In this episode we talk about starting a non-profit, building a brand, and connecting veterans with their community with Mike Erwin.
The Pre-Brief: Our guest today is Mike Erwin. Mike is an Active Duty Army Officer and the founder of an amazing foundation Team Red White and Blue. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
- Mike’s Connection to the Military Community: Mike started out going to High School in Syracuse and then attended the United States Military Academy. He graduated in 2002 as a Military Intelligence Officer and continues to serves today.
- Business idea: While studying at the University of Michigan where he studied positive psychology. There he encountered a former soldier that was struggling with his transition from the military. Mike realized that there was a need for an organization to serve as the bridge between veterans and the community that supports them. There were organizations that helped soldiers at the point of injury, but not any organizations that helped veterans as they rejoin their community. Mike created Team Red White and Blue to be that bridge.
- First Steps: Mike filed the paperwork to start his non-profit and established the first chapter of Team RWB in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The organization worked with social workers at the local VA hospital to identify veterans that needed support. Initially, the idea was not to use physical fitness to bring people together, it was to help raise awareness about the issue and to facilitate interactions for the veterans.
- Answers for the BIG 5
- One thing to learn: Be thorough and know your customer
- One action to take now: Get started is key to overcoming paralysis analysis
- Favorite book: Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Favorite Resource: facebook.com Facebook Groups are a great way to connect with others.
- One thing to enjoy outside of work: Fitness is so important. It has so many second and third order effects.
How to reach Mike and Team RWB.
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