Board of Directors

Brett Jones, Founder

“The only thing that got me through what I call the rough spots is my guitar. I would pick up the guitar and I would immerse myself in it. A song was my life vest.”

Bret Jones is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter with over one hundred songs recorded including fourteen top ten hits and five number ones. Brett is also the founder of Gold Star Mentors and a TAPS survivor.

Michael G. Shalosky, Chairman of the Board

“I want to give back to those who have given so much. The loss of a loved one is devastating, and if we can help a young adult come thru to the other side, it is the ultimate gift.

I’ve known Brett for 54 years and he has a giant heart just like his mom. What a wonderful gift to be able to help one of your best friends in his passion.”

A Chemical Engineer graduate from the University of South Carolina, Mike had a 27 year career with Abbott Laboratories as Plant Manager, Operations Director, Director of Pharmaceutical Engineering and Director of Global Engineering. In 2010, Mike established his own business as General Contractor and owner of Shalosky Engineering LLC.

In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board at Gold Star Mentors, Mike formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Kiawah Conservancy.

Ernest “Ern” L Sherman, Vice Chair & Secretary

“Passionate about providing the best opportunity for others to succeed and follow their dreams.”

Secretary Ernest “Ern” Sherman spent over 40 years with The Coca-Cola CompanySince retirement, he has acted as consultant to a start-up tech company and is former co-owner of a live music venue that supported the local community & musicians.

Married 36 years to Michelle, together they have three adult children and three grandchildren. Ern & Michelle divide their time between Roswell, Georgia and Park City, Utah.

Clyde Bright, Treasurer

“While serving in Vietnam, I lost many friends who had brothers, sisters or children. When I was contacted by Brett Jones, I immediately thought about how great this organization would have been had it been around at that time.”

Treasurer Clyde Bright is a financial consultant and Partner with Collinsworth, Bright & Company, PC. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Austin Peay State University where he majored in Accounting and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He continued his education at the University of Tennessee earning a Master of Business Administration. Hobbies include scuba diving, hunting and traveling in his RV.

Clyde served with the U. S. Army C/2/502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam from 1967-1968. It is his hope that Gold Star Mentors will help fill the void for children whose parent or sibling paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Fred C. Goad, Board Member

“It has been a privilege to serve on the Gold Star Mentors board. The vision of providing support to young survivors through the gift of music is unique. It is my hope that in some small way our efforts assist in coping with their loss.”

Board Member Fred Goad graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree from University of Virginia. He is the cofounder and partner of Voyent Partners LLC. Fred served as Past President of Envoy Corp and Co-Chief Executive Officer of WebMD. He is the Past Chairman of the Board of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and previously served on the Board with Quintiles, Specialists on Call, Emagen, Luminex, and Informatics Corporation of America.

Dr. John G. Kearns, Board Member

“The impact of war is not limited to our soldiers and sailors. Collateral damage is also felt by their families. Gold Star Mentors is a way I can say ‘Thank You!’ to those who have given so much to our country. I believe in Brett’s vision, and I have seen his integrity since we were in elementary school together.”

Dr. John G. Kearns is the Senior and Founding Pastor of Christ Harbor United Methodist Church in Northport, Alabama. After graduating from Furman University, John worked in the financial field in Atlanta before attending Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He has pastored in north Alabama since 1985. Following his doctoral work, Dr. Kearns planted his current congregation at Christ Harbor UMC in 1998.


Your support brings hope and healing … large or small your gift makes a difference!


Your gift of $250 provides a guitar and playing lessons with professional musicians.


We love building relationships with organizations that support our mission!


Host a private concert with Brett Jones and some of his songwriter pals.