About Us

We train leaders to succeed in growing their business sales and profits.

Griffin Gorge Associates, LLC

Griffin Gorge Associates is a group of Instructors that have a background in civilian industries and in planning military operations. This combined experience allows us to tailor the military planning and decision making process to meet the needs of our customers. We have an understanding of your business because we are in business. We have also planned and conducted military operations for peacetime training exercises, overseas missions to include combat and most importantly to us, military responses to disasters in the US.

What We Do Best

We provide training and mentoring to leaders across a wide spectrum of industries. Our team provides the training to make good people great! We train leaders to be focused on achieving your company goals of increased sales and profits. Griffin Gorge Associates is comprised of current & retired National Guard senior leaders. We have the unique ability to take the refined operational training the military provides and translate that to civilian applications.

How We Started

Back in 2017, our founder, Chip Richardson, was working full time for the New York National Guard as the Director of Military Support, a planning cell in the state headquarters.  Facing a looming retirement, he was contemplating options.  In the military, officers have a “Mandatory Removal Date” (MRD) which a specified date on which you are to be removed from service (ie, an expiration date).  In most cases, you know this ten years in advance.  You do get to draw a retirement check but it is less than what you were earning.

Chip talked to several officers who were reaching their MRD and asked what their plans were.  Some went off to get part time jobs just to occupy their time.  Many were in a position where they had to earn a significant income to continue supporting their families.  Chip knew there must be a way these talented professionals could pool their education and experiences to create a viable option. 

In the summer of 2017, Chip was talking to a part-time Guardsman, Jim Dalpe, who was a remarkably successful businessman in Saratoga, NY.  We needed to create a  business that capitalized on the skill sets unique to National Guard leaders that would be valuable in the civilian sector.  Part of the concept was to build a company that can hire these leaders being forced out through the MRD process.  The idea was born to form a company that went out to teach civilian businesses the planning and operational skills we learned through the military schools.  Jim made the suggestion to start now so that when retirement comes the business is off to the races. 

Griffin Gorge Associates officially formed in the fall of 2017.  We started with doing research to find the right target audience.  Many consultants out there go after the C-Suite to train them on planning and leadership.  And, there are a plethora of programs to coach those on the front lines.  We found a gap in the training targeted to Operational Level managers.  They are often the better performers promoted up from the front lines, yet have not had formal training for the skill sets needed to be successful.  They need a training to meet their full potential.

With assistance from the great planners Kevin Ettrich, Gary Barney, Dan Colomb, Jack Hayden, Mark Folget, Randi Rainbow, and Njeri Shields, this series of courses was developed and refined.  Also, much thanks goes out to the fantastic team at Alpin Haus in Amsterdam, NY.  Through some practical work, they provided a platform to further refine our material and teaching methods.


The course material is set up to cover a series of “Mission Essential Tasks” (METs) an operational level leader needs to be proficient at in order to perform as a superstar.  METs are better defined as a set of individual skills and tasks. The METs we cover are applicable to any business or organization from an RV repair shop, a plant floor, a retail business, a bank, a hotel, a fast food chain, or leaders in the medical community.  The METs we cover are a foundation for an Operational level leader to take guidance from the C-Suite and transform that into action. 

The program is setup to give the courses in the order listed on pages 6-7, however we can present them in a different order or as stand-alone courses.

The course workbooks are setup to be interactive.  Almost every section has activities or discussions.  This is to facilitate an exchange of ideas, bringing the material to life with examples and anecdotes.  This workbook contains templates for student to put the material into practical use.

Some individuals or companies may choose to order and use the workbooks on their own.  The workbooks are formatted to facilitate this. 

When your company chooses to get the full program, you will get full service from our instructors.  Prior to giving a presentation, the instructor will adjust the workbook to meet the unique requirements for the client.  We will go onsite to walk the business with the students in order for us to further understand your needs and ways of doing business.  We are available between courses to provide individual coaching and mentorship for the students to put the material into action. 

The biggest take-away in our program is that Griffin Gorge teaches you skills that are guaranteed to increase your sales, profits, and effectiveness.  You gain the competency to become a rockstar leader.  The material we teach has been developed by some of the brightest minds in our world.  Taught in our premier military schools to include the service academies, the command staff colleges and the senior service schools.  The Army centers for learning to include Fort Leavenworth and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks have some of the best instructors and writers regarding leadership skills. 

These school taught skills have been refined through intense training exercises around the world and in combat operations.  These skills are not just academic.  They have been tested, refined and honed. 

At Griffin Gorge, we take these leadership planning skills and adjust them slightly to meet the needs of our civilian businesses and enterprises.   As we conduct these courses, our instructors continue to refine our product based on lessons learned.

Core Values

At Griffin Gorge, we have a series of Core Values that drive our way of doing business:

  • We are a collective team of veterans, pooling our talent to provide a top tier product to our clients. This is not a platform for individual personalities or stardom.
  • Our veteran instructors breathe life into the course material. Sharing their training and experiences is what we are about.
  • Improvements and product development belong to the team. We work in concert as one team.
  • We focus our training on coaching individuals to lead their teams through the military planning process.
  • We sell our product to enhance our client’s sales, profits, and productivity.
  • Instructor’s must be committed to adhering to a standard of conduct.

Business Objectives

Griffin Gorge has a set of two Objectives that are mutually supportive:

  • To hire retired National Guard veterans and employ them utilizing the planning and leadership skills they have gained through years of schooling and practical experience. Our current objective is to get 20 veterans working 2-5 courses per month.
  • To provide a service to our civilian communities and across the country. The people and businesses of this Nation have provided our National Guardsmen with the resources to learn our skills in some of the best schools in the world.  Griffin Gorge has developed a program to bring those skills back to you in a way that increases your sales, profit, and productivity.  Our current objective is to grow a base of clients in the New York Albany Capitol region and then expand to other areas of opportunity. 


Our Goal is to bring the knowledge and experience our National Guard veterans to civilian businesses and organizations.

Our Instructors

Chip Richardson


Chip Richardson

Chip is our lead instructor.  He is able to capture the Mission Essential Tasks and tie them together in a way to develop a set comprehensive training programs.  He works to find the translation of bringing the military planning & leadership process to benefit civilian companies.  

Chip first enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard back in the spring of 1980 while still in high school.  He later graduated from Rutger’s University where he was commissioned through the ROTC program.  For many years, he worked as a mate on charter fishing boats going out of the Manasquan River in New Jersey.  There, he earned a Master Mariner’s License for 100-ton vessels.  Finding a more stable career for his family, Chip went into retail; working for various companies such as Sears, Eddie Bauer and Bed Bath & Beyond.  In 2001, he became full time with the New York National Guard.  His military assignments have included Rifle Platoon Leader, Armored Company Commander, Armor Brigade Logistics Officer (S-4),  Infantry Division Logistics Officer (G-4) and Joint Operations Plans Officer.  He deployed to Iraq in 2005 for a tour as the Executive Officer in a Division Aviation Support Battalion.

Chip’s passion is enjoying outdoor activities with his wife of 36 years, Sandy.  Together, they rebuilt an old cabin from the 1800’s in the Adirondack mountains.  From there they go hiking, hunting, fishing and kayaking.


Scott Hays

Scott comes to Griffin Gorge Associates as a recently retired Sergeant Major from the Army National Guard after 32 years as a Senior Logistics NCO.  In addition to service as a traditional guardsman he was also a full-time guardsman.  On the full-time side he was a Management Analyst, Equipment Specialist, and Field Maintenance Shop Supervisor. 

He was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY before moving to New Mexico at age 16.  In his teens and 20’s he held a variety of jobs in retail and food service to include working for a major roadside retailer selling souvenirs and Native American jewelry in the desert southwest, then back to New York where he was dishwasher, then late-night cook, taxi driver, truck driver and sales rep for a paper/janitorial goods wholesaler.  At age 27 he returned to college to facilitate a move from the job market to a career-oriented position.

While his wife Susan kept things under control at home, Scott was a part-time student at Adirondack Community College (A.A.S/Business Administration) and SUNY Albany (B.A. History/M.A. Education/A.G.C. School Building Administration) while working full-time.  He then taught Social Studies for 9 years at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, NY followed by 7 years as Assistant Principal before retiring and returning to full-time National Guard employment.

In his spare time, Scott enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and friends such as camping, kayaking, and snowshoeing.  He is an ADK 46er having climbed all 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks.  He also golfs, but rarely enjoys it.  Scott is a volunteer firefighter in the Porter Corners Fire Department and a Fire Commissioner in the Greenfield Fire District.  He is active in the VFW and is a volunteer bartender at Post 420 in Saratoga Springs.


Ash Thimmaiah

Ash is a powerful and energy filled instructor.  He is a master at understanding the needs of the strategic leadership and developing training for the mid-level leaders to meet those needs. 

Accomplished, results-oriented U.S. Army Master Sergeant (Retired) with over 23 years of progressively higher leadership and management experience.  An expert instructor who trained and certified over 125 Army Instructors.  Led, managed, and supervised the formal training of over 800 students.  Proven success in leadership, instruction, mentorship, staff management, operations management, human resources, and complex organizational projects.  

Ash was the senior Operations Sergeant for a Civil Support Team station in New York City.  This team Performed threat analysis and consequence management at over 40 different incident sites utilizing hazard modeling and GIS software as well as maintaining an operational library of GIS data for Response Sector.  Responsible for the planning, preparation and execution of the Tactical Operations Center while conducting unit operations.

A respected leader and a dedicated team player with a strong work ethic; dedicated to surpassing organizational objectives.

Growing up on Staten Island, NY, Ash now resides over in Long Island.  On his time off, he works out and goes running to look better every day.

Jack Hayden

Jack is a dynamic instructor for Griffin Gorge Associates.  He brings a lot of experience and entertainment to the course instruction. 

Jack was born in Long Island, NY with a natural prowess to tackle life.  Through various careers and a stint down in Florida, he settled in the Albany, NY area.  He devoted 30 years serving in the military, starting off as a young man in the Marines.  He passed through the Army ranks and finally found a home in the Air Force.  A branch that pays the same and treats you better.

His last years in the Air Force were spent working Medical Logistics.  He is a Combat Medic, and certified Paramedic.  Jack spent many years working as a Mentally Ill/Chemically Addicted (MICA) Nurse.  He continues to  maintain currency as a civilian licensed nurse. 

Jack is a Commercial Pilot, both Airplane and Helicopter, as well as an Instructor Pilot.

Jack resides in the Saratoga, NY area.  On his days off, Jack can be found over at the Glenville Queen Diner where the waitresses tip him for his grace. 


Beth Wyman

Beth is the Business Development Officer for Griffin Gorge Associates.  She also instructs portions of our Staff Development Course.

Beth is a Registered Dietitian with 10 years’ experience in both hospital and office-based nutrition counseling and diet education.  Beth graduated from Russell Sage College with a BS in Nutrition Science and received her Master’s in Public Health from SUNY Albany.  She is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist in New York State.  She enjoys working one-on-one with clients to tailor their eating habits to support their individual health.  When she’s not talking about food, she enjoys teaching ballet or hiking with her family.


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Dan Colomb

Dan is our expert in plans development.  He is the master at capturing the guidance of the leadership and writing plans to put a vision into action.  He often works very complex events involving many different skill sets and brings them together to perform specified mission sets.  He has a unique skill set to eloquently speak to people in a way they can understand complex events. 

Dan grew up near Syracuse, New York.  In 2003, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  There, he became an elite gymnast, competing around the country.  Serving as an Engineer Officer, he deployed to Iraq in 2005 as a Platoon Leader.   In 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan as a Battalion Plans Officer (S-3).  Upon his completion of active duty service, Dan  went to work as a plant manager with General Electric in Schenectady, New York.  In 2011, Dan came to work full time for the New York National Guard.  His assignments have included Engineer Battalion Logistics Officer (S-4), Recruiting Battalion Command Plans Officer and is currently a Joint Operations Plans Officer.

Dan’s past-time is outdoor snowboarding.  The indoor thing did not do well for his living room.  During the summer months he runs the high peaks in the Adirondack mountains.  Year-round, he can be found in the gym, working out to keep up his outdoor fun.  Dan never passes up a trip to New York City; exploring the many restaurants and cultural spots.  When driving around, he listens to his favorite Jocko podcasts.

Mark Folgert


Mark Folgert

Mark is our lead to coordinate the company operations.  He organizes and updates the training materials, prepares the instructors and coordinates events.  He is the backbone of the team.

Mark is a unique individual – and we say that in a good way.  Born and raised in upstate New York, he enlisted in the Air Force a really long time ago,  serving in various overseas assignments.  After getting discharged (honorably) he got lost in Burlington, VT.  Getting even more lost, he joined the Army to work as a communications specialist in Germany.  Mark later got a position with Verizon, and eventually moved back to Hoosick Falls, New York. He currently serves in the New York Guard as a Warrant Officer.    He is consistently on the first team from the New York Military Forces called up to serve for any Civil Support Operation.  He is a subject matter expert in operating a planning or logistics operations center.  Mark is able to bring calm to any high stress environment; using his vast experience to solve almost any problem.   Has been referred to as the ‘operations center ninja”.

Since retiring from Verizon, Mark resides in Florida with his wife Carol.  He is active in many civic organizations to include The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, International Association of Emergency Managers, and several historical associations to include the New York State Military Museum.  Mark’s hobbies include doing whatever he wants to.  When he gets tired of that, he relaxes by the pool.

Partner Companies

Griffin Gorge Associates partners with other companies to provide our clients with the best possible services.  

Your qualified partner for navigating complex change.

The gothamCulture global team helps organizations uncover the underlying causes of performance obstacles and empowers leaders to drive change through the lens of organizational culture, leadership development, and people strategy. Their senior practitioners have real industry experience; not just textbook knowledge. No matter how small or large the engagement, their core staff and robust network of subject matter experts are able to scale and scope to provide whatever support you need to drive success.

Griffin Gorge Associates partners with gothamCulture for:

  • Contracting with Federal and State governments for leadership training
  • Griffin Gorge provides instructors to augment gothamCulture services to the Army Futures Command in their Virginia location
  • gothamCulture provides instructors to augment Griffin Gorge course presentations 


The Pluaris program from Nowigence

  1.  Upload websites, text, and files. You don’t have to spend time reading and analyzing – Pluaris will take care of that. Set up automated monitoring of public news sources on your topics of interest. Integrate with your enterprise tools (drives, instant messaging, email, and more) and let Pluaris automatically analyze and upload the textual data.
  2. Scan your feed to see summaries and extracted intelligence for each item uploaded. View the graphical analysis of the annotations and analyzed content for unbiased importance ranking. Drill-down to any level of granularity using the available filters. Discover new connections, topics, and insights.
  3. Quickly generate outputs, thereby saving time in researching, validating, aligning teams, or presenting. Create your own notes, and then add key points extracted by Pluaris to those notes with a single click. Collaborate with your family, team, or company, sharing the Pluaris analyses and your own insights and notes.

Griffin Gorge Associates partners with Nowigence for:

  • Providing their Pluaris program to greatly enhance our clients ability to create a communications platform 
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