RUCK FOR 22 FOUNDERS
CHASE C. PENMAN
BOARD CHAIR/ PRESIDENT
Chase is a US Army combat veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom II. He has a distiguished history of helping fellow service members and veterans. His mission with starting Ruck for 22, Inc. was to provide the neccessary care for Veterans to help stop the suicide rates created from PTSD and TBI, and to provide that care for FREE. He feels that the current VA system has let our Veterans down and Tricare does not provide the support for current service members. There is still a stigma of weakness for those serving that want to seek out help and that needs to change. After separating from the Army, Chase has spent the last decade working in finance to become one of the top financial advisors on the west coast.
Read more of Chase's story here.
Jess A. Whiteaker
Board Secretary/ Director of Technology
Jess is a graphic designer with a degree from The Art Institute of Chicago. He has held several different positions, in many different industries, ranging from Operations Manager to Sales Proffesional. His true passion is developing brand identity and target marketing content for existing and startup companies to help generate more business and revenue. Jess also proudly volunteered his time to the The Exchange Club of Newport Harbor, Newport Beach CA during their Field of Honor’s event for the last 4 years. In preparation to this highly anticipated event, 1776 US flags are carefully assembled to fly in honor of all military men and women every Armed Services Day. Jess has great respect for the men and women who serve in our military and is strongly disappointed in how our country neglects the care veterans need and deserve. He hopes his involvement with RUCK for 22 will help spread the importance of taking care of our veterans and improve the life of every man and woman that has sacrificed their life for our country.
Christopher M. Burns
Board Treasurer/ Director of Veteran Outreach
Chris has worked in all facets of inpatient residential treatment from family counseling, case management, residential director, family service director and program director. Throughout his career he has had the opportunity to work with families and addicts to enhance and better educate them on the disease of addiction. Chris decided to start both Serenity Peaks Recovery and Triple Peaks Recovery Centers after actively watching young adults get well by gaining a better understanding of what it means to be selfless and work through tough issues that have kept them from reaching their full potential. With both Triple & Serenity Peaks being located in Colorado Springs, CO (one of the highest military populations in the country) Chris has seen first hand the absolute devastation as it pertains to our military veterans and the lack of support services available to them. Providing feasible and realistic options for veterans and service members alike has been a goal of his since moving to the area. Chris is also a huge Veteran and service member advocate and is the creator of our new mental health program geared towards the success of veteran’s mental health.
CHARITY BOARD MEMBER
James joined the United States Navy shortly after high school and was stationed in Virginia Beach, VA on an amphibious warfare ship transporting assault helicopters, landing craft, amphibious vehicles, and other elements of a Marine landing force. James served as a Search and Rescue Swimmer, responsible for putting the lives of others before his own. He applied intense physical and mental training to challenging real-world situations where there was often no margin for error. James conducted rescue, recovery, and humanitarian missions. Multiple missions took James to many countries such as Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Tunisia, Turkey, Israel, Cuba, and Somalia.
After the Navy, James moved to Ithaca, where he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance in 2001. He began his business career in Chicago at Cananwill, Inc. a subsidiary of Aon. In 2006, James moved to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, a $70 billion Government Sponsored Entity (GSE). James’ responsibilities included regulatory compliance, strategic planning, business development, and project management. He enhances productivity and business profitability through tactical back office, product development, and operational improvements.
James lives in Park Ridge, IL, just north of the city of Chicago with his wife and three boys. James enjoys running, outdoor activities, playing with his kids. In 2012 James began running and has run numerous marathons and races in Chicago and other cities. James is very excited to be a part of Ruck for 22 and give back to the veteran community.