Dr. Tommy Sowers
Iraq Veteran, Green Beret
Former Assistant Secretary at Veterans Affairs
Cappy R. McGarr
Executive Producer, Kennedy Center Trustee
CAPPY MCGARR was appointed by President Obama to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2011. He was previously appointed to the same post by President Clinton, serving from 1996 to 2002. Mr. McGarr was nominated for an Emmy in 2009 and NAACP Image Award in 2010 for The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He has championed The Mark Twain Prize since its inception and, along with his Mark Twain Prize partners, co-created the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He serves on the board of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and is a member of the board of the Foundation for the National Archives. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Mr. McGarr is a past chairman of the Development Board of the University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder of the University of Texas sports journalism program in the College of Communications, and the University’s annual McGarr Symposium in Sports Journalism. Mr. McGarr received three degrees from the University of Texas: a bachelor of arts in 1973, bachelor of journalism in 1975, and a master of business administration in 1977.
DR. TOMMY SOWERS (IRAQ VETERAN, GREEN BERET) is visiting faculty at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. From 2012 to 2014 he served as assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After graduat- ing from Duke, on an ROTC scholarship, Dr. Sowers served 11 year active duty in the U.S. Army, including two combat tours in Iraq as a Green Beret. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics & Political Science. In 2010 he ran for U.S. House in Missouri’s eighth Congressional dis- trict. Following his campaign Dr. Sowers was a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and a senior advisor to the non-profit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
MICHAEL B. MATUZA is the founder of MBM Entertainment. For more than a decade he has served as supervising producer on The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, taped from the East Room of The White House. These specials for PBS have celebrated Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell, and George Carlin, among others, and have earned Emmy and NAACP Image Award nominations. Mr. Matuza is also executive producer on several legendary Friars Club Roasts honoring: Tom Cruise, Don Rickles, Matt Lauer, Betty White, Jack Black, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert De Niro. He has worked closely with many not for profits, producing fundraising events and galas for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, UN AIDS, The Creative Coalition, the NFL’s Snowflake Foundation, The Ally Coalition, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Mr. Matuza is currently executive producer of upcoming sports and comedy specials for ESPN honoring Terry Bradshaw and Magic Johnson. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Catherine, and son, Miles.
MICHAEL GYURE is executive director of the Friars Club and Friars
Foundation. He has produced the roasts of Jack Black, Quentin Tarantino, and Betty White, as well as the Lifetime Achievement in Comedy Award Honoring Don Rickles, and the Entertainment Icon Awards Honoring Tom Cruise and Robert DeNiro. The Friars Club was founded in 1904 as a meeting place for entertainers and over the years has achieved legendary status. Its membership includes the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Seinfeld, Rosario Dawson, Tom Cruise, Les Moonves, Whitney Cummings, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert De Niro. The Friars Club “Monastery” is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan in a classic townhouse and is a haven for entertainers young and old.
President of MBM Entertainment
Executive Director Friars Club & Friars Foundation