The veteran community has only grown stronger with the development and progress of veteran owned and operated businesses. These businesses are either founded by veterans, or founded with veterans in mind, and they offer insight into the leadership and entrepreneurial talent that exists within the veteran community. As these individual businesses continue to grow, it will mean more opportunities for veterans employment and their families as we know veterans hire veterans.
Colin Hartman, Co-Founder & CEO
Colin Hartman is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a Company Executive Officer in the 2nd Marine Division Communications Company.
After serving and attending the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Colin and his wife Sarah co-founded Harper Macaw, a fine chocolate manufacturer based in Washington, D.C. founded on a big yet simple objective: to turn chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation.
As an integral part of the Harper Macaw concept, Colin and Sarah wanted to give back to the rainforests where their cacao trees were grown. The Hartmans take particular pride in their direct trade cocoa beans, sourced directly from specific farms in Brazil, and a portion of their proceeds go to reforestation in Brazil’s Amazon and Atlantic forests. Harper Macaw in fact pays twice the market rate for good beans to give incentives to farmers to stay in the chocolate business.
The Harper Macaw factory is located at 3160 Bladensburg Rd NE. Hours are Saturday from 12-6 p.m. Hour-long factory tours are $10 per person and include a tasting. Tours are every Saturday at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5 p.m
Wayne Gatewood, Founder, President, and CEO
Quality Support, Inc.
Wayne Gatewood joined the Marine Corps in June 1966, in Rochester, New York at the age of 17. He served in the Republic of Vietnam during June 1968 through July 1969, with Sub-Unit One, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO). Mr. Gatewood retired from active duty at the rank of Master Sergeant.
Mr. Gatewood established Quality Support, Inc., a technical, management, and administrative support services firm, which mirrors the work ethic and values consistent of the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Gatewood is an expert in the Service Disabled Veterans Small Business Program under Public Laws 106-50, 108-93, and other related Laws. More importantly, Mr. Gatewood is known as an all-around veterans veteran and tireless advocate to help veterans in many realms.
On a volunteer basis, Wayne disseminates a daily Veterans News e-mail, including to HillVets Net, to an international audience, provides motivational and entrepreneurial seminars and small business briefings to both government and commercial audiences, and provides servicemembers and Veterans with cost-free pre-retirement counseling, mentorship, and networking support.
Learn more about Quality Support Here
Theodore “Ted” Lerner, Managing Principal Owner
We think Ted is great! As a real estate developer, managing principal owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team, and founder of the real estate company Lerner Enterprises, the largest private landowner in the Washington, DC area, with a wide portfolio of commercial, retail, residential and hotel properties. In 2015, Forbes Magazine declared him the richest person in the State of Maryland. Ted Lerner served in the U.S. Army near the end of World War II, and attended the George Washington University on the G.I. Bill.
Buy your Nationals tickets here!
Frederick “Fred” Smith, Founder, Chairman, President & CEO
Graduating from Yale, Smith was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for three years (from 1966 to 1969) as a platoon leader and a forward air controller (FAC). As a Marine, Smith had the opportunity to observe the military’s logistics system first hand. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying with pilots on over 200 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Captain, having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
As a student at Yale, he wrote an economics paper about an overnight delivery service in the computer age. Refining his logistics knowledge and experience throughout his military service, he went on to found FEDEX (originally Federal Express) and continues to serve as Chairman and CEO.
Mat Tully, Founding Partner
Tully Rinckey PLLC
On Sept. 11, 2001, while employed in the legal department of Morgan Stanley, Tully Rinckey PLLC Founding Partner and decorated Army veteran Mat Tully escaped from the World Trade Center. After relocating to upstate New York he began providing legal services to his friends and former colleagues who were facing employment discrimination based upon military service.
Mat has become a pioneer of litigation law regarding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects the civilian employment rights of military personnel.
In 2005, Mat deployed to Iraq with the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division based at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq. In 2012, he received the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained during a suicide bombing while serving in Afghanistan. His service there also afforded him the Bronze Star. Mat’s pursuit of disability litigation and veteran’s affairs came about as a result of his experiences during recovery from his combat-related injuries. Mat is the New York State commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), which assists wounded veterans like him in receiving veterans’ disability benefits, as well as other benefits to which service members are entitled. He recently retired from active duty, having served as an Army combat officer for close to 20 years.
Learn more about Tully Rinckey here!