Richard Jadick, D.O. earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology from Ithaca College and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (D.O.) from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY. He completed his residency training in urology at the Medical College of Georgia and retired from the US Navy in June of 2013 after 23 years of service. Dr. Jadick finished his Navy career as the Chief of Urology at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, FL after returning from a nine month deployment to Afghanistan in October 2012. Dr. Jadick is most noted for his service with the Marines out of Camp Lejeune, NC in 2004 when he volunteered to go to Iraq with 1st Bn 8th Marines as the unit’s Battalion Surgeon. It was during this deployment that his unit was ordered into Fallujah. On the very front lines he established a forward aid station and was credited with saving the lives of 30 Marines and Sailors during the second battle of Fallujah. Dr. Jadick was awarded the Bronze Star with “Combat V” device for valor in January 2006. Dr. Jadick's story was first documented in a Newsweek cover story titled "Hero, M.D.”. He later published his own account of his experiences in a book called "On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story." He is board certified with the American Board of Urology and has a wonderful wife Melissa who is a Pediatrician. They have three children, MacKenzie-12, Eva-9, and Gregory-7 and reside in Peachtree City, Georgia. Dr Jadick is currently a practicing urologist and the Chief of Surgery at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia.
Arthur Pue is President of Engineering Sales Associates (ESA). ESA is a Charlotte North Carolina-based, family and Veteran Owned Business, established in 1961. ESA is a solutions provider for compressed air and liquid filtration and is a major industrial stocking distributor specializing in virtually every facet of the Industrial Compressed Air and Liquid Filtration fields. ESA prides itself in providing the best in quality, energy savings and true solutions through our Compressed Air products. Arthur served as an Enlisted Soldier in the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets). As a member of an Operation Detachment Alpha with a focus in Military Freefall insertion, Arthur served as the Senior Weapons Specialist (18B), employing conventional and unconventional warfare tactics and techniques in individual and small unit Infantry Operations. Arthur was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge as well as the Bronze Star for actions while serving in Afghanistan. Arthur was born and raised in Charlotte where he attended Charlotte Country Day School. He earned a BA from Hampden-Sydney College. Arthur is a founding and current Board member of Charlotte Bridge Home as well as a Board Member of the Independence Fund.
Ryan Koelsch is a civilian-trained pilot for Delta Air Lines flying the Boeing 757/767 both domestically and internationally. He has been a professional pilot for 16 years. Although Ryan was never a member of the US Military, he has a close connection to the service as his father was a Vietnam era fixed wing aviator in the United States Marine Corps. Ryan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Financial Management from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Ryan, his wife and two daughters reside in the Atlanta area.
David brings to bear over 30 years of marketing and operations leadership experience to the The Independence Fund. He is currently the President of AtYourGate, an in-airport personal shopping service. Previously, David served as the CMO at Hooters of America as well as the VP of Marketing at the convenience retailer, Kangaroo Express, where he lead the Salute our Troops campaign that raised millions of dollars for national and local veterans serving organizations. Since the inaugural Salute Our Troops campaign in 2011, Kangaroo Express and its guests have raised over $10 million for its cause partners. David was also a 12 year marketing executive with the Coca-Cola Company. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago as well as a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. He currently resides with his family in Orange County, CA.
Brigadier General Rich Gross, US Army (Retired), served over 30 years with the U.S. military as an Infantry Officer and Judge Advocate (military attorney). In the latter half of his career, he served as the legal advisor to several senior three and four star military leaders. He was the Senior Legal Advisor for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), NATO-ISAF/USFOR-A, and US Central Command. Before retiring, Rich served his final four years as the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he worked with senior government and military leaders on the Joint Staff, in the Department of Defense, and throughout the interagency. He has extensive experience with Special Operations, Multinational Operations, Counterterrorism, the Interagency, and National Security Policy. Brigadier General Gross has numerous military awards and badges, to include the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Wings, and the Expert Infantryman Badge. He has multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Rich attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Virginia, School of Law. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.