Our board features an executive committee of directors who serve as an internal governing body with the entire Board of Directors and Trustees. Our board members are dedicated individuals who contribute valuable time and energy to the Foundation.
Thomas A. Allegretti joined the Coast Guard Foundation board in 2006 and became Chairman in 2021. He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science, graduating with honors from The College of New Jersey in 1973.
R. Christian Johnsen
R. Christian Johnsen was elected to fill the role of Vice-Chair on the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Directors. He has served on the Board since 1998 and previously served as Secretary. He is the managing partner of the Washington office of Jones Walker LLP. Johnsen holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia, and he earned his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1985.
Cherrie D. Felder
Cherrie Felder was elected to the Coast Guard Foundation Board in 2010. She is Vice President of Legislative and Governmental Affairs for Channel Shipyard Companies. She is First Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Waterways Council, Inc. and Immediate Past Chairman of the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee.
She serves on the executive committees of The Louisiana Association of Waterway Operators and Shipyards and the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, and on the board of directors of the National Waterways Foundation. She is a member of the American Waterways Operators and the New Orleans Business Alliance Transportation, Trade and Logistics Industry Council. Ms. Felder is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.
Duncan C. Smith III has been a member of the Coast Guard Foundation's board since 2011. He is President of Smith Advocacy Group, LLC where he engages primarily in a legislative and administrative government relations practice representing clients with business, legislative, and regulatory challenges and opportunities in connection with a wide range of issues.
He has decades of experience in the public arena, has taught appropriations and fiscal law, and previously was a staff counsel to the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee and a U.S. delegation congressional advisor to the International Maritime Organization. He is also a retired Coast Guard Reserve Rear Admiral and serves on the boards of and volunteers at several non-profit organizations.
Fred Brodsky became a Trustee of the Coast Guard Foundation in 2017, a Director in 2019, and elected to the Executive Committee in 2021. Fred was a Trustee of Northeastern University where he earned his BSBA degree and served on the Alumni Board of Governors of the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan where he earned his MBA in International Business.
He was CFO of Morse Diesel and Trammell Crow International before starting his own real estate investment and development company, International Investment Advisors. Fred is a 100 ton USCG Captain and enjoys blue water cruising with his wife, Darla, and two rescue dogs. He is the founder of the Brodsky Family Foundation, whose mission is to protect marine mammals, birds of prey, and our environment. He recently released his autobiography, The Accidental Entrepreneur: How I Stumbled into Success.
Abbott Brown joined the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees in 2021 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2022. Abbott is the founder of Ridgestone Corporation, an investment firm based in Los Angeles that invests in publicly traded equity securities, private equity transactions, venture capital transactions and real estate. His 50-year career in finance served a broad range of companies with a focus on entertainment and media, real estate and the aerospace industries. He has served on the Board of Directors of public and private companies, and he is currently serving on the Board of Trustees at Claremont McKenna College and St. John’s Hospital. He is a graduate of Lehigh University and is an active member of his community, an avid sailor and golfer, and is a member of Brentwood Country Club and the California Yacht Club.
David Grzebinski joined the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees in 2014 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2023. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of Kirby Corporation. Prior to joining Kirby Corporation, he served in various operational and financial positions with FMC Technologies Inc. (“FMC”), and prior to that, he was employed by The Dow Chemical Company in manufacturing, engineering, and financial roles. Mr. Grzebinski serves as a director of the American Bureau of Shipping, director of BlueSky Maritime Coalition and a member and director of The UK P&I Club. David Grzebinski is a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”), holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Tulane University, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida.
Corrine Kosar joined the Coast Guard Foundation Board in 2003 and is a member of the Executive Committee, and serves as the Chair of the Board Nominating Committee. She has served as Chair for the Foundation's highly successful Tribute to the United States Coast Guard in our Nation's Capital since 2005.
Julie Nelson joined the Board of Trustees in 2021 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2022. Julie is the Senior Vice President – Policy, Government and Public Affairs, for Cheniere Energy. Her responsibilities include international, federal, state and local government affairs; internal and external communications; and, climate & sustainability. She also manages the company’s corporate giving portfolio with a focus on investing in communities where Cheniere employees work and live. She has extensive experience in the energy, maritime, and transportation industries and is a Navy veteran. She served as a senior political appointee under President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Nelson holds a bachelor’s and a law degree from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Maritime and Admiralty Law from Tulane University.
Joseph Phair was elected to the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013 and to the Executive Committee in 2021. Joe has lived in the Bay Area for 55 years when he moved there to attend the University of San Francisco for his undergraduate and law degrees. He retired in 2005 after more than thirty years of work as a corporate and private attorney, including service as Vice President Administration and General Counsel of Varian Associates and Varian Medical Systems in Palo Alto, California. He has received the Saint Vincent DePaul Society Ozanam medal in recognition of his service to the local community. He and his wife Bonnie are committed to supporting the Coast Guard Foundation’s mission across many program areas, and have established a named scholarship endowment in honor of his late father, Coast Guard Capt. James F. Phair, to benefit Coast Guard children enrolled in college or technical/trade school.
Tom Wetherald joined the Coast Guard Foundation Board in 2012. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2023. Tom was the Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for General Dynamics – NASSCO for 13 years, retiring in 2022. During that period, he served on the Executive Committee of the Shipbuilding Council of America. Prior to that, he served for 30 years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer and nuclear engineer.
Tom is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He currently serves on the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC). Tom is also the proud mentor, for 15 years, of FIRST Robotics Team 2485.