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Board of Directors

Board of Directors of the Challenged Athletes, Inc. d.b.a. Challenged Athletes Foundation

The exceptional Board of Directors of the Challenged Athletes, Inc. d.b.a. Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a huge part of the success of the organization. Each board member devotes countless hours and offers various strengths and expertise to ensure that CAF has a comprehensive strategic plan and vision for success. The Board Officers (Founders) are the individuals responsible for the vision to create what is now the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Jeffrey Essakow - Board President, Founding Member

Bob Babbitt - Board Vice-President, Founding Member

Rick Kozlowski - Founding Member

David Jochim - Treasurer

Dean Roeper - Secretary

Daniel Gade

Bill Geppert

Jeff Jacobs

Robert Kaplan

Stath Karras

Tabi King

Tommy Knapp

David Samson

Alan Shanken

Scott Stackman

Officers

Jeffrey Essakow – CAF President, Founding Member
Bob Babbitt – CAF Vice President, Founding Member
David Jochim – CAF Treasurer
Dean Roeper – CAF Secretary

Advisory Board Members

Clive Essakow
Sari Levy-Schorr
Justin Model


JEFFREY ESSAKOW

JEFFREY ESSAKOW

Jeffrey brings to this Board an incredible level of enthusiasm and determination that effects everyone who works with him. His expertise is in finance, has led to extraordinary fundraising efforts. The countless hours he has dedicated to CAF have been rewarded by the success our athletes achieve through the grants provided by CAF. His efforts are truly remarkable.

BOB BABBITT

BOB BABBITT

Bob offers CAF another example of dedication and long hours. As editor of Competitor Magazine, Bob interacts with disabled athletes competing across the country and recognizes their need for competitive funding. Bob's passion and creativity are great assets in the development of the CAF vision, as is his relentless promotion of this foundation.

RICK KOZLOWSKI

RICK KOZLOWSKI

Rick has a level of energy and organization that has led him to volunteer hundreds of hours to making sure the details are in line and that all runs well. He is the race director for the SDTC, and prior to the arrival of our Executive Director, took care of all the details of the SDTC and the daily operation of the CAF. His attention to detail and the numerous hours he commits to CAF are a huge part the success of the foundation

DAVID JOCHIM

DAVID JOCHIM

David Jochim was introduced to CAF through former board member Mary Curran of Union Bank. He is the Senior Vice President and Manager of Union Bank of California's San Jose Corporate Banking Group, and a competitive athlete having completed several Ironman distance triathlons and marathons. With twenty-two years of experience in commercial banking, David will be a strong asset in the financial management of the foundation.

DEAN ROEPER

DEAN ROEPER

Dean Roeper is a founding member of the law firm Teel & Roeper, LLP. He has extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions with an emphasis in the representation of developers, owners and operators of real estate and real estate-oriented businesses. An avid cyclist, Dean got involved with the Challenged Athletes Foundation with the creation of the Million Dollar Challenge and has been the event's Co-Chairman since its inception in 2006. His leadership and vision for MDC has been integral to the progression and longevity of the event.

DANIEL GADE

DANIEL GADE

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gade has served on active duty in the US Army for more than 15 years. He was seriously injured in Iraq in 2005, losing his right leg. With the help of Operation Rebound, Daniel has become a world-class cyclist and triathlete, winning his category in Ironman Arizona 2010, Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2010, and many other events. In summer 2012, Daniel competed in the Race Across America (RAAM), a 3000 mile bike race from California to Maryland. He is also a distinguished scholar, earning a PhD in public policy at the University of Georgia, and publishing numerous articles and book chapters relating to Veterans policy.

BILL GEPPERT

BILL GEPPERT

After a 35-year career in the communications industry, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cox Communications' San Diego operations, Bill Geppert retired in 2011 and immediately took on a new challenge: completing CAF's Million Dollar Challenge in 2012. The experience was life-changing and Geppert's involvement with CAF grew from there. In addition to his work with CAF, Geppert has served on numerous charitable boards in Southern California. He is an avid cyclist and golfer and will be instrumental in CAF's continued growth.

JEFF JACOBS

JEFF JACOBS

Jeff Jacobs was introduced to CAF through the QUALCOMM Million Dollar Challenge. He brought QUALCOMM on board as an event partner and title sponsor, and also rode the entire 640-mile journey. As the Executive Vice President and President, Global Development at QUALCOMM, Jeff will bring fresh ideas to the foundation.

ROBERT H. KAPLAN

ROBERT H. KAPLAN, Ph.D.

Dr. Kaplan is the Associate Director of the Master's in Applied Science Program in the School of Medicine at UCSD. He also is an adjunct assistant clinical professor at the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Dr. Kaplan is also a founder and partner with The Torrey Pines Health Group, Inc. and a founder of SeniorMetrix, Inc. Prior to his current ventures with TPHG and UCSD, Dr. Kaplan served as Senior VP for TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which provides health benefits under the U.S. Department of Defense's TRICARE program in 21 Western states. A long-time CAF supporter, Dr. Kaplan is one of only five individuals who competed in every San Diego Triathlon Challenge.

STATH KARRAS

STATH KARRAS

Stath Karras has long been involved with CAF, participating in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge as far back as 2005 and the Million Dollar Challenge back in 2010. He is Executive Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield and has more than 30 years of experience in the real estate industry. Stath will be an important part of CAF's growth for years to come.

TABI KING

TABI KING

Through her work in the prosthetics industry, Tabi King began as a volunteer in 1995, just after the first SDTC, to provide her expertise in disabled sports and execute media support. In 2000, she became the first full time employee of CAF in the role of Director of Programs & Development where she worked alongside Virginia Tinley to create the programs that exist today. She has played a strong role since the beginning in the strategic and operational development of CAF. Today Tabi works as the Group Marketing Director of the DonJoy Functional Bracing division of DJO Global. She currently sits on the board of directors where she continues to serve as a strong contributor to the strategic direction of CAF.

TOMMY KNAPP

TOMMY KNAPP

Thomas (Tommy) Knapp learned about CAF through his participation on the USAT PC National Team. As a congenital below-elbow arm amputee, Tommy has been a challenged athlete his entire life and has never let it stand in his way. He's founded and ran multiple clothing empires including True Textiles, Honolua Surf Co., and his current venture Club Sportswear. His athletic and entrepreneurial experience will provide the foundation with a wealth of knowledge.

DAVID SAMSON

DAVID SAMSON

David Samson just completed his ninth season in Major League Baseball and seventh as President of the Florida Marlins. In 2006, Samson became the first active President of a Major League Baseball team to complete the Ford Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. CAF's mission hit a "home-run" in Samson's heart and he became a "major league" supporter after choosing CAF as his Ironman charity; he has since brought in almost $100,000 to help physically challenged athletes compete in sports.

ALAN SHANKEN

ALAN SHANKEN

Alan Shanken has been actively involved with CAF since 2006, including co-founding CAF's Rock on the Green event in Northern California. Alan has over 20 years of experience in finance and has been with the Wealth Management group of the Private Bank at Credit Suisse in San Francisco since 1995. A congenital below-knee amputee, Alan has competed in Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, the Manhattan Marathon Swim and numerous other events. Alan's business and finance background coupled with his passion to help physically challenged individuals accomplish their goals will be instrumental in the continued success of CAF.

SCOTT STACKMAN

SCOTT STACKMAN

Scott Stackman became involved with the CAF in 2004 where he was one of the top fundraisers at the San Diego Triathlon Challenge. He was so inspired, that he requested to start a Gala in NYC. Scott Chaired the New York City Gala for Heroes, Heart and Hope raising over $1.4 Million dollars in its first 2 years. Scott's efforts were recognized as he was honored with Jim MacLaren award. Scott has over 20 years in the financial industry and is currently working as the Managing Director of Investments for the Private Wealth Management Division at UBS. He is also an accomplished triathlete who recently completed the Ironman World Championshiop in Kona, Hawaii. Scott will continue to be a strong asset and important part of CAF's future growth and success.