Welcome to VNSF
Executive Board Members

We are fortunate to have a strong and diverse Executive Board. This Board includes a Medal of Honor recipient, two former flag officers, three former senior NCOs, including a former Sergeant Major of the Department of Defense and a former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. Please click on the Biography links to learn more about the Veterans for National Security Executive Board members

Shawn Olds - Chairman, Executive Director Emeritus

Shawn currently resides in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the Belleau Wood Group, a merchant bank headquartered in Dubai.

Shawn started his career on active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division, he was medically discharged due to an injury sustained during a parachute operation, Shawn transitioned to the private sector as a logistics operations and technology consultant as well as an IT strategy management consultant. Shawn then helped to found a wireless media solutions company and served as the Chief Operating Officer. After September 11th, 2001 Shawn chose to return to the government sector and worked for the U.S. Department of States' Office for Counter-Terrorism where he spent time in Southwest Asia as well as Africa.   Shawn then transitioned back to the private sector working for PRTM Management Consultants.  He worked in the firms government practice which helped senior government officials develop public policy.  Shawn also helped to found and build PRTM’s private equity practice.  Shawn was then recruited by TAQA, a $60B Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund with investments across the energy value chain, to serve as the Chief Procurement Officer.

Jan Scruggs - Founder and President, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

In 1979, Jan Scruggs conceived the idea of building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., as a tribute to all who served during the longest war in American history. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the most visited memorial in Washington, with nearly 4.4 million annual visitors.

Scruggs was a wounded and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, having served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade of the U.S. Army. He felt a memorial would serve as a healing device for a different kind of wound – that inflicted on our national psyche by the long and controversial Asian war.

William Murdy - Chairman and CEO, Comfort Systems USA

William F. Murdy has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comfort Systems USA (NYSE:FIX) since July 2000. Prior to Comfort he was Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Club Quarters, a privately owned, rapidly growing chain of membership hotels catering to corporate travelers to major cities in the U.S. and Europe. Until July of 1999, he was Chairman, President and CEO of LandCare USA, Inc. (NYSE: GRW). LandCare grew to be the country’s largest commercial landscape and tree services company ($500 MM revenues) before merging with ServiceMaster (NYSE:SVM) in 1999. Prior to LandCare, Mr. Murdy was President and Chief Executive Officer of General Investment and Development, a large, privately held, diversified real estate operating company, and before that, Managing General Partner of the Morgan Stanley Venture Capital Fund and President of its associated management company.

Dave Urban - President, American Continental Group

David Urban joined the American Continental Group (www.acg-consultants.com) in 2002 and currently serves as the firm’s President. The range of experiences and relationships developed throughout his service in the military, as an attorney in private practice, and as a Chief of Staff in the United States Senate provide the American Continental Group with a unique resource.

Immediately before joining American Continental Group, Mr. Urban served for five years as the Chief of Staff for United States Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). Acting as the Senator’s senior advisor on legislative, political, media, and administrative matters in Pennsylvania and Washington, Mr. Urban was Senator Specter’s direct representative to the Senator’s Pennsylvania constituents as well as other Members of Congress, senior executive branch officials, ambassadors and other official of foreign governments. Mr. Urban represented Senator Specter as a part of the Senate Republican leadership and oversaw the Senator’s interests before the Judiciary, Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, Environment, and Public Works Committees.

Eugene Sullivan - Chief Judge (Ret.), U.S. Court of Appeals (AF)

The Honorable Judge Eugene Sullivan (Ret.) of the United States Court of Appeals (Armed Forces) was nominated by President Reagan, confirmed by the Senate and installed as a Federal Judge on June 6, 1986. In 1990, President Bush named him the Chief Judge of the Court, a position he held for five years. Judge Sullivan graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1964 where he was a member of the Cadet Honor Committee and the varsity lacrosse team. Following graduation, he served in the Army for five years and qualified as a tanker, an Airborne Ranger, a Ranger Instructor, and a Jumpmaster. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and other decorations in Vietnam. Judge Sullivan then graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, serving as an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal in his senior year. Following graduation, he clerked with Chief Judge M.C. Matthes of the United States Court of

Marshall Williams - Sergeant Major of Department of Defense (Ret.)

Sergeant Major Marshall ("Will") Williams retired from the U. S. Army after 23 years of service in 2002. During his military career he held progressively important positions of leadership and high visibility and earned numerous honors, including "Soldier of the Year" on two separate occasions. In his last assignment prior to retirement, he served as the senior enlisted advisor for three Secretaries of Defense.

SGM Williams' educational accomplishments include a B.S. degree in Management, a M.S. in Management, and a M.S. in Human Resources Management and Development from National-Louis University. In addition, he also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Northwestern University where he was a KPMG Fellow. He also served as a White House Fellow.

MG (RET) Spider Marks


James A. "Spider” Marks is a Partner at WillowDale. He was previously a managing director, Opportunities Development Group, a DC based consulting firm, assisting energy and national security companies expand their market access. Since retiring from the military, where he attained the rank of Major General, General Marks has been the CEO, InVisM, a firm that develops training, simulation, and learning products, a Managing Partner, Ergo, a primary research and consulting firm, and the President and CEO of Global Linguist Solutions, a private company that provides linguistics services to the U.S. military in Iraq and was the largest employer of native Iraqis. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, an on-air military and intelligence contributor to CNN. He sits on several boards to include the Call Of Duty Endowment that facilitates veterans’ employment.