THE Corporate and Foundation partners


The Executive Staff

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JAKE CLARK - President and founder

Ronald “Jake” Clark is a US Army Veteran of the Cold War era and the California Army National Guard during the Post 9/11 era. During a lengthy break in military service, Jake served with the U.S. Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following the events of 9/11 he reenlisted in the Guard, completed Officer Candidate School, and served multiple Peacekeeping tours to the former Yugoslavia where he witnessed the aftermath of genocidal atrocities, greatly impacting his worldview. While an MBA student at Pepperdine University, he interrupted his studies to create Malibu-based Save A Warrior. Jake's novel and disruptive approach in the areas of reintegration and PTS-related suicide prevention, inspired the creation and informs the curriculums of several derivative resiliency programs across the country and abroad. A sought after public speaker on the challenges of Veteran transition and reintegration, as well as his work with First Responders exposed to workplace trauma, his passion for serving those who serve has inspired several films and major news articles. In 2015, he received the WebMD Health Hero Award for his work in Veteran advocacy. In 2017, Save A Warrior was declared a winner at the second annual VA BrainTrust: Pathways to Innovation for its disruptive and pioneering approach to ending Veteran suicide.  

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Keith Ritz - Chief executive officer

Keith (Cohort 048) has spent most of his adult life in Cleveland, OH, where he lives with his wife of 25 years.  Together they have raised 2 children.  He is passionate about his family.  He helped found and grow Redwood Living, a Midwestern single story apartment development company and retired in 2015. He is familiar with many facets of real estate development, construction and general business.  He received an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.  He has a passion for the outdoors, hiking, riding his ATV’s and spending time with his family, including his 2 brothers, both of whom he is extremely close with.  Keith has had an interest in military affairs for most of his life. His deep appreciation for the sacrifices of those who have served both in the military as well as our first responders is evident in the work he and his wife Liz are performing for SAW.  The suicide epidemic in these communities has motivated him to commit considerable personal time and energy to do whatever he can to help alleviate this crisis.  He realizes that there is a need for disruptive applications to help serve a segment of this community as the Government programs to date have been grossly inadequate in getting the results needed to help those who have sacrificed so much.

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TERRY Scariot - chief operating officer

Terry (Cohort 017) is a Board Member and Officer of USA Cares, Board Member of Western Kentucky University Clinical Education Complex/Autism Center, and an Advisor to The Mission Continues, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, and The Center for Courageous Kids. From 2001 to 2011, Terry held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Pan Oston, a manufacturer and marketer of retain fixtures. He held positions of increasing responsibility in executive management from 1972 to 2000 at several diverse companies in the chemical, automotive, energy, capital equipment, and consumer hardware product markets. Terry was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Missouri in 1970 and a Master's in Business from the University of Missouri in 1972, graduating summa cum laude and number one in his class.

 

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Adam Carr - Executive Director Warrior Village

Adam (Cohort 035) has over 12 years of service in the U.S. Army. As a Special Forces Green Beret, Adam hunted Al Qaeda operatives, developed intelligence networks, conducted diplomatic relations, and briefed Ambassadors and Generals on Geopolitical environments.  In 2006, Adam earned his B.A. in Security and Intelligence from The Ohio State University.  He spent the next eight years deploying to Asia, including Operation Enduring Freedom - The Philippines and Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan. Adam's passion comes from a deep-rooted desire to serve others and save lives.

Adam has been profoundly affected over the loss of his teammates, mentors, and close friends to suicide. He currently speaks to students, corporations, and a wide variety of audiences all over the country. Adam is a graduate of the Ignite Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Currently he is finishing his MBA at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. Adam lives in Dublin, OH with his wife Tarah and their three children, Noah, Jonah, and Norah.

 

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BRIAN HAGERTY - DIRECTOR OF Programming

Brian (Cohort 009) is a Veteran having served Active Duty in the US Army and the Army National Guard from 1986-1994.  He then retired from the Los Angeles Police Department after 22 years of service where he worked patrol and other specialized units.  With great pride, Brian is part of the SAW Alumni and the Servant Leadership it strives to create for this great nation. 

As Director of Programming, Brian manages Alumni Affairs, First Responder Relations, assists with planning and execution of Cohorts, and maintains direct communication and guidance over Alumni & Shepherds.  Brian’s affinity for this work and desire to serve and honor all Warriors comes from his love for his grandfather Cpl. W.W. Hall, USMC, an Iwo Jima Survivor.

 

 

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Mark lema - DIRECTOR OF alumni affairs

Mark (Cohort 042) is a retired Deputy Sheriff from the San Benito County Sheriffs Department. Mark served his county and the State of California from 1991-2005. While serving he was assigned to Patrol and other special assignments. Mark medically retired in December 2005 after multiple back operations. After retirement, he took a position as an Investigator in San Jose, CA for a bail agency, covering from Yreka to Bakersfield.

Mark holds a degree in criminal justice and is currently the financial officer for a private school in Hollister, CA. Mark has had an extremely profound experience while attending his cohort. Mark strives to be a servant leader in all aspects of his life. Nothing is more fulfilling however than the work he does with SAW. Mark's desire to keep giving and to serve others is a direct reflection of the love he has for his Grandfather Sgt. Leonardo Paradiso, U.S Army, WWII.

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Jeff Henson - Programming

Jeff (Cohort 038) served in the U.S. Air Force for 14 years.  During his career, Jeff served in various locations throughout the world, including King Khalid International Airport in 1990 and 1991 during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  He lead a Supply Unit that had the highest KC-135 Tanker utilization rate in theater, providing more than 1,000,000 pounds of JP4 jet fuel per day during Operation Desert Storm.

Following the military, he earned a B.S. in Operations Management with high honors from Indiana University, and a M.B.A. in Finance from Butler University.  Jeff continued to lead from the front in his civilian career, with positions of increasing responsibility at Delphi Automotive, Bose, Motorola, and finally Zodiac.  

Currently, Jeff is pursuing his PhD at California Institute of Integral Studies with an emphasis on Depth Psychology.  The sole purpose of this endeavor is aimed at continuing his work as a Wounded Healer.

In his spare time, Jeff serves as the lead mentor in the Orange County Veterans Treatment court, has a deepening meditation practice as a Vipassana practitioner, mentors local high school students in math, runs a monthly pancake breakfast at the Oasis Senior Center in Corona del Mar, and is an “O” rated leader in the Sierra Club.  To say that he likes to hike might be an understatement as he recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 19,341’ as a fundraiser for Save A Warrior.


Board of directors

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Keith Ritz - CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Keith (Cohort 048) has spent most of his adult life in Cleveland, OH, where he lives with his wife of 25 years.  Together they have raised 2 children.  He is passionate about his family.  He helped found and grow Redwood Living, a Midwestern single story apartment development company and retired in 2015. He is familiar with many facets of real estate development, construction and general business.  He received an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.  He has a passion for the outdoors, hiking, riding his ATV’s and spending time with his family, including his 2 brothers, both of whom he is extremely close with.  Keith has had an interest in military affairs for most of his life. His deep appreciation for the sacrifices of those who have served both in the military as well as our first responders is evident in the work he and his wife Liz are performing for SAW.  The suicide epidemic in these communities has motivated him to commit considerable personal time and energy to do whatever he can to help alleviate this crisis.  He realizes that there is a need for disruptive applications to help serve a segment of this community as the Government programs to date have been grossly inadequate in getting the results needed to help those who have sacrificed so much.

 

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Tim Agajanian - BOARD MEMBER

Tim is a Partner in the Los Angeles office of Ropers Majeski Koh & Bentley and is a member of the firm's Business Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Toxic Tort & Environmental Law practices groups. He focuses his practice on matters involving business law and commercial litigation, construction defect litigation, environmental law, general liability and casualty litigation, insurance, municipal contracting, government affairs, professional liability, business transactions, and real estate. Known for providing practical, hands-on advice to regional and national clients in business transactions and litigation, his counsel includes advising clients on daily operations, leases, strategic planning for future ventures and growth, new business formation and entity selection. In addition, Tim has extensive experience handling environmental remediation matters across Southern California, involving Superfund issues and other regulatory compliance concerns for waste management and landfill companies.

 

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Matt Bassitt - Board Member

A licensed loan originator since 2003, Matt (Cohort 035) started his own Mortgage Branch (Northwestern Home Loans) in 2009 where he specializes in VA home loans.  He served in the USAF Reserves from '97-'03, and was Presidentially Activated for Kosovo Campaign where he flew as a crew chief aboard the HC-130 (P-model’s) in the 939th Rescue Wing. While serving in the Air Force, there is a motto within Search and Rescue - “That Others May Live”.  Matt always felt very fortunate to have served his country without disability or ailment, including Post Traumatic Stress and he can’t help but want to help.  Matt is also a huge part of "The Scotch" - a 2 day golf/auction fundraising event that began in 2015 to help raise awareness and funds for Save A Warrior.  It is a great way to enjoy camaraderie with friends, enjoy one of the best golf courses in the country, and most importantly raise funds and awareness.  Matt, with a grateful heart, donates much of his time, money, and energy, for one reason….That Others May Live! He feels lucky to be introduced to Save A Warrior, and he couldn’t be prouder to be an alumni, board member, and strong supporter of this great organization. In his free time, Matt spends time with his amazing wife Sarah, and 3 little girls, Ayla, Dani, and Harlow.  "They bring me more joy than I could have ever imagined." Family, friends, and golf make up most of his time away from work…he can’t complain too much!

 

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JAKE CLARK - President and founder

Ronald “Jake” Clark is a US Army Veteran of the Cold War era and the California Army National Guard during the Post 9/11 era. During a lengthy break in military service, Jake served with the U.S. Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following the events of 9/11 he reenlisted in the Guard, completed Officer Candidate School, and served multiple Peacekeeping tours to the former Yugoslavia where he witnessed the aftermath of genocidal atrocities, greatly impacting his worldview. While an MBA student at Pepperdine University, he interrupted his studies to create Malibu-based Save A Warrior. Jake's novel and disruptive approach in the areas of reintegration and PTS-related suicide prevention, inspired the creation and informs the curriculums of several derivative resiliency programs across the country and abroad. A sought after public speaker on the challenges of Veteran transition and reintegration, as well as his work with First Responders exposed to workplace trauma, his passion for serving those who serve has inspired several films and major news articles. In 2015, he received the WebMD Health Hero Award for his work in Veteran advocacy. In 2017, Save A Warrior was declared a winner at the second annual VA BrainTrust: Pathways to Innovation for its disruptive and pioneering approach to ending Veteran suicide.  

 

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Bradley Hillstrom Jr - Board Member

Bradley (Cohort 035) is the CEO of vMocion, LLC, a technology licensing company. Prior to vMocion, Bradley co-founded and led Transparent Media Company, a film finance company. Bradley also served as President of Hillstrom Equities and Hillstrom Entertainment, where the companies reached notable success in the technology, entertainment, and healthcare sectors under his leadership. He played an integral role in developing innovative financing structures and backend technologies that created both profitability and efficiency within each organization. In addition to spearheading the company’s corporate development activities and digital initiatives, Mr. Hillstrom closely managed the legal and business aspects of each transaction that occurred. Bradley served in the Unites States Marine Corps, where he built upon his natural leadership abilities, innate focus, discipline, and commitment. He served from 2003-2007 and was a member of F.A.S.T. Company (Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams) for two tours of duty. Additionally, he was a member of the 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment where he was awarded a medal for bravery in combat.

 

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Elisabeth "Liz" Ritz - Board Member

Liz lives in Cleveland Ohio with her Husband and two children Jack and Emma.  Her deep sense of commitment of helping and showing her appreciation for our Veterans and their families stems from a life long imbued indoctrination from her Grandfather and Fathers influences.  Both men served and later spent a combined 80+ years paying it forward through the American Legion.  This left a indelible impact on Liz, who met and saw first hand the cost of our country’s conflict on our young and Veteran service members.  As an avid horsewomen she expanded her knowledge in working with Veterans at Fieldstone Therapeutic Riding Center.  Equine therapy showed her a new way in which she could hone her life long skills with her passion to help our Veteran community.  Soon after Meeting SAW’s Deputy Director Adam Carr and inviting him to speak at her children’s High School a friendship began and a new awareness of what many of our returning Veterans were experiencing.  The epidemic of Veteran suicide can not be ignored and her mission to serve those who have served us and our nation was clear.  Liz and her Husband Keith are passionate and committed to establishing Warrior Village, a sacred place for our Military’s Men and Women to heal  and move forward so that they can live the lives they deserve.
 

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Todd Robinson - Board Member

Todd Robinson (Cohort 040) is an Emmy Award winning, Spirit Award nominated, Academy Award finalist writer and director. Before working with a cadre of major talent alongside the likes of Ridley Scott, Sydney Pollack, Shakur Kapur, Jan DeBond, Michael Bay and others, Robinson was originally trained as a classical actor. Robinson's considerable work in film and television since that time has spanned the worlds of drama, documentary and live action on both the big screen and small.

Robinson received a Summa Cum Laude BFA in drama from the Theatre Conservatory at Adelphi University and is one of the founding members and on the board of directors of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, named for his college roomate, the late Jonathan Larson. When work permits Robinson teaches film production and thesis writing at the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. Todd has a passion for serving our nations Veterans and First Responders and comes back regularly to help Shepherd and Mentor cohorts in Malibu. Todd lives in Malibu, CA with his wife Elizabeth and their two children Tyler and Tessa.

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TERRY Scariot - Board Member

Board Member and Officer of USA Cares, Board Member of Western Kentucky University Clinical Education Complex/Autism Center, and an Advisor to The Mission Continues, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, and The Center for Courageous Kids. From 2001 to 2011, Terry (Cohort 017) held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Pan Oston, a manufacturer and marketer of retain fixtures. He held positions of increasing responsibility in executive management from 1972 to 2000 at several diverse companies in the chemical, automotive, energy, capital equipment, and consumer hardware product markets. Terry was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Missouri in 1970 and a Master's in Business from the University of Missouri in 1972, graduating summa cum laude and number one in his class.


 shepherds

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Jo-Z Alvarez - LEAD Shepherd

Jo-z Alvarez (Cohort 006, October 2013) is a bay area native who grew up in the port town of San Pedro, CA. He is a US Army veteran (11B-Infantry) who served two tours with 4BDE/10th Mountain, one for Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (OEF-A) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He was a team leader for over 250 missions, including Brigade PSD. After he left the military, he started to head down a dark road in his life which spanned out over the course of four years. The betrayals he felt throughout the course of his life started to finally weigh on him. He began pushing many people from his life away and began to get suicidal thoughts. During those years he was still able to obtain his B.S. in Audio Production which was one of the things that kept him pushing. When all seemed to be hopeless, Jo-z received a call from the founder, Jake Clark, inviting him to an Alumni event. Not knowing what to expect and that this was “the last house on the block” for him, he answered the call. 5 years later, he has shepherded 40+ cohorts, has brought 10+ warriors through SAW, produces and composes music with musicians and artists,  loves nature, geology/physics,  and has a beautiful son.

James "Jimmy Jam" Connors - LEAD Shepherd

As a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, James P. Connors (Cohort 009) deployed seven times to the Middle East in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as a professional firefighter, and during his rookie year, found himself at Ground Zero, assisting his fellow firemen of the New York City Fire Department. Because of many wartime experiences, James sought help from (SAW) in January 2014, and a few months later, he was humbled to accept New Jersey’s highest military honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, from Governor Chris Christie. Since then, he uses his experiences to help those suffering from wartime service issues, such as PTSD. Four years ago James closed the chapter in his life with the Fire Department and now resides in New Milford, New Jersey, where he works spreading the word about SAW and telling warriors in need that the road to wartime recovery need not be walked alone.

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Billy Otter - LEAD Shepherd

Billy Otter (Cohort 036) Served as Special Operations Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) for 13 years in the Air Force.  During his career, he served with numerous Special operations teams as their JTAC.  Billy did tours in Bosnia and made seven deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, totaling over 300 combat operations. For his actions, he was awarded four Bronze Stars with Valor.  Currently Billy is living in Louisville Kentucky with his wife, Gina and their two boys, Logan and Spencer. He works as a regional manager for Turning Point Brands and conducts carry concealed classes on the side. Billy values the time he is able to give back to the Veterans because of the impact SAW had on him and his family.


                                                       SAW advisory team

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tarah Carr - Development and marketing strategist

A CEO and founder of a successful coaching and consulting business, Tarah Carr has over a decade of experience in branding, content creation, marketing, social media strategizing, fundraising, and business development. As military wife of a former Special Forces Green Beret, Tarah knows all too well the trials and tribulations of going through countless deployments and the toll it can take on military members and their families. She has a passion for helping others and serving our nations Veterans, First Responders and their families. Tarah lives in Dublin, OH with her husband Adam and 3 children Noah, Jonah and Norah.
 

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Jake bame - ambassador

Jake Bame (Cohort 049)  A barber for more than 20 years Jake has always held a passion for serving those who have served us.  Jake also worked in the national music industry specializing in artist development and management as well as concert production and promotion. Jake developed a passion for serving our veterans while working with a task force specializing in intellectual property crimes, with a focus on individuals and organizations selling counterfeit goods and using the proceeds to support terrorist organizations. Jake attributes SAW for saving his life and allowing him to change the course of his life. Although he did not serve in the military, he says ,“What better life journey than helping to save the lives of those who protect us every day!”. 


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Jon minter - ambassador

Dr. Jon Minter (Cohort 048) served on active duty in the US Army during the height of the Cold War in West Germany and in particular West Berlin. He was Chief of Emergency Services and Ambulatory Patient Care for the Berlin MEDDAC. Dr. Minter also provided direct medical support for a covert (recently declassified) Special Operations Unit in Berlin, the Physical Security Support Element. In addition, he provided emergency medical training and support for the USMLM (United States Military Liaison Mission) which was co-located in West Berlin and in former East German Potsdam.

Following his active duty service he became an Orthopedic surgeon. His interest in Save A Warrior was borne out of a strong desire to offer more to veterans than what surgery could accomplish. Simply put, he wanted to be a part of a team with the chief object of healing the wounded heart.

His family has a long lineage of service in both the military and first responder categories. He has been married to his wife for over 33 years and has three children in which he is intensely proud.