I was introduced to Dr. Janathin Miller (CEO of Antin Engineering; Director of Training at Veterans Training Corporation) in 2010. She had decided to unleash her 36 years of DOD (Department of Defense) contracting experience to assist Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB) excel in government contracting. Ultimately the business model we chose was a concept similar to my industrial real estate development company called Consortium 44 Development.
We named this new Veteran business support model Veteran Business Consortium (VBC) and we would be using existing SDVOB contractors to create joint ventures to help the new Veteran company receive “Performance History” which is vital to receive their own government contracts.
Dr Miller’s dad was one of the founders of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) during WWII which later became the CIA. He retired from the CIA and neither his wife or Janathin ever knew he was a spook. The discovery of Dad’s history caused her to dedicate the rest of her life to supporting Veterans, Veteran owned companies and their families. One of her Veteran charities was the Minnow Lake Foundation.
At that meeting in 2010 I had presented her my two business cards, one from my IT support company “GBIT Solutions” and the other representing a company I recently had become involved with regarding the identity theft issue in the IT world.
Dr. Miller carried a Level 4 Crypto Top Secret security clearance and taught a graduate level Entrepreneurship course at California and east coast universities for their MBA programs. During our planning and strategy meetings with VBC she gave three unsolicited endorsements for one of the products I had recently started offering to my IT clients.
One endorsement was so strong that she said she writes “DA” next to a student’s name that does not understand the value of the product. As a future entrepreneur a critical budget issue will be “legal advice” and if they didn’t realize that having access to unlimited inexpensive advice through LegalShield would be a benefit, then the “DA” remained. She said she had used the legal plan for over 25 years and all of her charities had been created using LegalShield.
There were 15 VOB and SDVOB business owners sitting around that table wondering if our meaning of “DA” was the same definition she meant. She finally broke the silence and said, “Gentlemen it stands for “Dumb Ass” and if the DA wasn’t removed before my course ended those students failed.” Her reasoning was if a future entrepreneur didn’t recognize the value of having an attorney on call for a small monthly fee, then they were too stupid to be an entrepreneur and would waste the limited SBA funding.
Since the VBC would require some seed money to start and no VOB or SDVOB was flush with cash and remembering her endorsements of LegalShield, I made a proposal to Dr. Miller. That proposal was that if she made warm introductions to the C-Level executives (decision makers) from her contact list I would donate 33% of my gross commissions to fund the VBC. She immediately agreed and said “Honey you’ve got my Rolodex”.
There were several delays in creating the initial letter that Dr. Miller intended to send to her warm contacts; the delays continued when her partner was diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s dementia. We had several false starts because of these new priorities in Dr. Miller’s life. Once the Consortium was self-funding we would continue these donations created by Team Veteran LLC to be used for Veteran’s needs, and the seed to create the nonprofit Team Veteran Foundation was planted.
Due to Dr Miller’s high security clearances she had to be very careful regarding what she endorsed. She recognized these services as a viable alternative to creating sustainable funds for Veteran charities.
September 13, 2012 Team Veteran Foundation, Inc a 501 (c)(3) was born. Soliciting for corporate or individual donations is extremely difficult because the vast majority of Americans mistakenly believe the VA provides all Veteran support and medical treatments. Team Veteran LLC is creating new money by donating their commissions to create the funds to help Veterans.
During this strategy meeting, Dr Miller addressed a concern about these services being offered through direct sales. Her response was, “Show me a better alternative to create sustainable funding. There is no difference with this, than any cause marketing campaign”.
Sadly Dr Janathin Miller died from colon cancer November 11, 2015, the same day I had completed my 38th Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) dive to heal my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I had suffered November 5, 2002. I had nicknamed Doc the “Hummingbird on Speed” because she was on the move 24/7 working to help Veterans and our families. The day she died I was the first to be contacted at her request, to thank me for giving her the nickname which she used often to introduce herself.
Team Veteran LLC has expanded the original idea and now includes 1st Responders and their families. We have also increased our contribution level to 50% of the gross commissions (maximum allowed by IRS) received from the sale of these plans. LegalShield, IDShield, Commercial Drivers Legal Plan and SmallBiz legal plans are offered as employee benefits, or individually. Thereby creating a financial corpus to perpetually fund vetted Veteran charities. Two examples, 1. A 100 employee company, Team Veteran LLC would create a contribution of $8,547.07 for Veteran and 1st Responder charities. 2. A 5,000 employee company, Team Veteran LLC would create a contribution of $422,592 for Veteran and 1st Responder charities.
How long would it take to raise $422,592 through typical donation solicitations?
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