Kenneth S. Dowd is President and Chief Executive Officer of VMF, a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization with a mission of providing assistance/service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges. He is also actively supporting veterans through other non-profits, including Pizza 4 Patriots.
Ken retired from the U.S. Army in 2014 after over 30 years of service where he held command positions in the United States, overseas, and in deployed operations in Europe and the Middle East, and senior staff positions on the U.S. Army Staff, Defense Agencies, and Joint positions in three Combatant Commands.
Prior to his retirement, General Dowd served as Director of Logistics Operations for the Defense Logistics Agency and Commanding General, 1st Theater Sustainment Command at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. He has served in transportation, supply, and support positions in Korea, Germany, and the United States, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G-4, Washington, and in Joint positions in the J-4 for U.S. Atlantic Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Central Command. In 1994, General Dowd deployed in command positions to Bosnia in support of Operation Decisive Edge, and in 2001, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Since retirement, Ken has served with Tilwell Petroleum LLC, a Veteran-Owned Small Business, supplying fuels, standards, and solvents to the aerospace and defense industries, and SOS International LLC, providing logistics, construction, training, intelligence and information technology solutions to the defense, diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement communities.
Ken is a native of Abington, Pennsylvania, graduated from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky and received his commission through the ROTC program. He holds a Master’s Degree in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
Rebecca “Beckie” Harris is the Executive Coordinator for Veterans Moving Forward, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization with a mission of providing service dogs and canine therapy to veterans with physical and mental health challenges.
Rebecca Harris is a native of the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. She is a mother of six: Samantha, Jaymi, Brindyn, Sean, Wyatt, and Zoe. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Timothy Harris.
Rebecca has reinvented herself many times over her career. Ranging from a travel agent, and IT professional in the 90s to a stay-at-home mom, county court clerk, school bus driver, EMT, 911 operator dispatcher, and finally a nail tech through the 2000s.
She has excelled personally and professionally at each opportunity. She has been recognized by the commanding general for her volunteer work with the soldiers of the 377th theatre sustainment command.
Karen D. Jeffries, Founder/President Emeritus of VMF, a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization with a mission of providing assistance/service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges, is also a management consultant with more than 23 years experience working directly for senior leaders of the federal government and chief executives of commercial corporations in the Washington, DC area. Ms. Jeffries is a retired naval officer and the former owner of Jeffries Communications, a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business (SDVOSB) specializing in marketing, business development and communications.
Prior to establishing Veterans Moving Forward and Jeffries Communications Group in 2010, Ms. Jeffries held several professional positions as an employee of the government consulting organization, LMI; the senior vice president for business development and marketing for Infra-Structures, Inc. (IFS); a senior military analyst for L3 Communications/SYColeman; the chief of communications for the Bureau of Economic Analysis; and an independent consultant for special events, meeting planning and the National Geographic magazine.
Ms. Jeffries' military career began in 1977 when she enlisted and served as a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer before earning a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and her commission as a line officer in 1984. She served aboard several ships as a surface warfare officer before transferring into the public affairs officer community and ultimately retiring with the rank of commander in 2001.
Ms. Jeffries has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Jeffries has graduate work in communications from the University of Oklahoma and decorative arts from Parsons School of Design, New School University.
Robert Larson, Co-Founder of Veterans Moving Forward, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization with a mission of providing assistance/service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges.
Mr. Larson is an executive entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience forging strategic partnerships and leading dynamic teams. Bob is an expert operations executive known for identifying key business improvements leading to increased efficiency and stable expansion. As an executive entrepreneur, Bob has co-founded and strategically guided the operations and business development of several successful companies:
The Action Group Ltd. Founder/COO - Consulting for middle market clients on business plan development, execution, operation efficiency and business development.
Infra-Structures Inc. Co- founder/ President/CEO - International company specializing in design, construction and execution of mission-critical command and control projects in the telecommunications, health care, finance, transportation and defense sectors nationally and internationally in England, Japan, Australia, Israel, Egypt, China and Italy.
Jennings/Larson Ltd Co-founder/COO - Developed and executed retail business plan in support of specialty lithographs for the 1980 Winter and Summer Olympic Games in Lake Placid/Moscow.
Mr. Larson has a bachelor's degree in management and marketing science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.