Our Staff and Board Members
Nick Watson, is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of VetEx. Nick served 5 years as a US Army Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Nick is a graduate of Airborne School, Ranger School, S.E.R.E. Survival School, Non-Commissioned Officer Primary Leadership Development Course, Combat Lifesaver, and Field Sanitation. He was involved with numerous national and international deployments. After leaving the military in 1995, Nick received a Recreation Management degree from the University of Vermont and has worked numerous outdoor industry jobs for the last twenty years to include Park Ranger, Biological Technician, Trail Crew Boss, Wilderness Guide, Field Staff, and Field Director. Nick has a great deal of experience leading groups of people outside. He uses this experience to design and create innovative trips and expeditions using a very talented volunteer staff of veteran leaders. Nick is committed to the community that is generated on VetEx’s trips and expeditions. He was recognized as 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for creating an outdoor community that extends back home with VetEx vets.
Dan Wiwczar, the Northeast Program Director
Eddie Owens, the California Program Director
Nathan Perrault, Colorado Team Leader
Daniel Pond, Colorado Team Leader
John Krueger, Colorado Team Leader
Our Board of Directors
Lee Hunnicutt, who serves as president of the board of directors, is a US Army veteran and two time Purple Heart recipient during the Vietnam war. Lee graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, SC and currently lives in Salida, CO with his wife, Susan, a local artist and gallery owner. Lee is an avid outdoorsman who can often be found boating and camping on western rivers, hiking, biking or riding his motorcycle. He is also a world record holding skydiver, a scuba diver and a woodworker. He is a business consultant and has long been involved in veteran causes. According to Lee, “Nature assisted therapy has helped me overcome many obstacles in life, from the stress of combat to the stress of daily life. At Veterans Expeditions, we see this at work every time we take a group of veterans into the backcountry.”
Elizabeth Ritchie is the Secretary of the Board. She spent 25 years in the US Army Nurse Corps and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. She has continued her service by volunteering to help organizations maximize their potential in helping others. As the lead nurse for the Chaffee County chapter of the American Red Cross she is active in disaster response work in the region. The research she conducted with the local Chaffee County Healthcare Coalition demonstrated the need for urgent care and more primary care. While serving on the board of the Salida Sangha she helped organize yearly meditation retreats and supported education programs in the community. Her many talents make her an invaluable resource in helping injured veterans get back on their feet and return to a productive, quality life style.
Peter Bond is the treasurer of the board and a US Navy veteran. He served aboard the USS Belknap DLG-26 as a Sonar technician, 2nd class from 1963 to 1967. Peter received a Tech Forestry certificate from Lassen Community College and graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in Environmental Resources and a major in Park Management. Peter worked for Oregon State Parks for 29 years and retired as the Deputy Director. He has served on the board for the Colorado Mountain Club, the Steamplant Theater, and the Friends of Browns Canyon. You can find Peter rowing whitewater, hiking, and enjoying all that Colorado and the West has to offer.