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Veterans of the Military Our Heroes, our Best Hope!

We envision a future world, a better world than has ever been seen!  The 1st Hope Corps is seeking veterans of the military imagination, courage, and creativity.  They are our front line of hope and faith… hope enough for the whole world… faith enough to “Fix The Future!”

Our Massive Transformative Purpose

The MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose) of 1st Hope Corps is to Fix the Future by engineering technology that promotes values, equity, and social responsibility to give hope, renew faith and restore social balance!

Who We Are

The 1st Hope Corps Cooperative is a veteran-owned, for-profit startup. We specialize in AI LLM (large language model) engineering that blends commercial with social responsibility apps. AiAutomated, our flagship commercial offering, is a unique chatbot development platform that employs LLMs to develop virtual human chatbots and 3D avatars. AiAutomated uses an intuitive question-and-answer format to input prompt data into its LLMs. We provide SMBs with customer support chatbots in multiple languages, requiring no coding for rapid integration into websites and apps. Our social initiatives include our LLM-powered English Tutor app to enhance ESL courses to bolster students' English language skills, including reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar.

Our Story

In 1989, deep in the heart of Lubbock, Texas, the genesis of what would eventually become the 1st Hope Corps was taking shape. The concept, dubbed the "Good News Network," was a brainchild of Fred Lewis and Donita Lea, supported by a group of vibrant Texas Tech graduate students. The community embraced the idea of a network devoted to positive news, but financial constraints temporarily halted its realization. This shared dream, however, was waiting for the right moment to come to life. Fast forward to 1999, the dream finally took root in Manila, Philippines, rebranded as "Hope Street." Hope Street was born under the leadership of Fred Lewis and a dedicated team of benefactors, including Durwin Dengerud (Roo), Alan Grove, Donald Feeney, Bob Murray, Harry Kunze, and Edward Mangan. Collaborating with the Department of Education and the Philippine Normal University, Hope Street significantly contributed to the Philippines by providing educational software, training, and facilities to Filipino youths, from street children to college scholars. 2015 Fred Lewis founded AI-nMind, a chatbot engineering company based in Hong Kong. AI-nMind has a global presence, operating out of the Philippines with the support of Pandorabots. The company developed the patent-pending AiAutomate platform and is a trusted source of chatbot engineering for global clients, including Capital One and the Philippine Presidential Communications Office. By 2019, Hope Street had expanded its mission to provide employment training to out-of-school youths. However, the unforeseen challenges of the COVID pandemic in 2020 forced Hope Street to cease operations, and Fred Lewis returned to the USA. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AI-nMind also scaled back its chatbot business and relocated its headquarters to Washington, USA. Here, it partnered with Fortem Genus and the University of North Carolina to develop iDetect, a patent-pending machine learning model and app for detecting COVID through smartphone eye images. Upon completing the iDetect project, AI-nMind resumed R&D of chatbots and Generative AI using OpenAI technology. In June of 2022, Fred Lewis founded the 1st Hope Corps in Colorado as a for-profit cooperative with the mission to provide veterans with AI chatbot training and job opportunities. By April 2023, AI-nMind completed the development of the ESL Tutor, a ChatGPT-powered English learning web app for NTNU (National Taiwan Normal University). In August of 2023, AI-nMind became a subsidiary of 1st Hope Corps. This merger not only expands the software engineering capabilities of 1st Hope into the field of AI but also accelerates our operations.

Our Clients and Partners

Capital One
FG Labs
pnu logo
Taiwan University
Coach 4 Charity

Meet The Team


Fred Lewis

Executive Director

Fred brings a wealth of experience to his role as Executive Director of the 1st Hope Corps, with a career spanning over four decades across various sectors. His career began in the U.S. Army, where he served as a Non-Commissioned Officer from 1974 to 1982, playing pivotal roles in the 1st SFOD-D, Airborne (Delta Force), and the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry, Airborne. Transitioning to the private sector, Fred provided security consultancy services and co-founded a 501 c3 non-profit crime prevention agency, Innovative Solutions. Fred then shifted to telecom, launching UsAccess, a long-distance telephone service reseller for AT&T and MCI. In 1998 Fred founded InterTel, the Philippines’ first discounted international Direct Dial service for IGF Carriers. In 2003, Fred founded the non-profit Hope Street Association, where PNU (Philippine Normal University) appointed him a Fellow. While at PNU, he developed and taught a graduate student program for livelihood training of Out of School Youths. Additionally, he spearheaded the development of the ALMS Mobile software platform, a gamified, AI-powered learning management system, which was successfully field-tested in partnership with DepEd Philippines. His transition into AI began in 2015 at AI nMind, a Hong Kong-based AI chatbot company. He designed a patent-pending AI Automation WebApp there, enabling non-technical individuals to develop sophisticated chatbots. This venture marked the start of his significant contributions to the AI industry, which he has continued in his role at Fortum Genus Labs. As the AI Solutions Architect, he co-invented the patent-pending iDetect application, a revolutionary tool enabling rapid COVID-19 detection via smartphone cameras. Fred's career highlights his versatility, innovative problem-solving skills, and leadership abilities, making him an invaluable asset to the 1st Hope Corps.


Aaron Tolentino

Lead Software Engineer

Aaron is a distinguished full-stack developer with a decade of experience in engineering innovative applications using the latest technology. As Senior Developer for AInMind, Aaron developed the Samaritan app, which awards students for valor and kindness. Aaron leveraged his expertise in harnessing GPT-4 to create powerful tools such as the English Tutor, which aids in English language training, and the AiDefender, designed to assist teachers in grading assignments and detecting plagiarism. While working at Fortem Genus Aaron as Senior Full Stack Developer, he created a machine learning integrated web application for eye image collection and COVID-19 detection. His accomplishments at Fortem Genus include R&D projects to enhance eye image capturing and devising an app to categorize and manage these images. At Hopegames, he created the AiAutomate platform and numerous customer service AIML chatbots, including the Call Center Simulator (CCSIM), to train Capital One Call Center Agents. His mastery extends to PHP, MySQL, MongoDB, Javascript, HTML, CSS, and numerous other technologies. With a degree in Information Technology from Jose Rizal University and roles as a backend developer at Wtech Solutions and Nuworks Interactive Labs, Aaron brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Hope Corps team.


Harry Kunze

Director  Sales & Administration

Harry's impressive career stretches over four decades, evidenced by his unwavering dedication to sales, marketing, customer service, and administration excellence. Beginning his career at Kidder, Peabody & Company in Newport Beach as a mail and file assistant at age 15, he quickly rose. After college, he transferred to the San Francisco office of Kidder Peabody. Harry was promoted to the municipal bond trading desk within nine months and obtained his Series 7 license to sell a wide range of securities. In 1995, he was promoted to Vice President of the Regional Institutional Fixed Income Sales Group, selling fixed-income securities to corporations, banks, insurance companies, municipalities, and other institutional clients. Harry worked for UBS following its 2000 acquisition of PaineWebber, and in 2007 he assumed a similar VP position at Oppenheimer & Company. In 2012, he took the Technical Sales Manager position at San Francisco-based AI chatbot provider Pandorabots, Inc. Harry is an expert in high-tech, specializing in chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), avatars, natural language processing (NLP), large language models (LLM), machine learning (ML), big data, and data mining. Harry deftly maneuvers between the traditional brokerage industry and the digital technology landscape, combining a solid foundation with innovative prospects due to his versatility across multiple sectors and unwavering commitment. Harry's journey exemplifies the tenacity and adaptability that distinguish him. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unstoppable once he sets his mind to something, whether complex securities or high-tech challenges.


Azam Iftikhar

Lead Machine Learning Engineer

Azam is a data scientist with more than nine years of industry experience. He is highly skilled in Deep Learning for Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Recommendation Systems, and Cloud technologies. Azam has a Master's in Machine Learning from Princeton University. He previously served as machine learning project manager for Fortem Genus, overseeing the creation of datasets and the training and deployment of CNN and SVM models to screen for COVID using smartphone exterior eye images. Azam has worked as a Research and Development Data Scientist with Siemens and Microsoft. Azam's areas of expertise are as follows: NLP (Text classification, Topic modeling, NER, QA, Chatbots, Text generation, LLM engineering, Prompt engineering/Fine-tune GPT3) Machine Learning - Mlflow, SageMaker, Training, Hyper-parameter Tuning, Deployment, Auto Scaling, Monitoring Model Drift, Inference, Performance Metrics (ROC AUC, Precision, Recall, Accuracy, Python, Sklearn, Tensorflow, Transformers, and Pandas).

Meet Our Advisors


Remo Butler, Brigadier General (Ret.)

Senior Advisor for

Veterans Affairs

Brigadier General (Ret.) Butler’s military career spanned 29 years, most of which was as a Green Beret in the US Army Special Forces. He served as the Company Executive Officer and Detachment Commander in the 7th SF Group in Panama, as well as Special Operations Command South, Panama, as Director J3 and as a Special Operations Plans Officer. Shortly after his participation in OPERATION JUST CAUSE, he returned to Fort Bragg, NC to command 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. BG Butler was also assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff to US Army Special Forces Command and to the US Army War College. Additional assignments included: Chief, Special Operations Coordination Element, XVIII Airborne Corps, Commander of the 1st Special Forces Warfare Training Group (Airborne), US Army Special Warfare Center and School, Deputy Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC, Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Command South in Puerto Rico. His military career ended as Chief of Staff of the US Special Operations Command at MacDill AFB. After he completed his military career, BG Butler served as the LOGCAP III Deputy General Program Manager ME/CA and Project Manager Iraq/Kuwait. In this position he managed 45,000+ contract employees performing service security and construction missions throughout the mid-east theater BG Butler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Master of Science degree from Troy State University in Personnel Management.


Miguel Martinez

Senior Advisor for Branding and Marketing

Miguel Martinez is a career business strategist, sales and marketing expert, and a seasoned leadership development professional. His background and work spans across multiple industries and with more than two decades of experience, Miguell has been a servant leader in business growth and expansion, building strategic partnerships, and developing lucrative sales and marketing strategies. He graduated with an Associate of Science Degree in International Business from Hillsborough Community College, and received two College Completion Certificates; one in Business Management and the other as a Business Strategist. He was president of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, received awards including All Academic Florida, Presidents Medal, Outstanding Leadership and Distinguished Officer. Miguel furthered his studies at Harvard’s Business Executive Program and completed his study in Disruptive Strategy and in Entrepreneurship. He spent 5 years working for OBM, a subsidiary of LVMH, where he facilitated advanced seminars, provided strategy consulting and generated retail sales for clients located in cruise ports throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and Europe. Afterwards, he joined Philip Stein Company and served as Vice President of Business Development to oversee North America, and to strategically direct initiatives in expansion, operations and in marketing. Miguel later served as Vice President of Marketing and Revenue for Royal Media Partners; an integrated media company that connects luxury brands to global consumers. Through his leadership and vision, Martinez propelled Royal Media Partners to become one of the most profitable and top cruise media companies in the world. In 2020, his talents were sought out by a startup tech company in Tel Aviv, Israel named Lucy Platforms. He spearheaded the branding, marketing and development of an application which uses Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and data science algorithms to create a more efficient and accurate product. He helped the company to finalize development, facilitate media and public appearances and successfully launch the application. Miguel's robust and vast experience has equipped him with a wide array of skills. This has made him a highly influential leader, an invaluable team player, an efficient problem solver, and a creative intellect.

Father Ben

Father Benigno P. Beltran, SVD,

Lead Spiritual Advisor

Father Benigno P. Beltran, SVD, is a celebrated Filipino Catholic priest, educator, author, and social activist committed to uplifting marginalized communities through education and environmental advocacy. He received his academic training from the University of Santo Tomas, Divine Word Seminary, De La Salle University, and notably, Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned both his Licentiate and Doctorate in Theology. His professional background spans numerous esteemed positions, including being a Professor of Theology at the Divine Word Seminary, Scholar-in-Residence at the Catholic Theological Union, and Leader-in-Residence at P. F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. Over the years, Father Beltran held operational leadership in several organizations, including serving as the Parish Priest of the Parish of the Risen Christ in Smokey Mountain, Manila, the President and CEO of Sandiwaan Center for Learning and Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig, Executive Director of Smokey Mountain Resource Recovery Systems, and the Lead Coordinator of the Philippine Sustainability Challenge. Additionally, he has been instrumental in utilizing technology and the power of social enterprise as the President and CEO of Veritas Social Empowerment, Inc. Today, Father Beltran continues his relentless service as an Associate Pastor at the Shrine of Jesus, the Divine Word, Quezon City. Father Beltran's numerous publications have offered significant contributions to theological literature, with "The Christology of the Inarticulate" receiving the National Book Award in 1988. Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain: Hope for a Planet in Peril (Orbis, New York, 2012). Convergence Theory of Learning (convergence of critical, systems and design thinking). He is equally distinguished by his array of awards, including the Catholic Author Award, Ninoy Aquino Fellowship Award, Robert Pierce Award, and Fr. Nery Satur Award for Environmental Heroism.


Dr. Basheer Qolomany

Senior Advisor for Artificial Intelligence Solutions

Dr. Basheer Qolomany is a computer scientist with a rich academic background and a passion for advancing the frontiers of technology. Dr. Qolomany conducts interdisciplinary research that lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and swarm intelligence to address problems of significant societal impact within the realm of complex systems. His expertise spans various domains, with a particular focus on population health, cybersecurity, and IoT-based smart services. With a robust publication record, Dr. Qolomany has disseminated knowledge through numerous research papers published in reputable journals and presented at renowned conferences. Dr. Qolomany received the Ph.D. and second master’s enroute to Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Western Michigan University, MI, USA, in 2018 and the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Mosul, Iraq, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Dr. Qolomany has held various academic positions throughout his academic journey, showcasing his commitment to education and research. Currently, he holds the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Cyber Systems at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, NE, USA. In this role, he continues to inspire and educate the next generation of professionals in the dynamic field of computer science and cyber systems. He also previously taught at Kennesaw State University and Western Michigan University. Dr. Qolomany is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Beyond his academic role, Dr. Qolomany actively engages with the broader scientific community. He has served as a Technical Program Committee (TPC) member and a reviewer for multiple international conferences and journals, including the IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE IWCMC, and IEEE VTC, IEEE Internet of Things Journal, Nature Scientific Reports, Patterns – Cell Press, Energies MDPI.

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