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Michael J. Gifford
Founder/Executive Director

Mike began his military career in 1997 with a commission from Siena College’s Reserve Officer Training Corps, in Loudonville, NY, graduating with a BS from Union College in Schenectady, NY, the same year.  He began a civilian career in finance with State Street Bank, and later worked as an investment advisor with American Express in Boston, MA. A freelance writer, he’s appeared as a guest-contributing editor for Soldiers for the Truth (, a non-partisan Internet-based organization, and has been published in Soldier of Fortune Magazine.  Having left the military in late 2005 to pursue his civilian career, he now lives in New York City. 

Toni Wakester
Chief Operating Officer

Toni first joined the Army Reserve in 2001 directly out of high school, volunteering soon after to deploy with the 94th MP CO in support of OIF. A recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, she has also competed in several Stateside pageants, winning the title of 2010 Miss New England (SQ), and placing as a Top 10 Finalist in Miss Massachusetts USA 2009. Toni also volunteers with various charities and other non-profit organizations.

Richard J. DiTrapano

Born and raised in the Boston, MA, area, Rick is a former United States Marine (1990-1993) and Operation Desert Storm veteran. An active participant in Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and a member of the local American Legion executive board, Rick is heavily involved in community activities around Boston.  He currently lives in New Hampshire.

Michael L. Gifford
Events Co-Chair

A selfless volunteer, veteran supporter and mentor, Michael L. is the father of OnBehalf's founder, Mike Gifford. A restless senior citizen who retired in the late 90's, Michael L. has worked with local veteran agencies, businesses and sports teams to raise funds and services for our injured veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan.

Gabe Stern
Legal Advisor

Gabe is currently in-house counsel at Facebook, having previously worked as an attorney at an international law firm based in New York City.  He earned his JD and MBA from the University of Southern California, with an undergraduate degree from Duke University.  A strong proponent of our military veterans, Gabe lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.