Take full advantage of the various opportunities specifically catered to Veteran entrepreneurs and small businesses. Find all the resources in one location at this FREE conference! Operation: Start Up & Grow is the premier veterans business conference in Upstate New York for our veterans, veteran families and members of the military community who want to start or expand their own small business. This event will include breakout workshops, networking sessions with guest experts and exhibitors, award ceremony, free breakfast and lunch.
Matthew “Griff” Griffin
Matthew “Griff” Griffin is a 2001 United States Military Academy graduate commissioned into the Field Artillery. Between 2003-2005, Griff deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan with 2d Ranger Battalion as a Company Fire Support Officer. He planned and participated in over 100 special operations direct action missions.
After departing the military in 2006 as a captain, Griff worked in the defense sector that eventually led him back to Afghanistan to assist with medical infrastructure development. After witnessing the positive effects of economic growth in conflict areas, Griff co-founded Combat Flip Flops with a fellow Ranger and began the mission to manufacture peace through trade.
Ms. Barbara Carson
Ms. Barbara Carson joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in Washington, D.C, in June 2013. She is the Associate Administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), which aims to empower Veteran entrepreneurship. In this role, Ms. Carson oversees the OVBD team in formulating, implementing, administering and promoting policies and programs that equip veteran, service member (active duty, National Guard, Reserve), and military spouse owned small businesses with counseling and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities.
Ms. Carson brings a unique perspective and first-hand insight to her position. She is currently a Colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserve, with more than 20 years military experience, assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs. Additionally, during a family military assignment to Japan in 2006, Ms. Carson embarked on her first entrepreneurial adventure where she co-developed an outdoor personal training business with another military veteran.
Schuylerville native Jason Young is the owner of Clark's Steakhouse, a successful restaurant in Schuylerville, NY. Young started Clark's in 2014 and the restaurant has become a top ranked restaurant in Schuylerville known for their high quality steaks. Young has guided the restaurant's revenues to a million dollars by offering a family friendly atmosphere and quality food at reasonable prices.
Young attributes his entrepreneurial success to his experience as a flight medic in the U.S. Air Force. After four years of military service, Young worked as a salesman for Sears and Verizon before launching his business.