The Leary Firefighters Foundation’s mission is to provide funding and resources
for Fire Departments to obtain the best available equipment, technology and training.
We are dedicated to helping maintain the highest level of public safety in our communities.

Board of Directors

Board Members

Denis Leary

President of The Leary Firefighters Foundation

Denis Leary is an actor, writer and producer who co-created the highly acclaimed landmark drama Rescue Me, about the struggles of FDNY firefighters after 9/11. The series shot on location in New York City and established groundbreaking levels for use of live fire and smoke as well as on-camera stunt work for many of its action scenes. The series was a flagship show on FX and was nominated for ten Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes as well as winning Peabody, Producers Guild and Humanitas awards during its seven seasons. Michael J. Fox was also awarded the Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his work during season 4. Emmy-winning writer and director Peter Tolan – a native of Scituate, Mass. – was Leary’s creative partner on the show.

Leary was born and raised in the Main South section of Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the cousin of Firefighter Jerry Lucey who gave his life in the line of duty while fighting the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire on December 3, 1999. The fire also took the lives of Leary’s fellow St. Peter’s classmate Lt. Tom Spencer, as well as Firefighters Paul Brotherton, James Lyons, Timothy Jackson, and Joseph McGuirk. Leary created the Leary Firefighters Foundation as a result of the tragic fire.

Ronald E. Nash, C.P.A.

Ron Nash joined Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman (GR&F) in October, 1979 as an intern in the firm’s business management practice. Upon graduation, Ron joined the firm on a full-time basis and became a partner in 1988. Ron now serves as the Managing Partner of the GR&F New York and Nashville offices and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, where he provides business management, tax, and financial consulting services on a national level to high net worth individuals and high profile entertainers along with their closely-held businesses.

Ron has participated in all areas of the firm’s activities with particular concentration in the financial affairs of clients in the fields of music, concert touring, acting, directing, modeling, writing and fashion design. Ron was invited to speak on the entertainment industry as a guest lecturer at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He has participated as a panelist in the New Music Seminar and has given a presentation on the entertainment industry to Internal Revenue Service representatives at their multi-regional meeting in Washington, D.C. In addition, Ron has participated in many industry related philanthropic events for MusicCares, TJ Martell Foundation, and City of Hope.

Ron graduated from the Stern Business School at New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Management. He is certified in the State of New York and is a member of the AICPA and the New York State Society of CPAs.

Ron and his wife Linda have three children and currently reside in Bedford, New York. His interests, in addition to music and films, include golf, tennis, travel, and assisting in local school and community activities.

Brian Williams

Brian Williams is the anchor of “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams,” which airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern Time on MSNBC.  In his role covering breaking news on MSNBC, he has anchored over 300 hours of live, breaking news coverage, including the 2016 Presidential campaign and events around the world.

Over the course of his career, Williams has received over a dozen Emmy Awards, eleven Edward R. Murrow Awards, four DuPont-Columbia University Awards, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and the industry’s highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award.  He has been awarded seven honorary degrees.

Williams served as anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” for a decade, during which it was the most-watched newscast in the United States.  In 2007, TIME named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Williams is a former Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News, and is the former anchor of the prime time broadcast, “The News With Brian Williams” on both MSNBC and CNBC.  He joined NBC News as a National Correspondent in 1993 after 12 years in local news.  Williams worked as a correspondent and anchor at stations in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC after getting his start at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Williams is a native of Middletown, NJ.  He attended Brookdale Community College, Catholic University and George Washington University, and was a White House intern while a college student in 1979.  He became a volunteer firefighter at the age of 18 and has served on and off in the years since.

Williams and his wife Jane have two adult children, Allison and Douglas.

David Morkal

Battalion Chief David Morkal is a 26 year veteran with the FDNY. Promoted to Lieutenant the week after the World Trade Center attacks, Chief Morkal has taken every opportunity to study leadership and enhance his leadership knowledge. He is a graduate of the FDNY’s Fire Officers Management Institute (FOMI), Advanced Leadership Course (ALC), West Point Combating Terrorism Leadership Program, L-380 “The Point of the Spear”, L-381 “Incident Leadership”L-481, and L-580, Staff Ride at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Chief Morkal worked as a Lieutenant in Ladder 18 on the Lower East Side. After being promoted to Captain he was transferred to Engine 23 in Midtown Manhattan. As a Battalion Chief he was assigned to Battalion 4 and worked as the Chief in Charge of Probationary Firefighter School for 2 years. Chief Morkal also worked as the Planning Section Chief for the FDNY Incident Management Team and is currently one of the Deputy Incident Commanders. He has been activated with the team for Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana, Hurricane Irene in both New York City and Binghamton, New York, Hurricane Sandy in New York City, the snow storm in Buffalo, New York, the East Harlem explosion and collapse, and several wild land fires in the Southwest with other Incident Management Teams.

He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and prior to joining the Fire Department worked in technical theater across the country and taught at the University of Evansville and Western Michigan University. Born in London, England, he lived in California, New Hampshire, Texas and Michigan before settling in Indiana as an Air Force brat when he was 10.  Although Indiana has a special place in his heart, he now calls New York home. He has lived in Westchester for the past 22 years with his wife of 31 years and has two college aged children.

Mark Bezos

Mark Bezos is the Founder of DemoMode Marketing, a branding and customer experience consultancy. For 10 years, Mark worked at Robin Hood, the leading poverty-fighting charity in New York City, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President for Development, Communications and Events. Mark joined Robin Hood following the sale of his advertising agency Bezos Nathanson Marketing Group, excited to have found a way to use his powers of persuasion for good. In addition to his work in philanthropy, Mark is the Captain of a Volunteer Fire Company in New York. He is continuously amazed and motivated by the everyday acts of heroism – big and small – that surround him.

Rachael Ray

According to Rachael Ray, she grew up in food and has parlayed that birthright into a wildly successful career as a syndicated television star, an iconic Food Network television personality, best-selling cookbook author, Founder and Editorial Director of her own lifestyle magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, and Founder of the Yum-o! organization.

Rachael’s hugely successful daytime program, Rachael Ray, launched in the fall of 2006. Showcasing Rachael’s warmth, energy and boundless curiosity, the show invites viewers to experience life the Rachael Ray way. Credited with getting America back in the kitchen with her easy approach to cooking, Rachael takes the same philosophy — finding simple solutions to everyday problems — beyond the kitchen and into all aspects of the show.

Rachael’s television work grew to include a series of lifestyle and travel segments, as well as a long-term relationship with the Food Network, hosting shows such as Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Worst Cooks in America, Week In A Day, and 30-Minute Meals, which earned Rachael a 2006 Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Service Show” and a nomination for “Outstanding Service Show Host.”

In addition to her television endeavors, Rachael has turned her 30-Minute Meals concept into a best-selling series of cookbooks, including, Rachael Ray’s Book of Burger, My Year in Meals, andEveryone is Italian on Sunday.

She has developed line of super premium dog and cat food and treats called Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. To date, Rachael has donated more than $21 million of proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to animals in need.

She has created a nonprofit organization, Yum-o!, which empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking and received the honor of being appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition by President Barack Obama in 2014.

In 2016, Rachael partnered with Legacy Classic and Craftmaster Furniture to channel her passion and aesthetic vision for design and interiors into the home furnishings category with the introduction of the Rachael Ray Home Collection.