Meet The Lionhardt Team

Board of Directors
Blake Laidlaw
Chairman
Scott Harter
Vice-Chairman
Joe Leicht
Treasurer
Kayla Eychner
Secretary
Michael Bain
Champion Liaison
Andrew Harm
Board Member
Jeremy Schumacher
Board Member
Operations

Shayna Laidlaw
Executive Director
Karen Eckhardt
Sponsorship & Community Manager

Blake Laidlaw is proudly a founding member of the Lionhardt organization and officially became its Chairman in 2017. Blake has spent much of his career in Logistics, with both small and large corporations, working at various levels of executive leadership. In 2017, his life’s dream of community service came to fruition when he joined Valley Regional Fire Authority. With experience from both inside and outside of the fire service, Blake brings a unique and diverse breadth of experience and exposure and provides an invaluable perspective to our team.

Blake is long-time, close friend to our champion, Donovan Eckhardt. Blake and Donovan became friends during their freshman football season at Capistrano Valley High School. Both transplants to Mission Viejo, CA, the young men developed a close bond over their mutual love of music, laughter and the outdoors. Their friendship strengthened further when they each later relocated to the Pacific Northwest, together experiencing married life and the start of their young families.

Blake currently resides in Maple Valley, WA, with his wife Shayna, and their two children, Mackenzie and Reed. He remains an avid lover of the outdoors and spends as much time as possible on trails or campsites with his wife and children.

Scott Harter joined the Lionhardt organization in 2019 and has proudly served as a firefighter with Renton Regional Fire Authority since 2008. After all his years of continued service, he remains steadfast in his commitment to support Lionhardt‘s champions and his communities, both Renton and Gig Harbor.

Scott attended the fire academy and joined Renton Regional Fire Authority with our champion, Donovan Eckhardt. During their years of service together, the two forged a friendship that extended beyond the fire station. Working on one another’s house projects and sharing a beer after a long day created some of Scott’s most cherished moments with Donovan. It is because of their friendship that Scott has so passionately served Lionhardt, supporting each champion in the spirit and memory of his friend.

Scott currently resides on a hobby farm in Gig Harbor, WA, with his wife Rachel, and their two children, Axel and Jett. Community and time together are very important to his family. They host an annual Pig Roast on their farm, among other fun events, to bring family, friends, and neighbors together. Their family adventures extend to Montana, where his wife, Rachel, grew up on a barley farm. It’s a bigger farm, a bigger sky, and a fantastic spot for the 4th of July.

Michael (Mike) Bain is proudly a founding member of the Lionhardt organization. Mike has served in the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department for 15 years. Mike’s passion for service, alongside his close friendship with our champion, Donovan Eckhardt, is at the root of the Lionhardt movement. He is unwavering in his commitment to the meaningful work this organization does.

Following his move from Troy, MT, to Seattle, WA, Mike worked as a Fitness Specialist in the Department of Defense and as the Athletic Director for the Kirkland Boys and Girls Club before joining the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department. It was during his time in Renton that Mike and Donovan became friends. From Donovan’s first day on shift, the two worked side-by-side, creating a deep and lasting bond.

Mike currently resides in Cle Elum, WA, with his wife Kimberly, and their two children, Jackson and Peyton. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering at his children’s elementary school, various outdoor activities, and sampling the local, blossoming craft brewery offerings.

Joe Leicht joined the Lionhardt organization in 2018. As the owner of a Farmer’s Insurance Agency in Costa Mesa, CA, Joe brings a strong understanding of business, communication, and organizational skills to the board. With extensive experience in the golf industry, nearly 28 years, Joe is the Master of Ceremony and Presenting Sponsor of the Annual Southern California Lionhardt Golf Classics. His guidance and industry knowledge have made the event more successful (and rousing) with each passing year.

Joe first became acquainted with Lionhardt because of his friendship with Karen Eckhardt-Giesa. Both were members of the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club and San Clemente Toastmasters, located in southern California. After learning more about Lionhardt, Joe offered to help organize the 1st Annual Lionhardt Golf Tournament and has continued to support the organization ever since.

Joe currently resides in San Clemente, CA. He proudly serves as the President of the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club, another organization committed to the support and service of the community at-large and is an active Toastmaster.

Kayla Eychner joined the Lionhardt organization in 2019. Since 2016, Kayla has served as a firefighter with Renton Regional Fire Authority. She has a background working as a civilian evidence technician for the University of Washington Police Department. There she established many long-lasting friendships with police officers and support personnel and was first introduced to the unique challenges faced by first responders. She is dedicated to service and will continue to show her support to first responders through her passion for Lionhardt.

Once Kayla joined Renton Regional Fire Authority, she saw how much Lionhardt and our champion, Donovan Eckhardt, meant to the department and the community. As a reminder of the benevolence of our champion, many of her fellow firefighters, lieutenants, captains, and battalion chiefs proudly display the Lionhardt logo on their helmets and rigs. Though Kayla never knew Donovan, she passionately supports his legacy, by helping the Lionhardt organization continue to grow and further assist firefighters and families in need.

Kayla currently resides in Renton, WA. She enjoys spending her days off riding her motorcycle, hiking in the Cascades, rock climbing, and spending time with family and friends.

Shayna Laidlaw joined the Lionhardt organization in 2020, but has faithfully served as an advocate for the organization since its inception. With a background in sales, Shayna now works for a global marketing agency in digital marketing. With her knowledge of leveraging technology, Shayna possesses unique and important experience that can help build awareness of, and support for, Lionhardt.

Shayna grew up in Mission Viejo, CA, and went to Newhart Middle School and Capistrano Valley High School with our champion, Donovan Eckhardt. After relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Shayna and Donovan remained close friends, sharing beers, laughs and even double dates with their future respective spouses, Blake and Jamie.

Shayna currently resides in Maple Valley, WA, with her husband Blake, and their two children, Mackenzie and Reed. She adores time spent as a family and the challenge of a good jigsaw puzzle.

Karen Eckhardt became a volunteer with the Lionhardt organization in 2015, assisting with public relations and merchandise shipments. During her working career, Karen cultivated an extensive background in communications and development with the American Red Cross, the Cancer Support Community and Toastmasters. In 2017, the Lionhardt Board of Directors appointed her as their Executive Director. She served in that capacity through 2019. A devoted advocate of Lionhardt, Karen has now refocused her incredible passion to Lionhardt’s sponsorship and community relation needs.

Karen is the mother of our founding champion, Donovan Eckhardt, and his brother, Firefighter Gannon Eckhardt of the Orange County Fire Authority in southern California. Karen considers her two sons to be her life’s greatest achievements.

Karen currently resides in Traverse City, Michigan.

Andrew Harm joined the Lionhardt organization in 2020. Andrew comes from a family of first responders and joined the Renton Regional Fire Authority as a firefighter in 2016. Andrew’s passion for service is a keystone in Lionhardt’s continued growth and champion support.

Shortly before he began his pursuit to become a firefighter, Andrew’s father sent him a video of the procession for our champion, Donovan Eckhardt. He was astonished by the bond shared between first responders and their respective and surrounding communities. Only after Andrew joined Renton Regional Fire Authority did he experience firsthand Donovan’s impact, his model of work ethic and service, and his continued influence on probationary firefighters to this day. Although Andrew never met Donovan, he is dedicated to Lionhardt’s effort to continue Donovan’s legacy and support his fellow first responders and their families.

Andrew currently resides in Renton, WA, with his wife Rebecca. He enjoys spending free time with family and friends, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Jeremy Schumacher officially joined the Lionhardt team in 2020, but has been a supporter of the organization since its inception. As an established Project / Mechanical Engineer in the aerospace industry, Jeremy has cultivated extensive experience in project organization, facilitating communication, challenge identification and resolution, and the type of collaborative attitude required to support a productive and successful business.

Jeremy is a long-time friend of our champion, Donovan Eckhardt. Jeremy and Donovan met on the basketball courts of Newhart Middle School in Mission Viejo, CA. With a shared passion for hockey and the beach, Jeremy and Donovan became and remained close friends from childhood on. It is because of Jeremy's commitment to his friend, Donovan, that he whole-heartedly supports the causes championed by Lionhardt.

Jeremy currently resides in Lake Forest, CA, with his wife Jenna, and son Dylan. Proudly, their daughter, Emily, is a full-time college student in Montana pursuing a future in community service. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the southern California trails on his mountain bike and spending time with family and friends.