Dan Rooney Founder and President
Major Dan Rooney is the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation and Patriot Golf Day, a former F-16 pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, a golf course owner, a residential developer and a PGA Professional.
For his work with Folds of Honor Foundation, Rooney has received the White House's Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Air National Guard's Distinguished Service Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and The PGA of America's Inaugural Patriot Award. He has also been recognized as one of People Magazine's 2008 Heroes of the Year and one of ABC World News Tonight's Persons of the Year for 2008. A Major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney served three combat tours in Iraq. He is a two-time recipient of the coveted "Top Gun" award and was honored with the "Spirit of Attack" award as a top graduate of F-16 training. He has received many decorations to include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Anti-terrorism Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, and Air Expeditionary Medal.
Rooney has continued his golf career as a majority owner of the historic Grand Haven (MI) Golf Club, ranked in the "Top 50 Public Courses in the Nation" by Golf Digest. Rooney is a majority owner of The Patriot, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr-designed course currently under construction near Tulsa, OK. The Patriot will soon be the home to the Folds of Honor Foundation headquarters. A percentage of all profits, guest play, as well as member contributions from The Patriot directly benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Rooney travels the nation on a regular basis as a speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau, which he deems a great honor. To learn more about booking Major Rooney for your event, visit http://www.washingtonspeakers.com/speakers/speaker.cfm?SpeakerID=7278
Dan and his wife, Jacqy, live with their five daughters, Victoria, Tatum, Mia, Reese and Devyn.
Ed Pulido Vice President, Director of Public Relations
Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the Vice President of the Folds of Honor Foundation a Veteran’s charity which provides the spouses and children of the fallen and wounded educational scholarships. Additionally, he is the Founder of Warriors for Freedom a leadership institute focused on the mental, physical and holistic recovery of our wounded warriors and their families. Finally, Major Ed is the Founder of Patriots for Warriors and Warrior Nation, a company focused on the rights of liberty, freedom and patriotism. Major Pulido has a degree in Military Science, Marketing, and Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Logistics Management/ Human Relations. He attained the Rank of Major in his 19-year military career and on May 16, 2005, he was medically retired from the United States Army.
On the 17th of August, 2004, Major Pulido hit an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) or roadside bomb while serving with the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team under the command of General David Petraeus. Due to the extensive injuries to his left knee, doctors had to amputate his left leg on October 1, 2004. For his heroism and valor on that August day, the President of the United States along with General David Petraeus awarded him the Bronze Star with valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Joint Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.
Major Pulido’s story of courage and sacrifice has been featured in Time Magazine, PGA Magazine, Fox News, CNN and many national and local Oklahoma City television stations and print media. Since, his amputation, Major Pulido has been a staunch advocate for veterans with disabilities, specifically focusing on advocacy efforts to promote prosthetic technologies with Ortho Care Innovations, peer visiting with fellow amputees at Brooke and Walter Reed Medical Centers, and raising awareness on the needs of veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries (T.B.I) on behalf of the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign.
He has received countless awards including the prestigious Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, the Hero’s award from the American Red Cross, the Reaching our City Award, OKC Thunder/Devon Energy Community Hero Award, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Veteran Patient Award. Additionally, he has received the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award for national and state level service and the Tuskahoma Brown Miller Award for outstanding leadership.
On a personal note, Major Pulido during his time in the hospital experienced the inner darkness of depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that would cripple his positive spirit. This inner darkness he describes as a "deep wounding of a soldiers spirit”. It was at that time that he understood that as a Warrior he could not walk alone in this journey. In that moment, he asked for help from his God, Country, his family and the American people. The result of this intervention would put his life on the road to recovery. It would also be the building block for his understanding the inner wounds of war and making sure that mental health is a focus of the Department of Defense and the VA.
Major Pulido currently serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association, Pros 4 Vets, Oklahoma 211 and Operation Homefront. He is a national and global spokesperson for the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign and he chairs the Oklahoma Veterans Policy Academy a partnership with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with a mission to address the mental health needs of returning service members, Veterans and their families. Ed Pulido has been married to Karen Pulido for 20 years. He has a daughter Kaitlin and a daughter Kinsley. He and his family reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Tony Biata, PGA Vice President – Patriot Golf Day
A member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America since 1992, Biata volunteered his time to the Central New York section of the PGA in every official capacity since 1996 as a Board Member, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, President and most recently Honorary President. His duties as the Vice President of Patriot Golf Day include acting as a liaison between the PGA of America and the Folds of Honor Foundation to assist the 28,000 PGA/LPGA members in growing public awareness of Patriot Golf Day. His main objective is to inform golfers nationwide that Patriot Golf Day, although initially developed as a Labor Day initiative, it is quickly becoming a year round event where courses can individually design their own model of how best to support the foundation’s mission. Biata is a two-time CNYPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2005 & 2010) and has also been the recipient of seven other special recognition awards. He was named one of Golf Digest’s Top 400 Instructors in the U.S as well as one of GOLF Magazine’s Top Ten Teachers in New York. In 1999, Biata co-founded the CNY Junior Golf Foundation for the greater Syracuse area benefiting inner-city youth, coordinated one of the most successful Clubs-4-Kids programs in upstate New York and served as the Director of Instruction for the 2004 Syracuse Tiger Woods Festival. Originally from upstate New York, Biata relocated to Owasso in August, 2011 with his wife, Laurel and son, Michael.
Tony can be reached via email or phone at [email protected] or (918) 274-4704 or on his cell at (315) 258-3912.
Ben Leslie Vice President
Reporting directly to the President, Major Dan Rooney, Ben is responsible for overseeing the scholarship program, the Folds of Honor Foundation budget, The Patriot Cup, and donor services. Ben is responsible for establishing and maintaining partner relationships as well as securing new relationships for Folds of Honor Foundation. He manages all partnership programs and other cause-related events by involving major corporate partner relationships, with a primary emphasis on golf industry clients and similar associations that strongly believe in supporting our military and their families. Ben manages all business relationships, including engagement of corporations and private foundations. He also manages communications, website, and marketing presence with an outside agency. Ben coordinates the cause marketing and partnership program efforts. Ben is from Tulsa, OK and resides with his wife and their son in Owasso, OK. He graduated from Oklahoma State University and assists OSU Alumni Association Tulsa Chapter, Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPros), and Leadership Tulsa.
Ben may be reached at [email protected] or (918) 704-4475.
Dave Dierinzo Vice President - Corporate Relations
Dave Dierinzo is the Vice President of Corporate Relations for Folds of Honor. Dierinzo will nurture and grow current sponsorships and lead the effort in building corporate relationships with new partners who share the vision to help Folds of Honor realize its mission.
“I am so excited to have Dave join the Folds of Honor Foundation,” said Rooney. “Through his positions with Anheuser-Busch working to grow new business and foster current relationships, Dave was instrumental in developing the strong partnership we currently have with the Budweiser Brand team. His expertise will help lead our organization forward as we continue on our mission to ensure no one is left behind when it comes to education.”
Prior to joining the FHF staff, Dierinzo worked for Anheuser-Busch in numerous capacities for 32 years, serving as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the company-owned distributorship in Oklahoma City as well as the General Manager for the Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Tulsa.
Originally from Southern California, Dierinzo is a graduate of California State University-Northridge. His father, Sam Dierinzo, served during World War II; Dierinzo sees his new position with Folds of Honor as a way to honor his father and his service to our great country.
Dave can be reached at [email protected] or (918) 274-4700.
Thomas Tansil Executive Director
Thomas is responsible for directing the operation of the organization and programs by working with the President to provide leadership and direction in realizing the FHF mission, vision and stated objectives. He serves as the focal point for administration, compliance, communication, operation and generation of philanthropic support for system-wide initiatives designed to improve the service to families of soldiers killed or disabled in the service to our country and enhance the overall effectiveness of our organization. Thomas is a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves where he serves as an Intelligence Officer. In 2005, Thomas was recalled to active duty and worked at US Central Command where he had tours in Afghanistan as well as Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2009, Thomas volunteered and deployed with Carrier Air Wing SEVEN on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower for a 6-month deployment also in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He has received many awards and decorations to include the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He grew up in West Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin and also the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville. He currently resides in Owasso, OK with his wife Kristi, daughters Kyra, Brittany and son Thomas III “Trey”.
Thomas can be reached at [email protected] or (918) 274-4700 ext. 207. He may also be reached on his cell at (918) 703-6099.
Marsha Maxwell Director of Scholarships
An Oklahoma native, Marsha Maxwell earned a B.S. in Education from Oklahoma State University, followed by a M.Ed. in Secondary Education and a Juris Doctor from The University of Tulsa College of Law. She was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2000. From 1999 to 2008, Maxwell practiced in personal injury, medical malpractice, bankruptcy and social security law. During a 27-year adventure as a military spouse, Maxwell taught for 15 years in secondary education in Oklahoma and Texas as well as Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) in Germany. Her education experience further extended to the post-secondary classroom as an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland where she taught public speaking courses to active duty military at Hessisch Oldendorf Air Station, Germany. Most recently she taught undergraduate courses for Tulsa Community College. Maxwell gained informal yet extensive experience in counseling military wives and families through chaplain services. Through her service as Welfare Treasurer for Eglin Air Force Base Officers Wives Club, Maxwell garnered experience with organization and community relations. In 2008, her strong background in writing and editing led to the position as Grant Writer and Title X Director for a local non-profit. Maxwell was responsible for directing and coordinating the overall operation of a Title X federal grant, supported by a budget of over $1.5 million. She comes to the Folds of Honor Foundation committed to the mission and eager to serve the families of our country’s heroes.
Max can be reached at [email protected] or (918) 272-5307.
Sheryl Mansard Director of Donor Relations and Accounts
Sheryl oversees all Donor Services.
Sheryl may be reached at [email protected] or (918) 274-4700 ext. 206.
Todd Collins Texas Ambassador - Houston
With a focus on Texas and the greater Houston area, Todd is one of the first to be a part of our “Boots on the Ground” initiative. He is responsible for developing both personal and professional relationships with people and businesses throughout the region, while representing the Folds of Honor at the local level. Additionally, he serve as the Director for our newest initiatives, Patriot Fishing Days.
Todd enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2001 and was promoted to Staff Sergeant before finishing his degree at Texas A&M as part of the Marine Enlisted to Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) in 2008. As a Logistics Officer, Todd was sent to Okinawa, Japan, and served on several exercises and humanitarian relief efforts in Japan, Korea, The Philippines and Thailand. While on active duty, he was a member of several base golf teams as well as the All Marine Corps Golf Team. He left active duty in September of 2012 as a Captain and currently serves in the Marine Corps Reserves as the Logistics Officer for 1st Battalion / 23rd Marines – the “Lone Star Battalion”. His military awards include the Joint Service Achievement Medal (x2) and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Conroe, Texas, with his wife Ashlee, and their two sons.
Todd can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at (936) 537-9877.
Susan Erler Office Manager
Susan has lived in Owasso for 39 years and she is proud to be affiliated with the Folds of Honor in the capacity of Office Manager. Her passion for helping America’s soldiers comes from her deep family connections to the military. Her father served in the Navy, her nephew was a Marine spending the majority of his time in the caves in Iraq, and she has numerous other direct family members who have served or are currently serving our country. She has been a military wife for the past 27 years and now has added the title of “Military Mom” to her resume. She has 2 sons, both with careers in the aviation industry. One of her sons recently graduated from Air Force basic training with honors and now is a member of the 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa. He has already completed one tour of duty to Iraq.
Susan can be reached at [email protected] or (918) 274-4700 ext. 209.
Rhett Massengale Program Coordinator - Scholarships
Rhett Massengale is responsible for assisting and facilitating the processes within the scholarships department. His passion is to serve others, and this country comes from an innate sense of duty and the extensive military heritage in his family. Rhett is from Norman, Oklahoma and earned a B.S. in Nutrition and Exercise from Oklahoma State University, followed by a M.Ed. in Sports Administration from East Central University. Rhett is honored and humbled to help provide support for those who have sacrificed.
Rhett can be reached at [email protected] or (918) 212-7084.
Russell J. Normandin Texas Ambassador - Austin
Russell Normandin was born in Woonsocket Rhode Island, currently resides in Austin Texas, enlisted into the United States Marine Corps on June 2nd 1993. Throughout his over 20 years of active duty service Russell had three (3) combat tours in Iraq and (3) tours in Afghanistan. While on active duty Russell was able to complete his Bachelors of Science in Business Management and also his Masters of Science in Information Technology.
Russell is also an avid golfer as he was the first active duty military ever to be selected to be on the hit TV show “Big Break” that airs on the Golf Channel. Russell is currently a member of the University of Texas (Hook’em Horns) Golf Club. Russell is married to his wife Jana of 10 years and has two (2) children Joseph and Kiley.
Russell can be reached at [email protected] or (512) 695-6205.