Veteran Small Business Week 2019

Stories of Success

Syracuse University’s IVMF is proud to support veteran small businesses through its ARSENAL of eight entrepreneurship and small business programs and three resource hubs. In the spirit of Veteran Small Business Week, read several success stories of veterans living their own “American Dream” through entrepreneurship with the support of IVMF.

Featured Businesses


Logan Bonney and Brittany Berry

Anything but Beer

 Logan Bonney, Air Force Veteran, Anything but Beer

Anything But Beer is a brewery that has grown out of passion for food and beverage, community, and the process of creation. The founders discovered that many people either dislike the taste of beer or cannot drink it due to dietary restrictions; yet they want to be included in the craft beverage scene. That’s when they set out to create beverages that meet the needs of this underserved group of people. Now Anything But Beer brews a wide variety of alcoholic beverages that meet those needs and more. Anything but Beer products allow a greater number of people to enjoy interesting craft beverages and to feel included by the craft brew community.

Logan Bonney is a co-founder and the CEO of Anything But Beer. He served in the Air National Guard for eight years, while simultaneously starting his first business, a rental property company in Syracuse, NY, which has been growing steadily for seven years. Logan earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University before attended EBV and Veteran EDGE.


Glennet Hannah

It's My House2

Glenett Hannah, Army veteran, It’s My House2

Glennet Hannah is the founder of Hannah Innovative Solutions and It’s My House2, Inc. After serving 12 years in the U.S. Army, Hannah graduated from Columbia University in New York at age 51 with her masters in social work. She went on to work with the VA in New Hampshire primarily with homeless vets and issues related to PTSD. A year into her career in New Hampshire, Hannah discovered she had a blood clot in her lung. Taking it as a sign to return to Georgia and start her own business, Hannah now focuses her career on providing holistic consulting and care to veterans and their families. She graduated from V-WISE Atlanta in 2019. Hannah is also a licensed realtor.

 “The spirit of entrepreneurship has been ignited and the fire will not go out; we are leaning in for each other! I’m forever grateful to VWISE, its mission, and vision to empower women veterans…We have not been forgotten!”


Popcorn Friday

Dan and Priscilla Schrubb, Marine Corps veteran and military spouse, Popcorn Friday

Originally from northeast Texas, Daniel Schrubb served 20 faithful years in the Marine Corps before retiring in 2015. Priscilla, his wife of 17 years, learned to cook at about the age of twelve and has been conjuring up ways to make her recipes ‘pop’ ever since.  Dan says, “She’s the creative, strategic thinker; I’m the technical, operations type.”

Together, they created Popcorn Friday, an eclectic assortment of sweet, savory, and specialty gourmet popcorn flavors that are uniquely delicious.  Popcorn Friday offers these products with exceptional customer service and customized services for gifts, favors, and special events. The family settled in the Texas Hill Country area and they just celebrated two years of creating fun and amazing popcorn. IVMF has long been a part of their journey with both Dan and Priscilla attending multiple entrepreneurship training conferences and events. Their hope is that their efforts will help make lasting memories and bring families and friends closer together.


Nick Ripplinger

Battle Sight Technologies

Nick Ripplinger, Army Veteran, Battle Sight Technologies

Nicholas Ripplinger enlisted in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer at the age of 17. Due to his young age when he chose to serve the country, a wavier signed by both of his parents was required before he could proudly take his oath.

Nick advanced through the enlisted ranks faster than most of his peers and was hand selected for several high profile positions such as the Division Commander’s After Action Briefer for the Multi-National Forces Iraq-North. He was selected over 50 other Non Commissioned Officers for this position. Nick was also selected as the European Command Protective Services Operations Non Commissioned Officer In Charge where he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the third highest peacetime award. He was also awarded several other medals, ribbons, awards, coins, and certificates.

He suffered a combat-related injury in Iraq in 2009 and fought through his injury for two more years before being medically retired from the U.S. Army in 2011.

Nick is currently raising two sons with his wife, Leah, at their small family farm in Germantown, Ohio. He is the president of Battle Sight Technologies which creates pressure-activated chemiluminescence writing instruments that enhances communication in low-light and no-light conditions with the capability to be invisible to the enemy. The technology is being used in military operations and with first-responders. Nick has attended multiple IVMF entrepreneurship trainings.


Tracey Richburg

Savannah Sauce Company

Tracey Richburg, Army veteran, Savannah Sauce Company

Tracey Richburg, CEO of Savannah Sauce Company spent years as a US Army medic before beginning her journey as an entrepreneur with her own line of condiments.

The Savannah Sauce Company, based in Savannah, GA, specializes in preservative-free, all-natural condiments like hot sauces, ketchups, relishes and marinades. The company’s portfolio includes 23 varieties, sold in over 40 stores across six states and online. Richburg has plans for expansion, too – Savannah Sauce Company will soon be selling a cookbook filled with submissions from chefs and home cooks around the country.

Savannah Sauce Company is partnering with the local homelessness authority to help build homes for veterans in a project called, “Tiny Homes for Big Heroes.” Richburg strongly believes in the social responsibility of business and is happy to be able to give back to her community.

The sauces of the Savannah Sauce Company can be found in select Whole Foods stores as well as online at Savannah Sauce Company. She is a proud graduate of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans program.


Danique Masingill

Leashes of Valor

Danique Masingill, Navy veteran and military spouse, Leashes of Valor

Danique Masingill is a United States Navy Veteran, and an advocate serving the warrior and military community. She served honorably from 2002 to 2007 as a Master at Arms Second Class and Protective Service Agent. In 2013, Danique earned a bachelor’s degree in European history and German literature and linguistics from Syracuse University, using the Post-9/11 GI Bill before going on to earn an Executive MPA at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 2014.

She is also military spouse, Onward to Opportunity graduate and entrepreneur living in DC. She owns and operates Leashes of Valor which connects veterans with service dogs to assist in mitigating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).


David Sharpe

Companions for Heroes

David Sharpe, Air Force veteran, Companions for Heroes

David Sharpe, a 6th generation veteran, was just 21 years old when two men in his unit in the Air Force security forces committed suicide. One of them had been recently married and had a one-year-old daughter. He found himself in a spiral of PTSD and survivor’s guilt and couldn’t find adequate treatment for either.

One day, friend asked if he would go with him to a pit bull rescue. There were eight puppies, all rescued from a local dog fighting ring. One of them, a little five-month-old girl, paid him no attention. That was the one he adopted and named Cheyenne.

His PTSD symptoms continued to worsen. One day he finished of a bottle of Jack Daniels and went into his bedroom, removed his .45 pistol from his top drawer, put it in his mouth and began to cry looking at the wall. He started to squeeze the trigger. Cheyenne wouldn’t let him. One month later, Sharpe found himself in the same spiral. This time, he shut and latched the door, ready commit suicide with the same pistol his father had used in ranger school. Cheyenne busted right through the door.

Inspired, he founded Companions for Heroes a service that connects veterans with shelter dogs and cats and helps them to save each other through.

To grow Companions for Heroes, Sharpe attended IVMF’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans.

“The resources the organization provides and the people who work and support the organization all create a prolific, phenomenal experience that have helped me, and the company, reach the place we are today.”


Nastasha Standard

Norie Shoes

Natasha Standard, Army Veteran, Norie Shoes

After retiring from the U.S. Army, Natasha moved to Memphis and took a position with Williams Sonoma’s regional headquarters as a supply chain manager working in global supply. She also earned a second master’s of art degree from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Eventually, Natasha felt uninspired. Channeling her love for fashion, Standard set off to Milan, Italy and attended a prestigious footwear development and design school. She returned to the US and launched Norie Shoe Company which seeks to design and handcraft beautiful but wearable Italian-made shoes that foster women’s organic confidence so they can stand on their power. Natasha attended EBV to help grow her business.


Sherman Williams

Body Agua

Sherman Williams, Army Veteran, Body Aqua

Sherman Williams was inspired to research health and hydration following his time in the U.S. Army. He founded Body Aqua, a health water that provides over 1000% of daily recommended vitamins and minerals, is diabetic friendly, has no caffeine, no coloring, no artificial flavorings, and target specific areas of the body like no other beverage. Body Aqua™ provides a proactive solution for improved health and enhanced beauty.

Sherman attended EBV and Veteran EDGE to support his business growth and development.

His connection to IVMF allowed Sherman to learn of Walmart’s two-day supplier event for entrepreneurs and small businesses to attend information sessions and the opportunity to sell their products on Walmart’s shelves. After presenting his product, Body Aqua was selected to move forward to the next round of Walmart’s Open Call.


Jonathan Norton

RopeSafe

 Jonathan Norton, Army Veteran, RopeSafe

During his last assignment in the Army, Jonathan was leading his mountaineering platoon in a 90-foot rappelling evolution when a student lost their footing while initiating a rappel. The soldier became inverted and swung in a pendulum-like motion and partially sheared the rope and edge protection. Fortunately, the student was unharmed, but the edge protector failed. After other similar experiences, Jonathan was inspired to create RopeSafe.

RopeSafe is a product of Peak Safety Systems, LLC, a product development company that develops, tests, and sells edge protection systems for specific market segments to capitalize on the gap and lack of adequate edge protection within defined market segments.

Jonathan has attended EBV, Veteran EDGE and IVMF’s acceleration challenge.


Renette Dallas

True Pop Popcorn

Renette Dallas, Air Force Veteran, True Pop Popcorn

Air Force veteran Renette Dallas created Life by Dallas in 1999 out of a desire to assist others in obtaining optimum health. It continues to be the mission of Dr. Dallas, founder, and CEO. After teaching a fitness class, Dallas recommended the group increase their fiber intake with a popcorn snack, available at a health bookstore. Weeks later, the popcorn snack was discontinued.

Dallas took her knowledge in science and nutrition, her experience in fitness training to her kitchen and created a healthier version and sold it at the bookstore in small quantities. Dallas Popcorn was an instant hit. A few home air popping machines in the kitchen quickly expanded to a small commercial machine in the garage followed by two large commercial machines in the basement. She used her architectural and engineering experience to design and get approval for her own food processing center in Landover MD where a staff of 3 manufactured Dallas Popcorn for five years.

Fast forward to 2018, same great product but a new name and look! Dallas Popcorn becomes True Pop Popcorn with sleek film packaging (no more crooked labels) but the same great tasting, nutrient-dense whole grain vegan snack which is non-GMO, air-popped, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free, preservative free, no artificial flavors, low saturated fats, zero trans fats, and good dietary fiber.

Dallas attended Veteran EDGE 2018 to grow her business ventures.


Matt Butler

Rollors

 Matt Butler, Air Force Veteran, Rollors

During downtime between deployments overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting combat operations, Matt Butler conceptualized Rollors, a yard game that blended Bocce ball, horseshoes, and lawn bowling.

Upon returning to his native Minnesota, he developed a prototype in his garage that was an immediate hit at BBQs, parties, and other outdoor get-togethers. Around the time of the recession; Matt saw many local veterans out of work. As many had woodworking skills, he decided to hire local veterans to construct the wooden disks and wooden, cone-shaped targets used in the game in their home workshops.

After countless Rollors games were handcrafted, packaged and sold through Matt’s website, church and craft fairs, he began distribution in brick and mortar retailers across America and outside of the United States. Today, Rollors is a unique, award-winning game revolutionizing beach and backyard fun across the globe.

Matt has attended several IVMF programs including EBV and Veteran EDGE.