IVMF Success Stories

Explore dozens of real stories from program graduates on how the IVMF has supported them in achieving their goals post-service.

Most Recent IVMF Success Story

Navigating the Next Phase: Bryan’s Transition from the Navy to Civilian Life

Daniel D’Aniello, Bryan Silva, and Kiera Silva, at the Mechanicsburg Chapter Supply Corps Birthday Ball 2024Bryan Silva’s narrative is one of evolution, resilience, and the constant pursuit of growth.

Originating as an enlisted sailor, he ascended through the Navy’s ranks to become a seasoned Naval Officer, guided by a profound dedication to duty and an unyielding quest for personal advancement. With over two decades of service under his belt, Bryan now stands at the brink of a new chapter in his life, poised to leverage his accumulated skills and determination in the civilian sphere.

Bryan’s path to this moment wasn’t always straightforward. Like many young adults, Bryan’s entry into the Navy was influenced by family tradition and a desire for adventure. Reflecting on his early days, Bryan recalls the sage advice of his grandfather, a World War II Navy veteran, who saw in Bryan the same spirit of exploration and duty that defined his own service.

“My grandfather’s stories of service, coupled with the wisdom imparted by other veteran mentors who continue to inspire me today, were powerful motivators for me,” Bryan reflects, contemplating his decision to join the Navy. “My grandfather passed on invaluable lessons learned through his own experiences. It was this combination of duty, exploration, and the chance to make a difference outside of the shores of my hometown in California that ultimately led me to begin my own Naval career.”

Bryan’s journey, though not without its twists and turns, is emblematic of the transformative power of perseverance. From his initial enlistment in 1998, just a month following his high school graduation, to his subsequent rise to the rank of Engineering Limited Duty Officer (LDO), Bryan’s naval career was characterized by a steadfast commitment to excellence. Yet, as retirement loomed on the horizon, Bryan confronted the challenging prospect of transitioning to civilian life—a challenge that would ultimately redefine his path forward.

It was during this pivotal moment of uncertainty that Bryan’s encounter with the Syracuse

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Career Training

Onward to Opportunity (O2O)

O2O is a career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and employment services support to transitioning service members and their spouses. Learn how veterans like Zach smoothly transition from Intelligence work to Cybersecurity.

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VPPCE participants

Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement (VPPCE)

VPPCE is tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans and military-connected individuals who have an interest in pursuing careers in politics. Read a few stories from participants finding true success in the political field afterwards.

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Daniel Trtanj

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV)

EBV is a first-of-its-kind initiative that turns veterans into entrepreneurs! The EBV program leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans like Daniel Trtanj, founder of At Eaze Extracts.

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Dr. Cheryl Ford at Vwise

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)

V-WISE is a women-focused training program in entrepreneurship and small business management that provides tools, ongoing support and business mentorship to veterans, active duty service members and military spouses aspiring to become successful entrepreneurs. Read Cheryl Ford and others’ experiences with V-WISE.

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Boots to Business (B2B)

For those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. Check below how B2B instructors empower military members to create opportunities and more B2B success stories.

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Alejandro Ramirez

Veteran EDGE

Veteran EDGE (Engage. Develop. Grow. Evaluate.) is a four-day conference dedicated solely to veteran and military spouse business owners and the ecosystem that supports them. Here is how EDGE empowered vets like Alejandro Ramirez to transition their military traits and values into successful businesses.

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Dewayne Kimble

Community Navigator Pilot Program

CNPP was an American Rescue Plan initiative launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that ran from November 2021 to November 2023. IVMF’s CNPP provided free access to a curated network of trusted experts, resources, programs, training, and one-on-one services for veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs.

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Charles Chuck Holden


R.I.S.E. is a six-week virtual, bootcamp-style program dedicated to veteran and military family business owners, focused on the pivoting of the business not only to remain sustainable, but to explore ways to expand.

Read Chuck Holden’s advice for R.I.S.E’s participants.

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