Veteran Non Profit Q+A: Got Your Six

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-focused nonprofit. This month, we spoke with Got Your Six, a nonprofit that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners.  Non-Profit Name: Got Your 6 Year Founded: 2012 Executive Director Name: Bill Rausch Key Members: Julia Tivald, Matt Mabe, Janeen Wynn, and Kate Hoit HQ: Washington, DC Number of Full-Time Employees: 5 Brief…

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-focused nonprofit. This month, we spoke with Got Your Six, a nonprofit that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners. 

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Non-Profit Name: Got Your 6 Year Founded: 2012 Executive Director Name: Bill Rausch Key Members: Julia Tivald, Matt Mabe, Janeen Wynn, and Kate Hoit HQ: Washington, DC Number of Full-Time Employees: 5 Brief Organization Description: Got Your 6 is a campaign that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners. Got Your 6 believes that veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. We believe shifting the narrative and perceptions of veterans will empower all veterans to help lead a resurgence of community across America. What makes your organization unique? Our approach to the veteran empowerment movement is different from our counterparts. We facilitate collaboration amongst our 30 partners, because we believe widespread social change is best achieved through collective impact. And we also work with the entertainment industry to normalize the depictions of veterans on film and television to dispel common myths about the veteran population. You are a non-profit associated with veterans or the military. How has military service influenced your organization? Military service is engrained throughout Got Your 6 and our mission. Three out of five employees have served in the US Army (hooah!) and we draw upon our experiences to shape the work we do. We’ve each had different experiences when leaving the military – from going back to school, finding employment and volunteer opportunities, to figuring out where we fit in among our communities. Along the way, we have all realized that the perceptions of veterans do matter. And we consciously work to highlight the unique attributes veterans leave the military with so veterans can strengthen their communities. Toot your organization’s horn. What have you done that you’re most proud of to date? Since 2012, Got Your 6 has granted  $5,637,954 to our nonprofit coalition partners providing collective impact in the following areas: o   Jobs: 585,000 commitments to hire veterans as of December 2014 o   Housing: 31,171 veterans housed as of December 2014 o   Leadership: 6,867,634 hours of service complete as of December 2014 o   Education: 2,041 toolkits distributed as of December 2014 o   Health: 123,000 students trained as of December 2014 o   Family: 325,824 toolkits distributed and 113,390 teachers trained as of December 2014 In 2015, Got Your 6 unveiled the findings of the first-ever Veterans Civic Health Index (VCHI) with special guests U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The first-of-its-kind VCHI, produced in collaboration with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC), was an extension of Got Your 6’s work to reinforce the idea that veterans are leaders and civic assets. The report explored the unique experiences of America’s veterans to foster understanding between them and civilians so together they can build stronger communities. As a leader of the veteran empowerment movement, Got Your 6 has referred to veterans as  “leaders” and “civic assets.” The findings of the VCHI prove that veterans contribute positively to their communities in a variety of ways including volunteering, voting, and joining community organizations. The VCHI also provides tangible evidence that investing in our country’s veterans is good for our communities. You can read the report here. What’s one piece of advice you would give to a non-profit start-up? Run your non-profit start-up like you would run a start-up business. Focus on impact and measure your outcomes not just your outputs. Promote the goodness of the work, not yourself. The true test of a leader is building an organization that can survive and thrive while you are absent; work yourself out of a job to this end. Establish your values and purpose as an organization and never waiver from them; it’s all about the mission. Surround yourself with people who share your values and are as passionate about the mission as you are; this should apply to who you hire and who you do business with. Work hard and have fun. If you stop having fun and enjoying the mission you should find another job. Who (or what) has had the most positive influence on your company and why? From the start, veterans have had the most positive influence on our organization. Got Your 6 is leading the veteran empowerment movement because we represent what our community needs and wants. We have listened to our own stories of the 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans who have served and overcome obstacles of transition and adversity. They remind us everyday that we are do not want handouts and do not consider ourselves a charity. Although we joined the military for many different reasons, we did so to empower ourselves and our families. When we leave the military we need to remind ourselves that we’re not broken. We know that we are best served when we are serving others because veterans have told us, shown us and our research backs this up. As long as we continue to listen to the veteran and military family community, we will stay on azimuth and continue to serve our communities. We will lead a resurgence of community across the nation as we transition out of uniform. We can’t think of a better way to eliminate the civilian-military divide than to step up and lead again.

Meet the Founder of Nautilus Aggregates: Andrew Castrodale

  Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-owned business to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on creating a sustainable and scalable business. This month, we spoke with Andrew Castrodale, BLDC Spring ’16 Cohort Member, and Founder of Nautilus Aggregates, a startup  focused on reinventing concrete to enable sustainable, affordable infrastructure.   Name: Andrew…

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Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-owned business to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on creating a sustainable and scalable business. This month, we spoke with Andrew Castrodale, BLDC Spring ’16 Cohort Member, and Founder of Nautilus Aggregates, a startup  focused on reinventing concrete to enable sustainable, affordable infrastructure.

Name: Andrew Castrodale

Where did you grow up? Concord, NC

School(s): Concord High School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Military Branch & Specialty: US Navy Submarine Officer (LT/O3)

Favorite DC-Area Restaurant:  Il Porto in Old Town

Favorite Local Activity: Running the monuments on the National Mall

Go-To Pump Up Music: Dance the Night Away by Van Halen… Close second to the opening scene of the movie Patton with George C. Scott 

Strongest-Aligned Archetype: Explorer or Hero – tough call

Tell Us About Your Family: Wife Page and two boys, Jack (4) and Lincoln (2). Page owns a business in Old town called Curated and Jack and Lincoln like to chase things.

Little Known Fact About You: I’d like to run for office one day.

Brief Business Description: Nautilus Aggregates will manufacture lightweight aggregate for concrete using a new process that will be more energy efficient and versatile than the existing process. The new process will allow waste product from quarries and mines to be used as the raw material.

Briefly tell us how you decided to become an entrepreneur: I can’t get this idea out of my head. It will make the world a better place – why would I not?

What is something you learned during your service? How does it benefit your organization today? Knowledge. Know your men and know your equipment. If you don’t, you might be likable and well-intentioned, but society and your employees will not benefit from that alone.

Who has influenced you the most in your career or organization and why? The CO of my ship, USS Springfield, when I was on board. He taught me the value of knowledge, described above, but also that very often the answer to the question is “it depends.” Too often we, especially in the nuclear navy, believe that there is a right and wrong answer in every situation. He saw the gray between the black and white and taught me to do the same.

What have you accomplished that you’re most proud of? Success within the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. I was a non-technical major with a 2.9 GPA who had been laid off a year prior to my interview with ADM Donald for admission into the program. I was a fool to think he would even consider me, but somehow I convinced him to take a chance on me.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to another startup or entrepreneur?  I’m not afraid to fail – I’m not afraid to try. Embrace failure as an indicator of your willingness take a risk and the increased likelihood that you’ll succeed next time.

Where would you like to see your organization in ten years?

Lightweight aggregate becomes nearly cost-competitive with normal weight aggregate changing the entire industry ($23B in 2015 in the US alone).

Housing worldwide, especially in poverty-stricken regions, is less expensive, safer, and more durable.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced

Transportation infrastructure is improved and its cost reduced, reducing cost for government and the burden on the taxpayer

Every employee of the company understands the benefit to society that he provides through the company’s operations.

Meet the Founders of Vumble: Ryan Luu & Diego Quispe

  Each month, Capitol Post interviews a business operating out of  its coworking space or a member of the Bunker Labs DC Accelerator. This month, we spoke with Ryan Luu and Diego Quispe, BLDC Spring ’16 Cohort Members, and Co-Founders of Vumble, a startup  focused on allowing viewers to discover, discuss, and vote on video clips…

RyanHeadshotDiegoHeadshot (1)Each month, Capitol Post interviews a business operating out of  its coworking space or a member of the Bunker Labs DC Accelerator. This month, we spoke with Ryan Luu and Diego Quispe, BLDC Spring ’16 Cohort Members, and Co-Founders of Vumble, a startup  focused on allowing viewers to discover, discuss, and vote on video clips to collectively determine what’s worth watching.

Name: Ryan Luu

Where did you grow up?  Rockville, Maryland

School(s): Montgomery High School, University of Maryland School of Business.

Favorite DC-Area Restaurant:  Yo Yogi’s Sushi in Germantown

Favorite Local Activity: Pickup Basketball

Go-To Pump Up Music: Hip-hop

Tell Us About Your Family: My 19 year old brother is a co-founder and Vumble’s designer. My mom is a single mother who works as an architect, my dad lives in Vietnam, his home country.

Little Known Fact About You: I aspire to take a lap around the world every year.

Brief Business Description: Vumble is a place to explore awesome videos without interruptions. Every day, viewers discover, discuss, and cote on clips to collectively determine what’s worth watching.

Briefly tell us how you decided to become an entrepreneur. I quit my first job after two days to pursue an idea for 6 second preview before videos.

Who has influenced you the most in your career or organization and why? My brother Brendan because he and I started Vumble from nothing. Now Diego is my primary influence, pushing me to learn and grow.

What have you accomplished that you’re most proud of? I’m most proud of learning to code and building Vumble’s visual expeience from scratch.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to another startup or entrepreneur?  Get real feedback, learn the ins/outs of your business and focus on the things that matter.

Where would you like to see your organization in ten years? Home of what the world’s watching across all different devices.

Name: Diego Quispe

Where did you grow up?  Cajamarca, Peru

School(s): Clarksburg High School, University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences.

Favorite DC-Area Restaurant:  China Chilcano in Chinatown

Favorite Local Activity: Pickup soccer

Go-To Pump Up Music: Rock

Tell Us About Your Family: I have two siblings – one is working on his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and the other one is a senior in high school. My mom is a housekeeper, my dad is an electrician, and we all emigrated from Peru in 2007.

Little Known Fact About You: I used to be in a rock band in high school.

Brief Business Description: Vumble is a place to explore awesome videos without interruptions. Every day, viewers discover, discuss, and cote on clips to collectively dertermine what’s worth watching.

Briefly tell us how you decided to become an entrepreneur. I interned at a company that was part of Y Combinator and I fell in love with the experience.

Who has influenced you the most in your career or organization and why? My family. We left Peru in search of the American Dream.

What have you accomplished that you’re most proud of? Back in college I started a hacker group called Terrapin Hackers. We participated in hackathons in different colleges and we took home the first ever trophy for competitive hackathons between colleges.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to another startup or entrepreneur?  Don’t wait until you have the perfect solution because that might never come. Show people what you have and get feedback very early on.

Where would you like to see your organization in ten years? I would love to see Vumble replace TV.

Capitol Post Sponsor Q+A: JP Morgan Chase & Co

Capitol Post and Bunker Labs DC are fortunate to be supported by a number of local and national organizations who make it possible for us to serve as a platform for veterans in business. This month, we are highlighting JP Morgan Chase & Co, who have recently supported Bunker Labs in Chicago and Washington DC…

Capitol Post and Bunker Labs DC are fortunate to be supported by a number of local and national organizations who make it possible for us to serve as a platform for veterans in business. This month, we are highlighting JP Morgan Chase & Co, who have recently supported Bunker Labs in Chicago and Washington DC with a grant of $260,000. 

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Company Name:  JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Year Founded: 1799

CEO Name: Jamie Dimon

HQ Address: 270 Park Avenue New York, NY

Website: www.jpmorganchase.com/veterans

Elevator Pitch: A strong small business sector means more local jobs and increased economic opportunity for owners and for the people they employ. That’s why JPMorgan Chase is proud to serve 3.9 million American small businesses, including many Veteran small businesses. Empowering Veterans to succeed in small business is a natural extension of the firm’s mission and talent. That’s why, the firm provides products, services, and support through organizations like Bunker Labs DC to make it easier for small businesses to operate and gain access to capital.

Little-known-fact about your company: JPMorgan Chase & Co. played a major role in financing the Allied victory during World War I. In September 1915, the firm arranged a $500 million Anglo-French loan, at that time the largest foreign loan in Wall Street history.


 

What makes your company unique? 

As a leading small business lender with a long history of employing and supporting active-duty and veteran military personnel, our firm is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of Veterans and small businesses and provide resources to help them succeed.

What made your company want to support Capitol Post and/or Bunker Labs DC’s mission?

Veterans possess a number of skills, experience, and attributes that lend themselves to entrepreneurship, such as leadership, problem-solving, and resilience. Our entire community benefits from the jobs and economic growth generated by new businesses. Unfortunately, many veterans struggle to turn their ideas and passion into viable businesses.  Bunker Labs helps Veteran business owners tap into the networks, mentors, and advice that will help them sustainably grow a high-impact business. That is why we recently announced a grant of $260,000 to help fund Bunker Labs cohorts in DC and Chicago.

Toot your company’s horn? What have you done that you’re most proud of recently?

This year marks the fifth anniversary of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, established to drive our firm-wide Veteran-related initiatives. Over the last five years, more than 10,000 Veterans have joined the ranks of JPMorgan Chase, and the firm has developed programs aimed at retaining and supporting them throughout their careers. We also help to lead the Veteran Jobs Mission – previously the 100,000 Jobs Mission – a coalition cofounded in 2011 by JPMorgan Chase and 10 other companies with the goal of hiring 100,000 Veterans. Now more than 200 members strong, the coalition has collectively hired more than 300,000 Veterans, and is now committed to hiring 1 million.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to one of Capitol Post’s members or start-up in the Bunker Labs DC?

Our Office of Military and Veterans Affairs is fortunate enough to be advised by an extremely talented and experienced External Advisory Council which includes former military and private sector leaders. In November, council member and former Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno shared his thoughts on Bold Leadership. Our advice is to connect with and keep experienced advisors who can help guide you through the development and growth of your business.

Who (or what) has had the most positive influence on your organization recently and why?

We are inspired by the thousands of Veteran employees working beside us every day. Through their continued success at the firm, we see first-hand how much Veterans have to contribute to our country and our workforce. This is why we will continue to focus on their successful transitions into the private sector, especially as business leaders and owners.

 

Veteran Non Profit Q+A: Four Block Foundation

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-focused nonprofit. This month, we spoke with Four Block Foundation, a nonprofit that equips Post-9/11 student veterans to find meaningful careers and maximize their potential through a 12-week program and a network of alumni and partners. Non-Profit Name: Four Block Foundation Year Founded: 2012 Executive Director Name: Mike Abrams Key…

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-focused nonprofit. This month, we spoke with Four Block Foundation, a nonprofit that equips Post-9/11 student veterans to find meaningful careers and maximize their potential through a 12-week program and a network of alumni and partners.

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Non-Profit Name: Four Block Foundation

Year Founded: 2012

Executive Director Name: Mike Abrams
Key Members: Eric Ahn, Pat Murray, Chris Vasiliou
HQ: New York, NY
Number of Full-Time Employees: 5

Brief Organization Description: Four Block equips Post-9/11 student veterans to find meaningful careers and maximize their potential through a 12-week program and a network of alumni and partners.

Little-Known Fact About Your Organization or Founders:

– Our founder is the Commanding Officer of Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment out of Chattanooga, TN.
– A few years back, a Marine officer, who had a NYU Stern MBA, was tasked with putting labels on DVDs at his new job. Because of his first-hand experience of just how little companies knew how to use their veteran employees’ true value, Mike Abrams founded Four Block to bridge this gap.

What makes your organization unique?

Four Block is a community of both veterans and organizational partners. Our aim is not just to prepare veterans for meaningful careers, but also educate companies on creating an environment that maximizes veteran potential.

You are a non-profit associated with veterans or the military. How has military service influenced your organization?

It drives everything we do. Each of us has a particular passion for mentoring veterans and helping them succeed, whether it’s because we were squad leaders who wanted nothing less than excellence from our Marines or because we lost a loved one and now as a Gold Star Mother, want to see their friends succeed.

Toot your organization’s horn. What have you done that you’re most proud of to date?
Four Block is the official mentor program for all wounded Marines and sailors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Despite significant injuries and seemingly impossible limitations, these veterans are definitely proving they are more than capable!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a non-profit start-up?
Focus on the mission first and foremost; on getting tangible, measurable results. The rest will take care of itself.

Who (or what) has had the most positive influence on your company and why?
Our veterans. They’re resilience has been inspirational and their feedback has significantly shaped our services.

Veteran Owned Business Q+A – Pair

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-owned business to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on creating a sustainable and scalable business. This month, we spoke with Pair, a technology company that brings the showroom to your living room.  Business Name: Pair Year Founded: 2015 CEO Name: Andrew Kemendo Key Members: Taylor Clark…

Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-owned business to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on creating a sustainable and scalable business. This month, we spoke with Pair, a technology company that brings the showroom to your living room. 

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Business Name: Pair

Year Founded: 2015

CEO Name: Andrew Kemendo
Key Members: Taylor Clark (CTO), Mike Mills (Chief Scientist), Israel Medina (VP Business Development)
HQ: Cheverly, MD
Number of Full-Time Employees: 4

Brief Business Description: 
Pair brings the showroom to your living room by letting users see over 400 virutal products in their real environment using only their iPhone or iPad Camera view.

Little-Known Fact About Your Business:
Both Taylor and Andrew started flight school for their private pilot’s licenses a month apart in 2000 before having ever met!

What makes your business unique?
We have successfully commercialized the capability to convincingly see something virtual as though it is real.

You are a veteran-owned (or led) business. How has military service influenced your company?

In every facet of the company, the lessons I learned as a commander and leader in war and peace shape how we do business. We put people first, are laser focused on the mission and do so with the highest level of integrity and transparency.

Toot your business’ horn. What have you done that you’re most proud of to date?
By far it has been moving advanced technology from the “future technology” category to “available to everyone worldwide” category. That takes a special team and the right partners.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a start-up?
Be exceedingly responsive to, and over communicate with your core user base.

Who (or what) has had the most positive influence on your company and why?
Our network, built from our team and including our investors and product partners have brought more value to the table than anything else.

Transitioning Veteran Q+A: Kathryn Kolbe

Each month, Capitol Post interviews veterans in their post-military careers to get their insights on how their military service has helped them succeed. This month, we spoke with Kathryn Kolbe, a retired Air Force Colonel in transition. Here’s what she had to say…   Name: Kathryn Kolbe MOS/Branch: Engineer & Command/Air Force Current Job Description (in your…

Each month, Capitol Post interviews veterans in their post-military careers to get their insights on how their military service has helped them succeed. This month, we spoke with Kathryn Kolbe, a retired Air Force Colonel in transition. Here’s what she had to say…

 

Kathryn Kolbe

Name: Kathryn Kolbe
MOS/Branch: Engineer & Command/Air Force
Current Job Description (in your words!): In Transition & Full-Time Mom
Where did you grow up? Bedminster, Pennsylvania
Current home: Alexandria, Virginia
School: Lehigh University, George Washington University & National Defense University
Role Model: Bob Clark (Uncle): retired General Motors Executive and Marine Colonel… accomplished, yet humble and a mentor for the next generation of leaders.
Favorite Restaurant: Founding Farmers
Favorite Local Activity: Sculling on the Potomac
Family: Husband, Rick and Daughter, Kate
Little Known Fact About You: I played lacrosse in junior high and high school


QA

What are you most excited about in your transition?

The ability to explore opportunities and to grow in other spaces.

What has been the best part about transitioning from military service?

Not having to worry about a joint military assignment to the same zip code.

Briefly tell us what industry(s) you are interested or what career your hope to have.

I am interested in finding meaningful work as a leader in a dynamic, learning organization within the tech or government sectors. I enjoy enterprise leadership, collaborative teamwork and fostering innovation to help organizations grow and function more effectively.

If there’s one job you could have in another life, what would it be?

Corporate turnaround specialist: dealing with crises, identifying and fixing financial and management problems to achieve sustainable results.

Who has influenced you the most in your career?

I’ve worked for many great leaders, but if it weren’t for my father’s service in the Marine Corps, I probably wouldn’t have been introduced to the military and pursued a career in the Air Force. He served in Vietnam, loved flying, the Marines, set a great example of service and had a strong work ethic.

If you could listen to a person speak for 30 minutes, who would that be?

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In. She’s brilliant, has led in both the government and private sectors and is a strong voice for woman in leadership roles.

Career Crossroads – February 2016

Capitol Post’s Career Crossroads is a platform for veterans and spouses seeking careers and the organizations looking to hire them.   Opportunities Seeking Veterans Position: Director of Development Organization: Got Your 6 Job Description:  Got Your 6 seeks a highly experienced fundraiser and program leader for the position of Director of Development. This position offers…

Capitol Post’s Career Crossroads is a platform for veterans and spouses seeking careers and the organizations looking to hire them.

 


Opportunities Seeking Veterans


Position: Director of Development

Organization: Got Your 6

Job Description: 

Got Your 6 seeks a highly experienced fundraiser and program leader for the position of Director of Development. This position offers the opportunity to work with a dynamic team that is deeply committed to its mission and comprised of individuals who are experts in their fields.

The Director of Development position will allow a professional fundraiser at the top of his/her career to make significant contributions to the Got Your 6 campaign and the growing veteran empowerment movement across the country. The campaign is well positioned to increase its fundraising capacity: we have committed board leadership, a compelling vision, a talented and experienced staff, and a donor base which values the campaign’s work.

We are seeking a charismatic, visionary, and highly effective leader to join the organization’s management team. He/she will be responsible for all fundraising activities conducted on behalf of Got Your 6. This includes corporate and foundation relations, stewardship and prospect research, database management, and special events. He/she will be expected to assist with long-term strategic planning and staff development.

Detailed Job Flyer: Got Your 6 – Flyer

Apply Here: Interested and qualified candidates should submit a resume and one example of a previously written funding proposal to: June Carlsen Director of Operations, Be the Change, Inc. [email protected]


Position: Operations Manager

Organization: Bunker Labs DC & Capitol Post

Job Description: Capitol Post is hiring a versatile Operations Manager to manage our startup-accelerator and space at Bunker Labs DC. The Operations Manager will be responsible for overseeing and facilitating the Bunker Lab DC’s day-to-day operations, programming, member relations, and support at Capitol Post in Alexandria, VA. This individual will be the primary point-of-contact for the accelerator’s members and will work hand-in-hand with another Operations Manager in the distribution of duties, continuity, and consistency in programming. Veterans and spouses of veterans are encouraged to apply. Reports to Executive Director.

Detailed Job Flyerhttp://www.idealist.org/view/job/ftXwNPc8JBfP/

Apply Here: Please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected].