Visionaries in Service

The Visionary Network plays a tremendous role in deepening the collective connection to September 11 and ensuring that future generations never forget the lessons or impact of what happened. Our Visionaries are a diverse group from a breadth of backgrounds, including a number who were drawn to serve in the United States military. 

Top, L-R: Carlton Shelley II; John Paluska; Ashley Nicolas; Shane Oravsky. Bottom, L-R: Joe Quinn; Amanda Szabolcs; Brian Kitching; James Hendon.

CARLTON R. SHELLEY II
VP, Process Design Consultant
Bank of America

Carlton R. Shelley II is a Vice President at Bank of America, where he was an Asset Backed Securities investment banker and is now an internal management consultant. Before Bank of America, Carlton spent five years in the United States Army as an Armored Scout at Ft. Hood, where he spent most of his time in the 9th Calvary Regiment, a formally all-black unit known as the Buffalo Soldiers. As a Calvary officer, he was responsible for identifying enemy activity and providing a recommendation for the trailing larger unit. Carlton was recruited to play football at the United States Military Academy. A two-year letterman, his first assignment was coaching football at the United States Military Academy Prep School. He holds a B.S. in Sociology from the United States Military Academy with a minor in mechanical engineering, and is currently an MBA Candidate at the Wharton School. External to the bank, he is on the board of directors at Collaborate and Graduate, a non-profit dedicated to creating a more diverse military officer corps. Carlton and his family live in West Orange, NJ, where they enjoy working out and spending time with his son Carlton III.

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

JOHN PALUSKA
VP, Capital Markets
Hilton Grand Vacations
Visionary Network Co-Founder

On September 11, 2001, John was an 18-year-old freshman at Fordham University. That day and in the days that followed, John volunteered at Ground Zero, aiding in the rescue and recovery operation. He subsequently joined the Army, becoming a Green Beret with combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other locations. A Purple Heart recipient, John medically retired from the military after over 10 years of service. He currently works at Hilton Grand Vacations and was previously employed with Bank of America Securities, where he was heavily involved with the company’s military veteran hiring. Recently, John earned his MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was active in their Nonprofit Board Leadership Program. A former State Department intern and joint fellow with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S Special Operations Command, he also serves on the Fundraising Committee for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Taste of Wall Street, and is a Founding Member of Special Forces Association - Chapter 58.

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

ASHLEY NICOLAS
Assistant United States District Attorney
Southern District of New York

Following graduation from United States Military Academy at West Point, Ashley branched Army Intelligence and served the majority of her five active-duty years in the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division (4-2 SBCT). During that time, she deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where she worked both as a Female Engagement Team Leader and a Brigade Assistant Intelligence Officer, supporting infantry units in a very hostile and kinetic region of southern Afghanistan. Ashley continued her service with Teach for America as a mathematics and computer science teacher in San Jose, CA, and later went on to receive her Doctor of Law from Georgetown University. She is a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar, an honor that led her to become involved with our Visionary Network and ultimately its Leadership Council. Currently, she is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

SHANE ORAVSKY
Associate Account Executive
Johnson & Johnson

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Shane Oravsky attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation and following Ranger school, he deployed to eastern Afghanistan as an infantry platoon leader. Shane developed strategic partnerships with tribal elders, denied Al-Qaeda safe havens along the Pakistani border, and learned through successes and failures. Shane became a Special Forces detachment commander and returned to Afghanistan. In 2015, Shane joined the FBI as a Special Agent and led counterterrorism and violent crime investigations in New York City. He is now an Associate Account Executive at Johnson & Johnson. 

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

JOE QUINN
Founder and CEO

Feltman's of Coney Island

On September 11, 2001, Joe Quinn was in his last year at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His older brother, Jimmy, was an employee at Cantor Fitzgerald and was killed in the attacks. Joe spent the next 20 years serving his country and community, beginning with six years in the Army, where he served two deployments to Iraq. He received a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Executive Director of the Headstrong Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping veterans receive mental health treatment, and as Director of Leadership Development for Team RWB, whose mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Before his experience with Team RWB, Joe was an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point and an Associate at the Combating Terrorism Center. Currently, he serves as the CEO and co-founder of Feltman’s of Coney Island. 

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

AMANDA SZABOLCS
Manager, Corporate Development
Atlantic Southern 

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy, Amanda spent 10 years in the Air Force working in defense contracting and logistics. She has a demonstrated history of working in corporate development, investment banking, military industry, government contracts, and program management. Amanda is currently a manager of corporate development at Atlantic Southern. She also holds an MBA from Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

BRIAN KITCHING
Battalion Commander
101 Airborne, U.S. Army

Brian is from Lincoln, NE, and is a 2021 White House Fellow currently placed at the White House Office of Management and Budget and the United States Office of Personnel Management. He has spent over 50 months deployed to combat since 2002, serving in key roles within Special Operations and Infantry units, including assignments to the 75th Ranger Regiment, and 101st and 82nd Airborne. Brian's experience in the Middle East includes numerous kinetic combat operations, as well as economic development and social assistance missions over nearly 20 years. He served as a General Wayne Downing Scholar at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and is a term member for the Council on Foreign Relations. Most recently, he served as a Special Assistant to the 40th Chief of Staff of the Army. Brian earned a BS in economics from Alabama A&M University, a master of public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and an MA in international affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

9/11 Memorial & Museum Contributions:

JAMES HENDON
Commissioner, Department of Veterans' Service

City of New York

James is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans' Services. Previously, he served as Director of the NYU Veterans Future Lab, a small business incubator for practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs who are US Military Veterans or Veterans' Spouses. He was also the CEO of the Energy Economic Development Corporation, an organization that helps communities and small businesses take advantage of energy-related advancements. Prior to that, he served as the COO for BlocPower, a Department of Energy-sponsored company that helps nonprofits, small businesses, and faith centers perform energy efficiency retrofits. He previously worked as an Associate in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank.

Before entering the civilian workforce, James spent seven years in the Army as an active duty Infantry Officer where he deployed as a Mortar Platoon Leader and Battalion Public Affairs Officer to Iraq (2005), worked as an Admissions Officer for West Point (2006-2007), and served as the Senior Advisor to the Afghan Border Police in Afghanistan (2007-2009).

He is a graduate of West Point, Harvard's Kennedy School, and Columbia University's Business School, as well as of the Earth Institute's Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability.

James also served as a mayoral appointee on the New York City Veterans Advisory Board. He has volunteered as a mentor for the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx since 2014. As a drilling Army Reservist, Hendon, a Lieutenant Colonel, acts as the New York City Lead for the 75th Innovation Command.