Trust Vets connects veterans with business pros

Group has new office in area.

Trust Vets was just an idea by Joe Johnson of Minnesota in late 2012. He wrote pages of notes to bring his idea to life. He bartered with a printer for some fliers and business cards. The next six months Johnson spent promoting the mission with no network, no website, no meetings; just the idea of uniting veterans for success.

Today veterans are served in multiple states and host monthly networking meetings in multiple cities. Trust Vets is uniting veterans and empowering them to continue serving our communities here at home.

The group’s goal with be relevant long after Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The mission of Trust Vets is to unite business professionals and entrepreneurs who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Trust Vets started with eight members three years ago and now has 368 plus Veteran Business Professionals participating in approximately 15 states.

Through regional member coordinator, Don Roden, Trust Vets began in Dayton in August. Dayton members including Roden, all are veterans and have offices and businesses.

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Besides being a Trust Vets coordinator, Roden is areal estate, moving and storage marketing director at Horizon Home Loan in Kettering. He is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, active, and has participated in Trust Vets in multiple states.

Nonveterans who believe in the cause and sponsor veterans may also join. The monthly networking meetings are open to current and prospective veteran members, and, also, to companies or individuals that support veterans and want to connect with them in business or offer discounted services or products for Veterans.

Trust Vets is an online directory of American Military Veteran business professionals. “We also meet locally and work together to help each other out in business,” said Roden. “We are a network of business professionals and not about finding jobs for veterans. Yet, many times we have veterans attend our meetings and they get connected to another veteran business professional that is looking to hire a fellow veteran.”

David Crookham, Trust Vets member, said, “Most veterans have the qualities that people are looking for in another person. Namely being trustworthy, hard-working, and loyal. Trust Vets is a way for individuals to find veteran business owners and business professionals to do business with. Vets is also a way for veterans to socialize and network.”

Crookham is an account executive for a Mechanical Contracting Services of Rieck Services. As a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Crookham spent close to 12 years on active duty as an H-46E helicopter pilot. He deployed twice overseas in 2009 and 2011. His last duty station was in Cherry Point, N.C., as a search and rescue pilot from 2012-15.

Dayton member Eric Baller is a financial advisor at First Command in Beavercreek. He said Trust Vets is an opportunity for veterans to get their name out in the community. Baller served in the U.S. Army for seven years.

John Holmes, of the Dayton group, served his country for 20 years. He is now a retired U.S. Navy, F-14 Fighter Pilot. He now serves clients at Finance and Insurance at Farmers Insurance in Dayton.

Ed Laprath, also a member, is president of Master Gloss Car Detailing, Huber Heights. Laprath served in the Marines and Air Force for eight years.

Trust Vets membership allows veterans to attain their goals by surrounding themselves with fellow professionals who work together to succeed.

Veterans and patriots are welcome Second Tuesday of each month from 8:30-10 a.m. at Dayton and Miami Valley Better Business Bureau, 15 W. Fourth St. #300, Dayton.

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