The Carolinas Freedom Foundation was founded in 1995 in response to former prisoner of war and retired Air Force Col. Quincy Collins' concerns about the lack of an organization in the area to promote patriotism and honor veterans. Working with then Mayor Richard Vinroot and former Mayor John Belk, a blue ribbon committee recommended that an organization be established for these specific purposes.
Our mission is to inspire patriotism and leadership in our community, especially in our youth. Our Values: Honoring our veterans and men and women in uniform. Character development. Patriotism. Selfless Service. Teach love of country and our freedoms.
Over the years, the Foundation has grown to become recognized as the "go to" organization in the community where promoting patriotism and honoring those who serve are concerned. The Foundation also now has an active part in working with the schools in the area sponsoring character development programs.
The foundation was chartered in 1995 as a 501 (c ) (3) corporation, originally as the Charlotte Veterans Association. As the scope of the programs grew, the name was changed to the Carolinas Freedom Foundation to better reflect the initiatives in which the Foundation is involved. These range from Honoring our Veterans to Character Development programs within the schools.
Each year, the Carolinas Freedom Foundation sponsors nine programs and awards, most in partnership with some of Charlotte's most outstanding and community minded businesses.
Everyone has it within his power to say,
this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow.
Leadership for the Carolinas Freedom Foundation is provided by a 22-member Board of Directors and is comprised of male and female, veterans and non-veterans, ranging in age from 30 to 90. The Board is a very "hands-on" community service dedicated group of volunteers which oversees all Foundation initiatives as well as the fund raising needed to support its objectives and programs.
Dan Merle, Chairman, Board of Directors.
Current members along with their affiliations are listed below:
Board of Directors
- Daniel C. Merle, Board Chair
- Derek Bazile, Vice Chair - The Bearded Beast
- Mark Brodowicz - Energy Essentials Group
- James Timothy (Tim) Chappell
- Brittany Clark - Salesforce
- COL Quincy Collins, USAF, Ret. - Founder
- Bernie Funck - Ranger Construction Co.
- Miles Grooms - Bank of America
- Jeff Huggins - ASSA ABLOY Door Security
- Sam Johnson - The Independence Fund
- Gray Langley, CPA - Farris, Cooke & Assoc.
- Brent Rosser, Atty. - Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP
- Brad Thomas - RDR Insurance Services
- David White - Healthcare Consultant
- Deborah Woodhouse
- Susan Perry Yarber, Executive Director
- Ryan Butler - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept
- LTC (Ret.) Shawn Cowley - JROTC
- David Laws - American Red Cross
- Mecklenburg County Veterans Services
- Fostoria Pierson - Blue Star Moms NC
- Matthew Westover - Charlotte Fire Dept
- COL (Ret.) Robert L. Clark IV - Advisory Chair
- Ben Brooks - Deloitte Consulting, LLC
- Terri DeBoo - Terri DeBoo Ideas@Work
- Thomas Derham - TD Property Group
- Brett Faticci - Wells Fargo
- Joe Glass - Heritage Printers
- Jay Letizia
- Tracy Montross - American Airlines
- Osborne C. Oakley, Jr. - Emeritus Executive Director
- Moira Quinn - Charlotte Center City Partners
- COL Harry Ray, USA, Ret.
- MajGen David Richwine, USMC, Ret.
- Ivon Rohrer - Development Management, Inc.
- Michael Salvino
- LTG Michael Tucker, USA, Ret.
The Carolinas Freedom Foundation relies on three sources of income including ticket sales for the Freedom Breakfast, gifts and grants from foundations, and gifts and grants from corporations and individuals. The Foundation also seeks corporate sponsors for each of its initiatives.
Thank You, Major Contributors
- American Airlines
- Anonymous Foundation
- Bank of America
- The Dowd Foundation
- Mariam & Robert Hayes Charitable Trust
- The Hearst Corporation
- Libby and Richard Miller
- Mr. Rodney Pitts
- Ranger Construction Co.
- Southern Real Estate
- Vann Foundation