About Us

special-forces-1The U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), are a special breed: highly trained, fiercely proud, and quietly effective. They are the unsung heroes of the past and the diplomatic warriors in today’s war on terror. Masters in conducting training and operations with indigenous forces, they conduct the majority of Special Operations counterinsurgency missions.

In the war on terror, Green Berets have endured the highest casualty rate of all Special Operations Forces. In addition to the commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq, Special Forces are deployed all over the world. Last night, these men were deployed in over 70 different countries.

Active duty and Veteran Green Berets, along with the SF National Guard, and all of their Families, deserve the highest level of support and service. Working with the Special Forces Association [SFA], the Special Forces Charitable Trust provides a nationwide network of volunteers, as well as meaningful and sustainable programs and services to support Green Berets and their Families – past, present, and future.

Board of Directors

TERRENCE J. ENGLISH
PRESIDENT

Terry English is a Director of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, an asset management firm specializing in managing private equity funds in the former Soviet Union. Additionally, Terry serves on the Boards of several funds managed by Canaris Capital Management. Terry currently is on a number of nonprofit Boards including: the Eurasia Foundation, The Veterans Multi Service Center, Mohonk Preserve, and the U.S./Russia Business Council. He holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance ’76 and a BA from the University of Portland ’68. He is a Vietnam Veteran serving as an Officer in the United States Army Special Forces on active duty from 1968 until 1974 and in the reserves from 1974 through 1983.


COL WADE OWENS, USA (RET.)
VICE PRESIDENT

Wade served  in the U. S. Army and the 1st Special Forces Regiment for 26 years.  During his career, he performed a variety of duties from Commander of an Operational Detachment-Alpha in the 7th Special Forces Group to Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the 1st Special Forces Command.  As a member of the SFCT Board of Directors, Wade will now use the knowledge and experience gained during his career to benefit the Soldiers and Families of the Regiment. Wade holds a BA from Iowa State University, as well as a Masters in National Security Studies from the Army War College, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the College of Naval  Command and Staff.  Wade has received numerous military awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit.


PAUL THEOFANOUS
TREASURER

Paul is the Founder and President of Theofanous Management International LLC, representing premier international athletes and organizations in the fields of tennis, ice hockey, track and field and winter sports for over 25 years. First earning a Green Beret in 1984, Paul has served on three separate occasions with Special Forces. Besides serving with 10th Group in the 80’s, he returned to active duty twice after 9/11, deploying to Afghanistan. A graduate of the University of Denver with a B.A.B.S. in finance and marketing, Paul also attended Harvard University’s Russian Research Center for Soviet Studies, becoming fluent in the Russian language. Paul lives in New York City with his wife, Kaliopy, and children Anastasia and Nikolas.


SGM MICHAEL J. MIKA, USA (RET.)
SECRETARY

Mike is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major with over ten years of service in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He holds a BS from the University of Maryland in Business Management and MA from Pepperdine University in Human Resource Management. Mike is a seasoned, experienced, and fully competent personnel management administrator with over 20 years direct hands-on work in both public and private sector employment. He also performs various volunteer duties for other local charitable organizations. He is currently working with the Richland One School District in Columbia, South Carolina teaching the “Green Beret Leadership and Teambuilding Course” developed for high school students. This program is in its 5th year and is now an elective credit course that students can use for qualifying graduation credits from high school. Mike holds a number of positions within the Special Forces Community. He is President of the South Carolina Special Forces Foundation; President of Chapter XXXIV, Special Forces Association; he is also an active participant with the Special Forces Association National Headquarters located in Fayetteville, North Carolina.


DAVID COFFEY

David is the President of Nationwide Express, Inc., a Trucking, Warehouse and Logistics company based out of Tennessee.  David is a Veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, serving six years after completion of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Transportation and Logistics.  Over his career, he has served as a Special Agent for the Naval Investigative Services, as Vice President of Marketing for Host Communications, and held several other key roles in sales and logistics management throughout the southeastern region of the United States.  David lives with his family in Tennessee.


COL FRED DUMMAR, USA (RET.)

Fred served in the U.S. Army and the 1st Special Forces Regiment for 29 years.  During his career, he served as an enlisted medic, Infantry Officer and Special Forces Officer.  Fred commanded at every level in Special Forces from Captain to Colonel, with multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As a member of the SFCT Board of Directors, Fred will continue to serve Special Forces Soldiers and their Families with the commitment and honor they deserve.  Fred holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nevada, a Master’s Degree in Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.  His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, The Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s badge.


CHAD H. FAULKNER

Chad is a Founder, Director, and former President/COO of Speedy Cash Holdings Corp, Inc., an international specialty finance company serving customers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Chad’s long track record of entrepreneurial success has lead to involvement in many other companies as an investor, director, advisor and/or executive mentor. Chad is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows (SLLF) program at the Kansas State University School of Leadership Studies. The SLLF is a program where KSU undergraduate leaders compete for nomination and selection on an annual basis to become fully immersed in the KSU Family of Leaders. The students share leadership experiences and visions dynamically and purposefully with some of the most highly influential and resourceful leaders on the planet who are all committed to working together to resolve most any issue championed by any leader within the group. Chad earned a BS from Kansas State University ’90 and was a team captain on the football team. Chad is a long-time member of the Young/World Presidents Organization. Malibu, CA is home to Chad, his wife Leah, and their children, Bella and Stone.


CHIP HASTY

Chip is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and has more than 28 years of experience in the financial services industry.  He adheres to the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics for integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence.  Chip established Milestone Advisory Partners with his team members in September 2015.  Previously in his career, he served as managing director of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessor firms, and as a financial consultant and branch manager at Merrill Lynch.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in Scottish literature from the University of Glasgow.  Chip is a native of North Carolina, where he lives today with his family. In his free time, Chip enjoys CrossFit and beekeeping.


SUSAN MARLOWE

Susan, now a retired educator and business owner, graduated from the College of Charleston with a BA and a Master of Education.  Susan lives in South Carolina, where she is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Patriots Point Development Authority, Naval and Maritime Museum.  She was appointed to PPDA by the South Carolina Senate in 2007.  She is the Chairman of the Education and Museum Committee.  She previously served as Senate appointee to the State of South Carolina Education Oversight Committee Board.  In 2012, Susan was named as Patriots Point’s liaison to the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to create the Master Plan for the new MOH Museum Education and Leadership Center located on Patriots Point.  She is also currently a member of the Medal of Honor Bowl Committee to help raise funds to build the MOH Museum.  She has worked with the Medal of Honor Foundation and the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge to introduce the MOH Character Development Program into the South Carolina curriculum.  She was awarded a Commendation of Appreciation from Recipients of the Medal of Honor in 2012.  Susan is also an Honorary Member of SFA Chapter 34 in Columbia, SC and Montagnard Chapter 57 in North Carolina.


DODIE MCCRACKEN

Dodie McCracken is Founding Partner and CEO of Arcadian Partners. Her thirty year professional career includes extensive public and private sector communications and public policy experience. Believing that dynamic alliances benefit everyone, Dodie has creatively brought the corporate world into the nonprofit arena with significant results. Dodie has developed cause-related marketing and corporate philanthropy campaigns, built and executed local and national publicity plans, and established corporate partnerships and strategic marketing and public relations programs. Washington, D.C. is home for Dodie, where her love of politics, philanthropy and communications led to Board seats with the Center for Media and Public Affairs and the National Guard Youth Foundation, and the role of collaborator on two philanthropy books. She is also a member of Business Executive for National Security (BENS), whose mission is to apply best business practices to help government leaders implement solutions to national security issues.


LTC ROBIN K. PICKEL, USA (RET.)

LTC(R) Pickel was commissioned in the Infantry from the University of Vermont Army ROTC in 1995. He served with the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, and the 4th Infantry Division in Texas before attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 1999.  LTC(R) Pickel served in multiple assignments in the 3rd Special Forces Group, the 1st Special Forces Command and the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.  LTC(R) Pickel’s deployments include trips to Bosnia, Mali and Nigeria, as well as five trips in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF and one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2010, during his fourth deployment in support of OEF, LTC(R) Pickel was wounded when his convoy was attacked by a Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (SVBIED). The wounds he received eventually led to the amputation of both of his legs below-the-knee. Since that time, LTC(R) Pickel has become active in several adaptive sports including: hand-cycling, seated volleyball, and sled hockey.  LTC(R) Pickel recently retired from the US Army after serving for over 20 years and currently resides in Fayetteville, NC with his wife Carolyn and his five children – Todd, Tyler, Alexander, Zachary, and Zane.


MARSHA FOUR, RN
HONORARY

Marsha, a Vietnam Veteran combat nurse, is National Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans of America. She has devoted over 25 years to working with, and advocating for, Veterans contributing, writing, and delivering testimony related to Veterans’ issues on the local, state, and federal level. She has organized numerous PTSD workshops in partnership with the VA for emergency, hospital, and social services personnel. She recently retired as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center. Her service to the Veteran Community continues to affect the lives of thousands of Veterans and their Families. Recently, Marsha was recognized for her work with veterans at the White House as a “Champion of Change.” Additionally, in 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Senate recognized her for her years of service with induction into the Pennsylvania Veterans Hall of Fame.


TOM McLEMORE
HONORARY

Tom McLemore retired from the United States Army with the rank of First Sergeant after 24 years of honorable service. His service included tours with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam serving with MACVSOG on several recon teams. Upon retirement, he went to work for the Michelin Tire Corporation North America in the Quality Control and Production Department. Tom retired from Michelin in 2005 and remains very active in his community; he serves on the City Council Committee dealing with zoning for homes and businesses. Tom has also been an active member of Chapter XXXIV of the Special Forces Association for the past seven years. He teaches a “Green Beret Leadership and Team Building Program” to high school students. Tom is also very involved with the ROTC/JROTC Special Forces Medal of Excellence Program and in the awarding of the General Frederick Leadership Award to the outstanding graduate at the Citadel.


MG SIDNEY SHACHNOW, USA (RET.)
HONORARY

Major General Shachnow’s distinguished career includes commanding SF Command and the JFK Special Warfare Center and School plus having the honor of being the Commander of Berlin prior to the reunification of Germany. He had the distinction of being the “Honorary Colonel of the Regiment” and is a distinguished member of the regiment. He currently serves on several committees advising the U.S. Army Special Operations Command on matters relating to strategy and force development. As a child in Lithuania during WWII, Sid survived three years in a concentration camp, escaping only days before the camp was closed and its prisoners transferred to Auschwitz. Immigrating to the U.S., he enlisted in the Army after high school, later earning a commission through OCS. A decorated Vietnam Veteran and scholar he managed to find time to earn a masters and an honorary doctoral degree. His autobiography, Hope and Honor, received wide acclaim and awards. His book captures the importance of defending the freedoms we enjoy.


PHYLLIS SHEFFER
HONORARY

Phyllis has significant executive managerial experience, which she has acquired throughout her business career.  Phyllis was successful in the positions of Account Director at The Pillsbury Company, Regional Education Manager at Pepsi Bottling Group, Account Manager for National Cinemedia, and Co-Owner of Lloyd and Sheffer Sales.  In addition to her extensive work in sales and management, Phyllis has been active in community volunteering, as well as in organizing teams of volunteers for local projects in South Carolina.  Phyllis is the proud mother of a son who honorably served as a U.S. Marine for eight years, then in the North Charleston Police Department for six years, and who now owns his own business in Fort Mill, SC.  Phyllis’ hobbies include: golf, advanced scuba diving, hiking (climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked through Nepal, Tibet, and India, and climbed to Base Camp Everest), Karate (2nd Degree Black Belt), shooting, and gardening.


LTC RICHARD STEINER, USA (RET.)
HONORARY

Rick is the Executive Vice President for Air Comm Corporation, a Colorado based aerospace company, with additional engineering and manufacturing facilities in Texas. A West Point graduate, Rick spent his entire military career in SF. He served with distinction at both the 3rd and 10th SF Groups in Iraq and many parts of Africa and the Caribbean. His last assignment was as Deputy Commander of 10th Special Forces Group, giving him great insight into the needs of the Soldiers and their Families. Rick is an avid outdoorsman and life member of several hunting and conservation nonprofits.

Staff

DAVID T. GUERNSEY, JR.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

David is a nonprofit professional with over 30 years experience with symphony orchestras, maritime museums, foundations and colleges with the last 18 years serving with military nonprofit organizations. Prior to his appointment as the first Executive Director of the Special Forces Charitable Trust, David served with the Navy Seal Foundation and the Coast Guard Foundation. David earned a B.M. from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Georgia Southern University. He is an active member in the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a member of the Philanthropy Roundtable.


ELSA ERICKSON-TROJAN
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Elsa is originally from Wisconsin where she studied Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  After college Elsa served with AmeriCorps NCCC for two years in the Northeast, which instilled a passion for non-profits.  After many management positions since then, she is finally back in the non-profit world.  Elsa lives in the area with her husband and three young boys.


RACHEL E. ZARRA
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Rachel recently graduated from Quinnipiac University, where she earned both an MBA and a BA in History.  In the past, she has worked with other nonprofit organizations, such as Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, and managed several successful nonprofit fundraisers.  Rachel worked at a social media marketing start-up prior to happily rejoining the nonprofit industry at the Special Forces Charitable Trust.


CSM RONNIE MCCAN, USA (RET.)
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Co-founder of the Trust, Ronnie joined the Army as a draftee and retired 30 years later as a Command Sergeant Major. Along the way, Ronnie served at every level of command from a radio operator on an ODA to team sergeant to CSM of various Special Forces units/organizations. His last active duty assignment was as CSM of the JFK Special Warfare School. After retiring, Ronnie served as President of the Special Forces Association, a fraternal organization with over 10,000 members. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to SF Ronnie received the honor of “Distinguished Member of the Regiment”.  He was employed as the Lead Training Specialist at United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School before retiring from civil service to become the SFCT Program Director.