Leadership 2017-12-20T20:37:20+00:00

Yontz Valor Foundation Leadership


Kenneth F. Yontz



Kenneth F. (Ken) was a businessman and a philanthropist who passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Ken was involved in many small start up companies, most recently from 1986 until 2003, where he was Chairman President and CEO of Sybron International Inc. Sybron was a publicly traded company involved in the manufacturing and distribution of laboratory, diagnostic and dental products throughout the world. Some of his more significant philanthropic efforts, prior to the founding of Yontz Valor Foundation, involved setting up an endowment for abused children at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee WI., founding The Karen Yontz Women’s Center for Cardio Oncology Center at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI and establishing the Yontz Fine Arts Center at Marquette University High School. While he recognized that there are many wonderful organizations supporting our veterans, there are also many where a large share of the funds never find their way to the ultimate cause due to excessive overhead costs.

It was his goal for the Yontz Valor Foundation to only support those 501 c(3) organizations where no more than 10-15% is spent on administrative expenses. All donation requests are thoroughly vetted to ensure that they meet, both the intent, and the financial criteria established by the Yontz Valor Foundation. This in turn, means that our funding benefits our military heroes and their families most directly – as they so deserve.


“The freedoms we enjoy in this great country are, understandably, taken for granted by many Americans due to the fact that we never have had to face a foreign invader on our shores since our country was founded. This country’s commitment to our military, along with the men and women who voluntarily serve to protect us, are the reasons we feel so safe in our homeland. We owe these individuals a debt of gratitude that we could never repay, particularly those who return wounded, disabled – and to the many who sadly never return.

Yontz Valor Foundation was therefore founded to primarily assist those returning veterans who were wounded in battle, their families and the families of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.”

Terri Yontz Miller



Terri Yontz  Miller is the daughter of Ken Yontz. She has inherited the passion for giving back from her Father. Being a Marketing Executive for over 30 years – she loves to bring a concept to life and knows what it takes to get others engaged and to maximize the foundation’s giving potential. In her role as President, she will look to expand and enhance the Foundation for years to come to ensure that her Father’s vision is not just a dream but a reality that will live on for generations that follow.


“I believe so strongly in Yontz Valor Foundation. It is grounded in the ultimate belief that Freedom is not Free and that many have given their all to ensure our freedoms. With two teenage boys, my dream is that they and the younger generations truly understand what has been sacrificed and what is at stake. There are no greater heroes than the men and women of our military. Through Yontz Valor Foundation – we intend to honor that by giving them and their families the help and support they so richly deserve. We can NEVER give enough, but at our core we will strive to fund many meaningful and impactful programs that directly benefit our military heroes in the best way possible.

My commitment to honor my Father’s vision is unwavering, as in my heart there is no other group of people who deserve our deepest gratitude more.”

Jay Garstecki 



Jay (Jason) Garstecki is a businessman, professional fisherman and outdoor enthusiast. In 2011, Jay co-founded the non-profit organization – Take A Vet Fishing – “A Day of Giving Back”. This non-profit was created to raise awareness and provide treatment of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) in our returning Veterans. In 2015, Jay co-founded a television show called “Operation Fishing Freedom – “The Voice of a Hero”. This TV show documents the lives our nation’s greatest assets – our active duty US Military Personnel and US Military Veterans from across the country. Each episode tells the story of our Heroes lives – through their eyes – and documents it for future generations. Jay is a professional fisherman who fishes multiple tournaments ever year to spread the word about his passion for our Veterans. Finally, Jay is a businessman with over 21 years in marketing and print manufacturing with a company in Morton Grove, Il. – Quantum Group.

Jay enjoys spending time with his wife Kris and his 13 year old son Justin. Jay hopes to instill the same “giving back” values in his son – and hopes that his son will someday carry on his footsteps.


“I don’t think we could possibly ever do enough for the men and women who sacrifice their lives every day for our freedom. All gave some – some gave all – in order for us to enjoy the freedoms that too many Americans take for granted every day. We have an obligation to HONOR our US Military personnel and WELCOME THEM HOME. We need to continue to provide assistance during the “re-integration” process that these men and women must face after deployment. Finally, we need to educate our younger generations on the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms.”

“The Yontz Valor Foundation has provided financial support to countless organizations – which has enabled Veterans to seek the help they deserve.”

Katherine Hayes



Katherine (Katie) Hayes is a Minnesota native who resides with her family near the shores of beautiful Lake Minnetonka. She has always had the needs of our nations military close to her heart for good reason. Her relatives include five US Navy Veterans serving in WWII, The Korean War, and in Viet Nam. Her husband William is a great nephew of Felix Bertino, Brigadier General WWII. Bertino served the National Guard in Panama – 158th Infantry Division known as The Bushmasters.Katie’s son is pursuing the ROTC collegiate route with aspirations of joining the Navy Seals. In the business world, Katie has had a successful career in software sales and sales management. She spends her free time with her husband, three children and two adorable and very active Labrador Retrievers. She loves the great outdoors, cooking, solving problems and reaching out in the community to those less fortunate.


“My vision is to help realize the dream of our founder, Ken Yontz of truly making a difference in the life of our military heroes who have given so much to us. At Yontz Valor Foundation we have the opportunity to research and seek out the most impactful ways to support American Veterans and their families. Focusing on the three pillars of medical, family and experiential, we target the most deserving 501c3 organizations who both align with the YVF values and demonstrate discpline in ensuring their donations are maximized for direct support of our returning military men and woman. I look forward to the honor and challenge of making YVF the best it can be and making a real difference for so many.”