In This Episode
In this podcast, Rob McNealy interviews Justin Clark, the founder of Veterans Referring Veterans, a veteran owned business directory and networking organization, which advocates for and promotes, veteran owned businesses.
About Justin Clark
“I was born in Aurora, Colorado and raised in Colorado Springs. I absolutely loved what Colorado had to offer but was looking to see the world and serve my country. I enlisted in the Air Force as a F-16 Crew Chief. I was lucky with my first duty assignment being at Aviano AB, Italy. I was deployed often and was able to see many different countries, but more importantly, I learned of the bond that the military family holds. It was while I was stationed in Italy that the attacks of Sept 11th happened and changed our mission and the way Americans were viewed by others. I was deployed to Balad AB, when on my birthday November 1st 2004, I suffered a dual finger amputation. Though this could have been a lot worse, it has been a blessing in disguise as I was able to see the medical side of the war and bring some optimism to others that were wounded as well. Upon returning home from my injuries, life wasn’t the same. Shortly after, I became a full-time single father with two beautiful daughters. Not only was it a struggle to raise my children, but I still had the stressors of being active-duty. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, and the military family. I got married to my beautiful wife who has stepped up to be an amazing wife and loving mother of our children, and now our family is stronger than ever.”
Veterans Referring Veterans
“When I was medically retired in 2015, I retired in Colorado Springs and sought employment and an outdoor retail store. Working in that environment, I was in connection with either co-workers, or employees that were veterans as well as many veteran services that would advertise in the store. Even though I enjoyed all of the friendships that I had made in the store, I realized that retail was not for me. I utilized the G.I. Bill and sought after a degree in business. Having such a large military community in Colorado Springs, I was put in touch with more vets that were seeking better employment or were looking to start their own business. My father is a successful real estate agent and I would shadow him as I have always had an interest in real estate. I ended up using some of my military benefits towards getting my real estate license and have found great success in it. While helping people either purchasing, or selling homes, they would always ask if I “knew someone” that could help them with whatever project they needed. They would also ask if I knew if any of my “vet” friends could tackle specific jobs. Although I had met many veterans, I did not have all of their contact information to refer them out. Like me, my clients love to support local business, and when they are veteran owned, that is a major bonus. That’s where this idea for VRV came about, I wanted to have a directory, not only for myself, but for my clients. I didn’t want to have the typical directory website that wants all of your personal information and then the bidders get a hold of you. I wanted a place where the customer could look at a more personal website and get a feel for who they might want to hire. This website also gives the businesses the opportunity to customize their pages to their liking. Through the VRV website, customers are given the businesses contact information, so that they may contact them when they need to. All of the veteran businesses owners have been verified as an actual veteran that owns the business.”