Ever wonder how your favorite celebrity became a spokesperson for a national brand? Why your beer of choice is supporting veterans? How your home team chooses the charities that they support? It takes more than a one-night-stand to make these relationships worthwhile. It takes dates, flirting, compromise and commitment. Most importantly, it takes shared goals and vision. We'll show you how Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a national non-profit, non-partisan group supporting our nation's newest generation of veterans has established a multi-year partnership with Miller High Life, the San Diego Padres, and celebrities that support their mission. Together, they are literally changing lives through a program that will give up to $1 million in experiences to veterans. In a world where everyone is online and new technology, websites and companies are cropping up everyday, brand loyalty is difficult to maintain. It is critical for brands to ally with the organizations and people that support their ideals, and give their audiences a reason to believe their messaging.
Born Dec 30, 1962 - Age: 48
3 children – Christina (26), Steven (21), and Andy (16), 1 grandson Geoff (5) and another on the way in a few months
Born in Essex, England
Raised in Clearwater, FL 1st grade through high school
College at University of South FL & Community College of the Air Force
Enlisted in the USAF Dec 1982, retired Dec 2002 as a Master Sgt
- 15 years computer analyst in aircraft maintenance
- 5 years Special Operations flight test engineer
- Ran Combat Training Teams (Opposing Forces) throughout his career
Diagnosed with moderately advance testicular cancer Oct 16, 1996 at the age of 33
- 2 surgeries and 2 rounds of chemotherapy, treated at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
Founded the Testicular Cancer Resource Center (http://tcrc.acor.org) late 1996, over 1M visitors
- First “all aspects” resource for TC survivors of its kind
- Met Lance Armstrong via email after he visited the site, lead to interview / friendship
Co-founded Cyclists Combating Cancer with Damon Phinney (pro cyclist Davis Phinney’s father)
- Email listserv with hundreds of participants
- Support group / fundraising group, raised over $2M for LIVESTRONG
One of the original volunteers for the Lance Armstrong Foundation - 1997
- First web designer, and cancer advocate at initial “Race for the Roses” cycling event in 1997
Founded LanceArmstrong.com in 1998
- ESPN the Magazine’s athlete website of the year (2000)
- Did all design and content creation
Long-time cycling journalist for Lance and his teams
- USPS, Discovery Channel, Astana, and Team RadioShack
- Has covered the Tour de France 12 times, written hundreds of articles on cycling (and cancer)
Rode across USA with Lance and other member of the cancer community in 2003 on the Tour of Hope
- Provided athlete / journalist support for 2004-2005 programs
Joined LIVESTRONG Staff full-time in March 2004
- Initially split between cycling journo and LAF IT staff
- Took over Grassroots Fundraising for LAF in 2008
- Currently a Senior Manager in Development, overseeing internal / external communications and special project management for the development (fundraising) staff
- Frequent guest speaker and video / written content producer for LIVESTRONG
As Director of Strategic Partnerships at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Katie oversees all of the organization’s relationships with external partners, with a special focus on IAVA’s veteran outreach campaign with the Ad Council. Prior to joining IAVA, Katie managed marketing for teacher recruitment at the NYC Department of Education and directed the development and production of various PSA campaigns at the Ad Council. She graduated from New York University with a Masters in public administration and a BS in marketing, management and journalism.
Paul Rieckhoff, 35, is the Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA),
America’s first and largest organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. A nonpartisan, non-profit founded in 2004 with over 180,000 members in all 50 states, IAVA’s mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families.
From 2003 to 2004, Rieckhoff served as an Army First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq. A
nationally recognized authority on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and a broad range of issues affecting troops,
veterans and their families, Rieckhoff has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs. His recent
appearances include: NBC’s “Nightly News,” ABC’s “World News With Charles Gibson,” CBS’s “The Early
Show” and “Dr. Phil Show,” PBS’s “Tavis Smiley,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” and “ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,”
CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,”
and numerous NPR programs.
He contributes regularly to the New York Times, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles
Times, Washington Post, and Newsweek, and is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post, Military.com, and
Rieckhoff was recently inducted into the Global Ashoka Fellowship in recognition of his innovation and
entrepreneurship on behalf of new veterans. Named one of GQ’s “50 Most Powerful People in D.C.” in 2009, Rieckhoff has been honored with the Common Ground “Celebrating Home Award” and the Generation Engage “Lewis Cullman Civic Engagement Award” for his
leadership in the service community. In 2004, he was also honored by Esquire magazine as one of “America’s Best
and Brightest.” Rieckhoff is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and also serves on the New York State Council on Returning Veterans and their Families.
Rieckhoff’s first book, Chasing Ghosts, a critically-acclaimed account of his experiences in Iraq and advocacy on
behalf of veterans, was published by Penguin in May 2006 and released in paperback in May 2007.
Rieckhoff enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998 and completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He then served in the U.S.Army Reserves, as a Specialist with the 812th Military Police Company. While working on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan in 1999, Rieckhoff transferred to the New York Army National Guard, graduating from Officer Candidate School in June 2001 where he was named a Distinguished Military Graduate. Rieckhoff selected infantry as his branch and joined A Company, 1/105th INF (Light).
Rieckhoff left Wall Street on September 7, 2001 with plans to travel and complete additional military schooling.
Those plans would change dramatically when on the morning of September 11th he heard the first plane hit the
World Trade Center. Seeing the smoke from his rooftop, Rieckhoff immediately joined scores of volunteers serving
in the rescue effort at Ground Zero. His National Guard unit was formally activated for rescue and security
operations later that evening. In February 2002, Rieckhoff began Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduating in June of
2002. In January 2003, Rieckhoff received the call to deploy to Iraq. Two days later, he joined the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia where he was assigned as a Platoon Leader for 3rd Platoon, B Company, 3/124th INF (Air Assault) FLNG.
The unit was attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and spent almost a year conducting combat operations in
Baghdad, Iraq. Third Platoon conducted over 1,000 dismounted and mounted combat patrols. All thirty-eight of the
men in Rieckhoff's platoon returned home alive.
Rieckhoff was released from active duty in March 2004 and the National Guard in 2007. He is a staunch political
independent, and his organization is not affiliated with a political party or candidate. A 1998 graduate of Amherst
College, he currently resides in New York City.
"SXSW" and "South By Southwest" are registered trademarks of SXSW Inc.
Any unauthorized use of these names, or variations of these names, is a violation of state, federal and international trademark laws.
All SXSW art and text on this website are copyrighted. ©2010 SXSW, Inc.