Our Team




Adam Baker is President of the Banking Group for Stride Bank, a $2 Billion asset-sized bank with offices throughout Oklahoma and in Salt Lake City. He oversees the Bank’s commercial and fintech lending, credit, mortgage, and wealth management groups.  Prior to joining Stride in 2008, Adam managed the credit department for a $1.2B asset-sized bank located in Chicago, IL. From 2000 to 2003, he was the regional credit analyst for US Bank’s correspondent lending department based in Kansas City, MO.  Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Letters from the University of Oklahoma and later an MBA in finance and accounting from American University in Washington, DC.


Adam lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Elissa, a son, a daughter, and dog Charlie. He enjoys hunting, skiing, travel, history, the Oklahoma Sooners, and playing clawhammer banjo. Adam has served on the Soldier’s Wish board since 2013.


Mark Tedford is the owner and CEO of Tedford Insurance with their corporate office located in Jenks, Oklahoma.


Mark received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern University and worked part-time at the agency as he earned his MBA from the University of Tulsa. He specializes in the Energy and Industrial industry.


Mark is passionate about protecting the dreams of his clients and understands what is at stake for a business owner. Tedford Insurance was founded in 1978. Tedford Insurance was the recipient of the 2016 DREAM BIG Blue Ribbon Small Business Award, and Mark was personally awarded the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma “2018 Agent of the Year”. He was selected for this prestigious award by his peers in the industry. Most recently, Tedford Insurance was the recipient of the 2022 Family-Owned Business Award presented by the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Tulsa Small Business Connection.

Mark has a passion for giving back to the communities that have richly fueled the growth of his family’s business throughout the decades. Mark has served on the Soldier’s Wish board Since 2017. Mark currently serves on the Tulsa Christmas Parade Board, Tulsa Regional Chamber Board of Directors, Triad Bank Board of Directors, and serves on the board for the PMI Green Country HOA.


Mark has always recognized the importance of politics. However, it wasn’t until this year that he had the opportunity to run for Oklahoma House Representative for District #69.  Mark will begin his two-year term in February 2023.


Mark is married to Kristin Tedford, and they have four children, Lauren, Landon, Lathan, and Lanning.


James is an attorney at Ezzell & Shepherd PLLC in Enid, Oklahoma. He has been practicing law for more than 15 years.


James earned a Bachelor of Arts in Letters from the University of Oklahoma in 1998 and later an MBA from the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. He obtained his Juris Doctorate in 2003 from Oklahoma City University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and a merit scholarship recipient. He was admitted to practice law in the State of Oklahoma the same year. After being admitted to the bar in 2003, James worked in Oklahoma City for three years before returning to Enid in 2006.


James Shepherd has had the pleasure to serve on numerous boards of local organizations, including the Board of Directors for the Enid Chamber of Commerce, Hospice Circle of Love, the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, the Grand National Quail Club, and Oakwood Country Club.


James lives in Enid, OK with his wife Molly, and their four children. James has served on the Soldier’s Wish since 2019.


Kevin is the owner of Barracuda Staffing, Barracuda Consulting, and Red River Payroll and has built the companies on the principles of building relationships on every level.


Kevin’s main objective, whether it is with his clients, applicants or staff, is to put people in the right position to succeed. The staffing company under his direction has had substantial growth year over year and has been twice recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America. Kevin is motivated to perform no more than his best and feels he is here to serve the community. He is an active member on the boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Soldier’s Wish, and the Tulsa Christmas Parade.

Kevin lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Sandy, and their two children. They enjoy watching their children compete in sports and in life, and they aspire to see the world. Kevin has served on the Soldier’s Wish board since 2018.


Known to his friends as, Joe, Donald Watt is the retired owner of Joe Watt Auto Sales Inc, and has more than 35 years of purchasing, sales, and marketing experience in the automotive industry. After working for several new car dealerships and winning many excellence awards, Joe successfully opened his own car dealership in Oklahoma 25 years ago. What started as a small used car dealership open to the public, evolved into a large dealership specifically marketing law enforcement vehicles all over the United States.


Joe moved to South Florida in 2013, and he continues to maintain strong ties to Oklahoma. He has participated in granting wishes in the South Florida area and has distributed Soldier’s Wish materials at VFWs and during ceremonies at memorial parks. Joe has served on the Soldier’s Wish board since its inception in 2013.


Colonel (retired) Clay Bartels served 25 years in the United States Air Force.  He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996, flew combat missions in the F-15C and was initial FTU cadre for the F-22 Raptor, which he flew for the remainder of his career.  Col Bartels was deployed for a year to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a year in Qatar supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria & Iraqi, being on the ground for the final defeat of the ISIS caliphate.  His final assignment was as the Vice Wing Commander at the Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program in Wichita Falls, Texas.


Without a doubt, however, the most important assignment of his career was in initial pilot training at Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma.  While there, then 2Lt Bartels met his beautiful wife, Mandy, who is in attendance today.  She and their three children, Sadie, Seth and Mattie served just as honorably (probably even more so) then he did.  They survived 11 separate moves and unique duty stations, the numerous deployments/TDYs, and all three of the kids the joy of being new on the first day of middle school – just to name a few highlights.  They all deserve the highest praise and recognition.


Col Bartels is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Aerial Achievement Medal. Clay is happily married to his wife Mandy, and has three children: Sadie, Seth, and Mattie.


Bob has been with the Soldiers Wish team since early 2023.  Bob is currently a pilot with a major US airline and a retired USAF colonel with robust background in aviation, operations management, and leadership at all organizational levels.  Experiences include skilled management of diverse teams, international diplomacy and negotiation, protection and risk assessment of assets and human capital, process improvement and innovation, and superior technical instruction and competence.  Professional military highlights include previous selectively manned joint/combined Korean staff experience, director of headquarters standardization/evaluation division, Instructor/Evaluator qualifications in F-117A, T-38C, T-38A plus 250+ hours of combat time in the F-16C ; competitively selected to attend both intermediate/senior level profession military education.  Bob has commanded in AETC’s undergraduate pilot training at the squadron, group and wing level.


He was raised in Savannah, GA and graduated from The Citadel with a BS Business Administration then attended Mississippi State University to obtain a MBA.  He and his wife Lori have two great kids and reside in Wichita Falls, TX.





Soldier's Wish