Mike Foss serves as the President of the Warrior Bonfire Program, and previously on the Board of Directors. As President, Mike oversees the vision and mission of the program. His responsibilities include oversight of all organization fundraising efforts, expenditures, hierarchy, and implementation of the organizations’ growth plan.
Mike is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, Engineer. Foss served as a Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant, 132nd Engineer Battalion; Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 4th Engineer Battalion; Commander, 994th Engineer Company (Bailey Bridge) and the 409th Engineer Company (MGB); Executive Officer, 244th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy); Collection Manager, G2, SMDC/ARSTRAT; Commander, 3/361st TSBN; Deputy Commander, 5th Armor Brigade; and Military Executive, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He has volunteer leadership positions as the President of the Arapahoe High School Quarterback Club and the President of the Littleton Youth Sports Club.
Through personal and professional experiences, Mike’s understanding of those we serve and their needs, due to his military service, energizes his desire to build the Bonfire to its fullest potential in order to help all those that need it. Mike resides in Centennial, Colorado with his wife Peggy, they have three grown children, Morgan, Taylor and Kyle.
Helen serves as our Vice President overseeing the organizations’ operations to include member services, marketing, and operational systems. Helen also serves as a mission coordinator for each of our Purple Heart Retreats managing and organizing event logistics and travel arrangements.
Helen and has over 19 years of experience with startup entrepreneurial businesses, process system development and management, customer relationship management, marketing collaboration, and network coordination. Helen has been with the Warrior Bonfire Program since 2014, building and developing, all member registration system and vetting processes, website and social media foundations, network relationship throughout the Veteran care industry, mission branding and messaging, and program service integrity.
Helen’s wide range of professional experience and personal experiences as a wife, mother, cancer survivor, and personal traumatic situations allows her the ability, understanding, and desire to help our combat wounded veterans heal post-trauma. Helen resides in Bradenton, Florida with her husband Gregg, they have two grown sons, Taylor and John David.
Benjamin Stepp, LPC, MCC, M. Ed., NCC
Director of Veteran and Military Care
Benjamin serves voluntarily as our Director of Veteran and Military Care, his primary role is to oversee and guide the organizations’ direction and operations as it relates to the mental health and well being of the veterans we serve. Benjamin is a licensed therapist and a Purple Heart recipient. This unique combination of experience offers the Warrior Bonfire Program and it’s members a solid foundation to take action when we encounter a Veteran in crisis. Benjamin trains all our retreat event leaders to recognize warning signs of a Veteran in crisis and the appropriate actions to take when necessary. Benjamin also serves in the capacities of Retreat Leader and an On-Call resource for our leaders or members needing further help, direction or referrals for additional counseling or therapies.
Benjamin was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, he joined the National Guard in 1998 as a Flight Operations Specialist upon graduating from High School. Benjamin attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on a wrestling scholarship until he was injured. In 2001, he joined Active Duty Army as an Infantryman, was stationed in South Korea and in Kansas, where he then was deployed to Iraq twice, 2003 and 2004-2005. Benjamin was wounded in 2003. After completing his initial enlistment, he joined the Mississippi National Guard as an Infantryman and attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Economics, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Benjamin is now a Licensed Professional Counselor providing counseling to a wide range of clientele including veterans and first responders. Benjamin resides in Belden, MS with his wife and two children.
Richard serves voluntarily as Chaplain for the Warrior Bonfire Program. He brings to the organization, members and boards, nondenominational spiritual support. Richard’s responsibility is to help maintain the integrity and moral compass of the organization and its’ leaders. Richard is a veteran of the United States Air Force, and both the Illinois Air National Guard and the California Air National Guard having served a total of nine (9) years.
Richard previously served AT&T for over 25 years in various capacities in Operations, Engineering, Regulatory Support, Strategic Planning, Research & Development, Technical Consulting, and Professional Services. Richard taught classes in leadership, management, and telecommunications at the bachelor’s and master’s level at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and the masters level at the University of Denver, University College in Denver, Colorado for over 29-years. Richard earned his Master of Science from Golden Gate University, his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development and Labor Law from Southern Illinois University, and his Associate in Arts in Business Administration from Kaskaskia College. Rich also holds Certificates in Six Sigma from Villa Nova University, Process Quality Management Improvement from AT&T, and Electronics Technology from Cleveland Institute of Electronics. Rich is also a Certified Master Coach in Performance Management for Management Possible, a Colorado-based training company. Richard is ordained and has served for over 10-years as a minister at Jubilee Fellowship Church in a men’s ministry called FiredUp. He was a sworn Colorado Mounted Ranger serving as an officer, Emergency Medical Responder, and Chaplain.
Richard currently serves the Colorado Rangers as Chief Chaplain as well as leads Perigee Consulting, Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in Education & Training, Operations Management, Executive Coaching & Mentoring, and Security.
Spouse Support Coordinator
Erin serves voluntarily as our Spouse Support Coordinator managing our Strong Heart Spouses Retreats as well as providing ongoing support and assistance to those that have registered for our program. Erin brings her own experience as the wife of a Purple Heart WBP Member to offer resources and direction to those we serve.
Erin was born and raised in Southaven Mississippi, attended the University of Mississippi earning her degree in Communication Science Disorders with a focus on speech pathology. She is currently an elementary school Assistant Teacher working on her certification to become a Special Education teacher, as well as the owner of This N That Creations. Erin brings to the organization an incredible amount of energy, compassion, organization, and the willingness to serve in a multitude of needed capacities. Erin resides in Belden, MS with her spouse Ben, a Purple Heart Member of the WBP, with their two children, Parker and Riley, along with their service dog Arleigh.
Leigh Ann Vanlandingham
Leigh Ann serves voluntarily as the Warrior Bonfire Program’s Mississippi Coordinator. Leigh Ann is a high achiever with a desire to never stop learning. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Radiology Technology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and received her Master’s Degree Health Care Administration from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, LA. Leigh Ann serves as a mentor for research activities, classroom presentations, interview skills and resume’ preparation for many of the students at Hinds Community College in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
Leigh Ann also works at Merit Health River Region as the Lead Ultrasound technologist and supervises many different aspects of the daily workflow. She is involved in maintaining physician relationships and positive patient relations in and throughout the community of Vicksburg, MS. Leigh Ann’s many connections in the central Mississippi area and throughout the state will benefit our Purple Heart Veterans by obtaining connections for the Warrior Bonfire Program to serve better.