Local Group Flinches Forward with new Veteran and First Responder Nonprofit


Flinch Forward is an organization for Military Veterans and First Responders who are ready, willing and able to flinch forward in times of need. Board Member David LaSalle says that Flinch Forward was born from the belief that men and women of purpose, must give back. “We have no choice. We were forged in the warrior values of purpose and mission and that purpose and mission is who we are, not what we do.”

The organization was started by local residents Adam Shake, David LaSalle and Jeff Johansson who realized that when their tours of duty ended, their missions didn’t. Johansson says “Every warrior has a next mission. We know that the transition to civilian life is a journey. And for every warrior, family member, and caregiver, that journey looks different,” Johansson continued “We are here for their first step, and each step that follows. Because we believe that every warrior should have a positive future to look forward to. There’s always another goal to achieve, another mission to discover and another way to Flinch Forward. We are their partner in that mission.”

Speaking about Flinch Forward’s organizational model, Adam Shake said “We are not a vacation model nonprofit.  We are dedicated to providing an ongoing mission to warriors, a way of life that reflects our core beliefs in service, camaraderie and unrelenting personal growth.” Shake continued “This is why Flinch Forward is unique - members give back to their communities while forging a lifelong support network.  Supporters of Flinch Forward support those who support them.”

Before even getting its 501c3 designation, the organization has already garnered interest from other Veteran and First Responder nonprofits from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne and looks forward to offering services to include transitioning into a civilian workforce, post traumatic success development, paths to leadership and mission forward opportunities like working with area nonprofits, search and rescue training and team building opportunities.

Flinch Forward’s Founding Board of Directors include:

  • Jeff Johannson, a Vietnam Veteran with an M.A. in Behavioral Science that uses a Warrior Model to assist veterans in moving them from Post Traumatic Stress into Post Traumatic Growth.
  • David LaSalle, a retired USAF LtCol and owner of Rocky Mountain Health Club.
  • Terry Rizzuti, a Vietnam Veteran, author of seven books and previous Commander of Estes Park American Legion Post 119.
  • Kendra Ryan, a Kendra Ryan, a current US Navy Reserve Commander and owner of Estes Park Yoga.
  • Adam Shake, a US Army Combat Veteran and Vice President of the Estes Park EDC.
  • Ken Zornes, a US Army Veteran and current Town of Estes Park Town Board Trustee.

Flinch Forward is currently meeting with people who would also like to be on its Founding Board of Directors. If you are interested, would like to learn more or become a member or supporter, please visit www.FlinchForward.org.

The organization is looking forward to a public meet-and-greet with its board of directors in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!