Email Operation Education
Phone: (208) 885-9026
P.O. Box 443201
619 Nez Perce Drive
Moscow, ID 83844-3210
Questions about giving?
Email Ed McBride
Phone: (208) 885-9026
Operation Education Development
Email Dan Button
Phone: (208) 885-7979
Bonnie Amos has a strong connection to the University of Idaho through her husband, Gen. James F. Amos, who is a University of Idaho alumnus (B.S Bus ’70) and Commandant of the Marine Corps. She is dedicated to providing help for wounded military personnel. She was instrumental in the creation of the first Run for the Warriors to Lejeune, an event dedicated to the men and women who have received a service related injury after Sept. 11, 2001.
Ruthie Nellis and University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis joined the Vandal family in July 2009 when he became the University’s 17th president. Ruthie earned a B.S. in earth sciences from Montana State University, and a master's of science degree in library and information science from Emporia State University in Kansas. “I am proud to be involved with the University of Idaho in supporting the Operation Education Scholarship Program, which provides the assistance permanently disabled veterans need to achieve their education goals,” said Nellis. “Operation Education is a vital scholarship program that serves those who have faced significant sacrifices in service to our country and builds on our legacy of leading at the University of Idaho.”
Jo Goesling grew up in Texas where she attended Texas State University. After college Jo went to New York to begin a 25-year career as a print and TV model/spokesperson with the Eileen Ford Agency. She was able to travel the world and saw many cultures that made her proud to not only be an American but to realize how fortunate we are here in this great country. Jo has spent the last 28 years as a military spouse and is the proud mother of a USAF Pararescue Parajumper - better known as PJs - and wife to Bill Goesling, USN Ret. Working with our veterans and helping them on their journey to a productive civilian life is a passion for Jo and one she takes very seriously. Jo feels that being Chair of the Advisory Board is an honor and a privilege and is grateful for the opportunity to help make a difference.
An Idaho native, David graduated from U-Idaho in 1971. Upon graduation he accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps via the NROTC program. After 18 years in Eastern Idaho with Merrill Lynch he relocated his business to the Merrill office in Boise in 1999 where he is First Vice President-Investments Financial Advisor and PIA Program Portfolio Manager at Merrill Lynch. David currently resides in Eagle and is married to the former Debby Boren of Mulvane, Kansas. David is very interested in providing all veterans an opportunity to continue their education and to have the necessary tools to cope with a changing society, especially those who have been injured in the line of duty.
A native of Pocatello, Don received his baccalaureate education at Harvard, his J.D. degree at the University of Chicago, and his LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia. He also graduated on the “Commandant’s List” of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. He retired as a Colonel and received the U.S. Armed Forces Legion of Merit award. His career has included private practice in Pocatello; service as a judge of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court and as executive director of the Idaho Judicial Council; as a judge on the Idaho Court of Appeals; and a faculty appointment, including a decade of service as the dean, at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville. In 2002 Don returned to his native state to join the faculty and serve as the law dean at the University of Idaho.
Nancy Johnston Byers (B.A.’69) and George Byers of Denver, Colorado are ardent supporters of the Operation Education program at the University of Idaho. The Byers definitely come from a military family: George was commissioned through the ROTC program at the University of Mississippi and served in Vietnam; George’s father was a World War I veteran; Nancy’s father served in World War II; the Byers’ eldest son, Jeff, was a member of SEAL Team 1 and since leaving the Navy, continues to serve the U.S. government overseas. Nancy is a Moscow native with a degree in Spanish from Idaho and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Mexico.
Steve is CEO of Phoenix RBT Solutions, a top supplier of reality-based training and products for law enforcement, military and private sector security. He has more than 19 years experience in law enforcement and training, which includes 14 years of US Government service. He has extensive hours of military and civilian law enforcement experience and training to include team tactics, combatives, rural special operations, non-lethal training ammunition, defensive tactics, ground defense, edged weapons, instructor training, patrol, investigations, medical/rescue, leadership and project management. Phoenix RBT Solutions, LLC, is based in Grangeville, Idaho, where Steve resides with his wife, Tammy and three of his four children: Brittany, Hannah and Logan. Their fourth child, Cody, is in the Air Force.
Barbara was born in Lewiston and came to the U of I in the fall of 1961, where she met her future husband, Wray Featherstone, then an ROTC student. After graduation Wray entered the USAF and was trained as a jet pilot and became a Flight Instructor. The Featherstones’ love of the University of Idaho runs in the family – at latest count more than a dozen family members have attended. They have chosen to serve on this council because they love their university and to honor and remember friends and flight students who served in Viet Nam, many who did not come home and others who suffered terribly as prisoners of war.
Richard (Dick) Heimsch, Professor of Microbiology, retired from the University of Idaho in 2004 after 32 years of service. During his career, he received awards for outstanding teaching and research from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) among others. A capstone was the leadership role he played in initiating, planning, and securing funding for construction of the $14.8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory addition to the Agricultural Science Building. Dick and his spouse, Prudence have three daughters, all UI graduates, and three grandchildren. Dick is currently serving as a Trustee on the Board of Directors for Gritman Medical Center and recently chaired the steering committee for the design and construction of the hospital’s Martin Wellness Center.
A career military officer, Ron Iverson spent 32 years with the US Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant General in 1997. He served as a fighter pilot with over 3,200 hours in the F-4, F-5, F15, and F-16 aircrafts to include two tours in Vietnam. Following his military retirement, he held a high-level position in the Department of Defense, was an executive with Northrop-Grumman, joined Lucent in 2006 as a vice president, and ultimately retired in 2012 as the CEO of LGS Innovations. During Ron’s military career, Penny Iverson served as adviser to such groups as Red Cross, Officers Wives Groups and served on an Air Force Blue Ribbon Panel to advise on the role of a commander's spouse. Both are graduates of the University of Idaho, Penny in 1964 and Ron in 1965. They have four children and seven grandchildren, and currently reside in Fairfax Station, VA.
Charley Jones of Boise earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Idaho. He is president and CEO of CJSD Holdings Inc., a company that operates more than 65 Stinker Stores convenience markets throughout Idaho. His professional career also includes 20 years with Stein Distributing Company where he began as controller and went on to serve as vice president and CFO, and finally as president and equity manager. He found an innovative way to support the University’s Operation Education program and the campus shuttle van: his company donates fuel to run the vehicles that give veterans and disabled persons transportation and easier access on campus.
Heidi Linehan grew up in Pocatello, Idaho and graduated from Idaho State University. She is married to Greg Linehan (B.S. Bus, ’68), and both Greg and their son, Thomas, served in the US Marine Corps. Heidi is executive director of Gritman Medical Center Foundation in Moscow. Prior to that she was appointed to the Idaho Wheat Commission and worked in the offices of Hayden & Ross, CPAs, in Moscow. In 2002 she accepted a position as development officer at the University of Idaho, where she was employed until assuming her current position at Gritman. Heidi was the visionary for the establishment of Operation Education, and served as its first development officer. She continues to have strong feelings about the role and purpose of OpEd in providing a means for our wounded veterans to attain a college degree without incurring massive student.
Jim Pilcher graduated from the U of I in 1970, and after serving three years in the US Navy, returned to Moscow and began his accounting career with Hayden & Ross, CPAs. He has served as chair and member of the Idaho Society of CPAs and the State Board of Accountancy, and currently represents Idaho on the AICPA Council. Jim married his high school sweetheart Judy (Terry) in 1968, and they have three children (all U of I attendees) and six grandchildren. He is an avid Vandal fan and enjoys golf in his leisure time.
George Stockton served the University of Idaho for thirty years before retiring in 2006. He returned from Vietnam in 1967 and felt displaced, not a part of his community, shunned. He wants to do something positive for returning veterans so none of them have to feel ignored and unappreciated for their sacrifice. Lindy Stockton retired from the University of Idaho in April 2011, ending over thirty years as both employee and student. She came to Moscow in 1979 and found a place that she never wanted to leave. Her dad was a WWII veteran. Her husband is a Vietnam veteran. What they experienced when they returned home from their wartime years could not be more dissimilar and she wants to do what she can to make sure that veterans coming home today know how deeply their service and sacrifice are appreciated.
Ed and Karen Whitehead are both natives to Moscow. After graduating, Ed was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy; three days later Ed & Karen got married and left for Groton, CT. for submarine school. He retired from the Navy 25 years later having spent most of his career in submarines either as a driver or as an Engineering Duty Officer with a tour in Viet Nam thrown in. Karen taught school, primarily K through 3, initially full time and later as a substitute teacher. Upon retiring from the Navy in 1986, Ed worked in the defense industry at Bangor, WA. They moved back to Moscow in 2001. The Whiteheads have four grown children. They enjoy traveling, golf, gardening, a home on Coeur D’Alene Lake and 16 grandchildren.