National Advisory Board

November 8th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Recognizing that no Board of Directors or group of Officers, no matter how talented, has the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise needed for operations and growth of the Corporation, Cooking with the Troops has established a National Advisory Board. It’s members include:

State Senator Ron Alting (SD22) is a true “hometown guy” who has never forgotten his Hoosier roots. A strong advocate for Veterans, Alting is a Major in the Indiana Guard Reserve and a member of the Sons of the American Legion – Post 11. He is also the recipient of the 2002 and 2005 American Legion Distinguished Public Service Award. In the Senate, Alting chairs the Senate Commerce, Public Policy & Interstate Cooperation Committee and is a member of the Agriculture & Small Business, Judiciary and Elections committees. A former small business owner, Alting received the 2005 Small Business Champion Award from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the Community Advisory Board of Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette.


Rick Calvert is CEO and Co-Founder of Blog World and New Media Expo. Rick brings extensive new media and trade show experience to the table.



Chef Michael Costa brings extensive culinary and industry experience to the table.  He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in government and foreign affairs, and then attended culinary school at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, where he developed a love for Mediterranean foods and flavors.  He has worked at Abacus in Dallas before going to work for Michel Richard at Michel Richard Cintronelle where he rose to become private dining chef.  With the help of Michel Richard, he then went to work in Paris at the Michelin-starred Michel Rostang Restaurant where he worked until returning to the U.S. to become Executive Chef at Pazo in Baltimore.  He is now head chef at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya restaurant in Washington D.C.

Gerry Dick is is the host and creator of Inside INdiana Business television, Gerry Dick also serves as president and managing editor of Grow INdiana Media Ventures, LLC, an Indianapolis-based media company focused on producing and distributing Indiana business news and information through multiple media channels.  Gerry and Technology Entrepreneur Scott Jones form Grow Indiana Media Ventures’ ownership team.  Today, more people get their Indiana business news from Inside INdiana Business than from any other source. You can now watch his television show on 15 Indiana network and public stations, listen to daily radio reports on 27 statewide stations or get your news on-demand from a collection of email, web and interactive business news products.  Gerry is recognized across the state as an Indiana business leader and a respected business journalist. He has been awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award and recognized by the Small Business Administration as its Journalist of the Year.  His television program, which this year will celebrate its 800th broadcast,  has four times been nominated for an Emmy.  He is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator on issues related to Indiana business and the state’s economy and also serves as a business news analyst for WISH-TV and WIBC Radio in Indianapolis.

LaNelle Geddes, Ph.D. (biophysics) is the former Head of the School of Nursing at Purdue. She brings extensive experience in, and knowledge of, education, administration, and nursing that we will be using in review of our educational plans.

State Representative Sheila Klinker (HD27) was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1982 and is involved with many community organizations. She earned her Master’s degrees in elementary education, administration and supervision from Purdue University and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in education from Purdue University. She has received many awards and recognitions for her legislative and civic efforts—particularly on behalf of children and families, as well as individuals who are mentally ill or developmentally challenged—and for her successful work in promoting job growth and economic development in Indiana.Former Congressman Jim Marshall is well known for his support for our troops and our veterans, as well as for his own service. In 1968 he left Princeton to enlist in the Army, where he volunteered for infantry combat in Vietnam, earning two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He brings extensive experience with government and leadership to the board.



Mark Dolfini is founder of Standing for the Fallen and owner June Palms, LLC in Lafayette, Indiana. He served in the Marine Corps as a navigator on a C-130 crew and is known for his tireless work in support of wounded troops, particularly Marines.



Patrick Johnson is co-owner of D&R Market and D&R Catering in Lafayette, Indiana.  He has an extensive background in meats and meat-cutting, and more than 20 years experience in retail grocery management.

Alison Maier CPA has over 30 years of experience in public and private accounting.  Her public accounting experience and volunteer experience includes working with numerous non-profit entities.  Alison graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Kansas.  Although not in the military herself, she is a Blue Star Mom (her daughter is a 2nd Lieutenant in pilot training with the United States Air Force).  Alison is also the daughter of Rear Admiral James E Mantel, USNR retired (Seabee).  She is an active volunteer with Soldiers’ Angels and is a member of the Patriot Guard and American Legion Riders (riding her own Harley).  In 2008 she was recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer at the Greater Kansas City Regional of FIRST Robotics.  Alison and her husband Tim live on 20 acres and grow as much of their own food as possible.

Hidden by her monitor, Heather Solos is charming, a little snarky, and can answer household questions with the greatest of ease. In public, she’s a little shy and happiest at the nerd’s table riffing on web tech and shiny toys over beer and nachos. At home in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she’s a writer and blogger. She stays busy with four kids and a patient husband who doesn’t seem to mind living in a test kitchen where food must be photographed before it is served. Visit her website at

State Representative Randy Truitt (HD 26) is a proud fourth generation resident of West Lafayette. He is a 1986 graduate of West Lafayette High School and a 1990 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree from the School of Technology. Randy obtained his M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002, receiving the Distinguished Professional Award. Randy’s professional background includes leadership roles in both the bio tech industry and the real estate industry.


Since 1999, David Wicks has served a variety of increased roles and responsibilities in NASDAQ’s Global Corporate Client Group based in N.Y. David currently is Vice President of the NASDAQ MarketSite, Global programs and events – and products and strategy. In this role, David manages all aspects of NASDAQ’s Times Square facility – including the NASDAQ Tower – one of the largest stationary video screens in the world. He also oversees all global events for the Global Corporate Client Group and manages the Market Intelligence Desk “MID”, and NASDAQ affinity program. He has spent over 20 years in the securities industry in a variety of analytical, marketing and sales roles.

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