Advisory Board

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Major General Charles R. Henry

Retired Two-Star General, 
49 Years of Leadership, Distinguished Military Career

Major General Charles R. (Chuck) Henry has over 32 years of senior leadership within the executive branch of the federal government, and twenty years of experience as a senior executive working in civilian industry. He has years of hands-on experience and demonstrated ability in program development and resource management. His strategic vision and practical experience have had a substantial positive effect on the U.S. government. Chuck’s concept of “customer focus” was critical to the establishment and operation of the first joint intergovernmental contract management organization within the federal government.

U.S. Army War College: 1981
Woodrow Wilson Law School: L.L.M., 1976
Woodrow Wilson Law School: J.D., 1974
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: 1973
Middle Tennessee State University: B.S., Economics, 1959

Charles R. Henry was appointed CEO and President (2001-2004) of the National Veterans Business Development Corporation, part of Public Law 106-50, created by Congress to assist veterans including service-disabled veterans in the formation and expansion of business concerns. The President of the United States appoints a nine member board of directors, and the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration are, by law, ex-officio members of the board The corporation functioned as an entrepreneurial enterprise designed to assist veteran own business’ to achieve success.

General Henry’s development of the Defense Contract Management Command and establishment of the first Competition Advocate General’s Office within the U.S. Army was the basis for his book A General’s Insight into Leadership and Management. In this management treatise, he instructs the reader on the basic ingredients of successful management in an organization being buffeted by the strong winds of change.

Chuck Henry’s ability to develop and maintain continual surveillance over large programs was pivotal to his success in the Army as the DCMC Commander and as the Competition Advocate General, at the level of the Secretary of the Army, Chuck Henry was in a high-visibility, high-pressure position during the scandals surrounding the $400 hammer and other public-interest stories of similar expenditures within the Department of Defense. His single charter from the Secretary of the Army was “don’t let it happen here.”

During the last 15 years of his military career, he represented the Department of Defense, the Army, and the U.S. government in intensive negotiations with industry. His ability to negotiate significant industry concessions on the issue of competition for major weapons was critical not only in the ultimate cost of these systems, but also in the completion of these systems below cost and to a pre-agreed schedule. As Commander of the Cleveland Defense Contract Administration Region in the early 1980s, Chuck was responsible for the interface between the DOD and the Canadian government on contract matters. As Commander of the DCMC, He represented DOD with other U.S. government agencies. During General Henry’s tenure as the Chief Executive of DCMC, the U.S. government negotiated the single largest contract fraud settlement in history with an aerospace contractor. The settlement resulted in the contractor paying the U.S. government over $200 million in cash fines, being under intensive government surveillance for three years, and instituting an industry model ethics program. He was a critical force in the management of this significant settlement.
During Desert Storm operations, General Henry was also the Senior Acquisitions Executive for the Defense Logistics Agency and then was responsible for spending $2.4 billion during the period leading up to the start of the Gulf War between the Allied Coalition and Iraq. General Henry supervised the agency that was the primary supplier for all food, fuel, clothing and medical supplies distributed to the American forces during this period. On an annualized basis, he spent over $13 billion for these critical items.

Chuck Henry was an officer in the U.S. Army from 1959 until 1993 retiring at the rank of Major General. He spent his entire military career working to improve organizational efficiency. Many of his recent assignments were during the post-Cold War era when DOD resources were rapidly shrinking.

Fellowships

  • National Contract Management Association
  • National Achievement Award (1992)

Awards

  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal (2), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star
  • Hall of Fame: Middle Tennessee State University (ROTC – 1992)
  • Hall of Fame: United States Army Quartermaster Corps (1998)
  • Hall of Fame: Defense Logistics Agency (1999)

“As a soldier and later a CEO running an organizational Profit & Loss, I have found that hiring a veteran makes perfect business sense . They show up on time and their leadership skills facilitates success”.

General William G. (Gus) Pagonis

Retired Three- star U.S. Army General William G. (Gus) Pagonis, Chairman, Epiphany, Chairman, Direct Allergy, and Consultant on Leadership of the Supply Chain.

Retired three-star U.S. Army General Gus Pagonis epitomizes the successful transition from the military to the retail industry. After successfully masterminding logistics for the Gulf War and winning high praise from General Norman Schwarzkopf, Gus left the Army in 1993 and was hired as Head of Supply Chain for Sears Roebuck and Co. (now Sears Holdings Corporation), a leading retailer. He was also President of Sears Logistics Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears. He retired from Sears in June 2006. From July, 2006 to December, 2013, Gus served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for GENCO, one of North America’s largest third-party logistics providers for manufacturers, retailers and U.S. government agencies and supervised their government operation.

Gus is the author of Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War, published by the Harvard Business School Press. He writes, speaks and consults about his experiences, expertise in logistics and overall leadership in management of very complex projects and organizations and how he has successfully transferred what he learned in the military to the corporate world.

He is the Former Chairman of the Board, Rail America, short line railroads located in Boca Raton, Florida, and Former Chairman of the Department of Defense Business Board under Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

“Our great nation owes much to our Veterans, especially those that have served their Country in harm’s way and have become disabled. Their bodies may have suffered but their will to still produce has not. We must support them and provide them an opportunity to find meaningful employment. We owe them!!”

William V. Roberti

Managing Director of Alvarez and Marsal

Bill Roberti is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal serves as Head of the firm’s Public Sector practice. He specializes in providing critical crisis management and operational restructuring leadership to underperforming or troubled organizations. With more than 35 years of senior executive experience, he has served as Chairman and CEO of several global corporations, and has led innovative and highly specialized turnaround assignments for government and public sector organizations. Mr. Roberti is currently leading a team of professionals for a State Government financial & operational restructuring and is also working for a group of European Banks in the Detroit Bankruptcy matter. In 2013 he restructured a Government Security Contractor, and most recently led an engagement in a U.S. commonwealth as Chief Restructuring Officer and continues to serve as Financial Adviser to Assured Guaranty on the Stockton California Bankruptcy, as well as an adviser on several other public sector engagements. He has previously served as Senior Adviser to the Emergency Financial Manager, Detroit Public Schools and is the Third-Party Fiduciary for the Government of Guam. He was the Third-Party Fiduciary USVI from 2006 to 2010.

Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Roberti served as Chairman CEO and majority shareholder of Duck Head Apparel Company. He was CEO of Brooks Brothers, President and CEO of the Plaid Clothing Group, and Division CEO and COO of the Zale Corp. He is a retired Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served in several senior Army staff positions at the Pentagon.

Mr. Roberti earned a bachelor’s degree from Sacred Heart University and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University. He is a Trustee Emeritus at Sacred Heart University and a member of the Army Distaff Foundation Board of Advisors Washington, D.C, the Board of Directors for The Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C., and the Board of Trustees for The Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg , FL. He has served as an instructor at The Broad Superintendents Academy and has been a speaker on the topic of municipal distress and crisis management in several different forums.

Mr. Roberti was featured in the book Firing Back by Jeff Sonnenfeld and Andrew Ward, and James Shein’s book, “Reversing the Slide: A Strategic Guide to Turnarounds.“ He is also featured in a recent book published by Harvard Education Press and edited by two leading experts in education reform, Donald R. McAdams and Dan Katzir, “The Redesign of Urban School Systems“.

He has appeared on nationally syndicated TV programs, including The Jim Lehrer News Hour, about his turnaround work in the public sector.

“My Mom and Dad were WW II Veterans who worked extremely hard to give me the breaks they never had. I remember my first Store Managers Job in 1974, I was 27 years old, I had the good fortune of having a Marine Corp Veteran, as my first Asst. Manager. His insight expertise and drive were invaluable in my own career development. Need I say more about Veteran employment.”

Joe Vroman

Director of Executive Recruitment and Military Initiatives, Macy’s Inc

Joe Vroman is originally from Rock Island Illinois and entered the U. S. Army right out of high school in 1982. He spent a 22 year career in the military with the first 6 years in Field Artillery and the remaining 16 years as a Military Policeman. During his time as a Military Police Officer, Joe served one tour as a Drill Instructor and another as an Army recruiter where he gained his initial passion for recruiting.

Immediately following his retirement from the U. S. Army, Joe began working for a national recruiting firm that focused on hiring veterans into the civilian job sector. This experience is what solidified Joe’s love for helping veterans of all branches in their quest for civilian post military employment. Joe has spent many years coaching veterans on how to write resumes, interview for jobs, negotiate compensation packages and navigate the sometimes murky waters of seeking a civilian career opportunity.
In 2011, Macy’s corporate HQ’s, located in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio reached out to Joe and asked if he’d be willing to come on board and help start a military hiring initiative aimed at placing veterans into the many job openings within this fortune 500 company. Today, Joe is the Director of Executive Recruiting and Military Initiatives for Macy’s Inc. and continues to advocate for veteran hiring initiatives both in his own company, and through partnerships with many external organizations.

Joe has been married for 30 years to his high school sweetheart, Carol. They have three grown children; all boys. The oldest went into the U.S. Navy, the middle son went into the U.S. Marine Corps, and the youngest son went into the U.S. Army. The Vroman’s are very proud of their military heritage and continue to seek ways to serve their country and military veterans.

“In my 10+ years of recruiting military veterans for civilian companies across the country, I have seen first hand the impact veterans make on organizational goals. Companies that hire military veterans have found great success in the leadership expertise they bring to the organization. Hiring veterans for their core skill-sets vs. direct business skills is a hiring practice that will give you the biggest ROI on each hire. Veterans bring to the table an immense amount of leadership, decision making ability, incredible work ethic, high values, and a winning, can-do spirit. They can always be taught a specific business skill or trade.”

Melissa M. Krantz

Marketing Communications Professional, Melissa M. Krantz, Founder and President of Krantz and Co.

With over 35 years of corporate communications experience, Melissa provides strategic marketing communications, investor relations, media relations, corporate counseling, community relations and crisis communications for public and private companies and non-profit organizations consistent with their business objectives.

For the Kerson Partners Veterans Initiative, Melissa will develop marketing communications activities–including broad-based media relations and direct communications with military institutions to attract veterans, and through retail industry-specific activities to recruit industry partners.

A significant part of her work over the years has been with retail and retail-related businesses. Her clients include: LIM College, which is exclusively focused on the business of fashion; a specialty retail and consumer products restructuring and turnaround consultancy; the former President of a NY-headquartered department store; a consultant in the direct to consumer market and California Baby. She also handled all the communications for the launch of The Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative (now Center) at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the bankruptcies of Wilkes Bashford and Loehmann’s.

“The retail and retail-related industries will be well- served by employing our country’s veterans. Since joining the Advisory Board of Kerson Partners Veterans Initiative, I have had the honor of meeting numerous men and women who have been dedicated and accomplished leaders in the military. Now they are returning to civilian life and need our guidance on how to transition their extraordinary qualities and abilities into business careers. I look forward to helping them meet the challenges and opportunities of careers in global retail and retail-related industries.”