With the Fourth of July approaching, we’re celebrating and honoring military veterans who continue to make an impact in our country with the businesses they’re running. Our heroes this week feature veteran business owners in business consulting, mental health, drone services, government contracting and subscription services.
Learn more about each hero below and on iHeart Radio’s BIG 100 local Washington, DC radio station or stream online at 5:00pm eastern every week day. Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to see who is featured next week.
Matt Ross, Marine Corps Veteran
Matt Ross is a StreetShares Foundation Award Finalist and product lead and co-founder of Saughlt Advisors, a consulting firm building custom software add-ons and data tools for organizations who want to build the best employee value proposition for veteran talent. Matt has a passion for innovation and the veteran transition process, contributing to several veteran-focused workforce development initiatives with research and program design.
Matt is a Marine Corps veteran who served in the infantry and had a unique opportunity as an Arabic speaker to connect with the local population on a daily basis.
Matt recently completed the Veteran Entrepreneurial Training (VET) program through Bunker Labs New York and NYU Tandon School of Engineering and continues to stay involved.
Geoff Orazem, Marine Corps Veteran
Geoff is the founder and CSO of Eastern Foundry (EF) and CEO of Federal Foundry (FF) and a StreetShares member and partner. EF is a first of its kind incubator for government technology with locations in Crystal City and Rosslyn. In two years, EF has collected 130 government contracting companies and has been widely publicized for its innovation in the government contracting space. Before starting EF Geoff was an engagement manager at McKinsey, and a Marine infantry officer. He holds a law degree from Harvard and a computer science degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
John Van Horn, Air Force Veteran
John’s interest in the Air Force started with a meeting with a recruiter on 9/11. He was enlisted for six years as a Crew Chief on C-5 aircrafts and supported OIF/OEF missions before deploying in 2007.
John graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in meteorology. He was a walk-on football player, a Tillman Scholar and interned with the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters and NBC4 in Washington, D.C. John received a scholarship to research the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) during grad school and became fascinated with how drones can help society. He wrote his master’s thesis using UAS for hydrometeorology. Then, John followed a passion – training and employing veterans in drone technology.
John is a StreetShares Foundation Award Finalist and currently President & CEO of Veteran Unmanned Solutions, LLC in Denver, Colorado. They’ve partnered with Denver Public Schools to teach K-12 drone technology. Additionally, VUS offers commercial drone services to public, private and government organizations. A portion of proceeds are donated to training and employing of veterans in drone technology.
Kendra Simpkins, Army Veteran
Kendra Simpkins is a U.S. Army Veteran and Owner/Clinical Practitioner at Sarasota Rapid Resolution Therapy. After being honorably discharged with a service-connected injury in 2010, Kendra used her VA benefits to return to school. She received her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University where she graduated summa cum laude and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of South Florida. As a clinical social worker, she noticed that Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) was a quick and effective treatment for trauma. Since most individuals suffering with PTSD, specifically veterans, weren’t getting appropriate relief from trauma. Kendra partnered with RRT creator, Dr. Jon Connelly, to open Sarasota Rapid Resolution Therapy. Before opening her own office, Kendra conducted research in PTSD and trauma at Columbia Medical Center and provided counseling to a range of veterans from college campuses to homeless shelters.
She is the StreetShares Foundation first place winner for the April Veterans Small Business Award and using the funds to provide veterans with free RRT sessions to clear military related trauma. Kendra regularly attends trainings with Dr. Connelly throughout the year and teaches workshops on strategies for transformation and healing. She also spends her time as a speaker and peer mentor for the Wounded Warrior Project to assist veterans with military transitioning.
Tanner Maxson, Air Force Veteran
Tanner Maxson is a StreetShares Foundation Award Finalist and the founder of Ammo Subscription, an easy way for weapon owners to subscribe to receiving ammunition to their front door every three months. It’s the Dollar Shave Club for Ammo. Ammo Subscription is a small veteran-run team of gun fanatics based in Dallas, Texas. The company started because Tanner had to search far and wide for his favorite ammo. His wife is a subscription member to many sites such as an air filter site, so she doesn’t have to remember to buy an air filter every six months. Tanner brought that same concept to ammunition. Tanner is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served as a special purpose refueling mechanic. Tanner was also a StreetShares Foundation Award Finalist in December.
Support Veteran Business Owners
Veteran businesses make up 10 percent of U.S. firms, according to the SBA. StreetShares has developed a way for any American to earn great returns by backing these veteran-owned businesses. With our Veteran Business Bonds, StreetShares members can earn a 5% fixed interest rate starting with an investment of just $25. We put these funds to work funding veteran-owned businesses with our loans, lines of credit, and government contract financing. For a limited time, you can earn up to $1,000 when you invest. Click here to learn more.