The Board members are Marines who served in the Corps years ago. Following active service they lived productive and rewarding lives. These Marines, many of whom saw combat in Vietnam, understood firsthand the issues of transitioning from military to civilian lives and were determined to help this new generation of Marines and veterans who served during the war on terror.

FMF CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Walt Suhre

St. Louis, MO | Chairman of the Board & Team Leader
USMC | Served: 1956-1959 | Rank: O-3 | MOS: 0802 | Boot Camp: Quantico

Walt served in the USMC from 1956 to 1959 and the Reserves from 1959 to 1962. Walt practiced law for 30 years and retired in January 1993 after serving for ten years as chief legal officer for Anheuser-Busch. Walt is one of the original founders of FOCUS Marines Foundation and serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors Walt enjoys cooking photography, music, travel, and a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Zoo.

FMF BOARD OFFICERS

Dennis Simpson

St. Louis, MO | President, Board Member & Team Leader
USMC | Served 1977-1981 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 5811/8511 | Boot Camp: Parris Island

Dennis served in the USMC as Military Police, Yuma, AZ and Drill Instructor, 1RTBN, MCRD, PISC. After the Corps, Dennis worked with the U. S. Postal Inspection Service as a Postal Inspector, GS-14 Supervisory Special Agent (retired). From 2010 to 2012, Dennis was an MPRI contractor, Law Enforcement Professional (1) embedded with JSOC, VBC Iraq and with the USA 4th IBCT, 1ID, FOB Sharana, Afghanistan. Currently, Dennis is the owner of Simpson Security & Investigative Advisory Group LLC. The business conducts Corporate/Business Physical Security Risk Assessments, Workplace Violence Prevention, Investigation and Training as well as Private Investigations. Dennis has been married for over 30 years. He has two sons and Gus the wonder dog. Dennis enjoys snow skiing, 13.1 races, dog obedience training and competition, Cardinal’s baseball, Marine Corps League and, of course, FOCUS Marines.

Harry Hegger

St. Louis, MO, | Vice Chairman of the Board & Team Leader
USMC | Served: 1964-1969 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 0311/ | Boot Camp: Parris Island

Harry served with Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines in Vietnam as a Corporal (E-4), 0311, Squad Leader. After his tour in Vietnam, he served the remainder of his enlistment as a Sergeant (E-5) platoon sergeant with Kilo, 3/28, at Camp Pendleton. He was Honorably Discharged in 1969. Harry joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 1971 and after serving 38 years, retired as a Major of Police. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Quantico, Virginia). Harry has been with the FOCUS Marines Foundation since its inception and currently serves as Vice-President and Vice-Chairman. Harry has 2 children and 4 grandchildren. Harry’s hobbies are outdoors, boating, softball, and golf. He serves on several boards that support law enforcement and military veteran’s interests.

Norm Harriman

Marissa, IL | Vice President of Development, Board Member & Team Leader
USMC | Served: 1971-1973 | Rank: E-3 | MOS: 2511 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Norm is a Viet Nam era vet serving in the Marines from 71-73. After a career in law enforcement with both the Arizona Highway Patrol and Clayton MO police department, he entered the private business world as an Owner/Operator of a McDonalds Restaurant in Clayton, Missouri. He also has been involved in several start-up business endeavors but now considers himself semi-retired. Norm lives with his wife Karen in Wichita, Kansas, where he enjoys his two rescue dogs, sports, exercise, and travel. Norm comes from a family of Marines, his dad serving in the Pacific during WWII, his brother Robbie, during Viet Nam and his son Derrick, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, served during Desert Storm. Derrick is also a veteran of the U. S. Coast Guard.

John Brauer

St. Louis, MO | V-P, Dir. of Strategic Planning, Board Member & Team Leader
USMCR | Served: 1964–1970 | Rank: E-5 | MOS 0311 | Boot Camp: Parris Island

John served with 3/24 as a reservist. The Marine Corps taught him the importance of focus and the value of Semper Fidelis. John has had jobs in farming, aircraft maintenance, insurance, construction and automotive service equipment manufacturing. In 1992, he started his own company Green Gate Farms, a wholesale green grower and green roof vegetation supplier. John has been married to his wife Marie for over 42 years. They have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. He loves building things, finding solutions to problems, being outdoors and Marine humor.

Jennifer Jefferson

St. Charles, MO, FMF Program Coordinator, Vice-President & Team Leader
USMC | Served: 1993-1997 | Rank: E-4 | MOS: 3432 | Boot Camp: Parris Island

Jennifer went to Disbursing School at Camp Johnson, North Carolina. Her first duty station was Okinawa, Japan. She was then stationed at Quantico, VA where she met her husband who is also a Marine and finished out her four-year contract. Jennifer is currently working for FOCUS Marines Foundation as the Program Coordinator.  Jennifer and her husband Bryan  have been married for more than 25 years and are raising 5 beautiful girls.  Jennifer’s hobbies include spending time with her family, puzzles, reading, all things FOCUS and travelling as much as she can.

Tim Sims

St. Louis, MO | Treasurer, Board Member & Team Leader
USMC | Served: 1982-1986 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 2631 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Tim grew up in Central Illinois.  His father was a Marine in WW2 who served in the Marshall Islands and later as a drill instructor at Paris Island during the Korean conflict.  Tim’s oldest brother was a Marine and served 2 tours in Vietnam as a crew chief on C-130s.  Tim joined the Marines after high school and served 4 years on active duty and 2 years as a reservist in the field of signals intelligence.  Tim earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He later earned his MBA at Washington University.  Tim worked in Tax Services at Arthur Andersen for 12 years and for over 14 years at RubinBrown in St. Louis, where he currently serves as the Partner-in-Charge, Tax Services. Tim has been married to his wife Lisa for 34 years.  They have 3 children and one grandchild. Tim enjoys his faith, family, grilling and smoking meats, reading, traveling, golf, riding his Harley, overall fitness and supporting Marine and law enforcement veterans.

FMF BOARD MEMBERS

Mickey Drake

Chesterfield, MO | Board Member & Team Leader
USMCR | Served: 1962-1968 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 0311 | Boot Camp: Parris Island

From 1996 to 2016, Mickey was a Private Investigative Contractor for the FBI and Diplomatic Security US Department of State. From 1970 to 1996, Mickey was an FBI, Special Agent; FBI Director’s Staff; The White House-Presidential Appointments/Security Clearance for President‘s Cabinet, National Security Council, Congressional confirmations and executive staff. He was Chief of National Press Office, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, as well as, Criminal Division, Supervisor, Investigator, Firearms, and SWAT leader. From 1961 to 1970, Mickey worked in the pharmaceutical industry. He is married to his wife Jinnie and has two sons and five grandchildren. Mickey’s hobbies and interests are golf, hunting, fishing, FOCUS, MCL, and grandchildren.

Tom Fischer

St. Louis, MO | Board Member & Team Leader
USMC | Served 1966-1969 | Vietnam 1967-1968 | Rank: E-4 | MOS 0311 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Tom was a Police Officer in Brentwood, MO from 1974-1976. He was Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Chicago, IL from May 1976-May 1982. Tom served as a Special Agent with the Office of Internal Affairs and Office of Investigations U.S. Customs Service in Chicago from May 1982-May 1987. Tom was an instructor at the U.S. Customs Service Academy in Glynco, GA from May 1987-June 1989. He was selected as the U.S. Customs Coordinator for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in St. Louis, MO from June 1989-May 1995. He was then promoted to Resident Agent in Charge U. S. Customs Service and subsequently the Agent in Charge for the Department of Homeland Security and retired in 2005. He has been with FOCUS since its beginning. Tom has an associate’s degree from St. Louis Junior College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and he holds a master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago. He is married and has two children and three grandchildren. His hobbies include outdoor activities, boating and travel.

 

Cottrell “Cot” Fox

Wildwood, Mo | FMF Board Member
USMC | Served: 1966-1968 | Rank: E-4 | MOS: 0311 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Served in combat in Vietnam as a member of 3rd Combined Action Group, 3rd Marine Division 1967/68 Principal and Director JW Terrill Inc 1976-2005. Senior Executive Vice President and Director, JWT Acquisition Inc. 2005-2015. Senior Executive Vice President JW Terrill, a Marsh& McClennan Agency Company 2015- present. Director, Willert Home Products 1995-present. Director, Business Bancshares Inc. 2005- present.Director, Focus Marine Foundation 2017- present. Director USO of Missouri 2007-2016. Member Joshua Chamberlain Society advisory board 2017- present. Chancellor ‘s Campaign Cabinet, University of Missouri 2012-present. Missouri 100, 2016-present.

Tom Ilges

Wildwood, Mo | FMF Board Member, Team Leader, Director of Transportation
USMC | Served: 1963-1969 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 0311 | Boot Camp: Parris Island

Tom started his auto repair shop in 1965 after attending Southeast Mo State College. After 39 years, he sold his business and now focuses his energy on helping veterans. Tom has been part of the FOCUS Marines Foundation team since its inception in 2010.
Tom and his wife Bonnie have been married for 54 years. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren. His hobbies are hiking, woodworking, golf and racket sports.

Jack Quinn

St. Louis, MO | Board Member & Team Leader] USMCR | Served: 1966-1970 | Rank: E-2 | MOS: | Boot Camp: San Diego

Two of Jack’s brothers were Marines as was his uncle who was killed in action on Iwo Jima. Jack has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from St. Louis University. He worked 40 years for A G Edwards & Sons in management. He finished as a senior vice president and a member of the board of directors of the brokerage firm. Jack has four grown children and five grandchildren. He enjoys travel and playing golf.

Charles Scott

St. Louis, MO | Board Member & Kitchen Crew Chairman
USMC | Served: 1968-1969 | Rank: E-4 | MOS: 0311 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Charlie served with Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 3rd Marines Division in the I Corp of the Republic of South Viet Nam.

After being honorably discharged he returned to St. Louis and attended Saint Louis University receiving a B.S. degree in Marketing in 1974. Charlie sold commercial printing for 39 years and is one of the owners of Quest Graphics.

Charlie has been married for over 40 years and he and his wife Denise, have 3 sons, one daughter, and 9 grandchildren. Charlies free time is spent attending grandchildren’s activities, delivering for the Food Bank, goose and duck hunting and volunteering for Focus

Wendell W. Webb

Warrenton, MO | FMF Board Member
USMC | Served: 1964-1968 | Rank: E-5 | MOS: 2831/2861 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Wendell served with 2nd Marine Division, 6th Marines; III MAF Vietnam, 5th Comm BN and Force Troops, FMF Atlantic, 8th Comm BN. Wendell went to work with McDonnell-Douglas just 13 days after leaving the Marine Corps. He retired from Boeing after 42 years as Chief Scientist Technology, Fighter Aircraft Avionics and started his own consulting business. Wendell served as National Marine Corps League Commandant/CEO August 2017 – August 2019. Wendell and his wife Carol, married for 50 years in July 2020, have two daughters and two grandchildren. His hobbies are hunting, model railroading, volunteering, church and family.

FMF ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Kim Bradley, RN, BSN

Charleston, SC | Advisory Board Member

A Marine spouse of 26 years, Kim Bradley has a distinct understanding and awareness of the challenges and difficulties facing military families today. With over 20 years of experience as a registered nurse, Kim has worked the last 12 years for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society as a Combat Casualty Assistance Visiting Nurse (CCA VN) helping post 9/11 Marines, Sailors and their caregivers adjust to life after wartime service. Kim works multiple types of cases to include helping those affected by the invisible wounds of war, such as Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. Realizing Life can be overwhelming as many try to redefine their new identity and purpose outside of the military, she understands and is able to walk the journey of transition and reintegration with the service member, veteran and family, educating and supporting them along the way. She utilizes a holistic approach to improve overall health and quality of life and helps navigate through Department of Defense and VA Benefits. Her diversified case management skills afford her the ability to properly identify valuable local, state, and national agencies whose programs provide the necessary support and services to those veterans and families in need. Additionally, Kim is a founding board member and program chair for Vantage Point Foundation located in Charleston, SC. She also serves as a board member of the My VA Community Board in Charleston, SC and a board member for the Military and Veteran Service Alliance in Beaufort, SC.

Jason Brauer

St. Louis, MO | Advisory Board Member
USMC | Served: 1999-2003 | Rank: O-3 | MOS: 0602 | Boot Camp: Quantico

Jason joined the Marine Corps in 1999, shortly after graduating from college. While on active duty, Jason served as the 1/11 Communications Officer and Headquarters Battery Executive Officer. He deployed to Iraq with 1/11 and the 1st Marine Division in 2003. Jason is the founder and CEO of Confluent Holdings, a diversified holding company that acquires and builds manufacturing and service businesses, and he lives in St. Louis with his wife and three daughters.

Jason Frei

St. Charles, MO | Advisory Board Member & FOCUS Speaker
USMC | Served: 1994-2004 | Rank: O-4 | MOS: | Boot Camp: Quantico

Jason joined the Marine Corps from the Naval Academy. He spent 2 tours with the 1st Marine Division as an artillery officer and 1 tour recruiting in eastern Pennsylvania. Jason commanded A Battery 1/11 during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Jason was injured in the Battle of Nasiriyah when a rocket propelled grenade struck his vehicle. Jason currently works at Boeing Defense, Space and Security as the head of Ethics and Business Conduct. His wife is Valerie and they have 7 children. He is active with helping fellow veterans and as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America.

Brian Kaveney

St. Louis, MO | FMF Advisory Board Member
USMC | Served: 1998-2002 | Rank: O-3 | MOS: | Boot Camp: Quantico

Brian was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1998 after graduating college with a Marine NROTC Scholarship. Brian, served as a writer and researcher for the Secretary of the Navy’s office, and then served as a Marine Corps infantry Captain in 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. Brian is a partner at the law firm of Armstrong Teasdale. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and four children.

Nathan Laupp, MBA

St. Louis, MO | Instructor, Advisory Board Member
USMC | Served: 2001-2005 | Rank: E-4 | MOS: 0313 | Boot Camp: San Diego

Nathan served 2 tours in Iraq from 2003 to 2005 with 3rd LAR Wolfpack. Upon leaving the Marine Corps in 2005, he began earning his college degrees while working in sales for a local heavy equipment manufacturer. Nathan is now a financial adviser with FFG in St. Louis, Missouri. Nathan specializes in working with small business owners, retirees, and individuals in the areas of estate, business succession, retirement, and risk management planning. He is married to his lovely wife Allison. They have 2 young children together; Owen and Natalie. Nathan enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family, reading, trail running, hunting, and is an avid car enthusiast.

Nick Popaditch

San Diego, CA | FOCUS Program Director
USMC | Served: 1986-2005 | Rank: E-7 | MOS: | Boot Camp:

Nick is a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Iraq War Veteran, Silver Star Recipient, and Author of two books. He is an active advocate of veteran’s issues and in addition to advising and consulting, he serves on the boards of multiple veterans organizations. He also serves as a Motivational Speaker. Nick has been a big part of the FOCUS program for many years and is now the FOCUS Program Director.