BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes (VBFH) is a group of grateful local residents and business leaders from Virginia Beach and the surrounding community. Its members have come together over the years to dedicate their time and efforts coordinating two major fundraising events, The Charity Golf Tournament every May and FREEDOMFEST and Freedom Motorcycle Ride every September. The proceeds from these events go to organizations that benefit our Navy SEALS and their families, support staff and local police and rescue squads.
Jim Denning was born in Patuxent River MD to USN Capt. Bill and Irene Denning (RET). After being stationed in Virginia Beach for 12 years, their family was transferred to Key West where his father took over Naval Operation as Commanding Officer of NAS Key West. After school, Jim moved back to Virginia Beach to continue his education. He currently works for the Port Of Virginia as an Operations Manager at NIT.
Jim is a Founding Board Member of the Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes which he and other board members established to build support for the local Naval Special Warfare Group and Seal Team Families. He is responsible for the acquiring alcohol sponsors and products, beer trucks, and setting up the bars to be manned by local restaurants who support the SEAL Team community.
When there’s down time he enjoys surfing with his friends or spending time and being talked into buying things with his 13-year-old daughter Ainsleigh.
Aries Lynch was born in Colorado, joined the military in 1988 and retired as a US Navy SEAL in 2014. His nearly 26 years of service in the military and his extensive experience while on Active Duty and since retirement have been a positive asset to the Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes (VBFH) as the Liaison with our local military. He has also been volunteering in various capacities with VBFH since 2013 and enjoys giving back to the community, his former teammates, and their families.
Aries is the Owner and President of Shield Consulting Associates, a successful contracting company located in Virginia Beach, VA.
Jim Hughes was born in Waukegan, Illinois to Massachusetts natives USN LCDR Roy J. and Elizabeth Hughes, while his father was attending officer training school. Raised in Norfolk, Virginia, family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Attended Independence Middle, Bayside High School and Tidewater Community College general studies and Solar Energy.
Jim worked in several managerial positions, 10 years with Lillian Vernon Corporation, and 10 years First Data Resources Corporation. Eventually, obtaining a Real Estate licenses and Home Improvement Contractors licenses. Proud father of a daughter and a son.
Jim enjoys local talented live music and volunteering for local charitable events. Enjoys hobbies of discovering local history, genealogy, astronomy and numismatics.
Linda M. Stephens hails from Massachusetts and grew up on the on the island shores of Cape Cod.
Linda is a Small Business Banker and Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo Bank in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. She brings with her decades of experience in the roles of financial services, management, small business ownership, fund raising, and volunteerism.
Improving the lives of our military brothers and sisters, some of whom make the ultimate sacrifice, as well as helping those who are not in a position to help themselves has always been a driving force behind Linda’s charitable work throughout our community.
Organizations she supports include Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes, where she currently holds the position of Treasurer and is a longtime volunteer with The Pink Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness, Maci’s Ride for Autism, and a participant in the National Navy Seal Museum Muster Annual 5K to name a few. Linda devotes in excess of 180 hours each year to supporting such causes so close to her heart.
In her free time, Linda is an avid reader, has a passion for travel, and when she’s not working or volunteering, you might find her in the company of good friends, supporting local businesses and enjoying the Hampton Roads food and drink scene.
Director of Operations
Byron grew up in a military family and knows firsthand the sacrifices of service members and their families. When people learned his father was a Marine, Byron was often asked where they had been stationed. Having tired of running through the numerous countries, states, cities and schools, he finally came up with an easy answer…”Camp You Name It”.
As with other Board Members, Byron became involved with the VBFH after the tragedy of August 6, 2011. After the first event, Byron found the response of active duty and retired military personnel to be unreal. “I remember someone coming up to me thanking me and telling me how much it meant to know that there were civilians out there who cared.” Right then, he knew VBFH was the place for him. Byron is in charge of the operations of our events and does an incredible job coordinating between numerous vendors as well as taking on the tedious task of complete set up and breakdown of everything required to make our events a huge success.
DIRECTOR OF ENTERTAINMENT
& COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
A true native of Va. Beach, Virginia, Charity fell in love with the restaurant/ bar business while working her way through college. She earned a B.A. from Old Dominion University in Secondary Education but could not stray from her true passion. She became the owner of South Beach Grill in 2006, after bartending there for 12 years. She prides herself in her friendly staff and the best live entertainment. Charity is responsible for booking and scheduling all entertainment for VBFH events. She has organized and participated in several fundraisers throughout the years to help those in need. She is inspired by our military, who give selflessly to help others and fight to defend this nation’s freedom. Charity believes in “paying it forward” and she is proud to be an American!