RICHARD CASPER | Co-Founder & Executive Director
Richard co-founded CreatiVets and currently serves as the CreatiVets organization's executive director. Richard served four years as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, with a combat deployment in Fallujah, Iraq. During his deployment, he was hit by four IEDs in just four short months, causing him to suffer from a traumatic brain injury. Upon returning home, Richard found it hard to adjust and suffered from PTS until he discovered the healing power of music and art. After experiencing firsthand the impact music and art had on his own recovery, Richard co-founded CreatiVets to help other veterans who are suffering.
MICHAEL PEACOCK | Content and Communications Director
Currently residing in Nashville, Michael has more than 20 years of experience as a writing professional working with well-known brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Channel, IBM, and CNN, as well as smaller companies and locally-based firms including Lovell Communications, VF Imagewear, and Bulwark. With a passion for serving those who have served our country, he is using his editorial, content development, and content strategy skills and experience to support veterans who seek healing through the programs offered by CreatiVets.
BRETT GILLAN | Program Director
Brett Gillan was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and has been fully immersed in the music industry for the past 8 years as a founding member and the front-man for Midwest country band, Brushville. Brushville's debut album, released in 2014, went to #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Brushville also won multiple regional and national awards including the Battle for the Saddle, a battle of the bands style competition, at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee.
KYLE YEPSEN | Financial Director
Kyle is the brother of LCPL Luke Yepsen and has founded many businesses over the last 15 years. His most recent company, Texas Track Works, is based in Fort Worth and specializes in building custom BMW and Porsche race cars. After building that organization and winning numerous club racing titles over the last 11 years, he decided to step away in order to take time to make a difference in the lives of veterans. Kyle is a recent participant of the CreatiVets songwriting program and seeks to bring the same appreciation and creativity to veterans across the country.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BRYCE JENNEY | Board Chair
Bryce Jenney resides in Nashville, TN, and works in the Private Client Group of Raymond James and Associates. After selling his business several years ago he decided to dedicate his professional life to giving fellow owners and their families the tools they need to successfully navigate an exit from the businesses they built.
Bryce comes from a military family. His father, Bill Jenney, was part of the Air Force Academy’s 12th graduating class in 1970. After pilot training, he took an assignment at McGuire AFB as a C-141 pilot, and eventually became the Executive Officer to the Wing Commander. He left active duty in 1978 to fly commercially, but remained active in the AF Reserves and became a Liaison Officer for the AF Academy and the AF ROTC. He officially retired on July 4, 1995 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Bryce’s brother, Kyle Jenney, has served overseas in Afghanistan, and is currently a Captain with the Air Force Reserves at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. There he flies the C-17, and is the Wing Safety Officer as well as an Instructor Pilot.
With a deep appreciation for our veterans, Bryce is proud to be a part of an organization like CreatiVets who is so fervently devoted to serving those who have selflessly served us.
SHARON MELLOR, PhD, CAE | Vice Chair
Sharon Mellor resides in Gatlinburg, TN and has held many executive positions in national medical and dental foundations for over 30 years, including as Chief Executive Officer of the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation. Previously, she provided staff leadership to the College of DuPage, the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation and the American Osteopathic Association. In addition to a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University of Chicago, she has a PhD from Union Institute & University and also received a certification from Cornell University through their Health Executives Development Program. In addition to her service with CreatiVets, Sharon has served as President of The American Society of Dental Foundation Executives and President of The Chicago Association of Healthcare Executives. She has also served on The National Public Relations Advisory Board for MENSA. Sharon is proud to work with veterans in memory of her late father, who served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and later succumbed to asbestos-related cancer from his service. Through CreatiVets, Sharon continues to positively impact the lives of veterans who have served our country.
RICHARD STEWARD | Treasurer
Dick Steward has resided on the outskirts of Chicago, IL for the past 50 years. He was born and raised in a small rural town in southwest Iowa, and as he went through the college job interview process, he was sure of one thing: he did not want to live in Chicago! At the conclusion of interview season, with his accounting degree in hand from the University of Iowa, he began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago, but true to his wishes, he did not live in downtown Chicago, preferring instead to commute in to the city. As a CPA, Dick worked with Arthur Andersen for 11 years, and since then has held a number of executive financial positions with wealthy family offices and privately-owned corporate entities. Currently "semi-retired," he splits his time between a small group of tax and accounting clients, a small CPA firm, and now as the Treasurer of CreatiVets. Dick's father served during WWII in the U.S. Army and his brother also served during the Korean War. This opportunity to assist and support veterans through CreatiVets' mission is truly special to him.
LINDA TARRSON | Co-Founder & Secretary
Linda Tarrson is a co-founder of CreatiVets. Residing in Chicago, IL, she has extensive philanthropic and volunteer experience including serving on the University of Southern California (USC) Presidential Ambassador Board and the UCLA Foundation Board of Governors, as well as serving with USC's Presidential Associates. Linda is also the former Chairman of the Board of Visitors and the Dental Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her passion in support of our veterans is deep and unwavering, stemming from her father, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in the Pacific during WWII, and her brother, who served honorably for 26 years as a U.S. Naval Aviation Officer.
SHEILA YEPSEN | Board Member
Sheila Yepsen is a Gold Star Mother of the fallen hero, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Luke Yepsen (December 2006, Fallujah). Luke served as a .50 Caliber machine gunner with Richard Casper, co-founder of CreatiVets. Residing in Houston, TX, Sheila is a retired Cardiovascular Nursing Specialist with over 30 years of experience, primarily working at the Texas Medical Center at the cutting edge of cardiac care. She now volunteers extensively in Pastoral Care at hospitals in her community. Since 2006, Sheila has maintained friendships with the men who served with Luke. After watching them struggle and grow after their time on active duty, Sheila continues her commitment to helping veterans on their journey to recovery and wholeness.
ADAM TAYLOR | Board Member
Adam Taylor resides in Los Angeles, CA and for over three decades, he has been helping intellectual property companies manage and extract value from their copyrights, trademarks and patents. Adam is currently the President of APM Music, the largest production music library in the world and the leading provider of music to the business community and entertainment industry. As President for the past 14 years, Adam has made APM into a production powerhouse, leading innovative production music library and creative music house as any in the industry. Prior to taking the helm at APM Music, Adam was president of Taylor/Fox Enterprises, helping doctors and scientists commercialize and monetize their patent-protected inventions. Before that, as a founding partner of Goldman/Taylor Entertainment, he developed numerous properties including the television series "Confessions of Crime" for Lifetime Network, the CBS TB Movie, "Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean" which was nominated for both and Emmy and a Golden Globe Award, and the PBS series "Joseph Campbell - Mythos" hosted by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, in partnership with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. In addition to being a Board Member of CreatiVets, Adam sits on the Board of Advisors of the Academy of Entertainment and Technology at Santa Monica College and is the Vice-Chairman of the Production Music Association, the leading production music trade organization in the United States. Adam's father, Milton Taylor, was an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII. Milton was an expert in the Japanese language and after Pearl Harbor, and at the request of the Army, played an important role in teaching Japanese culture to American officers and soldiers to prepare them for war with Japan. With his broad experience and connection within the Los Angeles music and entertainment industries, Adam brings his expertise in the various industries to find the best ways to serve veterans through the CreatiVets programs.
JORDAN PETTIT | Board Member
Jordan Pettit moved to Nashville, TN in 1999 and attended Vanderbilt University (B.A. 2003, M. Ed. 2005) where he played & coached varsity football before pursuing a music business career. Jordan brings a wealth of music management knowledge and experience to CreatiVets. Prior to advancing to his current role as Vice President at Warner Music, he served as National Director of Promotion at Warner, National Director of Midwest/Northeast Promotion for Universal South/Show Dog-Universal, Manager of Southwest Promotion for Columbia Records, and Manager of Secondary Promotion fro Mercury Records. He has worked with artists such as Toby Keith, Brett Eldredge, Trace Adkins, Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Joe Nichols, Billy Currington, Randy Houser, Frankie Ballard, Dan + Shay, Jana Kramer, Charlie Worsham, and Michael Ray. Both of Jordan's grandfathers served in the military (one in WWI with the U.S. Army) and his brother-in-law served in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment in Sangin, Afghanistan from 2010-2011. That unit experienced the highest amount of casualties in the entire Middle Eastern conflict. Jordan's appreciation for those who serve and his belief that music can help achieve healing, expression and comfort those who need it, are the reasons he chooses to be involved with CreatiVets.
BRANDON DEATHERAGE | Board Member
Having grown up in a small town where nearly everyone was either military, going away to college, or working in a factory, Brandon considers himself lucky enough to have had uncles and grandparents who served in the Air Force and several close friends in the Marines. Though he never served in the military himself, he strives to help those who have served in any way possible. His charitable roots go all the way back to the weeks after 9/11 when he and a few classmates raised $800 for the Red Cross. Currently volunteering as an admin for The Chive Illinois and as an IT Engineer for Country Financial, he has directly or indirectly raised almost $100,000 for CreatiVets through various events, letters to The Chive, and networking. His best friend in the world is his Australian Shepherd mix, Wrigley, properly named after the best ballpark on the planet. He bleeds Cubbie Blue, and is an avid golfer. Not good, avid.
Nanette Leonard | Board Member
Nanette LaRosa Leonard, RN, BSN, is currently a vice president, former president, and longtime board member of the Centennial Guild, a charitable fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is also a board member of Haiti Healthcare Partners, a non-profit aimed at supporting healthcare needs in rural Haiti. She is a former pediatric intensive care nurse and holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Catholic University and a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from University of California, Los Angeles. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
Nate Carden | Board Member
Nate graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2006 and went on to receive a Masters degree from Sciences Po in Paris, France two years later. He served as a Captain in the Medical Service Corps at Langley Air Force Base and deployed to Afghanistan as a mentor of medical logistics to the Afghan National Army. After getting out of the Air Force in 2011, he founded a language learning tech start-up and an innovative meal service start-up. He co-founded the Nashville Bunker Labs chapter with Blake Hogan in 2016 and is currently serving as the Director of Programming, Partnerships and Marketing for Bunker Labs nationally.