Board of directors
Adam & Alecia - Co-founder/Executive Director
Married since 2004, Adam & Alecia have 2 children. Adam is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for hunting and duck dogs. This passion turned into a dog business where the couple have been breeding, boarding, and training gundogs for over 15 years. Since 2006, they have owned & operated Hollow Wood Kennel located in Flintstone, Ga. just 8 miles south of Chattanooga, TN. Retriever training was replaced with service dog training once the couple discovered the world of PTSD and how canines impact our warriors returning home from battle. In addition to owning the kennel, the couple own & operate some local ACE Hardware store in the north Georgia area (Flintstone & Dalton).
Amy Rutherford - Admissions
Amy received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Soon after she graduated she returned to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to work as the Program Coordinator for the Disability Resource Center. While working full time as the Program Coordinator she completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During the last few years she has worked with colleagues to publish a four year curriculum through Jessica Kingsley Publishers for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.
Amy is currently working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and taking courses to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst through Florida Institute of Technology. She has experience teaching classes, facilitating social skills groups, conducting individual therapy, program development, grant writing and community outreach.
Brad Davis - Secretary/Finance
Matthew Weitz - Co-founder/Army Veteran
Matthew was born in July of 1983. He was born in Carrolton, GA but grew up in Flintstone, GA. He graduated from Ridgeland High School in 2001 and attended Chattanooga State for a year after graduation. After the Events of Sept, 11 2001 he felt inspired to serve his country in her time of need. On August 22 2002 He enlisted in the US Army. When it came time to pick his job he could think of no other way to serve than on the Frontlines. After graduating from basic training and advance individual training in Fort Benning, GA he was stationed in Hawaii at the 25th Infantry Division. During his time in Hawaii he was assigned to the 27th Infantry regiment who are known as the “Wolfhounds”. During his time in the Wolfhounds he served in a various number of roles and positions. He was deployed to Iraq twice with the Wolfhounds. The first tour of duty was from Jan 2004-Feb 2005 in a forward operating base in Northern Iraq. During this deployment he held the rank of PFC and SPC while preforming roles such as rifleman and .50 cal gunner. The second tour was from Dec 2007-Feb 2009 in the capital city of Baghdad. During this deployment he held the rank of SGT and SSG while holding the position as Squad Leader and Sniper Team Leader. During his time in service he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Good Conduct Medals and two Overseas Service ribbons. He attended Airborne school, Air Assualt school, Sniper school and Warrior Leader Course. He left the service on Dec 16 2009 and returned home to Flintstone, GA.
Upon returning he finished his degree at Chattanooga State in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife. He was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after his 2nd deployment and in a attempt to deal with the hyper arousal and anxiety brought on by this condition he began taking prescription anxiety medicine. Slowly he became addicted to this medication and as the guilt and depression increased so did his use. After 5 years of active addiction he woke up one morning and decided he would no longer use his time in war as an excuse to be an addict and drove himself to a rehabilitation center. After completing treatment he went in search for alternative forms of therapy where he found the use of dogs to treat issues arising from his time in Iraq. He applied for a service dog and was denied because of his previous history of substance abuse. He then went in search of his own dog he could train and this is when he met Adam Keith.
Becky Welch -
Tom Rowland - Fund Raising/Marketing
Capt. Tom Rowland grew up in Chattanooga, TN where he developed a love for fishing while spending time with his father. The hours they spent together established a firm foundation for the passion that Tom now has for all types of fishing. While working in Yellowstone National Park, Tom was able to backpack every area of the vast Park and fish the wild backcountry streams. This adventure lead him to a career in guiding originating in Jackson Hole, WY. Second generation outfitter, Joe Bressler helped Tom learn the guiding business giving Tom a huge head start in achieving the level of success that accompanies him today. After 7 seasons as a drift boat guide on the greatest Western Rivers, Tom was ready to begin his saltwater career. Beginning in Key West, Tom spent a year learning the water before he ever took a paying customer.
Artist Peter Corbin was Tom’s first paying customer and they enjoyed unbelievable success from the get go. On that fateful day, Peter landed 2 Permit on fly in a half day of fishing. Finding that accomplishment difficult to top, Tom worked hard on every charter and quickly developed a reputation of being a patient, extremely hard working and enthusiastic guide. This reputation spread like wildfire and soon Tom was booked constantly. After marrying the love of his life, Tom and Cynthia delivered two wonderful boys and a perfect little girl. Tom’s free time is devotedly spent with his family…sometimes fishing.
Flyfishing has always been important to Tom and he has spent hours daily, perfecting his fly casting and teaching techniques. In Los Angeles, Tom recorded a 131 foot fly cast with a standard 5 weight fly line and 9 foot graphite fly rod. In 2000, Tom competed in the inaugural ESPN Great Outdoor Games in Lake Placid, NY and won two medals, a silver in the Fly Casting division and a Gold in the Overall. Since 1997, Tom Rowland’s tournament record includes more than 65 championships, divisional wins or top 5 finishes in international, national, regional and local tournaments for a wide variety of species. These wins come from fly fishing tournaments as well as conventional tackle tournaments in fresh and saltwater against an international field.
The local tournament success lead Tom to try the national tournaments. The Redfish Tournaments were designed for a two man team. Tom had fished against Rich Tudor in numerous tournaments and respected his abilities. Together they formed a great team and a great friendship. Success followed and they gathered sponsors as quickly as they gathered tournament wins. The tournaments were a stepping stone to the television success they now have.
If his name or face is familiar, it may be because he has demonstrated at fishing shows around the country, published articles and photography in books and magazines and filmed more than 30 nationally televised fishing shows before creating Saltwater Experience.
Saltwater Experience is the culmination of Tom Rowland’s fishing goals by allowing others to see what captivates Tom to obsession.
Pete Moore - Veteran Mentor/Finance/Chief of Staff -
Pete Moore of Chattanooga, TN retired after over 30 years serving our country in the Army. Many combat deployments have given Pete a great understanding of what our warriors are going through when returning home. Pete brings a high level of expertise in all areas related to the military, our veterans, and mentoring to restoration.