Our Team

Football is in our DNA. After years of research, prototyping, and development we’ve launched a product like none other. Our team works to create confidence with the football community to help players at all level of play, inspiring the next generation of athletes. With the launch in ’17 of Kato Collar, our flagship product, we’re defining how we can prevent and protect our athletes.

Science and physics are key components that support our mission and inspire our products. We see the techniques being taught through programs such as Heads Up as fundamental to protection and confidence in the game. Our product not only gives players confidence in their safety and technique but will help their confidence when playing and keep them moving quickly on the field. Anyone that plays knows, you can’t slow down on the field.

Our passion was ignited when we realized that the industry is not moving fast enough to keep players safer on the field. We couldn’t wait for a revolution, so we decided to start our own. We want to protect our game — the game we love — and the game we pass on to our kids and grandkids.

We build better gear for our players, and we’re not stopping at football. Protection is our core belief. After all, guardian is in our name.

Dave Norris Guardian Athletics

Dave Norris


Multiple hats? That’s Dave. His passion for football manifests itself into managing our personnel and finances, as well as overseeing our brand and marketing efforts. With 25 years of management experience, he’s stewarding our growth strategies to bring the dream to life.

Jeff Chambers Guardian Athletics

Jeff Chambers


Jeff envisioned a product that would help players recover from a burner-stinger injury on the football field. His 35+ years of experience, and tireless pursuit of a better way to protect his athletes led him to the realization that so much more could be done.

Todd Tanhoff Guardian Athletics

Todd Tanhoff


With more than 35 years experience in management and sales training and program implementation, Todd is vital to our sustainable growth in the coming years. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and sports fanatic, he’s found a home where he can leverage his passion with his experience.

Charles Ledonio Guardian Athletics

Charles Ledonio, MD

Science & Innovation

Dr. Ledonio is currently the Clinical Trials Director with Innovative Surgical Designs and formerly the Director of Research, Department of Orthopedics at University of Minnesota. He is an accomplished Research Director and MD specializing in sports medicine with 10+ years of clinical, basic science and translational research experience.

Guardian Athletics Rich Gannon

Rich Gannon

Partner & Advisory Board

Rich is an NFL 18-year veteran, setting NFL and franchise records in leading the Raiders to their third straight AFC Western Division title and advancing to Super Bowl 37 as the AFC Champions. He is now a game analyst for The NFL on CBS and co-host of a national radio show on Sirius XM NFL Radio and he can be seen on Monday nights during the season on NFL Monday QB on CBS Sports Network.

Guardian Athletics Les Pico

Les Pico

Partner & Board Advisor

Les is the Executive Director of Player Development and Legal for the Minnesota Vikings. He is directly involved with the personal welfare and legal issues that arise concerning players, coaches, and staff. Other areas of expertise and responsibilities in his career include implementing player programs to assist with continuing education, family assistance, and career internships.

Guardian Athletics Zeb Carlson

Zeb Carlson

Marketing Director

Zeb oversees the various marketing efforts related to the growth of the brand. In addition to the channel marketing, he also works with the variety of football communities to influence how to support future innovation, as well as overseeing the variety of PR efforts. In his career, he’s worked on a variety of brands such as Red Bull, General Mills, Microsoft, and Target as well as a number of start-ups.