Meet the Board – Lt. Col. John Hales

Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Hales

Board of Directors member John Hales is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the United States Marine Corps. He has been a member of the Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation board since its inception. John lived across the street from Joel & Jennifer Griffin, and his wife was a teacher’s assistant in Gwyneth’s First Grade class. John says he wanted to get involved because he was “so impressed with what Jennifer and Joel have been able to accomplish after such a tragedy”.

John has enjoyed three wonderful “careers” including: 21 + years as a Marine Officer, eight years as an Academic Advisor & Dean at Georgetown University’s School of Business, and 15 ½ years at the Marine Corps University Foundation at Quantico. He has been married to his lovely wife for 50 years and they have two daughters. In his free time, John enjoys the occasion round of golf, reading, and going to sporting events. 

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Joel Griffin

Chairman & Co-Founder

Joel Griffin is co-founder and chairman of Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. Gwyneth’s Gift was founded in 2015 by Joel and Jennifer Griffin in honor of their oldest daughter, Gwyneth. He is also an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with 25 years of private industry consulting experience and 20 years in government contracting. He is the Founder and CEO of Riphean, a regional growth management firm.

Joel is committed to philanthropy within the region through local nonprofits and organizations that strengthen local communities. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stafford Hospital Foundation, and Germanna Educational Foundation. Joel was recognized for his impact and leadership within the region, receiving the Prince B. Woodward Leadership Award in 2022.

In addition to the regional award, Joel received the Valor Award from Loudon County for his life-saving efforts in an emergency. He also received the Patriotic Civilian Service Award given by the U.S. Army for actions taken immediately and following 9/11 at The Pentagon in 2001.