Did you know that veterans represent only 6% of the total U.S. population but account for 13.5% (or 3.7 million) of all small businesses in the United States? These businesses employ 5.8 million Americans, pay wages in excess of $210 billion and contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. GDP.
As chair of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Veterans Committee I'm always considering new ways the Chamber might support veterans in our community, our workforce and as entrepreneurs. So in 2016, we are introducing In the Spotlight: Veteran Business Owners. Each month we will feature a new veteran business owner – highlighting the diversity, creativity and community service of veterans who continue to strengthen our country with their small business endeavors and entrepreneurial spirit.
Want to be In the Spotlight? Please send me an email and tell me about your military service and your business.
In the Spotlight: Staci Redmon
Staci Redmon is a third generation service-disabled Veteran. Her maternal grandfather served in the U.S. Army during World War II and her father served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. Her paternal grandfather served in the Merchant Marines. Her daughter served in the U.S. Navy, and her son-in-law is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After 20 plus years of federal service - in uniform, as a civil servant and as an industry contractor - Staci started Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS) seven years ago with the intent to “Exceed Expectations with People Who Make a Difference.” SAMS is an award-winning, SBA 8(a) program participant, verified SDVOSB, EDWOSB, SBA-certified SDB small business and Commonwealth of Virginia SWaM certified company that provides operations support, information technology services, facilities management functions and a range of enterprise-wide solutions, for federal agencies, state and local governments and commercial buyers who want the high-quality service of a top-tier company with the “high-touch” of a client-focused small business. Now after seven years in business, SAMS closed their 2015 financial year generating more than $17M in revenue with 135 employees.
Every year, SAMS gives back 1% of their annual profits to non-profit organizations that support veterans and family members of veterans. They have made donations to organizations such as: Operation Homefront, Veterans Moving Forward and the Lead the Way Fund. And their employees annually participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
SAMS is a Veterans First hiring company. Employees with prior military service often bring key insight, experience and knowledge of their government customers’ needs and requirements, helping them develop better solutions for their most critical challenges. Over 90% of SAMS’ employee staff are veterans or family members of veterans.
Staci has devoted countless hours to coaching, counseling and mentoring emerging veteran and non-veteran owned businesses. She never misses an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs to share her lessons learned and to help others along the way. As SAMS grows, they are always looking for ways to help start-up companies. They frequently team with emerging companies so that as they win work together, they can help the new companies build past performance and put infrastructure in place to grow.
Staci exemplifies the spirit of the veteran business owner in success and innovation in business, and involvement with her community.
Charles McCaffrey is the volunteer chair of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Veterans Committee. His fulltime job as director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center at Community Business Partnership pays the bills.