Board Of Trustees | American Battlefield Trust
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Board Of Trustees

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Thomas H. Lauer

Chairman of the Board

BS, University of Minnesota; MBA, Harvard Business School. Was a Managing Partner at Advent International Corporation from 1987 until his retirement in 2013. At Advent, held the positions of Chief Operating Officer and, previously, Chief Financial Officer. Worked at Prime Computer, Inc. where he held several senior positions and at the predecessor firm of Deloitte where he was a practicing CPA. Also served as an Lieutenant in the United States Navy. Currently serves on the Boards of Advent and the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.   

Robert Daum

Vice Chairman of the Board

BA, Colgate University; MBA, Harvard University. Retired investment banker and financial executive. Private investor since 2003. Serves on executive committee and board of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Sheltering Arms (a New York based social services agency), the Royal Oak Foundation (the US affiliate of the UK National Trust), the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and the Association of Lloyd’s Members (represents private capital at Lloyd’s of London).  Former chair of Out2Play which built over 100 playgrounds for New York City public schools.  Passionate about history and has visited most of the major Civil War battlefields as well as iconic battlefields throughout the world.

O. James Lighthizer

President of the American Battlefield Trust

BA, University of Dayton; Juris Doctorate, Georgetown University Law Center. Former partner, Miles and Stockbridge. Former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, Anne Arundel County Executive, and member of the Maryland Legislature. 

William W. Vodra


Graduate of the College of Wooster (Ohio) and Columbia University School of Law. Held numerous significant positions in federal service, including Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C., Assistant Chief Counsel for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Associate Chief Counsel for Drugs to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Served on expert panels for the Institute of Medicine and written extensively on food and drug law. Currently Senior Counsel, Arnold & Porter LLP and has been instrumental in securing the firm's pro-bono support for preservation issues. First joined the American Battlefield Trust Board in 2005 and currently serving his second term. He and his wife Dru have identified 21 direct and collateral ancestors who fought in the Civil War.

Travis K. Anderson


Yale College A.B. in history, 1977.  Joined stockbrokers  R.Gilder and Co. after graduation, became a partner in 1981.  Now called Gilder Gagnon, Howe & Co.,Travis has been CEO since 2006.  His wife Victoria Phillips Anderson teaches American Cold War history at Columbia University. 

Mary Abroe

BA from St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana; PhD from Loyola University Chicago. Her dissertation, "'All the Profound Scenes': Federal Preservation of Civil War Battlefields, 1861-1990," is a social and cultural history of Civil War battlefield preservation under federal auspices. She has taught on the high school, junior college, and university levels. Currently she teaches American history and the history of Western Civilization at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. Dr. Abroe has commented on and presented papers related to her interest in the Civil War era and historic preservation at a number of professional gatherings, including meetings of the Illinois State Historical Society, Ohio Valley History Conference, National Council on Public History, and Organization of American Historians. Her work has appeared in Civil War History; Mid-America: An Historical Review; the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society; the Journal of Southern History, and Cultural Resource Management (later CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship), a publication of the National Park Service. Dr. Abroe is a member of the board of trustees of the Civil War Trust and board of directors of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. She also is a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago.

Don Barrett

Graduate of the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss Law School. One of two partners of a 15-lawyer law firm called the Barrett Law Office, P.A. Involved in numerous high-profile law suits on behalf of clients. Awarded the Public Justice Achievement Award by Trial Lawyers for the Public Justice Foundation; provided foundation donation for the University of Mississippi Center for Civil War Research. Active with the University of Mississippi Foundation.

Edwin C. Bearss

Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service. Director's Special Assistant for Military Sites and former Chief Historian at the National Park Service. Winner of numerous history and preservation awards, including the T. Harry Williams Award, the Bruce Catton Award, the Alvin Calman Award, the Bell I. Wiley Award, the Harry S. Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the Field of Civil War History, and the Civil War Preservation Trust Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominated for the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal (presently under consideration under H.R. 2059).

Terry Beaty, Jr.

Graduate Princeton University and Harvard Business School. Strategic Advisor and a Senior Portfolio Manager for Brown Advisory, an investment management firm. Prior to joining Brown Advisory, he worked in the investment field for 42 years; co-founded Beaty Haynes & Associates, Inc. and served as an officer (President for the last six) of Davidge & Company. He serves on the following: Community Foundation of the National Capital Area, Fort Ticonderoga (Executive Committee), Princeton University History Department (Advisory Board), Montgomery County Historical Society and Decatur House (National Trust for Historic Preservation). An enthusiast of the Revolutionary War, he lives in an historic (circa 1700) home that is now on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally a tavern and stagecoach stop.

John Culberson

BA, Southern Methodist University; Juris Doctorate, South Texas College of Law. Prior to joining Clark Hill as a Member in the Government & Regulatory Affairs group, John served in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly two decades, representing Texas’s 7th Congressional district. During his Congressional career, John served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he chaired its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies and its Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. He also served as an active member of the Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security and on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies. In his first term in Congress, he served on the Transportation Committee, the Education and Labor Committee and the Science Committee.  Throughout his service in Congress, John also served as a member of the House Whip team. Before winning election to Congress, John represented west Houston as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1987 to 2001.

Jeff Dahlgren

Graduate, University of Southern California. President and CEO of AIRTECH, an international family owned and operated company that manufactures carbon composite products for aviation, aerospace, solar power, race cars, and marine industries. AIRTECH has plants in Los Angles, China, the UK, and Luxembourg. Active lecturer at a number of Los Angeles universities on international business. Heavily involved in two historic sites in Southern California: the Banning Museum House and the Drum Barracks.

Vince Dooley

Vince Dooly has a Bachelor's degree and a Master’s degree in history from Auburn University. For almost 50 years, he has had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia (UGA), Southeastern Conference (SEC), and collegiate athletics across the country, serving as head football coach at UGA from 1963-1989 and as the Director of Athletics from 1979-2004. His contributions to coaching and athletics administration are defined by his place as the only person ever to hold the presidency of both the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The most successful coach in Georgia history and the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history with over 200 wins, including one national championship, six SEC titles, and 20 bowl games, Vince is a true legend. He is also the author of several books and an accomplished gardener (He is the namesake for the Dooley Blue Hydrangea.).   

James L. Elrod, Jr.

Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners, Jim joined Vestar in 1998 to lead the firm's healthcare investment activities.  Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations, at Physicians Health Services.  Prior to that, Jim was a Managing Director and Partner at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., where he founded and ran Dillon Read’s Healthcare Investment Banking Group. Jim has invested in a variety of healthcare companies, ranging in size from $10 million to $1.2 billion in revenue.  Currently, he serves on the board of Veritas Collaborative. Jim received an AB from Colgate University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School.  He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, a member of the board of Yale New Haven Hospital, and is a Trustee Emeritus of Colgate University. Jim is the author of two books on healthcare finance, Hospital Financing and Refinancing Under Prospective Payment and Merging Health Care Institutions.  He serves on the faculty of Yale Divinity School, teaching courses on financial sustainability and crisis management for nonprofit organizations.

Rich Etzkorn

BS, University of Colorado. Rich joined Cushman & Wakefield in 1986 as a Property Manager and has over 33 years of experience in the commercial real estate services industry. He was most recently responsible for the overall management of a major international commercial real estate services firm’s specialized outsourcing services center in St. Louis, Missouri. Rich is experienced in investor services property management and project leasing. In addition to the Trust, Rich is also on the Board of the University of Colorado LEEDS Business School Real Estate Center and a member of numerous rugby clubs.

Van D. Hipp, Jr.

BA, Wofford College. Juris Doctorate, University of South Carolina. Chairman of American Defense International, Inc.; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army. Author of ‘The New Terrorism.’ Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden Leadership Award for National Security. Moderator for two Presidential National Security Town Halls for President Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election cycle. Has appeared as an expert commentator on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel over 600 times since the September 11th attacks.

William J. Hupp

BA, University of Michigan; MBA, University of Chicago. Recipient of the inaugural 2011 Private Equity Manager Leadership Award. Founding Board Member of the Midwest Chapter of the Private Equity CFO Association. Member of the NVCA/CFO Task Force. Partner and CFO of Adams Street Partners, Chicago.

Kate Kelly

Smith College, B.A. Writer and publisher of, a website dedicated to telling little-known stories of America’s past. This has led to many stories related to the Civil War. She is also author of Election Day: An American Holiday, An American History, as well as a six-volume history of medicine for the college market. She has collaborated with doctors and business people to write other consumer books. Former instructor at the Osher Institute, University of California at Los Angeles. Served as trustee for LupusLA, the Friends of Smith College Libraries, and the Westchester County Historical Society. 

Duke R. Ligon

Graduate, Westminster College and University of Texas Law School. Currently the owner/manager of Mekusukey Oil Company and represents many other businesses in the oil and gas industry. Formerly General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Devon Energy, Oklahoma City; Partner with Mayer, Brown & Platt, NYC; Senior Vice President, Bankers Trust Company; Partner with Hardesty, Whyte, Hemphill & Ligon, Washington, DC; Partner, Bracewell & Patterson, Washington, DC; and Director with Blueknight Energy Partners, Heritage Trust, and Security State Bank. U.S. Army, Captain, Military Intelligence, Bronze Star from service in Vietnam. Avid Civil War buff since he was 10, with three ancestors with Civil War lineage.

Jeffrey P. McClanathan

Jeff McClanathan is a partner with McClanathan, Burg & Associates, CPAs, St. Petersburg, Florida. Strategic Planning Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Chairman of the Board of Trustees President of HTR Foundation; Formerly Board of Trustees, Canterbury School of Florida; Board of Trustees, All Children's Hospital; Board of Trustees, Morean Arts Center.

Noah B. Mehrkam

BA, West Virginia University; MS, Johns Hopkins University. CEO of Arcland and Self Storage Plus Management, in Washington, DC; previously held senior real estate positions with The Rector Companies and Civil War Trust.

Richard Mills

BA, Franklin and Marshall College. A native of Huntington New York, Rich retired from the Marine Corps in Oct ’15 as a Lieutenant General at the conclusion of a 40 year career.  An infantryman, he commanded at all levels from platoon to Force including the historic First Marine Division.  He served in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, as part of Task Force Tarawa during the invasion of Iraq, as Commander, Ground Combat Element, Al Anbar Province, Iraq and deployed to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In June 2010, he assumed command of the newly-created ISAF Regional Command (Southwest) in Helmand Province and as such was the first Marine Corps General Officer to command NATO forces in combat. Rich also served as a United Nations Military Observer in Palestine, studied at the Royal College of Defense Studies in London and served on the staff of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Gaeta, Italy and the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart Germany. His final assignment was as Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve and Marine Forces Northern Command, New Orleans, La. Rich currently serves as President and CEO of the Marine Corps University Foundation and as a Highly Qualified Expert/Senior Mentor for the Department of the Navy. 

John L. Nau, III*

*Chairman Emeritus

BA in History from the University of Virginia. Previously served as the chairman of three top entities in the historic preservation realm: the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Texas Historical Commission, and, from 2009–2011, the American Battlefield Trust. Benefactor for a new University of Virginia Center for Civil War History, which will bear his name. Also endowed a chair in the History Department of the University of Virginia to ensure top-quality instruction on the subject of the American Civil War (now held by distinguished Civil War Historian Gary Gallagher). President and CEO, Silver Eagle Distributors, LP, the largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in the U.S. Served on a broad spectrum of civic, community, and philanthropic Boards in support of education, health and hospitals, inner city children, and urban parks and conservation, including the National Park Foundation, Greater Houston Partnership, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Texas State Historical Association, and Admiral Nimitz Foundation.

Marshal Oldman 

BA, University of Southern California; JD, University of California Los Angeles. Former Chairman of the San Fernando Valley Bar Probate Section, member of Executive Committee of Los Angeles County Bar Association Probate Section, Chairman of Probate Section of County Bar Association, Chairman of Legislative Monitoring Committee of County Bar Probate Section, President of San Fernando Valley Bar Association 1989, member of Board of Trustees of San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and member of Executive Committee of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section of the State Bar of California. Authored numerous articles for the San Fernando Valley Bar Bulletin, Probate Column for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Journal of Western Legal History, and for the Daily Journal Report. Numerous speeches before the Los Angeles County Bar Probate Section, San Fernando Valley Bar, Santa Monica Bar, Pasadena Bar, CEB, and other organizations. Served as expert witness in probate, attorney fee, legal malpractice, and federal estate tax matters.

Jeffrey R. Rodek*

*Chairman Emeritus

BSME and MBA, The Ohio State University. Senior Lecturer, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Former Chairman & CEO, Hyperion Solutions Corp. Previous executive positions with Ingram Micro and Federal Express. Board member of Accelrys Corp. (San Diego), BriefLogic, LLC, PTS Physicians, LLC, and Resource Interactive, LLC (Columbus). Member of President's Council, Colonial Williamsburg.

J. Dennis Sexton

Former President and CEO, All Children's Health System, St. Petersburg, FL. Past President, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions. Chairman, Child Health Corporation of America. Trustee, HTR Foundation.   

Charles E. Trefzger

Founder, President and CEO of Affinity Living Group.  Headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, Affinity provides assisted living and memory care services to residents throughout the Southeast. Affinity’s genesis is rooted in Trefzger’s entrance in Long Term Care in 1986.  Over the following decades, spanning a wide spectrum of hands on experiences, he has developed a keen understanding of the daily needs and challenges of the Senior community.  This is the impetus for his vision of providing value-driven, cost-conscious Senior Housing Services to those needing assistance with the most fundamental tasks of daily living.  This has remained his singular goal and foremost consideration for more than thirty years. Trefzger has served for twenty years on the Executive Board of the North Carolina Senior Living Association and serves on the National Board of Directors of Argentum, Senior Housing’s national trade organization. Trefzger holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University.  A licensed North Carolina attorney, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the Wake Forest University School of Law, and helped create the Wake Forest School of Law Center for Health Law and Policy. Married with three children, he resides in Hickory, North Carolina.

Bob Uhler

BS in Civil Engineering and Military Science, the United States Military Academy; Masters in Environmental Engineering, University of Florida. Registered professional engineer in 14 states. Retired from MWH Global Inc., one of the world's largest water engineering and construction global companies in 2012 after a 36-year career. In his last 12 years of service to MWH, served as the Chairman and CEO and currently holds the title of Chairman Emeritus. During service in Viet Nam, was awarded for combat action two Bronze Stars, six Combat Air medals, and two Army Commendation medals. Presently the President/Owner of The Uhler Group, which provides strategic advice and CEO mentoring for private equity firms' portfolio companies. Also serves on the Board of the Smithsonian's National American History Museum. 

Susan Whitaker

Graduate, Northwestern University. From 2003 to 2015, served as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, a cabinet-level position to which she was appointed by three consecutive gubernatorial administrations. In 2013, was named National Tourism Director of the Year by the U.S. Travel Association's National Council of State Travel Directors. Also served as the co-chair of the Tennessee's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Board Member for the Franklin Battle Trust, Secretary of the U.S. Travel Association's Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Tennessee State Fair Commission, and Member of the Smoky Mountains Park Commission. Although a Chicago native, she is a direct descendent of Tennessee's first Governor John Sevier.