WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM ET, the White House will honor "Champions of Change," veterans and their families who are doing extraordinary work across the country as leaders in entrepreneurship. The Champions have distinguished themselves by continuing to serve our country through their successful small businesses and non-profits that create jobs, spur economic growth, and help their communities.
The Champions include veterans who have started a for-profit or non-profit business, veteran spouses who have started their own business, and individuals that support veteran entrepreneurs by providing them with skills, capital, and other necessary resources. This event will showcase these inspirational leaders and highlight the importance of their work. The program will feature remarks by Dr. Jill Biden and will also feature Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec, from ABC’s Emmy Award-winning TV showShark Tank.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
James Allen, Kansas City, MO
Jim Allen, a Navy JAG Corps Veteran of the Vietnam era, is the President of Honor Capital, LLC. Honor Capital's mission is to help post-9/11 veterans start small businesses that create jobs and build communities. Over his forty year career, Jim has created startups in law, real estate development, investment banking and hospitality that have allowed him and his partners "to do well while doing good."
Colin & Karen Archipley, Escondido, CA
Colin and Karen Archipley are the co-founders of Archi’s Acres Organic Farming Enterprise, and co-creators of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program (VSAT). Colin, a combat-decorated Marine Sergeant, and wife Karen, a successful entrepreneur, use innovative hydro-organic farming techniques to grow USDA-certified produce. Colin and Karen work together to give back through healthy food, as responsible stewards of the environment.
Mitchelene BigMan, Pueblo, CO
Mitchelene BigMan is the President and Founder of Native American Women Warriors Organization (NAWW), the first ever recognized all Native American Women Color Guard. The purpose of NAWW is to bring recognition to all women veterans, especially those of Native American descent, and their contribution to the military. Mitchelene was awarded the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) for her efforts in being a voice for Native American Women Veterans.
Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, Tampa, FL
Adrianna Domingos-Lupher is the CEO of MSB New Media, a digital media marketing and publishing firm that houses the Military Spouse Blogger Network™. Adrianna has played a significant role in launching ground-breaking programs for military spouses that include the Military Spouse CEO Experience and Homefront Rising. Adrianna is a passionate advocate for military spouse employment, entrepreneurship, and political engagement.
Frantz Fortune, Atlanta, GA
Frantz Fortune is the Founder and Executive Director of Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO). VEO is a supportive service provider for homeless veterans, which has provided services for more than 3,000 homeless veterans in the state of Georgia. VEO’s mission is to provide homeless veterans housing and support services on their journey back to an empowered life.
Sandra P. Gonzales, Lawton, OK
Sandra Gonzales, MSN, RN, is the President and Founder of Docere eLearning Solutions, an educational consulting firm based out of southwest Oklahoma. Sandra also serves as one of the founding members of SOAR Mentoring Program, an inclusive online international community for Women Veteran Entrepreneurs and Military Families. Sandra is a former Army nurse and has been a military spouse for almost twenty years.
Jake Harriman, Palo Alto, CA
Jake Harriman is the Founder of Nuru International, an organization that builds self-sustaining, self-scaling programs that enable communities across an entire region to lift themselves out of extreme poverty within seven years. Jake became convinced after his time in the Marine Corps that the “War on Terror” couldn’t be won on the battlefield alone; the contributing causes of terrorism—specifically extreme poverty—also had to be eradicated. Since founding Nuru International in 2008, over 35,000 people in Kenya have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty.
Louisa Long Jaffe, Alexandria, VA
Louisa Long Jaffe is the CEO and President of Technical and Project Engineering, LLC (TAPE), a systems engineering company she co-founded with her husband, Bill Jaffe. Formerly Lieutenant Colonel Louisa Long Cullem, she served in the Women's Army Corps (WAC), U.S. Army, and Army Reserves for 28 years. Drawing upon her military leadership and business start-up experience, Louisa has positioned TAPE as a preferred solutions provider in a multitude of arenas.
Kevin N. Jennings, Arlington, VA
Lieutenant Colonel Kevin N. Jennings, USA (Ret.) is the President and CEO of Millennium Corporation, aprofessional services provider and a key management solutions partner. As founding partner, Kevin oversees the strategic direction and growth of the Virginia based professional service company. As a veteran member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps, Kevin spent more than 20 years acquiring in-depth knowledge of the Department of Defense Acquisition Profession and transferring those skills to leading Millennium.
Dr. Stephanie Parson, Windermere, FL
Dr. Stephanie Parson is the CEO and Founder of Crowned Grace International, a global management consulting firm. Crowned Grace International works with companies around the world to identify, develop and implement the winning strategies required to produce business results. Dr. Parson served as a decorated officer in the United States Air Force prior to entering the corporate sector.
Matt Victoriano, Durham, NC
Matt Victoriano, former Marine Corps Sergeant, is the owner of Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits in downtown Durham, North Carolina. Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits provides its customers with a venue for coffee, food, and alcohol, but also a relaxed atmosphere to share their stories and passions with other people who want to make a difference in their community.
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