Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Troop ID - The Most Vet Friendly Small Business in America

Troop ID Founders Matt Thompson and Blake Hall

I received an e-mail recently from my good friend, Matt Thompson, whom I first met when he was a student at Harvard Business School (HBS) and a leader of the HBS Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA).  We had just spoken on the phone about the fact that his business, Troop ID, which he operates with fellow Vet and HBS alum, Blake Hall, had just been named “The Most Veteran-Friendly Small Business in America.”

“Great speaking with you Friday morning and I appreciate you highlighting Troop ID in the White Rhino Report.  We're humbled to have been named The Most Veteran-Friendly Small Business in America by the US Chamber of Commerce and Spike TV and hope we can use this honor to inspire other businesses to focus on veteran-friendly hiring and business practices.  Below are a few of the articles that covered this award.”

Here is an excerpt from a recent article which ran on which describes the purpose behind establishing Troop ID:

“WASHINGTON - Army veterans Matt Thompson and Blake Hall recently found themselves walking a cheetah-print carpet in the company of Jeff Bridges, Burt Reynolds and Ben Affleck.

The two McLean, Va.-based business partners were invited to attend Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards in Los Angeles. And while other honorees at the event were awarded golden "mantlers," Thompson and Hall took home the title of the nation's most veteran-friendly small business.

After serving tours in Afghanistan and hunting high-value targets in Iraq, Army Rangers Thompson and Hall met in a less treacherous environment: Harvard Business School. When it came to starting their own business, the two veterans chose to help those who help the country.

Thomson and Hall recognized an unfortunate trend in military benefits: Many service members and veterans were not able to access their discounts and benefits online or in an efficient manner. To help alleviate this problem, Thompson and Hall founded Troop ID in 2010.”

A recent press release by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce adds some additional insight into why Troop ID has been singled out for its focus on helping and hiring veterans:

“Troop ID is a prime example of the way small businesses are having a big impact on the lives of veterans and their families,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel (ret.), executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “Embodying the innovative and responsive nature of small businesses, Troop ID has developed both a smart digital product to help veterans and a creative business model to hire them. We hope that others will be inspired by the high bar they have set, and we congratulate the entire Troop ID team on this well-deserved honor.”

“It is Spike’s honor to salute Troop ID, a thriving small business that recognizes the incredible leadership and abilities our veterans bring to the job marketplace,” said Niels Schuurmans, Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, Spike TV.”

Matt Thompson’s e-mail message to me continues:  

“As the leaders of  a company founded by combat Veterans, Blake and I certainly understand and appreciate the skills the military community brings to the workforce.  40% of Troop ID's employees are Veterans, to include the first Chief Information Security Officer at the Pentagon, Glenn SchoonoverCollaborating with best-in-class military and veteran organizations has also been a key focus of Troop ID's strategy.  Fortunately, many of our friends from HBS AFAA are now leaders in these organizations, like Derek Bennett (HBS '10), Chief of Staff of IAVA) and Yinon Weiss (HBS '11), Founder and CEO of RallyPoint.

Al, I'm grateful for the advice you gave me and so many other Veterans in Harvard Business School's Armed Forces Alumni Association to pursue something unique and use our skills to make a positive impact on society.  I hope this recognition my company recently received is another proof point that I'm following that advice.  Thanks for everything!

Warm regards,

Congratulations to Matt and Blake and the Veterans they employee and the large number of Veterans that Troop ID helps.


No comments: