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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

These veterans continue to serve their country.

Build On What You Know

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The USA: Four business owners, Jodi Johnson and  Dave Young of Oberon, Joe Fergus of COMTek, and Mark Gross of Oak Grove Technologies, all launched a business to provide support services to our troops. They all served in the armed forces and have deep experience and passion for their work.

Defenders of freedom. Patriots.  Veterans.   These people come from every part of society and from every corner of the nation.  They get special training and they serve their country.  Some enter combat and some get injured. Some die. In one way or another, they all come home,  and are discharged or retire from the military.  Many join the workforce and begin re-creating their life with the special honors and experiences of being in the US military.

You will get to know four veterans  who came home and started a business and became enormously successful.  They have all been creating jobs for many years now and are each highly respected within their industry.

In this episode of the show they each tell how they started companies to provide services to the military.   They explain that doing business with the federal government is different than selling goods and services to the private sector. 

All three have fast-growing businesses that range from $26 million to over $100 million in annual sales.

Build with People You Know

2:53 | Play Now   Jodi Johnson and her former boss,  Dave Young, worked together for decades before they launched their own company. They have complementary strengths which make for a strong leadership team.

Put Your Own Skin in the Game

3:37 | Play Now   Each of these business put their own money on the line!  We begin with Joe Fergus (COMTek) who used his personal savings to launch his business and nearly ran out of cash before he made his first sale. We also hear from Mark Gross (Oak Grove Technologies) and Jodi Johnson (Oberon). 

Listen to the Marketplace

3:50 | Play Now   Mark Gross started in business with an idea that didn't work.  In the pursuit of the wrong idea, he landed on the right one, Oak Technologies.  This segment begins with Joe Fergus  of COMTek  and includes comments from Scott Denniston of the US Veterans Administration.

Partner with Big Business

2:49 | Play Now   Arnold Punaro of SAIC explains how their $6 billion company looks for the right small businesses to play on its team.  Jodi Johnson (Oberon) and Joe Fergus (COMTek) also comment.

Consider Government Work

2:34 | Play Now   Scott Denniston of the Department of Veterans Affairs says that there is help for veterans who want to start and grow a business.  Dave Young (Oberon) and Joe Fergus (COMTek) comment.  More...

Put Your Values in Writing

2:03 | Play Now   Dave Young keeps everyone focused with a set of basic principles that are posted in the lobby for all to see. With Jodi Johnson, they attract great people who are building this company fast.    

Offer Fascinating Work

2:04 | Play Now   Joe Fergus (pictured),  Mark Gross,  Dave Young and Jodi Johnson  offer insights.  Joe says that pay and benefits are important, but interesting work is the best way to attract talent. 

Think Big from Day One

2:47 | Play Now   Concluding Remarks:  Jodi Johnson and the three other founders in this episode all launched companies with a goal to reach a hundred million in annual sales!