Daymond John — Turning Heroes into CEOs

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Daymond John speaking into microphone on stage

The Shark Tank’s Daymond John encourages veteran entrepreneurs to make waves in business.

By Lori Denman

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Daymond John has cast a pretty large net in the realm of business.

John, otherwise known as, “The People’s Shark,” is a busy man—leading his multi-million dollar FUBU clothing line and hosting the popular reality ABC hit, “Shark Tank,” that’s celebrating its 11th season.

But he never hesitates to take time to help a promising entrepreneur—particularly those who have served our country. “I’m working with veterans as much as I can,” he said.

John is in his third year of partnering with Bob Evans Farms to host an entrepreneurial contest called “Heroes to CEOs.” Finalists receive a free trip to New York City for a personalized, 45-minute session with John to help them perfect a pitch that could win them a $30,000 grant for their business.

John says the same traits that make veterans successful in combat—courage, teamwork, overcoming challenging obstacles, taking inventory of a situation—also apply in the boardroom. A veteran’s large network of supportive comrades is a further advantage, he added.

“I call it OPM, or other people’s manufacturing, mind power or marketing,” he said. “Meaning if you want to start up a business, make a list of friends and acquaintances who can assist in the mission. Soak up their knowledge and insight.”

Still, there’s a few personality traits characteristic of the military that may actually hinder a veteran entrepreneur, according to John in a recent interview for The Motley Fool.

Shark Tank panel seated together
Panel: (L-R) Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin OLeary, and Daymond John of Tribeca Talks: Ten Years of Shark Tank poses for a portrait. MATT DOYLE/GETTY IMAGES

“Vets were brought up to think about everybody else and stand in the line of fire. They don’t always put their needs first.”

There’s been more than a few veterans who have heeded John’s advice. Last month, Jonathan Norton, founder and CEO of Peak Safety Systems, was voted the winner of the third annual “Heroes to CEOs” program. A former Army Ranger, Norton invented the RopeSafe Edge protection system—life-saving equipment for military, first responders, and rope access professionals.

Norton says his company was born out of personal experience. ““I witnessed a student nearly fall to his death while he was repelling because the edge protector that we were using failed,” he said in a recent interview on cheddar.com.

“It was a scary moment and created a lot of fear, doubt and uncertainty. But it inspired me to find a solution. That was the impetus for developing the product.”

Although RopeSafe just launched, Norton has successfully sold to several areas throughout the U.S., including FDNY, NYPD, Dallas SWAT and more. Even a window washing company in Rochester, New York.

Daymond John books on display at book signing
Books on display during Daymond John book signing ” Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life”. JOHNNY LOUIS/GETTY IMAGES

When asked about entrepreneurial qualities he acquired during his time in the military, Norton says, “In spite of the hardships or the bumps in the road, it’s really about commitment to the mission and knowing I am serving a bigger purpose.”

John says he was blown away with Norton’s creativity, innovation and solid business plan. “He really rose to the top as an exceptional leader who is ready to take his business to the next level.

With several successful ventures under his belt over the last 30 years, John says he’s often asked what advice he gives veterans and others who wish to start their own business.

“I would say don’t mortgage your house for 100K,” he joked recently on Ladders.com, citing his own personal experience as John did indeed get his start by mortgaging his mother’s house.

After that, John started his successful clothing line but considers the risky move very lucky, adding, “It turned out for all the better, but knowing what I know now, I was very close to losing the house and everything we had.”

Daymond John standing wearing a gray suit
Photo: ADRIAN EDWARDS/GETTY IMAGES

His top 5 tips to veterans wanting to start a business as well as other entrepreneurs on Shark Tank:

  1. Set goals to know where you’re headed

By age 16, John had told himself he’d be a millionaire by age 30. But when he turned 22, he was broke and struggling to make a buck by buying and selling cars.

“I didn’t know how to properly execute goal-setting. It’s not just visualizing of a number or a certain age,” said John.

When the idea for FUBU came along, he decided to reshape the goal he set for himself. Instead of committing to making a million dollars by age 30, John instead made it his goal to outfit the hip-hop culture. Designing a clothing line became less about earning money and more about dedicating himself to a community — one that he thought would turn into future consumers.

“My goal became doing the best I can for the company I love,” John said.

  1. Homework — you still have to do it

After sneaking his way into a menswear conference in Las Vegas, John proudly showed off early prototypes of T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of his budding company, FUBU, an acronym that means “For Us, By Us.” He secured $300,000 worth of orders, and after his mother took out an equity line on their house in Queens, he took $100,000 to outfit a factory to get production going.

Just one problem: He hadn’t done any research on what it would cost to start a clothing line and get production going. In the process, he nearly lost his mom’s house and ended FUBU before it got off the ground.

Knowing what you need to launch a venture is something John stresses to the hopefuls who appear before him on Shark Tank. He has to see that an entrepreneur looking for funding has done their work to know what their market is and who their competitors are — and that they’ve used that knowledge to not only start driving sales but also improve on their track record.

  1. Adore what you do, and success will follow

A true entrepreneur must love what they’re doing—a seemingly trite lesson that John said is crucial for any successful entrepreneur. It’s passion for a project that will allow a person to push past failures and feeling burned out.

“Do what you love, and success will follow. Money may follow; but I can’t promise that it will,” he said. “But money’s more likely to follow when you’re doing something you love, because you’ll do it for 10 years or 20 years.”

  1. Remember, you — not just your business — are a brand

These days it’s easy to manufacture a personality using social media. But building a business is as much about how you carry yourself as it is about meeting quarterly sales figures or developing new products.

“Be very honest with yourself, especially today with social media. At any given time, your employees can see you,” John said. “So you have to know what the DNA of the brand is. It only takes your employees two weeks to treat your customers the same way they’re being treated.”

  1. Keep swimming, no matter what

John’s final point makes use of what he calls the power of positive thinking. Even as FUBU grew into a bigger company, he maintained a “healthy paranoia” about running a clothing company.

“I always said fashion brands are hot for five years and then they’re gone,” he said.

But keeping a persevering attitude spurred him to come up with solutions to problems instead of giving up. As John wrote in his book, The Power of Broke: “You have to be relentless, nimble, moving ever forward. No matter what.”

Couple Brings A Wealth Of Experience To Help Combat Workplace Contagion With Enviro-Master Services

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Pictured outside their building is Willlie Jenkins, Jr., Kimberly Jenkins, Willie Jenkins

When you see terms such as “leading provider, recession-resistant, lack of competition” and “scalable,” associated with a franchise opportunity, it’s undoubtedly going to pique your interest.

And if it’s in an industry that can literally impact millions of people – by creating its own unique niche – you’re almost certainly going to want to know even more about this ground-floor opportunity. Mix in a company culture that’s equal to its growth potential… and you have the perfect list of ingredients that drew Willie and Kimberly Jenkins to become franchise owners with Enviro-Master, North America’s leading health and safety-focused commercial cleaning service, which has doubled in size since 2012. They are seeing demand from many markets for their service because of the growing concerns about MRSA and other new tough to combat bacteria. Pictured left to right are Willie Jenkins, Jr., Kimberly Jenkins, Willie Jenkins, El Paso,TX.

“We are NOT like anyone else. We are UNIQUE,” said Willie. “When we first met with the corporate team from Enviro-Master we were truly impacted with how welcoming they were and that they wanted to know about ‘us’ and not just about our previous business experience. They genuinely cared about us as a family.”

Launched in January, Enviro-Master’s El Paso location serves businesses throughout El Paso, Las Cruces and Alamogordo, N.M., as well as Juarez, Mexico. Surrounding franchise areas still available are Albuquerque, Lubbock and Amarillo.

Willie, 49, has owned a janitorial cleaning company for 15 years while Kimberly, 57, has spent a decade in a civil servant role as an inventory/warehouse manager after a 24-year career in the U.S. Air Force before joining Enviro-Master, which provides unique processes and products that disinfect and sterilize surfaces that serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses such as the flu, Hepatitis, Norovirus and MRSA. Enviro-Master’s commercial restroom hygiene service, which is applied with EPA-registered, non-toxic products, ensures 99.99 percent of germs are killed. “As a border city, we have many challenges dealing with the health and safety aspect due to travelers constantly going back and forth into Mexico,” Kimberly said. “We wanted to be a part of helping our neighbors within the city and even in Mexico.”

In Enviro-Master, Willie and Kimberly found a company that is a recognized leader in the $61 billion commercial cleaning industry, which is expected to grow by an additional two percent in 2019 alone, according to experts. Enviro-Master International Franchise has ranked five years in a row by Inc. 5000 as one of American’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. Their niche, which focuses on killing germs and bacteria, protects businesses, their employees and clients against the spread of infectious diseases. Currently targeting growth in major markets throughout North America, Enviro-Master’s continued growth is fueled by five basic fundamentals: 1) Large, identifiable markets; 2) Lack of competition; 3) Recession resistance; 4) Recurring revenue model; and 5) Service that can’t be displaced by technology.

“I’ve been in franchise development for more than 30 years and have not seen a concept with the strong fundamentals that we have at Enviro-Master,” said Brian Wieters, executive vice president of franchise development. Said Willie: “This is something we want to pass on to our children. We believe in leaving a legacy for our children’s children. Our plan for them is to be very aggressive in the future growth of our company.”

Markets being aggressively targeted for new franchises are Phoenix, Toronto, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Reno, New York and its boroughs, Denver, Boston and New Orleans. Call 1-833-GERMPROS for more information.

Roche Partners with iHeartMedia to Present ‘iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military’ Concert to Bring Further Awareness of The Impact Diabetes Has On The Nation’s Veteran Population

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Event poster for the Roche veterans diabetes awareness concert

The Second Annual Concert Will Feature Performances from Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

Event Will Broadcast Nationwide On Veteran’s Day From The Country Music Hall of Fame, Honoring The One In Four Veterans Living With Diabetes In The U.S.

Roche recently announced that it has again partnered with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, to present the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military concert on Thursday, November 7,[1] at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, and the one in four U.S. veterans living with the chronic condition, the exclusive event will include performances by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

The iconic venue will be filled with American heroes from across the nation, and the performance will broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Country stations nationwide and livestream exclusively on LiveXLive.com at 7 p.m. local time on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11.

 “With diabetes on the rise and affecting nearly 25 percent of the VA’s patient population,[2] this sponsorship fits our mission of helping people with diabetes live more active and unrestricted lives,” said Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.As a proud Military Friendly® Employer,[3] the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military partnership allows us to celebrate our servicemen and women while simultaneously raising much-needed awareness about diabetes among the military population.”

In support of this event, Roche is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to donate comfort kits to our military abroad.  Deployed troops will receive much-needed items, including healthy snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other toiletries. “Our nation’s military needs the comforts of home while they are so valiantly protecting our freedom,” said Jeff Imel, Manager of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “We are grateful that Roche has recognized this need and is providing hundreds of comfort kits to our brave military members.”

“iHeartMedia has long been committed to honoring the men and women who have served our country by using our diverse platforms to address the most pressing issues facing our military. Over the years we have invested heavily in their transition from the military back into civilian life,” said Rod Phillips, EVP Programming for iHeartCountry. “iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military Concert is a natural extension of our deep commitment to our military and an opportunity to celebrate our service members while bringing attention to the high prevalence of diabetes among the military population.”

To learn more, visit accu-chek.com.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross:
The Indiana Region serves 87 counties statewide through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and mysugr.com.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.  Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

$100K Tech Startup Seed Capital for Veterans

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BBBC 2019 logo announcing the conference date and location

The Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference wants to help you launch your tech startup with a startup tech pitch competition.

Expert DOJO, the fastest growing startup community in Santa Monica has partnered with the 2019 Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference (#BBBC19) to invest up to $100k in startup companies attending the event; at least one $50,000 term sheet is guaranteed to one company.

This investment is designed to help startup founders who have identified a very specific problem or challenge in growing their startup, and could use the $50,000+ investment to make a significant difference in overcoming that challenge.

Ideal applicants are innovative thinkers in any segment of technology who believe their products are unique, groundbreaking, and can affect positive change in their vertical.

Note: Contestants must attend #BBBC2019 accelerator sessions

startup pitch competition flyer is pictured with registration info

Battleship IOWA Museum Hosts First Annual Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser October 13, 2019 on the 244th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy

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Battleship IOWA fundraiser poster

Support Veterans Programming Aboard Battleship IOWA and enjoy live entertainment, BBQ, craft beer and wine tastings, country line dance lessons and more. 

The Battleship IOWA Museum is proud to host the first annual Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser on Sunday, October 13 from 4-7 p.m. in support of Veteran’s Programming aboard the historic battleship to coincide with the 244th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy. The commemorative event pays homage to a U.S. Navy tradition, where sailors enjoy the relaxation of a beach party without having access to land. Guests are invited to come aboard and enjoy an array of sweet and spicy BBQ food, craft beer, wine tastings, and country line dancing lessons all while enjoying live music by teen sensations, Sean Oliu and The Coastline Cowboys.

“We are incredibly fortunate to host an event that not only pays tribute to the U.S. Navy but also benefits the Battleship IOWA Museum and our Veteran’s Reintegration Center,” shared Joleen Deatherage, Director of Development aboard the Battleship IOWA Museum. “We are honored to bring the community together 363 days a year while providing a haven for Veterans that wouldn’t be possible without the gracious support of our donors, volunteers, and community partners.”

The Veteran’s Reintegration Center offers a space where veterans of all ages are welcomed, respected, and invited to socialize and enjoy the comradery of other veterans in the unique physical environment of an iconic former military vessel. The Veteran’s Reintegration Center invites veterans and transitioning service members to participate in a variety of programs, activities, and opportunities that help provide the tools and skills needed to assimilate back into civilian life.

Hosted on the fantail of the famed battleship, Steel Beach is fun for the entire family with live music selections from “>Sean Oliu & The Coastline Cowboys, line dancing lessons from Fred Astaire Dance Studio, craft beer from Lagunitas and wine tastings from Cavaller Wine Exchange, all of whom are providing services pro bono in support of the fundraiser.

Tickets to Steel Beach BBQ are available now starting at $65 for adult members and $75 for adult non-members. Tickets for members under 21 years of age are $25 and $30 for under 21 non-members. Tickets can be purchased on the event website: pacificbattleship.com/steelbeach/. Parking is available at the Cruise Terminal Parking Lot. Please enter at First Street and Harbor Boulevard.

Special Room Rates are available at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel located in San Pedro for the Steel Beach BBQ Fundraiser. Guests can use the promo code: SBB for exclusive room rates and complimentary shuttles to the Battleship IOWA Museum, Valid from Friday, October 12th through Monday, October 14th. For more information visit doubletree.hilton.com

Battleship IOWA Museum is located at 250 South Harbor Boulevard, Berth 87 in San Pedro. For more information on this event and museum programs visit pacificbattleship.com or call (877) 446-9261.

About Battleship IOWA

Entering service more than 70 years ago, the USS IOWA deployed to the South Pacific in the early years of World War II.  The iconic battleship served with distinction in that war and later, during the Korean War.  In the 1990s, as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the IOWA concluded her active duty.  Now serving the public as a not-for-profit historic naval ship museum, Battleship IOWA inspires civic engagement through Education, Veterans, and Community efforts.  Forged in war and guardian of peace, the proud ship is the sentinel of the Los Angeles Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history, having carried upon them three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors.  Visitors are awed by the IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans.  Battleship IOWA Museum is open to the public daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For information on special events, group tours, educational programs and Naval retirement flag service, visit pacificbattleship.com.

For Business Minded U.S. Veterans

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maintenence-worker

The best way to provide good jobs for U.S. veterans is by helping other U.S. veterans to start successful businesses, because veterans like to hire veterans.

They share a camaraderie and respect for each other unlike any other. And they all have been trained how to work together effectively for maximum results.

Six years ago, in order to get more U.S. veterans employed with good wages I began teaching business minded veterans how to start a strong and successful Maintenance company from scratch. I realized that the more veteran owned businesses I created, the more veterans would get hired. I have developed 80 U.S. Military Maintenance businesses since. It has been an overwhelming success! They have earned millions of dollars and are employing thousands of other veterans.

But before I go further, I will introduce myself. Then I will summarize what I will do with you if you choose for me to show you how to start a maintenance business of your own, in just a week.

Many have earned $10 K or more in their first month. There are many U.S. Military Maintenance owners to talk with. You can talk to them personally and listen to their own success stories.

I have been putting on career fairs on military bases for more than a decade. And I have a job board exclusively for businesses seeking to employ U.S. veterans. HirePatriots.com.

It also has a unique job board for residents who want to hire local U.S. military to help with chores, and to provide a way to thank them; and for active duty, veterans and their spouses to earn extra money when needed. – My life has been devoted to serving our US military, veterans, and their families for more than 40 years. My primary focus has been to help provide ways for active duty and veterans to financially support themselves and their families well.

Book Cover of the Patriotic Business PlanI have written a best-selling book: The Patriotic Business Plan: How to Leap Over Your Competition. The book explains how I received voluminous local and national media attention, medals from two US Presidents, and financial support from civic leaders, organizations, and businesses. It was written in 2013 when social networks were exploding and changing the way businesses market themselves and increase profit. It has worked for myriads of businesses across the US and continues to grow in its effectiveness to immediately increase any businesses’ prestige, and bottom line. As its creator, I personally work with you to get your business started and to help you to also leap over your competition.

Learn more about these active duty, veteran and military opportunities and resources at PatriotHearts.

 

Best Veterans Day Deals and Freebies for 2019

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Veterans Day Freebies text with image of a patriotic star

Here is your guide to some of the great Veterans Day free meals brought to you by Spruce!

Below are all the popular restaurants and other retailers that are giving away free meals, discounts, and other freebies to veterans on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11, 2019).

If you’re not seeing your favorite restaurant from last year, they may still be participating but haven’t listed their 2019 information. This list is updated many times a day, so keep checking back on the Spruce website for more information.

Important: Please read through the Veterans Day Free Meals FAQ for important information you need to know before getting your freebie or a free meal, like military qualifications, restaurant participation details, and lots more.

You can find even more freebies for vets on the list of Veterans Day Freebies and Discounts for 2019. Here you’ll find freebies like free haircuts, car washes, and even hotel stays.

Golden Corral Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Monday, November 11, 2019, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Golden Corral will be giving out Veterans Day free meals and a beverage to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military or is on current active duty. This includes retirees, veterans, National Guard, and Reserves.

Details of the Free Golden Corral Military Buffet

All Golden Corral locations will be participating, and no identification is required to get your free dinner buffet and beverage.

Over the last 17 years, Golden Corral served over 5.4 million veterans a Veterans Day free meal!

Red Lobster Veterans Day Free Appetizer or Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active duty military, reserve, and military veterans can stop by Red Lobster and get a free appetizer or dessert on Monday, November 11, 2019.

More Details on the Red Lobster Veterans Day Freebie Including Appetizer and Dessert Choices

Valid proof of military service is required to get this free food.

Chili’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Visit a participating Chili’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans Day free meal if you’re a veteran or on active military duty.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal Including Menu Options at Chili’s

You’ll need to show proof of military service to get your Veterans Day free meal.

Olive Garden Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Olive Garden is having a Veterans Day free meal for all active-duty military and military veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

Details of the Free Meal Including Entree Choices at Olive Garden on Veterans Day

You’ll need to verify with Olive Garden that you currently are or used to be in the military. Proof of military service usually includes bringing your military ID, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, or Veterans Organization Card.

Applebee’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Stop into a participating Applebee’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans day free meal.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Applebee’s

Check out the link above for everything you need to know about this Veterans Day free meal, including what sorts of ID they consider valid, the full list of menu items you get to choose from, who is eligible, etc.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion & Beverage (November 11, 2019)

Stop into any Outback Steakhouse on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get a free Bloomin’ Onion and coke product. This offer is for all military personnel that has a military ID.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is also giving out a discount of 20% off the total check from November 8 to November 11, 2019, valid for military, police, firefighters, and first responders with a valid ID. A 10% discount continues thereafter.

Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Lunch (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Texas Roadhouse will be giving away Veterans Day free meals for lunch on Monday, November 11, 2019, to active, former, or retired military.

Details on the Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Meal Including Entree Options

This is for dine-in only. Hours may vary by location, so be sure to check a Texas Roadhouse near you for specific details.

Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Veterans and active duty military can stop into any participating Red Robin location on Monday, November 11, to get a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and Bottomless Steak Fries.

More Details on the Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal

Be sure to bring your military ID to take advantage of this Veterans Day freebie.

Free Veterans Day Pancakes at IHOP (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year on Monday, November 11, IHOP will be honoring veterans and active military men and women with the choice of a free breakfast combo or a free stack of Red, White, and Blueberry pancakes.

More Details on the Veterans Day Free Meal at IHOP

Individuals must show proof of their service before receiving this offer, such as coming in their uniform, showing a photo of them in their uniform, or showing a military ID card.

Dunkin’ Donuts Veterans Day Free Donut (Monday, November 11, 2019)

To show their support, Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free donuts to active duty military and veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

This free Veterans Day donut is limited to one per customer while supplies last, but no purchase or military ID is required.

It’s possible that not every Dunkin’ Donuts location is participating, so be sure to call ahead to double-check.

Cracker Barrel Veterans Day Free Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Veterans Day, Cracker Barrel is giving veterans a Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert or Pumpkin Pie Latte…for free!

All 660 locations are participating in this Veterans Day free food offer this year.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (November 11, 2019)

Visit a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers near you this Veterans Day, November 11, to get a free combo meal card.

You must be a veteran or active duty military to pick up the card, but it can be redeemed by anyone through November 30, 2019.

White Castle Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

White Castle is giving out a free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo Meal (numbers 1-6) to any veteran or other military members who come in on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th.

Proof of military service is requested but might not be required. Be sure to contact your local White Castle restaurant ahead of time to confirm that they’re participating.

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day Free Wings and Fries (November 11, 2019)

Buffalo Wild Wings is having their annual Veterans Day free food deal on Veterans Day, which is Monday, November 11. All day, veterans and active duty military get a free order of small boneless or traditional wings and a side of fries.

This offer is valid at participating Buffalo Wild Wings locations and is for dine-in only. Beverages, taxes, and gratuity are not included in this offer.

Proof of military service is required, which can include a permanent or temporary military ID card, DD214, or veteran’s card. You may also come wearing your military uniform or bring a photo of you wearing it.

TCBY Veterans Day Free Frozen Yogurt (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year for Veterans Day, all vets get their first 6 oz of frozen yogurt absolutely free.

This Veterans Day freebie is valid at participating TCBY locations only, so be sure to call and confirm before you head out on Monday the 11th. Proof of service might be required, so make sure to ask about that, too.

Twin Peaks Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active and retired military members can visit Twin Peaks on Monday, November 11, for a complimentary Veterans Day meal.

This Veterans Day free meal includes items from a special menu, so be sure to ask about it when you visit a participating Twin Peaks locations.

Veterans Day Free Lunch or Dinner at Green Mill (November 11, 2019)

This Veterans Day free offer from Green Mill is for veterans who show proof of service.

Eligible customers can pick any one item from their menu (pizza is limited to a small 1-topping deep dish, and Wing Samplers are excluded). This offer is for dine-in only.

Contact your local Green Mill Restaurant & Bar to see if they’re participating.

Green Mill also gives out a 10% discount to veterans and active-duty military all year long.

Nekter’s Free Veterans Day Smoothies and Juices (November 11, 2019)

If you’re a veteran or active military member, you can stop in to Nekter’s on Veterans Day, November 11, for a free 16oz smoothie or juice.

You can take advantage of this free Veterans Day offer at your local Nekter location, but it’s possible that not all of them are participating, so you might call ahead of time to double-check.

You need to bring proof of military service with you.

Friendly’s Free Veterans Day Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Friendly’s is giving veterans and active military a free Veterans Day breakfast, lunch, or dinner (dine-in only) on Monday, November 11.

If you come in the morning for breakfast, the Veterans Day free meal is the Big-Two-Do, which comes with your choice of Brioche French toast, two buttermilk pancakes or two slices of toast, two strips of crispy Applewood-smoked bacon or two sausage links, and a side of two made-to-order farm fresh eggs. Also included is a cup of coffee.

For lunch and dinner, veterans and active service members get the All-American Burger (with or without cheese) served with fries and your choice of soda, iced tea, or a hot beverage.

You’ll need to present your military ID or honorable discharge card to get this Veterans Day freebie at a Friendly’s near you.

54th Street Grill Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

54th Street Grill will be having a free meal up to a $12 value for veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Proof of military service is appreciated and can be shown via military ID or by visiting in uniform or showing a photo in uniform.

Find out where a 54th Street Grill is near you.

Hurricane Grill & Wings Veterans Day Free Meal (November 11, 2019)

Another free Veterans Day meal can be had on November 11 at Hurricane Grill & Wings. Veterans and active duty military can stop in on Monday to pick from a menu of seven items.

These are the options: 10 Boneless Wings, Yuengling Beer-Battered Fish & Chips, Teriyaki Beef Bowl, Half Pound Steakburger, Chicken Caesar Salad, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and Chicken BLT Tacos.

This free meal deal is for dine-in only, coupons and other offers can’t be used simultaneously, taxes and gratuity are not included, and military ID or uniform is required. Check with your local Hurricane Grill & Wings to see if they’re participating.

Hy-Vee Veterans Day Free Breakfast (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Veterans and active duty military can stop into a Hy-Vee grocery store with in-store dining and get a free breakfast on Monday, November 11, 2019, between 6-11 AM.

You’ll get to choose from a wide variety of breakfast foods set out on a buffet.

All stores are said to be participating, but you might still check with a Hy-Vee near you to confirm.

Continue on to Spruce to view the complete 2019 list.

Toby Keith and a veterans’ group teamed up to give a wounded Marine an all-terrain wheelchair

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Toby Keith and wounded Marine in his new wheelchair onstage during concert

Before Toby Keith took the stage for his concert in Pittsburgh, he had a special gift for retired Marine Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh.

While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, Rumbaugh was carrying a fellow Marine to safety when he stepped on an IED resulting in the loss of both his legs. After being fitted with a prosthetic he told CNN in 2012 that he worked hard for two years to beat the odds and walk again. Since then he has become a motivational speaker, sharing his story with others.

On Friday before the start of Keith’s show at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Rumbaugh was presented with an all-terrain wheelchair, courtesy of the country singer and a veterans’ nonprofit.

Rumbaugh told CNN affiliate WPXI he wanted this type of wheelchair because it will allow him be more active outdoors and play with his six-month-old daughter.

The Independence Fund, a nonprofit that assists wounded veterans, teamed up with Keith to give Rumbaugh the $16,000 wheelchair, along with backstage passes and a meet and greet with the singer.

As Rumbaugh was leaving the stage in his new wheelchair, the crowd started chanting “U-S-A!” The Marine enjoyed the concert from the side of the stage and even joined Keith onstage during his performance of “American Soldier.”

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

From Seal Team Six To Stand-Up | Former Navy Seal Robert O’Neill Makes His Stand-Up Debut With Help From David Spade and Whitney Cummings

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Robert O'Neill holding microphone during stand up comedy routine

He famously killed Osama bin Laden, but now, SEAL Team Six’s Robert O’Neill is trying out a new career in stand-up — with some help from David Spade and Whitney Cummings feeding him material in his ear.

This marks the fourth “Build A Comic” segment on Lights Out having previously featured NBA player Nick Young, Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder and Spade’s driver Matt Stonerock.

Comedy Central’s Lights Out with David Spade is hosted by iconic comedian David Spade and follows The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday through Thursday each week.

The late night series, which debuted on July 29, 2019, features Spade’s signature take on the pop culture news of the day and includes a rotating group of his comedian and celebrity friends, while also incorporating sketches and field segments.

Watch the clip!

Source: Comedy Central

Steelers Honor World War II Veteran Brothers at Home Opener

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World War ll veterans on the field being honored at Steelers Game

Two brothers who served in the Army during World War II were honored during the home opener for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks with the ATI Salute to Heroes Award.

Former Cpl. Theodore “Ted” Joseph Sikora, 99, served in the Battle of the Bulge in France in 1944 and 1945. Former Sgt. Ed Sikora, 95, served in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1943 and later in the Pacific theater of operations.

The brothers expressed thanks for the tribute. “We’re not used to this much recognition, and I’m very grateful,” said Ted Sikora.

Ed Sikora said he was proud to serve. “I cherished the opportunity to serve my country,” he said.

Although they are natives of Washington, Pennsylvania, both now live in the Pittsburgh area.

Ted Sikora was a crew member on a Curtiss C-46 Commando and Douglas C-47 Skytrain as a member of the 8th Army Air Force. Those transport aircraft dropped much-needed supplies to the besieged American soldiers.

He was stationed in England on D‐Day — June 6, 1944 — and remembers having trouble sleeping because of the noise from the airplanes taking off for France.

He also remembers planes returning damaged and on fire. He said he witnessed a lot of things he will never forget, and that he doesn’t really like to talk about.

After the war, Ted Sikora worked as a machinist. Now, he enjoys working out and taking Zumba classes.

Continue on to Defense.gov to read the complete article.

9 Reasons Recognizing Companies and Employees is Important

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Diverse group of employees raising their hands in cheer

By Mona Lisa Faris

We all remember scientists Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner’s experiments famous for exploring the benefits of using rewards and positive associations to change both behavior and emotion. Lately, I’ve seen it to be true with companies as well.

Few corporate awards are as highly sought-after or revered as a prestigious Best of the Best title.

A company achieving recognition in this area values inclusion and has a hand on the heartbeat of diversity at all times. There are two ways to achieve this award, either by employee vote or by a third party strictly looking at numbers.

In my opinion, independent third-party HR auditing, such as filling out a survey, outweighs employee-based evaluations.

Nine reasons recognizing companies and employees is important:

  1. Demonstrate You’re Doing Something Right

Business awards are important badges of honor to companies. The Best of the Best list is an opportunity to demonstrate to clients, employees, investors, customers, and the general public that yes, you’re doing something right, according to a third party and an objective panel of judges.

Whether or not your company has had direct involvement with these awards, the results are an invaluable source of information. It gives you an edge above your competitors, too.

  1. Diversity Matters

A company that makes it on a Best of the Best list believes in diversity and understands the importance of salaries, benefits, leadership, personal growth, and wellbeing, ultimately revealing what employees really care about in the workplace. Organizational cultures built on inclusion drive engagement, which drives business and financial performance.

  1. Employee Retention

Recognizing a job well done affects employee retention. When employee morale receives a boost, employee retention is increased. When a company is rewarded, it’s encouraged to strive to stay on the Best of the Best list and do even better. It is not a good sign when a company makes it on the list for a year and then doesn’t make it the following year.

  1. Better Job Performance

Recognition keeps employees feeling proud and passionate about their work. When employees are recognized, they are encouraged to perform better, and consistent recognition—especially when they’ve gone beyond the call of duty—will enhance their job performance. According to Great Place to Work, “Employees who say they have a great place to work were four times more likely to say they’re willing to give extra to get the job done.”

  1. Attract Great Talent

Award-winning status can help you compete for great talent. Customers, prospective employees, and the community hold top workplaces in high regard. If you’re recognized as a Top Veteran-Friendly Company, for example, it encourages veterans to apply with less hesitation knowing you’re diverse and inclusive to the veteran community. You present the following message: “Welcome, veterans, we’re here to train you and support you.”

  1. Media Exposure

Recognition as a Best of the Best company will keep your diversity message and branding alive all year long. Companies on the Best of the Best list performed two to three times better than their counterparts. Being awarded is a great opportunity to brag and put out public notices of achievement, such as a press release. It’s a great recognition to put on a website or use the Best of the Best logo to brand and market across the nation. Some companies go as far as putting the logo on their advertisements, marketing material, and at events and job fairs.

  1. Compete by Advantage

With better performance comes stronger revenue. When you’re on that list, it means you’re diverse, which means you’re getting diverse perspectives, ultimately putting out the best product and service because of the different views you have within your company. With a recognition, you also have a wider consumer base, which gives you an advantage over non-diverse competitors. At the end of the day, every company wants to be recognized, but companies are also interested in what other companies in their industry are being recognized for.

  1. Increase Innovation

Diversity drives innovation. It’s helpful for managers to establish a culture in which all employees feel free to contribute ideas, implement feedback, and give credit where credit is due. Employees who are given an environment to speak freely, no matter what the feedback is, are more likely to contribute their culture, ethnicity, gender, and work experience to drive innovation. Companies that foster and implement diverse groups for feedback, such as an ERG, help define culturally sensitive products, services, and demographics, and these diverse groups bring the greatest innovation.

  1. Increase Profits and Revenue

Recognition keeps employees satisfied, ultimately increasing revenue and profits. The bottom line is that we want our employees to be satisfied at work, because that is what influences company performance. Thus, diversity and inclusion are the keys to a company’s bottom line.

As a publisher of six-diversity focused magazines, I know it’s imperative to recognize companies for their achievements in diversity, and we do this through an independent survey. Any company award is a positive marketing strategy. Just as with any survey, do your research. My advice is to never participate in a “pay to play” investment because it’s not an investment. Our reports are never “pay to play.” By publishing these much-anticipated lists, my goal is to encourage those doing a good job to continue doing a great job, and for those who are not there yet, to entice them to join the bandwagon—to see what their competitors are doing and show the value. Companies that put diversity first, implement it in their policy, and practice it every day from the top down see the fruit of their labor and deserve praise.