6 Ways to Support Veteran-Owned Businesses Right Now

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Young African-American man seted with armed folded smiling in a small goods store

By Victoria Kelly

In normal economic times, only half of small businesses survive their first five years. In fragile economic times, that number is much higher.

There has been a lot of attention on small businesses lately, but those of us in the military community need to take extra steps to support veteran-owned businesses specifically. We can’t let out veteran entrepreneurs fail during these months. It is not only about supporting one or two businesses, but the entire cycle of veteran employment—veteran-owned businesses are 30 percent more likely to employ other veterans.

Here are six ways to support veteran entrepreneurs right now:

Shop veteran. Call your local USO and ask if they know any veteran-owned businesses in the area. Veteranownedbusiness.com has a database of businesses by category and state. The American Veteran Owned Business Association also has a list. Consider these businesses not just for your personal needs, but for your business’s needs as well. A lot of these businesses are B2B (business to business) instead of B2C (business to consumer).

Don’t forget about military spouses. A lot of active-duty servicemembers have spouses who are business owners, and they count on that money to make ends meet. Use your military network (Facebook groups, email list, etc.) to ask around about spouse businesses that might be struggling. This includes artists and creators who have lost their source of income. You can find them through the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network.

Spread the word. Use your social media to spread the word about supporting small veteran-owned businesses. I have had great success getting the word out about businesses I like using Nextdoor, a local neighborhood app where neighbors can recommend services and businesses. If you find a business you like, mention them by name specifically.

Buy gift cards. A lot of restaurants and gyms are owned by veterans or military spouses, and they’re among the businesses struggling the most right now. Do an online search or ask around to see if any of them are selling gift cards for future use. What they need most of all is a cash influx to sustain them right now.

Identify nonprofits that are investing in veteran entrepreneurs. The PenFed Foundation, for example, has a Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program that invests in veteran-owned businesses. VetFran support veterans in franchising. Warrior Rising was founded by combat vets and provides grants and mentorship to veteran entrepreneurs. All of these nonprofits count on the support of donors to help the veteran community.

Offer your mentorship. If you are a business owner or have experience in business consulting, volunteer your time. You can become a mentor to a veteran-owned business through Warrior Rising, ementorprogram.org, or SCORE.

While active-duty military are fortunate to have a steady paycheck and healthcare right now, many reservists, veterans and spouses don’t. The military and veteran communities have to support each other. Do what you can to find someone you can help during this time. Even if you can only give $20 or 20 minutes of your time, it’s worth it.

Reprinted with permission from Sandboxx.us. Please check out SandboxxNews.com for similar content.

Veteran transforming lives through local apprentice program

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Roger Hermeling Headshot

U.S. Veterans Magazine recently had the chance to interview Air Force veteran Roger Hermeling about the apprentice program.

USVM: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background?
RH: After graduating high school, I went to Bowling Green State University and graduated as a Second Lieutenant commission from the USAF ROTC program. In my 20+ years in the Air Force, I served as Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) on B-52 crews at Loring AFB and Plattsburg AFB.

In Vietnam, I volunteered to be an F-105 EWO in the Wild Weasel program, which was a very select group of elite fliers who put their lives on the line to take down radars guiding Soviet missiles. The program had a 45% loss rate and I still vividly recall one mission where I hit two enemy airplanes. My pilot and I barely escaped.

I completed my active duty in 1982 and then got my master’s degree from Golden State University during my assignment at Langley AFB. My first job after USAF retirement was with Hughes Aircraft Company at Fullerton, CA as Survivability Project Management for the F-117 aircraft.

In addition, I worked for Northrup B-2 program, to provide mission analysis on how to employ the aircraft against high priority targets. Later, I worked for Raytheon Munitions Division and SAIC to find ways to employ their munitions and market their products.

Later in my career I wanted an opportunity to put my military training and experience into practice, so I started working at local community centers in my home state of Texas to help students earn their GEDs. That experience ultimately led me to my current role with SSC Services for Education, where I oversee an Apprenticeship Program as the Director of Training and Procedure.

USVM: Can you tell us about the SSC apprenticeship program that you run?
RH: I spearheaded the Apprenticeship Program in May of 2016. The program is designed to help students, some of whom are Veterans, develop vocational skills for jobs that are in great demand, such as an air conditioning technician or an electrician, so they can find success once the program is complete.

The SSC Apprenticeship Program is a tough one. The four-year apprentice program requires apprentices to take 576 hours of maintenance system operations and log 8,000 hours of on the job training.

The program first started at Texas A&M where I’m located, but we have doubled the program size with 15 apprentices at College Station, TX and a total of 14 more in Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Commerce, Prairie View and Tarleton State, TX.

USVM: How did your military background prepare you for your current role at SSC?
RH: The leadership experience I gained in the Air Force has shaped how I approach every situation both personally and professionally. During my tour at the Fighter Weapons School I was tasked to develop a program syllabus, provide aircrew qualifications, provide classes and flight evaluations for 36 F-4 Wild Weasel aircrews. The situations you’re thrown into in the military give you a crash course in responsibility, accountability, flexibility and teach you how to make critical decisions on the fly.

USVM: What have been your top three accomplishments in your time running the program?
RH: For me, my proudest moments are when I see my students complete the training program. I have graduated nine apprentices from the four-year program and knowing that I helped them find their career calling means the world to me.

Another moment that stands out is when I was able to help three former students, who were also Veterans, get pay bonuses through the VA. I heard about the opportunity, suggested it to them and guided them through the process of applying. I was excited to hear they were all able to get their well-deserved bonus!

Additionally, I’m proud to have helped SSC apply for grants that assist with funding the Apprentice Program. So far, I have secured over $1M in grants. It is a great feeling knowing I can help keep these great programs moving strong for years to come.

USVM: Why would you encourage someone to join the apprenticeship program?
RH: These are the jobs of the future. I often tell students that these jobs are in high demand and pay better than certain careers you can earn with a bachelor’s degree. I would tell any prospective student to consider the numerous benefits of a skilled trade job – it might be the perfect fit for their career.

USVM: What is one piece of advice you have for other Veterans returning to civilian life looking for employment?
RH: Many core values you learn in military service are useful no matter the career path. Responsibility, teamwork, hard work and determination; these are all areas valuable in civilian life. Look at what you learned and see where it can help you in your next endeavor. Trade-licensed professionals are in high demand, well-paid, have job security and projections for tradesman are increasingly positive.

USVM talks with Shawn Driscoll, Co-Founder of Loop Media, Inc., about his experience in the Military and more

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Shawn Driscoll smiling wearing a black and white t-shirt with the word Loop on it

USVM: What was your personal experience as a veteran, and how did the values you learned in the military influence the creation of Loop Media?

SD: Veterans have something that not everyone has the opportunity to experience. Discipline and commitment is the approach to life that we follow. The Marine Corps teaches you chain of command, commitment, discipline, and teamwork as core principles. The most important thing that the Marine Corps taught me is to never quit on your commitment. It’s critical to your success.

USVM: How has your collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus led you to develop a passion for music videos?

SD: I was involved in the Achy Breaky Heart 2 music video, around when Mylie Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball was blowing up. It was done as somewhat of a joke but it was viewed millions of times. Popular music videos are seeing people tuning into them like never before. Videos have taken center stage, with 40% of YouTube traffic being music videos. Videos are a mainstay of entertainment globally, more so than in the U.S and it’s a powerful medium to entertain.

USVM: How can reopened businesses keep patrons engaged through streaming content, and what types of content do they respond to best?

SD: Content that is short form is responded to best. Content like movie trailers, music videos, viral videos, sports highlights, drone footage from around the world are the forms of entertainment that is consumed out of home. This will get people to move away from their phone and engage with their surroundings. The goal is to move them to engage with Loop’s platforms when out and about.

USVM: Why is the future of streaming outside the home, and how the streaming giants are missing a tremendous opportunity in that arena?

SD: Everyone is trying to find the secret formula. Loop is the only one aggressively going after the market of short-form content outside the home. Spotify is focused on mobile. Apple and Amazon on content creators. At Loop we believe that building a network outside of the home is an untapped market that no one is going after.

USVM: What advice would you give veterans who wish to start their own businesses, as well as entrepreneurs looking to break into the entertainment industry?

SD: You need commitment to see things through and achieve your dreams and goals. Loop grew from an idea that we wanted to build a competitor to VEVO. It has grown to so much more than that now but it all started with one idea. Have a vision and be prepared to grind. In the Marine Corps, you are taught to do this in a unique way. Work hard, and make sure someone notices the hard work. Tell your story, and make sure someone listens to it. You only get out of life what you demand so be passionate about it. You are the one that has the ability to make it happen.

Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Credits Military Skills as Foundation for His Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Business

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Steven Cordova headshots side by side military uniform and business clothes

Steven Cordova, Modesto resident and veteran, recently launched operations as a franchisee with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

The 43-year-old services California’s Central Valley which includes Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Oakdale, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Stockton, Lodi, Merced, Atwater, Bridgeport, Sonora, Mariposa, Yosemite Valley and Los Banos.

Cordova was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force for 24 years.  He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, Travis Air Force Base in California and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. In addition, he was stationed internationally at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, Lajes Field in Azores, Portugal and Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan.

“I always had the ambition to operate my own business and the military provided me with the tools and discipline necessary in business,” said Cordova. “With Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ startup program and franchisee support system, I knew that achieving my goal was obtainable. I look forward to what the future brings and the challenges ahead because I know that with the foundation the military has given me and the corporate team at my side, I will be successful.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for more than 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked for 23 years on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its eighth consecutive year as No. 1 in its category on that coveted ranking. In addition, the company has 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past eight years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com

How Have You Used Your Military Crisis Skills During the Pandemic?

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three small business owners pictured in a collage

We at US Veterans Magazine asked the owners of three very different veteran-owned small businesses how their own military crisis skills have benefitted each of their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they had to say:

Cesar Nader, President & CEO, X Corp Solutions, Inc.

X Corp Solutions, Inc., is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in language training, culture immersion and regional knowledge. The company offers leadership workshops, workforce development and career transition seminars for professionals and organizations. X Corp has a diversified portfolio serving military, federal government, state and local, private sector and international clients in five states across the Unites States (HI, CA, NC, MD and VA) and is looking to expand into new markets. X Corp is also a Disadvantaged Minority Small Business Entity or 8(a), GSA certified schedule holder (MOBIS Schedule), Top Secret Facility Level Cleared (FLC) entity, ISO certified in 9001-2015-Quality Management Systems and 27000–Information Security Management. For more information, visit xcorpsolutions.com

Before the government declared any objectives or guidelines for the country, we put in place a three-phased plan with five levels of employee conditions. I would be happy to share that plan. Just as with any military crisis, we brought our “CORE-4” team together—which included our top managers—and began putting together a plan of how we could ensure that our customers would get their missions accomplished. We planned for every level of action and met daily for this pre-phase I implementation. We also planned to make sure we could keep each one of our employees on the payroll, even before there was any Payment Protection Program Loan or CARES Act in place. The swift and immediate implementation of our plan in early March allowed us to instill confidence and trust in our employees, and earned us the same from our customers. Our partners were also eager to learn about our plan and asked if we could share it so they could implement it. Our ability to draw on my military training to plan for contingencies and emergencies was critical in showing a calm and effective leadership posture, and allowed me to teach my team how to perform in the midst of chaos. The outcome has been remarkably effective in how our XMen, customers, partners and allies trust us to lead the way—and let them know that in the face of adversity and panic, we’ve got their backs.

Kathleen Ford, Co-Owner & CEO, scDataCom

scDataCom, LLC, a nationally-recognized small business specializing in the design, installation and service of physical and electronic security systems for public and private sector clients, was just certified by the State of New York as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB). scDataCom is also recognized by the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) for its service-disabled veteran-owned status.

The pandemic of 2020 had a profound impact on the nation, with many small businesses suffering a fatal, unrecoverable blow. scDataCom fell within the “essential services” umbrella as our team supports critical infrastructure, so our trucks continued to roll, but not without considerable disruption, chaos, fear, and adaptation required to do old things in new ways. My military experience and that of our staff (over 50 percent of our team are veterans) trained us well for this one—changing plans is a military norm, and we are experts in the pivot. In the short term, scDataCom took the opportunity to provide security services for our small business customers who felt vulnerable leaving their vacant shops unmanned; we were able to set up cameras in a main business corridor and provide remote viewing for business owners to “watch the shop” while quarantined. As things are returning to the new normal, we are adapting our sales strategy, launching a subscription/lease service for cash-strapped businesses who need access control or video solutions, and pursuing additional work in sectors less affected by current economics, such as the federal and construction sectors.

Al Lopez, President & CEO, Alma Coffee

Al Lopez is the Veteran Business Owner (VBO) of Alma Coffee & Finca Terrerito, a coffee roastery and coffee farm focused on improving the lives of many, implementing sustainable practices in everything they do and the production of extraordinary coffee. As a 4th generation coffee farmer, Lopez sources coffee directly from his own farm in Honduras (@fincaterrerito) and from other farmers he knows directly (almadoptions). On the coffee roasting side (Alma Coffee), they expertly roast based on the natural properties inside the coffee and take pride roasting on an American-made Loring Smart Roaster, the most fuel-efficient coffee roaster on the market, emitting 80 percent less emissions than other conventional roasters. For more information, visit myalmacoffee.com

The answer is Plan, Simplify and Execute. As a military man, I plan for everything, but the pandemic was not one I had planned for—I missed it completely! Our business, Alma Coffee (@myalmacoffee) took a significant and direct hit. We went to zero revenue overnight; our café and wholesale customers shut down. Other coffee roasters who purchase green bean (coffee bean prior to roasting) from my Finca Terrerito farm were also operating at very low capacity levels and had paused on most purchases. Instead of panicking, the skills I acquired in the military kicked in. Comradery in the military creates a sense of invincibility, where nothing can ever hurt you, and this is the culture we want to create in all our businesses.

At Alma Coffee we followed and continue to follow the Infantry motto, ‘Forever Forward.’ When the pandemic hit, we gathered our team of six, shared ideas, decided on the next steps and gave each member the tools needed to succeed. We reached out to all of our friends and family, our community and all others in our network to ask for help. I did a video for the VIB (Veterans in Business – https://myalmacoffee.com/pages/supportvib) network and asked them to please purchase Alma Coffee. We were brutally honest and informed them that without their purchases, we would not survive. We pivoted and moved forward aggressively to develop our online business. With the pandemic, the majority of the world has continued to drink coffee, but where and who they purchase from has changed. We decided to execute a strategy of being within arms distance of the customer. For us, this meant contactless home delivery via online ordering. The online e-commerce world is fairly new to us so there has been a lot of trial and error, but we are quick to learn and passionate about doing things right and delighting the customer!  I am proud to say we have not missed a payroll check; we have paid all of our bills and are more motivated than ever to continue following the Infantry’s ‘Forever Forward’ motto. We are beyond blessed to work in the coffee industry, the second most traded commodity in the world.

Photos: pictured top; Al Lopez: Image credit: Clay Goswick Photography; bottom left, Kathleen Ford: Image credit: Apt. B Photography; bottom right, Cesar Nader, President & CEO, X Corp Solutions, Inc.

 

Iraq War Veteran Launches Luxury Fragrance Line for Men and Women

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bottle of triangle fragrance surrounded by rose petals

U.S. Army special operations military veteran Magda Khalifa recently launched Triangle Fragrance—a luxury fragrance line for men and women inspired by the Freedom Triangle Framework and introduced in her memoir, American DREAM: Discipline, Resilience, Endurance, Adaptability and Mentorship.

“Confidence” for women is an alluring floral and woody scent, featuring notes of lavender, rose, and whiskey. “Victory” for men is a very masculine scent created with notes of Cuban tobacco, Russian leather and bourbon.

After two tours in Iraq, Khalifa struggled with transition and health issues. In the aftermath of exposure to toxic burn pits in the combat zone, Khalifa became very aware of toxicities in environments that affect people’s health.

“From the battlefield through my post war journey, I realized the power of smells and scents.

I set out to create unique, beautiful fragrances that correspond to the points of the Freedom Triangle,” said Khalifa, explaining that Confidence and Victory represent the first point, Time Freedom.

Features of Triangle Fragrances include:

– vegan-friendly, cruelty-free

– made with plant-based alcohol

– made without parabens, sulfates, triclosan, phthalates, mineral oil, or dyes

“It’s fundamental to my values and to the brand that the fragrances are made in America, and that ingredients and production reflect a very high quality,” Khalifa explained.

Triangle Fragrances are long-lasting eau de parfums, with 18 percent concentration of fragrance oils. The stunning packaging features an elegant collector’s card inside, offering written inspiration and motivation to its owner.

The brand showcases models from all walks of life on its social media, many of whom have never modeled before. “It is an honor to share the stories of many great Americans who literally embody the spirit of the fragrance they represent,” said Khalifa.

The next Triangle Fragrances, called the white line, was released in summer. These scents will represent Health Freedom in the Freedom Triangle. When the series is complete, the colors of the bottles and boxes will reveal red, white, and blue.

Retailers interested in carrying the next great American brand are encouraged to contact info@trianglefragrance.com.

Triangle Fragrance is available now, exclusively online at trianglefragrance.com.

Source: Triangle Fragrance

Former Marine Takes Lessons From Military And Turns Them Into Business Success

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Edison Recinos stands in front of his Paul Davis work vehicle smiling

This year has been trying for even the most diehard among us. It’s difficult to run a business when the game plan is constantly changing.

But Edison Recinos, franchise owner of Paul Davis Restoration of The Gables – one of the most trusted brands in the insurance restoration industry – has done exceedingly well in serving clients throughout Miami and surrounding areas. Recinos served seven years in the United States Marine Corps, and with Veterans Day approaching, Recinos says what he learned in the military has played a crucial role in his business success. “The military taught me to never stand still, always be looking a few steps ahead,” the 40-year-old Recinos said. “That has been essential in these times. Being able to adjust quickly has allowed us to adapt rapidly to new standards and needs of our clients. We are not only surviving, but thriving in the pandemic. Not being scared to try new things and making adjustments quickly has really been a big part of our success.”

It’s hard to be scared when you’ve experienced what Recinos did while serving in the Marines from 2000 to 2007. He joined the Marines for education and travel opportunities, but little did Recinos know that the Iraq War was going to begin in 2003. Serving as a Sergeant in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Recinos’ unit conducted amphibious operations, emergency embassy evacuations and had Special Operations designation. He led many raids and missions in combat operations in numerous locations throughout Iraq. And despite his duties that continually put him in harm’s way, Recinos was still able to travel the world, visiting Hawaii, Japan, Australia, India, Sri Lanka and many other countries.

Recinos described himself as very quiet and shy before joining the Marines, but says no one would use those terms today in describing him. He said his military service gave him the confidence to go forward and succeed no matter what challenge he faced. “It provided me the can-do attitude; the ability to adapt and overcome,” Recinos said. “Life will always throw things at you and the military taught me how to zig and zag. I use many of the skills I was taught in the military; skills such as always finding a way, pushing forward and never giving up.”

After leaving the military in May 2007, Recinos worked in financial services and telecommunications before joining the insurance industry in 2010 and traveling the country while working in catastrophe response. “I learned a lot about construction, contractors and different restoration companies,” Recinos said. That’s also when he got his first exposure to Paul Davis, which has been at the forefront of innovation in the property damage, emergency services and restoration industry since 1966 by pioneering water damage assessment and monitoring technology among others. Customer calls are returned within 30 minutes of first contact, teams are onsite within hours and all work is thoroughly documented. “I had a lot of experiences with Paul Davis and I began to look into them more and more,” Recinos said. “I decided it must be a pretty good company if I keep issuing payments to them, so I began to get serious about the idea of owning my own franchise.”

With more than 300 locations in the US and Canada, Paul Davis is continually growing, and it seems like a perfect fit for individuals who have a background similar to Recinos and are looking to either own or work for a local franchise. “I opened my franchise in Miami in September 2014 and I have been here ever since,” Recinos said.

About Paul Davis Restoration 

Since 1966 Paul Davis Restoration has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and other disasters along with cleaning services for biohazards, like COVID-19. The experts at Paul Davis understand the complex process of recovering from property damage and provide complete services; there is no need for the expense and confusion of hiring multiple contractors. Paul Davis is a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration. Paul Davis Restoration has more than 300 independently owned franchises in the United States and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration and reconstruction. For more information, visit the company website at www.pauldavis.com.

Recruit a Military Spouse: Gain a Force of Nature

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Caitlin Emmons pictured sitting on side of fountain with husband and two small children

By Caitlin Emmons

Honor. Courage. Commitment. When University of California, Irvine School of Law graduate Caitlin Emmons’ husband enlisted as a United States Marine, her family put these values above all others.

Military spouses do not attend boot camp, they do not put their lives on the line, and they do not have rank. They serve in a different capacity by placing their dreams on hold, by taking care of the home front, and by holding dear the same values that their spouses pledged their lives to uphold.

From being CEO of the home to being professionals across many industries, military spouses are an incredible powerhouse of strength across our nation. For those military spouses who are in professions requiring specialized licensing, they are faced with a never-ending patchwork of rules to overcome.

For those businesses and organizations that understand this potential, they unlock a determination to serve unlike any other when they recruit military spouses into their communities.

Military spouse and public interest attorney Caitlin Emmons decided to attend law school long before she became a military spouse.

When she married her Marine, she was challenged to deeply reflect on how she could realize her dream of being a loving wife and mother and still play her part in building a more just society as a lawyer. Given her USMC spouse’s military occupational specialty and it being their home of record, Caitlin hedged her bets and took the California Bar after graduating from UCI Law.

The bets did not pay off because afterwards, she and her husband were called to North Carolina. Once she accepted that she would not be a practicing attorney in California for the foreseeable future, she tackled the next major decision to create the strongest way forward.

Taking a bar exam is prohibitively expensive, especially when you are living on a military salary. With two children under two years old, Caitlin placed family first in true military spouse tradition. In Caitlin’s case, she sought alternatives that would keep her connected to the legal community but did not require a law license. While many employers see military spouses as a countdown clock, always a few years away from the next move, Caitlin eventually landed a position as a judicial assistant for the Honorable Charles Henry, who specifically hired military spouses.

Caitlin was incredibly grateful for the position since it was unique, especially for the area they were in.

After three years in North Carolina, Caitlin’s husband received orders back to California and she immediately connected with Veterans Legal Institute (VLI).

Caitlin found herself seeking to extend her family’s service by dedicating her life to public interest law directed at lifting up Veterans in need.

Veterans Legal Institute is a free law firm that is dedicated to low income and at-risk California Veterans. It serves close to 2,000 Veterans each year and during the COVID-19 pandemic, immediately adjusted its service to accommodate Veterans virtually. Further, in line with its mission, Veterans Legal Institute is always seeking to hire Veterans and military spouses.

With a small grant from the Starcare Foundation, Veterans Legal Institute was able to secure Caitlin a part-time position so that she could pursue her passion of serving Veterans.

When asked why she pursues public interest work at Veterans Legal Institute, Caitlin states: “As a military spouse, I have seen firsthand what service can do to a person. I can testify to the pride that service members feel. Working with Veterans, I can also confirm that so many are returning home to restart their lives, forever changed by their military experience. Our nation collectively owes them a debt. Military spouses are uniquely positioned to fill the needs faced by our Veterans because of our military cultural competence. The fight to restore the honor of their service is a righteous one, and it is one I am prepared to continue with honor, courage, and commitment.”

Are you seeking to stand with our Veterans of today and tomorrow? Become a champion for public interest law. Help eradicate barriers to housing, employment, education, and healthcare.

To learn more about Veterans Legal Institute, please visit www.vetslegal.org.

Amazon Helps Veterans Start Their Own Delivery Business

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Smiling delivery man holding a paper box

Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program empowers entrepreneurs to build their own small businesses delivering Amazon packages in their local communities.

Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) and their drivers are an integral partof what Amazon refers to as the last mile – transporting packages from their delivery stations to their customer’s front door.

DSPs generally grow to have between 40–100 employees and a fleet of delivery vehicles (which Amazon assists with leasing), ensuring packages get delivered safely and on time.

Like many small businesses, operating a DSP business is challenging. In fact, because of these challenges, Amazon is constantly looking for leaders – such as Veterans – because of their drive, leadership skills, hustle, and mission-first attitude. About one third of Amazon’s DSPs are Veterans.

“In the military, it is all about the team effort, and it is mission orientated. You’ll do well as a leader and as a commander if you are able to bring out the best in people or play to people’s strengths,” said Will Boyd, U.S. Army Veteran and owner of Alpha Zulu Logistics, an Amazon DSP “Amazon has got logistics figured out – what you can bring to the table is really the people aspect, interacting with people – hiring the people, training them, engaging with them, and bringing them along as safe and effective drivers.”

Amazon has committed $5 million toward funding the startup costs for Veterans, offering $10,000 reimbursements to qualified candidates to build their own businesses.

DSPs also have access to Amazon technology and resources, which includes hands-on training, on-demand support, and access to branded vans, uniforms, insurance and more. Amazon also provides DSPs with the package volume they need to grow their business while building a great team and managing the operations.

All Veterans with a drive to succeed are invited to apply. Logistical experience is not required.

Apply at: amazon.com/DSP-VA

The application process can take as little as one month, depending on your area’s needs. Learn more about the process and regional opportunities at: https://logistics. amazon.com/marketing/getting started

Source: blogs.va.gov

Veterans In Business Network National Conference is going virtual

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VIB Network signage for the virual conference

Join us from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone on October 12 &13. This virtual experience will allow more Veteran Businesses, Corporations, and Government Agencies to participate nationwide. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect, learn and share with an easy and engaging virtual conference platform.

Enjoy motivational speakers, business matchmaking sessions, informative seminars/panel discussions, opportunity exhibit, VIB virtual concert, networking, games…and more!

Why the VIB Network is Different…
One of the things that set us apart from other organizations is that we don’t charge the Veteran businesses a membership fee.

We believe their service to the country was payment enough. We also offer directory access, website, outreach events, webinars, Veteran Business Cohort programs, and our VIB App – all at no charge.

Sponsorship funds go to helping us offer these services and other innovative programs.

Don’t miss this amazing event – Register Today by clicking here.

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

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Upcoming Events

  1. VA Healthcare Online Summit 2020
    December 2, 2020 - December 4, 2020