Healing Patriots Board of Directors

The Board of Directors and Promotion Staff for Healing Patriots are all volunteers comprised of veterans, community leaders, and business professionals.
As a volunteer, no one will receive any personal financial compensation for their work with the organization.

 The mission of our team and with our partners is to make a difference in the lives of our heroes.

President – Ed “LT” Garza (U.S. Navy Veteran) 

Ed Garza currently serves as the Director of Veteran Services and as an Adjunct Professor in the Justice and Public Policy Department at Concordia University Wisconsin  (CUW). The Veteran Services Department is a program that Ed created and implemented in order to better serve Veteran students attending CUW and provide transition assistance from their military career to civilian life. In his two years as the Director, he has helped more than 130 Veterans graduate with their degree and has help thousands with non-academic resources across the state of Wisconsin. Prior to CUW, Ed served in the U.S. Navy for a little more than 16 years as an enlisted sailor and naval officer. Ed is a highly decorated officer who served at various locations in the United States and around the world.

Additionally, he completed a combat tour in Iraq from April 2008 to April 2009 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His passions are his family, friends, fishing and volunteering to help advocate for military Veterans, First Responders, their families and the children of fallen service members – Camp Hometown Heroes. He is also a member (#933) of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA).

Vice-President – Don Aiken (U.S. Air Force Veteran) 

Don graduated from Lodi High School early and entered the U.S. Air Force in 1981. Upon graduation from boot camp, he was trained in electronics and had the opportunity to serve with the Honor Guard. It was during one of our flag presentations that he learned the true meaning of patriotism and since then, he has worked in several different areas to help Veterans. Upon the completion of his service, he worked for the Wisconsin Air National Guard as a civilian employee for ten years.

Don has served as a professional truck driver for many years with a small break to pursue a passion to play and manage paintball facilities and operations. A talented individual whose accomplishments include building his own home, the rebuilding of several cars and boats, and coordinating many events that get veterans to enjoy the great outdoors.

Secretary – Scott Gennrich (U.S. Army Veteran)  

Scott Gennrich currently serves as a Chief Custodian for the McFarland School District where he has served for 17 years. He enjoys maintaining a safe and productive educational environment where kids can learn and grow.

Scott served in the U.S Army in 1st Cav Division out of Ft. Hood, TX as a 45Q (Tank Turret Mechanic) from 1986-89 and then served as a 89B (Ammunition Specialist) during Operation Desert Storm with the 826th Ord. Company out of Madison, WI  from 1990-1991. Scott is a current member (#697) of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) and a Pro-Staff member of Badger Max Fishing.

Scott’s passions are anything outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends, but what keeps Scott humble is his involvement with Veterans and helping them understand their endless possibilities, their personal potential and showing them the respect and appreciation they deserve.

Scott believes in the brotherhood of all veterans and is dedicated to helping all of those who need a hand up.  Scott is married to his beautiful wife Jody of 25 years and has 3 children, Hayden (22), Zach (18) and Natalie (13).

Chief Operating Officer – Brent Kozak

Brent is a Marine Corps veteran, having severed for 10 years from 1990-2000 as a Combat Engineer. Giving back to the community especially supporting veterans is very important to Brent. He has coached youth sports, volunteered with the Boy Scouts and worked with Habitat for Humanity.

Brent is an active member of the American Legion and has volunteered for veteran fishing outings as well as taking the children of fallen veterans fishing. Nothing is more important to Brent than helping his brothers and sisters in arms when they are in need.

Brent is an avid multi-species fisherman in both open water and through the ice.  From a young age and spending summers at the family lake cabin in Central Wisconsin, fishing has been a passion.  If Brent is not fishing, he is thinking about his next fishing trip.  While he spends most of his time hunting bass and pike; pan fish, walleye and musky are also of great interest.

Treasurer – Jenny Zimmermann

Jenny Zimmermann is an accountant with more than 20 years of experience in many different roles and is bringing that experience to Healing Patriots. Military service is very strong is Jenny’s family, her husband served in the Army, grandfather in the Navy, her father in the Marines and many other family members have also served. Jenny’s father and grandfather both spent time on the USS Pickaway, her grandfather during WWII and her father during Vietnam.      

Jenny enjoyed her time as an Army wife. She and her husband lived in Germany, Georgia, Alaska and upstate New York during his time in service. After his separation they made their home in the Atlanta area before moving back ‘home’ to Wisconsin. 

Jenny enjoys volunteering and helping others; she has volunteered at her children’s schools and in other organizations. Jenny is very excited to be part of the Healing Patriots organization and using her talents to serve others and going on expeditions.           

In her free time Jenny enjoys spending time with family, especially her children, Paul (22) & Sara (19), traveling, cooking and reading.

 

Director of IT & Marketing – Erica Schaaf

Erica is the owner of 3S Design and she brings her graphic and web design skills, along with social media marketing expertise to the Healing Patriots Organization. She began with Healing Patriots as the IT Pro-Staff, and has been promoted to Director of IT & Marketing. She is a seasoned program manager / coordinator / promoter with nonprofit organizations.

Erica is passionate in volunteering for organizations that she believes will help the community for the greater good such as; Help Portrait and Children’s Ministry Dept at Faith Covenant Church in MN. She has especially become passionate over the last few years in the military community as she learned more about veterans who have returned from their deployments and can have a high rate of PTSD diagnosis because of traumatic situations they have experienced in combat and the difficulties in transitioning back home. It hits home for her with a cousin, a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant who has PTSD, and has found that fishing and other outdoor recreational experiences have been therapeutic for him.

Erica will be involved both behind the scenes working the website, social media accounts, and print materials along with being active at events and expeditions. You might see her taking photojournalistic shots to capture the moments Healing Patriots seeks to strive for in their purpose, “To inspire communities to serve our nation’s heroes with the same commitment in which they served us”.

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