Duane Morrow | Chairman
Duane is the Executive Vice President of Field Marketing for Primerica. While living and working in England, Duane, an avid rugby player, broke his neck during a match in 2004. He was paralyzed from the chest down but life didn’t end there. As Duane would say his life simply changed and he adapted. He is a competitive racer ranking the fastest in the US – second in the world. He plays rugby, golf, tennis, water skis, snow skis and dives just for fun! Duane rehabilitated at the Shepherd Center with relentlessness and pushed the envelope with Shepherd Center to try an extreme therapy program. Duane’s passion and positivity is contagious and rubs off on everyone he meets including Shepherd patients that he takes time to meet with regularly. Mr. Morrow currently serves on the Shepherd Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He is a native of Georgia and lives north of Atlanta with his wife and five children.
Steve Frederick | Vice Chairman
Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Investments. Former naval aviator with 22 years of military service in the U.S. Navy. Steve and his family have participated in BlazeSports programs since the inception of the organization in 1996. He is a parent of an elite athlete with a physical disability.
Daniel J. Holland | Treasurer
Former Chief Operating Officer for Hewitt Associates, the world leader in HR pioneering, breakthrough ideas, services and products for clients that include more than half the FORTUNE 500® and more than a third of the FORTUNE Global 500® companies. He is a sports enthusiast and father of an athlete with a physical disability.
Andrew McNeil, Esq. | Secretary
Andy is an attorney specializing in Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation Practices. Mr. McNeil enjoys his role as part-time instructor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he teaches “Public Policy Mock Trial,” a trial advocacy survey course, and is an assistant coach to the Georgia Tech Mock Trial Team.
Bert Burns is renowned throughout the healthcare field as the founder of UroMed, an industry-leading catheter supply company that assists thousands of people nationwide with various physical disabilities. After retiring from UroMEd, his work now centers around UroMed’s non-profit, educational program, Life After Spinal Cord Injury (LASCI), a motivational program that takes place in rehabilitation hospitals and other locations to positively influence youth and adults who have recently learned they will be using a wheelchair. LASCI has more than 18,000 members worldwide.
When Bert was in his 20s he suffered a life-changing injury after being thrown from his car during an accident. Facing the future as a quadriplegic however was not the end but the just the beginning for Bert. His injury was a blessing in disguise and enabled him to realize dreams that he never would have had before being injured. Founding UroMed was one of those dreams along with meeting his wife, Joy, in 1995, with whom he raises two children. “Having Joy and our twins, William and Emma, makes me the luckiest guy in the world,” Burns says. “I truly have an amazing life.” Read more»
Bill is a retired partner from Hewitt Associates, a global provider of Human Capital and Management Consulting services with over 500 offices in 120 countries providing HR Consulting and Outsourcing services. Bill was the managing partner for Canada (Toronto), Europe (Paris) as well as the Mid-Atlantic (Washington D.C) region. He serves on other Boards in both Canada and the United States. An avid sports participant, he now resides in Naples, Florida and Toronto, Canada.
Tim Willis, Esq.
Inducted into the Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006, Tim was the first totally blind student-athlete to compete in NCAA Division I cross-country. A few of his athletic achievements include World Record holder in the 10,000 meter track event, Silver Medalist in 10,000 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games and Bronze Medalist 10,000 meters at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games. Tim is an attorney by profession. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO.
Ira Blumenthal assumed the honor of becoming the Independent Broker Alliance’s first Executive Director in the Summer of 2015. His focus for the IBA is simply defined as “…protecting the economic vitality of the IBA by providing value, efficiency and growth opportunities for its agency members…” He served as a senior marketing executive for The Sara Lee Corporation as well as the president of Rymer Foods. He founded and presides over CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting company that has counseled world class clients such as Coca-Cola, Disney, Nestle, Tyson, Sara Lee, Aramark and more. Ira received the industry’s “Key Person Award” (IFMA) as well as the NRA’s “President’s Award” and has received numerous industry honors.
He has also been featured and quoted in most food industry publications (foodservice AND retail ) and media sources such as “The Wall Street Journal,” “USA Today,” “BrandWeek,” “People,” CNN, “Entrepreneur” and others… He is a published author of Ready, Blame, Fire! and the nationally acclaimed Managing Brand You… the recipient of the coveted “George Washington Honor Medal For Literary Excellence” (Freedoms Foundation) and has served as visiting university instructor at both The Foodservice Institute (The University of Notre Dame) and The Food Industry Institute (Michigan State). Ira was also the inaugural “Executive in Residence” at Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality. Very active in the foodservice industry, he manages “The Restaurant Industry Executive Council,” a group comprised of the CEO’s of the top 35 grossing restaurant chains in the U.S. and consults to The National Restaurant Association and The Women’s Foodservice Forum. He is also an advisor to Winsight Communications, the host of the first Global Restaurant Industry Conference (Dubai, Oct 2016) and the parent company to “Restaurant Business” and “Foodservice Director” magazines and Technomic.
Born and raised in rural Clinton, Missouri (mid-way between Kansas City and Springfield), Kim started her early work career out in retailing. She later worked for her father who, for many years, was a successful food broker, then the general manager of a large regional foodservice distributor (Springfield Grocer). Through that experience, Kim learned both the food brokerage and foodservice distribution sides of the business and excelled in areas related to marketing, customer relations and distribution strategies. After going to college, she met, and married, Ira Blumenthal, a food industry business development leader. In 1990, they co-founded the food industry’s historic creation and development of “The Supreme Court,” a nationally acclaimed “grab n’ go” food court in an American supermarket.
Kim and Ira are respected by both retail and foodservice publications as giving birth to the trend of restaurant brands moving into the retail arena. Together they founded their now (2016) 24 year old consultancy, CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc. Kim managed a national food service educational program for longtime client Coca-Cola. The program, called “ASK” (Always Share Knowledge), provided classroom and field training in foodservice for well over 500 sales and marketing professionals in over 30 states. Kim serves CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc. as its Executive Vice-President and has directly worked on client activities for well over 100 restaurant brands and over 25 food manufacturers. In 2015, she and Ira aligned with the Independent Broker Alliance (IBA) to lead that organization to new heights. Serving the IBA as its Associate Executive Director, Kim’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, communication, special events and member services..
Bert’s path to success however started with one person, a recreation therapist during his rehabilitation, and introduced him to wheelchair sports. Reluctantly he gave it a try and ended up competing as a wheelchair athlete on a global scale for 15 years, winning numerous international events including a gold medal at the 1992 Paralympics.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5