Christian Taylor, President & Director of Research
Christian is the co-founder of Warzone Initiatives and has served as the organization’s president since 2012. Under Christian’s leadership the organization has worked to address armed conflict involving non-state armed groups. They have pursued this end in Somalia, Gaza, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Colombia through initiatives including: humanitarian projects for displaced populations; stability programs for populations vulnerable to recruitment; conflict assessments; research projects; peace and reconciliation dialogues; and consultation of non-state armed groups, government agencies, and international organizations. Christian is a doctoral student at the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University. Christian earned a Master of Science from S-CAR and a Bachelor of Arts in History from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During his time at UCLA he was a member of the Bruins football team for four years and served as the team captain for the last two. Christian and his wife Holly have two daughters, Tatum and Sadie.
Mark Drever, Director
Mark received his B.S. Degree in Economics from the University of Pacific in 1979 and his J.D. from the Loyola School University School of Law in 1982. In 1988, Mark joined Fresh Express, a packaged salad manufacturer in Salinas, California. He served in various capacities for 18 years, including as President from 1993 – 2001 and as CEO until July 2005 when the company was sold to Chiquita. In 2007, Mark co-founded organicgirl. organicgirl develops, markets, and sells premium, organic food products including salads, dressings and juices. The company has grown from a start-up in 2007 to the second largest and fastest growing organic salad brand in the country. Mark has served as the CEO and Chairman of the company since 2008. Mark has been married to Robyn since 1980 and they have two children, Kevin and Bryan.
Steve Taylor, Director
Steve was born and raised in Salinas, California. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Psychology and from Harvard Business School with an MBA in 1985. In 1987, Steve joined Fresh Express where he created and developed the packaged salad industry. He became Chairman and CEO of Fresh Express in 1993. After building Fresh Express to $550 million in sales, the company sold in 2001. Steve and partners from Fresh Express invested in a turnaround vegetable company in 2006 and started Organic Girl (organic salads) in 2007. Steve and his wife, Kathy, have been married 33 years. They have three children: Meghan, Kyle, and Christian. Steve and Kathy are involved in various ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Salinas and are engaged in the public policy arena around the country.
Luke Miner, Director
Luke Miner is an entrepreneur, traveler, adventurer and learner. In the winter of 2009, Luke read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was a life changing experience, and he was forever hooked on business. He immediately started a Christmas tree business (which failed miserably). From there he co-founded YouCaring.com, the top crowdfunding site for causes which has raised over $500,000,000. He successfully exited YouCaring.com in 2014, in the first acquisition of a major crowdfunding website. Since then he has invested in and/or operated residential, multi family, and commercial real estate; startups ranging from music, technology, medical, and distribution; and a logistics company (Fedex Company). Luke and his wife Meredith have one son, Jaxon.
Benjamin Church, Director
Benjamin is the co-founder of Warzone Initiatives. From 2012-2014, Benjamin served as the organizations COO. Under Benjamin’s leadership, the organization implemented sustainable, impactful projects; developed an effective Somalia team; and created structure and systems to expand project capacity. Benjamin has been involved with humanitarian work in some of the most challenging environments in the world. His experience working in devastated areas, his passion to save lives, and his vision to see global poverty come to an end inspired him to co-found Warzone Initiatives. In 2015 Benjamin founded To The Stars Marketing, a strategic consulting agency that helps organizations and businesses increase brand awareness and profits through implementing digital marketing strategies.
Michael Watson, Director
Michael is the Treasurer, Senior Relationship Manager and a Partner at Carlson Capital, L.P., a multi-strategy hedge fund. Michael graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University in 1997 with a B.B.A in Finance and Accounting. Michael has lived in Dallas, Texas for the past 17 years and has traveled to 57 countries for work, charity, and leisure. In addition to serving on the Warzone Initiatives Board, Michael serves on the boards for Capital For Kids, an investment-industry charity which focuses on helping abused and underprivileged children in North Texas; and the S.M. Wright Foundation, which assists and empowers underprivileged children and families who live in the South Dallas/Fair Park community and has served on the Committee for Young Life in the Former Soviet Union.