Who are the Pinnacle Five?

As the former senior enlisted leaders of our Armed Forces (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) we recognize that it is imperative for our children to be well informed to the principles on which our government, and our identity as Americans, are based:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We have backed up our commitment to The Franklin Project and The Step Up America Foundation Inc. by becoming Board Members. We encourage you to call and support this outstanding foundation.

Board of Directors

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors AL McMichael


Alford McMichael

Served as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He was the personal advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps & testified before Congress on the training, quality of life, military compensation & the well-being active duty & reserve Marine Corps personnel & their families. His military career culminated as the first Senior Noncommissioned Officer for Allied Command Operations to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (NATO). He is the Founder/President of 4-DREW, LLC - an organization providing leadership and mentor counseling in schools to help children better understand the need to pursue excellence in all endeavors of life.

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors Jim Herdt


Jim Herdt

Served as the 9th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. His responsibilities included leading programs & policy development for an enlisted force of over 400,000 personnel & serving as the personal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of the Navy, & Secretary of Defense on all U.S. Navy personnel policies. After retiring from active duty, he founded Herdt Consulting, Inc.- a full-service business transformation consulting company. In addition to serving as full-time CEO, he currently sits on multiple advisory boards,is a leadership development coach, public speaker, & advocate for military service members, Veterans & their families.

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors Jim Finch


Jim Finch

Served as the 13th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. He provided direction for nearly 450,000 members of the Air Force enlisted corps & represented their interests, as appropriate, to the American public & to those in all levels of government. He also served as the personal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force & the Air Force Chief of Staff on issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, proper utilization, & training of the enlisted force. After retiring he co-chaired the Air Force Retiree Council & sat on multiple non-profit boards. Currently, he is a small business owner & performs as a leadership development coach, mentor, & motivational speaker.

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors Jake Tilley


Jack Tilley

As the 12th Sergeant Major of the Army, he was the Army Chief of Staff’s personal advisor on enlisted matters, particularly in areas affecting soldier training and quality of life. He devoted most of his time to traveling throughout the Army observing training and talking with soldiers and their families. He sat on a variety of councils/boards and was routinely invited to testify before Congress. He is the founder of the American Freedom Foundation—a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness of Veteran support organizations, especially those focused on the welfare and educational issues affecting those wounded in action.

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors Vince Patton


Vince Patton

Dr. Patton served as the 8th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. He was the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard and Secretaries of both Transportation and Defense. After retirement, he was an assistant professor at the University of California Berkeley and became an ordained minister. He is actively involved as a motivational speaker on topics of leadership development and is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees and adjunct faculty member for the Northeast Maritime Institute.

Step Up America Foundation Board of Directors Bill McCollum


Bill McCollum

Bill served our country in the Navy for 23 years. He is a lawyer and was formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives where he founded the U.S. House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and is recognized as an expert on terrorism. Bill is also a former Attorney General of the State of Florida.

Bonny Gregory Shiflett headshot


Bonny Shiflet

Bonny has always liked learning American history and wanted to be a teacher from an early age. She holds an Associates Degree of Science from Snead State Junior College, a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of West Florida.

She has been an elementary teacher now for 35 years and is currently a third grade teacher to two classes of students teaching reading and social studies, Bonny has been elected the Lipscomb Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2017-2018, Top Ten teacher in Escambia County for 2017- 2018, Escambia Elementary Social studies Teacher of the Year for 2018, and Finalist for the Florida Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 2018. Bonny received the George Washington Honor Medal awarded by the National Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. This award honors teachers and administrators who go above and beyond the call of duty for their students and America’s youth by instilling in their students a sense of the importance of community involvement, responsible citizenship and patriotism. She was also nominated and selected to be the K-5 Expert Teacher for Escambia County and helped write the new civics standards for the state of Florida. Currently Bonny is a member of the Veteran’s Day Committee at her school in charge of special guests and donations, Social Studies Representative for Grades 3-5, Student of the Month Coordinator, Vice President and member of the Escambia Area Council for Social Studies, member of the Florida Council of Social Studies, member of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, and the Freedoms Foundation Joshua Chamberlain League.

John McIntosh President of Step Up America Foundation for Board of Directors page


John McIntosh

John served our country as a Captain in the Air Force. The Franklin Project concept was created by John and under his leadership the program has become an incredible success. Recognizing that our children and most adults are not educated on the founding documents of our country and thereby missing the importance of patriotism and the meaning of being a good citizen he formed a team to bring Benjamin Franklin & Friends back to life. This endeavor is John’s passion. He is at his best when in a classroom full of children.

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Help support the Step Up America Foundation Inc.
and The Franklin Project.

Thank you for your consideration of supporting the Step Up America Foundation Inc. and The Franklin Project. The Step Up America Foundation Inc. is a 501 (c) (3), your donations are tax deductible.

Step Up America Foundation Inc.

The Step Up America Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.


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