American Heroes for North Carolina is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded by veterans. Our vision is to make the Triad area a welcoming place for veterans. We strive to educate the community about the importance of supporting our vets and the value they bring to our community. Also, we work to educate veterans about their post-military opportunities and to encourage them to return to the Triad to live, work, and play.
AH4NC promotes the interests of former members of the US Armed Services who served their country honorably, whose family members sacrificed their time and treasure to make it possible for their family to serve and to protect America’s freedoms, and who now seek to fulfill their goals to become productive citizens and community leaders.
AH4NC champions the truth that most veterans return from serving their country as mature, confident, trained leaders of character, who make stellar employees and who bring great value to our society. Unfortunately, too many Americans believe the stereotypes about the struggling veteran or about the “American Sniper Effect” (in other words, they believe the lie that all veterans return with PTSD and all veterans need a handout). AH4NC highlights the successes of our returning veterans and celebrates the dedication, commitment, and resilience of those who served in the Armed Forces.
AH4NC hosts two major events each year to focus attention on the success of veterans: In May, we host a Veterans Appreciation Day to provide a day of fun and relaxation to veterans and their families and to provide the public an opportunity to enjoy a day with our veterans and to say “thanks” to those who served. In November, we host a Veterans Recognition Banquet to highlight veterans who have served their country honorably and who have returned to our community to lead successful business careers.
Today, only 1% of American citizens are involved in the Armed Forces. As a result, this 1% carries the heavy responsibility of protecting the freedoms of the other 99%, mostly civilians and their families. Consequently, military service is a sacrifice for everyone involved. The number of active duty members is decreasing with every passing year and, after their selfless service, these men and women return to the civilian world. In a world where most civilians struggle to find work, it is even more difficult for a veteran to plug into the workforce.
Our vision at AH4NC is to make our community a welcoming place for veterans. We strive to educate the community about the importance of supporting our veterans and about the value our veterans bring to our community. Also, we strive to educate veterans about their post-military opportunities and to encourage them to return to the Triad to live, work, and play.
North Carolina is home to the third largest military population in the United States and the 8th largest veteran population. Through signature events and programs, AH4NC connects employers and veterans.
PTSD is minimal among our service members. Certainly, war creates stress, and many service members know the stress and pressure of war. However, recent studies about PTSD have been misinterpreted. Most service members do not suffer from PTSD. Many Americans have developed a common misconception about how pervasive PTSD has affected our military. According to recent studies, 90-95% of veterans have no effects from PTSD. Instead, these veterans return to civilian life more mature and more responsible than many of their contemporaries, who have not undergone the rigors and discipline of military training. The pressure and crucible of war strengthens them and toughens them. They come back as better leaders. They are more dedicated, more committed, more mature, and they are better prepared to become model citizens of our great country.
Our commitment to these initiatives and programs is currently being carried out by volunteers, volunteer officers, and volunteer Board members.
Board of Directors
Al Aycock is the Managing Partner of the Ramparts Group, a company dedicated to aligning business and industry with defense needs and opportunities in the areas of military base management, energy, and the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Aycock served in the military for 38 years, retiring in 2016. During his time, he was responsible for the Army’s $5 billion military construction program where his team established the Army’s first Facility Investment Program to refocus leader decision-making during a time of reduced funding and all future Army facilities were set with a standard design.
Aycock’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster(OLC), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two OLCs, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five OLCs, Korea Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Heather Bowers Cross has been a banking professional in North Carolina since 2001. She currently is a Senior Vice President Market Executive for Fidelity Bank in the Guilford County market. In this capacity, she is responsible for identifying and servicing commercial clients in need of financial support in order to grow their businesses. She has been the key executive for Fidelity Bank who is responsible for a growth in commercial and retail banking for the Triad Market.
Active in the community, Ms. Cross has held leadership positions in Rotary International, The Queen’s Foundation, High Point University Alumni Board, Homes4NC, String & Splinter Club, Laurel University, High Point Chamber of Commerce, and High Point University Panther Club.
Tom Dayvault is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., the Institute of Organization Management, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, University of Georgia; Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro; Economic Development, UNC Chapel Hill; and Community Strategic Planning, Georgia Tech.
Jim Hoffman is the President and Founder of American Heroes for North Carolina, a nonprofit community effort to recognize veteran contributions in the community, to invigorate employers to hire veterans, and to help veterans integrate easy after active duty service and to find success continuously in choosing civilian employment and in finding educational opportunities. He is also a Founding Partner, and Owner, of Hoffman Koenig Hering PLLC, a law firm designed to assist business leaders develop their companies for success, to manage risk, and to resolve disputes.
As a Cadet, Jim was selected as First Captain of the United States Military Academy, and served as the Commander of 4400 Cadets, responsible for training and discipline, including enforcement of the Cadet Honor Code, and he represented the Academy in ceremonial events at West Point and across the country.
Jim has continued to serve his community in a number of capacities, including as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Graduates for the United States Military Academy; as a Committee Member for Ready for School/Ready for Life; as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Urban Ministries; as a Board Member of Guilford Child Development; and as a member of the Executive Committee, Spartan Club, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dan Hood is Founder and President of HICAPS, Inc., a multi-faceted Services and Construction Management firm specializing in Construction Management, Telecommunications solutions for Public Safety and Building Diagnostics. Dan has led HICAPS from initial startup in 1984 through its capital raising phase and transition of the company’s business model to a more diverse and all-inclusive services portfolio.
Some of his signature projects include: providing solutions to University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C. for 25 years which involved 65 to 95 projects every month; from design through construction and serving as the Construction Manager for the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. This new, unique and challenging project which used both private and public money to design and construct a 60,000-square foot, $11.7 million-dollar project in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chad Setliff is a healthcare executive currently serving as the president and COO of two hospitals in the Greater Winston-Salem market as well as the lead executive for the Orthopedics service line.
Chad served as a captain in the United States Army on active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Sarajevo, Bosnia. Later, Chad continued his military service with the Army National Guard, as detachment commander.
Chad is active in the community as a member of the Jerry Long YMCA board of directors and the Piedmont Triad Partnership Board. He has been involved with the executive team of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and was a board member of the Lewisville Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. Chad was named as one of the area’s top business leaders, on the Triad Business Journal’s 2012 40 under 40 list.
Stephen Shaw is an experienced copyright, trademark and patent attorney who helps clients resolve intellectual property disputes and protect their trademarks, copyrights and patents. Stephen’s strong tax and transactional background assists clients in favorably structuring business transactions involving substantial intellectual property issues.
His specific areas of focus include: Anti-Counterfeiting/Brand Enforcement Protection, Home Furnishings and Start-Up/Emerging Growth Companies.
Before law school, Stephen spent four years as an Infantry officer with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, including two combat tours to Iraq. He currently serves in a Marine Corps Reserve unit based in Greensboro, N.C.
Don Webb graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, M.D. He served five years as a Naval Officer and spent 20 years in executive management for transportation and logistics companies in Green Bay, W.I. and High Point, N.C. He served individuals clients and corporation for the past 13 years as a Financial Advisor/Branch Manager in High Point.
Additionally, he served as a Vice Chairman of the Board at Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, Board of Visitors Member at High Point University, Chairman of the Board of the High Point Regional Health Foundation, and as an officer in the High Point Republican Party from 2000-2012.
Glenn Gonzales graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, where he played basketball as a Cadet. 10 years active duty in the United States Air Force. Commissioned as a pilot. Stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, TX, where he was a T-38 Instructor Pilot. Then spent 4 ½ years as an F-15 fighter pilot before leaving the active duty service. Still active in the Air Force Reserve, with the rank of LTC. Serves in the Civil Air Patrol in the Northeast Region, from NC to MD.
Glenn worked at HondaJet for 4 ½ years, where he learned the culture of the company, its clients, and their needs. Glenn observed the Harvard Business Journal’s case study of HondaJet, which concluded that the company had no business model to support it. As a result, he created his own company, Jet It, to sell fractional ownership in jet airplanes – Honda Jets.
Now, Glenn owns his own company, Jet It. With 4 of its own airplanes, Jet It will add another plane this month. Glenn serves clients like Coca Cola and 3M. HBJ is now doing a new case study, reviewing Jet It.
Rob O’Hanlon was raised in Aurora CO. He served in the US Marine Corps, Earning the MOS 0311 Rifleman and shortly after went on to serve as a Recon Marine MOS 0321, 1980-1984.Unfortunately in 1983 I suffered a severe training injury which ended my Recon activities. I finished my four years proudly and earned the rank of Sergeant ( E-5 ) in three years and two months.
At the completion of my military service I went on to join Prudential Insurance/ Securities as an advisor. In the advisor role I earned the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table and Prudential’s President Citation. After three years as an advisor I was promoted to Sales Manager for several years also earning the prestigious Prudential President Citation. The balance of my 24 years with Prudential was serving as Managing Director in a few locations around the country…also earning the Prestigious Prudential President Citation, not many associates have earned this award at all three levels. During these years I served my community with the Boy Scouts of America as well as with several Business Associations.
In 2008 I decided to leave corporate America and return to NC, purchasing several insurance agencies. I have always felt the call to serve my community and especially our veterans. Since 2008 I have served with the Marine Corps League 260 in various roles. I currently serve as Chairman of the Eagle Board for Old North State Council BSA. I am the past Chairman of The Board and current Board member for the War Memorial Foundation, responsible for the creation and building of the Carolina Field of Honor, along with amazing fellow board members.
Ms. Julia Baun is a dedicated manager with more than 15 years of experience in international development spanning sectors of countering violent extremism/counterinsurgency, stability operations, civil society, and local governance. Ms. Baun expertise includes interagency coordination, strategic planning, and program design, implementation, and management across Nigeria, Senegal, Iraq, and Syria.
Ms. Baun began her career as a U.S. Army Officer, first assigned to the Signal Corps and later to Special Operations as a Civil Affairs Officer. Over nearly ten years of U.S. Army service, Ms. Baun completed assignments in Korea and Germany, two deployments to Iraq and one deployment to Senegal. During her deployments to Iraq, Ms. Baun was selected as the Aide-de-Camp for a three-star Lieutenant General, who served as both the Deputy Commanding General for Multinational Forces Iraq and Senior British Military Representative to Iraq (2004-2005) and the Regimental Civil Affairs Officer of a Stryker Brigade focused on the revitalization of Baghdad infrastructure projects (landfill, waste water treatment, agricultural initiatives, etc.) (2007). While deployed to Senegal, Ms. Baun managed and supervised a four-person Civil Military Support Element (CMSE) assigned to the US Embassy to conduct capacity assessments and community-based programming in the areas of health and education.
At present, Ms. Baun is an independent consultant, focusing on recruiting for international development firms and NGOs hiring both local and international staff.
Ms. Baun also has a broad understanding of intersecting policy objectives, business development, and funding coordination for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State (DoS), and the Department of Defense (DoD). Ms. Baun is a native English speaker. She holds a Masters in International Service from American University, and Bachelor of Science in Biology and Anthropology from Dickinson College.
Michael Brown is the President and Founder of Olde Town Financial Management Company. They are the only fee-only State Registered Investment Adviser firm currently registered in NC, VA and PA. Their services provide clients with in-depth financial planning and investment management solutions.
Michael gradated with a BA in Political Science from the University of NC Greensboro in 1997 with a Pre-Law Concentration and Business Minor. He was Honorably Discharged from the US Army after serving from 1988-1996. He had multiple over-seas deployments and is a decorated combat veteran.
Mary Ann Hoffman