Lauren Berkson, President

Lauren Berkson grew up in South Florida and has lived in Palm Beach County since 1995, where she has had the opportunity to serve the community through various organizations and activities.  She previously worked at the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and is now an active member of the Mission United Advisory Council and leads the Palm Beach County Veterans Network. She proudly serves as President for Friends of Fisher House, Inc., Director for Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, Director for Sons and Daughters In Touch and Director for Friends of Veterans, Inc.

Lauren has made it her mission to educate our community about Gold Star Families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice defending the United States of America in the armed forces.

Lauren is the Gold Star daughter of Captain Joseph M. Berkson, a United States Army Ranger who was killed-in-action in Vietnam in 1972.  With the support of the City of West Palm Beach and the community, Lauren led the project to build the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Trinity Park along Flagler Drive.  She worked with the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation to realize the Foundation’s mission of erecting these monuments in all fifty states.  In addition to the Monument she worked with multiple municipalities to place Gold Star Memorial Markers in 15 locations throughout Palm Beach County.

Rick Salvadore, Vice President

Rick is the Managing Partner and Founder of Running Tide Group, LLC. Focusing primarily on the food

and beverage industry, Running Tide Group provides fractional CXO roles, investment, and advisory

services to leadership teams and investors across the continuum of early-stage to mature companies.

Rick’s leadership roles throughout the C-suite include accelerating digital transformation, strategic

restructuring, leveraging supply chain optimization solutions, commercialization of disruptive

technologies, customer acquisition, and corporate development opportunities.

Prior to forming Running Tide Group, Rick spent over 20 years as a founder and/or senior executive with

a number of B2B and B2C technology and eCommerce companies, resulting in over $1B in liquidity

events in strategic investor, venture capital, and private equity funded settings.

Rick currently serves as a Director of the Citizen’s Association of Palm Beach, a member of the Palm

Beach Civic Association, former Board President of the Meridian of Palm Beach Condominium

Association, and active member of the Chicago and Palm Beach of the the US Naval Academy Alumni


Rick grew up in Massachusetts where he received his nomination to the United States Naval Academy

from the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Upon graduation from Annapolis, Rick was commissioned as an

officer in the United States Marine Corps and served seven years on active duty in various capacities and

locations. Rick also holds an MBA from the University of South Florida.

Alfred P. "Skip" Aldridge, Secretary

Skip is the founder, President & CEO of Head of Sales Consulting which provides strategic insights to a small and selective group of CPG companies and retailers. 

Prior to forming HSC, Skip served as the Executive Vice President, Sales, and Chief Customer Officer at Pharmavite, LLC, where he served on the Pharmavite Executive Management Team. As of May 2011, Skip retired from Pharmavite and transitioned to an Executive Advisor to the company.

Before joining Pharmavite, Skip was Executive Vice President, Sales, Grocery Foods Products Group, at ConAgra. Prior to ConAgra, he was Vice President of Sales and National Sales Manager for Del Monte Foods, San Francisco, CA,. He also held senior sales management positions with Pet Inc. and The Clorox Company.

Skip currently serves as a Director of the Civic Association for of Palm Beach, serving on the Public Safety Committee and Strategic Planning Forum; serves as a director and Co-Chairman of the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach; serves as a Trustee of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce and serves as Vice President and Director of Harbour House Co-Operative. He was recently appointed one of eight citizens to serve on the Town of Palm Beach Strategic Planning Board who has been charged with developing a five-year strategy for the town. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Overseas Service Corporation, West Palm Beach. He also currently serves as a pro bono strategic advisor to several startup companies in in the USA. 

Mr. Aldridge has served as an advisor in many non-profit and service-oriented organizations. Skip is former member of the US Advisory Board for Enactus (Formerly SIFE) where he has been recognized as “Champion of SIFE” on two separate occasions, holding the “Double Eagle “award.  Skip is the past Vice Chairman, NACDS Retail Advisory Board; the past Chairman GMDC HBW Advisory Board and a past member of the GMDC Board of Directors. Skip was recognized with the GMDC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Skip also serves as a legal expert witness in matters related to sales execution and sales leadership practices.

Skip grew up in Gastonia, North Carolina and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1974 where he was President of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and participated in many UNC leadership activities.

Rebecca Spurlin,Treasurer

Rebecca is a detail-oriented senior level executive with over 26 years’ hands-on experience in finance, management, and business leadership.  She is skilled in strategic leadership with owners, organizational officers, CPA and legal. Her creative out-of-the box thinking demonstrates the ability to streamline business operations that drive growth and increase efficiency.

Rebecca has managed payroll and benefits for more than 400 employees in 35 states across three companies. She oversees government contracts and major consumer product manufacturers’ contracts. She is responsible for management of capital strategies, currency exchanges, financial modeling and budgeting. She was instrumental in a recent acquisition doubling revenues in the past 3 years.

Rebecca earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University. She is proficient in cross-functional leadership with IT, HR, Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing and responsible for the annual budget for organizational targets.

Warren Belmar, Board Member

Warren Belmar, Board Member

Warren Belmar is a retired attorney whose career spanned public service and private practice in Washington, D.C.  He currently serves as Managing Director of Capitol Counsel Group, LLC, a firm assisting clients in the energy, infrastructure, and financial services sectors navigate federal regulatory and grant programs. 

From 2006 to 2009, he served as Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy at the US Department of Energy, where he was a principal legal advisor to the Secretary and senior DOE officials.  Prior to that, Mr. Belmar’s legal career had been spent primarily in private practice in Washington DC with the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, including 22 years as a partner representing clients in the energy and financial services sectors on regulatory and legislative matters.  He started his legal career in public service, first as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then as an attorney with the Office of Legal Counsel at the US Department of Justice.  He is a Stone Scholar and honors graduate of Columbia Law School, and an honors graduate of Brooklyn College. 

Warren currently serves as a Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association, as Vice-Chair of the Town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board, as a member of the Florida Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Federal Infrastructure and Clean Energy Finance Committee, as a Senior Fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States, as a Senior Counsel at the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, as a director of the nonprofit Creating Friendships for Peace, and as a Life Member of the American Law Institute.

Dan Dalton, Board Member

Daniel Dalton has been with Ecolab 31 years; his current role is Business Development Manager and an Associate Certified Entomologist since 2006. Before Ecolab he enlisted in the USAF in 1983-1989 and was stationed in RAF Lakenheath in England and Minot AFB in North Dakota.  Married to Tracy, together we have 8 children and 7 grandchildren. We enjoy volunteering, kayaking, fishing, farming, living in Florida, and our grandchildren.

 Volunteer Accomplishments

2019-Present American Legion Post 268 – Commander

2021-Present American Legion 11th District – Vice Commander

2020-2021 American Legion District 11 – Service Officer

2020-Present 40 & 8 Voiture Locale #290 – Commissaire Intendant

2020 – 2021 NPMA PestVets Council Member

2018-2019 American Legion Post 268 – Sergeant at Arms

2018 American Legion Post 268 – Executive Board Member

2012-2014 40 & 8 Voiture Locale #750 – Youth Sports Officer – Jefferson County WI

2011-2014 American Legion Post 67 Lake Mills, WI – 2nd Vice Commander

2010-2011 DAV Jefferson County Chapter #18, WI – Junior Vice Commander

2009-2015 Heroes On The Water – Great Lakes Coordinator

Heroes on the Water, a 501(c)(3) veterans charity, creates alternative wellness programs to serve veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders and their families. These experiential programs incorporate structured activities proven to improve the lives of these men and women. Each experience reduces the impact of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury while providing much-needed camaraderie and support.

2007- 2008 American Legion Post 84 Otsego, MI – 2nd Vice Commander

2006 – 2008 American Legion Post 84 Otsego, MI – Member of the Color Guard

1983-1989 United States Air Force Security Police E-4

Susan C. Elhilow, Board Member

Originally from North Carolina and daughter of a United States Air Force Officer and an entrepreneur, Susan Clark Elhilow has resided in five Southern states, with West Palm Beach being home for the majority of her life. She has traveled extensively, experiencing the cultural and ecological heartbeat of forty-five states, twelve countries and multiple island communities. She holds a Master of Accounting degree from Florida State University with Summa Cum Laude distinction and has a diverse background in the South Florida business community.

Prior to practicing public accounting for the national firm Ernst & Young, Susan worked in the interior design, hospitality and retail industries. Combining these career experiences with her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, she co-founded a thriving full-service design studio and retail boutique in downtown West Palm Beach, serving as the Managing Director for 23 years.

As an independent advisor, Susan has conceived and overseen multiple commercial and residential interior projects, each bringing smiles and blissful satisfaction to all those enjoying the results. Susan has been married to her husband Mark for 30 years and raised their two daughters as a dedicated, hands-on mother while balancing her business and community responsibilities. She continues to immerse herself in efforts impacting the wellbeing and lives of others with a desire to use her skills and talents in the most beneficial and impactful way.

Community Involvement and Leadership

World Leaders Conference, Palm Beach Leadership Council

Downtown West Palm Beach Merchants Association

West Palm Beach Mayor's Waterfront Committee

West Palm Beach Mayor's Wayfinding Steering Committee

West Palm Beach Mayor's Merchant Advisory Committee

Palm Beach Day Academy Parent Leadership Roles

Girl Scouts of America Troop Leader

Historical Society of PB County, Development Committees

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Tony Robbins Mastery University

Junior League of the Palm Beaches

Christmas in April Home Improvement for Underserved Residents, Donations Coordinator

George Kinoshita, Board Member

George is the son of a career Army soldier. He sought to follow in his father’s footstep, and subsequently served on active duty in the Army for over 27 years. George is a disabled veteran who receives care from the West Palm Beach VA Hospital. He currently serves on the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Board, and is a board member of the Wellington Rotary Club. He is a member of the Back To Basics Program that provides school uniforms, toys and clothing to children in Palm Beach County. George spent much of his childhood years and military service in overseas locations, to include France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and MOAA

(Military Officer Association of America). George received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Military College; Masters of Forensic Science, the George Washington University; Masters of National Security and Strategic Studies, the Naval War College. Additionally, George was a Fellow of Forensic Medicine at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Karen Zook, Board Member

Karen Zook, Board Member

Karen is the Gold Star Mother of Corporal Ian T. Zook, United States Marine, who was killed in action in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq on October 12th, 2004.  Since her son’s ultimate sacrifice, in defense of our nation, Karen has felt drawn to serve our nation’s veterans, active-duty military, and their families, particularly in her community.  

Karen grew up in Central Illinois, where she was modeled on patriotism and service from her parents.  Karen and her husband, Mark, moved their family to Southeast Florida in 1986.  Karen served her surrounding Port St. Lucie, FL community through her career in healthcare and within her church.  However, Karen’s life changed drastically when her son, Ian, was killed in the war in Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Karen now serves her community on a highly personal level.  Some of her service is through and with the following organizations:

*Treasure Coast Chapter, FL-11, Blue Star Mothers of America, where Karen served as chapter president and vice president.

*American Gold Star Mothers of America, Inc., where Karen has served on the local chapter level as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and chaplain.

*Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 566, where Karen is an Auxiliary Member and an active participant of this chapter, supporting its many worthy initiatives and its members.  

*NSDAR, Halpatiokee Chapter, where Karen is a member who regularly supports the efforts of its leadership and the society’s mission statement.

Some of the outreach achievements that Karen has orchestrated or has been an integral participant are as follows:

*Karen brought the Wreaths Across America effort to Martin County Florida in 2013 when she stepped forward to be the Volunteer Event Coordinator, bringing Wreaths Across America to Forest Hills Memorial Park, Palm City, FL.  To this day, Karen strives to ensure that every veteran and first-responder, interred at Forest Hills Memorial Park, is remember and honored each December on Wreaths Across America Day.  

*Karen was an active member of the Port St. Lucie, FL, “Hershel Woody Williams Gold Star Families Memorial Monument” committee.  Karen is proud to say that that beautiful and poignant memorial was fully funded and achieved within one year.


Jerold A. Klein,  Advisory Council

Jerold A. " Jerry " Klein is President of Friends of Veterans West Palm Beach Florida.

I was born in the Bronx New York but grew up on Long Island. I entered the Army on March 8,1967 and served with A Company 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry 1st Division from August 8,1967 to August 8,1968. I was awarded the Silver Star, the Air Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge during his service in Vietnam.

I am a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Long Island University C.W. Post College.

I am a charter member of VVA Chapter # 11 in Suffolk County New York. I have held elective positions on the chapter level as President, Vice President, and Treasurer. I have held elective Office with the New York State Council as Treasurer and was appointed as State Council Legislative Coordinator serving in that position for ten years. I retired from employment with Suffolk County New York as a Veterans Service Officer in August 2002.

In June 2004 I was elected as 1st Vice President of the Florida State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America and chaired the State Council Veterans Benefits Committee from 2003 to 2011. On June 10,2006 I was elected as President of the Florida State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America at the State Council meeting in Tallahassee Florida and served in that position until June 2012.

I belong to the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jewish War Veterans and the 1st Cavalry Division Association.

In 2002 I received an award as the American Legion Department of New York Service Officer of the Year at the American Legion State Convention in Albany New York. I was awarded the Vietnam Veterans of America service officer of the year in 1995.

I have held National Office in Vietnam Veterans of America for 5 terms as a Director at Large. Currently, and I hold elective office as Vice President of VVA Chapter # 25 Palm Beach County Florida.

I have  served on the Board of Directors of the Fisher House in West Palm Beach Florida since 2005 and currently serve as a Board Member.  I currently serve as the Service Officer for the 11th District and Southern Area for the American Legion in Florida.

Lifelong Board Member, In Memoriam for
Thomas H. Corey 12/24/1944 - 6/6/2022

In Memorium, Thomas H. Corey 12/24/1944 - 6/6/2022.

Tom Corey has served as President of the Vietnam Veterans Peace Initiative.

Corey served as President and CEO of Vietnam Veterans of America, the nation’s only congressionally chartered organization exclusively serving the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families, retiring from that position in 2005.

He worked at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center as an Ombudsman and Program Specialists with the Directors office.

A native of Detroit, Corey entered the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam in May 1967 where he served as a combat infantryman and squad leader with the 1st Air Cavalry Division, 1st Battalion, 12 Calvary. While engaged in an assault against enemy positions on January 31, 1968, Tet Offense, he received an enemy round in the neck, which hit his spinal cord and left him paralyzed and a quadriplegic. He was medically retired from the U.S. Army in May 1968. Corey was a decorated combat veteran receiving the Bronze Star Medal with V device, 2 Purple Hearts, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Citation, Republic Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Combat Infantry Badge along with other awards.

After an extended hospitalization, Corey returned to his family in Detroit where he spent his time in and out of the local VA hospital. He relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1972, where he has been involved in community affairs, a veterans leader and advocate and served on many advisory boards with local Government, and with the VA Medical Centers in Miami and West Palm Beach, the VA Research Foundation of Palm Beaches, VSIN 8 Management Assistance Council, Friends of Veterans Board, Friends of Fisher House Board, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 25, Board and Vietnam Veterans Peace Initiative, President. He has received numerous awards for speaking out on veterans’ and disabled persons’ rights since the mid seventies.

Corey has returned to Vietnam 16 times since 1994 representing Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans Initiative program regarding our POW/MIA’s and Agent Orange issues with successful results. He led delegations meeting with top Vietnamese and Laos leaders, Government Officials at every level, the Veterans Association of Viet Nam organization leaders and members throughout Vietnam, with Health Care leaders on Agent Orange effects and research from U.S. and Vietnam, U.S. Ambassador’s to Vietnam and Laos, the U.S. Joint Task Force-Full Accounting in Vietnam and Laos, who are responsible for recovery efforts of Americans still listed as POW/MIA. Corey was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in Vietnam.

Corey was the first recipient of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s Commendation Medal, VVA’s highest award for service to veterans, their families, and the community.

Corey was the founding President of VVA Palm Beach County Chapter 25 in 1981. In 1991, the chapter was named the Thomas H. Corey Chapter at its tenth anniversary celebration. In 1985, he was elected to VVA’s National Board of Directors. In 1987, he was elected VVA’s national Secretary and was re-elected in 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1995. In 1997, he was elected VVA’s national Vice President and re-elected in 1999; in 2001 he was elected VVA President and was re-elected in 2003 and served until 2005.

Corey was also a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart Association, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, 1st Cavalry Association, and the National Association of Uniformed Services.

Tom Corey resided in Jupiter, Florida. He had a son Brian, and a daughter, Trang.

Lifelong Board Member, In Memoriam for
Frank Hogan 10/19/1935 - 4/18/2024

A native of Boston, MA, Frank Hogan is Chairman of Overseas Service Corporation (OSC), a manufacturer representative that has helped bring familiar brand name products – a touch of home - to U.S. service members and their families through U.S. Military Commissaries and Exchanges around the world for 70 years. OSC is especially proud of the fact that 55% of its workforce is composed of military veterans or family members.

Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, Tyson Foods, The J.M. Smucker Company, Duracell, GlaxoSmithKline are just a few of the prominent companies which use OSC’s services. Frank served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1952 to 1955 and attended college on the G.I. bill afterward - Boston University (AA ’57), and Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (BSFS ’60). He began his OSC career in 1959 while he was still in college and worked his way up the company ladder, culminating in his appointment as the company's second President and CEO in 1984, upon the death of the company's founder, Paul Coughlin – a WWII Navy veteran. Frank has long been a vigorous advocate for the military resale benefit through his leadership positions in the Armed Forces Marketing Council; The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits; and the American Logistics Association. The latter bestowed on him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Frank and his company have also been faithful supporters of military charitable causes, including Fisher House Foundation, the Semper Fi Fund, and the National Military Family Association which honored him with the Anna C. Chennault Award.

Outside the military sphere, Frank is on the Board of Advisors to the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Trainor Endowment, which funds an annual award and lecture series recognizing excellence in the conduct of diplomacy.

Frank is married to the former Joanna Russell Robinson, niece of the late Senator Richard Russell, of Georgia, and they reside in. Palm Beach Gardens, FL. They have seven children (one deceased) and ten grandchildren (one deceased), including a son who served in the Marine Corps, and a grandson who joined the Marines last year, continuing what is now a family tradition.