CHARLIE DANIELS - LEGENDARY MUSICIAN/CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Country music icon Charlie Daniels lent his celebrity status and musical talents to Lipscomb University to raise money for their veterans' scholarship fun, and The Journey Home Project is an outgrowth of those concerts. Charlie is a passionate, vocal supporter of veterans' causes. He is a Grammy-award-winning music icon that has been performing for more than 50 years. Daniels' rebel anthems Long Haired Country Boy and The South's Gonna Do It propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to Double Platinum status. He won a Grammy Award in 1979 for The Devil Went Down to Georgia and the following year, the song became a major crossover success on rock radio stations. Charlie and The Charlie Daniels Band (CDB) have earned many awards including those from the Gospel Music Association, the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. The CDB's recent release, Land That I Love, is a patriotic compilation including (Iraq Blues and What This World Needs is a Few More Rednecks 2010). As a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Charlie regularly performs on the Opry, is a member the Musicians Hall of Fame, and has a star on Music City’s Walk of Fame. He was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service award for his support of military personnel and as well as the AmVet Silver Helmet award, an annual award that recognizes various patriotic achievements and presented by the AmVets, an organization formed by World War II veterans. In addition to performing for our troops from Guantanamo Bay to Bosnia, Kuwait, South Korea, and repeated trips to Iraq for Stars for Stripes as well as visiting troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, and elsewhere, Daniels started Operation Heartstrings, a program that donated 100 Gibson guitars, drums, keyboards, and microphones to deployed service members. More than 13,000 pieces of musical accessories were sent to deployed service members.
DAVID CORLEW - BOARD MEMBER
David Corlew marked 41 years with artist Charlie Daniels in 2014, and through those years, as part of the Nashville music scene, also started and operated a music publishing company (Kicking Bird Music/Corlew Music Group), an artist management firm (Corlew-O’Grady Management), and a record label with Charlie Daniels (Blue Hat Records) and even won a Grammy as Compilation Producer for Amazing Grace Vol. II (A Country Salute To Gospel). David is currently a member of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center’s Board of Overseers, Sentinels of Freedom Board and the Board of Directors for Stars For Stripes, an organization which is committed to bringing entertainment to the men and women stationed all over the world. He has also served on The Academy of Country Music's Board of Directors including terms as both President and Vice President. David was elected as a Governor to the Nashville Chapter Board for NARAS in 2011 and now serves as Vice President of the Nashville Chapter as well as the diversity and chapter nominating committees.
David’s passion for professional filmmaking began in 2006 during a Charlie Daniels Band “Stars For Stripes” tour in Iraq. The documentary would become a DVD, but the process was a life-changing experience for all involved as David witnessed the rapport that Charlie had with the troops.
David’s latest mission, along with partners Joe & Mercedez Longever and the board of The Journey Home Project is to continue to develop and produce video and television programming that raises awareness of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the U.S. military and utilize these assets in raising funds to help our returning military men and women. During service, they risk their lives to defend our freedom. And when they come home, new challenges await, as many soldiers need physical and mental healing while all military personnel reintegrate back into society. After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are many stories to be told as most of the 2.5 million troops deployed are making their journey home. These are the stories we want to tell and in the process, inspire the support our men and women in uniform deserve.
JOE LONGEVER-BOARD MEMBER
As CEO of Copperweld, Joe Longever does business around the globe. But his greatest pleasure is working with veterans. Having served in the Air Force, Joe knows what it's like to come back to a different world than the one he left, and is proud to support our troops. A passionate philanthropist in the area of Veterans’ assistance, Joe and his wife Mercedez, together with music executive David Corlew; and legendary country entertainer and Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Daniels, have founded The Journey Home Project, a fundraising effort supporting veterans’ charities.
MERCEDEZ LONGEVER - MANAGING DIRECTOR
Mercedez Longever studied at the University of Puerto Rico, and worked as a Paralegal. Mercedez is passionate about her nation and the freedoms it affords us all. She recognizes that the veterans of our armed services have performed a tremendous service to our country, and believes fervently that we should assist them and their families with the often difficult transition to civilian life.