Cooking with the Troops
Comfort, Nutrition, Hope

a 501(c)(3) organization

Leadership and Compensation


C. Blake Powers (Chairman, CEO) began cooking at an early age, and later took cooking lessons and then worked for a time under Executive Chef Matt Martin at 801 Franklin to gain more knowledge and experience.  It was a steak dinner he cooked at Landstuhl in September 2009 that lead to the creation of the Cooking with the Wounded program at Soldiers' Angels.  While cooking is his avocation, his vocation has included serving as Director of Outreach for NASA's Space Product Development Program, Project Manager (publications) for multiple Spacelab missions while working for Essex Corporation, and serving as Senior Science Writer at the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Center as an employee of SSI, Inc.  He currently works in the strategic marketing and research arm of Marketing and Media at Purdue University.  He became an active volunteer with Soldiers' Angels in 2005; served as the liaison to the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for NASA's Space Product Development Program; on the Board of the Aviation/Space Writers Association (AWA) as Southeastern Regional Director from 1990-1991; and, served as a Director of the Clan Donnachaidh Society of the South from 1995 to 1997. 


Bob Miller (Vice Chairman) has been making BBQ sauce for more than 35 years and doing BBQs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other facilities for more than five years.  His sauce is now in demand nationwide, and is used to help fund the cookouts and related activities.  Bob has been involved with troop support activities for more than 10 years, including frequent Friday night visits to Walter Reed prior to starting the barbecues. He is currently employed in the construction industry as a Senior Technician I/Certified Welding Inspector for Schnabel Engineering, LLC.  In addition, he serves on the Board of EaglesUP a veteran's based support organization, is a member of and has served as Special Projects and Events Coordinator for Gathering of Eagles, and is a volunteer with the Warrior Legacy Foundation and Soldiers' Angels.


Mary Katharine Ham (Secretary) is a New Media enthusiast who's never been able to find her way entirely out of old media. She's a staff writer for the conservative political magazine, the Weekly Standard, and a Fox News Contributor, who appears weekly on The O'Reilly Factor. She graduated with a degree in Newspaper Journalism from the University of Georgia in 2002, and won two North Carolina Press Association awards for features and sports writing. She edited a policy magazine for The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. before becoming a columnist and blogger for She also created a weekly videoblog called HamNation, for which she won 2006's Best Vlog Award from the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet and the 2007 Weblog Award for Video of the Year. She has been a friend of Soldiers' Angels since 2005, helping whenever possible with fund raising and publicity. She can cook an edible chicken if called upon, but it's probably best she leave most of the cooking to others and focus on her strengths.

Susan Katz Keating (Director of Communications) is an investigative journalist specializing in national security. A former Washington Times reporter, she is the author of Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW/MIA Myth in America (Random House), and three books for young readers. A correspondent for People magazine, she has worked many high profile stories, including the Virginia Tech and Ft. Hood shootings, and the pirate assualt on the merchant ship Alabama. Her work has appeared in Readers Digest, The New York Times, Air&Space, American Legion, VFW, Soldier of Fortune, and other publications. She has been cited in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and other journals. She is a founding trustee for the National Museum of Americans in Wartime. She briefly was in the U.S. Women's Army Corps, where she earned her Expert rating on the M-16 rifle. She was editor of the Dixon Tribune newspaper in California. She was a director of the Travis AFB Museum, and served as restoration crew chief on a B-52. She belongs to the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, and serves on the Draft Board. She attended the University of California at Davis. She lives in Virginia.


Service on the Board of Directors of Cooking with the Troops Inc. is on a voluntary basis and is not compensated.  Directors may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses only.

Currently, all officers are serving on a volunteer basis, and it is planned to keep any compensated positions to a minimum so as to reduce administrative overhead. 

When compensation is offered, it will be based on appropriate compensation as determined by:

1.  Current or immediate former salary of the person being hired.
2.  Salaries for similar positions at other charitable organizations of similar size and scope.
3.  The lowest amount that will obtain a person of appropriate qualifications.
4.  It must be under the cap of $125,000.00 maximum salary defined in the Bylaws.

All activities and considerations in regards setting compensation for any position will be recorded in writing, including yea and nay votes by the Board, and made available online and in print in the office of the organization.

No Board member, Officer, or employee will be compensated other than by salary and related benefits.  No non-fixed compensation will be provided.