Cindy Hensley McCain has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those less fortunate both in the United States and around the world. A native Arizonan, mother of four, and wife of U.S. Senator John McCain, Cindy McCain is known for lending her time and talent to increase awareness of international charity organizations and the work that they do to make the world a better place.
As an advocate for children's health care needs, Cindy founded and ran the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) from 1988 to 1995. AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT's seven years of existence. On one of those missions, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 20 year old Bridget McCain.
In recent years, two organizations in particular have been the subject of her international focus: HALO, and Operation Smile.
As a member of the Board of Trustees for the HALO Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to landmine removal and weapons destruction in war-torn countries, Cindy has traveled to numerous countries to see firsthand the impact HALO has had by removing landmines. She recently returned from her second visit to Cambodia. She has also traveled to Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Angola, Georgia and Kosovo.
Cindy also serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization whose mission is to repair cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities for children around the world. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided free reconstructive surgery to over 100,000 children and young adults in 25 countries. Cindy has assisted on volunteer missions to Morocco, India, and Vietnam.
Mrs. McCain has also traveled extensively on behalf of World Food Programme, visiting mother and child feeding programs in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In addition to her humanitarian work, Cindy is the chairman of her family’s business, Hensley & Company, which is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation.
Her formal education includes an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master's in Special Education from the University of Southern California. As a student, Cindy participated in pilot programs testing Movement Therapy, which is now a widely accepted standard for working with severely disabled children. After receiving her degrees from USC, she began her teaching career at Agua Fria High School in Arizona where she continued her work with disabled children.
Cindy resides in Phoenix with her husband, U.S. Senator John McCain. Together, they have four children: Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget.Geoff Halstead
Geoff Halstead is an Interactive Media entrepreneur and consultant with over 16 years of experience in building successful businesses in interactive media. Geoff's focus and passion is to help clients leverage the Web and Mobile to take their idea or business to the next level by leveraging his creativity, knowledge, experience and personal network. During his career, Geoff has worked with a diverse range of clients such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Midnight Oil, Disney, Sony, Paramount, Cingular/AT&T Wireless and Sprint.
Geoff also has direct experience in starting and building companies. From 1997 – 2001, Geoff was a Co-Founder and then CEO of TrafficStation, which grew to provide interactive traffic information services in 30 markets across North America. From 2004 – 2008, Geoff helped Lagardere Media launch and build its interactive business in North America as Director and then VP, Business Development. In the Fall of 2006, Lagardere spun this business out with a $60M round of investment to become Cellfish Media.
Geoff is currently Chief Product Officer of Connexient, and Enterprise Indoor Mapping and Location-based Services company based in New York City.
Richard M. Jones, US Army
Richard M. Jones serves as Executive Vice President, General Tax Counsel and Chief Veteran Officer for CBS Corporation. As General Tax Counsel, he oversees worldwide tax planning, strategy, operations, litigation and legislative matters for the Company. As Chief Veteran Officer, Jones oversees and coordinates all veteran-related initiatives for CBS Corporation, ensuring that the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans and their families are never forgotten, and that the Company is doing all that it can to promote their well-being.
Prior to joining the company in 2005, Jones served as the Vice President of Tax, assistant treasurer and tax counsel for NBC Universal where he was responsible for all domestic and international tax planning. Prior to joining NBC Universal in 2003, Jones spent 13 years with Ernst & Young working in their media and entertainment and transaction advisory services practices. He also worked as a law clerk for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division. Prior to re-entering civilian life, Jones was a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, where he served honorably as a member of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment.
Jones received his law and business degrees from Syracuse University, where he graduated with honors and was admitted to The Order of the Barristers. He is also a graduate of Boston University, where he earned a Master of Laws in taxation. Jones received a bachelor of science degree (summa cum laude) from Syracuse University.
Jones is admitted to practice before the Courts of New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Tax Court. As a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York Society of CPA's, Jones serves on the M&A tax committees. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association where he serves on the corporate and partnership taxation committees. Jones is also a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants.
Jones works closely with many veteran organizations and is a tireless and passionate champion for our nation’s veterans. He is proud life member of both the American Legion and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). He was appointed by Congress and serves on the Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) at the U.S. Labor Department and U.S. Veterans Administration. In addition, he sits on the boards of the Wounded Warrior Project, The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, USJAG (The Uniformed Services Justice and Advocacy Group), the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services, the Aaron Grider Foundation and is an advisor to Veteran’s Advantage and ACT Today! (Autism Care & Treatment) for Military Families.
He lives with his wife and two children in Bedford, N.Y.
Major Brian von Kraus, United States Marine Corps
Major Brian von Kraus is currently serving as OIC, Special Training Branch, I MEF Special Operations Training Group. Following commissioning from Boston College, he attended The Basic School and was assigned to Kilo Company, Third Battalion, First Marines where he served as a rifle platoon commander. He deployed with Battalion Landing Team 3/1 as part of the 11thMarine Expeditionary Unit on WestPac 2002. After returning, the battalion deployed to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom I as part of Regimental Combat Team 1.
Upon returning from OIF I, he joined Alpha Company, First Reconnaissance Battalion where he served as a reconnaissance platoon commander. He deployed with the battalion to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, operating out of the Fallujah/Ramadi area. After the deployment, his platoon was attached to BLT 1/4 as part of the 11thMEU on WestPac 2006.
At the completion of the WestPac 2006 deployment, he was assigned to First Battalion, First Marines as Headquarters and Service company commander, deploying to Habbaniyah, Iraq in support of OIF 6-8.2. He conducted duties as Fire Support Coordinator, Camp Commandant, and Information Operations officer. Upon return, he was assigned to Alpha Company, 1/1. He deployed as the mechanized company with BLT 1/1 as part of the 13thMEU on WestPac 2009.
Following company command, he was assigned to his current billet at Special Operations Training Group.
He has had the opportunity to attend Amphibious Reconnaissance School, SERE, Airborne, Marine Combatant Dive, R2P2, EWTGPAC Fire Support Coordination Course, Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, HRST Master Course, and I MEF SOTG Methods of Entry Course.
William D. Harms, PhD, MSM, MSW
Bill Harms is a Wyoming native. After attending the University of Wyoming for Business Finance, Dr. Harms worked in various business, IT, consulting, and training roles before retiring to become an ordained minister in 1996 to enter full-time Prison Ministry. Recognizing a critical need for education, training, and leadership in the areas of faith-based transition and rehabilitation, Bill attended Oxford Graduate School receiving Master’s degrees in Family Life Education and Organizational Leadership in 2002; and his Doctorate in Sociology in 2003 with a specialization in Criminal Rehabilitation as it applies to post-release adaptation.
Dr. Harms served as senior tutor, member of the Graduate Research Counsel. Dr. Harms continues as faculty for Oxford; teaching graduate level research design, statistics, and information technology in the US, Trinidad, and England campuses. Dr. Harms served as State Project Director for the HHS Access to Recovery program. Upon completion of Wyoming’s ATR program, Bill served as the staff Project Analyst and Mental Health Consultant for the Wyoming Department of Health. He became National Director for Technical Assistance and Training for Access to Recovery Grantees under contract to HHS.
Dr. Harms was Principal Investigator on the Veteran’s Transition Project, a privately funded research project for returning warriors suffering from PTSD, depression and suicidal ideation. Currently, he is Research Director for Life:WIRE, coordinating public and private research on improving treatment protocols for mental health and substance abuse treatment, particularly as they affect veterans. He also serves as Executive Director of Transitions, TLC, a Consulting Firm focusing on assisting Faith-Based and Community Providers Integrate into Social Services.
Bill speaks and trains nationally for a variety of Federal, State, and Private organizations