In the summer of 2017 Pinehurst Army Veteran and small business owner Jason Criss Howk and Lisa Richman the Program Director and Outpost Manager of the Given Memorial Library discussed the idea of honoring Sandhills Veteran Business owners and Entrepreneurs by holding a forum around Veterans Day.
After partnering with Lindsey Farmer Director of the Sandhills Community College (SCC) Ryan Veteran Center, Teresa Remolds Director of the SCC Small Businesses Center and Dedman Leadership Institute, and Teresa Taylor of the SCC Veterans Affairs office they approached a variety of local veteran businesses and non-profit organizations in the community about joining the event.
On 9 November 2017 seven veteran business owners and non-profit leaders gathered in two community forums to discuss their businesses, why they chose to start in this location, their ups and downs, their best advice for new entrepreneurs, what the community can do to better support veterans and what the community has done well in support of veteran owned businesses.
The decision was made by participants to build a guild of veteran business owners and their spouses (to include non-profits) so that we can help each other, help new veteran entrepreneurs, and better to connect with you community. Our first sponsor/partner in this effort was the Sandhills Community College family.
The founding members and partners of the SVBEG include:
Members: AYM LLC, Railhouse Brewery, Cactus Creek Coffee Roasters, Kirk Tours and Limousine, The Patriot Foundation, Blue Diamond Staging, Double Eagle Restaurant, G. Charles Bakery, K2 Solutions,
Partners: Given Memorial Library, SCC Ryan Veteran Center, SCC Small Businesses Center and Dedman Leadership Institute, SCC Veterans Affairs office, Moore County Partners in Progress Economic Development, Sandhills SCORE, The Pilot Newspaper.