2022 Notable Military Veteran Executives

TCB’s 2022 Notable Military Veteran Executives have transferred leadership skills they developed serving our country to civilian jobs in industries ranging from fitness, food, and construction to government, technology, finance, and law. The 25 individuals have served our country in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and National Guard; some are still active members of the National Guard or military reserves. They also lend their time and expertise to organizations that support fellow veterans and service members.

Methodology: The individuals featured did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials. This list is not comprehensive; it includes only people who were nominated and accepted after editorial review. To qualify for this list, individuals must have at least five years of experience in their field and have shown the ability to effect change in their roles or areas of practice.

To nominate other best-in-class executives in their fields, click here.

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John Avenson

John Avenson

Senior vice president of technology, Minnesota Twins
In his nearly three decades with the Minnesota Twins, John Avenson has been a driving force behind the organization’s efforts to remain at the forefront of the technological landscape. He
Rick Barstow

Rick Barstow

Founder and owner, Fractional Toys
Following his four years of service in the Navy, Rick Barstow founded Fractional Toys, an Oakdale-based recreational vehicle rental company. Barstow started the company in 2012 after losing both of
Andrew Brightman

Andrew Brightman

Founder and CEO, Resolute Fitness
As a child and teen, Andrew Brightman was bullied for being overweight, and when he enlisted in the Army, he barely met the physical requirements. While serving nine years, including
Michael Buick

Michael Buick

Senior vice president and general manager, plant-based food and beverage, SunOpta
Since Michael Buick joined Eden Prairie-based SunOpta in 2017, the sustainable food and beverage company's plant-based business unit has doubled its revenue and more than tripled its profits. This growth
Shaun Carlson

Shaun Carlson

Director of R&D and continuous innovation, Arvig
Shaun Carlson draws on his more than 20 years of telecommunications experience to lead research and development, product development, process improvement, software development, and project management at Perham-based Arvig. In
Bob Frenzel

Bob Frenzel

President, CEO, and chairman, Xcel Energy
Bob Frenzel is chairman, president, and CEO of Xcel Energy, one of the largest public utility companies in the country. Under Frenzel’s leadership, the Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 expanded its goals
John Henka

John Henka

Founder and CEO, Lockleed International
John Henka drew on his four years of experience in the U.S. Marine Corps and more than two decades in the staffing industry to found Lockleed International in 2015. Lockleed
Jeremy Jacobs

Jeremy Jacobs

Executive vice president, managing director, and market leader, Colliers
In Jeremy Jacobs’ three years at Minneapolis-based Colliers, his focus on brand management has enhanced the professional services and investment management company’s media share of voice by more than 100% year
Amy Koch

Amy Koch

Political strategist, Hylden Advocacy & Law
After serving in the Air Force from 1992 to 1996 as a Russian translator, Amy Koch returned to her hometown of Buffalo, Minnesota, and began working with her family’s utility
Charles “Chip” Laingen

Charles “Chip” Laingen

Executive director, Defense Alliance of Minnesota
In 2011, following a 21-year Navy career, Chip Laingen was working for Minnesota Wire, a custom medical and defense electrical company, when he proposed a federally funded business alliance to
Chris Lauer

Chris Lauer

Vice president of order fulfillment, Digi-Key Electronics
After serving four years in the Air Force as an aircraft armament system specialist, Chris Lauer joined the civilian workforce and quickly rose to his leadership position at Thief River
Sean Linton

Sean Linton

Partner, EisnerAmper
Sean Linton helms the cybersecurity consulting division from the Minneapolis office of EisnerAmper (formerly, Lurie LLP) an entrepreneurial accounting, tax, and advisory firm. In 2021, his division grew by 40%.
Scott Lippert

Scott Lippert

Executive vice president, payment services operations, U.S. Bank
At Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank, Scott Lippert is responsible for operations across retail payments, corporate payments, and Elavon, a U.S. Bank subsidiary that provides payment processing solutions. When Lippert started at
Neal Loidolt

Neal Loidolt

President and CEO, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
After a 32-year military career in the Minnesota Army National Guard and the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, Neal Loidolt continues to serve at the helm of the Minnesota Assistance
Jon Lovald

Jon Lovald

Chief operating officer, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
Twenty-five-year Army and National Guard veteran Jon Lovald has dedicated the past five years to ending veteran homelessness in Minnesota. In his role as COO of St. Paul-based Minnesota Assistance
Eli Maloley

Eli Maloley

Founder and CEO, Vivacity Tech PBC
National Guard veteran Eli Maloley is the founder and CEO of Vivacity Tech PBC, a public benefit corporation that provides technology hardware to schools. He launched the St. Paul-based corporation
George Murray

George Murray

Chief operating officer, Reliant Systems
George Murray joined Zimmerman-based Reliant Systems as COO in April 2022; the company is a designer and manufacturer of high-precision linear and rotary positioning stages. Over the past eight months,
Gary Olson

Gary Olson

Deputy executive director of talent management directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Gary Olson served in the Minnesota and North Dakota National Guards for more than 30 years. During that time, his assignments included serving as a weapons systems officer and deploying