Ben Martin – co-founder, winemaker
Ben served as an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) crewman with the 7th Marine regiment out of 29 Palms, CA. In 2003 Ben participated in the invasion of Iraq with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. In 2004 and 2005 Ben deployed with the 31st MEU out of Okinawa, Japan.
After his enlistment, Ben began college and studied web design and branding at Portland Community College, Pacific University, and the Art Institute of Portland. In between classes he found a passion for small business, which propelled him into agency work and brand management.
In 2012 Ben helped launch a pilot non-profit aimed at rehabilitating veterans through permaculture. This program showed promise that agriculture can be an alternative treatment for Veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. Looking for inspiration he found that the French Foreign Legion houses over 100 aging Legionaries on a vineyard chateau where they grow grapes, make wine, and find peace. Ben wondered – "Why not here?"
It wasn't until February 2014 that the idea of veteran viticulture re-emerged during a Walla-Walla wine trip with co-founders Ryan Mills and Paul Warmbier. Excited about the possibilities, the three launched Dauntless Wine Company that December!
Ben is now scheduled to graduate from the Chemeketa Wine Studies program with an AS in winemaking and vineyard management. On May 18th, 2017 Ben was awarded the Wine Studies "Emerging Leader" award for his efforts launching Dauntless Wine Company while attending the program.
Ryan Mills – co-founder
Ryan served in the Navy as FMF Field Corpsman with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. During his time with 7th Marines he deployed overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Al Fallujah, Iraq in 2005. After leaving the Marine Corps, Ryan returned home to Northwest and currently lives in Vancouver, Wa.
Once home from the military, Ryan began working with Portland Fire and Rescue and serves the community of Lents in southeast Portland. Ryan also volunteered five years to the Veteran non-profit Team Rubicon as a regional administrator and director of field operations; where he deployed both domestically and internationally to aid in disaster relief efforts.
Additionally, Ryan is a passionate and skilled woodworker. He attended the Northwest Woodworking Studio and spends his limited offtime in his shop creating small masterpieces. Ryan’s passion for creation and creativity also led him to study winemaking and viticulture at Chemeketa Community college where he applies his knowledge and work ethic in the creation of Dauntless wine.
Paul Warmbier – co-founder
Paul served in the Marine Corps Infantry from 2003-2007. He deployed twice with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment to the Al Anbar province in Iraq—once in February 2004 To Al Asad and Fallujah and a second time in May 2005 to Fallujah and the Zaidon.
Immediately after separation from the Marines, Paul moved to Portland, OR and began college at Portland Community College then ended at the University of Idaho with a B.A. in English and education and began teaching middle and high school English. Concurrently, he worked with Team Rubicon as a regional director and a team leader on international and domestic disaster relief missions.
After four years of teaching in various schools and subjects, Paul began and eventually earned an MFA at the University of Idaho where he studied creative nonfiction and taught composition and beginning creative writing. These days, when not at the winery, Paul spends time playing with his wife and son, making custom furniture out of his garage, writing personal essays, memoir, and teaching High School English and creative writing in Oregon.