Skip to main content
The VeteranCrowd Spotlight

The VeteranCrowd Spotlight

By VeteranCrowd
The VeteranCrowd Spotlight is a series of interviews where our guests share their military experience and how it shapes their approach to life and business. We seek to understand the veteran approach to decision making and ethics, drawing out the lifelong role of the citizen soldier and the responsibilities that go along with it.

Join your host, Bob Louthan, as he sits down with guests who understand the value of accountability, discipline, and community.

The VeteranCrowd Network brings businesses, veterans, and military spouses together with the resources they need to prosper.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Episode 35 - Leadership and coaching go hand in hand - Ben Pappas steps into The Spotlight
Leadership and coaching go hand in hand - just ask Ben Pappas. A football player in high school, Ben attended the US Naval Academy to play linebacker and special teams. When he was injured, the team kept him on as a coaching assistant. The seeds of coaching were sown. The Spotlight We asked Ben to step into The Spotlight on the VeteranCrowd Network. Ben Pappas is the CEO and Founder of Ben Pappas Leadership and Life Coaching. He has over 25 years of leadership experience in some of the most demanding positions and environments on earth. Ben has led, mentored, and coached thousands of people from across the US and world. Leadership Ben’s leadership experience spans commanding precision raids in direct combat, promoting foreign relations in Europe and Asia, coaching people to achieve personal and business success, teaching graduate-level leadership courses, and even leadership on the football field. His expertise includes leading organizational change, and helping people make breakthroughs to achieve peak performance, intervention, negotiation, communication, change management, building teams, and improving decision-making skills. He is a former Marine special operations leader who can assess, develop, and achieve individual, and organizational goals. Ben commanded the elite 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, one of only three Special Operations Forces battalions in the Marine Corps. He also served as a platoon commander with 1st Force Recon and was in charge of the Basic Recon Course in Coronado and Camp Pendleton, CA, which included Scout Sniper School. His other overseas assignments included a regional tour as a Foreign Area Officer in the US Embassy in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, and as the Marine Attaché to Italy where he served as an accredited diplomat and advisor to senior US officials. He worked with both US and foreign diplomats to foster relations and facilitate dialogue on strategic international issues. Education Ben is a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College in Washington, DC, where he earned a Master of Science in National Security Strategy with a focus in strategic leadership and planning.  He also holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He completed several intensive language programs at the Defense Language Institute and is proficient in French, Italian, and Tagalog. After graduate school, Ben was selected to serve as a faculty member at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, a graduate-level university program, in Quantico, VA. In this capacity, he lectured and led seminars on leadership and strategy planning for hundreds of US and international military and government leaders. Learn more about Ben Pappas Leadership and Life Coaching Follow Ben on LinkedIn About your host Bob Louthan is a VMI Graduate, Army veteran, and executive with over 25 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions and private capital formation. He founded VeteranCrowd to bring veterans and veteran led business together with each other and the resources they need to prosper. You can learn more about Bob on LinkedIn
September 18, 2020
Episode 34 - Military Veterans make better entrepreneurs - just ask Emily McMahan
Military Veterans make better entrepreneurs - just ask Emily McMahan. She’s part of a new investor network bringing venture capital directly to military veteran startups. So we asked Emily to step in The Spotlight on the VeteranCrowd Network. Off to West Point Growing up in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border, Emily visited the United States Military Academy for the first time when her older brother was touring colleges. “I remember getting dragged to go to West Point when my older brother was looking at schools.” said McMahan. “I really felt this sense of awe, and the aura of the school really impacted me.” McMahan did tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq as a MP. So she joined the Class of 2001, decided the Military Police was the branch for her, and quickly found herself at the Pentagon after 9-11. She saw combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star...twice. McMahan settled in the Washington area after separating from the Army in 2006, joining a classmate's company. The West Point network proved invaluable, and DC soon became home. The City of Alexandria formed the Capitol Post in 2014 in the height of sequestration to assist with veteran transition. When McMahan approached Todd Connor of the Bunker Labs about collaborating, Todd’s immediate response was”Yes!” Capitol Post, McMahan and Seda Goff hosted four cohorts totalling 55 veteran led businesses. Seda Goff has moved to the PenFed Foundation, and McMahan is one of three founders of the Academy Investor Network. Backing the Veteran Entrepreneur The Academy Investor Network is bringing together pre-seed and Series A capital for veteran-led (industry agnostic) or a civilian-led startup that is focused on GovTech / DefenseTech space.. The AIN opens up venture capital investment opportunities to graduates of the five military academies - an investment class many cannot access. Members of the network are uniquely positioned to assist in the due diligence process, with both military and government experience. McMahan is also a driving force in the Common Mission project. Started at Stanford, the Common Mission Project enlists teams of students to solve government problems. The program has expanded to over thirty schools in the US and now reaches to the UK as well. Learn More Emily McMahan on Linkedin The Academy Investor Network Academy Investor Network – website, LinkedIn, twitter – Co-Founder is Sherman Williams (USNA 2003) The Common Mission Project Common Mission Project – website, LinkedIn, twitter – Executive Director is Alex Gallo (also USMA 2001) About Bob Louthan Bob is a VMI Graduate, Army veteran, and executive with over 25 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions and private capital formation. He founded VeteranCrowd to bring veterans and veteran led business together with each other and the resources they need to prosper. You can learn more about Bob on LinkedIn
September 15, 2020
Episode 33 - VeteranCrowd Spotlight - Jerry Flanagan of JDog Brands
Jerry Flanagan of JDog Brands launched his first company because he was simply tired of making a lot of money for the guy who owned the company. "Of course, I quickly fell flat on my face." He went back to the old job, then he and his wife ventured out again, creating a birthday party business and gaining six franchisees in the first two years. But 2008 happened, and the "Moon bounce" went flat. They say the third time's a charm... So in 2011, seeking a "recession proof business," Jerry started hauling junk. That business, "JDog" now has 230 franchise contracts and continues to expand. So we asked Jerry to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Jerry is an Army Veteran and entrepreneur who, along with his wife Tracy, have created a national Veteran brand dedicated to empowering Veterans through entrepreneurship. Rooted in the Military values of Respect, Integrity, and Trust, the JDog®️ Junk Removal & Hauling and JDog®️ Carpet Cleaning franchise systems have become a nationwide movement, creating business and employment opportunities for Veterans and Veteran family members. They launched the first JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise in 2011. It was a two-person operation – Jerry hauled junk and Tracy managed the back office. As a Veteran, Jerry gained trust and credibility with customers quickly, and referrals came easy. Within a year, he had more business than one person could handle and began hiring local Veterans who embodied the brand’s values. Through Jerry’s vision and leadership, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling has since grown to hundreds of locations, 90 percent of which are Veteran owned. To date, the company has created more than 1,000 job opportunities across the United States. Jerry also founded the JDog Foundation, whose mission is to support Military Veterans and Military Veteran-related causes – with a particular focus on suicide prevention, PTSD and higher education programs. You can follow the JDog Family in multiple ways: Reach out to Jerry on LinkedIn JDog Brands Facebook Twitter And on Linkedin Junk On Facebook On Twitter On LinkedIn And on Instagram Carpet On Facebook On Twitter On LinkedIn And on Instagram Now, should you become a Member of the VeteranCrowd Network?
September 11, 2020
Episode 32: VeteranCrowd Spotlight - Daniel Gade Republican Candidate for the US Senate in Virginia
Politics is a tough business, and for a long time I have felt we need more leadership in Congress - specifically more veterans. And while the Presidential campaign floods the airwaves, it is the local and statewide elections this fall that will shape Congress and the political landscape. I also believe the future of our nation depends upon an informed electorate, and so much of the news and information today is influence rather than fact. We have to invest more time listening. Because we want to share the facts and let you decide, we asked Dan to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Dr. Daniel Gade is certainly tough enough to enter the political arena. He is a decorated combat veteran running to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in the US Senate race in November. A West Point graduate, Class of 1997, he was severely wounded by an IED near Ramadi in Iraq in 2004, eventually losing his right leg. When he bled out from his wounds and exhausted the supply of blood at the field hospital, 25 Sailors and Marines with A+ blood stepped up, saving his life. “This is America at its highest and best.” he said. Refusing to let the enemy determine when he would leave the Army, he recovered and served until his retirement in 2017. Now Dan is the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Virginia seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Warner. Dan was open - we talked about national issues and Virginia. Though this is his first run, he is no stranger to Washington. We talked about the economy, education, reforming healthcare, and veterans. He is a scholar on the Constitution. We discussed free speech, gun measures, and attempts to modify or eliminate the Electoral College. And he did not shy away from the current political unrest, nor the attempts by fringe elements to hijack the message. Many thanks to Dan for stepping into the Spotlight.  You can learn more at Facebook @GadeforVirginia Twitter  @GadeforVirginia Instagram @GadeforVirginia And you can become a part of the VeteranCrowd Network at
September 8, 2020
Episode 31: SeaWolf Brewing Company - Alan Beal and Robert J. O'Neill
When Robert J. O’Neill and the group of Navy SEALS embarked on the mission to take down Osama Bin Laden in May of 2011, they did not think they would be coming back. “We did it for the people in Flight 93, who were the first Americans to fight Al-Qaeda.” At great risk, Operation Neptune Spear concluded a man-hunt for the World’s most wanted terrorist. spanning almost ten years. Rob, and his partner, Alan Beal stepped into the Spotlight this week on the VeteranCrowd Network. Together, they are building SeaWolf Brewing Company, a craft beer company in Annapolis dedicated to the military community. With brands like “Cat Shot”American Lager, and “Special Hops” IPA, the product has gained traction in the exchange system. The company is scaling up quickly, with plans for its first brewing operation and national expansion. Alan Beal is a 35 year veteran of the food and beverage industry with a passion for beer and the military. As CEO, he is steering the expansion of the company with plans for a brewpub in the Maryland/Virginia area. He also envisions a national rollout, and the expansion of the brand outside of the Navy theme. Alan hails from a four branch Military family. His Grandfather, Father, Brother, Nephew, two Uncles, and several Cousins served in the US Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force. Robert J. O’Neill is Seawolf Brewing Company's Director of Military Relations and National Brand Ambassador. Rob is a former Navy SEAL, and the author of the best-selling book “The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.” Rob is a sought-after public speaker, appearing frequently at events and on television. A social media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, Rob’s career is closely followed. Rob is also the Founder of the Special Operators Transition Foundation, which provides individualized transition support for Special Operations heroes and their families. Beer. Life lessons. Missions. Current events. Movies. Reality. This team opened up for the Spotlight. The SeaWolf Brewing Story and that of a Navy SEAL just doing his job at a pivotal world event make for some interesting conversation. Building a beer brand Becoming a Navy SEAL That fateful mission - what happened and what Hollywood got wrong. Giving back and finding your next mission in life. Controversy, criticism, and writing books. And tweets gone wrong and rogue. You can learn all about Alan Beal, Rob O’Neill and Seawolf Brewing Company Seawolf Brewery Links: Website: Instagram: @seawolfbreweryannapolis Twitter: @SWBannapolis Facebook: Robert J. O’Neill Links: Website: Instagram: @mchooyah Twitter: @mchooyah Facebook:
September 4, 2020
Episode 30: MG Cedric Wins - From College Basketball to The Military
In his senior year in high school, Cedric Wins turned down a scholarship to the US Naval Academy to play basketball. He could not see the transition from college basketball to the military. So retiring after 34 years in the Army, MG Wins thinks that youthful decision makes for “an interesting backstory.” “Three years was my military commitment. The other 31 was all gravy.” We asked MG Cedric Wins to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. The Spotlight We covered a lot of topics in this episode: The transition from College basketball to the military. Being a part of many “first” within his career. The influence of mentors and NCOs in his experience. Solving problems and leading - lessons for the military and the civilian. MG Wins retired effective December 31, 2019, after a distinguished career and seeing the world. WIn’s last assignment was the commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC). There he led the transformation and organizational re-alignment of CCDC from the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). The CCDC is the army’s largest research & development organization.  Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver technology that produces capability to ensure decisive overmatch in unified land operations for soldiers and the joint warfighter. In the eight months since retirement, MG Wins has remained very busy. He begins his new role at L3Harris starting September 1. And he has also been actively engaged in two  non-profits solving problems for underserved youth. “I am a living breathing example of what can be accomplished.” Wins serves on the board of Great Minds in STEM, an organization steering underserved youth to science, technology, engineering and math programs. He also supports Resolve Solutions and E. Sean Lanier who was a previous Spotlight guest. About MG Wins MG wins  graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He holds masters’ degrees in management from the Florida Institute of Technology and in national security and strategic studies from the National War College. Learn more about MG Cedric Wins, USA Retired Cedric Wins on LinkedIn
September 1, 2020
Episode 29: Navy veteran, spouse, and author Charlie Palumbo steps into the Spotlight
Charlie Palumbo Navy is a veteran, a military spouse, an author and a hiring expert. She is our guest on this episode of the VeteranCrowd Spotlight Podcast. Charlie Palumbo was jealous. During her senior year in high school, her younger brother was receiving mail from military recruiters and she was not. So it did not take long for Charlie to march down to the recruiting office to make her interest known, and to enlist in the Navy. And since then, Charlie has served on a Navy cruiser, seen the far reaches of the globe, and been a military spouse. She has held positions in government and the private sector serving and hiring veterans in the workforce. She is an author having published The Face of a Memory: Emerging after the Military through Poetic Voice.  And she is currently the Veteran Program Manager for the Delivery Service Partner Program for Amazon Logistics We asked Charlie Palumbo to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. In this episode, she shares her journey from recruit to executive. The VeteranCrowd Spotlight During this episode, Charlie, a Navy veteran, spouse and author, shares how: There is a difference between a sponsor and a mentor. It is important to build your professional network. You can discover your new mission in life. The role of women in the military is changing and evolving, and the impact that 2 million women veterans are having in this country Charlie Palumbo Follow Charlie on LinkedIn
August 25, 2020
Episode 28: Taylor McLemore- Managing Director of Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator and Founder of Patriot Boot Camp
Nine years ago, Taylor McLemore penned a blog article about how we, as a startup community,  could do more to support veterans. The “germ of that idea” came from family members who had been in the military, and Taylor’s resulting passion  to “serve those who served.” Taylor was surprised when a tweet directed at Davod Cohen, one of the co-founders of Techstars got a very direct response. “Cool idea. What do you think we should do?” That call to action set the Patriot Boot Camp in motion. We asked Taylor to step into the Spotlight on the VeteranCrowd Network. So today Taylor McLemore is a venture builder, scale operator, community connector, and investor. He currently serves as the Managing Director of the Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator in Denver. And Taylor is also the founder and a board director for Patriot Boot Camp, the spawn of his blog post, the nonprofit that supports military veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. Patriot Boot Camp programs have worked with more than 1,000 military veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs to build technology companies of impact and scale. These companies have raised more than $110 million in venture capital and created more than 2,000 jobs. I met Taylor in Chapel Hill in 2015 when I attended Patriot Boot Camp as a speaker and mentor for the first time. Over the course of additional PBC events in places like Detroit and Austin, I watched this weekend seminar have a profound impact on veterans and military spouses starting all manner of businesses. And I also grew to appreciate Taylor’s talent  and passion for the military community. In this episode we cover: Conviction is a more powerful motivator than capital gain. Entrepreneurs are made, not born. The power of a team aligned on the right mission. The impact of  COVID 19 and the tech answers coming from it. Mentor driven entrepreneurial models and much more. And we talk about the impact of the Patriot Boot Camp - learn more at the PBC Web Page Techstars Techstars is a  global platform for investment and innovation. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create the future, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Today the mission is to make innovation accessible to everyone, everywhere. Visit the Techstars web page More about Taylor McLemore You can see Taylor’s Profile on LinkedIn Previously, Taylor was Managing Director of Able, a venture and product studio. While at Able, he was a co-founder and investment lead for Codeable, a coding school in Latin America. Taylor serves on the Colorado Banking Board. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish, Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College.
August 18, 2020
Episode 27: Jon Macaskill - Deputy Executive Director and Podcast Host of Veteran's PATH
Some dates are seared into one’s memory. For Jon Macaskill, that date is June 28, 2005. Jon Macaskill is a recently retired US Navy Seal, an officer, graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Jon is currently the Deputy Executive Director and Podcast host for Veteran’s Path. Veteran’s PATH enables returning veterans to rediscover meaning, purpose, and joy in their lives through mindfulness, meditation, and a safe community. Jon stepped into the Spotlight in this VeteranCrowd podcast episode. Operation Red Wings Jon Macaskill was serving in the Teams in Afghanistan in June of 2005 when Operation Red Wings was conceived and under way. June 28, 2005 turned out to be the one of the darkest days in the history of the Navy SEAL teams. Operation Red Wings, informally referred to as the Battle of Abbas Ghar was a combined / joint military operation during the War in Afghanistan in the Pech District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province, on the slopes of a mountain named Sawtalo Sar. As we spoke on this podcast, I recognized the immense impact this event had upon Jon - it was telegraphed in his appearance. Jon shared with me the pain of this event, his close ties to the SEALs lost that day, and the survivor guilt that he and many others carried home. He also shared his journey to recovery, and the discoveries he made along that way. Veteran’s Path Now recently retired, Jon is relocating with his young family to Colorado Springs, and launching a new drive for veterans to help them recover through techniques that helped him - including meditation and mindfulness. Rather than pursue some of the “shiny things’ offered transitioning special operations veterans, Jon sought to find his passion. It  became clear to Jon he must help others as he had been helped himself. Jon decided to found a non-profit to teach these things, but luckily one already existed. As he searched, Jon found Veteran’ PATH, a non-profit founded by two women in Berkeley, CA in 2008. Originally called “Honoring the Path of the Warrior,” this company had been introducing veterans to the life-changing and life-saving benefits of mindfulness and mediation. Jon walked me through the impact on his life and: Physiological changes to the brain How 100,000 years of evolution is hard to change, but needs to How military training for stress develops one way and meditation another How 200,000 transitioning veterans need this training every year to find their path and their “new tribe” Veteran’s Path is kicking off a new program, supported by social media and delivered online this week in concert with eMindful. Accelerated by the Corona Virus, these online programs augment many of the services Veteran’s PATH provided face to face in the past. You can learn more about Jon and Veteran’s PATH at the links provided below. Jon Macaskill - Veteran’s Path Website: Podcast:  Veteran’s PATH on all major podcast platforms. YouTube: Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn:'s-path Twitter:
August 14, 2020
Episode 26: Nick Black- Founder/CEO of Good United and Co-Founder of Stop Soldier Suicide
This is perhaps the most powerful and intense podcast episode I have ever recorded. My guest is Nick Black. Nick has been an innovator and leader at the intersection of business and social impact for over ten years. Nick is the Founder and CEO of GoodUnited, a venture backed Software as a Service (SaaS) startup that helps nonprofits like Wounded Warrior Project, American Cancer Society, World Wildlife Fund create 1:1 relationships with their donors through the combination of data science and human judgement delivered in conversational messaging platforms. Nick also co-founded Stop Soldier Suicide stemming from his experiences leading Paratroopers as a Ranger qualified Army Officer with the 173rd Airborne during 27 months deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan. A senior in high school during 9-11, Nick shares his journey through college, ROTC, and into the Army. As a freshly-minted Second Lieutenant, Nick deployed to Afghanistan near the Pakistan border with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in 2007. This fifteen month deployment was the subject of documentaries and movies, and shaped Nick and his comrades in ways he will never forget. But after safely returning home with all of the soldiers in his unit, one took his own life two weeks after their homecoming. It was this incident that set Nick on the path he blazes today. This is a riveting story about service, commitment, and a burning desire to make a real impact on the lives of others. During Nick's six years of service he was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Army Commendation Medal for Valor and as a Field Artillery Officer, was repeatedly ranked 1st among 50 peer Officers in a premier Infantry Battalion. Nick earned a BA from The Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Nick was a four-year member of the Varsity football team, the first two-time President of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity and a four-year scholarship winner of the Army ROTC program. Nick earned an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. At Kenan-Flagler, Nick was awarded the Rollie Tillman Award for Leadership, selected as a Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow, was President of the Veterans Club and awarded the 2018 Distinguished Young Alumnus.  Nick's LinkedIn Profile: Stop Soldier Suicide: GoodUnited: Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network-
August 11, 2020
Episode 25: Phil Dana- Navy Veteran Head of Human Resources for Dendreon
We placed the VeteranCrowd Spotlight on Phil Dana, a Navy Veteran recognized as a thought-leader on Networking and Transition. A family tradition... Philip Dana grew up in a family steeped in Navy tradition. Twenty members of his family have served in the Navy or Marine Corps. Phil’s grandfather was a Marine wounded at the base of Mt. Suribachi during the invasion of Iwo Jima. His father served in both Korea and Vietnam.  Dana grew up in the Philippines and other stations in the Pacific, and spent summers visiting his grandparents in the Pacific Northwest.  Upon graduation from high school, Dana enlisted in the Navy, and served four years as an air crewman. He applied and was accepted to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. He attended NAPS and became a surface warfare officer upon graduation in 1998.  Dana has always sought entrepreneurial business opportunities, where process improvement and networking tools he has honed over the years could be best applied. Though he never envisioned a career in human resources, it became the natural fit. HIs military background and exposure to many in the special operations community led him to the Honor Foundation. The Honor Foundation a transition institute created exclusively for the U.S. Special Operations community. Phil served as a VP and “Chief of People Operations.  Hiring veterans is a “natural sidecar” you get with Phil Dana. He is passionate about Navy Football and is a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan. And Phil Dana currently serves as the Head of Human Resources for Dendreon, a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company delivering personalized immunotherapy treatments for Stage IV metastasized cancers. Dendreon’s PROVENGE reprograms the body’s own immune cells to detect and attack cancer cells, with little impact to healthy tissue or cells. A networking thought leader Phil Dana is a recognised subject matter expert on hiring and networking, and he has sound advice for veterans on transitioning and the do’s and don’ts when building a professional network. He is a beast on LinkedIn, having developed disciplines and strategies that have grown his network with leaders and influencers everywhere.   The Spotlight We placed Phil Dana in the Spotlight and he shared: Secrets of networking The art and science of using LinkedIn to become a thought leader Advice for transitioning veterans The proper way to build relationships, and what advice to ignore That 95% of opinions on Resumes are all wrong Veteran friendly business and avoiding patronizing The importance of mentors, sponsors, and candid feedback Executive coaches and the importance of reading  You can follow Philip Dana on Linkedin and learn about Dendreon Immunotherapy And ask yourself, “Should I Join to the VeteranCrowd Network?”
August 7, 2020
Episode 24: Floyd McLendon- Navy Veteran Running for Congress in Texas
You interviewed the “Tree?” Well yes I did…. I failed to pull this nickname out of Floyd McClendon on our podcast interview. But it did not take long for his friends to let me know. Evidently, Floyd McLendon is a Legend. Floyd McLendon is a retired US Navy SEAL residing in “The Great State of Texas.” He is running to represent the 4th Congressional District. We sat down to talk military life, veterans and the dedication necessary to run for Congress and lead once there. McLendon grew up in South Side Chicago, and chose to enlist shortly after high school. “I needed the maturity,” he said.McLendon planned to spend six years in the service, but as his first tour drew to a close, he changed his mind. A radar and satellite technician aboard three different ships, McLendon sought to enter SEAL training. One minor hurdle – he had to learn to swim. As a testament to his determination, he passed the requirements and entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School (BUD/S) 6 months later. Through illness and injury, McClendon made two trips through BUD/S before earning his Trident. A six-year stint stretched into 25. McLendon retired from active duty in 2017 and left Coronado for the plains of Texas But it was his penchant for public speaking that started to path to a Congressional bid. After delivering a speech in 2013, McClendon was asked by a California Congressman if he would ever consider running for congress. That Congressman recognized something  McClendon did not see in himself. Upon returning from Guam in 2017. McClendon revisited the idea with that same Congressman, and then spent a year on Capitol Hill on a Legislative Fellowship. The die was cast. McClendon is vying to be selected the Republican nominee in the primary next week, and to represent the Texas 4th Congressional District after the election in November. McClendon stepped into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight to cover a range of issues: Hear some of his campaign trail stories. The many miles trekking across his district and knocking on doors HIs experience and observation that 99% of the work in Congress is difficult and thankless How military training, discipline, and working in the Teams and focusing on the Mission prepares him to lead in Congress How military, law enforcement, and first-responders serve as examples of ways to work together And the importance of being humble, but firm and standing your ground. McClendon seeks to be a voice of experience in Congress for the military and our veterans, and to bring a purpose and service-driven heart to Washington. You can follow Floyd McLendon on Linkedin, and learn about his campaign on the McLendon for Congress Web Page Never miss a thing by subscribing to the VeteranCrowd Network
August 4, 2020
Episode 23: GEN Darren McDew - U.S Air Force Retired
In the course of 36 years as an officer in the US AIr Force, and a lifetime tied to service to the Nation, one learns a few things about leadership. Born to Lead GEN Darren W. McDew USAF - Retired  grew up in a military family. A child of the sixties, son of an Air Force Sergeant, McDew moved frequently and was “born and raised to be an Airman.” As he watched his father go to Vietnam, and as he saw the POWs return, McDew knew he too would pursue a military career. He secured an Air Force scholarship, and with some influence, applied to only one school - The Virginia Military Institute. Ever since, GEN McDew has sought to be a part of something bigger than himself.  McDew demonstrated talent early. As a cadet, he was elected a member of the VMI Honor Court. And he secured the job of First Captain and Regimental Commander of the Corps of Cadets in his First Class (Senior ) Year - a role once filled by George Catlett Marshall VMI '01. He was the first black cadet to serve in that role. Upon graduation and commissioning, Darren became an Air Force pilot and embarked upon what would be a stellar military career. His last assignment,  Commander of the US Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, included over 140,000 personnel from all branches of the Military, Guard, and Reserve as well as civilians.  But GEN McDew says his first command was his favorite - a C-17 squadron with 170 individuals and twelve aircraft, and a team that functioned at a high level because of the culture and the families who served alongside them.  Darren McDew is the ultimate team player who nurtures and leads so effortlessly, I think he’d blush to hear it said this way.  This podcast package is a dissertation on experience and lessons in leadership. GEN McDew, a self described introvert, has a comfortable and humble style that has served well from privates to Presidents. In this episode GEN McDew covered a wide range of topics and issues:     - Success and failure: Why you should “beware the tests” that life will place in your path, and thoughts on dignity, respect, Dixie and Rebel flags.    - Showing young people what success looks like, not telling them how to accomplish it, and the importance of making “bold, innovative new mistakes.”   - How “leading your peers” is often most difficult, requiring trust, character, and selflessness.    - How some jobs are “leading jobs and others are learning jobs,” and why it is important to know the difference.   - The importance of noble ideals, civility, and being a citizen soldier.   - Candid discussion about issues of race, the current turmoil, and how we need to lead the healing process. It was evident to many in 1982 that Cadet Darren McDew had the potential to do great things. This is confirmed today.  I cannot thank GEN McDew enough for sharing his thoughts and wisdom refined over a lifetime of service.  Nor can I adequately express my gratitude and good fortune to be able to say…  “This is Darren, my Brother Rat.” Check out this LinkedIn - Never miss a thing by subscribing to the VeteranCrowd Network-
July 31, 2020
Episode 22: Rob Campbell-Author and Executive Director at VetToCEO
When Rob Campbell became a Brigade Commander in the US Army, he developed the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze and construct effective, large scale organizations. With an effective leadership style and a focus on the personal rather than the personnel, Rob led the top ranked brigade of 34 Army wide, and his unit excelled in benchmarks like personnel performance, soldier retention, and promotion rates. It was this success that inspired Rob to launch his civilian career as a business consultant upon his retirement after 27 years of active duty. Rob Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Investing in People Consulting and Coaching LLC, an organization that strives to identify areas where businesses can improve in order to make their employees more invested in their respective organizations using transparents, humble, and personal ways. Rob also serves as the Executive Director of VetToCEO, an organization that helps veterans, active, and reserve members of the military develop their own businesses as entrepreneurs. His commitment to the military community is demonstrated by  the availability of the program to the community -  VetToCEO is a free virtual program. Rob’s career in the military was not a path he originally imagined taking. After being cut from the basketball team in college, Rob’s eye caught a poster advertising the ROTC program and the National Guard. Inspired by family members who had previously served the nation, Rob joined the ROTC program and embarked upon what would become a 27 year career in the military. After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, he earned his commission into the U.S Army. Rob’s dedication and hard work led to commands from the squadron level to taking leadership and command of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in 2013. He has a Masters in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. Rob is the author of It's Personal, not Personnel: Leadership Lessons for the Battlefield and the Boardroom, a book encouraging leaders to invest in their members in order to increase performance, readiness, and retention. And a second book recently released a second book, At Ease: Enjoying the Freedom you fought for - A Soldier’s Story and Perspectives on the Journey to an Encore Life and Career. We placed Rob in the Spotlight to discuss his Army experience, the power of military discipline, and how organizations can improve by their investment in their members. Learn more about Rob in our show notes Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network
July 28, 2020
Episode 21: Michael DeSa of AGD Consulting – Agribusiness and the Marine Corps
We invited Mike Desa, an agriculture expert, author, and US Marine Corps veteran to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight in this episode. Mike DeSa is the founder and managing director of AGD Consulting. AGD is a veteran-owned, strategic advisory firm servicing the global food, agriculture investment and technology sectors. When Mike was 10 years old he sought to join the US Marine Corps. He wrote to his local recruiter, expecting to join soon thereafter. The recruiter wrote back telling Mike to come back when he was 17. Steadfast on becoming a Marine, Mike completed his education at Texas A&M, and received a commission into the US Marine Corps.. Mike went on to be an infantry officer. Today, Mike is one of the many masterminds behind the company that is AGD Consulting. He is also a published author in Global AgInvesting News, Global AgInvesting Gazette, AgTech Nexus, Agri Investor, Huffington Post, and the Marine Corps Gazette. We placed Mike in the Spotlight to discuss his Marine Corps experience, his knowledge of time management, and the power of making long lasting, quality connections. Learn more about Mike Desa in our Episode 21 Show Notes. Never miss a thing – Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network -
July 24, 2020
Episode 20: Ron Lewis- CEO and Founder of LTC2 Consulting
WE have to own this problem - America is wrestling with racial tensions and legacies and is looking to VETERANS for leadership and guidance.  Ron Lewis is one person working hard to strengthen business and community in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, and bridge some of the racial divide at the same time.  When I first met Ron at the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, we struck up a casual conversation over a beer and he mentioned he had just recently retired from the Army. I assumed (my first mistake) from his young looks that he did twenty and pulled the ripcord. Well, no one gets to O-9 THAT fast. Stunned, embarrassed and after I picked up my jaw, we began what has blossomed into a great professional friendship. Ron Lewis attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Mechanics. Ron went on to earn his Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  Ron is an expert in strategy and planning, having led units as large as 30,000 soldiers and solving very complex problems. Ron founded LTC2 Solutions to address complex, multi-layered problems. LTC2 specializes in leader development, corporate culture and strategic planning for its clients. Ron is also the Vice Chairman for Military Affairs for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and the organizer of the Hampton Roads Military Affairs Council, drawing active duty, federal and state agencies as well as private sector employers together to work to support the military community within the region.  Leaders must be empathetic and willing to listen to people according to Ron Lewis, our guest on this episode of the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. As a retired Army General Officer, Ron knows how to be an effective leader after serving 30 years in the Army. He also knows about the challenges social issues and current unrest pose to leaders of our nation.  We placed Ron in the Spotlight to discuss his experience as an Army General, his work as CEO of his own consulting firm, and his opinions on the current tension within our country.  Learn more about Ron in our show notes- Never miss a thing - Subscribe the VeteranCrowd Spotlight
July 21, 2020
Episode 19: Butch Sarma- Director of the Executive MBA Program at VCU
Does your web page really work for you? Could it be better?  We invited Butch Sarma, a professor, author, digital marketing guru, and US Army veteran to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight in this episode. Butch is the Director of the Executive MBA Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He also is the director of (EBMP). EBMP is a digital ebook publisher and marketing agency, based in Richmond, Virginia. They publish ebooks, manage marketing projects, and consult to select companies. Before Butch Sarma attended Old Dominion University and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees, he worked an internship for a defense contractor in Northern Virginia, where he was surrounded by veterans. He quickly saw the benefits that came with a military background hearing the perspectives of the veterans who worked there. After completing his education at Old Dominion University, Butch enlisted into the Army. When speaking with the recruiter, he asked for the hardest job they had to offer. Butch settled on the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, NY. Today, Butch is a genius of digital marketing where he shares his knowledge as an adjunct professor at VCU. He works as the director of marketing for EBMP, where he serves as the head consultant to companies for brand awareness, lead generation, and sales. We placed Butch in the Spotlight to discuss his Army experience, his knowledge of digital marketing, and how to apply digital marketing in today’s virtual business world. Learn more about Butch Sarma in our shownotes - Never miss a thing – Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network -
July 17, 2020
Episode 18: Jesse Iwuji - NASCAR Driver, Owner of The Red List Group, LLC and CEO of JBJE Transportation
Driving a race car takes a different kind of athleticism. Just ask Jesse Iwuji, the first active duty US Naval Officer to compete at the national level in NASCAR. Jesse Iwuji grew up in Texas, attended the United States Naval Academy and played football and ran track there for 4 years. Upon graduation with a Bachelors of Science in General Science, Jesse became a Surface Warfare Officer, stationed in San Diego, CA. He served aboard the USS DEXTROUS, USS WARRIOR, USS CHIEF, and USS COMSTOCK, and worked at the Naval Postgraduate School.  Starting in 2015, Jesse became the first person on active duty to compete as a NASCAR driver. He is currently competing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.  Jesse founded the Red List Group, LLC and served as CEO of JBJE Transportation, owner of THE RED LIST SERIES, and a motivational speaker. The Red List Group is an automobile racing event company that hosts tri-annual events on the west coast. These events bring drag racers together to compete for prizes at race track events. The group also owns JBJE Transportation, which is a trucking/transportation company. We sat down with Jesse on the latest episode of the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. We covered a lot of ground - from attending the Naval Academy and becoming an officer, to the stress of NASCAR, the heat and the wrecks.  Follow Jesse Iwuji on LinkedIn Follow Jesse Iwuiji on Twitter and Instagram @Jesse_Iwuji  Check out his Facebook Check out his Youtube Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network and never miss a thing Consider if an Individual or Corporate Membership is right for you. 
July 14, 2020
Episode 17: Flossie Hall- Co-Founder of The Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs and CEO of Flossie Hall Consulting
Before the pandemic, this group struggled through unemployment rates in excess of 24%, and upwards of 50% experienced a period of unemployment in any given year. While 88% have post-secondary education, many are ‘under-employed’ serving in positions not normally filled by similarly qualified individuals. Thus is the plight of our Military Spouses. Moves, deployments, a nation on a war footing - they also serve who stand and wait.  We invited Flossie Hall, a military spouse, entrepreneur, and social media guru, to step into the VeteranCrowd Spotlight in this episode.  In July 2019 Flossie and her Co-Founder, Moni Jefferson, founded AMSE (The Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs), a company that seeks to connect military spouses and elevate their entrepreneurship to new heights. AMSE is a global virtual military spouse entrepreneur membership organization with access to education, resource programs and high touch masterclasses to help them start, launch and grow their businesses.  Flossie Hall sought to become a doctor while attending college at the University of Michigan, but her path changed after she met her Navy husband. She realized that her priorities were changing for her family, and instead of attending medical school, she started the Healthy Mama Facebook business page. Within the year the page was driving seven figures in revenue, and Flossie Hall discovered her new passion. Today, AMSE is a centralized database of thousands of military spouse creatives, photographers, freelancers, and advocates. AMSE also creates brand tailored campaigns, allows military spouses to attend exclusive events, and builds lasting relationships for brands.  AMSE has already been featured at NY Fashion Week, in Yahoo Finance, Military Families Magazine and Military Spouse Magazine just to name a few. We placed Flossie in the Spotlight to discuss her adaptation to being a military spouse, her leadership role in the military spouse community, and her dedication to connecting military spouses in business. Learn more about Flossie Hall on LinkedIn Visit the AMSE Web Page Follow AMSE on Facebook  On Instagram or Twitter @amseagency  Never miss a thing – Subscribe to the VeteranCrowd Network
July 10, 2020
Episode 16: Lino Miani- CEO of Navisio Global and President of Combat Diver Foundation
“We're clearly much better looking than the Navy seals, but we're essentially trained and equipped in the same way.”  Green Berets and Navy SEALS - let the debate begin. Lino Miani, US Special Forces veteran, author and entrepreneur stepped into the Spotlight with me recently. Lino is a 1997 graduate of the USMA at West Point, a veteran ODA commander, and Combat Diver. Entrepreneur and author In 2014, Lino founded Navisio Global, an organization that provides analysis and consultation for matters related to international economy, political economy, corporate risk, and regional social issues. Not your typical master's thesis, Lino’s SF experience ended up becoming the book, The Sulu Arms Market: National Responses to a Regional Problem. Familiar with Malaysia as part of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Group, with a Masters in Strategic and Defense Studies, Lino offers solid expertise ranging from international economics to regional social issues. Navisio Global has adapted to recent events and offers COVID planning for small businesses that do not have the resources of larger corporations. Navisio Global offers services to small businesses located in the US, Latin America, and Spain. The Combat Diver Foundation Lino is also the founder of the Combat Diver Foundation.  The CDF helps preserve the history and artifacts  of US and Allied Special Operation Forces Combat Divers.  Today, the Combat Diver Foundation offers professional maintenance and preservation of the class plaques and other memorabilia. In the future, the organization plans to open a museum dedicated to these elite soldiers.  While fundraising for the foundation during Covid 19 has posed new challenges, virtual events have provided a new way of gathering support for his cause. A virtual fundraiser "Jump and Dive 2020," is scheduled for August 29th.  The Spotlight We placed Lino in the Spotlight to discuss his service with the Army’s 1st Special Forces Group, his leadership role as the Founder of Navisio Global, and his dedication to preserving the history of U.S Special Forces Combat Divers.  Learn more about Lino Miani on LinkedIn  Visit the Combat Diver Foundation Visit Navisio Global Visit the VeteranCrowd Network
July 7, 2020
Episode 15: Sean Lanier- Founder and Executive Director of Resolve Solutions Incorporated
The US Army spends almost $300 million per year on ROTC scholarships, but only 52% of those students graduate and commission within a five year period. Certainly not a satisfying percentage.  Eight years ago, Sean Lanier, an Army veteran, recognized this problem and started doing something about it. Focusing on under-represented youths, Sean began attacking the problem seeking to identify, screen and vet candidates and help them find a better college fit. In 2018, Sean formed Resolve Solutions, a non-profit, dedicated to the mission of placing talented candidates in schools that fit with ROTC scholarships. The initial results are significant. Last year Resolve Solution helped 134 students receive scholarship offers valued in excess of $13 million, and this fall 93 students will start college with scholarships totaling $8.6 million. Each year, five to seven Resolve Solutions candidates secure appointments to one of the service academies, and one to two dozen attend one of the senior military colleges (VWIL, Texas A&M, North Georgia, The Citadel, Norwich, Virginia Tech, and VMI). More important perhaps, the graduation success rates have risen significantly, particularly at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), where only 33% were graduating within five years. By finding a better fit, the early results are almost double - with coaching and mentoring, 71% are graduating at Virginia State, and greater than 60% at Norfolk State. And it doesn’t stop there. Resolve Solutions takes a long view. The lifetime earned income potential of these individuals approaches $1 billion, and opens them to billions in VA loans and additional education through the GI Bill- a truly life changing impact. Sean Lanier is a 1994 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. Having gained a love of aviation starting with an air show at age 2, Sean commissioned into the Army and flew helicopters, with tours in Korea and Bosnia among others.  The Army steered Sean to supply chain logistics, and that background along with his “attack helicopter mindset” set the stage for the creation of Resolve Solutions. The Resolve Solutions mission statement is concise: “Providing educational and financial support along with early college preparation.” It is a fascinating story with significant impact. We placed the Spotlight on Sean to discuss his career in the military, his commitment to giving back to his community, and partnering with organizations ranging from local to the corporate level to make an impact with Resolve Solutions. Check out their Twitter @ResolveSolutio2 and Instagram @resolvesolutionsinc Check them out on Facebook Visit their webpage Visit Sean Lanier’s LinkedIn profile Visit the VeteranCrowd Network
July 3, 2020
Episode 14: Todd Baldwin- President and Founder of Red Leg Brewing Company
“Not in a million years.”   That is what Todd Baldwin told his parents after visiting the Virginia Military Institute for the first time on a football recruiting visit. But after a lot of discussion, and more than a little parental guidance, Todd came to Lexington, VA from Iowa and matriculated into VMI with the Class of 2006.   After playing D-1 football in the Southern Conference, a stop in the 101st Airborne Division, a tour in Iraq, a stint as a high school football coach, and friends in Nashville loving his home made beer, the VMI decision led Todd down the path to entrepreneurship.  “Red Leg Brewing Company was established to provide the highest quality craft beer to honor the Men and Women who currently and formerly served The United States Military.”  Todd Baldwin is the President and Founder of Red Leg Brewing Company, a veteran owned brewery which aims to honor current and former military men and women through their high quality craft beer.  And to think it started as a hobby in a kitchen in Nashville.  Todd’s friends thought he made pretty good home made beer. Todd, on the other hand, was convinced his friends just liked drinking free beer.  Today, Red Leg Brewing is one of the most successful up and coming craft brewers in Colorado. Focused from the beginning on “continuing to serve those who serve,” Red Leg is expanding rapidly through the DOD Exchange network, and is opening a new outdoor venue early this fall.    We placed the Spotlight on Todd to discuss the craft beer industry, the lessons he has learned in the military and in business, leading from the front, coaching high school football, raising cash, managing during the Covid-19 crisis, and opening a new venue in the Garden of the Gods at the foot of Pike’s Peak.  Check out Todd's LinkedIn Profile  Visit Red Leg's Facebook page  Check out their Instagram @redlegbrewco and their Twitter @redlegbrewco  Visit the VeteranCrowd Network
June 30, 2020
Episode 13: Mark Gonsalves- Co-Founder of AccrueMe
Mark Gonsalves is the Co-Founder of AccrueMe, a leading capital provider for businesses selling on Amazon.    Mark graduated high school at Fork Union Military Academy, where his wrestling coach guided him on the path to attend the Virginia Military Institute. Mark graduated from the VMI in 1981, and commissioned into the US Army where he served in the Special Forces.   Mark began his business career helping small business owners and entrepreneurs as a franchise owner with Anthony Robbins & Associates.  Mark has worked closely with Daymond John, helping lead the rollout of The Daymond John Launch Academy, and NY Times Best selling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Mark Victor Hansen.   Mark got the entrepreneurship bug working with Daymond John (Shark Tank) and decided to take advantage of the rapidly growing online industry. Mark and his partners, Eric Kotch and Don Henig, co-founded AccrueMe to provide capital to third party businesses selling on   We sat down with Mark to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight.     See Mark’s LinkedIn here Visit the AccrueMe web page  Visit the VeteranCrowd Network here
June 26, 2020
Episode 12: Brandon Shelton- Founder and Managing Partner of Task Force X Capital
Brandon Shelton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Task Force X Capital, one of the few venture capital firms in the southeast dedicated to growing startups and early-stage businesses that are led by veterans. After participating in ROTC at the University of Richmond and earning his bachelors in Business Administration, Brandon was commissioned as an Airborne Infantry Officer in the U.S Army. During his time in the military, he completed the Ranger School and also served as a Military Intelligence Officer.  Brandon received his MBA from Duke University which launched his career in investment banking. His passion for investment banking  led him to roles at companies such as Barclays, JP Morgan, and McKinney Rogers.  In addition to Founding TFX,  Brandon’s position on the Advisory Council for Veteran Business Affairs allows him to give back to the veteran community. We sat down with Brandon to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his LinkedIn Profile here Visit Task Force X Capital here Check out their instagram @taskforcexcap Visit the VeteranCrowd Network here
June 23, 2020
Episode 11: Ryan Hogan-Co-Founder and CEO of Hunt a Killer
Ryan Hogan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hunt a Killer, an immersive murder mystery game that challenges players to catch a killer through interactive monthly membership boxes and premium one-time experiences.  Upon graduation from high school, Ryan enlisted into the Navy as an Aviation Warfare Systems Operator. With grit and determination, and more than one attempt, Ryan was accepted into the “Seaman to Admiral” program in 2010, commissioned and served as a Surface Warfare Officer.  Ryan attended the University of Maryland where he studied marketing and management and began to chase his calling of being an entrepreneur. His first event, a ”Tough Mudder” style obstacle course complete with zombies, began a path to the very successful subscription-based Hunt a Killer. How is Hunt a Killer doing? Well, the growth is literally exponential. We sat down with Ryan to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit Ryan’s LinkedIn here Visit Hunt a Killer web page Visit the VeteranCrowd network here
June 19, 2020
Episode 10: Todd Connor- CEO and Founder of Bunker Labs
Todd Connor wanted to serve his community and country going into college. While working on his Bachelors in American Studies at Northwestern, Todd joined the Navy ROTC program and commissioned upon graduating. In the Navy, Todd served as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer and as a Navigator.  After leaving the Navy, Todd went earned his MBA from the University of Chicago. Todd has been an investigator, consultant, and has served as the Executive Director of Military Schools for Chicago Public Schools. Todd is the Co-Founder of The Collective Academy, an organization that provides career and leadership development, and CEO and Founder of Bunker Labs a non-profit organization that helps veterans and military spouses start their own businesses. We sat down with Todd to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit Todd's LinkedIn profile here or check out his Twitter here Check out Bunker Labs here Visit the VeteranCrowd Spotlight here
June 16, 2020
Episode 9: Sean Matson- Co-Founder of Matbock and Strike Force Energy
Upon graduation from the Virginia Military Institute in 2005, Sean went to Navy OCS,  BUDs, and on to become a Navy SEAL serving for almost 10 years before transitioning to entrepreneurship. During his time in the Navy, Sean found there were ways to do more with less and be more efficient. Sean and his colleague and fellow SEAL, Zach Steinbock, created MATBOCK in 2010, a small business that designs lighter, more practical equipment for soldiers,  and spun that into creating the energy supplement company Strike Force Beverage sold in 7/11 convenience stores all across the nation.  Sean is currently the Chief Executive Officer at MATBOCK and the Co-Founder of Strike Force Beverage and Aceso Plasma, LLC.  We sat down with Sean to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his LinkedIn here Check out his website here Visit the VeteranCrowd network here
June 12, 2020
Episode 8: Jeff Pottinger- Founder and Head Coach of Swing 4 The Fences
After graduating Ohio State University with a Bachelors in Business Administration, Jeff Pottinger embarked on a 24 year career in the US Navy. During his time in the Navy he also earned his MBA from UVA's Darden School of Business.  After retiring as a Captain, became the Senior Director of Executive Education at UVA's Darden School of Business and also served as Vice President of The Honor Foundation, a transition institute for the U.S Special Operations community.  Today he's the Founder and Head Coach of Swing 4 The Fences, an organization that helps transitioning veterans develop their personal brands and unique narratives. We sat down recently with Jeff to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his LinkedIn profile here Check out his website here Visit the VeteranCrowd Network here
June 9, 2020
Episode 7: Duncan Owen- Senior Vice President of TowneBank Richmond
Duncan broke the family tradition of attending UNC Chapel Hill by deciding to go to the US Naval Academy. After graduating from the Naval Academy, Duncan realized he had a passion for numbers and banking. He went on to earn his Master’s of Business Administration at William and Mary and began his career at Wachovia. He later went on to serve as the Senior Vice President of First Tennessee Bank and today he serves as the Senior Vice President of TowneBank Richmond. We sat down with Duncan to talk business, veterans, and his experience in the military on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his LinkedIn profile here Visit the VeteranCrowd network here
June 4, 2020
Episode 6: Cindy Gallagher- CEO of Liberty Source
As a military spouse, Cindy Gallagher relocated a lot throughout the early part of her career, something that makes employers turn down job candidates like her without giving them a chance to explain the lack of longevity in their roles.  However, Cindy's ambition led her to create a business solution to the discrimination military spouses often face at the hands of employers. Before helping start Liberty Source, Cindy worked with Stout Casey Consulting and later moved on to take roles such as deputy controller and assistant treasurer at AOL. She also served as the Senior Vice President, Global Business Controller for Discovery Communications.  Today, Cindy continues to deliver business solutions to clients at Liberty Source, a woman led organization that strives to hire military spouses that share the same values and culture. We sat down with Cindy to talk business, veterans, and her experience as a military spouse on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit her LinkedIn profile here Check out Liberty Source here Visit the VeteranCrowd network here
June 2, 2020
Episode 5: France Hoang- Chief Strategy Officer of boodleAI
At the age of two, France Hoang's life took a significant turn that brought his family to the United States.  He became an Army veteran and graduate of West Point with a passion for entrepreneurship.  A serial entrepreneur, France is the Co-Founder and current Chief Strategy Officer of boodleAI, a company that helps businesses and non-profits raise money with less effort by honing in on their high probability prospects. We sat down with France to talk business, veterans, and military experience on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his LinkedIn profile here Check out Visit the VeteranCrowd Network
May 28, 2020
Episode 4: Trace Chesser of USA Cares
After serving in the U.S Army, Trace Chesser decided to dive into the corporate world. Today, he is the president USA Cares, a national organization that strives to serve veterans in crisis. We sat down with Trace to talk business, veterans, and military experience on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight.  Visit his website here Visit his LinkedIn Profile here Visit the VeteranCrowd Network here
May 27, 2020
Episode 3: John Robitaille- Founder of Fusion Strategic Partners
Before John Robitaille was the Co-Founder of Fusion Strategic Partners in Charleston, SC, he was a Captain in the U.S Army.  John talks about business, entrepreneurship, politics, and how his military experience made him more successful throughout his life. Visit his LinkedIn profile here Visit his website here
May 22, 2020
Episode 1: Tim Ryan of Arcphor
Tim Ryan calls himself a “Champion of entrepreneurship across Hampton Roads.” But before he became the Founder and President of Arcphor, Tim Ryan served our nation in the US Air Force. So we sat down with Tim recently and placed him in the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his website here Visit his LinkedIn profile here
May 19, 2020
Episode 2 : Chris Bugg - reformed fighter pilot
Chris Bugg is the founder of CoVA Professional Development, a Sandler Training business in Virginia Beach. Chris graduated from the US Naval Academy, and holds two graduate degrees from Duke University. Before launching his civilian career, Tim spent 12 years as a Navy F18 strike fighter pilot.  We sat down with Chris to talk business, veterans, and military experience on the VeteranCrowd Spotlight. Visit his website here Visit his LinkedIn profile here
May 18, 2020