When Ocala, Florida, resident Linda Bammann was invited to join the board of the Travis Mills Foundation by Chairman James Shubert, she wanted to have a conversation with the organization’s founder, U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills, before she accepted the invitation.
Linda had heard of Travis through her position on the board of the Gary Sinise Foundation and knew that it built an accessible house for him and his family in Maine in 2014, but she wanted to ensure that Travis’s vision for the organization was something she wanted to be a part of.
“Travis was positive, optimistic and supportive – the person that you see is the person that you get,” she said. “I got a really good sense from Travis that the Foundation takes its responsibility to heart.”
Linda’s background is in the finance industry and she sees her role on the board as one that is a good steward of the vital donations that it receives.
“It’s really important to me,” she said. “When someone gives a dollar, that’s a hard-earned dollar that they’ve made and I want to make sure it’s dealt with responsibly.”
Linda is currently a board member of JPMorgan Chase, having joined in 2013. She is chairman of its Risk Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. She is also an active member of the External Advisory Council of JPMorgan’s Military and Veterans Affairs Department. She was Deputy Head of Risk Management at JPMorgan Chase from July 2004 until her retirement in 2005; prior to that she was Chief Risk Management Officer at Bank One Corporation since 2001. Additionally, from 1992 to 2000 she was a managing director with UBS Warburg LLC and predecessor firms. She also served as a director of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) from late 2008 to July 2013, where she served as Chairman of its Business and Risk Committee.
Before Linda’s career, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat
Linda visited the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat for the first time in September 2021; she had joined the board about nine months before that, but COVID prevented her from being able to visit the property in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “You get the sense of what a world-class organization it is, yet it offers a very personal experience and has a family atmosphere.”
“The thing that really hit home to me was that so many of the people who have served are young and have young families,” she added. “It struck me how important it is to connect these families through the Foundation.”
Linda said it’s inspiring to be among our nation’s recalibrated veterans and their families.
“It’s quite the remarkable task for the rest of us to say to ourselves, ‘How is it that we can possibly not be optimists about our future when we meet people who have sacrificed so much and are optimistic themselves.’”
Linda, a military spouse, has been happily married to her husband, Paul Terzani since 1995; He’s a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Additionally, Linda’s father was in the service and served in the Navy during World War II and in the Reserves, after the war.
In 2021, Linda spearheaded an event at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala to benefit the Travis Mills Foundation, the first ever “Never Give Up On Country” dinner and country music concert with entertainer Craig Morgan. She introduced the Foundation team and supporters to the “Horse Capital of the World” and a way of life that she’s very passionate about: She serves on the board of Horse Farms Forever, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the character and culture of the area. Linda is also an avid equestrian and runs a number of small business ventures related to the horse world.
The Foundation’s mission to serve post-911 veterans hits close to home for Linda.
“It’s a really important endeavor to ‘Never Forget,’” she said, adding that the events on Sept. 11, 2001, are very personal to her as many people she knew lost their lives that day.
“It’s important not to forget the people who died that day, but also the people who have served or are serving because of that day,” she added.
Linda draws a connection between the Greatest Generation – her parents among them – and post-911 veterans.
“The Greatest Generation worked hard, made it through The Depression, and served in World War II,” she said. “I look at the generation of people who are serving today and who served after 911 and see them as the next Greatest Generation.”
“They understand service and they understand sacrifice,” she added.
While many of those who fought in World War 11 were drafted, Linda said post-911 are especially valiant because they volunteered to serve our country.
“Nowadays less than 2 percent of people serve,” Linda added. “As those people become more involved in foundations like Travis’s, in politics or in business, they will rise to the top – they are incredible people who will become the leaders of the next generation.”