Wounded Warriors in Action's Board of Directors



John J. McDaniel

John J. McDaniel

Position: CEO/Founder

Service Branch: US Army

Rank: Lt. Colonel (Retired)

Contact: john@wwiaf.org

Biography: Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John J. McDaniel served on active duty in the United States Army from November of 1987 to November of 2007. John is a decorated combat veteran, former Infantry Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Master Parachutist with a Special Operations background.

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John's three most coveted awards include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. A Master of Business Administration, John is also a successful entrepreneur and former CEO of a family of businesses in the private aviation sector; former Director of Business Development for L3 Communications; and the former Director of Federal Government Sales for The Vehicle Production Group. John is a certified US Coast Guard Captain, a senior certified USA Hockey coach, outdoor enthusiast, avid chess player and sportsman extraordinaire.

Shortly before his military career ended, John began taking wounded veterans on fishing trips in the Florida Keys and in Tampa Bay. What once was a grassroots initiative has now grown into a national movement: in 2014, the WWIA conducted 55 independent outdoor sporting events spanning 35 different states and three foreign countries and serves approximately 200 combat wounded Purple Heart recipients annually. He is largely the "heart and soul" of the mission and is present at several WWIA events each year. Although retired from active duty, John says of his work with America's wounded heroes, "I'm not done serving. We simply can't do enough for these tremendous Purple Heart heroes."

John has received numerous accolades for his work with veterans. More recent honors include - Community Hero Award: Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Foundation (2012); Newman's Own Award: Fisherhouse Awardee (2012); Everyday Hero Award: Bay News 9 (2012); Public Service of the Year Award: Bay News 9/ Outback Steakhouse (2013); Oshkosh North High School Hall of Fame inductee (2013).

John's vision includes establishing four Regional Healing Centers (RHCs) across America. The RHCs will be the world's first eco-friendly, American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant healing centers, designed to be run and administered by Wounded Warriors. According to John, "At its core, the WWIA is a veteran-based organization. We are veterans helping veterans. And none of this would be possible if it weren't for the tremendous support we receive from the American Sportsmen and women who represent the essential fabric of our society."

John lives in Apollo Beach Florida with his wife Lisa M. McDaniel and their son Dylan J. McDaniel.

Karen D. McDaniel, Esq.

Karen McDaniel

Position: Legal Counsel and Board Member

2013 Top Rated Lawyer

AV Preeminient® peer review rating

Contact: info@wwiaf.org

Biography: Karen McDaniel serves as pro bono legal counsel to Wounded Warriors in Action, and is also a Board Member. Karen was admitted to the practice of law in 1988, and is licensed in both the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Karen is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin law school, cum laude.

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Karen is presently in private practice as a partner at the law firm of Briggs and Morgan. During her 25-year career, Karen has not only run and managed her own legal practice, but has also served as legal counsel to the largest medical device manufacturer in the world. She brings her extensive legal expertise and her diverse business background to the WWIA.

Karen has deep experience in negotiating agreements and resolving complex business disputes. She is a recognized leader in the law. In 2012, she was named as one of Minnesota Lawyer's Attorneys of the Year. In 2013, she was named a ‘2013 Top Rated Lawyer' by American Lawyer Media and Marthindale-Hubbell™. She holds an AV Preeminient® peer review rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

Karen comes from a military family, with a number of veterans who have served our nation's country. She supports the work of WWIA in all its various aspects, but in particular she focuses on the business and legal needs of the organization. She solidly believes in the mission of WWIA, and is proud to be connected to this growing, grass-roots organization that is helping to heal the spirits of our combat wounded Purple Heart veterans.



Mark Broda

Mark Broda

Position: Board Member

Service Branch: US Air Force

Contact: mark.broda@wwiaf.org

Biography: Mark Broda is a US Air Force Purple Heart Veteran. Enlisting in the USAF in 1992, he honorably server 4+ years as a Survival Equipment Specialist and served 2 tours to the Middle East in Turkey supporting Operation Provide Comfort and in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch where he was injured in the Khobar Towers bombing.

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He graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Computer Technology in 2003 and started his IT career with IBM before finding his way back into Federal Civil Service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is currently with the Department of Veterans Affairs, OI&T managing project requirements.

As a veteran and an employee of the VA he has a very vested and passionate interest in serving his fellow veterans and after attending a WWIA event in 2012 he instantly got involved with the organization as an Associate. He continually leads 3-5 WWIA events each year and participates in several fund raising activities. He has proven to be a valued Associate and a trusted leader to the foundation.

As a Board Member of The Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization that facilitates hunting and fishing for Purple Heart Recipients across America, Mark is continuing to lead our organization in its mission to serve our nation's combat wounded warriors – our nation's heroes.

Arthur Kandarian

Arthur Kandarian

Position: Board Member

Service Branch: US Army

Rank: Colonel

Contact: Arthur.Kandarian@wwiaf.org

Biography: Colonel Arthur A. Kandarian entered service from Cumberland, Rhode Island and was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from Washington and Lee University in 1986. His first assignment was at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served as an Anti-Tank Platoon Leader, Rifle Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon leader and Battalion S3 Air officer with 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. During his tour with the 82nd Airborne Division he deployed on Operation JUST CAUSE and Operation DESERT SHIELD / STORM.

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After attending the Infantry Officer's Advanced course he was assigned to the 4th Ranger Training Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia and served as the battalion assistant S3 and Headquarters Company Commander. From 1993 to 1994 he served with the 75th Ranger Regiment as an exercise officer, Regimental S3 Air and Regimental Assistant S3 and participated in Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY. From 1995 to 1998 he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and served as the Battalion S3 Air, Charlie Company Commander and Battalion liaison officer. After attending the Command and General Staff College he served in the 2nd Infantry Division as the Battalion Executive Officer of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Battalion (Air Assault) at Camp Casey, Korea.

Following his tour in Korea he served as the Regimental Assistant S3 for the 75th Ranger Regiment and then as the Battalion Executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment where he participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While serving in 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and during the initial attack into Iraq, he was the senior officer during a Ranger Company raid to seize the Haditha Dam along the Euphrates River in Iraq. During this action then Major Kandarian earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action. After re-deploying from Iraq and departing 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment he was then assigned to the 1st Brigade, 87th Division (Training support) in Birmingham, Alabama and served as an active duty advisor with the National Guard and Army Reserves. Colonel Kandarian commanded 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, the reconnaissance squadron of 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from 24 January 2005 to 14 December 2006 and deployed during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where his Squadron was attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division then 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and fought in the Diyala Province. Colonel Kandarian then served as the Reconnaissance Squadron Senior Observer/Controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisianan and later as the Deputy Commander of the Operations Group. Colonel Kandarian assumed command of 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), known as the "STRIKE Brigade" on 13 March 2009 and deployed to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan from June 2010 to April 2011 and fought in Zharey, Arghandab, Panjuwai and Maiwand districts to secure the Afghan people. As the lead Brigade Combat Team to deploy as part of Force Package II, the Brigade received additional attached combat units and was also partnered with 3rd Brigade of the 205th Afghan National Army Corps and established and fought together as "Combined Task Force STRIKE", a force of over 16 battalions and over 8400 fighting men and women.

For their actions the Brigade was awarded the Valorous Unit Award and the Presidential Unit Citation, the nation's highest unit award. Upon completion of Combined Task Force STRIKE's one year combat deployment he relinquished command on 18 June 2011 and then attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama where he received a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies. Colonel Kandarian was then assigned to the United States Special Operations Command and deployed and assumed as the Chief of Staff of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan (SOJTF-A). This two-star command was formed in June 2012 and was later designated as the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan (NSOCC-A). This dual-hatted two-star command was the first time all NATO, Coalition and US Special Operations Forces were placed under command of one two star commander, resulting in complimentary effects never seen in Afghanistan since 2002. Colonel Kandarian served as the first Chief of Staff of NSOCC-A / SOJTF-A, which consisted of over 14,000 NATO and US Special Operations Forces and over 45 thousand Afghan Special Operations Forces until June 2013.

Colonel Kandarian's awards include the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with 3 oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service medal with 5 oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with 5 oak leaf clusters, Iraq and Afghanistan campaign medals, the Valorous Unit Award and Presidential Unit Citation. He has also earned the Expert Infantryman's badge, Combat Infantryman's badge (2nd award), master parachutist's badge (with combat jump star) and the Ranger Tab.

Colonel Kandarian retires from the Army in February of 2014 with over 27 years of active duty service that consisted of over four and a half years on eight combat deployments across the world.



Richard Wheeler

Richard Wheeler

Position: Board Member

Service Branch: US Army

Contact: rich@woundedwarriorsinaction.org

Biography: Rich Wheeler is an accomplished veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces, offering guaranteed results, domestic and abroad, with demonstrated success in executing corporate strategies and leading operations. He is a proven leader with an extraordinarily diverse background capable of mastering the science of any industry standard. Rich possesses an uncanny ability to motivate and lead world-class individuals and multi-dimensional organizational teams under pressure, worldwide, while assessing and mitigating the risk to the organization. He has a Master of Military Art and Science, Master of Business Administration, and is a bilingual English-Spanish speaker.

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He is employed a Director of Operations for Jacobs Technology, Mission Operations Group (MOG), located in Tampa, FL. Jacobs' MOG is dedicated to special operations, intelligence, and IT support. The $12B company delivers solutions and services focused on operational mission planning and execution support, special-mission training, intelligence analysis, IT, cyber-security, data management, and the acquisition and support of related technologies and systems.

As a Board Member of The Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization that facilitates hunting and fishing for Purple Heart Recipients across America, Rich continues to serve our nation's combat wounded warriors – our nation's heroes.