Todd McGowan, M.M.M, CD CWO (Ret’d)
Glen was born and raised in Southern Ontario. After graduating from E.C. Drury High School, he found his passion for athletics. He turned this passion into a career by teaching skiing at Glen Eden Resort in Milton, Ontario.
After five years as a ski instructor, Glen became a sales representative in the ski business. He accomplished eight years of outstanding sales productivity and then turned his passion toward cycling. He realized that when he chose to go riding over skiing, it was time to make a career change. Ultimately, this led him to where he is today as Territory Manager for Cervelo.
In 2012, Wounded Warriors Canada invited Glen as on road support for the Big Battlefield Bike Ride from Portsmouth, England to Dunkirk, France. Alongside twenty-two Canadian soldiers working on their treatment for Operation Stress Injuries, Glen stood proudly at Vimy Ridge, which was a pinnacle moment in his life. From that moment, he has dedicated his time to Wounded Warriors Canada to help in the mission in any way possible.
Glen lives in Burlington, Ontario with his wife, two kids and dog Murphy.
Gary grew up in South Africa, emigrated to Canada in 1986 and has called Toronto home ever since. He and his wife are empty nesters, his twin children, a son and daughter, entering 3rd year university. A Chartered Accountant, Gary has spent the bulk of his career in executive positions in the media and entertainment industries. He has spent the past 7 years as CEO of a technology company, Yangaroo, which provides digital solutions to the Advertising and Entertainment industries. Gary is a lifelong avid cyclist and 8 years ago, with 2 friends, co-founded Etobicoke Cycling Club, which now boasts a membership of 150 riders.
After following some friends adventures on previous Battlefield bike rides, Gary signed up for the Vimy 100 ride in 2017. Initially, the reasons were; great trip, raise money for a good cause, time on the bike with friends. The experience exceeded all expectations and Operation Overlord will be his 3rd Wounded Warriors ride. With no direct ties to the military or first responder communities, it was difficult for him to explain the motivation to become more involved with the charity. While the Wounded Warriors mission statement speaks for itself, witnessing the selfless contribution of those providing the support and more profoundly, the impact that this support has had on those in the program, has had a profound impact on him. Gary is proud to call many of those he has met on the rides, close friends. Gary actively challenges his fellow cyclists to participate in the rides and promotes Wounded Warriors within his personal and business networks, raising awareness of the programming Wounded Warriors Canada provides to our Canadian Forces Members, 1st responder community and their families.
John Heffernan, M.M.M, CD
Chief Warrant Officer John A.T. Heffernan joined the Canadian Armed Forces with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the summer of 1988 as part of a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and completed his General Military Training (GMT) & Trade Qualification 1 (TQ1) Infantry, becoming an Infanteer.
Later that same year, he re-mustered to the Mobile Support Equipment Operator trade and transferred to 36 (Newfoundland) Service Battalion. He has held many positions with 36 Service Battalion (Transport Platoon) up to and including Platoon Warrant. From Transport Platoon, Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan moved into the Unit’s Training Cell to the position of Training Warrant and then on to the position of Standards Warrant, overseeing Company training and courses. In the spring of 2011, Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan was appointed as the Senior Technical Advisor for the Reserve Mobile Support Equipment Operator Trade for the 5th Canadian Division.
In April 2013, he was promoted to Master Warrant Officer and appointed as Company Sergeant Major of 36 Combat Service Support Company (37 Service Battalion). In September 2016, Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan was promoted to his current rank and appointed the Regimental Sergeant Major of 37 Service Battalion, comprised of three Companies – Headquarters Company and 36 Combat Service Support Company located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and 31 Combat Service Support Company located in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan has received the Canadian Decoration 1, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal, and the Order of Military Merit (M.M.M.).
In his civilian career, Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan joined the Conception Bay South Fire Department as a Firefighter in 1990 and has progressively worked through the ranks and was appointed as the Fire Chief of the Conception Bay South Fire Department in October 2015. Recently, Fire Chief Heffernan was awarded the designation as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) from the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
In October 2013, Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan accepted a voluntary position with Wounded Warriors Canada as the Provincial Coordinator for Newfoundland and Labrador. Wounded Warriors Canada, through their guiding ethos – “Honour the Fallen, Help the Living”, focuses on finding solutions through a wide range of programs and services where gaps have left Canada’s ill and injured Veterans, First Responders, and their families in need.
Chief Warrant Officer Heffernan lives in Topsail, Conception Bay South with his wife, Gordina.
Sgt (Retired) Daniel A Hrechka, CD Sgt (Ret’d)
Dan is a retired Army Logistics Sergeant with 27 years of Canadian Forces service. Having served internationally as an operator and SME supervisor throughout the Middle East and across Canada. His love of cycling was reintroduced upon his retirement from the CF and in June of 2014 he completed the first Wounded Warriors Battlefield Bike ride.
Dan is a wounded warrior himself, having suffered in silence for 15 years. The first ride in 2014 was life saving for him. Having participated in all Battlefield and Highway of Heroes bike rides since then, Dan has integrated his love of cycling into his healing journey. No longer suffering in silence he now searches for positive ideas and ways to “pay it forward”
Also a graduate of our Veterans Transition Program for PTSD veterans, Dan continues to live in Kingston, Ontario with his family and living by the WWC motto of “Honour the Fallen, Help the Living.”