Meet Our Team

PATRICK MERKLE co-founder/director

Patrick is a senior at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he studies the classics. From a young age, Patrick has had a passion for serving others. He has tutored inner-city students in Washington D.C., served a two-year mission in Portugal for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and worked on projects to beautify grounds in the District. Patrick has experience paging for Senator Harry Reid, working at a mortgage firm, and was a part of an advocacy group for disability benefits. His experience in the advocacy and political world, partnered with his ties to the Air Force, has given Patrick a unique perspective, and deep-rooted love for the Armed Forces.

Karl

KARL NOTTURNO co-founder/director

Karl is a Mount Vernon fellow at the Center for American Greatness, a 2019 Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute, and a fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute. He currently works in Washington DC as a lobbyist, consultant, entrepreneur, and writer. He graduated from Yale University with a double major in philosophy and history. He leverages his extensive experience in finance, technology, and politics to help veterans regain financial independence and live the lives worthy of their service.

In his spare time, he plays piano and writes music. He is currently writing a musical about lobbying in Washington DC.

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BROOKE ROBERTS director of operations

Brooke has extensive marketing and brand management experience. Along with studying marketing at Brigham Young University, she worked two terms on Capitol Hill, both in the press and legislative affairs departments. Brooke has published numerous works across multiple platforms, touching on political issues as well as social issues. She has also held positions in the marketing and production departments at a CBS-affiliate station, and as an assistant brand manager for an e-commerce company based out of Lehi, UT. Her extensive marketing experience, along with her close ties to multiple veterans, including a Purple Heart recipient, make her especially passionate about this cause.

LARRY PRESSLER senior advisor

Senator Larry Pressler was the first Vietnam veteran elected to the United States Senate. During his 18 year tenure, he served as Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees, as long as an active member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served two terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Senator Pressler served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam and was awarded multiple honors, including a Bronze Star, making him particularly passionate about veteran homelessness. He currently serves on the Jericho Project's Veteran Homeless Advisory Council in New York City, which provides facilities for homeless veterans in the Bronx and Harlem.

Advisors

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OLIVIA MERKLE

Olivia is currently a student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, studying English and Portuguese. Her extensive travels around the world have given her a unique perspective on what it means to truly be empathetic to people in all walks of life. This empathy has driven her to serve in any capacity she can. This includes, but is not limited to: building libraries and schools for orphans across four continents. Olivia comes from a large family that is experienced in entrepreneurial endeavors, which gives her a unique set of skills; skills she utilizes to help each and every veteran she comes into contact with.

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ERIC TALBOT JENSEN

Professor Jensen recently returned to BYU Law School after serving for one year as the Special Counsel to the Department of Defense General Counsel.  Prior to that position, he served 20 years in the United States Army as both a Cavalry Officer and as a Judge Advocate.  During his time as a Judge Advocate, Professor Jensen served in various positions including as the Chief of the Army’s International Law Branch; Deputy Legal Advisor for Task Force Baghdad; Professor of International and Operational Law at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School; legal advisor to the US contingent of UN Forces deployed to Skopje, Macedonia as part of UNPREDEP; and legal advisor in Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Guard.

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QUIN MONSON

Quin Monson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Senior Scholar at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University where he teaches and does research in public opinion; campaigns and elections; survey research methods; and religion and politics. He is also a partner at Y2 Analytics, a private polling and data analytics firm headquartered in Salt Lake City, where he consults for numerous public sector clients including many local Utah government entities, candidates for public office, and non-profit organizations.