Who Is LyfGard?

"A good idea, inspired by God, supported by this fellowship is certain to succeed." - Elizabeth Rudolph

It is with sadness that we announce that the founder of LyfGard Enterprises, Inc., Don Johnson, died suddenly in his sleep on January 23, 2011.


As his legacy, Co-Founder Betsy Johnson, and the dedicated Board members, are determined to see Don’s dream of protecting life, limb and property become a reality before the end of the year.

Recently, Executive Board Member Jerry Gardner, and CEO Jim Eckert, had a very productive follow-up meeting with the GINN Group/Georgia Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing
.  LyfGard has been involved in an ongoing series of strategy, design modification, and production methodology discussions with the top executives of this capable and accomplished firm throughout 2010 and 2011.

This was the “nuts and bolts” meeting with the V.P. of Operation/Manufacturing, Rick Miller, and to say we were pleased with its “flow” would be a gross understatement.  The obvious completeness, clarity of vision, and organization put forth by Don Johnson over the previous discussions was readily evident and surely accounted for the excellent progress.    Our test vessel, Fellowship, is now at Georgia Aerospace for final design, modification, and attachment of LyfGard’s “second generation” Propeller Deflector. (By the way, we are actively seeking additional boats, approximately 18’-24’ in length, so please do keep this need in mind!)  Additionally, over the summer, LyfGard submitted to the United States Patent and Trade Office for the Patent Approval of our “second generation" Propeller Deflector, created by Don Johnson, and exclusively LyfGard owned. To our astonishment, LyfGard’s initial federal agency submission was nearly perfect, a rare event in the patent world; thus, LyfGard now enjoys U.S. “Patent Pending” privileges and protections on this collaborative design work of Don and GINN Group/Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing.   

Don certainly must have been watching in spirit over this most-favorable meeting.  Assuredly, the thoroughness of this follow-up and expedited patent submission was made possible by Don’s exceptionally complete effort.  Thank you, Don!



Donald Johnson was inspired with the vision of the Propeller Deflectorto save the lives of humans and aquatic animals. LyfGard Enterprises, Inc. was incorporated with the consultation of Atlanta businessmen Dr. Joseph B. Kennedy and  Richard Niles, and nuclear engineer Curt  Welch.

Meet the Board

  • Betsy R. Johnson,  as Co-Founder, contributes over 35 years of experience in business administration, communications and organizational skills, and she holds a BA and master’s degrees in English.
  • James E. Eckert, CEO, has crafted, drafted and directed corporate strategies for over 35 years.  He has served as a board member and/or top executive to numerous for-profit, 501(c)3, start-up's, and established companies.  He is an expert at identifying business opportunity, developing Best Practices, creating efficiencies and driving exceptional results.
  •  Dr. Joseph B.  Kennedy has over 50 years of experience in executive management and vast worldwide business development.  While working concurrenty with the American and Chinese governments, he has been credited with the "Opening of China" to worldwide trade and educational exchange.
  • Susie Fiorello, CPA has over 30 years of experience advising business entities and developing fiscally sound strategies.  She draws on expertise from her 18-year public accounting career.
  • Jerry Gardner, Executive Vice President’s considerable marketing, technical abilities,  and business skills made his  business nationally reknown, serving clients throughout the entire United States.
  • Larry Stone, Executive Vice President, has over 35 years of experience in analyzing user requirements and evaluating, designing, and developing software solutions.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a masters degree in Business Administration.
  • Roland Hall, Esq., General Counsel, is a partner in the firm of Autry, Horton & Cole, LLP, Tucker, Georgia, and his practice includes business law and representing electric cooperatives in corporate, finance, and regulatory matters. He negotiates and drafts contracts and handles complex business transactions and commercial litigation.
  • The Honorable Len Walker (R-GA) serves the 107th District of Georgia. He   has served as Chair of the House Environmental Committee.
  • Dr. Cathy Dickens practices medicine in Hazelhurst, Georgia, and treated the terrible effects of propeller injuries.
  • Rev. Jim Winn has over 50 years in the ministry, and shares in many of LyfGard’s Christian and philanthropic asperations.