Bryant Knight – Board President and 2018 Fight Oar Die Crew Member
Bryant has always felt a need to serve his country and his community. He joined the Alabama Army National Guard in 1992 and served over 22 years finally retiring from the Colorado ARNG in 2016. He has served as a Army enlisted soldier and a Commissioned Officer with roles as a flight medic, Field Artillery Officer, and Special Forces Officer. Bryant has multiple combat deployments to OEF, OIF, and OND serving in several leadership roles as a Special Forces ODA Commander, Company Commander, and Operations Officer. Bryant and his family currently live in Castle Rock, Colorado where he works in the Oil and Gas industry throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Bryant believes that if you apply progressive leadership, goal setting, problem solving, teaching, and training then the experience to whatever your task, is an excellent way to meet established goals. He applies this to the Fight Oar Die team as President.
Jon Wright - Treasurer
Jon C. Wright serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Halcon Resources. Mr. Wright previously served as W. Rockies Operations Manager at Newfield Exploration from 2009 to 2012, as well as, drilling and production engineering management positions in the Mid-Continent region from 2005 to 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Wright was a drilling engineer at BP from 2001 to 2005. From 1997 to 2001, he held various drilling positions for Conoco. Mr. Wright graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering and went on to earn his Master of Business Administration degree from Rice University. Mr. Wright served in the USMC from 1987 to 1991 including Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Afterward, he served in the Texas Army National Guard from 1991 to 1996. Mr. Wright is an Ironman triathlete and avid fly fisherman.
Glynna Baker, MA JD, is a licensed Colorado attorney who specializes in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She has mediated over 2,200 civil, domestic relations, juvenile, and probate cases for the Denver metro area courts. She has arbitrated dozens of family law cases. In addition to her legal training, Glynna has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology. She worked for over a decade as an expert witness, advising the court regarding child welfare issues. Glynna has two generations of family members who served in the US Air Force and US Navy. She is honored to be able to give back to those who fight for our freedom.
Alex B. Evans - Skipper
Born in Evansville, IN, Alex Evans joined the Army Infantry in 2004. After completing Javelin School and Airborne School, he was assigned to D Co. 2nd Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Ft. Bragg, NC. While at Ft. Bragg, he attended several schools including the Close Combat Institute, Combat Lifesaver’s Course, Radio Telephone Operator Course, Viper Course, amongst several others. He deployed in support of Joint Task Force Katrina after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf States.
In 2006, Alex deployed to Samarra Iraq (with Beau Maier) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While on this tour, Alex was detached from his unit and attached to the Staffordshire Regiment and also worked with the Green Jackets Regiment (Rifles) in the winter of 2006. His primary function with the Staffordshire Battlegroup was to conduct reconnaissance operations.
In 2008, Alex deployed again to Iraq; to Samarra again with the 25th Infantry Division (2/35 Infantry). He spent most of his time in the southern end of the city outskirts in Ishaki. Upon his return to the states, he attended the Warriors Leader Course, Advanced Leaders Course (Phases I and II), the Ranger Athlete Warrior Course, and HAZMAT Certification course. Alex made the decision to separate from the Army in 2011.
After the Army, Alex became an oil and gas landman, primarily focusing on leasing and acquisitions of mineral rights in order to put together drilling programs in the Wattenburg Field in Colorado and Wyoming. Alex also worked as a contract surface landman and right-of-way agent.
In early 2016, Alex started work putting together a team to compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. By late 2016 the first All-American Veteran team to compete in the challenge was born.
On December 12, 2018, Alex and the team started their journey from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Antigua, West Indies. The journey was filled with ups, downs, and personal growth. After 54 days, 9 hours, and 3 minutes team Fight Oar Die reached the finish line. He is now managing race operations for Fight Oar Die.
John F. Pugh
John F. Pugh comes to Fight Oar Die from a vast history of work experience. After earning his degree from Penn State, he began his career in the inventions sector, where he saw his concept come to fruition. He started and sold a couple of different companies before moving into the roles manager, accounts manager, then project manager before stepping into the role of Vice President.
John spends his time mostly with his family where he coaches his kids’ sports teams. He also finds the time to fly-fish, golf, and enjoy winter sports in the mountains. He is committed to helping out with non-profits that speak to him. He has helped raise funds for the missions of both national and local organizations, including First Descents and Metivivor, and is a supporter of his children’s schools.
A fitness enthusiast, he is often found on his mountain bike or in his garage-gym, where he and his wife model for their three young children that hard work, resilience, communication, and perseverance are essential keys for success.
Nina Rivera is the Founder & CEO of Surge Tactic, an Eviren Group Company. Nina specializes in Digital Marketing & Social Media, and partners with companies to grow their brands. She is no stranger to marketing and the non-profit sector, having spent years in various board and volunteer positions for non-profit organizations such as the American Diabetes Association & Red Cross of Alaska. Before starting her company and moving to Colorado, Nina a born and raised Alaskan, worked for 13 years in a diverse range of management positions for Carnival Corporation in their Holland America Line & Princess Cruises Land Division. Nina is passionate about providing the needed services to veterans, as a daughter of two veterans herself. She is excited to contribute her skillset and experience to support the mission of Fight Oar Die, and incredibly proud of what the organization has already accomplished.
Michael Shelly is a native of Fairhope, AL, currently living in Arvada, CO. He grew up on the gulf coast of South Alabama and spent his youth living the salt life chasing fish, surf, diving opportunities and surrounding himself with family, good friends, and great food. He attended Auburn University, then the University of Prague.
Mike partnered with others, opening several restaurants in Alabama and Mississippi during the ‘90s before making his way out west where he’s been for nearly 20 years already where he continued his restaurant businesses.
When he finds the free time, Mike enjoys fly fishing, mountaineering, and involving himself in non-profit work. His mission is to help veterans remember to get out and push themselves, as they are stronger than they realize. He believes that the outdoors is where veterans can refine their identities, and through his work, he hopes to help turn around the statistics of suicide instances.
In addition to veteran organizations, he also aligns himself with firefighter and police officer non-profits, retired athlete non-profits, and even youth sports—especially in at-risk populations.
In all of his volunteer work, Mike seeks to remind people that they are not alone, and that they are capable of much more than they may think.
I grew up on the gulf coast of south Alabama. I spent my youth living the salt life chasing fish, surf, diving and surrounding myself with family, good friends and good food.
I attended Auburn University where I earned a BS in Marketing. I also attended the University of Prague, School for International Business.
I was partnered in opening several restaurants in Alabama and Mississippi during the mid – late ‘90s. After deciding to head west, I’ve have been rooted in Colorado for nearly 20 years. I own and have been involved with opening several more restaurant concepts here in Colorado.
If free time finds a way into my life, I spend it fly fishing, mountaineering, and being involved with non profit work. My commitment to Veteran Non profit work has me partnered with Vets pushing for heightened awareness of suicide prevention This has been attained by several organizations combining our passions for the Mountains and to the Veteran Population who need to be reminded to get out and push yourself, refining their identity and hopefully saving some lives.
I also work with wounded and KIA fire fighter and police officer non profits. We wit the US Olympic team, and have created a sled hockey program that is second to non in the world. We have the support of dozens of active and retired NHL stars.
Lastly I am involved with a youth rugby program, helping economically challenged families and kids find a family and team oriented activity. This gives some kids I the fringes a chance to taste the power of Team and the strength that comes with Team atmosphere.
Brad immediately became passionate about Fight Oar Die after meeting with first-year team rower Bryant Knight and finding out what this organization was going to be doing to help our Veterans and their mental health. I think he was also just completely awed that this team was willing to do something as crazy as rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness of Veteran’s mental health issues. Although he is not a veteran himself, he is impassioned to help those who sacrifice so much for our freedom and peace. Brad is a native of Denver, CO and has served on numerous non-profit boards and is proud that he gets to be a part of the Fight Oar Die team. In his spare time, Brad is an avid outdoorsmen when his Girlfriend Brie and his three dogs will allow it.