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About Veterans Advantage

Board of Advisors

Veterans Advantage has assembled a distinguished Board of Advisors to assist us with our mission of bringing new benefits to veterans and their families.

William Broyles, Jr.
Paul W. Bucha
Gerry Byrne
Donna de Varona
Peter W. Eldredge
Lt. Gen. Robert E. Kelley
Hon. Robert N. McFarland
Major General (Retired) Frank L. Miller Jr.
Lt. Gen. Martin Steele
Edward H. Vick

William Broyles, Jr

William Broyles, Jr.

Bill Broyles grew up in Baytown, Texas, attended Rice University and then Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. After working in the civil rights movement, he served as a Marine infantry lieutenant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, among other decorations.

He was the founding editor of Texas Monthly, which under his direction won three National Magazine Awards. He later became editor of California magazine and editor-in-chief of Newsweek.

Mr. Broyles has lectured and taught at several colleges and universities, the U. S. Naval Academy, and the Smithsonian Institute. He has written numerous articles for major newspapers and magazines as well as a critically acclaimed memoir, Brothers in Arms: A Journey from War to Peace, an account of his return to Vietnam in 1984. A member of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, he served on the professional jury that selected the finalists in the design competition for the memorial; he also wrote the foreword to Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam, edited for the commission by the Company’s director of content development, Bernard Edelman.

Mr. Broyles was co-creator and executive consultant to the hit TV series, ‘China Beach,’ which won four Emmys. As co-author of the screenplay for ‘Apollo 13,’ he was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Writer’s Guild Award, and received the PEN Center Literary Award for best screenplay. The film also received the Chicago Film Critics Association award as best picture, as well as two SAG awards.

Mr. Broyles was co-writer of the Sean Connery/Catherine Zeta-Jones movie, ‘Entrapment.’ He also wrote the screenplay for "Castaway," starring Tom Hanks, who was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor. More recently, he authored the screenplays for quot;Planet of the Apes" (2001), "Unfaithful" (2002), "The Polar Express" (2004), "Jarhead" (2005), and "Shadow Divers" (2007 - announced).

Mr. Broyles is currently working on more books and screenplays. He’s married to Andrea and he’s got, he’s proud to note, ‘four great kids.’

Paul W. Bucha

Paul W. Bucha

Mr. Bucha is the former Chairman of the Board of the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation, the ninth-largest integrated steel producer in the U.S.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and Stanford University, he served on active duty from 1965 through 1972. As Commanding Officer of Company D, 3rd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division in 1968, then Captain Bucha was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while leading his troops against enemy forces near Phuoc Vinh, Republic of Vietnam. He also received the Purple Heart in that action.

After leaving active duty, Mr. Bucha served as senior Vice President for the EDS Corporation with responsibilities for international operations in Europe, Southwest and South Asia. As President of Paul W. Bucha and Company, Inc. since 1979, he has been assisting U. S. companies in the export of goods and services overseas as well as in the development and management of commercial, residential, and leisure properties.

Mr. Bucha served as President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society from 1996-99. He is a Founding Fellow of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Director of the Asian Institute at Jersey City State College; and Director of the West Point Society. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NCAA Distinguished Service Award, the International Swimming Hall of Fame Gold Medal, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Gerry Byrne

Gerry Byrne  

Mr. Byrne is Vice Chairman of Penske Media Corp (PMC), which owns leading entertainment and digital media brands that include Variety, Deadline Hollywood, Hollywood Life, TVLine. ENTV and India.com (partnered with Zee TV). Additionally, Byrne's media and entertainment consultancy, Fidelis Global Enterprises, launched in January, 2010, has partnerships, clients and board seats that include film financing newco Magic Storm Entertainment (with China based Ricco Capital and Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment); 212 Media; David Clark Cause; Recognition Media (parent of the Webby Awards); and, Washington Life Magazine where he serves as Executive Chairman. Byrne's decades of accomplishments as a media executive, entrepreneur and community leader are highlighted by a long time run as publisher of Variety where he dramatically transformed that business into a powerful, diversified, global media brand. The start-up publisher of both Electronic Media and Crain's New York Business, Byrne also successfully created The Quill Awards for NBC before he led a division of Nielsen that included The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard. Adweek and Backstage.

A staunch believer in "participation", Mr. Byrne is on the boards of numerous not-for-profits including Fisher House, The Intrepid Museum, Veterans Advantage, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research, The Creative Coalition, The Hamptons International Film Festival (Advisory Board), The Reisenbach Foundation (Chairman), The Armory Foundation and The New York City Police Museum. He is also on the U. S. Advisory Council of the IESE Business School, University of Navarra in Barcelona and is on the Board of Overseers of the Fordham University Graduate Business School. In November 2012, Mr. Byrne also launched, as Founder/Chairman, the first ever Veterans Week NYC, a series of events dedicated to honoring and supporting veterans and their families. Mr. Byrne was awarded the "Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award" at ShowEast '96, New York's Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center's 2002 Distinguished Service Award and the NYPD Marine Corps Association 2002 "Semper Fi" Award for his work in the community. And in June 2009, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented Mr. Byrne the "Made in NY" Award for his support of the Gotham's entertainment and media industries. Mr. Byrne is a member of The British Academy of Film & Television Arts, The New York Athletic Club, The Quogue Field Club (Elected a Governor), Laurel Links Country Club and The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick.

A 1966 graduate of Fordham College, Mr. Byrne served as a Marine Officer in Vietnam in 1968/69 and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V.

 

Donna de Varona

Donna de Varona

Ms. de Varona first made her mark at age 13 as the youngest participant in the 1960 Olympic Games. Four years later, she broke an unprecedented 18 world swimming records and won two Gold Medals at the Olympics in Tokyo. That year, she was voted "Most Outstanding Female Athlete" by both the associated Press and United Press International. She has since been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame, and the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Ms. de Varona went on to an accomplished career as an Emmy Award-winning network television sports personality, providing expert commentary on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" and a host of winter as well as summer Olympic broadcasts. A leader in the arena of sports fitness, she has been widely recognized for her work as an advocate of women's sports. She was a moving force behind the passage of the landmark Title IX legislation, the Equal Education Amendment Act of 1972, and is a founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation.

Among Ms. de Varona's numerous honors are a 1986 Yale Kephuth Fellowship; the New York State Board of Regents' Regents Medal of Excellence; the Lupus Research Institute's Flame of Hope award; and the Birmingham Southern College's Women of Distinction award. For her commitment to opening doors for girls and women in sports, she received the 1992 American Woman Award from the Women's Research and Education Institute. At the 2000 Olympic games -- the 12th she has covered as a broadcaster -- she was accorded the highest award of the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Order. In 2010, she was honored by Right to Play, an organization that gives the gift of sport to refugee children around the world. Her father served in World War II as a combat medic for the Red Cross. She has travelled throughout Vietnam in a USO tour for the troops, and more recently, visited our men and women in uniform on leave in Qatar.

Peter Eldredge

Peter W. Eldredge

Peter Eldredge is a senior operating executive with extensive experience in the communications business, including magazine publishing, media, and executive search. His early focus on sales and marketing resulted in an executive management career distinguished by ever-increasing responsibilities and opportunities.

After his discharge from the United States Army in March, 1970, Mr. Eldredge began his career as an analyst at the New York Stock Exchange and in 1971 joined Jefferies and Company as an institutional stock broker. Soon thereafter, with the lure of Madison Avenue and the excitement of a career at Sport Magazine working with the renowned Dick Schapp, Mr. Eldredge moved to magazine publishing and began his publishing career at that magazine. Over the next 23 years, Mr. Eldredge’s responsibilities grew in the magazine business, serving in sales and sales management positions at Time Inc.’s Money Magazine; publisher positions - to include New York Magazine, Star and Premiere - at Murdoch Magazines/News Corporation; as Executive Vice President for Magazine Operations at Friday Holdings and Executive Vice President and Publisher of Newsweek.

As a guest contributor and expert commentator on the media/advertising/marketing landscape, Mr. Eldredge has been interviewed on television, radio, and in magazines and newspapers to include CNN, ABC, Advertising Age, MediaWeek, AdWeek, Media Industry Newsletter, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, he was a guest speaker at numerous advertising and media events such as the Folio Media Conferences, The American National Advertisers’ Association, the Magazine Publishers’ Annual Meeting, and the Advertising Club of New York seminars.

With his broad background in publishing and media, Mr. Eldredge became a partner at Boardroom Consultants, an executive search firm, where he specialized in the media and communications practice. He led searches in interactive media, magazines, book publishing, cable, newspapers, advertising agencies, consumer marketing, place-based media as well as Board Director recruitment. Additionally, Mr. Eldredge developed an executive search and consulting practice in the retail industry.

As an active supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis charities, Mr. Eldredge also worked with Variety, The Children’s Charity, the Boy Scouts of America, and he served on the Board of the Vietnam Veterans Entertainment Theater Company.

Mr. Eldredge served as a platoon leader in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 with the 25th Infantry Division and was awarded two Bronze Star medals. Mr. Eldredge graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966 and a Masters Degree in 1967.

Hon. Robert N. McFarland

Hon. Robert N. McFarland 

Robert N. McFarland, a Texas native and retired senior Dell executive, served in the Department of Veterans Affairs, between January 2004 and April 2006. As Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, he developed the plan to centralize the department’s IT operations, which, with Congressional approval and oversight, is now underway.

“Bob’s intentions and efforts were pure: he believed that America’s veterans could be better served by improved management of information technology and he applied himself to the task of accomplishing those improvements,” said Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Indiana), of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, upon McFarland’s departure.

Prior to his government service, McFarland was Vice President & General Manger/Government Sector at Dell. He was responsible for Dell’s relationship with 1,200 Military and Federal Government customers and more than 28,000 State and Local Government customers as vice president and general manager of the company’s Government Sector.

Under McFarland’s leadership, Dell became the No. 1 supplier of computer systems to the Federal Government. In 1998, McFarland was named one of the 1998 “Federal 100” – a joint government and industry award designating the top 100 executives in the Federal marketplace.

In prior positions, McFarland was responsible for Dell’s relationship with more than 1,800 corporate customers as vice president and general manager of the company’s Large Corporate Accounts (LCA) segment; as well as vice president and general manager of the company’s Global segment, responsible for more than 100 of Dell’s largest global accounts.

McFarland’s 30+ years in industry also included several senior executive positions with other leading domestic and international high-technology enterprises.

A U.S. Army veteran, McFarland served in Vietnam. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

 

Major General (Retired) Frank L. Miller Jr.

Major General (Ret.) Frank L. Miller Jr.

Major General (Ret.) Frank L. Miller, Jr. retired on 1 January 1997 after a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, and now serves as the Vice President, Public Operations Dell Computer Corporation. Mr. Miller has served in a variety of leadership positions at Dell that have included operations, sales, engineering and contracting.

Born in Atchison, Kansas, General Miller’s last active duty assignment was as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army. Immediately prior to this assignment, he served as the Deputy Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Director of Operations, J-3, for the United States Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia.

General Miller entered the military in 1965 as a Private and attended the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School immediately after Basic Training, and was commissioned in 1966. After his initial assignment to Fort Lewis, Washington as a Basic Training Company Training Officer, General Miller served in the Republic of South Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. General Miller commanded field artillery batteries in the 212th Field Artillery Brigade and the 1st Infantry Division. He served in South Korea as a staff officer at battalion and division level. While assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, General Miller also served as a battalion S3, and participated in four REFORGER exercises.

Upon graduating with distinction from the Command and General Staff College, General Miller was assigned as a battle staff team operations officer aboard the USCINCEUR Airborne Command Post. After promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, General Miller commanded the 1st Battalion, 35th Artillery at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Following command, General Miller attended the Naval War College, where he again graduated with distinction and was promoted to Colonel.

General Miller served as Chief of Staff of the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, from July 1984 to July 1986. Subsequently, he assumed command of the 588th United States Army Artillery Group in Athens, Greece. Following command, General Miller was assigned as Chief of Staff of Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In June, 1989, General Miller assumed command of III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill.

General Miller’s decorations and awards include: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with V device (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with V device (with 19 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the State of Georgia Meritorious Service Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.

General Miller holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Masters Degree in Systems Management from Troy State University. He is married to the former Paulette C. Duncan of Tacoma, Washington. The Millers have three children, Frank III, Michael and Toni, and four grandchildren: Jonathan, Nicole, Deon and Alexandria.

 

Gen. Robert E. Kelley

Gen. Robert E. Kelley

General Kelley, an aviator, athlete, and educator, is the Director of The Canon Institute in Princeton, N.J. and the former president of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, he logged more than 4,000 flying hours in tactical fighter aircraft, including 119 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom in Vietnam. His combat decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal and Gallantry Cross with Palm.

Among his positions of responsibility in the Air Force were: Vice Commander of the Tactical Air Command; Superintendent of the Air Force Academy; Commander of the Tactical fighter Weapons Center; and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Multi-National Test and Evaluation of the F-16. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1986, he founded a defense consulting firm and an international sports marketing company, re-engineered a software development company, served as Senior Military Advisor to the USAF "Gulf War Air Power Survey," and with his wife, Patricia, founded the Wright Stuff Press.

In 1998, he was Chairman of the Board for Kids Voting USA, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the Board of Directors of the Air Force Academy Foundation, the American-European Community Association, and M-Power Corporation.

An avid athlete, he captained the varsity football and lacrosse teams at Rutgers University in New Jersey, from which he received his Bachelor of Science degree. An All-American lacrosse player for three years, he was elected to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1985. He is also a graduate of the National War College, earned his Master of Science degree from George Washington University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Nevada. He and his wife, who live in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, have nine children and an equal number of grandchildren.

Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele

Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele

General Steele is the former President of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. In his last active-duty assignment before his retirement from the Marine Corps in August 1999, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations at Marine Corps Headquarters.

General Steele, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, enlisted in the Marines in January 1965. Following a tour of duty in Vietnam, he was accepted at Officer Candidates School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in January 1967. He rose steadily in the ranks, holding positions as platoon commander, executive officer, tank company commander, and tank battalion commander.

Following his return from Korea in 1990, where he was operations officer for the Combined Forces Command, he was assigned as Deputy Director of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Warfighting Center at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Virginia. After serving in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm as G-3 aboard the USS Blue Ridge, General Steele took over as Director of the Warfighting Development Integration Division at Quantico. In 1993, he was promoted to brigadier general and became Quantico’s Commanding General. A year later, he added another star, and in 1997 was elevated to lieutenant general.

His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon.

General Steele holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas and Master of Arts degrees from Central Michigan University, Salve Regina College, and the Naval War College. He is a distinguished graduate of the Armor Officer Advanced Course; an honor graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College; and a graduate of the Naval War College. General Steele is married to the former Cynthia Bayliss of Little Rock, Arkansas. They have three grown children.

Edward H. Vick

Edward H. Vick

Ed Vick is the former Chairman and CEO of Y&R Advertising, the largest operating unit of Young & Rubicam Inc., one of the biggest integrated marketing communications companies in the world. With over 30 years of experience in marketing and advertising with several of the world's leading ad agencies, he is one of the few leaders in his field who can claim "Agency of the Year" honors at the head of two different agencies -- Ammirati & Puris in 1986 and Y&R on several occasions. The Marketing Report named Ed "Outstanding Advertising Executive" in the United States in 1997.

Mr. Vick is on the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina and Northwestern University. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Advertising Education Foundation, the United Negro College Fund, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. He also serves on the Boards of two technology companies: iWeb and Blue Martini Software. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the St. Andrews Society, the Military Order of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the mysterious Ends of the Earth Society.

A Philadelphia native who holds degrees from the University of North Carolina and Northwestern University, he is a highly decorated Naval officer who spent two years in Vietnam commanding river patrol boats. He earned two Bronze Star medals with combat "V," the Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, among other awards. He has long been active in Vietnam veterans' causes.

 

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Founder's Blog: Scott Higgins

 
Veterans Day Weekend Appreciation with Your VetRewards Card ID: November 8-11 2014

Once again Bed Bath & Beyond has selected Veterans Advantage for a special Veterans Day Appreciation benefit for our VetRewards Card holders. This coming November 8-11, 2014, your VetRewards Card ID will be recognized as proof of military service for a special Veterans Day Appreciation event with Bed Bath & Beyond and their associated brand stores nationwide. MORE...