MICAH FINK - FOUNDER/CEO
- Has spent 10 years in the Navy SEAL Teams, both active duty and reserves
- Conducted operations involving land and undersea mobility platforms in US Pacific Command, US Central Command, and a National Tasking deployment, which earned him numerous awards - including the Bronze Star
- Is an avid outdoorsman, hunter and skier, a sponsored free diver, tactical athlete, and Ironman
Q&A WITH MICAH:
- What inspires you? I am inspired by truly authentic people, and individuals who are willing to let it all out regardless of what anyone thinks. I am inspired by the natural world in all its beauty and rage, and how the same processes in nature also apply to humans.
- So, why nonprofit work? I think the greatest investment you could ever make is into the life of another person. One life does matter, and one life can, and has, transformed the world. I believe you will never go broke from being to kind to people. The wealth I am referring to is not monetary, but one of much greater value.
RICK FRANCO - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
- Has served both as an enlisted Marine and as an officer for a combined total of 13 years.
- Worked for several major Defense Corporations overseeing complex and mission critical programs for the Department of Defense and the US Government.
- Is a passionate big game bow hunter, outdoorsman and conservationist.
Q&A WITH RICK:
- What inspires you? I am inspired by the good that can be found in people. Having been around the world and exposed to the lesser side of mankind, when I do see the light that shines in all people, regardless of race or religion, it inspires me to be my best self. My goal is to live a life worthy of the sacrifices that have come before me and to leave that legacy for my children.
- So, why nonprofit work? Ever since I was little boy playing Army, (I didn’t know about Marines at the time) I always knew I wanted to serve my country. I was the first person in my family to join the military. At the time the only thing I could relate it to was a calling, similar to a person joining the priesthood. After I separated from the military, I struggled to find that calling again. In some ways I found it again when I served the US government as a contractor overseas, however in the end I found I was doing this for myself and not for others. A person doesn’t join the military to get rich and one doesn’t work at non profit organization to get rich, at least monetarily speaking. There is more than one way to become wealthy and there is more than one kind of wealth. So, in the end, for me the same little voice that said serve in the military, I have finally listened to again and I am proud to be a part of Heroes and Horses.
MACKENZIE FINK - FINANCE & HR MANAGER
- Graduated with a double major in Business & Finance, and Marketing from Bloomsburg University
- Worked in NYC as an Account Executive for a global pharmaceutical advertising agency
- Received her Masters in Education from Cambridge College in Boston
- Founded the company MommiesRFit LLC in 2012
Q&A WITH MACKENZIE:
- What inspires you? I am inspired by huge, enduring and sacrificial accomplishments, such as climbing Mount Everest or running in a 100-mile race. I look at these events as goals. I have dappled in mountaineering and running long distance, but not to that extent (yet). One day, when my children are older, I hope to engage deeper into both mountaineering and long distance running to turn this inspiration into a reality.
- So, why nonprofit work? Working at Heroes and Horses is something that I felt called to do. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the non-profit industry, as there are so many incredible people involved. We have been so fortunate to work alongside an eclectic and unique group of individuals. This summer during camp set up, I felt so encouraged and truly blessed to see volunteers from across this nation come together to support something that they all believed in.....and there is nothing better than hearing, "this program changed my life", from a veteran.
CIERA KRINKE - DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Has worked with 5 start-up companies (H&H being her 5th), two of which were/are in the nonprofit sector
- Is part of SheWolf Collaborative here in Montana (a group of female entrepreneurs who specialize in design, marketing, storytelling, and strategy), where she specializes in working with nonprofits, designing websites, and start-up operations
- Is originally from San Diego, CA, recently married a North-Dakotan, and they have both set up their roots here in Montana
Q&A WITH CIERA:
- What inspires you? I am constantly inspired by new innovations in the communications/marketing sector. While there may be some downsides to technology/social media, I also see what great potential there is to connect and empower people. While I am a HUGE introvert (ironically), I have an enormous appreciation for the art of communication, and I can truly appreciate the importance of it. My goal with Heroes and Horses is to constantly stay innovative with how we are communicating with our supporters, donors, volunteers, and employees. I believe that, especially in this day and age, staying dynamic with your communication strategy is essential to the longevity and success of any company.
- So, why nonprofit work? I'm in it for the money! Just kidding :-). Being involved with start up companies has allowed me to experience the ins and outs of many different types of companies - most of them being for-profit organizations. There is certainly nothing wrong with working in the for-profit sector, but several years ago I realized that my personal happiness was very much contingent upon how much of a difference I felt like I was making in the world. I want to help people/companies create something of long-lasting value, something that brings humans closer together, not further apart.
BRIAN ROBERTS - EQUINE MANAGER
- Graduated Hocking College in 2011 with a degree in Farrier Science, as well as Wilderness Horsemanship
- Before working for Heroes and Horses, Brian guided wilderness pack trips and back-country hunting expeditions
QUICK Q&A WITH BRIAN:
- Who is your hero? My hero would have to be my father. I have watched him endure more then anyone I've ever met. Throughout it all, he remained positive and supported us as a family, always trusting in god to get us through.
- What inspires you? What inspires me is my family. Seeing my wife and all that she does for our family and watching my two little girls grow everyday inspires me to become a better father and mentor for them.
- So, why nonprofit work? I work for a non profit because it has purpose other then being a profitable company - to give back to our veterans in need. It's truly incredible to watch the men who go through this program walk away with a more positive attitude, new outlook on life, and having pride that they just completed the hardest (and most rewarding) veteran program in the country.
ISABELLE "IZZY" SCRANTOM - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
- Graduated from Montana State University with a major in Multi-Cultural Global Studies
- After graduation Izzy was a teaching assistant at MSU conducting research on the holistic process of combining "western" science with indigenous peoples knowledge and grassroots methods to eradicate malaria and malnutrition in Mali, Africa. Then moving east to become a researcher and administrate assistant for a litigation funding firm in my hometown of Charleston, SC, though her love for the mountains of Montana pulled her back to live and work in this amazing place
QUICK Q&A WITH IZZY:
- What inspires you? I find endless inspiration from being outside in nature. - “those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” There is something healing that comes from being outside, especially in Montana.
·Who is a hero of yours? I have so many people that I look up to. It is hard picking just one! I find myself in awe of so many of my friends and family members. Each person that I hold dear in my heart has shown me how far hard work and dedication can take you. They have also shown me that love and kindness will get you even farther. I don’t have just one hero I have many and I am thankful for every one of them, for they truly push boundaries, break glass ceilings, and face challenges with amazing determination and grace.
Why nonprofit work? Working for a non-profit is empowering on so many levels, it makes me feel like I am having a positive impact on my community. The ability to work for a non-profit, such as Heroes and Horses, that serves veterans- melds two very important pieces of our society together. Mental health and serving veterans who so bravely served for us. Mental health is something that I have become very passionate about, being able to be a part of this program that promotes mental wellness and gives back to our veterans is very exciting and I am honored to be involved in this program!
ETHAN FORESTER - WRANGLER
- Graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's degree in Geography and minor in Architecture
- Former Texas Wrangler and Silver Spur
- Herded cattle through wildfires and chased pumas from horseback in Argentina
QUICK Q&A WITH ETHAN:
Who is your hero? My pops. Even though dad and I didn't always see eye to eye, he never gave up on me. I wouldn't be the man I am today if it weren't for ol' pa.
What inspires you? My fear of stagnant mediocrity. The thought of standing still and ceasing to grow and learn makes me sick. I will not accept it and I will work as hard as I can in order to continue improving.
So, why nonprofit work? I'm not here for me. I'm here for them.
T. BAXTER STEPHENSON
Baxter Stephenson is a 25-year veteran of manufacturing in the Greater Minneapolis area of Minnesota. His tenure includes, most recently, 19 years at Fraser Steel Company, specializing in tube fabrication. Stephenson is a committed and hard-working executive leader who has risen through the ranks to President & CEO of the company. Stephenson’s education includes a B.S. in Finance and an M.B.A. in International Business, both from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Stephenson’s charitable interests include supporting our veterans, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, feeding starving children around the globe, and his local church. Stephenson is married with three children. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time at the lake with his family.
MICAH FINK - FOUNDER/CEO
Micah Fink has spent 10 years in the Navy SEAL Teams, both active duty and reserves. He conducted operations involving land and undersea mobility platforms in USPACOM, USCENTCOM, and a National Tasking deployment, which earned him numerous awards—including the Bronze Star. Micah spent 4 years as a private military contractor where he conducted paramilitary security operations in some of the world’s most dangerous areas. Micah is an avid outdoorsman, hunter and skier, a sponsored free diver, tactical athlete, and Ironman. His experience, expertise, and passion for helping people is reflected in his devotion to the Heroes and Horses program.
SAMUEL J. FREDERICK
Samuel J. Frederick is the newest member of the Heroes and Horses Board of Directors. As a business attorney with Crowley Fleck PLLP in Bozeman, MT, Sam helps clients protect and commercialize their valuable intellectual property assets and minimize risk. As part of his practice he negotiates, drafts and enforces complex commercial contracts.
Sam represents enterprise and emerging growth company clients in commercialization and technology transactions, including web, mobile and gaming development, e-commerce, ERP, Cloud, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, fiber, wireless, social media and digital marketing. Additionally, Sam advises businesses in the field of tech, IP and licensing across industries and borders.
After fifteen years in Michigan and working as a partner in a large law firm, Sam and his wife returned West to raise their family. When he is not commercializing new technology, protecting brands or enforcing contracts, Sam enjoys spending time with his 5 kids in the great outdoors and imagining life through the eyes of Captain Clark and Hemmingway.
Sam strongly believes in HH’s unique and transformative process. Pressure and time combined with the timeless wisdom that “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness” yields life changing results. Sam seeks to support HH’s mission and veteran community as an HH Board Member.
Dan Brochu is the newest member of the Heroes and Horses board of Directors. Dan’s journey started with a degree in Architectural Engineering back in 1983 that led him to start Dan Brochu Construction and Qualitas Land Development. After fulfilling his childhood dream of building and construction, Dan moved on and in 1993 became a Regional Vice President with Primerica Financial Services. Today he currently holds the position of Senior Vice President and has developed and acquired 24 independent offices within Primerica.
He currently resides in Portsmouth, NH and has two adult children. His son currently serves on active duty as a captain in the US Army while his daughter is pursuing her graduate degree in the environment and human health field.
Dan has loved adventure and the outdoors his entire life. Today he enjoys mountaineering, mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, and triathlons.
Dan fell in love with Heroes and Horses after meeting Micah at a fundraiser and hearing about his vision and philosophy of helping combat veterans. Dan considers it a great honor to serve on the board. “It is my prayer and intention to make a difference in the lives of these veterans who have served our country with honor through the good works of Heroes and Horses.”
Waller, Texas, cowboy Clint Cannon, 35, took his athletic talents, which he first cultivated as a fullback playing NCAA Division I and II football, to the arena when he followed in his rodeo athlete father's footsteps.
Cannon has earned his living in rodeo for the past 11 years. He won the $100,000 Calgary Stampede Bareback Riding title in 2011 and has earned the title of Rodeo Houston Bareback Riding Champion twice. Among the records, Cannon says the one he is most proud of is one he achieved in 2009, when he earned the most regular-season money won in any event with $233,504.
Cannon's family consists of his wife, Lindsey, and daughter, Kaitlyn. When he is not rodeoing, he operates his business, Cannon Companies, and enjoys traveling and working out in preparation for rodeo competition.
Interestingly, Cannon has been the subject of two different French documentaries about the sport of rodeo.
He is sponsored by Reliant Energy, Snake River Stampede and Canadian Whiskey, Barstow Pro Rodeo and Cannon Companies.
RICK VAN ARNAM
Rick brings nearly twenty years of consulting experience to his partnership with The Table Group. His client work focuses on the connection between effective relationships, cohesive teams and producing results. Recognized for his ability to connect with others and break down complex issues, Rick has a unique way of helping clients improve their organizations by creating healthy environments where desired results are realized.
Currently, Rick works with CEOs and executive teams to quickly and effectively apply the concepts related to organizational health. His clients span a broad spectrum of industries ranging from technology, consumer brands, health care and the government.
Rick has a diverse leadership background in the military, corporate, and higher education segments. A veteran of deployments to Panama (1989) and Afghanistan (2003 & 2010), he has used Patrick’s concepts in senior leadership roles spanning data network sales to full-spectrum Military Intelligence Operations in Afghanistan.
Clint, formally an active duty Navy SEAL from 2001-2016, is the Special Projects Manager to the CEO & President at Lewis Energy Group. Clint has been the recipient of several prestigious medals including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device (x6), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.
Jesse Garner spent 10 years as a Navy SEAL, during which time he earned prestigious awards such as the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit from overseas operations. After separation, Jesse was accepted into Columbia University. He is pursuing higher education in the field of Computer Technology. Jesse became involved in Heroes and Horses early in its conception because of his desire to give back to the veteran community. Jesse is married with one young son. He is a member of the Heroes and Horses Advisory Board.
DR. DAVID ALTER
David Alter, PhD is a psychologist with 30 years of experience in the corporate and private practice worlds. His experience with trauma recovery has been brought to the Heroes and Horses program to help design and evaluate the program so it can achieve the greatest benefit for the vets involved. He is a member of the Heroes and Horses Advisory Board.
Lila is a longtime Bozeman resident and a native South Carolinian. She has spent over 35 years in the healthcare industry and now focuses on compassionate and contemplative care. Her lifetime love of horses and Micah’s compassion drew her to Heroes and Horses. She feels deeply privileged and excited to serve on the advisory board and advance this important work.