Veteran dedicated to improving lives of children, Gold Star families in Southern Nevada

John Coogan is president of the Golden Knights Foundation and the Folded Flag Foundation.

Tell us your background.

I have been serving in nonprofit leadership roles for more than a decade. Prior to this, I served for 15 years in various leadership roles within the technology sector. I am former military — I graduated from West Point and served in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during the Gulf War era.

What are the programs and services of the Golden Knights Foundation and Folded Flag Foundation?

The Golden Knights Foundation focuses its support on these five priorities:

■ Fostering the physical, social and emotional growth of Las Vegas youth, with an emphasis on sports

■ Making sustainable, scalable, positive impacts on health and wellness through research, education and prevention

■ Enhancing teaching and learning through K-12 public school programs and initiatives designed to develop leadership and promote community service

■ Securing the future of Las Vegas military, first responders and their families, especially those who have suffered a sacrifice for the greater good

■ Fighting hunger and homelessness in the Las Vegas community by addressing their root causes.

The Folded Flag Foundation’s mission is to provide educational scholarships and support grants to the spouses and children of the United States military and government personnel who died as a result of hostile action or in an accident related to U.S. combat operations.

Scholarships and grants are available to qualifying spouses of fallen heroes and their children under the age of 26 to help provide a pathway to success by covering a wide range of living expense and educational needs, from kindergarten to college/trade school.

Do the missions of the two organizations overlap or have they ever joined forces for a specific reason?

The two organizations are operated completely independently of one another, though they come together at times in support of surviving military families in Southern Nevada.

What local charities or organizations do your foundations contribute to?

We are open to requests from any legitimately established and managed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose program output stays here. Support can range from grants to fundraising and programmatic efforts and events.

Nonprofits must meet specific criteria to qualify. All requests are reviewed and voted on by an independent committee of local business professionals that are part of our Business Advisory Council.

What are the goals for the foundations in the next few years?

To continue to grow our program efforts.

For Folded Flag, this means stronger outreach to the thousands of surviving military families across the nation.

For VGKF, this means increasing internal efficiencies to allow for better (and broader) support for charities as possible across our five pillars—Education, Health & Wellness, Youth Development & Sports, Military & First Responder and Hunger & Homelessness.

It’s an exciting time for the Vegas Golden Knights. Do you have a game day ritual?

No specific ritual, though I do make a point not to listen to any pre-game analysis or commentary. I prefer to go into each game with my unbiased opinion about how the game will turn out.

What is your dream job outside of your current field?

Educator. I have two sisters who are teachers, and I admire what they do every day in shaping children’s lives. I had a taste of education in the early 2000s and have always dreamed of one day becoming a high school teacher or college professor.