2015 Salute to Service Gala

  • DC - Salute to Service Gala


November 20, 2015

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Please join the American Red Cross to salute the service of committed men, women and families in the military and our community who help prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Salute to Service will be held at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, VA from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The annual black-tie tribute is the largest fundraising event of the year. Funds raised are transformed into services delivered every day in our community. Hundreds of military, government, corporate and community leaders join together for an inspirational evening that supports the programs of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region.

VIP Reception will begin at 6 p.m. Attendance must be confirmed in advance.


  • For general inquiries contact Lisa Futterman.
  • For media inquiries contact Nathan DeVault.
  • For sponsorship inquiries contact Jamie Kors.

  • Honorees


    Lifetime of Service Honoree - United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter

    Ashton Carter is the 25th United States Secretary of Defense. He was nominated by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the Senate, to replace Chuck Hagel as the U.S. Secretary of Defense. He was sworn in by Vice President Biden on February 17, 2015. Secretary Carter has spent more than three decades leveraging his knowledge of science and technology, global strategy and policy, as well as his deep dedication to the men and women of the Department of Defense to make our nation and the world a safer place.

    For his government service, Secretary Carter has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, DoD’s highest, on five separate occasions. He received the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to intelligence and the Joint Distinguished Service Medal from the Chairman and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    Secretary Carter is author or co-author of 11 books and more than 100 articles on physics, technology, national security, and management.

    Katelyn Van Dam Headshot

    Tiffany Circle Distinguished Woman Warrior Award - Major Katelyn van Dam, United States Marine Corps Reserve

    Katelyn van Dam is a full time graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. In her personal capacity, Katelyn is the co-­‐founder and Director of Strategy and Policy for No Exceptions, a nonpartisan initiative that supports the full integration of women into all combat arms specialties in the military. She is an alumna of the Center for New American Security’s 2014 Next Generation National Security Leaders program. She is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council.

    Katelyn was recently a guest on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Smart Women, Smart Power podcast. Katelyn’s series on military integration was published on War on the Rocks. Her article “For a Limited Time Only,” which spoke to best practices for mixed gender instruction at the entry-­‐level, was published in the Marine Corps Gazette. She also co-­‐authored an article title “Lead (Millennials), Follow, or Get Out of the Way” that was published on the U.S. Naval Institute blog.

    Katelyn is a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. She served on active duty for 10 years. In her last assignment, she served as a Staff Platoon Commander at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia teaching new Marine officers basic tactics and leadership. Katelyn is an attack helicopter pilot by trade. She flew for Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, based out of Camp Pendleton, CA. During that time she deployed to conduct combat operations in Afghanistan and counter-­‐piracy operations in the Horn of Africa/Gulf of Aden. Katelyn is a 2005 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. She is married to her amazing husband, David van Dam, a decorated Marine combat veteran.

    Red Cross National Capital Region - Salute to Service Gala - Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole

    Exceptional Service Honorees – Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole

    Senator Bob Dole

    Senator Bob Dole serves as special counsel in Alston & Bird’s Legislative & Public Policy Group in the Washington, D.C. office. The 1996 Republican nominee for president and former U.S. senate majority leader is one of the most sought after advisors in the public policy arena.

    A renowned statesman who spent 35½ years in Congress, Dole was first elected to Congress from his home state of Kansas in 1960 and to the U.S. Senate in 1968. He gained national prominence as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 to 1972. In 1976, President Gerald Ford tapped him to be his vice presidential running mate. He served as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985. Elected senate majority leader in 1984, Dole holds the record as the nation’s longest serving Republican leader.

    Dole has received national acclaim for his leadership on behalf of the disadvantaged and disabled. He is a major spokesman on issues involving veterans, hunger and nutrition, agriculture, and men’s health. He is respected on both sides of the aisle for his views on bipartisanship, deficit reduction, economic growth and health care, and for his mastery of foreign affairs.

    Senator Elizabeth Dole

    A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole graduated with distinction from Duke University as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. She has served as Deputy to the Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs during the Nixon Administration, spent six years as a member of the Federal Trade Commission, and two years as Assistant to President Reagan for Public Liaison. In 1983, she became the first woman to be appointed U.S. Secretary of Transportation, serving five years. She later served as U.S. Secretary of Labor.

    Elizabeth Dole was only the second woman to serve as president since Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. She totally restructured the world’s largest humanitarian organization during her eight years as president, serving as a volunteer in her first year. She led a massive transformation of the way the Red Cross collects, tests and distributes one-half of the nation’s blood supply. Following the Red Cross, she sought the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first viable female candidate from a major political party. Elected in 2002, Senator Dole became the first woman to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate. In 2012, she founded Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to raise awareness and support for the 5.5 million young spouses, mothers, fathers and other loved ones caring for our nation’s wounded warriors at home.

    Senator Dole has received numerous awards. Most recently, she was presented the Military Officers Association of America’s National Service Award and Easter Seals’ Outstanding Advocate Award. She was honored by Public Counsel Law Center with its prestigious William O. Douglas Award, the AARP Andrus Award, and the Former Members of Congress Association’s Civic Statesmanship Award.


    J.R. Martinez

    Read more about J.R.’s story here

    J.R. Martinez is an actor, best-selling author, motivational speaker, advocate, and wounded U.S. Army veteran. On April 5, while deployed in Iraq, J.R. was driving a humvee in Karbala when his front left tire hit a roadside bomb. He was trapped inside and suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body. He was immediately evacuated to a local medic station in Iraq and then on to Landstuhl, Germany, for immediate care. He spent 34 months in recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC/SAMC) in San Antonio, Texas. He has undergone 34 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery in the eleven years since his injury.

    During his recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient, who had just seen his body for the first time and had become withdrawn. After a brief visit, J.R. realized he had a positive impact on this patient and decided to use his own experiences to help others. He continued to visit patients every day sharing his story and listening to theirs. He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street.

    J.R. has since become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He travels the world spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He devotes himself to showing others the true value of making the most of every situation. He has spoken to troops at various bases around the world, as well as to such groups as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Red Cross, and dozens of universities, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies.

    Martinez is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit,” a memoir about how he was able to take his own personal tragedy and turn it into an inspiration for others. He has appeared on numerous T.V. Shows, most notablely on All my Children and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, where he was crowned season champion with partner Karina Smirnoff.

    Read more about J.R.’s story here: http://jrmartinez.com/bio/


    Gala Committee
    Joe Berger: President, Americas, Hilton Worldwide

    Joe Berger: President, Americas, Hilton Worldwide

    Rebecca Shambaugh: President & CEO, Shambaugh Leadership

    Rebecca Shambaugh: President & CEO, Shambaugh Leadership


    Chairman of the Board, American Red Cross in the National Capital Region
    Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Global Public Sector, Amazon Web Services

    Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross in the National Capital Region
    Linda C. Mathes


    • Sarah Abdow, Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Simone Acha
    • Sean Breslin, AvalonBay Communities
    • Karla Bousquet, IBM Corporation
    • Cheryl Campbell, CGI
    • Amy Caro, Northrop Grumman Information Systems
    • Diane-Casey Landry, DCL Banking Advisors, LLC
    • Patrice D’Eramo-Flack, Cisco
    • Renee Bailey Iacona, AstraZeneca
    • Joe Koszarek
    • Anna Maria Larsen, Lumenis Partner, LLC
    • Deana Mary, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
    • Major General Carl McNair, USA (retired)
    • Tammy Moore, American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces
    • Susan Penfield, Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Melissa Robinson, Hilton Worldwide
    • Bruce Schutte, Wine Pro Tours
    • Joyce Shields, Hay Group (retired)
    • Michael Spencer, Vangarde Strategies, LLC
    • Marta Wilson, Transformation Systems
    • Matthew Vaughan, Leidos
    Past Gala Committee Chairs:

    • JR Clark, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP
    • Gigi Schumm, AGS Group
    • Jim Sheaffer, Sheaffer and Associates


    Red Cross - Angeli Ferrette Headshot

    Angeli Ferrette

    Angeli Ferrette has performed across the US and abroad, appearing in concert, oratorio and opera. Ms. Ferrette collaborated with Maestro Robert Schafer in the City Choir of Washington’s’ debut performance as the 2nd lady in Handel’s Solomon. The Washington Post described her performance as “electric”. She was one of the finalists in The National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM)-Ben Holt Memorial Branch Competition-2011 and in the Harlem Opera Theatre Competition- 2013. She was a recipient of NANM’s 2012 Award of Artistic Excellence. She is one of the recipients of the Life Time Member Award by the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts and currently serves as corresponding secretary of the NANM – Ben Holt Memorial Branch. She received her education at the University of Northern Iowa and The Peabody Conservatory.

    National Capital Region - Salute to Service Gala 2015


    SoundConnection is a powerhouse of experience and artistry. This internationally award-winning, 10-piece party band features four lead singers and multifaceted instrumentalists, including horns, that electrifies its audience with a fully-immersive entertainment experience. SoundConnection drives the party creating uniquely-crafted, dramatic, and captivating moments your guests will never forget. They will be fully engaged, on their feet, and entranced by SoundConnection’s phenomenal energy.


    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    DC Salute to Service 2015 Sponsors

    Silent Auction

    A Salute to Service Gala is going electronic again this year! You will be able to bid from anywhere at the Gala during the evening’s festivities using your own smartphone or one of BidPal’s handheld devices. Please plan to join us and make sure to bring your smartphone.

    This year, you are also able to preview our Live Auction Packages before the Gala and bid on our silent auction items by visiting here. Auction items will be added before the event!

    For more information about the silent auction or to contribute an item, please contact Jordan Ritchie.