Who Are

Mark E. Petersen


Was born in Montana and raised in Wyoming. Right out of high school joined the military (ARMY/Army National Guard) and served 14 years. Got his degree in Psychology and Education in both Physical Education and Social Studies and has a Masters in Education.

Mark’s heart and dreams originally, although always in serving and leadership, was working with troubled teens and helped develop and build several residential treatment centers for young men.

After settling down, Mark got married and had two amazing teenage children, a son in the the service (Army) and a daughter going into the medical field.

After serving on his local fire department, Mark received the vision and started building THE PEOPLE’S PATRIOT PROJECT, housed in his previous Limited Liability Corporation, Providence Farms Enterprises Incorporated.

Mark is very excited to be working on this project and hopes that he is able to serve the community and his fellow brothers and sisters in arms to open up opportunities that will make life more fulfilling for them and many others.

“Plant beans, get beans” – unknown

Erik Hendrickson

Vice President

I was born in 1967 and raised in a military family. My father was Marine, and then finished his career in the Air National Guard.

I joined the Army Reserve at 17 in 1985. I was injured just before leaving for basic training and was discharged due to not being able to complete basic training and AIT within the allotted time. I enlisted in the Air Force in January 1987. I spent time at Sheppard Air Force Base and Mather Air Force Base before moving to the Oklahoma and Minnesota Air National Guard, where I finished my enlistment.

I was activated for Operation Desert Storm in February 1991 and was sent to Travis Air Force Base.

I have been involved with the American Legion and American Legion Riders since 2016.

I have been married for 26 years. I have three boys, ages 22, 18 and 14. I have been a teacher at Spring Lake Park High School since 2002, and teacher since 1993. I have lived in Spring Lake Park, MN since 2002.

Andrea Eichmann

Secretary / Treasurer

Andrea is from Minnesota through and through. From elementary school in Lamberton and secondary school in Adrian, Andrea went to college at Augustana in Sioux Falls, SD, and Mankato State in Mankato, MN. She resides in Hastings, MN, with her husband and children. She has four wonderful boys, who are all grown now and setting out on their own adventures, and an amazing daughter who is living at home and going to college.

Andrea has always worked with children and has been a lifetime volunteer. As a stay at home mom, she was often doing daycare for others in her home. She has over 21 years of teaching the youth and confirmation age in her church, and absolutely enjoyed that time. When she felt her own children were quite self sufficient, she decided to get into teaching and after staying home to raise her 5 children, Andrea has been teaching secondary Language Arts for the last 10 years.

After meeting Founder Mark Petersen at a teaching convention and hearing about his project, Andrea found his vision and goals very worthy of being a part of. She decided to offer help and support for the cause, and has grown to be one of the spearheads of the growth and dynamic planning that has gone into getting the program on its feet. 

Andrea is thrilled to be working with a team of the most supportive and striving people imaginable, and to be a part of making the mission and vision of supporting veterans and active duty service persons, firefighters, police officers and EMT personnel a successful entity. 

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the
way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” -Virginia Satir

Matthew Birr

Director of Purple Heart Relations and Outreach

Matt grew up in the Minnesota town of Fridley, and attended Fridley High School.  In high school, Matt enjoyed wrestling and hanging out with friends.  While looking to the future, Matt spent time visiting with an Army recruiter and decided that was the direction he wanted to go. Matt enjoyed his time and was soon deployed to Afghanistan, in the Kunar Province.  While he was stationed at Kunar, he would regularly visit with his mother on Skype. One evening as he was sitting at his computer, a round of gunfire suddenly came through the camp and everyone started taking cover.  In a second, he was lying on the ground, and didn’t know what had happened.  Matt’s story is deep and touching to the heart, and the full version will soon be published on our website. 

Matt is a Purple Heart recipient, and his new goal in life is to make people smile. There was a time when all he wanted to do was get back to active duty, but that was not meant to be. The People’s Patriot Project has grown very attached to Matt, and we are happy to call him one of us. Matt attends almost every meeting, and as a director, he keeps us all on our toes.  We believe Matt has been saved for bigger things in life, and we all want to be present when those times come around.  In the meantime he keeps us all smiling and laughing at his stories!

Lee Williams

Member At Large

Lee was born in Brazil, raised in Louisiana and has now lived in Minnesota for almost 30 years. The Williams family has a history of military service. His grandfather served at Pearl Harbor during the December 7th attack and his great uncle still lies in state aboard the USS Arizona. He joined the Louisiana Army National Guard in 1987 and eventually served with Mark in the Minnesota Army National Guard. He was honorably discharged in 2003. He currently works as a Right of Way manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Metro Transit Section. He purchases property for light rail and bus rapid transit projects. Lee has been married for 25 years and has three daughters. One in college, one in high school and one in junior high.

Adam Bird

Consulting Director

Mr. Adam Bird is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heroes Media Group LLC. Heroes Media Group (HMG) is a Digital Media Branding platform committed to providing a voice for our community heroes and those who support them. HMG is committed to providing education, entertainment and empowerment to: Active Duty Service Members, Veterans, Firefighters, First Responders, Law Enforcement, Educators, Medical Professionals, and Clergy.

Adam earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 2011. He is an experienced entrepreneur and leader in building companies, educating, training and mentoring and empowering teams to success. Ultimately, Adam founded HMG to create jobs and reorganize the way media is consumed, delivered and trusted on a global scale.

Born in Wisconsin, Adam developed a love for the outdoors at a very young age. Fishing, hunting and playing sports was an everyday thing. After high school Adam enlisted the Army National Guard where he worked in various positions until mid 2007, when he left the Military to pursue greater opportunities and to be a full-time single parent to his son.

Raymond Belden

Director of Technology

Raymond was born into a military family and grew up on multiple military installations. So naturally upon graduating high school, he joined the Air Force serving a six year enlistment where he ultimately rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant two years earlier than was considered the norm. 

After declining to continue his military career Raymond joined the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington D.C. where he has served for over twelve (12) years.  Here he worked at the job full time and on the side earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Security.

Since 2014 Raymond has been the CEO/President of Cherrywood Technologies, LLC, which owns and operates Cherry Host which has been dedicated towards helping military charities get an online presence. Through Cherry Host Raymond has been able to provide low cost web hosting services to organizations like The People’s Patriot Project.