OUR TEAM

Richard “Rick” Ecker

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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.

Edwin Talbott

Director of Operations

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.

Brendan Begley

Director, Corporate and Private Giving

Kyle is a retired Marine master sergeant, having served more than 20 years in the United States Marine Corps.  While in the Corps, he split his time between traditional public affairs and community relations while also taking to the airwaves as a broadcast journalist with American Forces Radio and Television Service overseas.

Along with his extensive military public affairs background, Kyle also brings along a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Averette University and a Masters in Strategic Communication from American University.

He currently serves as the Marine Corps Base Quantico Deputy Communication Strategy and Operations Officer and overseas Digital Engagement, Community Relations, Website management, and social media.

Kyle has led and organized outreach and engagement campaigns in San Diego, New York, Iwakuni Japan, Washington D.C, Seattle, and Phoenix, Az. He has worked with media at all levels telling the story of the great men and women in our Armed Services and has advised military and civilian leaders for nearly thirty years in strategic communications and public affairs matters.

Rileigh Ecker

Manager, Social Media

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.