Board of Directors

Colonel Patrick “Paddy” Gough (Ret.)
Retired USMC Colonel Patrick “Paddy” Gough is the COO and Executive Vice President for PKL Services, Inc. This leading global aerospace service company provides innovative maintenance, training, and leadership solutions to military and commercial customers worldwide. Prior to joining PKL, Paddy completed six years as the Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development for Orange County Transportation Authority. Paddy comes from a distinguished 30-year career with the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as the Operations Officer for both Third Marine Aircraft Wing and First Marine Expeditionary Force, in peacetime and in combat. He was assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (the Marine Corps equivalent of “Top Gun”) as an instructor pilot. He served as the Commanding Officer of an attack helicopter squadron as well as Commanding Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 39 and as the Deputy Commander of the Marine Corps Installations West. Paddy flew as a Naval Aviator in the AH-1J and AH-1T (TOW) Cobra as well as the AH-1W Super Cobra and the AH-1Z Viper aircraft accumulating approximately 4000 flight hours in peace and combat operations throughout his career. Paddy has been awarded the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Air Medal with the Numeral 2, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and numerous other unit and personal awards. He has also received civilian sector recognition as the 2009 California State University Fullerton Volunteer of the Year and was recognized as a California State University System Distinguished Alumni Working for California in 2011 and 2012. Paddy and his wife, Karen, live in Carlsbad, California.

 

Dr. Julie Zimmerer
Julie is a Doctor of Chiropractic (retired) and holds a Master’s of Science in Health Care Administration with a concentration in Biomechanical trauma and is the founder of My Choice In-Home and Senior Care. My Choice was awarded the Veterans Administration Homemaker Services contract through Loma Linda Healthcare Systems, where it aided veterans in their home recovery and daily living. Dr. Zimmerer frequently lectures on the subjects of dementia, Know Your Benefits, and how to care for aging individuals and enjoys educating others on the benefits of healthy living. Dr. Zimmerer and her husband, Bill, live in Dana Point, California.

 

Joe McNally
Joe grew up in Florida, Washington DC, and California. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science at UC Santa Clara and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Following law school, Joe served as a law clerk to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen, United States District Judge. Since 2008, Joe has worked for the United States Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office, investigating and prosecuting a variety of criminal cases including fraud, public corruption, and violent crime. He is presently the Deputy Chief of the Orange County Office, where he is responsible for supervising federal prosecutions. Joe lives in Newport Beach, California.

 

Michael Fleming
Michael Fleming recently retired as CEO of Parlour Enterprises, Inc., parent company of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants, which he co-founded in 2000. He also does educational and motivational presentations at industry conventions and churches. He is a court certified expert witness in roller and ice skating, family fun center, and restaurants with emphasis on design and operations. Michael has had wide variety of careers including Los Angeles Police Officer, CBS Sports Analyst, owner/developer of multiple roller skating rinks and family fun centers, and as a board member of A Million Thanks since its inception. He lives in Orange, California, with his wife, Robbin, and has four children and one grandchild.

 

Lauri Taylor
Lauri spent four years leading her mother’s murder investigation in both the United States and Mexico, but before that she was a marketing and branding expert who worked with professional athletes and premium lifestyle brands. She began her career assisting NBA professionals in developing their unique brand identities through endorsement opportunities, speaking engagements, public appearances and philanthropic associations. Her work in the field has also included event marketing and implementation, in which she partnered with corporate clients at major sporting events to increase brand awareness and consumer loyalty through advertising, media coverage and social opportunities for customers and employees. Lauri is an advocate for shameless communication about mental health, suicide and PTSD, and desires to use her platform to end the stigma of mental illness. Lauri is a graduate of SMU’s Cox School of Business, holding a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in Marketing and a minor in Spanish. She lives in Orange County, California and is the mother of two grown children.

 

Travis Lee
Travis attended California State University Fresno, graduating with a degree in Agriculture Business. He is a small business entrepreneur with numerous small businesses in development. He is also an operating partner of Farrell’s restaurants in Southern California. Travis has a deep background in general operations and event planning after spending several years in the hospitality industry, most notably with the Hilton Hotel Brand. He is a member of the National FFA Alumni Association and dedicates numerous hours volunteering with high school students in the FFA organization, coaching contestants in livestock, speaking, and debate. He lives in Upland, California, with his wife Ahlieah, daughter Mackenzi, and two adopted Greyhounds, Luna and Cosmo.

 

Brian Brinson
Brian Brinson began his career consulting for ecommerce companies in 1999.  After launching many successful campaigns for clients, he started his own ecommerce website in 2005.  Brian and his team launched many successful ecommerce websites. After selling a major portion of the company in 2009, Brian started consulting for other large ecommerce and service-based companies.  He has spent over 2.4 million dollars with Google advertising and is an expert in bringing the right traffic and converting those visitors into sales. Brian and his team have created and maintain A Million Thanks website and marketing.

 

Karen Gough
Karen is the proud spouse of Marine Corps Col. Patrick Gough (Ret.) and raised their two children through their fifteen household moves and her husband’s eight deployments. Regardless of her duty station, Karen has found a way to simultaneously take care of her family and direct her energy toward the Marine Corps Family. Prior to Karen’s husband assuming squadron command, she twice served as a Family Readiness Volunteer in Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron-169 (HMLA-169), once at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 (MAWTS-1), and once at Marine Aircraft Group-39 (MAG-39). One of the original facilitators for the Leadership Education Seminar (LES) Program at Camp Pendleton during the past several years, Karen has also served as the overall LES Team Leader. Karen has been an advocate for the Camp Pendleton Officers’ Spouses Club, serving on the Executive Board for over fifteen years. From 2002-2005, Karen served as a Volunteer at First Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF). In March 2008, Karen became the FRO for I MEF where she serves as the Special Staff Officer to the Commanding General as well as the overall Program Manager for the IMEF Family Readiness Program consisting of over 70 subordinate level FROs. IMEF is comprised of over 55,000 Marine and Sailors assigned to Marine units at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and Marine Air Ground Combat Training Center Twenty-nine Palms as well as their families. Karen coordinates the development of policies, best practices, and operating procedures for IMEF with Headquarters Marine Forces Pacific in Hawaii and Headquarters Marine Corps in the Pentagon. As the subject matter expert on Family Readiness, Karen is a member of the Commanding Generals Inspector Program Inspection Team singularly responsible for ensuring all subordinate commands within IMEF adhere to the published guidelines, policies, and regulations governing the Family Readiness Program. Karen retains oversight responsibility for the FRO Budget, Human Resources coordination, subordinate command FRO apportionment, VIP briefings, and interfacing with her Marine Corps Community Services counterparts at each installation.

 

Justin Brown
Justin was born and raised in Ventura, CA and has always been a leader within his community. He attended San Diego State University and received his degree in Liberal Studies and his K-8 teaching credentials. Justin’s first experience in the public spotlight came when he was on the Ventura Unified School Board as a young man. After several years of teaching, he was recruited into the beverage sales sector and has had the privilege to work at a number of well-known players in the industry. Justin currently is the Director of Military & Convenience Stores for Ballast Point Brewing and absolutely loves his role and his daily interaction with top U.S. Military leaders all around our nation and world! Family is the most important aspect of Justin’s life and he resides in San Clemente, CA with his beautiful wife Kirsten and his two amazing daughters Ellery and Emerson. Rounding out the family is his golden retriever Charley and chihuahua Coco. Justin is a proud American and his personal mission is to say thank you to every member of our Armed Forces that he meets.

 

What We're About

A Million Thanks Organization

Mission Statement – A Million Thanks provides support and appreciation to our active and veteran military men and women through sending letters and granting betterment of life wishes, as well as providing higher education scholarships to their children

From Military – Want to know what our troops think of your acts of support and appreciation? Click here to find out!