Board Members

William O'Brien, Founder/Executive Director


I began VOVG as a way to bring Veterans together and get them started on a new mission in life. After serving 13 years in the military and private contracting, I realized how many Veterans were committing suicide and decided that something had to be done to combat this. I discovered that farming provided me with therapy and saw that there were many other Veterans in the surrounding area that were getting into various forms of agriculture. It is the mission of VOVG to bring these Veterans together and provide camaraderie, support, and stability to the lives of our warriors and their families.

Thank you for your support!

Heather O'Brien, Co-Founder


I am the co-founder of VOVG and wife of Bill O'Brien. I was born in Burgaw, NC, where my family has farmed for several generations.

The current home of VOVG is located on farmland purchased by my grandparents after my grandfather returned from World War II. 

We have two children, Emma and Timothy. We are incredibly fortunate to be able to raise our family on our farm.

Amanda Rytych, President


I was raised near Houston, Texas. I attended Bethany College and Lee Community College. I married my spouse, James Rytych (USMC) in 2000. We have 2 children, William and Karlee. I am a full-time homemaker and caregiver to my Wounded Warrior husband. In the past I have volunteered with Canines For Veterans, Onslow County Animal Shelter, and Onslow County School District. 

Jessica Reeves, Treasurer


Jessica Reeves (Asbell) was born and raised in Georgia. She married Matthew in 2008. They have 3 kids (Kaelyn, Leighton and Isabelle).  Jessica started at a very early age, volunteering to help others and has spent her life proving she loves to help others.  


“As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands - one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”IO

Catherine Owens, Secretary


Catherine Ross-Owens has over 21 years of corporate experience within the foodservice distribution industry. Her work includes involvement in general administration, business development, sales & marketing with Sysco foods locations in Harrisburg-Pennsylvania, Jersey City-New Jersey & Raleigh-North Carolina. She serves as the board President of a local women’s development group as well as the member-at-large for her homeowners association. Catherine joined the board of Veteran Owned, Veteran Grown in May 2018. 

Brenda McDonald, Board Member



Brenda was born in the Midwest on the Mississippi River and her childhood years were spent very much like Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. She moved to St. Simons Island, GA after majoring in communications and was an on-air personality at a radio station in Brunswick, GA. In addition to on-air work she delved into the elusive world of marketing, writing copy for on-air ads.

Moving to North Carolina, Brenda began a career in mortgage banking that spanned 25 years. This career included, among other things, sales, sales management and marketing.

She is now on a journey designing the last half of her life which includes a new career that takes her back to her educational roots in communications, specializing in social media marketing and management. At the same time she is passionate about the non-profits she supports and devotes time and energy to those efforts.

Matthew Reeves, Board Member


Matthew J. Reeves was raised in Gurnee, IL. Shortly after graduating high school he joined the Marine Corps. After 5 years of service, Matthew decided to pursue something closer to home and focus on his family. Now with over 10 years of marriage and 3 kids, Matthew and Jessica love investing in the community, veterans and anything to strengthen family values. 

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind ALWAYS”