Veterans Connect Radio
A spotlight episode of Atlanta Business Radio and powered by Business RadioX. Co-Hosted by Ryan “Redhawk” McPherson and Brandon Skolnick with Gathering Of Angels. Featuring veteran entrepreneurs, support organizations, outreach groups and more in the Atlanta area continuing to serve our families, our communities and our country.
Derek Smith / Financial Advisor
Phil Kuban / FranNet of Atlanta
I began my career as a marketing executive at 3M Company. In this role, I was exposed to independent entrepreneurs and gained a real sense of their work-life balance, something that I had never been exposed to even as a corporate executive. This led me to explore ways of starting my own business while recognizing that I was not an entrepreneur in the true sense. I had a young family to support and taking a high risk was not viable. I began my career in franchising in 1982 with VR Business Brokers. I soon realized that buying an independent small business was far more often, “the American nightmare” for people than “the American dream”. In 1985, I shifted my brokering practice to franchise area development. For more than 30 years, I have been helping people (almost a thousand of them) realize their dream of business ownership. Since 1999, I have been affiliated with the FranNet organization, the world’s original, premier network of franchise consultants. My proven track record in numerous franchise systems has been a key factor in my success as a FranNet consultant. Additionally, I have personal experience owning and operating retail and professional services businesses. I’ve been personally involved with master franchise development and have been able to use that experience in my consultations with first- time prospective franchise owners. I always suggest a client begin “with the end in mind”. I believe that the right franchise opportunity with the right exit strategy is the key to building equity wealth. My extensive experience is an asset for anyone looking for assistance with investing in a new or existing franchise opportunity. I am a principal owner and board member of FranNet, LLC, an international franchise company. I spend part of my time contributing to growth strategies for FranNet LLC, building the value of the company. My daughter Leslie and I recently celebrated our 16 th year as owners of FranNet of Georgia.
Jason Sobczak / Crossfit East Cobb
Grew up in Orlando, FL. Served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1991 to 1994
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of Florida, 1997. Long Range Surveillance Team Leader, H CO 121st Infantry, Long Range Surveillance, GA Army National Guard 2001-2005 Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom Licensed Georgia Residential Mortgage Loan Officer since 2003. Co Owner and Coach of CrossFit East Cobb since 2009.
Chris Sims / Crossfit East Cobb
Director – Fitness Fueling Awareness (501c3 dedicated to providing relief for Cystic Fibrosis). Married to my beautiful wife Jessica Sims, Daughter – Naomi 6yo, attends Mt Bethel and will attend Dickerson and Walton. Son – Sam 5yo, will follow sis starting Kindergarten next year at Mount Bethel. Moved to East Cobb in 1985. Mt. Bethel, Dickerson and Walton Graduate 1999. Favorite Teachers – Mrs Krosner and Mrs. Jedlica BA Social Science, Current MBA student at Thomas Edison State College. US Army Green Beret. US Army Ranger, 6 Combat deployments between Iraq (2003, 2015), Afghanistan (2009, 2010, 2012/13) and Colombia, South America (2007). Just hit 16 years service in the military.
John has had a distinguished career in both military and civilian service. John is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army where he served in the Field Artillery as well as a Financial Comptroller. With more than 20 years of service, he served in Corps Artillery, Division Artillery, Army Headquarters and Forces Command, the largest command and the generating force provider for combatant commanders – at home and abroad. He has served in Europe, throughout the Middle East and the United States. Among his awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Assault Badge.
John is the Author of Boots to Loafers, Finding Your New True North which outlines a proven process of transitioning out of the military and into the private sector. He is also a contributing author to Paddling Guide to the Sunshine State and An American Crisis, Veteran Unemployment, Stand by Them/How You can Help/Solution. He has been featured on The Mike Huckabee Show, the Dennis Miller Show as well as a number of radio appearances across the country.
John is a finance executive at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia. In his spare time, John spends his time travelling with his wife, Sailing in the British Virgin Islands, remote wilderness trips in the western United States, and helping our nation’s military and veterans make the transition into society and finding a job in the private sector.
John holds a BS in Finance from University of Central Florida and an MBA from Syracuse University. He lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia with his wife, the former Melissa K. Smith and their Australian Shepherd, Bear.