Board Members

James R. Stewart, DO, MPH

Colonel, US Air Force (Retired)
Physician, Intermountain Healthcare

Jim is the Executive Director of the Foundation. He attended Brigham Young University studying business management and microbiology prior to attending medical school at A. T. Still University in Missouri.

During his 26-year career in the US Air Force, he gained board certification in family medicine, aerospace medicine, and disaster medicine, and holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas focusing on National Health Policy. He was a founding board member of the American Academy of Disaster Medicine, and has held executive positions in three other medical societies.

Dr. Stewart is a graduate of the USAF Air War College, and is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. He is currently employed by Intermountain Healthcare in Provo. Dr. Stewart is a Commercial pilot, and is a volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol serving as a Search & Rescue Mission Pilot. He has a passion for aviation safety and US History. He and his wife Margie have been married for 39 years, and have five married children and eleven grandchildren.

Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen

Colonel, US Air Force (Retired)
The Candy Bomber

Gail is the Honorary Director of the Foundation. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and grew up on small farms in Utah and Idaho. He earned a private pilot license under the non-college Civilian Pilot Training Program in September 1941. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Gail was one of the first pilots in Utah to join the Civil Air Patrol.

He joined the United States Army Air Corps in June 1942. In 1944 Gail earned his wings with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and US Army Air Corp and flew cargo during the war. In 1948 after WW-II, he flew in the Berlin Airlift where he became known as, Berlin Candy Bomber. He received Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering at Florida State University, and held many key positions in Research and Development in the USAF Space Program.

Colonel Halvorsen capped his USAF career as the Commander of Tempelhof Central Airport in Berlin and as the United States Air Force Representative to the city of Berlin. After retirement, he served as the Assistant Dean of Student Life at Brigham Young University. He and his late wife, Alta Jolley of Zion National Park, have five children, 24 grandchildren, and 53 great-grandchildren. He is married to Lorraine Pace of Green Valley, AZ.

Paul J. Jensen

Excel Enterprises, Inc.

Paul is the Assistant Executive Director of the Foundation. He attended Brigham Young University earning a Bachelor degree in Business and Finance. He has owned his own businesses since 1975 in retail sales, computers, and marketing. Paul is a Commercial Pilot, and is a volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol serving as a Search & Rescue Pilot and Operations Officer. He and his wife Cheryl have eight children and twelve grandchildren.

David Merrill

MBA Utah State
Novell Vice President

We are excited to announce the addition of David Merrill, who is joining the Foundation Leadership Team as Executive Director and Operations Officer. David has more than twenty-five years of experience in services, operations, business development, and product management. Prior to assuming his role at the Halvorsen Foundation, he served as Vice President of Marketing & Product Management for Bask Technologies. He also manages his own private consulting firm providing business process counsel, service strategies and training, operational structure analysis, program development, and other general business consulting. David loves coaching and teaching on leadership principles, personal growth, and finding joy and success in the journey.

Previously, David had a nineteen-year career at Novell which included roles as Vice President of Americas Services, Vice President of Product Management, and Director of Business Development for Global Services. He gained a great ability to bring together technology, marketing, and technical services to drive product sales. David had a long career in establishing new services, products, technologies and go-to-market strategies.

David has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from Utah State University. He speaks regularly on quality service delivery, process and operations development, and in building high powered organizations through trust and leadership principles. David is very excited to bring his unique skills to bear on helping the Foundation rise to the next level.

When not working, David can generally be found running or on his bicycle somewhere in Utah. He is very active in Utah politics and is frequently volunteers for community and religious organization.

David and his wife are the proud parents of four accomplished children, and five grandchildren.

Becca Baggaley

Photographer and Graphic Designer at
The Photo Shop

Becca serves as the Secretary of the Foundation and is a community representative on the Board. She is a single mother to six amazing and marvelous children, ranging in age from 15 to 3 years old. She is a professional photographer with 20 years of experience, and a professional graphic designer with 4 years of experience. She is co-owner of The Photo Shop in Spanish Fork. She is currently attending Weber State University. She has a passion for sleeping, reading, music, and all things Gaelic – but when given an option – sleep usually wins…

Edward S. Hunt, CPA


Edward is the Treasurer of the Foundation. Eddie hails from Pocatello, Idaho. He came to Provo to attend Brigham Young University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the Marriott School of Business. Upon graduation, he remained in Provo and founded his accountant practice: Edward S. Hunt, CPA. He enjoys restoring cars and bicycles, to include an on-going effort to maintain his first car- a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Aire- in prime condition. He and his wife, Celi, have four children and four grandchildren.

Denise Halvorsen Williams


Denise is a daughter of Gail and Alta Halvorsen. While living in Berlin, Denise studied German at the Goethe Institut and music at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and a Master of Arts in Humanities at Brigham Young University. As a Certified Professional Piano teacher, she has taught music and piano in schools and in her home studio for 50 years.

For the past five years, she has worked on her father’s collection in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library and writes about many topics, including several family histories. With her father she recently co-authored The Candy Bomber: Untold Stories of the Berlin Airlift’s Uncle Wiggly Wings.

She and her husband, David D. Williams, have six children and 21 grandchildren. They currently live in Utah.

Robert Freeman, JD

Professor, Associate Dean
Brigham Young University

Robert serves on the Foundation Board as the historical consultant. He is a full-time member of the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University where he currently serves as an Associate Dean. Prior to coming to BYU in 1996, Bob worked for the LDS Church Seminaries and Institutes for approximately twelve years.

Over the last fifteen years, he has devoted his research to understanding the experiences of Latter-day Saints in wartime. In the year 2000, he and retired colleague, Dr. Dennis A. Wright, founded the research project, Saints at War. Since that time, Bob has published numerous books and articles, often in partnership with other associates, which have drawn on this research.

He has also produced several documentaries as well as assisting to establish an archive in the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU with over 3,000 accounts of veterans. The Saints at War project has also partnered in preserving veteran accounts with the national Veteran’s History Project which is associated with the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Bob and his wife, JaNeal, are the parents of seven children and live in Springville, Utah.