Our Mission

Founded in 2008, Project Hero is a groundbreaking national non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD

and TBI.  

History

Founded in 2008, Project Hero is a groundbreaking national non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD and TBI. 

Project Hero programs including Ride 2 Recovery events and Project Hero Community Centers work by producing positive outcomes at lower costs and reducing drug-based therapies.  The organization also builds and provides adaptive bikes to physically-challenged and injured Veterans and First Responders and founded the Project Hero Research Institute for Mental Health to support clinical research programs in 2016. 

Ride 2 Recovery started with a telephone call to John Wordin from a recreational therapist with the Veterans Administration (VA).  The therapist thought cycling would be an alternative therapy for PTSD and TBI treatment as well as physical injury rehabilitation. Based on John’s success as a professional cyclist and founder of the Fitness Challenge Foundation,  the therapist thought he was the right person to create the program the VA had in mind. 

Wordin launched the first Ride 2 Recovery Challenge event in 2008 with fourteen riders and no support staff.   By 2010, the organization was producing six Challenges events across the US with an average of 170 participants per ride and a full support staff including the Texas Challenge from San Antonio to Dallas, the Memorial Challenge from Washington DC to Virginia Beach, the Rocky Mountain Challenge from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Colorado Springs, the Great Lakes Challenge from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, the Golden State Challenge from San Francisco to Los Angeles; and the Florida Challenge from Tampa to Jacksonville. 

In 2011, R2R grew to seven Challenge events including Texas, Memorial, Florida, Golden State, Great Lakes, the 9/11 American Challenge on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, which began at Ground Zero in New York City, rode through Shanksville, PA and finished at the Pentagon and The Normandy Challenge, the first European Challenge event which traced the steps of D-Day and subsequent battles.

In 2012, R2R’s Battle of the Bulge Challenge hosted 147 riders as they rode through Belgium and Luxembourg, in addition to Texas, Memorial, and Golden State Challenges, and the organization added the Gulf Coast Challenge from New Orleans to Tallahassee, the Minuteman Challenge from Boston to New York and the Bluegrass Challenge from Cincinnati to Nashville. The Challenge events became so popular the organization established a limit of 200 participants per event and today they sell out early and have lengthy waiting lists, attesting to the power of the Ride 2 Recovery programs.

Project Hero has helped tens of thousands of our Healing Heroes at no cost to participants through Ride 2 Recovery cycling events, community-based programs in more than 50 cities throughout the US and by supporting research. 

Leadership

Executive

Terry Wall

Terry Wall
VP Strategic Growth

Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer
Chief Programs Officer

Jaimie Lynch

Jaimie Lynch
Executive Assistant and Women's Initiative Director

Candace Kaufman

Candace Kaufman
Director of Operations

Board of Directors

John West

John West
Board of Directors - Marketing

Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward (Ret.)
Chairman of the Board

Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Dan Ohman

Dan Ohman
CEO, Central Region, UnitedHea

Peter Z. Horvath

Peter Z. Horvath

Dennis A. Muilenburg

Dennis A. Muilenburg

Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Hororo (Ret.)

Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Hororo (Ret.)

Rear Adm. Mike Stocks (Ret.)

Rear Adm. Mike Stocks (Ret.)

Marketing/Development/PR

Peter Bylsma

Peter Bylsma
Director of Marketing Communications

Tony DeMaio

Tony DeMaio
Partnerships - West Region

Tom Berry

Tom Berry
Partnerships - Central Region

Patty Cohen

Patty Cohen
Partnerships - East Region

James Ehrman

James Ehrman
Marketing Development

Program Events Team

Joseph Coddington

Joseph Coddington
Ride 2 Recovery Operations Director

Jen Goodbody

Jen Goodbody
Ride 2 Recovery Participants

Leila Raffiee Shirazi

Leila Raffiee Shirazi
Participants Intern - R2R Programs

Project Hero

Jayme Brown

Jayme Brown
Program Manger - BAMC

Ray Clark

Ray Clark
Program Manager - WRNMMC

Nathan DeWalt

Nathan DeWalt
Operations & Training

Jason Whitman

Jason Whitman
Program Manager - Ohio

Equipment

Michael Manning

Michael Manning
Mechanic

Aries Miclat

Aries Miclat
Mechanic

Major Sponsors — Who make it all possible