The Spirit of Blue Foundation Board of Directors is a volunteer board established to oversee and direct the work of the Executive Director and the Foundation as a whole in the fulfillment of its mission to enhance Officer Safety nationwide. Comprised of accomplished business people, each member has either prior experience as a law enforcement officer, has lost a friend or family member in the line of duty or has some other link to the law enforcement community itself that drives their service and commitment.


Gary Blair, Chairman

Gary served for 13 years in law enforcement attaining the rank of Chief of Police in the State of Ohio. He then worked in the technology industry for 10 years developing and implementing solutions for the law enforcement community nationally.  He joined the Board in 2018 with the desire to contribute to and support the law enforcement community.  Gary received a criminal justice degree from Park University, he lives outside Traverse City, Michigan and is currently the Managing Principal of Way Forward LLC.




Gregory Marholin, Vice Chairman

Greg has served primarily in the areas of Development and Sponsorship Recruitment after joining the Board in 2015.  Greg holds a Business Administration degree from Granite State College and has had an extensive career in sales for both professional marketing firms and insurance companies.  Greg currently lives in Florida and is the owner of an insurance firm.




Frank Cappo, Treasurer

Frank served for 12 years in law enforcement in both patrol and training functions before becoming a sales professional Armor Holdings &  5.11 Tactical.  He joined the Board in 2017 with the desire to give back to his former profession.  Frank received a degree from the University of Kansas, lives outside of Kansas City and is currently the Vice President of Sales for Armor Express.




Mathew Pruitt, Board Member

Mat’s early career was in economic development in and around the Quad Cities (IL/IA) with both the chamber of commerce and other local development groups before joining LMT Defense.  Mathew joined the Board in the summer of 2017 as a natural extension of his personal friendship with law enforcement officers and the work he does with law enforcement agencies professionally.  Mathew received a degree in Psychology from University of Northern Iowa, lives with his wife and two children in Iowa and is currently the Global Director of LE & Government Sales for LMT Defense.




Todd Parola, Board Member & Co-Founder

Todd is the Vice President of Business Development at RRD Marketing Solutions in Chicago, IL.  Todd is the younger brother of Maine State Trooper Jeffrey S. Parola who was killed in the line of duty in 1994.  In response, the Parola family created and ran the Jeffrey S. Parola Foundation in the State of Maine, which served as the inspiration for the national Spirit of Blue Foundation.  Todd holds a degree in Business Administration from Lake Forest College and currently resides in Chicago, IL. 




Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director & Secretary

As Executive Director, Ryan oversees all of the day-to-day business of the Foundation and has been on the Board since its inception in 2011.  Ryan is an Oregon native with a Business Administration degree from Seattle Pacific University and has served in both the military and law enforcement communities. He started his professional marketing career at Nike and is currently part owner of PPF Media, Inc.  Ryan lives with his family in Western New York.



Advisory Council

The purpose of the Spirit of Blue Advisory Council is to authentically ground the Foundation with the firsthand knowledge of the law enforcement community and experience of current and recently retired law enforcement professionals, ranging across different experience levels, disciplines within the profession, types of agency and geographic location.  While the identity of these individuals are not disclosed, they play a valuable role in ensuring the Foundation’s work is relevant and meaningful.
Get campaign updates, industry news and more by email.



We are dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.

read more


Over 900,000 law enforcement officers honorably serve the population of the United States - that equates to 1 officer for every 350 citizens. On average, 125 officers are lost and another 15,000 are injured in the line of duty each year. Yet funding for safety equipment and training is dwindling as tax revenues decline. The need for supplemental funding to protect these officers has never been greater.

read more >