Our Leadership

USVBA Leadership

Board of Directors

Leslie Marshall

USVBA President & CEO of MEI Mail Services

USAF, Vietnam-Era-Disabled veteran, Leslie E. Marshall, is the President & CEO of MEI Mail Services which he founded in 1996. Mr. Marshall held various positions in Sales, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Executive Sales Management with The International Business Machines and Apple Computer corporations. With current operations in 13 cities and 7 States, he has overseen this Mail Outsourcing, Document Management and Payment Processing company’s growth from a start-up to its current status.

Mr. Marshall has served on the Boards of Director for Theatre Three of Dallas, The Dallas Chamber Orchestra, The West View District, Circle 10 Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dallas and The West Dallas Community Centers, among others. Leslie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he earned degrees in Accounting and Finance. In addition, he is the proud father of six accomplished children which are his pride and joy.

Mike Wray

USVBA Secretary & President of Bidspeed

Mike possesses over 30 years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes. Mike is a Veteran of the US Navy as a Naval Aviator flying P-3 Orion’s and served as Plane Commander during his tenure. After leaving the Navy, he managed a robust business development program for a Irvine based defense contractor. More recently, Mike assumed the role as President of Bidspeed, which is a Government Opportunity Management System designed to facilitate a more efficient environment for Gov contractors.

 

He has worked closely with various SBDCs and PTACs across the country. He provides expert guidance and advice in the area of Government & Corporate contracting and devotes countless hours towards helping other veteran entrepreneurs. He has developed and presented several business seminars and events ranging from “Gov Contracting 101” to “Responding to an RFP”.

Daniel Connor

USVBA Vice President & CEO and founder of Rams Head Solutions

Daniel Connor is CEO and founder of Rams Head Solutions, a company that provides Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services and operations to first responders and the construction and insurance industries. He transitioned from the Marine Corps in 2014, after a successful career as a combat decorated Naval Aviator, Marine One Presidential Helicopter Pilot, and military attaché.

As CEO of Rams Head Solutions, he oversees the establishment and growth of a UAS services and operations company on the cutting edge of the rapidly expanding market of aerial based data acquisition and management. Rams Head Solutions is at the nexus of the worlds of aviation and data management, and has become a leader in the field, partnering with police, fire, FAA, local governments, and industry to ensure that the disruptive technology of UAS is integrated effectively, safely, and without disruption to current operations.

Among his accomplishments as a Marine aviator, he was selected to fly Marine One, and become a Presidential Helicopter Pilot in support of the President and Vice President of the United States, visiting foreign dignitaries, and select cabinet secretaries.

Upon completion of this tour, he was again hand selected to serve as the US Naval Attaché to Pakistan, where he was an integral part of the team that reestablished working lines of communication after a diplomatic breakdown following the raid to capture/kill Osama bin Laden.

After transitioning from the Marine Corps, he served as the Vice President of Operations for vMocion, as they introduced groundbreaking medical technology into the media and entertainment industry.

Daniel has degrees in History and Political Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He frequently speaks to civic and professional organizations on his experiences within the military. He resides in Newport Beach, CA, where he serves on the board of directors at Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, and enjoys assisting recently separated veterans in their transition from military to civilian life.

Jack Smith

USVBA Member at Large

Dave Hornbeck

USVBA Member at Large & Global Blue DVBE

Dave has over 18 years’ experience leading groups of highly motivated professionals to accomplish complex tasks while exceeding expectations both in the military and in the private sector. Under his leadership his company Global Blue DVBE has grown from a startup in 2011 to a multimillion dollar corporation that is providing ground breaking technology solutions to government and commercial clients alike. In January 2016, GBDVBE was awarded the “John K. Lopez award” for business excellence by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Dave developed his unique leadership philosophy during his service with the United States Marine Corps. From leading react teams on the fence line in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to running anti- I.E.D patrols in a Force Recon team in Iraq he had the chance to learn valuable lessons in leadership and decisiveness. “Mission Accomplishment” is something that Marines are well known for and Dave ingrained this into his company’s culture.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, from California State University-Sacramento. He has a passion to help other Veterans find gainful employment or to start their own businesses. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance.

Manny Montanez

USVBA Board Member & President of EG Montanez Construction

Born in Billings Montana into a family involved in the heavy construction industry Manny always dreamed of having his own construction business. He enlisted in the ARMY after attending one year of college during the height of the Vietnam War. He has always admired strong leaders such as General Patton and President Washington for the decisive leadership shown during difficult challenges. He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 3rd Squadron 4th Armored Cavalry Regiment in South Vietnam in June of 1968 as a Tank Commander in first platoon of A Troop. As you will read in this bio he was severely wounded in combat on 8 January 1969.

Following an experience in which he did not walk for over a year as the result of vascular surgeries and rehabilitation he realized he would have to for go his construction dream as his physical abilities were limiting.

He enrolled at the University of Denver and in 1976 joined Seattle-First National Bank’s Seafirst Leasing division and was responsible for opening the Denver Regional -Inter-Mountain region. In early 1983 Seattle-First National Bank was acquired by Bank of America. Since B of A had an equipment finance unit, they permitted Manny and other senior management members to engage Goldman Sachs to prepare an offering memorandum to find a buyer for the leasing unit.

In October of 1983 Manny and his teammate’s efforts were rewarded as the unit was acquired by The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The unit became Metlife Capital where Manny served as a Managing Director with P & L responsibility of a strategic business unit with $1.2 billion in assets. He departed after 21 years when the unit was sold in 1999. Manny and Lynn decided to relocate back to Orange County to be near their daughters and families. He has completed executive business management courses at Columbia University and numerous other leadership development courses throughout his career.

Manny learned and realized after numerous visits to the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital for a knee replacement and other medical services that the VA was desirous of working with veteran owned businesses and thus formed EG Montanez Construction in 2009. EG Montanez Construction’s primary target market focus is on federal and military installations, California State University and select public works as a service disabled Veteran owned small general contractor.

As President of EG Montanez Construction; his extensive, energetic, and generous engagement in charitable good works is astounding. It is a challenge to name the diverse and significant projects to which Manny has given his support. Manny, a strong supporter of Veteran causes formed Fruitful Futures Project to provide support for Veterans, especially the homeless and families in need. He has served on the board of directors of CHOC Children’s Hospital at Mission and the main CHOC Board. He also supports OC Catholic Charities and Orangewood Children’s Home. He is past President of the Orange Coast Chapter of Legatus a Catholic business owners group and is on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, NLPOA.

In 2001 he was named Orange County Council Boy Scout of America Man of Character and subsequently has served as the co chair of the event. For over 20 years, Manny has been a primary force behind the successful development of the Children Hospital of Orange County “CHOC” and was an active member of its main governing board for 6 years. He currently sits on three committees; Audit, Investment and Ethics. His energy has literally caused many millions of dollars to flow to all kinds of causes supporting youth.

He has chaired CHOC’s largest annual fundraiser in 2006 and 2007, raising approximately over 3 million$ in those two years. The Latino 100 named Manny as one of the most influential Latino men in Orange County. Manny has been very supportive of Orangewood and chaired Orangewood’s first annual promise Ride an event designed to fund the Orangewood Children’s foundation.

Manny’s leadership abilities distinguished him as an extraordinary versatile tank commander and Tank Section Leader in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat when his lead tank was disabled in a bullet swept area. With complete disregard for his own safety and under intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, he dismounted and gave hand signals to his driver in snapping the track back on to the main sprocket and thus making the tank mobile and engaging the enemy. Later, during this battle, Manny was so severely wounded in both legs from shrapnel from an enemy rocket propelled grenade that he could not walk for over a year.

Whether working to shelter our Veterans, building homes for the poor in Mexico, teaching religious education, coaching softball, baseball, soccer, or volleyball, or mentoring youth, Manny Montanez is proof that one person can truly change the world. Manny is a man of exceptional gifts of mind and heart that he shares with all he meets. He lives in Coto de Caza with his wife Lynn; they have four adult children, two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Coreena Conley

USVBA BOARD MEMBER

Drake Muat

USVBA Treasurer & CEO of Global Environmental Network Inc.

Captain Drake M. Muat is President and Director of Training for Global Environmental Network, Inc. (GENI).  Mr. Muat is the Emergency Response Program Manager at GENI, where he has designed and implemented dozens of Emergency Response Programs for a variety of clientele. The clientele includes Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), Mesa Consolidated Water District, L.A. County of Public Works, Long Beach Water Department and Tesoro Refinery. Mr. Muat maintains and oversees these programs while applying his expertise of principles, procedures and goals of the programs.  In addition, Mr. Muat oversees, trains, and manages the Emergency Response Personnel and training program. He assures accuracy and quality control within the program, minimizing risk and assuring success.

Prior to becoming the Founder of Global Environmental Network, Inc., Mr. Muat accumulated 30 years solid experience as a Fire Captain and Specialist  for Newport Beach Fire Department. He retired as Captain of the HazMat Response Station. He completed his training under the California State Fire Marshal’s Office, Hazardous Materials Section, IC and ID.  Captain Muat established the first Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team for the City of Newport Beach, CA, and assisted in developing their Emergency Response Plan. He chaired the committee that developed the Emergency Response Plan for the County of Orange.  He also served as Paramedic Coordinator for the City of Newport Beach, CA and was an experienced CPR and First Aid Instructor. He served as Operations Chief for the following types of major incidents: oil well fires; electroplating fires; airline fires and large wild land fires.

Denton Knapp

USVBA BOARD MEMBER & DIRECTOR OF TIERNEY CENTER FOR VETERAN SERVICES

Denton Knapp has served as the Director for the Tierney Center for Veteran Services at Goodwill of Orange County, CA, since April 9, 2018. He is an expert in leadership and character development, having served over 30 years as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army and joint assignments, retiring honorably as a Colonel in May 2017.

Originally from Gillette, Wyoming, Knapp graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and served in numerous command and key staff positions during his thirty-year career, which included multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He recently led the U.S. Army’s Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, commanded a NATO Regional Support Command in Afghanistan, and served at the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Knapp earned his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, his Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and his Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He holds certifications in Supply Chain Management, OSHA 10/30, Lean Process, and a Project Management Professional training certificate.

His highest military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Bronze Star Medal, the Ranger Tab, Combat & Expert Infantry Badges and Parachutist Badge.

David Feldman

USVBA Board Member & Manager, Supplier Diversity/Local Content

David Feldman is the Manager of Chevron’s Local Content/Supplier Diversity program in where he is responsibility for advocating for the utilization and development of local, small, and diverse suppliers to support the company’s international and domestic operations. Feldman assumed this role in 2014 where he promotes an inclusive work environment and a supply chain reflective of the communities where Chevron operates. Feldman represents Chevron with the local, small, and diverse supplier community and national and local nonprofit advocacy organizations.

Feldman previously held positions with Chevron Policy, Government and Public Affairs where he managed Chevron community engagement and social investment initiatives at the company’s headquarter locations in the San Francisco Bay area and in Houston. Feldman also previously held responsible positions with Chevron’s Energy Technology Company. David is a native Houstonian, attended public schools in Houston, and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin.

Alex Galicia

USVBA Board Member & President/CEO of BPI Plumbing

Alex Galicia is a Navy & Army Veteran. In 2016, he will retire as an Army National Guard Major. His military assignments include running convoys during Operations Iraqi Freedom, as well as Operations New Horizons (Central America), -Noble Eagle, -Jump Start (US Mexico Border) and a NATO Ukraine mission. Alex is a 20 year travel industry veteran, mostly United Airlines where he held management Airport Operations, Field Sales and International Planning positions. Alex is President/CEO of BPI Plumbing (www.bpiplumbing.com) which expanded from $200,000 in 2006 to $4 Million in 2015. . He has served as a Veterans Consultant at the San Diego Small Business Development Center and on the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) San Diego and National Boards, San Diego Board Chair in 2017. Alex’s awards include the 2015 Louis Zamperini Inspirational Award (DVBA), the 2014 Disabled Veteran Supplier of the Year (San Diego Council for Supplier Diversity) and the 2013 Veteran-Business-Owner of the Year (SBA San Diego). His business made the Hispanic Business (HB) 500 and Fastest Growing 100 since 2012. Alex has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles and Masters in Transportation and Logistics from American Military University. More at https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexgalicia

Andy Williams

USVBA Board Member

Mershelle Davis

USVBA BOARD MEMBER