Board of Directors

Gary Sinise

For over thirty years, Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate of America’s servicemen and women. It began in the early 80’s with his support of Vietnam veterans and continued into the 90’s in support of the Disabled American Veterans organization raising awareness and support for our wounded service members. Since the attacks of 9/11, his dedication to all those who protect our nation has become a tireless crusade of service and gratitude.

His portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film Forrest Gump formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in 2003 and began touring to entertain our troops in early 2004. Over the years the band has performed hundreds of concerts on military bases and for charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world.

In 2011, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation to expand upon his individual efforts. He served as spokesperson to build the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and raised funds for both the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance in NYC. He serves on the Presidents Advisory Group for the Medal of Honor Foundation, as an honorary board member for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and Easter Seals (DC/MD/VA/), and as an advisory board member with Hope for the Warriors and the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. In recognition of his humanitarian work, Sinise has earned many distinguished awards including the Sylvanus Thayer Award from the West Point Association of Graduates, the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society, the Spirit of the USO Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association. In 2008, George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation. He is only the third actor ever to receive this honor. Sinise has been named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer by the U.S. Navy, an Honorary Marine by the United States Marine Corp, and an Honorary Battalion Chief by the Fire Department of New York.

Jim Palmersheim

Captain Jim Palmersheim

In 1984, Jim Palmersheim earned his bachelor’s degree and received a Regular Army Commission as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC Program at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was selected for follow-on training as an Aviation Intelligence Officer and subsequently transitioned to the RU-21H and OV-1D Reconnaissance aircraft. Jim left active duty in January 1990 to pursue a career as a pilot with American Airlines. With the exception of a recall to active duty in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Jim served in the US Army Reserves until 1995 flying UH-1H Huey Helicopters.

In 2004, Jim spearheaded the delivery and donation of a Huey 091 to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, "The Price of Freedom, Americans at War." Jim serves as an advisory role to the Huey 091 Foundation and on the board of Snowball Express. Jim served as Honorary Commander 457th Fighter Squadron, NAS JRB Fort Worth from 2010-2011 and in 2010 was named an Honorary Nightstalker with the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment based at Fort Campbell Kentucky.

In 2007, Jim was named Managing Director of Veterans Initiatives at American Airlines. Jim and his wife Patricia reside in Colleyville, Texas with their daughter Lauren. Their son Josh is a Captain in the Army and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as Pilot in Command of the Army RC-12 aircraft. 

Jim Shubert

Jim Shubert

Jim Shubert served in the United States Army from 1968 to 1970 and the United States Army Reserves from 1972 to 1974. He graduated from University City High School in St. Louis and proceeded to earn his Bachelor’s degrees in economics & secondary education from University of Missouri Columbia. His post-graduate studies include an MBA from Olin School, a Master of Social Work and ACSW accreditation. Shubert is a private investor, banker and a venture capitalist. He was an original investor in three corporations that went public or were sold to Fortune 100 corporations. In 1980, Jim co-founded Shubert Design Furniture with his wife Linda. Today, he is the owner/partner of several business ventures and serves as board member for multiple organizations in addition to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Moira Sinise

Moira Sinise

Moira Harris Sinise graduated from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. During her college years, she met her husband Gary Sinise. They have been married since 1981 and have three children. Moira has starred in such films as One More Saturday NightOf Mice & Men and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. She also played the evil trucker's wife in the Kurt Russell movie Breakdown. She has made guest appearances on the TV shows Karen SiscoThe Equalizer and Crime Story. At one time, she was a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company that Gary Sinise was instrumental in establishing. In 1987 she won a Chicago / Midwest Emmy Award for her role in Murder in Green Meadows. She also starred in Disney'sTall Tale in 1995.

Pat Velasco

Pat Velasco serves on the Board of Directors and past CEO of BrightView, the nation’s largest landscaping services firm with more than 23,000 professionals and more than $2 billion in annual revenue. Pat’s career has included positions with several Fortune 500 companies, including Ecolab and Black & Decker.  Born in Cuba, Pat has a wide and varied background in business and community service.  He has served as an executive within several global industrial and service companies.  Prior to BrightView, Pat served first as CEO and then as Chairman of Capital Safety, a leading manufacturer of fall protection safety equipment that is now an integral part of the 3M family of businesses.  As Chairman, he saw Capital Safety grow sales at an average annual rate of 10 percent.  During his tenure, the company also won the prestigious Minnesota Governor’s Safety Award. In addition to the Gary Sinise Foundation, Pat serves on a variety of boards, including Gardner Denver, Crosby and PurePOWER Technologies. Pat, an avid pilot, is passionate about supporting our communities and U.S. veterans, which continues to be a focus.

2017 Hurricane Relief

We’re thrilled to announce Snowball Express is now an official program of the Gary Sinise Foundation! More details will follow, but rest assured we will expand on this program’s important work while maintaining their many wonderful traditions.

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