BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John W. Thompson
A graduate of Colorado State University, John served 7 years in the U.S. Army National Guard (Airborne). After college & military service John worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School from 1993 to 2013 as an Instructor, Course Director and Staff Trainer in their alpine mountaineering program. A visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC during 2005 inspired his vision for the SUDS program. John has been diving for 30 years & enjoys anything outdoor related.
Danny served 4 years as an Operations Specialist in the US Navy. Upon his Honorable Discharge in 1997, Danny started in the dive industry in Morehead City, NC as an instructor and assistant manager. After a few years in NC, he returned to his native Alexandria, VA and began working in IT. In 2006 he ventured back to North Carolina with his USCG Captains License to work as a Dive Master and Mate, where he met SUDS founder John Thompson. He now lives in Beaufort, NC where he spends as much time as possible on the water.
Danny is honored to have been a part of SUDS since it’s founding in 2007.
U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) served on active duty for 11 years before joining the Navy Reserve in 2000. While on active duty, he served in Patrol Squadron Twenty-six, Patrol Wing Five, and Special Projects Patrol Squadron One. Later in the Navy Reserve, he served in Patrol Squadron Ninety-two and in various other reserve and mobilization assignments. He retired from the Navy Reserve in 2013 after completing 24 years of service. He currently flies the Boeing 737 out of Washington, DC for American Airlines and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Bruce Gannaway, graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelors in Business Administration in 1998 and was commissioned through the Army ROTC program as an Infantry Officer. In 2019, he retired from U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel after 21 years of service.
During his second tour to Iraq, Bruce was injured by an IED and MEDEVACED to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, DC. During rehab, Bruce participated in SUDS at WRAMC and earned his Open Water and Advanced Diver Certifications.
Bruce is currently the Assistant Dean for Finance at East Tennessee State University’s Gatton College of Pharmacy in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Cliff Bruner graduated from Colorado State University in 1988. In 1989 he graduated Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. He retired after 22 years, serving his entire career as a Navy SEAL. Cliff is currently the Director of Operations for a government contractor out of Huntsville, AL. He enjoys diving, hunting, golf and spending time with his family.
Carla graduated from the University of Dayton, Ohio with a degree in Arts and Humanities. She joined American Airlines/Sabre in the 80”s and retired in 2005 after a rewarding career in the transportation industry.
In 2007 Carla was introduced to SUDS and over the years she has become an integral part of the day to day administration of the organization. She continues to raise awareness of SUDS within the community, provides support on SUDS dive trips and assists in the ongoing promotional activities of the SUDS organization.
“Supporting SUDS has become one of the most rewarding aspects of my life, Im honored to be part of the SUDS family and to have had the opportunity to connect with some of our nation’s heroes”
Michael J. Jackonis CDR, JAGC, USN (ret.)
Michael Jackonis, CDR, U.S. Navy JAG Corps (Retired) – the General Counsel (pro bono) for SUDS. He has been SCUBA certified since 1987 and has participated in SUDS open-water qualification evolutions.