Directors

Meet The Board Of Directors

President

Josh Flath

Waterman, Navy Veteran & Co-Founder

While stationed in Hawaii, I fell in love with surfing and standup paddle, and it quickly became my release, my go-to… what I did to calm down after a long day. Having a release… something you absolutely love is so powerful. I truly believe it is the first step to healing and finding your purpose. 

The surf and paddle community is one of the few places that I have found a brotherhood that resembles that of the military. It has truly been incredible seeing the impact that the community has had on our veterans and first responders and vice versa. I am so honored to work with this team and the entire surf and paddle community!

Secretary

Kyle Griffin 

Sales Rep/Marketer

 

Unlike many other board members, I am not an avid paddler nor do I spend a lot of time on the water. I opt for riding my gravel bike simply to enjoy the outdoors and to get a bit of exercise. Regardless of being on land or on the water, 4THE22 has had an undeniable impact on so many people especially considering the short amount of time it has been up and running.

Josh and I have been friends since elementary school and through that time, I’ve learned that he has knack for connecting incredible people and this non-profit is a true testament to that. As a board member, I am very excited to continue building this organization and to support the veterans and first responders who have so openly embraced 4THE22.  

Treasurer

Dave Meade

Paddle Race Director

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the water. What started out as regular family trips to the beach, grew into getting my Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard certifications as a teen.  Over the years, being on/in the water (especially Lake Michigan) has provided me with a source of adventure while also giving me a calming force and a way to stay grounded.

My love of paddling has brought an amazing community of people into my life.  I’m honored to be part of the 4THE22 team to help our veterans, active-duty military, and first responders (our true heroes) get out paddling on the water so that they can experience the feeling of gliding across the top of the water for themselves…and possibly falling in a time or two as well.

Director

Evan Anderson

Air Force Veteran

Born in West Michigan, I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. It’s God’s country out here, there are so many great things to see. During stressful times, I’ll take a long walk through the woods, just listen to nature, gaze upon the great canopy of trees, and surround myself in the stillness. Dad brought me up hunting, and I think this is where my appreciation for nature comes from. He also raised me with music and taught me how to play guitar. There is not one day that passes where I’m not picking up that hollowed out piece of wood with strings. From biking to SUP, I can’t count my hobbies with one hand. Life is meant to be enjoyed! My mother raised me with an open mind. In a weird way, I attribute this to her cooking. She really opened my eyes to many different ethnic foods, and spices. You can say that cooking is another passion of mine. The significance of this is not just about cooking, but a yearning to create, experience, and try new things. It’s not just about food, but life in general.

 

Following high school, I joined the Air Force Air National Guard. Spent almost eight years serving, with one deployment to Afghanistan. This experience showed me what it took to be a man and gave me an appreciation for this country. Standing on the flight-line overseas and watching a casket roll by draped with an American flag with hundreds of people at attention gave me chills and a new respect for freedom.

My decision to join 4the22 was an easy one. It’s a way I can say thank you to the men and women who served before and after me. This opportunity also allows me to give them support and walk with them through the many struggles they face when returning home.

Director

Aaron Blaylock

Outdoor Enthusiast

I consider it a good day when I can spend spare time outdoors. I personally feel more centered after getting my toes in dirt, sand, and water. This experience is elevated even further when I can spend it with good company.

Hope is our best and worst trait. I accepted a position on 4THE22’s board in hopes of helping to inspire people when they hope for the worst. The ride of life becomes easier as soon as we realize we are in it together and nature is the avenue that connects us.

When I was little, I was tasked with drawing a picture of my hero. I drew a sports figure. As I’ve gotten older, I often think back to that picture and how I’d like to have thought of someone like Marie Curie, MLK, Nikola Tesla, Boyan Slat, or even one of my family members.

Director

Donavon Carpenter

Navy Veteran, Nashville Recording Artist, Singer, and Songwriter

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, I found myself of dreaming of one day being able to record my own country music record for my mother. Inspired by the straightforward yet smooth bass-baritone voice of Don Williams, and through a collaboration of a community of people, I have created a place and name for myself in the up-and-coming country music scene.

Above all, my music is often praised for its empowering messages that find their way to a special place in the listener’s heart. I joined 4THE22 as another way to spread an empowering message of hope. I can often be found challenging those around me to be the first responder in the lives of those around them. The individual impact we can have on a single person’s life should never be overlooked.

“Be the first responder in someone’s life, if not your own.”

Director

Mik Deboef

Owner of Team Maxem Inc

I grew up in Muskegon and have always loved being in Lake Michigan. I always enjoyed being in the waves, from body surfing as a kid to wind surfing and surfing as a young man and now SUP surf and downwinding; the connection to the big water of the lakes is an important part of me.

I am inspired by humans that accomplish exceptional deeds, physically, mentally and socially. I am inspired by large waves, sunrises and sunsets. Yosemite is inspiring. Fear is inspiring. I am inspired by humans with a naturally good nature and spirit. I am inspired by humans that are selfless and do the right things simply because they are the right things.

I accepted a spot on the board of 4THE22 because I have a few skills that I think could be useful and I am trying to be a better human. Something quirky about me is that I don’t believe in wars yet always feel like punching people.

Director

Jessi Flath

Navy Reservist and Co-founder of 4THE22

Right after high school, I flew halfway across the globe to live out my Hawaiian dream as I attended college and played soccer at Hawaii Pacific University. College life quickly turned into military life after meeting a wild sailor who spent all his free time surfing and working on cars. In a matter of months, I went from insisting I would never date a service member to anxiously waiting for my sailor to get back home. In 2016 I married that crazy sailor (Josh Flath). 

Being a military wife wasn’t always easy and I quickly got to experience firsthand the many struggles that our service members and their families face daily. With that being said, the one thing that always seemed to be there either after weeks of not hearing from Josh on deployment or simply being denied access to base because of expired tags (thank you Marines), was the water. It was the shared love of the water that Josh and I had along with the Southwest Michigan SUP community that sparked 4THE22.