Board of Directors


Al has spent his entire working career in commercial banking and the private equity sector. He joined American National Bank (later SunTrust) in Chattanooga in the 1970s and remained until June of 2000. Al served in a variety of capacities, including President and Chief Operating Officer, for most of this time. He has previously served on several nonprofit boards including Goodwill Industries, The Creative Discovery Museum, St. Nicholas School and the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. For the past two decades he has managed a number of private equity funds at Tenth Street Capital, which he co-founded. A graduate of Davidson College and the Harvard Graduate School of Business, he and his wife, Joye, live in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Al Duke


Michelle Holcombe has 31 years of experience in operational accounting, with 19 years as a CFO for nonprofits. She is the owner of Pioneer Consulting that provides accounting and billing services to both for-profit and nonprofit companies. She is from Chattanooga, Tennessee and currently resides in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, reading, and spending time with her family.

Michelle Holcombe

Chief Financial Officer

Paul is an Attorney with 40 years of business and management experience. He currently serves as Corporate Director of Design and Construction for Eldorado Resorts, Inc., and has managed large construction projects both nationally and internationally. Throughout his career, he has represented Four Seasons Hotels, Caesars Entertainment, Starwood, Morgan Stanley, Israeli Development Bank, and government agencies. He is a licensed Attorney in the state of Oklahoma and Members of Native Tribal Law and Federal Court Bars. He carries a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating in Business and Political Science from Mississippi State University and MBA and JD from Tulsa University. Paul brings to the Board extensive and diversified general management experience, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, strategic planning, and business start-up and organizational skills. He is the father of a disabled Marine Corps Veteran. Paul and his wife Amy currently reside in St. Louis, Missouri.

Paul Davis

Frances M. Barker Photo #2.jpg

Fran is a Dispensing Optician with more than 25 years' experience in the Medical field. She also studied Business Management at Roane State Community College. Fran began volunteering with the 212th Engineer Family Support group serving as treasurer for many years. In 2010 she was selected to serve as the State Volunteer Coordinator, where she chaired State Council meetings and served on the Advisory Board. She has also volunteered for many years at the Tennessee National Guard Youth Camps and training for the Junior councilors. Fran has been recognized several times for her service, and received the Commanders Award for Volunteer Service in 2012. The National Guard units she works with have also recognized her over the years with Certificates of Appreciation. She and her husband, William were chosen as Tennessee Delegates to United States Department of the Army, National Guard Bureau, Army Family Action Plan in Wisconsin and later as National Guard families Delegate to United States Department of the Army, Army Family Action Plan Conference in Washington, D.C. In the Veteran community, Fran serves actively on the committee of the Wreaths Across America in Chattanooga. She is very active with the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council, Southeast Tennessee Veteran’s Coalition, Ocoee Regional Veteran’s Council, and Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Fran married William H. Barker, Jr., a Veteran, in 2001, and they have three sons, one of whom is a Marine Corps Veteran. She resides in Dunlap, Tennessee.

Frances Barker

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of a World War II Veteran, Janet graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies. She obtained a graduate degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. For many years, she was employed as a Tax Auditor for the State of Connecticut Labor Department and also worked as a Nursery School Teacher at St. Dominic Nursery School in Southington, Connecticut. She is an avid golfer, and has won five club championships: Worthington Country Club in Bonita Springs, Florida, Sea Trail at Sunset Beach in North Carolina, and 3 wins at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, Connecticut. She and her husband Don live in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Janet Jacobson


Tavis is a senior brand and business development executive with over 25 years' experience leading creative direction across digital and print channels at both full-serve advertising agencies and in-house creative teams. He has a proven ability to lead projects from conceptualization through final production, including product development, brand positioning, brand voice, identity development, brand standards, visual language, design thinking, user experience design, digital experience, content development, video and collateral materials. Tavis is passionate about building successful teams with the end goal cultivating client relationships and driving brand awareness to foster return on investment and business results for clients. He and his family reside in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Tavis Salazar

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Debbie Brown

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Linda Houghton


As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Wellness First, a privately-held, medical administration and sourcing company, Dale oversees the operations of a million dollar plus organization. He is a Navy combat Veteran, having joined the U.S. Navy in 1982 and serving in nine combat zones through his multiple deployments. He retired from Active Duty in 2005, after 33 years of service, and was transferred to the Fleet Reserve in August 2014. Dale holds a Bachelor or Arts degree from Florida State University. He began his career in Business Administration with the YMCA of the Florida's First Coast. He has served on several nonprofit boards and is an active Mason and motorcycle club enthusiast. Dale's son recently enlisted in the Navy, and his daughter also plans to enlist in early 2020. Dale resides in Chickamauga, Georgia.

Dale Garner

© 2019 Friends Of The Troops

Friends Of The Troops is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax-exempt to the extent allowed by law.

Friends Of The Troops

P. O. Box 21375

Chattanooga, TN 37424

(423) 599-9901


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