Wine Country Marines
731 Amherst Circle
Sonoma, California 95476
Board of Directors
Colonel Bill Peacock, Chairman
The Honorable William E. Peacock served in the White House and in the Pentagon, having been appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, where he spearheaded the Army's "Be All You Can Be" advertising campaign theme that lasted with great success for 21 years. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Army Department’s highest recognition. In addition to having been a senior official in the U. S. Department of Energy, Mr. Peacock has served as a corporate officer in several Fortune 500 companies including Transamerica, Crocker Bank and Emerson Electric.
Bill earned his A.B., cum laude, from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs and his J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He has also participated in senior executive programs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School.
An Honor Graduate of both the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) program and of The Basic School (TBS), and after a tour in Vietnam as a Marine Captain, he continued in leadership positions in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was promoted to Colonel personally by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General P.X. Kelley. Having served as commanding officer of the largest reserve law unit, and after having been the commanding officer in a senior VTU for general officers at Headquarters, Marine Corps, Colonel Peacock was awarded the Legion of Merit.
Since the early 1990's, he has been engaged in helping to finance and guide several start-up companies in the Silicon Valley, primarily focusing on telecommunications, anti-terrorism and nuclear technology. Bill was appointed in 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a board member and served for six years on the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Colonel Peacock has also given his time and leadership freely to numerous civic and charitable boards. He has been elected for his fourth term as Chairman of the Board for the Wine Country Marines, where he has helped to lead this small 501(c)(3) to contribute some $250,000 in the last few years to the Semper Fi Fund. He currently is a member of the board the Marines’ Memorial Theatre in San Francisco, having served on the Marines’ Memorial Association board. He has also served on the boards of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the San Jose Symphony, the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley and the Portola Valley Schools Foundation. Bill is head of the Northern California annual giving campaign for his alma mater, Princeton University, where he continuously achieves about 85% participation. He assists U. S. Senator Diane Feinstein in making her final selections for candidates for appointment to the service academies.
Mr. Peacock is heavily involved in raising funds for charities focusing on the military and education. In this latter capacity, he has been the elected as one of the top five officers in the world for the multinational Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, an ancient Christian chivalric order that traces its roots back to the Crusades and the year 1099. This year, the Sovereign Order will donate $110,000 to the Defenders Lodge at the Palo Alto VA. Colonel Peacock is an active member of the Sainte Claire Club, founded in 1888 in San Jose. He and his lovely wife, Nancy, reside in Redwood City.
Captain Bob Leonard, President
Bob is an executive business coach for both CEOs (running small companies) and Doctors (mostly dentists) who own private medical practices. Prior to becoming a coach, Bob spent almost 30 years as an advertising executive helping Fortune 500 companies achieve their strategic business objectives. He is a former Vice President with the J. Walter Thompson Company - one of the largest and most respected advertising agencies in the world. His corporate business experience also included working as a marketing executive for Mercedes-Benz USA, where he managed all regional dealership advertising, direct marketing, database marketing and telemarketing in the United States.
A proud son of a Guadalcanal combat veteran, Bob served as a U.S. Marine Corps Infantry officer and achieved the rank of Captain. His academic credentials include earning a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education & Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at Morehead State University.
Prior to becoming the President of the Wine Country Marines, Bob served as the organizations first Secretary and first Chief Operations Officer. He also served as the Chairman of the Birthday Ball for ten years during which the Birthday Ball first evolved to become a destination event and major fund-raiser supporting the Semper Fi Fund. He also started the practice of having distinguished general officers as our Guest of Honor and keynote speaker at the birthday ball. During this same time period, he also designed our first Web site and launched our annual “Toys For Tots: Disney•Pixar Motion Picture Event” at the historic Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma.
Bob is a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason and a member of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. He is also a very active member of the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley. For most of the past decade, he has served as the inspirational leader and chairman of the annual Sonoma Valley Joint Memorial Day Observance during the month of May.
Bob and his wife Kathy live in the Sonoma Valley.
General Peter Pace, Honorary Board - Birthday Ball Guest of Honor - 2012
General Peter Pace
General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.), the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Peter Pace retired from active duty on 1 October 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 30, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, General Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University, attended the Havard University Senior Executives in National and International Secuirty program, and graduated from the National War College.
During his distinguished career, General Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Somalia; Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South; and Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command.
In June 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.
General P.X. Kelley, Honorary Board - Birthday Ball Guest of Honor 2011
General P.X. Kelley
General Paul X. Kelley was the 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Washington, D. C.
General Kelley was born on November 11, 1928, in Boston, Mass. He graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. degree in Economics and was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant in June 1950.
In March 1951, after completing instruction at the Basic School, Quantico, Va., he served consecutively as a platoon leader, assistant battalion operations officer and assistant division training officer with the 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was transferred to the USS SALEM, Flagship of the 6th Fleet, during September 1952, serving as the Executive Officer and then the Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment for a period of 20 months. He was promoted to captain on Dec. 16, 1953.
Returning to the U.S. in July 1956, General Kelley became the Special Assistant to the Director of Personnel at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., until December 1957. Following his assignment in Washington, he completed the Airborne Pathfinder School at Ft. Benning, Ga. In February 1958, he was assigned to the newly activated 2d Force Reconnaissance Company, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, when he served as the Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer.
From September 1960 to May 1961, he was the U.S. Marine Corps Exchange Officer with the British Royal Marines. During this tour he attended the Commando Course in England, served as Assistant Operations Officer with 45 Commando in Aden, and as Commander "C" Troop, 42 Commando in Singapore, Malaya and Borneo. On March 1, 1961, he was promoted to major.
He was assigned to Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in July 1961, and served there as a tactics phase chief at The Basic School; and then Reconnaissance and Surveillance Officer at the Marine Corps Landing Force Development Center.
In June 1964, he assumed duties as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Newport, R.I. He remained at that post until August 1965, when he was transferred to Vietnam and reported to the 3d Marine Amphibious Force, FMF, Pacific, as the Combat Intelligence Officer. Following this assignment, he served as the Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in Vietnam. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on January 20, 1966. During this tour as battalion commander, he earned the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and two awards of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".
From Vietnam, he proceeded to the U. S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, where he served from August 1966 to July 1968, as the Senior Marine Corps Representative of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He then attended the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., graduating as a "Distinguished Graduate" in May 1969. For his excellence in politico-military strategy while a student at the Air War College, the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society elected him a life member.
He returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in June 1969, as the Military Assistant to the Assistant Commandant. He was promoted to colonel on April 1, 1970, and in June 1970 was reassigned to Vietnam where he commanded the 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, General Kelley redeployed the regiment, the last Marine ground combat unit to leave Vietnam, to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in May 1971. During his second tour in Vietnam, he was awarded a second Legion of Merit with Combat "V".
Reassigned to the Washington area in July 1971, General Kelley served as the Chief, Southeast Asia Branch, Plans and Policy Directorate, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he remained until November 1973, when he was assigned as the Executive Assistant to the Director, Joint Staff. Upon completion of this tour he was awarded a third Legion of Merit.
Following his promotion to brigadier general on August 6, 1974, he was assigned as the Commanding General, 4th Marine Division.
In June 1975, General Kelley was ordered to the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, at Quantico, where he assumed the duties as Director, Development Center. He then assumed duties as Director, Education Center and was advanced to the grade of major general on June 29, 1976.
In May 1978, General Kelley was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he became Deputy of Chief of Staff for Requirements and Programs.
On February 4, 1980, General Kelley was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed by the President as the first Commander of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, (remained the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) in January 1983), a four service force with headquarters at MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida.
General Kelley was promoted to the rank of general and assumed duties as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff on July 1, 1981. He assumed his present office as Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 1, 1983.
General Kelley's personal decorations and awards include: the Distinguished Service Medal; the Silver Star Medal; Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards; the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and a gold star in lieu of a second award; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; and the Army Commendation Medal. He is a Marine Corps Parachutist and U.S. Army Master Parachutist.
General Kelley has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Villanova University, Norwich University, Webster University, Jacksonville University, and the United States Sports Academy.
General Anthony Zinni, Honorary Board - Birthday Ball Guest of Honor 2014
General Anthony Zinni
General Zinni joined the Marine Corps' Platoon Leader Class program in 1961 and was commissioned an infantry second lieutenant in 1965 upon graduation from Villanova University. He held numerous command and staff assignments that included platoon, company, battalion, regimental, Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Marine Expeditionary Force command. His staff assignments included service in operations, training, special operations, counter-terrorism, and manpower billets. He has been a tactics and operations instructor at several Marine Corps schools and was selected as a fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group.
General Zinni's joint assignments included command of a joint task force and a unified command. He has also had several joint and combined staff billets at joint task force and unified command levels.
His military service has taken him to over 70 countries and includes deployments to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Western Pacific, Northern Europe, and Korea. He has also served tours of duty in Okinawa and Germany. His operational experiences included two tours in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded; emergency relief and security operations in the Philippines; Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey and northern Iraq; Operation Provide Hope in the former Soviet Union; Operations Restore Hope, Continue Hope, and United Shield in Somalia; Operations Resolute Response and Noble Response in Kenya; Operations Desert Thunder, Desert Fox, Desert Viper, Desert Spring, Southern Watch, and Maritime Intercept Operations in Iraq and the Persian Gulf; and Operation Infinite Reach against terrorist targets in the Central Region. He was involved in the planning and execution of Operation Proven Force and Operation Patriot Defender during the Gulf War and noncombatant evacuation operations in Liberia, Zaire, Sierra Leone, and Eritrea.
He has attended numerous military schools and courses including the Army Special Warfare School, the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the National War College. General Zinni retired from the military in 2000 after commanding the US Central Command.
General Zinni's 23 personal awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and Gold Star; the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star; the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and Gold Star; the Navy Achievement Medal with Gold Star; the Combat Action Ribbon; and personal awards from Vietnam, France, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, and Bahrain. He also holds 37 unit, service, and campaign awards.
General Zinni has participated in presidential diplomatic missions to Somalia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, and State Department missions involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and conflicts in Indonesia and the Philippines. He has worked in mediation and negotiation efforts with the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the US Institute of Peace, and the Henri Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He has also been President of UCLA's Center for Middle East Development, a Distinguished Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Honorary Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman of the Council's Middle East Forum, a board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Chairman of the Board of the Institute of World Affairs, Co-Chair of the American Security Project, member of the board of the Henri Dunant Centre, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Policy Advisory Group, and Co-Chair of The Center for U.S. Global Engagement’s National Security Advisory Council.
General Zinni has been President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of BAE Systems, Inc. His term as Chairman was completed in May 2012. He remains a board member. He has also served as the Executive Vice President of an international government services company and as President of International Operations for a manufacturing company. He has held positions on several boards of directors and advisors of major companies in the fields of government services, manufacturing, telecommunications, electronics, hospitality and hotels, defense industries, software development, financial services, shipbuilding, mining, and capital investment. He has also had his own consulting business working with companies in strategic planning, business development, international marketing,
General Zinni was the Terry Sanford Lecturer in Residence and Visiting Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University and currently holds the Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professorship at Cornell University. General Zinni has held academic positions that include the Stanley Chair in Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute; the Nimitz Chair at the University of California-Berkeley; the Hofheimer Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College; the Weisberg Chair at Beloit College; the Harriman Professor of Government Chair and membership on the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary; membership on the board of Villanova University's Center for Responsible Leadership and Governance; membership in Villanova's President's Club; and selection as a Carter O. Lowance Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the William and Mary Law School. He has also lectured at numerous colleges and universities in the U. S. and abroad.
PUBLIC SERVICE AND MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE
General Zinni was appointed by the Governor as a member of the Virginia Commission on Military Bases and as a Military Aide-de-camp to the Governor of The Commonwealth of Virginia. He was also a member of the Duke of Gloucester Society of Colonial Williamsburg, the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, the Marine Corps League, the Marine Corps Association, the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the Comptroller General’s Advisory Board of the Government Accountability Office, The National Constitution Center Board of Trustees, and the Defense Analysis Committee for the Center for Naval Analysis.
General Zinni holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Villanova University; a master's degree in international relations from Salvae Regina College; a master’s degree in business from central Michigan University; and honorary doctorates from Villanova University, William and Mary College, and the Maine Maritime Academy.
General Zinni's civilian awards and honors include the Papal Gold Cross of Honor; the Union League's Abraham Lincoln Award; the Italic Studies Institute's Global Peace Award; the Distinguished Service Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars; the Chapman Award from the Marine Corps University Foundation; the Commodore Barry Distinguished Citizen Award from the Navy League of the United States; the Penn Club Award; the Marconi Award from the Order of the Sons of Italy; the Saint Thomas of Villanova Alumni Award; the George P. Shultz Award for Public Service from the US State Department; the UNICO Grand Patriot Award; and the Wallach Peacemaker Award.
STUDIES AND PUBLISHED WORKS
General Zinni has participated in a number of studies on subjects that include environmental security, defense, diplomacy, genocide prevention, and leadership issues. He has written numerous articles, op-ed pieces, and monographs. He has also co-authored a New York Times Best seller book on his career with Tom Clancy entitled Battle Ready and a foreign policy book entitled The Battle For Peace that was also a New York Times Best Seller and a Foreign Affairs Bestseller. His latest book, Leading the Charge, was published in August 2009.
General Richard Hearney, Honorary Board - Birthday Ball Guest of Honor 2013
General Richard D. Hearney
General Richard D. Hearney last served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
General Hearney is a native of Petaluma, Calif. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1962 following completion of the Platoon Leaders Class Program. He holds a B.S. degree from Stanford University and an M.S. degree from Pepperdine University. He graduated from the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., in June 1980.
General Hearney has commanded at the squadron, air group, and air wing level. During Desert Shield and Desert Storm he served as Deputy Commander, I MEF. His staff tours included Deputy Director, J-3, U.S. European Command as well as Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Requirements and Programs, and Aviation at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. General Hearney was advanced to the grade of general and assumed duties as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 15, 1994.
His personal decorations and medals include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with gold star; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"; Purple Heart; Air Medal with Combat "V" and bronze numeral "39"; and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".
Major General Mike Myatt, Honorary Board - Birthday Ball Guest of Honor 2007
Major General Mike Myatt
Major General James M. Myatt retired in August 1995 and is currently the President and CEO of the Marines' Memorial Association in San Francisco, California.
General Myatt was born in San Francisco, California. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1963, after graduation with a B.S. degree in Physics, from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
General Myatt served in various command and staff positions within the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and both the 2d and 3d Marine Division. He served two combat tours in the Republic of Vietnam. His first tour was for one year as platoon commander, S-4 officer and company commander with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. His second tour was for 16 months as Team Leader, Defense Special Projects Group and as Senior Infantry Battalion Advisor to the 5th Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Corps.
From July 17, 1985 until Sept 10, 1987, he commanded the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, deploying for two Mediterranean deployments with the Marine Corps' first Special Operations Training Group of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, he was selected in December 1987 for promotion to brigadier general.
On 8 August 1990, General Myatt was assigned as the Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. A few days later, in mid-August, and in reaction to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, he deployed his Division of 22,000 Marines to Saudi Arabia as part of I Marine Expeditionary Force for Operation Desert Shield. During the 4-day ground war in February 1991, his Division defeated seven Iraqi Army divisions in zone, seized Kuwait International Airport and liberated Kuwait City.
He returned the 1st Marine Division to Southern California in April 1991. General Myatt remained in command of the Division until July 8, 1992, when he was transferred to Seoul, Korea to serve as the C/J-5 (Strategy, Plans and Negotiations) for the Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea.
On 1 September 1994, General Myatt returned to the United States and was assigned to the Pentagon as the Director of Expeditionary warfare, serving in that billet until his retirement in the summer of 1995 to work for Bechtel Corporation.
General Myatt’s academic background includes studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he earned a Masters of Science Degree in Engineering Electronics.
He attended the Command and Staff College of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, graduating with distinction. In 1980, he was assigned to the Norwegian National Defense College as the first Marine Officer to attend the 12-month top-level school in Oslo, Norway.
Since leaving active military service, General Myatt has continued to serve in a variety of public positions. He was appointed by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to be a Commissioner in the Telecommunications Commission in April 2002. He was responsible for a Mayoral Conference on Public Security and Safety in July 2003, held in San Francisco, with over 25 Mayors and their offices of emergency services in attendance. He sponsored a Table Top Exercise with DOD Office of Homeland Defense and the City and County of San Francisco in August 2003. In December 2003, he was elected President of the Telecommunications Commission and led the Commission in its completion of the Telecommunications Plan Update for the City and County of San Francisco in March of 2004. After resigning his position on the Telecommunications Commission, he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Base Closure and Relocation Commission Council in October 2004. He piloted a conference on Biometric Techologies for Homeland Security in October 2004, and is currently planning a conference on Port Security with the USNI.
Ron Wecht, Secretary
Ron Wecht, Secretary
Ron is a native Californian, growing up in the Los angeles area.
He received a Bachelors degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with merit in 1965.
Ron was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon graduation. After
training he selected the infantry as his ﬁeld. His ﬁrst assignment took him to Viet Nam, where
he served in a riﬂe company for his entire 13 month tour of duty, serving as a platoon leader,
company executive ofﬁcer and company commander. His next assignment was to ceremonial
duty at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., where he was selected to be a parade adjutant
for the “Sunset Parades” and the parades at the Iwo Jima Memorial. He also was a White
House social aide for six months while in Washington.
Ron’s next assignment was to ﬂight training. After earning his pilot’s wings, he ﬂew the A-4,
Skyhawk aircraft, a single engine, single seat, light attack jet aircraft. He ﬂew A-4’s while based
in Arizona, Japan, and Southern California.
After completing his service in the Marines, Ron went to law school at University of California,
Hastings College of the Law, in San Francisco, receiving graduation honors as a member of the
Order of the Coif. He practiced law as a civil trial lawyer for many years trying cases in state and
federal courts throughout California. While an attorney, Ron served in various legal
organizations and lectured on legal topics for many educational providers. In addition to trying
cases, Ron has been an arbitrator and a mediator in numerous cases. He was chosen to be a
Judge pro tem in the San Francisco Superior Court, presiding over two jury trials as a judge.
Since retirement, Ron has served on the Board of Directors of Wine Country Marines. He also
volunteers as a Unit Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America, serving with a Cub Pack and
a Boy Scout Troop.
Ron and his wife, Sue, live in Orinda California.
Frank Espina, Chief Financial Officer
Frank Espina, CFO
Frank J. Espina has received Bachelor's and Master's (M.B.A.) degrees from San Francisco State
University. Prior to attending the University, he served in the United States Marine Corps.
After graduation, Mr. Espina joined an international accounting firm, where he was promoted to
audit manager in 1976. He had responsibility for tax planning and compliance work for
individuals and closely-held corporations.
On November 1, 1979, after almost nine years of experience with the international firm, he
became a partner in the accounting firm of Elwood & Espina, Incorporated, now known as
Elwood - Espina - Ferrell LLP. On January 1, 2007, Elwood - Espina - Ferrell LLP merged into
Shea Labagh Dobberstein Certified Public Accountants, Inc.
When Mr. Espina was with the international accounting firm, he was in the Small Business
Division, which was responsible for providing accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services
to a variety of non-public businesses. Since joining Elwood, Espina Ferrell LLP ,and subsequently Shea Labagh Dobberstein he has
provided a broad range of auditing and tax consulting services to closely-held clients in
manufacturing, construction, architectural and engineering, distribution, retail businesses and
Mr. Espina is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the
California Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition, he is a member of the American
Association of Spanish-Speaking Certified Public Accountants and has been active with the
National Association of Accountants.
While in undergraduate school, Mr. Espina was elected to membership in Delta Sigma Pi,
national business fraternity.
Mr. Espina has been involved extensively in civic and other outside activities. Some of the
organizations on which he has served as an officer or director include:
Wine Country Marines - Board of Directors, Presently CFO
San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce - Board of Directors, Chairman,1998; Past Treasurer
, Presently Advisory Board
San Mateo Library Foundation - Board of Directors. Left in 2008.
Family Service Agency of San Mateo - Board of Directors, Chairman 2005 through 2007,
Presently Advisory Board
Family Service Agency of San Mateo - Endowment Fund Trustee
Pets In Need - Board of Directors, Presently Treasurer
Mission Hospice Inc. of San Mateo County - Board of Directors. Left Board January, 1997.
Professional Advisory Council for the Peninsula Community Foundation
San Mateo Sunrise Rotary - Board of Directors, President, 1999-2000. Left Board 2001.
City of San Mateo Economic Development Committee - 1998
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center of San Mateo County - Board Member. Previously
President, Treasurer and Secretary, each for terms of 2 years. Left Board June, 1994.
Oakland Museum Association - Assistant Treasurer during 1978 and 1979.
Cameron-Stanford House Preservation Association - Treasurer and Board member from
1978 to 1980
Chris L'Orange, General Counsel
Chris L'Orange, General Counsel
Chris L’Orange is a native of San Francisco, and traveled the world as the son of a naval officer. He graduated academically distinguished from the Virginia Military Institute in 1969, and was the recipient of the Charles R. Martin and Sumter Lowery Awards as well as the Society of the Cincinnati Medal.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and served with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam where he was awarded two Bronze Stars with Combat V and the Purple Heart. He was subsequently assigned to Marine Barracks, 8th and I, where he served as a ceremonial platoon leader, the parade adjutant and a White House Social Aide. During his assignment at the Barrack, he attended George
Washington University and completed a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. In 1976 he graduated from the Emory University School of Law where he was elected to the Order of the Barristers. He has been a practicing lawyer in San Francisco since 1976, specializing in complex litigation including large scale toxic tort and environmental cases, commercial matters and pharmaceutical litigation. He has extensive trial and alternative dispute resolution experience and, in 2002, was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a member of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section of the State Bar, the Defense Research Institute and the Association of Business Trial
He is licensed to practice before the California Bar and the United States District Courts for Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern California and the Ninth Circuit, as well as having been formally licensed to practice before the federal courts in Arizona and South Carolina. He has written and lectured for the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the California and San Francisco Bars, as well as several private organizations on a variety of topics related to commercial and environmental litigation. Chris is an avid SCUBA diver, photographer and bicyclist.
James Brown, Birthday Ball Chair
James Brown, Birthday Ball Chair
James Brown enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1983 at age 17. He served from 1983 to 1991 and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He served in the Marine Security Detachment at the Naval Air Station Alameda as an 0311 with a primary mission of securing nuclear weapon systems and providing base security. He also served with Lima 3/5 and was the designated unit scout-sniper and was a PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) at the Camp Hansen, Okinawa Rifle Range. While assigned to HQ 23rd Marines, Brown led an experimental team of 0311’s and 0321’s referred to as the Mike Element.
James is well known for helping local military units and veterans. He works on the Advisory Council for the Director of the Palo Alto VA and on her select teams for Veterans Employment, Marine Corps Musters and Wounded Warrior support. He helps lead the Marine Corps Muster annually at the Palo Alto VA involving about 1,500 Marines by assisting them with healthcare as well as finding educational and employment opportunities.
James Brown has been credited for directly helping an average of 7,000 Veterans every year, regardless of service branch. James was featured on Dateline Australia for his support of Combat Veterans through PTSD Counseling and has received recognition from the Commandant of the Marine Corps for his work with Gold Star Families and our wounded warriors. He has received awards from the VA, the Military and others. He was recruited to serve on the planning committee for PenFed Credit Unit Foundation fundraising activities for the Defenders Lodge, at the Palo Alto VA. Over 20,000 Veterans every year skip their healthcare needs because they cannot afford the expensive hotels and motels in the Bay Area, so James, along with many prominent citizens helped to raise $17,000,000 to build a super-modern 140 bed hotel on the grounds of the Palo Alto VA that will be free for Veterans coming in for healthcare.
He has personally brought in many dollars in donations and private contributions to the VA, Semper Fi Fund, Wounded Warrior Battalion programs, Fisher House, and other Veteran support programs.
He is involved with helping to lead the Patriot Guard Riders, having personally led missions and funeral details for our Fallen and Wounded. He has hosted a number of events in the area such as the annual RS BBQ for the OSO’s, the family day for the 129th Rescue Squadron (1600 Airmen), PTSD Awareness events, Wine Country Marines Birthday Balls, Easter at Moffett Field, Military Networking and Leadership Conferences, Veterans Job Fairs and more.
He is the founder of West Coast Security, Inc, a Security Systems Firm specializing in protecting government and large corporate facilities. He has performed security system installations for at least 23 US Embassies, the consulates of 2 of our allies, and large corporate installations across the country, and also in many foreign locations such as China, Japan, Australia, Ireland, England, Germany and throughout the America's. He's a licensed electrician in California, Nevada and Hawaii. And he is also a state certified "Qualified Alarm Company Manager".
He is a Benefactor Member of the Marines’ Memorial Association, a Knight in the Western Military Commandery of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem - Knights Hospitaller, a Board Member with the Wine Country Marines, Member of the National Marine Corps Business Owners Network and numerous other organizations.
James considers himself a "gap filler", finding the gap between what the Government and Military provides, what the VA provides, and what is actually needed for our veterans and troops - then he fills it.
Andy and his wife Carolina a veteran herself having served as a Navy Corpsman spend their spare time volunteering and raising awareness of veterans and military service members needs. They reside on the San Francisco Peninsula.
Jaime Payne, Treasurer
Jaime Payne, Treasurer
SSgt Jaime Payne enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in February 2001 from San Jose, CA. Upon graduating from high school she departed for recruiting training and arrived on Parris Island on September 11, 2001, hours before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She reported to 4th battalion, Plt 4039, O Company . She graduated 2nd in her platoon on December 7th, 2001.
In January 2002, she reported to Marine Combat Training (MCT) at Camp Lejeune, NC and then Basic Supply Course at Camp Johnson , NC. Upon completion of Supply Basic Course she reported to Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron-3 Camp Butler, Okinawa for duty as a Supply Admin Marine. In September 2002, she deployed to Camp Mujuk, South Korea in support of Ulchi Focus Lens (UFL) and assigned as TAC security. In June 2003, she deployed to Thailand in support of exercise Cobra Gold.
In July 2003, she received orders and reported to Marine Wing Support Group-37, MCAS Miramar in San Diego, CA. On December 2, 2003 she was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal. While at Miramar she served on the Command Inspection team and inspected the subordinate squadron’s supply accounts. In August 2004, she deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II as a Supply and Logistics NCO. On December 2, 2004, she was combat meritoriously promoted to the rank of Sergeant and reenlisted for another 3 years. She returned from Iraq in March 2005 to finish her duty at Miramar.
December 2005 she reported for duty at 12th Marine Corps District, Marine Corps Recruiting Station San Francisco as the Supply NCO. While at the recruiting station she helped facilitate many local recruiting events, plan and execute the yearly Marine Corps Ball, supported over 35 recruiting sub stations and permanent contact stations ranging from Santa Maria to Eureka, CA. She managed and executed the recruiting station’s one million dollar budget, and continuously received “Mission Capable” results in the yearly Comptroller inspections. She was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in May 2008, simultaneously the Commanding Officer asked her to extend at the Recruiting Station and move up as the Supply Chief. SSgt Payne continued to excel at her new position as the Supply Chief and received A- Billet of the Quarter and A-billet of the year on multiple occasions.
On December 22, 2011, after 10 years of service, SSgt. Payne was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps.
She now works as a financial analyst for the Department of the Navy, supporting the Fleet Ballistic Missile program at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA.
SSgt Payne is married to Steven Payne Jr, they have a daughter named Briley and reside in Gilroy, CA .
Awards and Accomplishments:
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd Award)
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd Award)
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Medal (2nd Award)
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (4rd Award)
Navy Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
Meritorious Mast (4th Award)
Certificate of Commendation (4th Award)
Letter of Appreciation (3rd Award)
Dean "Kip" Witter III, Nominations Chair
Dean "Kip" Witter III, Nominating Committee Chair
Mr. Witter’s finance career started in 1974 with US Leasing International, Inc., after which he spent 12 years in various finance positions with Amdahl Corporation (formerly ASE: AMH). His last 5 years there were as Vice President and Treasurer. Since Amdahl, he co-founded Eeonyx Corporation (privately held) and served as a senior consultant with The Capstone Group and The Brenner Group, where he specialized in providing financial executive consulting to high-growth and early-stage clients. Mr. Witter joined Hello Direct, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ: HELO) in 1999 and served as its Chief Financial Officer until the time of its acquisition by GN Great Nordic (2001). He became President of William D. Witter, Inc., in May 2003, and served as Chairman from February 2005 until April 2007. He re-joined The Brenner Group in January 2009. He is a director of Eeonyx Corporation.
Mr. Witter received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and his BA in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College (magna cum laude), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He served two years on active duty in the U.S. Army (1969 – 1971). He is president of The Dean Witter Foundation; a trustee of the Harvey and Maud Sorensen Foundation and of the Wine Country Marines, and a director and treasurer of the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County Foundation. He is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County, the California State Horsemen’s Association, and the San Mateo County Horsemen’s Association.
He is married to Rebekah Ferran Witter, and they have two grown children and four grandchildren. He and his wife were California State Horsemen’s Association Trail Trials champions, in their respective divisions, in 2010. He won this honor again, on a different horse, in 2013. They live in Woodside, California.
Chip Allen, Director
Chip Allen, Director
Carl “Chip” Allen is a 1965 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Following graduation Chip joined the U.S. Navy’s submarine force. After completing Nuclear Power School and Submarine School Chip reported to the USS John Marshall, SSBN 611, a nuclear powered Polaris Submarine. Chip was the assistant navigator, communications officer and sonar officer. Chip served on John Marshall for two patrols and then was assigned to Fleet Training Facility Pacific at Pearl Harbor where he oversaw the operation of the diving trainers.
In 1970 Chip commenced his legal studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, while remaining in the Navy Reserves as an officer in a Military Sealift Command at Treasure Island. Upon graduation from Hastings in 1973 Chip joined a boutique law firm in San Francisco specializing in real estate and construction.
In 2000, after some 26 years of litigation practice and opportunities to manage a small business and lead a team of real estate specialists working with the wireless industry, Chip and his wife, Jeanne, settled in Sonoma. Here in Sonoma, Chip continues his law practice, focusing on estate and business planning. He is the past president of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, the past president of the Sonoma Valley Rotary and the past president of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation. Chip has served as a member and Chairman of the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission, a joint powers commission charged with reviewing pending development projects in the Sonoma Valley. Chip is currently the Interim Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce.
James Hurson, Director
James Hurson, Director
James Hurson and his wife, Yvonne, currently reside in Sonoma County, California. He is an Independent Software Developer crafting custom data management software solutions for businesses. He is also founder and co-owner of Bravery Cellars, a wine venture dedicated to serving the needs of wounded Veterans.
He earned his B.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona. While an undergraduate he was elected Chairman of the University branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, earning their Outstanding Achievement Award.
Following graduation, he entered the United States Air Force, earning his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base with subsequent assignment to the C-141A Starlifter based at Travis AFB, California, flying airlift missions worldwide, including Southeast Asia. As an Aircraft Commander, he was selected for several special-qualification missions including Operation Deep Freeze supporting the National Science Foundation at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-flying duties included serving as Squadron Intelligence Officer.
Following his Air Force service, he became a pilot for Pan American World Airways based in Berlin, operating in both Western and Eastern Europe. Following the tragic demise of Pan American, he became a pilot for Delta Air Lines.
In 2010 he was accepted as a Member of The Explorers Club and is heavily involved in local chapter activities. He is a lifetime member of the Old Antarctic Explorers Association.
In addition to the privilege of serving as a Director of the Wine Country Marines, he participates in Veterans' organizations, sports car events, skiing and studying history. From 2010 through 2013 he and his wife were Chairs of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Media Relations Volunteer Executive Committee, overseeing the staffing and operation of the Concours Media Center.
Vic Leventhal, Director
Vic Leventhal, Corporate Contributions
Consistent attendee and contributor to the Birthday Ball.
In addition to being a wine collector, he is an equally skilled wine consumer…
• Age 69 years old
• Married 45 years
• 2 daughters, ages 38 and 41
• 1 Grandson, age 2
• Graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 with a BBA degree
• Some graduate studies in business at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas
• Served 6 years active and reserve duty in the Coast Guard Reserve; declined OCS
• Honorably discharged as a Petty Officer 2nd Class
• 1966-1984 Employed by IBM where I held numerous, operations, sales, marketing and financial postilions, my last position being that of Director of Finance and Admin for the National Distribution Division
• 1985-1990 Employed by COMPUTERLAND , the world’s largest computer retailer in the world at that time. Became the #2 individual in the company as EVP in charge of sales, marketing, purchasing, vendor relations, MIS, franchise relations training, business development and major accounts.
• 1990-1995 President and CEO of CAD Solutions, a $30Million systems integrator and Value added reseller of many of the major CAD engineering software products.
• 1995-2002 I was one the founders of Solidworks Corp, and was the COO of the company during this time frame
• 2002-2007 I was a member of Dassault Systèmes global executive team. Dassault Systemes bought SolidWorks in 1997 and became our parent company.
• 2007- present Consultant for SW and Dassault Systèmes
Other key factors
• I am presently a Board member for Stratasys Ltd, the leading provider of 3d printing systems. Stratasys is about a $500M company, presently traded on the NASDAQ
• 2002-2007 I was a Board member of a Hungarian software company Graphisoft, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. Graphisoft was a leading supplier of architectural software with annual revenues at the time of about 30M Euros
• 2013, I am an advisory Board member of a company called Yabidu, a provider of health care documentation for families and hospitals
• MISC: I have been a Board member for 2 other companies, both of which have been sold; one such company was in the rapid prototyping business, the other in compliance software
I enjoy all sports, play golf, and ski. We enjoy the theatre, good food, the arts, and I am a wine collector.
Wilfred Bentham, Director
Bill Bentham, Director
Born: August 18, 1938, in Oakland, CA.
Graduated from San Ramon High School, Danville, CA, 1956
Colorado State University, June 1962, B.S. degree
Colorado State University, June 1965, D.V.M. degree
Practice owner, clinician/surgeon at Central Veterinary Hospital in Fremont, CA, since 1965. Special interest in orthopedic repairs and general surgery.
Member American Animal Hospital Association and Life Member American Veterinary Medical Association.
• Historian and collector of the U.S. Cavalry from the Civil War to the termination of the Cavalry in WWII. This extensive collection was requested to be on display at the Gene Autry Museum in Pasadena for over two years.
• Past President of the Western Division of the Company of Military Historians.
• Researched and lectured on the development of the “McClellan Saddle in the United States Cavalry since 1859”.
• Past President of the American Endurance Ride Conference. Life member.
• Competed extensively in 50- and 100-mile endurance rides on horseback with over 4,000 miles of competition.
• “Ride and Tie” competitor as well as veterinarian for the event for over 25 years.
• Endurance ride veterinarian, staff veterinarian for the Rancheros Visitadores, and other equestrian events.
• Member of Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County since 1993 and Past Captain.
• Member of The Shack Riders and San Mateo County Horseman’s Association
Andy Lopez, Director
Andy Lopez, Birthday Ball Vice Chair
Andy Lopez served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a Disabled Veteran
Andy is currently Bay Area Market Sales Director for Dignity Memorial, the nation’s largest funeral service provider and is responsible for 14 locations in the Bay Area.
At Dignity Memorial, Andy and the Bay Area Management team have spearheaded the “We Honor Veterans Program” at each of his 14 locations, with a special focus on providing proper military funerals for those who have served. Through Dignity Memorial, Andy has been able to provide educational resources to hundreds of Bay Area veterans and their families about claiming VA burial benefits, both before and at the time of need. This past year, Dignity Memorial was a major sponsor for the state and national VFW and American Legion conventions. In addition, Andy has been able to leverage company and personal resources to deliver much needed assistance and job opportunities to veterans in the Bay Area.
Andy has donated items needed for CARE packages sent to deployed troops for several local units. Andy serves as a volunteer for events put on by several gold star families throughout the year. He is also a supporter of the Cathedral of Faith Golfing for kids program that provides scholarships for at risk children. He has made substantial donations to different veterans’ organizations, such as the Semper Fi Fund and the Joey Graves Foundation.
Andy was honored to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Memorial Day and 9/11 Ceremonies at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, CA. This past year he worked with the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara and was the Master of Ceremonies for their annual Veterans Day Parade.
Andy serves on the Board of the Sean M. Walsh Canine Foundation, which raises money to buy police dogs for departments around the Bay Area. He is a member of the American Legion, DAV, NRA, Silicon Valley Capital Club, Marines Memorial Association, Patriot Guard, National Funeral Directors Association, and the Missouri Disaster Response Team.
Andy and his wife, Jessica, spend their spare time volunteering for many organizations focused on raising awareness of the many needs of the veterans’ community.
A Message from the Chairman of the Board
We would like to thank you for taking the time to visit our website and learn more about The Wine Country Marines. Below, you'll see a photograph of our Board of Directors that was taken just before our 2014 Marine Corps Birthday Ball with General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret), the former Commander of Central Command (USCENTCOM), who was our Guest of Honor. Not in the photo are Jaime Payne and Andy Lopez, both recently elected to the Board in January of 2015.
A Message from the President
The principal aim of The Wine Country Marines is to bring together the people and resources required to aid and support our Wounded Warriors while they in the hospital, home recovering, continuing their outpatient therapy and reintegrating into society. We also assist our military hospitals as they meet their patients’ needs by supporting such programs as the Defenders Lodge, Fisher House, Hometel, Polytrauma Center, etc, all found within the VA Healthcare System.
Our goal is to improve the quality of life for these Guardians of Freedom.
This web site contains a wealth of information that will enable you to get to know The Wine Country Marines, and our friends better.
For example, you can learn about upcoming upcoming support and fund raising events by visiting the "Events and Charities" section. Or, if you are interested in the history and traditions of our Marine Corps, you can visit the "The Marines" portion of the site.
Since the Veterans Support causes and community is fast-paced and ever changing, we make every effort to update our site frequently, so please come back often. And remember, we value your opinions; to send us your comments and queries, just click on the "Contact Us" section on the menu above. We hope you enjoy your visit.
Capt Robert Leonard
A Message from the Birthday Ball Chair
The Wine Country Marines are a patriotic organization of Marines and friends of the Corps dedicated to perpetuating both the ethos and esprit de corps of the U.S. Marine Corps, and to carry on charitable and educational activities associated with this goal as allowed by law. Located north of the Golden Gate within the California Wine Country, we have proudly sponsored the annual "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" in the town of Sonoma during the month of November since 1985.
Though we are based in the Wine Country of California, the reach of our benevolence is
statewide and beyond.
The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is celebrated by all Marines around the globe on, or about November 10th
of each year. The Wine Country Marines uses this opportunity to not only celebrate the birth of our Corps, but to also raise funds for our causes. For the past 3 years the Wine Country Marines have selected the
Semper Fi Fund as our beneficiary of this event, bringing in more than $100,000 each of those years for our Wounded Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Guardsmen. Please consider joining us, and supporting this cause in 2015. If you’re not able to attend, but would like to donate to our cause, you may do so at our website by using the paypal link, or you may mail a check to the address listed on the bottom left of our website.
We take great pleasure in announcing that James Mattis USMC (Ret.), the former Commanding Officer of US Central Command (CENTCOM), will be our Guest of Honor at the 2015 Wine Country Marine Corps Ball.
The 2015 "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" celebrating the 240th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps will be held on Saturday, October 31st, 2015.
Please visit our Birthday Ball page by clicking here to learn more.
Or to download a flyer, please click here.
Thank You and Semper Fidelis,