History

"Remembering Our Fallen" was created in November, 2010 by Bill and Evonne Williams of Omaha. Their eternal hope is to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, to provide comfort to friends and family of the fallen, while reminding others of the tremendous cost paid by some. Its legacy will be that these men and women will never be forgotten and that their names will be remembered and spoken. The inspiration for this project came after reading a story in the Omaha World-Herald in September, 2010, about a father whose pain and grief were even greater four years after his son, SGT Joshua Ford, had died in Iraq. Why?

                         Because he felt that his son had been forgotten…and the war was not even over yet.

To that end, Bill and Evonne decided to do something about it. In November 2010, with the backing of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper and financial support of several sponsors, including Bellevue University, Bill & Evonne created a memorial called “Remembering Our Fallen.” This memorial included photos of the Fallen who had died in The War on Terror since September 11, 2001 and called Nebraska home. Over 325 family members attended the opening event.  Another 750 people attended the memorial’s public opening and ceremony, and the memorial has now been traveling weekly throughout Nebraska since January, 2011.

Soon after the unveiling of this first memorial, Bellevue University approached Bill & Evonne to see if they would be interested in doing additional state memorials.  After realizing the impact this first photo display had upon not only the families of The Fallen, but also the general public, the Williamses agreed this project should be completed in other states to remind people of the cost of freedom while hopefully helping to lessen the grief of the families.

Patriotic Productions is the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed with a mission of honoring the United States military and sharing that opportunity with others.  Programs include:  "Remembering Our Fallen," flights to Washington D.C. for war veterans, veteran interviews, and events with special guests to educate and teach others.

 

BOARD & STAFF

Bill Williams, Co-founder Bill Williams is the co-founder of Patriotic Productions and its mission that includes the "Remembering Our Fallen" memorials. He is also the volunteer organizer of the Heartland Honor Flights, which took 1,500 World War II Veterans and 600 Korean War Veterans to Washington D.C. between 2008-2014.  In 2016, a flight was organized to take 502 Vietnam veterans to D.C. Bill received his Bachelor of Science in History from Dakota State College and taught high school and coached for five years, before turning to a career in sales, most of it while self-employed in Nebraska.

Bill Williams, Co-founder

Bill Williams is the co-founder of Patriotic Productions and its mission that includes the "Remembering Our Fallen" memorials. He is also the volunteer organizer of the Heartland Honor Flights, which took 1,500 World War II Veterans and 600 Korean War Veterans to Washington D.C. between 2008-2014.  In 2016, a flight was organized to take 502 Vietnam veterans to D.C.

Bill received his Bachelor of Science in History from Dakota State College and taught high school and coached for five years, before turning to a career in sales, most of it while self-employed in Nebraska.

Evonne Williams, Co-Founder After 16 years in the insurance industry, Evonne followed her passion and served as Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska for 16 years. While assisting as a volunteer with the Honor Flights, she served as Interim Director of the Strategic Air & Space Museum until co-founding Patriotic Productions in early 2011.  Evonne has a B.S. in Human and Social Service Administration from Bellevue University. She volunteers with church activities and has served on the Douglas County Foster Care Review Board, NEBRASKAland Foundation Board of Directors, and Make-A-Wish Board of Directors. 

Evonne Williams, Co-Founder

After 16 years in the insurance industry, Evonne followed her passion and served as Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska for 16 years. While assisting as a volunteer with the Honor Flights, she served as Interim Director of the Strategic Air & Space Museum until co-founding Patriotic Productions in early 2011. 

Evonne has a B.S. in Human and Social Service Administration from Bellevue University. She volunteers with church activities and has served on the Douglas County Foster Care Review Board, NEBRASKAland Foundation Board of Directors, and Make-A-Wish Board of Directors. 

Angela Kros, Board Member Angela Cutler serves as the Director of Development for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation.   Her volunteer work includes Junior League of Omaha, Women’s Center for Advancement Guild, The Rose Theatre Guild, Omaha Jaycees, and New Cassel Foundation Board.  She also enjoys mentoring a student at Skutt High School in Omaha.  Angela and her family are proud supporters of both Patriotic Productions and “Remembering Our Fallen.” She has a degree in Communications and Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Angela Kros, Board Member

Angela Cutler serves as the Director of Development for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation.

 

Her volunteer work includes Junior League of Omaha, Women’s Center for Advancement Guild, The Rose Theatre Guild, Omaha Jaycees, and New Cassel Foundation Board.  She also enjoys mentoring a student at Skutt High School in Omaha. 

Angela and her family are proud supporters of both Patriotic Productions and “Remembering Our Fallen.” She has a degree in Communications and Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Gene Sacco, Board Member As President of DATATrue, LLC, Gene directs the leading edge company that provides full service first-party accounts receivable solutions and identity & bank account verification. In 2013, Gene created a new division that offers custom billing/accounts receivable and customer service solutions for businesses with gross revenues of $50,000 to $100M.  Gene served as National Commander of the Sons of The American Legion in 1992. The American Legion is the world's largest Veterans Service Organization. Gene's diverse business and volunteer experience also allow him to share real-life stories and illustrations to educate and motivate audiences at national conventions, industry events and conferences.

Gene Sacco, Board Member

As President of DATATrue, LLC, Gene directs the leading edge company that provides full service first-party accounts receivable solutions and identity & bank account verification. In 2013, Gene created a new division that offers custom billing/accounts receivable and customer service solutions for businesses with gross revenues of $50,000 to $100M. 

Gene served as National Commander of the Sons of The American Legion in 1992.

The American Legion is the world's largest Veterans Service Organization. Gene's diverse business and volunteer experience also allow him to share real-life stories and illustrations to educate and motivate audiences at national conventions, industry events and conferences.

Sandy Epstein, Board Member Sandy Epstein graduated from the University of Missouri and soon started her volunteer work with the National Council of Jewish Women serving in many capacities.  Proud of her faith, she is still involved with NCJW, as well as the Jewish Federation. Making a career of volunteering in Omaha, Sandy has worked with many non-profits, her favorites involving children and veterans. She has volunteered on the Ak-Sar-Ben Ball Committee, Omaha Children’s Museum, and Children's Hospital, as well as many others. Sandy volunteered and worked for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska and continues to do so.  Sandy and Evonne Williams met at Make-A-Wish and her friendship with the Williamses has led her to be a Guardian for the World War II,  Korea and Vietnam Honor Flights.

Sandy Epstein, Board Member

Sandy Epstein graduated from the University of Missouri and soon started her volunteer work with the National Council of Jewish Women serving in many capacities.  Proud of her faith, she is still involved with NCJW, as well as the Jewish Federation.

Making a career of volunteering in Omaha, Sandy has worked with many non-profits, her favorites involving children and veterans. She has volunteered on the Ak-Sar-Ben Ball Committee, Omaha Children’s Museum, and Children's Hospital, as well as many others. Sandy volunteered and worked for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska and continues to do so.  Sandy and Evonne Williams met at Make-A-Wish and her friendship with the Williamses has led her to be a Guardian for the World War II,  Korea and Vietnam Honor Flights.

Ben Williams, Board Member Captain Ben Williams, U.S. Army, is an Iowa-licensed attorney who serves on the Board in his private capacity.  Ben enlisted in the Army in 2002, deployed twice to Iraq before leaving the military to pursue his education in 2010, and re-entered military service in 2013.    Ben has had a longstanding interest in veterans issues and has been involved with Remembering Our Fallen for several years.    Ben has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, he currently resides in Manhattan, Kansas with his wife and two children.

Ben Williams, Board Member

Captain Ben Williams, U.S. Army, is an Iowa-licensed attorney who serves on the Board in his private capacity.  Ben enlisted in the Army in 2002, deployed twice to Iraq before leaving the military to pursue his education in 2010, and re-entered military service in 2013. 

 

Ben has had a longstanding interest in veterans issues and has been involved with Remembering Our Fallen for several years. 

 

Ben has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, he currently resides in Manhattan, Kansas with his wife and two children.


Melissa Giller, Board Member Melissa Giller is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. She oversees the marketing, public relations and Center for Public Affairs programming for the Foundation.   Before coming to The Reagan Foundation, Ms. Giller was the Director of Marketing for Styleclick, a USA Network Company. Ms. Giller helped launch two separate business units for Styleclick: WebRadio.com, an online radio destination; and CyberMedia and Norton-Lambert, both software utility companies.  Melissa Giller holds a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from U.C. Santa Barbara.

Melissa Giller, Board Member

Melissa Giller is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. She oversees the marketing, public relations and Center for Public Affairs programming for the Foundation.

 

Before coming to The Reagan Foundation, Ms. Giller was the Director of Marketing for Styleclick, a USA Network Company. Ms. Giller helped launch two separate business units for Styleclick: WebRadio.com, an online radio destination; and CyberMedia and Norton-Lambert, both software utility companies. 

Melissa Giller holds a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from U.C. Santa Barbara.

Terri Diesing, Board Member After a decade of sales experience, Terri Diesing turned to volunteering in her hometown of Omaha.  She has served on numerous boards and committees, most recently as a Guardian for the World War II and Korea Honor Flights, as a Docent since 2008 for Joslyn Art Museum, Board Member on the Omaha Library Foundation Board and Library's Board of Trustees for almost a decade, as a member of the Mayor's Master Plan Task Force for seven years, a committee member of the Aksarben Women's Ball, and Board Member for the Clarkson Hospital Service League. Ms. Diesing also served in various capacities for a number of other organizations benefiting the arts, children's organizations, social services, her church and the Omaha Zoo.

Terri Diesing, Board Member

After a decade of sales experience, Terri Diesing turned to volunteering in her hometown of Omaha.  She has served on numerous boards and committees, most recently as a Guardian for the World War II and Korea Honor Flights, as a Docent since 2008 for Joslyn Art Museum, Board Member on the Omaha Library Foundation Board and Library's Board of Trustees for almost a decade, as a member of the Mayor's Master Plan Task Force for seven years, a committee member of the Aksarben Women's Ball, and Board Member for the Clarkson Hospital Service League.

Ms. Diesing also served in various capacities for a number of other organizations benefiting the arts, children's organizations, social services, her church and the Omaha Zoo.

Roger Lempke, Board Member Lieutenant General (Ret.) Roger Lempke is the Director for Military Affairs for Senator Deb Fischer.  In this capacity he supports policy development and accomplishes case work for military veterans.  As former Adjutant General for Nebraska he organized and led the Nebraska National Guard through its largest mobilization since WWII in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  Roger was named the 2007 Nebraskan of the Year by the Nebraska Rotary organization and honored as a Trailblazer by the NEBRASKAland Foundation. He was born and raised in Tecumseh, Nebraska, and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1969.  He and his wife Shirlee have lived in Lincoln since 1979 and have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Roger Lempke, Board Member

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Roger Lempke is the Director for Military Affairs for Senator Deb Fischer.  In this capacity he supports policy development and accomplishes case work for military veterans.  As former Adjutant General for Nebraska he organized and led the Nebraska National Guard through its largest mobilization since WWII in support of the Global War on Terrorism. 

Roger was named the 2007 Nebraskan of the Year by the Nebraska Rotary organization and honored as a Trailblazer by the NEBRASKAland Foundation. He was born and raised in Tecumseh, Nebraska, and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1969.  He and his wife Shirlee have lived in Lincoln since 1979 and have two grown children and four grandchildren.


Jon Reichmuth, Board Member Jon Reichmuth is the owner of Reichmuth Funeral Homes with four locations in Nebraska.   Jon is a longtime resident of western Douglas County and serves on the Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. He is married, with two daughters and five grandchildren.

Jon Reichmuth, Board Member

Jon Reichmuth is the owner of Reichmuth Funeral Homes with four locations in Nebraska.

 

Jon is a longtime resident of western Douglas County and serves on the Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. He is married, with two daughters and five grandchildren.

Ann Singer, Board Member Ann Singer is Executive Director for the Texas Funeral Directors Association and has been with the organization for 20 years.  She has more than 35 years of management experience and is a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives.  Ann was raised in Texas.  She is married to Tim Singer and has one son and one grandson.     

Ann Singer, Board Member

Ann Singer is Executive Director for the Texas Funeral Directors Association and has been with the organization for 20 years.  She has more than 35 years of management experience and is a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives.  Ann was raised in Texas.  She is married to Tim Singer and has one son and one grandson.     

Kevin Ryan, Board Member Kevin Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant and Manager for McDermott & Miller in Omaha, NE. He had 25 years in accounting prior to joining them in 2011. He specializes in Tax Planning for Individuals and S Corporations, Payroll & W-2s, and Bookkeeping. He holds an Associates Degree from the Nebraska College of Business.

Kevin Ryan, Board Member

Kevin Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant and Manager for McDermott & Miller in Omaha, NE. He had 25 years in accounting prior to joining them in 2011. He specializes in Tax Planning for Individuals and S Corporations, Payroll & W-2s, and Bookkeeping.

He holds an Associates Degree from the Nebraska College of Business.


Keenan Knopke, Board Member Keenan is a lifelong resident of Florida and resides in the Temple Terrace area with his wife, Rosemary. He is Past President of the Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and is a five-time President of the Funeral and Cemetery Alliance of Florida, a past member of the Board of Directors of the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association, is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Funeral Cemetery and Consumer Services of Florida, & is Past Chairman of the Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services of Florida.

Keenan Knopke, Board Member

Keenan is a lifelong resident of Florida and resides in the Temple Terrace area with his wife, Rosemary. He is Past President of the Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and is a five-time President of the Funeral and Cemetery Alliance of Florida, a past member of the Board of Directors of the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association, is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Funeral Cemetery and Consumer Services of Florida, & is Past Chairman of the Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services of Florida.

 
Tom Williams, Social Media & Outreach Tom directs the outreach and social media efforts for Remembering Our Fallen, leading our national community of Gold Star families, supporters, and patriots. He works to develop connections with like-minded organizations and creates meaningful content that helps to bring the community closer together.   Tom is also a Marine veteran, having completed deployments to Eastern Europe and Afghanistan. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is currently pursuing his MBA at Columbia University in New York City.

Tom Williams, Social Media & Outreach

Tom directs the outreach and social media efforts for Remembering Our Fallen, leading our national community of Gold Star families, supporters, and patriots. He works to develop connections with like-minded organizations and creates meaningful content that helps to bring the community closer together.  

Tom is also a Marine veteran, having completed deployments to Eastern Europe and Afghanistan. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is currently pursuing his MBA at Columbia University in New York City.