Press Release

Companions for Heroes Announces Four New Appointments to Board of Directors

Companions for Heroes Announces Four New Appointments to Board of Directors
Date and Time

Date: November 26, 2019

Companions for Heroes
Contact: David Sharpe
620 Sea Island Road, Suite 148
Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522

Companions for Heroes Announces
Four New Appointments to Board of Directors

St. Simons, GA– Companions for Hero’s, a non-profit organization assisting military veterans, active duty military, law enforcement, first responders suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) or similar symptoms announce today that is has appointed Mr. Victor B. Riden, III, Mr. R. Byron Brown III, Ms. Laura Seban, and Mr. Julio Gonzalez to its board of directors.

Bonnie Wardlaw, Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “The Board is thrilled to have Julio, Vic, Laura and Byron join the board of directors. Each of these individuals brings a very distinct and sophisticated background to help Companions for Heroes grow and reach its goal of saving 600 Heroes and shelter dogs in 2020 from the Coastal Area of Georgia, and across the country. I am excited to be working alongside them all to accomplish our goal.”

The nominating committee met recently to review potential directors and presented a slate to the board of directors for a final vote.

“The addition of Byron, Vic, Julio and Laura will help the charity tremendously in saving more of the 4,000+ wounded veterans, shelter dogs, active duty military, Gold Star Families and First Responders,” said David Sharpe, Companions for Hero’s CEO. “There are over 70,000 Heroes the charity can help. We know we can accomplish this by adding more local members to the Board, and I’m excited to work for them to make this happen.”

Mr. Victor B. Riden III is a retired Managing Partner with the global consulting company Accenture. He also spent several years as an independent management consultant living and working in New York City. Vic’s consulting area of focus is advising and leading business transformational change programs for Fortune 500 companies, principally large financial services organizations. During his twenty-five years as an agent of change, he worked with market leaders to set strategic direction, design specific solutions to complex business problems and subsequently implement those solutions. Vic was recognized within Accenture for his development and leadership of individuals and high performance teams.

Since Vic’s retirement, he continues to pursue a variety of business interests. He is actively engaged in entrepreneurial ventures.

Vic has been, and remains active in volunteer and non-profit pursuits. He has been involved in the Boys and Girls Clubs for over twenty years as a member of several boards, Chairman of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and the Georgia Area Council Chairman. Vic has also been named BGC Board Member of the Year for the state of Georgia and was awarded the National Silver Medallion. Vic also served on the Board of the Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta, the Mercer University Stetson School of Business and Economics Board of Visitors and the Executive Committee of the Frederica  Academy Board of Trustees. Vic received his BBA in economics from Mercer University and his MBA in finance from Vanderbilt University. He is a member of the Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Vic currently lives part-time on St. Simons Island, Georgia and part-time in Atlanta, Georgia with his three children Rebecca, Alle and Victor.

Mr. Byron Brown III is the Chairman of La-Z-Boy Southeast North America. Under Byron’s leadership,  a-Z-Boy Southeast North America has received La-Z-Boy Top 10 Sales North America, La-Z-Boy Retail Partner of the Year, La-Z-Boy Ronald McDonald House Partner of the Year and the #1 Growth Store in North America. Byron is a member of the National La-Z-Boy Dealer Advisory Council. Prior to joining La-Z-Boy Southeast North America as CEO, Byron was the General Electric Retail Systems Partner of the Year. Byron is a board member, Lay Leader, Finance Committee member, Financial Advisor to Wesley Academy for Early Learning, Leader of Men’s Bible Study of Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica. Byron is an Eagle Scout. Byron resides on St. Simons Island, Georgia with his wife. He has children and grandchildren.

Ms. Laura Seban is co-owner of Reliant Insurance Group located on St. Simons Island, Georgia that offers insurance for high net worth individuals, small – large businesses and Medicare Health Options. Prior to her role at Reliant Insurance Group, Laura was a Senior Chemist with Rich’s Food Products where she led other chemists in the Research & Development of all Rich’s Food Products. Laura is a past Advisor and Mentor for the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce and a current board member for the United Way of Southeast Georgia.

Mr. Julio P. Gonzalez founded the Gonzalez Family Office and is the Chairman, CEO and Founder of Engineered Tax Services, Inc. (ETS). ETS is the country’s largest specialty tax engineering firm which specializes in the preservation of wealth and the United States’ job creation through IRS engineering-based services to include research and development manufacturing tax credit and grant studies, energy tax incentives studies, cost segregation depreciation studies for buildings, Opportunity Zone studies, real estate state and local incentive studies and alternative tax optimization studies. Mr. Gonzalez started ETS in 2001 to bring specialized engineering tax studies to mainstream America, which have historically have only been available to Fortune 500 and public companies through then the Big 8 National Accounting Firms. ETS has 26 offices nationally and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In addition to ETS, Mr. Gonzalez started several other family operational companies including his family office, Gonzalez Family Office (GFO), Calle Gato Ocho (CGO), Engineered Tax Exchange (ETE) and Engineered Family Office (EFO). Gonzalez Family Office manages the Gonzalez family capital by investing primarily in real estate, private equity, and venture capital. CGO owns and operates direct real estate investments in multi-family housing and office/mixed-use real estate for the Gonzalez family.

Mr. Gonzalez works weekly in Washington D.C. to work with the administration, Congress and Senate to advise on tax reform and is the go-to tax expert representing many national organizations and associations. He is a regular public speaker on a national level regarding tax reform and tax sophistication for wealth preservation.

Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion dogs, and on a case-by-case basis, service dogs, obtained from shelters, rescues and humane societies, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, first responders, military spouses and children, and Gold Star Families recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country. C4H increases public awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other challenges confronting our country’s heroes; and rally’s support for animal welfare and the adoption of shelter and/or rescue animals.

C4H is a non-clinical and non-facility based organization that places special emphasis on creating mutually beneficial opportunities for shelter and rescue animals, some who might otherwise be euthanized, and our nation’s service men and women by accessing the expertise of medical care professionals and animal welfare organizations. C4H is an Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) program that recognizes the incredible power of the human-animal relationship and seeks to support those suffering from psychological stress as they pursue recovery with the unconditional love of a dog.


C4H (Companions For Heroes) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. C4H’s federal ID number for donations is: #27-0648741.