Waukesha County Community Foundation

Attn: Wisconsin Hero Outdoors Fund
2727 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 301
Waukesha, WI 53188


Eric Falkner

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Eric began his military career in the Army ROTC program at Marquette University and shortly after 9/11 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps where he was medically discharged. Following the Marine Corps, Eric worked as a Senior Regional Manager in the
Securities, Insurance and Mortgage Financial Services industry overseeing over 2 dozen representatives in WI, MN and IL. He’s also worked as a Firefighter, Fire/Rescue/Dive Team, and Dispatcher. In addition to being the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Wisconsin Hero Outdoors, Eric is finishing his degree at Marquette University in Business Administration with a major in Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as being a full-time stay-at-home dad for his two boys ages 3 &1.


Jason Bartol
Co-Founder & President-Board of Directors

Jason served over 12 years in the United States Air Force, also worked as a Franklin Police Officer and subsequently a Federal Air Marshal where he was medically retired. Jason co-founded Wisconsin Hero Outdoors and serves as the President of the Board of Directors and is a stay-at-home dad for his 2 girls.


Nick Harnish

Development Director
Vice President-Board of Directors

Nick enlisted in the U.S Army at the age of 17, he then spent most of his young adult life serving his country as an Infantryman and a University Resource Officer. Nick left the protective service industry to work in Outdoor Adventure/Education and Youth Development. Nick has worked throughout the country running high adventure programs, camps, and residential educational facilities. Nick now serves as the State Program Coordinator for the WI national Guard Child and Youth Services and is finishing his Master’s of Science Degree in Human Ecology and Public Humanities. Serving as Wisconsin Hero Outdoors’ Chief Operation Officer and Vice President of the Board allow him to combine his service experience, with his education and his passion for healing through the outdoors and eco-therapy. 

Robert Johnson

Co-Founder & Operations Director
Board Secretary & Treasurer

Robert began his career by starting a painting business in Illinois shortly after graduating high school.  He then used that business to pay for studying Business Administration at Western State of Colorado.  Then he joined the Army in Montana which took him to Washington State where he was an Army Ranger with the 2/75 Ranger Regiment.  5 years later he left the military and started Cascade Home Inspections, Inc.  During that time, he also started another business called Northstar Digital Media, Inc in which he provided internet solutions to small and medium size businesses.  When the terrorist attacked on 9/11, he felt the need to serve his country again and became a Federal Air Marshal. Adding another business to his resume, Robert now runs a small garment and promotional company called Specink Designs, LLC.   Co-Founding and serving as the Chief Information Officer of Wisconsin Hero Outdoors, Robert has a wide and diverse background to accomplish the mission of helping those who serve and served.

Matthew Cade
Public Relations Coordinator
Matthew served 12 years in the United States Coast Guard as a Boatswains Mate. After separating from the Coast Guard, Matthew enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he is currently pursuing his Journalism, Advertising and Media Relations degree with a focus in Journalism. Matthew is also a stay-at-home dad to 2 beautiful girls while his wife serves as a nurse at the Milwaukee VA Hospital.

Tyler Thiede
Northwest Wisconsin Program Coordinator

Tyler has been with us from the beginning, donating his business (Small Craft Outfitters) fleet of Feelfree Kayaks, Bending Branches paddles, and guide services to various events in Northwest and North Central Wisconsin.  
Tyler lives in the small town of Spring Valley, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids and has a passion for kayak fishing and the outdoors.  There he is an IT consultant by day, a small business owner and volunteer EMT in his free time.  Tyler also helps benefit WHO through his custom rod building.  He builds a custom “Responder Line” of open water and ice rods.  Some are donated to local police, fire, and EMS department fundraisers.  For any custom orders, part of the proceeds are donated to Wisconsin Hero Outdoors!  
JD Englehardt
Southcentral Wisconsin Program Coordinator

JD Engelhardt joined the US Army after graduation from High schools. He served in the military for four years deploying to Iraq once as a Combat Engineer Then he attended Augustana College in Rock Island Il for his BA in Political Science, Communication studies, and Religion studies. After graduating college, he started his career working for Non-profits, first by spending a year doing service work in Madagascar, now works in Madison Wi, as for Big Brothers Big Sisters.