Jim Vaselopulos is a C-level business advisor with a proven record as a leader, strategist, rainmaker and new business development expert. With a reputation for principled leadership, strategic vision, and effective execution, Jim has built successful new enterprises and turned around underperforming organizations. Jim has been a consultant to many companies across nearly every industry.  As the founder of Rafti Advisors, Inc., Jim helps early stage companies get off on the right foot, growth stage companies push through plateaus and mature companies with strategic shifts and complex challenges.  Jim doesn’t waste time and can quickly assess opportunities and identify areas for improvement.  Jim is exceptionally well connected, values good relationships, and is able to make meaningful introductions at the executive level.  Jim teaches sales and professional development, is a frequent speaker on leadership and innovation and volunteers regularly with veterans groups and business incubators. Jim is also co-host of The Leadership Podcast.



Bill Dean served in leadership positions for the majority of his twenty-plus years of service, largely within the joint special operations community. He is passionate about personal and organization development, with unique experience in assessment, selection, and training programs, and professional development. Bill led elite teams and units in contingency operations and forming cohesive interagency efforts, while directly informing strategic decision-making and national policy. Bill was instrumental in delivering success during years of high-risk training and operational employment, leading and ensuring a team-of-teams approach to multiple sensitive, national-level special operations missions. He has served as a ground force commander in hundreds of direct missions, and over a dozen deployments throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Bill graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and studied network theory and organizational science at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2011. He also attended Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Ignite Program. Bill is an experienced climber, skier, and endurance athlete who raced for Team Salomon and finished the New Zealand Eco-Challenge. Bill serves as a Project Lead for Crucible expeditions.




Chris Schmitt started his career as an enlisted soldier at the age of 17, and understands the absolute requirement to recruit good people, invest in their development, and take the time to explain the organization’s “why.” Working his way up through the ranks after graduation from West Point, he learned the importance to build a core team around the organization’s values and purpose. Over the past eighteen years as an international project officer and change agent as a deployed Special Forces officer, Chris experienced how to motivate high performing teams to accomplish national strategic agendas. Ultimately, his career has provided a deep appreciation for effective leadership. Chris has a passion for interacting with leaders and helping them excel.  Chris serves as a Project Lead for Crucible expeditions, and participated in three Crucible Expeditions thus far.




Clay Othic embodies the spirit of service, adventure, and quiet professionalism. His background is primarily based upon service within the U.S. Army Special Operations Command while operating in small, elite, and highly trained teams. Clay deployed to combat extensively and has experience in both overt and covert roles in a decade of wartime service in the Middle East where he had exposure to true leadership and teamwork at the most intense levels of combat. With his unique experiences and training (and being the recipient of 3 Purple Hearts and multiple awards for valor) he “knows what right looks like”, pulls heavily from actual operational situations, and is apt at separating “practical application vs. theory.” Now in the civilian sector Clay applies this knowledge and “real-world” experience from years of operating in those complex, fluid, and often extremely sensitive situations to educate and train high functioning teams. In his off time he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, and working with his wife on their small farm near the Oregon coast. Clay serves as a Project Lead for Urban Team Challenges.