About our Officers, Directors and Consultant
PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & SECRETARY/TREASURER
This couple has been happily married for 40 wonderful years!
Jerry Reed, the President/Executive Director, was a fundraiser for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund until he was drawn into this Christian ministry by exposure to the unmet needs of those fighting alone in this global war against terrorism: our military personnel and their families. Jerry retired from Chevron Chemical Company in July, 2000, and from that date forward he and Debbie have been doing philanthropic work in a number of areas involving our military including work to assist our seriously wounded and their families as well as supporting those serving in the combat theater of operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq.Jerry spent thirty years with Gulf/Chevron from June, 1970, through July, 2000, holding positions of increasing financial responsibility during his career. Prior to a career with Gulf/Chevron, Jerry was in the Marine Corps from April, 1966, through January, 1970, having served in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Air Wing, Marine Air Group 13, VMFA-314, The Black Knights, from 10/’67 – 11/’68 in support of the fabled 1st Marine Division. He attended the University of Houston majoring in Finance with minors in economics and marketing and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in Houston. Jerry is an avid hunter and a fisherman and he keeps a kennel full of good bird dogs and uses fine Tennessee Walking horses for hunting quail and competitively field trialing his English Setter bird dogs. Jerry is a member of the VFW, the Marine Corps League and is active in the Houston Chapter, 1st Marine Division Association, Inc., as well as the National First Marine Division Association, Inc.
Debbie Reed, Secretary/Treasurer, graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Technology. She then worked full time in the family business (her dad owned an office machine business) for 5 years in various positions such as Sales Secretary, Service Secretary, and finally Executive Secretary, then part time for 8 years. She also worked for Compaq Computers for 6 years as Human Resources Manager Administrative Assistant, and then as Executive Administrative Assistant. She is currently a part time Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Reflexologist. Debbie’s hobbies include fitness and nutrition, scrapbooking, fishing, and reading. Both of Jerry and Debbie's sons are currently on active duty in the United States military.
Brenda Alford Kaiser:Brenda was born in Alvin, Texas, and grew up in Meridian, Texas. She is the sister of Cpl. George Allen Alford Jr., USMC, who was killed in Vietnam on July 31, 1968. He was part of 3rd Platoon of Echo Company 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division and he is her inspiration for helping today’s warriors. She graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Elementary Education and Psychology. She also attended Houston Baptist University where she received her Bilingual certification in Spanish. She is married to Wallace Kaiser and has one son, Mark Kaiser, and one step-son, Phil Kaiser. Mark has three children and Phil has three children. She is very active in her church, her community and in politics. She taught second grade in Houston for many years and taught at Salem Lutheran School while her son was attending that school. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her son, grandchildren and her wonderful Mom who is Brenda's personal hero and the one whose never-quit attitude and positive outlook has been such a source of inspiration for Brenda. She is an avid hunter and enjoys fishing. She grew up hunting with her Dad and big brother. She knows the price for freedom. Her family has paid the price when her only brother was KIA in Vietnam, and this indirectly led to the loss of her Dad and little sister. Brenda feels that she should help the military families of today because there was no help for the families during Vietnam and there should have been.
Eric Salley: Eric is a native Texan and left to join the United States Marine Corps in June, 2001, at the age of 18, not long after his high school graduation. After boot camp and the consequent training as a combat engineer, he joined the Fleet Marine Force as a member of the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion. He spent the remainder of his time after initial training in this unit. Shortly after joining his unit in December, 2001, he began the training buildup for a deployment on the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC). The deployment began in January, 2003, and it's mission was the invasion of Iraq to begin Operation Iraqi Freedom. Having participated in the initial 6 weeks of this operation he was redeployed to his ship to continue the further mission of the MEU. After returning to the U.S., in July, 2003, he joined Charlie Co. of 1st CEB and again began buildup for an additional deployment with his new unit. The next deployment began in February, 2004, and lasted seven months. He has spent time in many now well-known locations in Iraq and participated in some very well-known operations.Eric is currently a student at Texas A&M University, though he is also still in the Individual Ready Reserve as a Sergeant. He is pursuing a degree in Construction Science. He is deeply indebted to all those who have sacrificed their lives and health for our Nation and feels genuinely blessed by God to be involved in this charity.
Mark A. Kaiser: Mark was born in Houston, Texas. As a young child he enjoyed hanging out with his two best friends, Matt and Jonathan Reed. They did a lot together growing up and are still best friends to this day. During his summer vacations in high school, he worked for his father and his uncle, the owners and founders of Just Trees, Inc. During that time, he mainly worked with the field crews trimming, fertilizing and potting trees. He attended college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he majored in horticulture. He graduated in 2002; following graduation he went to work for Just Trees, Inc., where he is currently the vice-president of sales for this operation. He later married Erin Lively, who he met in college; they have three children. Some of his personal hobbies include fishing, hunting and playing basketball. Mark’s middle name, Allen, was given to him in honor of his uncle, George Allen Alford, Jr., who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968. Mark’s son, Allen, carries on the name of Mark’s heroic uncle who is one of the heroes featured on the OME Logo. During his youth, Mark made frequent visits with his mother and grandmother to the graveside of his namesake uncle who is buried in the cemetery iin Alvin, Texas.
Oliver (Jay) Lora: Born and raised in Northern Indiana, Jay attended Purdue University to pursue a Civil Engineering Degree. However, after 2 years of study, he dropped out to earn money for the next term and was inducted into the US Army in August 1964. He was deployed to northern Thailand as an Engineering Construction Surveyor. After returning to the U.S., he learned to fly airplanes in a military flying club. After receiving an honorable discharge from active duty in 1966, he was inspired to continue his flying and aerospace education.
He met Monica in 1968 and on their first date, they flew from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis to get a Coke. They married and moved to Tulsa in 1970 so he could acquire his Associates Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology and additional FAA engine and aircraft maintenance licenses.
His aviation career spanned more than 12 years and included corporate flying, jet-engine maintenance and aerospace engineering. His aerospace experiences led to more lucrative careers lasting 30 plus years that included engineering and installation of industrial jet engines with world-wide travel, maintenance supervision for off-shore natural gas platforms and engineering/customer support supervision for a Fortune 100, Heavy Duty API pump and compressor manufacturer.
After retiring in 2007, he enjoys spending more time with his wife, entertaining friends, attending and volunteering for church, boating, shooting, fishing and reading. In addition to volunteering for OME, Jay volunteers for his church-sponsored military ministry.
Jim Fry: Jim was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He attended Stephen F. Austin University, University of Houston and graduated from LeTourneau University with a degree in Business Management.
He spent his entire business career with Big Three Industries and Air Liquide based in Paris France after Air Liquide acquired Big Three. He was Vice President of Production and Distribution and Administrative Vice President for 20 years and President of the Ransome and Tempil Divisions until his retirement in 2002. He has been consulting with Air Liquide since retirement.
Jim is an avid golfer, enjoys both fishing and hunting. He was on the Governing Board of his church for forty years, which with golf has not allowed as much fishing and hunting as he would like. He and his wife, Patty, have three grown sons and three grandchildren. Jim is a strong believer in our military and believes that our freedom was paid for by our young men who paid the ultimate price in past wars and those fighting today. He is committed to Operation Military Embrace because of the devotion to our injured and fallen heroes.
Martha Wells: Martha has been married to Fred for thirty-two years, living in many places with him as he worked in the oil industry. With 3 sons and 6 grandsons, she was privileged as a homemaker to still have the time to serve in many volunteer organizations, most notably Pro America and Daughters of Liberty in Houston; and serving as the Philanthropy chairman for the American Women’s Association in Dubai, UAE, where her husband was stationed. It was during this Dubai assignment that Martha developed an even deeper admiration for our military through a program that allowed her and Fred to entertain US military during their R & R. Martha has stated that “being able to host the Sailors and Marines in our home was the highlight of our time in Dubai.”
After their return to Houston, Martha heard about Operation Military Embrace through a friend and sought out the people involved. After her first trip to BAMC in San Antonio to visit the “Warriors in Transition,” she was hooked on the program. “I find it very uplifting personally to visit these men and women and experience their enthusiasm for serving our country. I also find it very uplifting to see the positive response in support of OME from friends, my church, and other local organizations and foundations.”
Pam Moritz: Pam is a native Houstonian. She worked for Harris County for 27 years in the court system as the Court Coordinator for Judge Tad Halbach, Jr. in the 333rd Civil District Court and is now retired. She is a single mom to her son, Richard Dudman, and is constantly amazed at how wonderful he turned out. She credits that to Lutheran schools and a belief that a firm hand of discipline is the only way to show true love to a child. Pam came to Operation Military Embrace after her dear friends lost their son, LCpl. Ryan Adam Miller, in Iraq. Her feelings were “It just couldn’t end that way. I adore that family; they were my second family growing up.” She found Operation Military Embrace from a donation to the Semper Fi Fund in Ryan’s name, and an office visit from an attorney and a former Marine, and a bit of Divine Guidance. Pam says, “I love my visits to the SAMMC. I am hooked. Seeing these kids and their positive attitudes are addicting, and I want to be there until I can’t take another step.”
Susie Helms: Susie was born in Miami, Florida, and moved to Texas in 1976 to attend South Texas College of Law. She has been practicing law as both an outside and in-house counsel for 30 years and is currently works as an independent legal consultant for energy-related companies. Susie is married to Brent, who is also an attorney, and has a wonderful teenage son, Cody. When not working or volunteering, she spends time with Brent and Cody fishing and relaxing at Lake Livingston or helping her hunter family on their property near Crockett, TX.
Susie has been volunteering and serving on the Board of OME for over 2 years. Martha Wells, her fellow director, told her about the trips OME made to Brooke Army Medical Center and invited Susie to come along. After her first trip in January 2008, she was hooked. Seeing the incredible strength and positive attitudes of the seriously wounded and their families, she continues to work tirelessly to help ease their plight. In addition to serving on OME’s board, she also served for six years on the board of the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association.
Robert "Robbie" Sheltz: Robbie was born and raised in Houston, growing up near Hobby Airport. He has been married to his wife, Merrie, for 33 years, and they have 1 son and 2 daughters. Robbie started his company, The Pool Man, in 1981, which builds, renovates, and services pools with a great group of people. Robbie loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and was brought to OME by God's hand through his church, St. Timothy's. He has always been grateful for the sacrifices that the men and women in the military have made for the freedom we enjoy, so this was a perfect fit. His first visit to SAMMC in San Antonio showed him that men and women in the military who had gone through so much were still extxremely thankful for the small gifts and company that the volunteers from OME brought. Robbie is simply thankful to be a part of a great group of people who are serving the Lorrd by bringing His love to those who need it.
Kimberly S. Conon: Kimberly is the sister of fellow Board member, USMC Sergeant Eric S. Salley, and friend to many other members of the armed forces. Thankful for her “little” brother’s safe return following two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, she jumped at the opportunity to help bring Operation Military Embrace, Inc. from idea to thriving 501c3 organization. Kimberly has been involved with OME since its inception over 5 years ago, helping the founding team to distill OME’s story and educate potential donors.
A native Texan, Kimberly is living her dream of working on Madison Avenue as a media professional. Her expertise spans media/advertising research, brand analytics, and consumer insights, and she has worked across the marketing ecosystem at advertising agencies, client-side, and for leading business publisher Forbes Media. In 2010, Kimberly earned her MBA with Honors from Chicago Booth, where she concentrated in Marketing and Finance and consulted for multiple non-profit organizations, including Accion Chicago and Partners in Health (Haiti). She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Syracuse University (Go Orange!) with a B.S. in Business and Advertising Management.
Kimberly currently resides in Jersey City, NJ with her husband Jonathan who practices law in NYC. Her passions include food, travel, Spanish culture, running half marathons, and startups/entrepreneurship. In her continued involvement with OME, Kimberly will strive to give our wounded heroes a voice, help forge strategic partnerships, and assist with other development projects.