is committed to causes that affect women and children through organizations that provide support for victims of abuse and seek to provide financial education to young adults.

In her personal time Stacey enjoys weight training, spinning, running and cooking.

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