Shawn hertz- chairman of the board
Big Sky Bravery has given me the privilege to meet the very best of what America stands for, individuals who make sacrifices every day and continue to endure. They are the heart and soul of America. We have only six days with these heroes to decompress, energize, build trust and brotherhood for years to come. We provide the personnel and activities... Montana provides the adventure, beauty and solitude.
While getting to know these men during the week, they have made me laugh, touched my heart and most of all made me proud. My hope is that BSB will be there for them for years to come.
Shawn is a fourth-generation Montanan who grew up near Clyde Park. He graduated from Helena College of Technology, then spent four years in banking. He soon discovered his desired career was in the brokerage and investment planning side of the business. Now 30 years later, he continues to help individuals and families pursue their financial goals.
Shawn is a strong contributor to the Bozeman community. He has been a resident of Gallatin Valley since 1983. Shawn is married to the love of his life, Meg, with family Hannah (Andy ) & Chad.
Dustin Barber - VICE CHAirman of the board
Dustin was born and raised on an Angus cattle ranch in rural Central Montana; a place where hard work, honesty, integrity and fortitude were woven in the fabric of the American west. As a lifelong native of this great state, Dustin understands and treasures the restorative, galvanizing power of the mountains, rivers and lakes across the majestic Big Sky Country. As an outdoor enthusiast, Dustin reveres his time in the wilderness with his wife (Shannon), his daughter (Ryan), his friends, and the remarkable individuals in our Special Operations Forces.
As Vice-Chairman, Dustin strives to ensure Big Sky Bravery remains a viable organization in perpetuity so the honorable men and women serving in the most elite echelons of America’s military can experience Montana’s regenerative and stimulating capabilities, while returning to continue to defend our nation’s freedom.
“One distinguishing characteristic of really civilized men is foresight; we have to, as a nation, exercise foresight for this nation in the future; and if we do not exercise that foresight, dark will be the future!” -Theodore Roosevelt
Blake Dobson - board member
Blake currently resides in Bozeman, Montana with his fiancé Abby and their two dogs. He loves to live, work, and play in one of the most magnificent places on earth. He could not feel more fortunate and honored to share it with some of the best men on the planet. "Big Sky Bravery fills a vital niche and looks to serve those who protect and serve us all. I was thrilled to be able to help such an amazing program and look forward to all the adventures and friendships to come." Blake grew up in Birmingham, Michigan where he learned about the woods, rivers, and the creatures of the land early on with his father. After graduating from Michigan State, he moved west to search for bigger mountains and wilder places. After working for years as a cowboy and horsemen from Oregon to the the Caribbean he settled in what he thought was paradise. "It's here that I hunt, fish, ride (4 legged, wheeled, board or skis), camp, float, hike, shoot, explore, all around enjoy the great outdoors, and the great freedom that comes from them; freedom that these warriors, these amazing souls have given their ultimate sacrifice to protect and endure. It's about time we shared some true Montana with them and help them remember what they're fighting for and that there's places like this for them when they open the next chapter."
Dave Cohen - Board member
After growing up in the south and occasionally playing in the Appalachian Mountains, Dave headed out west to play in the Rocky Mountains as an adult. The mountains have become his home, where he works and plays. He spent 10 years as a ski patroller at Crested Butte and Moonlight Basin, a few years working with at-risk youth in wilderness programs, and many years building things from furniture to homes. In his free time, Dave enjoys mountain biking, hiking, fishing, skiing, and standing on top of mountains. He currently lives on a ranch with his wife, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and too many horses.
Mitch hanson - board member
Growing up in Montana and having a father in the military makes Big Sky Bravery a perfect fit for Mitch. Getting to work with great men like this and showing them what Montana has to offer has proven to be one of his biggest passions."Seeing the smiles on the faces of these men lets us all know they are at the right place at the right time."
Mitch grew up in Deer Lodge, MT and spent most of his life in various towns throughout Montana. He played football for Rocky Mountain College where he received degrees in Business and Exercise Science. Mitch spent many years in the fitness industry and now pursues a career in real estate in Bozeman. He enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and exploring all of Montana with his wife, Emily, and their two dogs.
Big Sky Bravery Advisors
Charles B. Cromwell- Attorney Advisor
Charlie is a firm believer in service, both individually for his country and professionally. Since graduating law school at the University of Montana, Charlie has worked as a legislative fellow in the U.S. Senate, co-founded a startup technology company, and has advised companies and partnerships as both in-house and outside counsel. Charlie is also a Major in the U.S. Army JAG Corps (National Guard).
As an Iraq War veteran, Charlie understands the critical importance of Big Sky Bravery’s mission and is honored to serve on the Board to help ensure our nation’s elite forces receive the support and recognition they need and deserve.
Brian Lapka- Executive Intern
Brian grew up a patriot at heart in the rural ranching community of Montana. Currently at Montana State University, he is a dedicated student and outdoor enthusiast. He takes every possible moment to enjoy the phenomenal scenery and activities that Bozeman provides. Stumbling across Big Sky Bravery by complete chance, he saw an opportunity to serve those who serve and advance his formal and personal education by learning from these great men. “These courageous individuals have given their lives to service, I now have a chance to show my appreciation for their ultimate dedication. I am excited to help give them the opportunity to enjoy what they have fought to preserve and protect for so long”. With a family history of service, he is personally motivated to give back to the brave men and women who serve this great nation.
“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it, it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it” - Unknown