Board of Directors

Richard “Rick” Ecker

Founder, CEO

 

While serving more than 38 years in public service, Rick has been fortunate to have worked at all levels within the Department of Defense, serving in positions where he was able to learn, advice, and help bring attention to problems which surround our veteran community. 

 

Spending more than 22 years as a United States Marine, he focused most of his career in Public Affairs / Community and Media Relations, working not only with the Marines, but veterans from all branches of the service. 

 

Right after retirement from the Marine Corps, he worked as the Executive Director of the United States Marines Youth Foundation, a nationally based, military focused, youth fitness foundation. He later worked as a government contractor, managing an Air Force Public Affairs contract supporting Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, as well as the Public Affairs Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. 

 

Rick retired as Director of Community Outreach, for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after serving for more than 13-years. Rick has continually been at the forefront of veteran issues. From a national level, he was able to learn; and many times, offer support to an array of organizations focused on veteran issues. From fighting homelessness to keeping a veteran in his home, he was able to experience first-hand “the need” that our veterans face today.

 

Throughout his career, Rick has always had a concern and a big heart for our veterans, our first responders and their families; and looked for ways where he could give back…Today, the Vets on Track Foundation gives him that opportunity. He created the Foundation with his family to help address critical needs and give our veterans and first responders the support they need!

 

Together with his wife Lesley, and daughters Brittany and Rileigh, they are helping to honor and support our servicemen and women and first responders. Together, they look to build the Vets on Track Foundation into a nationally focused organization that develops “real” solutions for “real” issues surrounding our veterans, first responders and their families.

 

General Peter Pace

Honorary Chairman of the Board

Gen Pace Coat and Tie.jpgGeneral Peter Pace retired in 2007, after more than 40 years of active service in the United States Marine Corps.

As the sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005-2007), he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005), the first Marine to serve in either of these positions.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Teaneck, NJ, General Pace is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and the National War College. He holds a master’s degree in Administration from George Washington University.

In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.

He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and cybersecurity. He and his wife, Lynne, are associated with a number of charities focused on supporting the troops and their families.

STEVEN KNUDSON

Vice President, Board of Directors

Steve was born in Florence, South Dakota and graduated from National College of Business in Rapid City, South Dakota. He worked his first 30 years as an accountant in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Richmond, Virginia. For his last 25 years he sold payroll and human resource related services nationally and retired in July 2020. Steve currently resides in Richmond, Virginia along with his wife Bonnie and enjoys time with their two adult children and their families, which include four grandchildren.

During much of his career he has and still does volunteer extensively at their church, served as the treasurer for many years and continues to serve on the finance team and board. He has also served as treasurer and is on the advisory board for their large private school. He also volunteers at the local Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Steve has a passion for helping people and working with children. God is good and he wants to serve Him in every way he can for as long as he can.

Lewis Wood

Treasurer, Board of Directors

A retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Lew has been in the public accounting field since 2007 and is a Virginia-licensed CPA.  A career air defense officer, he gained an MBA in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, led the Marine Corps’ air defense programs at Marine Corps Systems Command, and gained DAUWIA Level III Certification in Program Management prior to his retirement from active military service.  Since retiring from the Marine Corps, he has taught accounting and business courses as an adjunct faculty member at several local colleges, was the accounting manager and CFO for a mid-sized private company, and has over 5 years of public accounting experience.  Lew serves as the treasurer of his church as well as of Vets on Track Foundation and appreciates the opportunity to positively impact the lives of veterans and first responders.  He lives in Fredericksburg with his wife Leigha and their nine children.

B Taylor

Honorary Board Member
VoTF Global Ambassador

B.Taylor is a decorated Navy veteran, multi-award winning, chart-topping Sony Music artist, producer, songwriter, best-selling author, speaker, Global Ambassador and Advocate,, and humanitarian.

  1. began his career as Division 1 two-sport athlete at the University of Missouri, where he also obtained an academic scholarship to study Engineering, Science and Technology. B. joined the U.S. Navy by testing into the Nuclear Engineering Program, but then switched the Aviation Electronics Technician school, where he finished first in his class. B also served during the early years of The Global War on Terrorism. He was selected by the Secretary of The Navy and Chief of Naval Operations to play on the U.S. All Navy Basketball and All Armed Forces Team USA. He was later granted special TAD orders to go to the NFL, where he had to later choose between the NFL or pursuing an entertainment career, after getting signed by a major label. He is currently in the Aspen Science and Technology MBA program.

In his entertainment career, B. has performed for President Clinton family, President Bush Family, President Obama Family, and many influential world leaders. He is the first and only hip hop/urban/pop artist/producer ever discovered by members of the first group of Motown, “Smokey and The Miracles,” and has been mentored/endorsed by the other living Motown Legends. B.Taylor is also “A Goodwill Global Ambassador and Advocate of Entertainment for the U.S. Military, Veterans, First Responders, and their Families.” B. has been honored as a 2018 Capitol Hill “Hillvets Top 100” Awardee as one of the most influential veterans in the U.S (2018 Class included Senator John McCain, Clint Eastwood, Secretary of Defense Mattis, etc.). His music accomplishments include (3) #1 Billboard, Itunes, Radio International chart topping hits with “NCIS” star actress Pauley Perrette, Chris Brown, himself, while also working with Snoop Dogg, Ray J, Flo Rida, and many other notables.

An accredited speaker, B.Taylor has spoken and visited over 500,000 youth, military families, and veterans since 2013. He is the Co-founder/Partner of the first official “President Nelson Mandela” signature electric vehicle called the “NRM AUTO” for Nelson Rolilahlah Mandela. He is also a national board member of U.S. VETS( the largest homeless veteran organization in the U.S.)  Lastly, he is the founder of the 1 Life Organization Nonprofit. which is has numerous alternative therapy wellness center programs( music, art, sports, yoga, meditation), illness treatment of our military, veterans, and first responders located in Las Vegas, NV. B. Taylor has been featured on numerous national television shows/media such as Entertainment Tonight/Inside Edition, Extra, BET, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, USA Today, Forbes, Medium, US Reporter, Yahoo Finance and many more.

Colonel Katie Haddock

Honorary Board Member

Ellen Kaye “Katie” (Ridenour) Haddock was born in Alton, Illinois, and grew up on a farm near Otterville, Illinois.

Katie was promoted to colonel in 2003, and retired from the Marine Corps in 2009 after more than 28 years of active service in the public affairs field. Her responsibilities and experience in strategic and crisis communication, media relations, and community outreach increased with each assignment, and Katie closed out a stellar career serving as principal spokesperson and trusted personal adviser for the most senior member of our nation’s military– the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

She graduated from Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, IL) with a secondary education teaching certification and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications. She holds a Master of Science degree in Military Studies from the Marine Corps University, and a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, DC.

Katie and her husband, retired Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Haddock, reside in Laconia, New Hampshire. They have two grown children: Monique (Haddock) Voth, of Ormond Beach, FL, and Lewis, of Fayetteville, West Virginia.