Meet our team

Warren Gold | President & Co Founder / U.S. Army Veteran

Warren brings business acumen and creative vision to the organization. He has been a driving force behind the organizations growth from a social platform to a 501(c) (3), and if you spend any time at all speaking with him, it is quickly evident that he is very passionate about the work he does to get Veterans into the outdoors to experience the freedom and well-being it provides. Warren is an outdoorsman, and has traveled the world including several climbs in the Himalayas.

RJ Hillman | Vice President & Co Founder / U.S. Army Veteran

RJ Hillman spent most of his early years with a fishing rod in hand. His Grandfather was a huge influence in his life teaching RJ the early fundamentals of fishing. In 2011 RJ enlisted in the US Army as a Combat Medic. When he got out of the military, he was intrigued by the growing sport of kayak fishing and purchased his first kayak almost immediately after completing his active duty service. Little did he know at the time, but the purchase of that kayak would ignite a flame and passion for a sport with incredible potential.

Katie Backa |Fishing Program Manager

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership, and a love for all things outdoors, Katie was drawn to the organization after many years of working in the EMS and technical rescue field, including a voluntary deployment with the State of Pennsylvania for disaster relief after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Katie also comes from a family with a rich history in the armed forces; her mother, father, and older brother having a combined total of 36 years of service to our country. Because of the incredibly therapeutic benefit, Katie can be found fishing on the lake from her kayak most days of the week – something that she hopes to share with many other well-deserving public servants through her work with Operation Outdoors.

Chris Aguirre | Field Support Team Leader, Southern Region

For Chris, being able to share his passion for the outdoors by introducing Veterans to it, and letting them share in those experiences, means so much more than simply saying “Thank you for your service”. Chris supports the Regional Coordinator’s and is integral to the success of our initiatives.

Luis Verdugo | Field Support Team Leader, Western Region / U.S.M.C Veteran

As a veteran it is Luis’ honor to help his brothers and sisters in any way possible. Working with veterans is his life’s calling. The outdoors has brought peace of mind for him, and he wants to share that with as many veterans as he can.

Luis feels very fortunate to represent Operation Outdoors in California, and he looks forward to the many adventures we will bring to the heroes on the west coast.

Robert Carpenter | Field Support Team Leader, Hunting / U.S. Navy Veteran

Robert is a retired Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy and is heavily involved in the outdoors, primarily with bow hunting. Robert brings a wide range of certifications in the hunting realm, and has helped to define our hunting program.

Bryan Herr |Support Staff & Trip Guide – Texas / U.S. Navy Veteran

Bryan’s passion for the outdoors would not be possible without the sacrifices made by the Veterans that came before him. He is truly grateful that through Operation Outdoors, he is able to share his time in the outdoors, as well as his knowledge and experiences to help a Veteran in catching a fish of a lifetime.

Darrell Cureton |Support Staff – Missouri / U.S. Army Veteran

Darrel is driven to change the lives of those who served by giving back and creating a sense of freedom for them in the outdoors. Darrell supports the operations behind the scenes. Scheduling outings, and putting together our larger events.

SFC Aaron Sims |Regional Coordinator – Missouri / U.S. Army Active Duty

Aaron is truly passionate about the friendships, camaraderie, and fellowship that Operation Outdoors creates for those who have served. Getting to share fishing and hunting with Veterans makes being a Regional Coordinator easy. Aaron manages a volunteer team in Missouri.

Jeremy Mitchell |Regional Coordinator – Missouri / U.S. Army Veteran

Jeremy is proud to be able to share his passion for the outdoors by creating amazing trips that introduce Veterans to fishing and hunting. He is truly thankful that Operation Outdoors creates a social platform for Veterans to connect with other like minded Veterans.

Freddie Garza |Regional Coordinator – Georgia / U.S. Army Veteran

Freddie’s passion for kayak fishing began on a personal level, after personal and professional challenges occurred in his life. Fishing was an outlet to re-set his stress level, not knowing at the time that it was actually helping him with his anxiety and depression. Ultimately, his hobby became a resource for him to be able to help military personnel as they returned home from deployment.

Caleb Hill |Regional Coordinator – Colorado / U.S. Army Active Duty

Caleb is an outdoorsmen at heart. He grew up hunting and fishing in eastern Iowa and joined the US Army right out of high school. Caleb is still serving and stationed in Colorado where he serves as the Colorado Regional coordinator. His team is eager to build lasting memories, friendships, and provide an outlet for veterans and first responders through their passion for the outdoors. He and his team are gracious to Operation Outdoors for providing veterans and first responders the opportunity to enjoy the same outdoors they all love and cherish.

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