Artists for Awareness, Inc., in conjunction with The Dirty Canteen, uses art as a tool to enrich the lives of Veterans.  While Artists for Awareness, Inc. is a young organization, we are eager to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of others. To ensure that we have the maximum effect on the most people possible, no persons affiliated with or working for Artists for Awareness, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries accepts a salary or any income of any kind from this organization. We feel that we should be the first to volunteer to help our communities before asking others to and to lead by example. 



Ryan Walsh – President

Founder Ryan Walsh has a long history of dedication to public service in both his life and career. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as an Airborne Ranger in three tours overseas to both Iraq and Afghanistan. When he returned home he wanted to continue serving the community by raising awareness about causes and the charities that address them.

Ryan holds a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University and received his M.B.A. in the fall of 2013 from North Central College.



Derek Baldwin – Vice President

For Derek Baldwin volunteer work and charitable endeavors are about more than events and donations. For Derek, it’s about enriching the lives of others. For the past few years he has volunteered his time to the Special Olympics of Kendall County. The positivity of his experiences coaching at the Special Olympics motivated him to seek out more ways to give back to the community.



Alex Falesch – Treasurer

For Alex Falesch, art has always been at the center of his life. He cites his earliest recollections of finger painting as the start of his lifelong passion for self expression in all forms. It set the path that led him to enroll at the Illinois Institute of Art (Chicago) where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts.

Alex joined Artists for Awareness, Inc. for the opportunity to not only share outstanding art with communities but to generate awareness on the effects art has among a multitude of individuals.