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Jim Bland, MBA

Civilian Aide to the Secretary for the Army-Illinois

 Jim Bland graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and commissioned as a field artillery officer working primarily with the Army’s rocket/missile systems (MLRS). He served in the US Army's 4th Infantry Division helping to field one of the first fully digitized MLRS platoons before transitioning to the US Army Reserve and Colorado Army National Guard (Army Space Command). He resigned as a Captain after serving honorably for 8.5 years. 

Mr. Bland received an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has over twenty years of investing, consulting, finance and operational experience. He began his business career as a strategy consultant at Ernst & Young. He also worked in various consulting and management assignments at HSBC and worked in an operational role at a Madison Dearborn Partners /Columbia Partners telecommunications portfolio company. He currently serves as a Partner with Clear Springs Capital, a family office focused on acquiring and growing founder-owned, niche businesses by utilizing military veteran talent. With 16 years of private equity experience as a partner at a top-quartile institutional private equity fund and at a family office, his private equity career has focused entirely on investing and fostering growth in lower middle market companies. Jim also has extensive board expertise having served on thirteen private, government and non-profit boards. 

Mr. Bland was appointed the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Illinois in March 2019 by the Honorable Mark Esper. As the CASA for Illinois, Mr. Bland represents the Secretary of the Army in Illinois and holds a 3-star protocol rank. The CASA for each state provides individual advice to the Secretary on public sentiment toward the Army and serves as a bridge between the Pentagon and the community. They serve as the Secretary’s liaison for Army National Guard and Army Reserve matters, working closely with installation commanders and Army leaders. They also engage with local, regional, and state officials, as well as Federal Agencies, Members of Congress and congressional staff. 


David Hampton, M.D., MEng, FACS

Commander, U.S. Naval Reserves

David Hampton MD, MEng, FACS (Commander, US Navy Reserves) – Originally from Bellevue, WA, Dr. Hampton earned a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, performed General Surgery residency at Oregon Health & Science University, and completed Trauma-Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowships at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Dr. Hampton has research interests in trauma resuscitation, military medicine, and surgical education.

Dr. Hampton has over 16 years of active and reserve military experience. He spent 4 years as a General Medical Officer for the III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan, and is currently a Naval Reservist assigned to the 4th Marine Logistics Group, Surgical Company Bravo. Dr. Hampton is an Assistant Professor of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and acts as an Associate Surgical Clerkship Director at University of Chicago Medicine.


Sapan Shah, M.D., J.D.

U.S. Army JAG Officer

Sapan Shah M.D., J.D. is a Managing Partner and prior Board Director of Alera Group, an independent, national insurance and financial services firm. Being a physician and an attorney, Sapan has a unique perspective on medical professional liability issues across the United States. His practice at Alera Group focuses on risk, insurance and business issues for client physicians, hospitals and other healthcare entities.

Dr. Shah’s background includes a diverse experience of medicine, litigation, and early stage investing. Dr. Shah is admitted to the Illinois Bar and is a commissioned officer in the US Army JAG Corps.

Dr. Shah is keenly interested in innovative ways to improve healthcare. He is an active Angel Investor in Hyde Park Angels  (HPA) in Chicago, having invested in 40+ startups. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of Kaizen Health, a Board observer for Blueprint, and was previously a Board Director for Regroup therapy, all HPA healthcare portfolio companies. 

Dr. Shah is also active in numerous community and public service activities. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Burke Neurological Institute in White Plaines, NY as well as The Civic Federation in Chicago. 

Dr. Shah lives in Libertyville, IL with his wife, Rachna Shah, M.D., an allergist in private practice.