Operations

BTU #221 - Navy Veteran to the Cannabis Industry @ CannaCraft (Cheriene Griffith)

BTU #221 - Navy Veteran to the Cannabis Industry @ CannaCraft (Cheriene Griffith)

Why Listen:
The cannabis industry is absolutely exploding. In recent interviews I’ve talked with Veterans in the Crypto Currency / Blockchain space, as well as the Cyber Security space. Each of these industries seems to attract people who are passionate about the product or service, and a mission-driven culture. Well, in today’s interview, we talk about a very different industry that shares these same two characteristics: the marijuana industry. We talk about working in a stigmatized industry, how unique this field is given the current legislative environment, and how it’s not just an industry filled with stoners… there are legitimate operators, investors, and business people. And, we talk about why military Veterans should consider making this part of their career path.

About Cheriene:
Cheriene Griffith is Vice President Of Production at CannaCraft, a community oriented, sun-grown, sustainably farmed, Seed-to-shelf California cannabis producer & distributor. She started out at the Naval Academy, served in the Navy for five years, and has worked in Quality Assurance and Operations positions at the J.M. Smucker Company, the Crystal Geyser Water Company, La Tortilla Factory, CHEVOO, and more.

BTU #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

BTU #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

Why Listen:
Elliot has a long history in startups and operations. In this interview, we talk about the hiring process on how to play competing offers off of each other in order to get the best outcome possible. We talk about a variety of ways to get a job. We talk about Elliot’s experience in the General Manager position, a role that may be appealing to many Veterans. We talk about changing one’s job title from a big to a small company and how to approach this. And we talk about operations - operations in a tech startup, as well as operations in the cost-driven physical products world.

About Elliot:
Elliot Wilson is the Vice President of Operations at ZipRecruiter, which is the smartest way to hire and get hired. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served in the Air Force for nearly three years. He has worked as a Senior Product Manager at Pictage, General Manager overseeing 250 employees at Lovejoy, and Area Director of Distribution at Sherman-Williams. He holds both an MS and MBA from Loyola Marymount University. 

BTU #184 - Navy Veteran to Blockchain & the Cyrpto Asset Industry (Hector Rosekrans)

BTU #184 - Navy Veteran to Blockchain & the Cyrpto Asset Industry (Hector Rosekrans)

Hector Rosekrans is the Director of Policy and Operations at Messari, which is building an open data library to enhance transparency for the cryptoasset industry. Prior to joining Messari, Hector worked at JP Morgan in capital markets operations and technology, where he researched tokenized securities for the Broker Dealer and Custodian. He developed a proof of concept smart contract for asset management on an Ethereum-based enterprise platform. Hector served as an Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, and has worldwide operational experience. He holds an MPP from UC Berkeley, where he studied cybersecurity and strategic deterrence, and a BSc from the US Naval Academy.

Why Listen: 

This is the second interview I've done about Blockchain and Crypto currency. It's a great primer on this technology as well as operations and startups. Hector is great at explaining each of these, as well as how he got his first job through Twitter! He also talks about why Veterans may have an unfair advantage in the emerging blockchain space. 

BTU #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

BTU #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

This is a terrific episode for any member of the Armed Forces. Rob joined Aol as their 500th employee and was there for their growth to over 10,000 employees. He went through a similar process with eTrade. But he got his foot in the door, directly out of the military, by applying to be a customer phone support person! His story is one of failing and taking risks, or being part of an internet revolution, and continuing to change his career path over time. I found his story inspiring and hope that you do as well.

BTU #149: Marines to Finance & COO @ Alpha Architect (Patrick Cleary)

BTU #149: Marines to Finance & COO @ Alpha Architect (Patrick Cleary)

This is a must-listen-to episode. Patrick covers so much ground in this interview - we talk about choosing a team that is lean and mean; we talk about his experience not being sure of what to do for 5-6 years, wandering from business school to consulting to ultimately finding a place he passionately calls home; we talk about work and life balance and how to think about this as an entrepreneur; and we talk about finance and entrepreneurship. There is so much great advice in this interview!

BTU #109: 20 years in the Army, selling a startup to Mercedes, and co-founding GoodWorld (John Gossart)

BTU #109: 20 years in the Army, selling a startup to Mercedes, and co-founding GoodWorld (John Gossart)

John Gossart is the Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of GoodWorld (www.GoodWorld.me), the FinTech startup revolutionizing philanthropy and social payments.  GoodWorld was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016 and D.C.’s Best Technology Startup. Prior to GoodWorld, John was an original partner at RideScout (www.RideScout.com), the tech startup acquired by Daimler-Mercedes in 2014.

BTU #105 - Nathan Smith: Marines to COO at Hire Heroes USA

BTU #105 - Nathan Smith: Marines to COO at Hire Heroes USA

Nathan Smith is the Chief Operating Officer at Hire Heroes USA - which provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses each week, and over 16k veterans and spouses since 2007. He started out at the Virginia Military Institute, after which he served in the Marine Corps for seven years as an Infantry Officer. After his transition from the Marine Corps, he started at Hire Heroes USA as a Deputy Director, and was subsequently promoted to Executive Director and then most recently, Chief Operating Officer

BTU #101 - Joshua Jabin: Marines to COO at the Travis Manion Foundation

BTU #101 - Joshua Jabin: Marines to COO at the Travis Manion Foundation

Joshua Jabin is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Travis Manion Foundation. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps for 12 years, first as a Aviation Supply Logistics Officer, obtaining his MS in Operations Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, and teaching Mathematics at the Naval Academy. After his transition to the civilian sector, Joshua worked as a Senior Management Consultant at the ReefPoint Group, before joining the Travis Mountain Foundation about 2.5 years ago.

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

Ben Deda is the Chief Operations Officer at Galvanize, a network of modern, urban campuses where anyone can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact. Since their founding in 2012, Galvanize has raised over $63M in funding. Ben started out at Notre Dame, after which he served in the Marines for seven years. After his transition from the Marines he worked at TruStile Doors in Operations, Marketing, and Sales, and eventually as Vice President of Commercial Sales. He then joined the computer software company, FullContact as their VP of Sales & Business Development. Ben also runs Denver Startup Week, the largest startup event in the US, and holds an MBA from the University of Denver

BTU #71 - Jeff Tiegs: 25 Years of Army Counter Terrorism to the Guardian Group

BTU #71 - Jeff Tiegs: 25 Years of Army Counter Terrorism to the Guardian Group

Jeff Tiegs is a Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Expert with over 25 years in US Army Special Operations. His combat experience includes operations around the globe to include multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is applying this expertise to Counter Trafficking in the United States and is the Chief Operating Officer for Guardian Group. Guardian Group is a non-profit that works with law enforcement to illuminate, disrupt, prosecute and relentlessly pursue child predators. After his transition from the Army, he attended Breakline Education, which we talked about in Episode 54 with Bethany Coates.

BTU #67 Don Faul: A Leading Veteran in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and more)

BTU #67 Don Faul: A Leading Veteran in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and more)

Don is the CEO at Athos, a company that offers a wearable technology that is fully integrated in workout clothing, and can track your muscle groups, heart rate, breathing level and more. They have raised over $50M in funding since their founding 4 years ago. Don started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as an Marine Corps as part of the Force Recon. After his transition out of the Marines, he went to Stanford Business School, after which he joined Google in 206 as a Manager of Online Sales and Operations. Two years later, he joined Facebook as the VP of Online Operations, and four years after that Pinterest as the Head of Operations. He serves on the Board of Nuru international, which listeners may remember from Episode #68 with Nuru’s founder, Jake Harriman.

BTU #57 - Alex Pedersen: Air Force to Google to Employee #5 at a Startup

BTU #57 - Alex Pedersen: Air Force to Google to Employee #5 at a Startup

Alex Pedersen is the COO of POLCO - an early stage startup that is a political participation platform for local governments. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he received his Masters of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served for seven years as an Air Force Officer, before transitioning directly to Google where he worked on Strategy, Planning & Analysis.

BTU #55 - Ashley Snyder: Air Force Medical Services corps to Google operations

BTU #55 - Ashley Snyder: Air Force Medical Services corps to Google operations

Ashley Snyder is the Global Process Manager, Finance Operations at Google. She started out at the US Air Force Academy, where she studied Operations Research and was a Distinguished Grad. After the Air Force Academy she went on to MIT, where she earned her Masters in Operations Research, while also serving at Draper Laboratories as a Operations Research Analyst. She then served for five years in the Air Force in a variety of capacities as part of the Medical Services corps, including positions as

BTU #47 - Tom Pae: Army to LinkedIn & Slack

BTU #47 - Tom Pae: Army to LinkedIn & Slack

Tom Pae is a Sales Enablement Manager at Slack - one of the fastest growing startups in San Francisco, who has raised $540M in funding. He started out at West Point, and served in the Army for over seven years as an Armor & Military Intelligence Officer. When he left the Army he went to Columbia Business School. After that, he joined LinkedIn - first as a Sales Operations Manager and then as a Senior Learning Technology Strategist. He is married to fellow Army veteran, RaeAnne Pae, who I interviewed in Episode 26.

BTU #45 - John Fenwick: Launching a Satellite Startup and Selling to Google for $500M

BTU #45 - John Fenwick: Launching a Satellite Startup and Selling to Google for $500M

John Fenwick is Head of Spacecraft Operations at Google. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served for 8 years in the Air Force as a Physicist & Space Acquisitions Officer. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Stanford Business School. After business school, John co-founded Skybox Imaging and served as their Vice President of Flight Programs. Skybox provides commercial, high-resolution satellite imagery and high-definition video and analytics services. Skybox raised over $91M in funding prior to being acquired by Google for $500M, as reported by the WSJ. Skybox is now known as Terra Bella within Google.

BTU #27: Katie Horgan - Marines to Operations at Early-Stage Startups

BTU #27: Katie Horgan - Marines to Operations at Early-Stage Startups

Katie Horgan is a the Senior Director of Operations at Crave Crush - a very interesting New York based Health & Wellness startup. She started out at the University of Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After that she served for over six years in the Marine Corps, serving as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, and Operations Officer, spending time as a convoy commander in Iraq and serving as part of a crisis response force in the pacific theater.  When she transitioned from the military she went to Columbia Business School where she earned her MBA.  From Business school she went to the NY-based startup, Plated, first as their Director of Operations & Logistics, and then as their Senior Director of Operations & Logistics.

BTU #25: Lee Haney - Marines to Goldman Sachs and Hewlett Packard Enterprise

BTU #25: Lee Haney - Marines to Goldman Sachs and Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Lee Haney works in Business Operations & Strategy for the COO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He graduated in the top 5% of his class at the Naval Academy, and served in the Marine Corps for five years as a Human intelligence Officer, with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. After transitioning out of the military, Lee attended the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Since getting his MBA, Lee has worked in the Finance Industry with Goldman Sachs as an Investment Banking Associate, before transitioning to HPE. Lee is also the CFO for Service to School, which regular listeners will remember is the non-profit organization that I have a love affair with - they provide FREE service to any veteran to help you get into your ideal college or grad school program

BTU #6 - Jimmy Sopko: Active Duty to Pinterest & High Tech

“Be open to the fact that you don't know what you don't know. Be willing to reach out and ask people what they do, what they like and don't like...be open to just learning and figuring out what's important to you and try to find a company that's right for you." – Jimmy Sopko

Jimmy Sopko is a Manager of Growth Sales at Pinterest. Jimmy got his start at Pinterest by rolling up his sleeves and taking a job at Pinterest as part of their Community Operations team. While this was a step back in terms of pay and seniority, it got his foot in the door and he was able to quickly work his way up within Pinterest... a company that has already tripled in growth since he joined. Jimmy is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and former Surface Warfare Officer. He's also an avid rower, having earned a Silver Medal in the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • The three approaches Jimmy took to get his first job (Recruiters, Networking, Mentors)
  • The importance of choosing a lifestyle NOT a specific role at a company
  • How he narrowed his job search down to the Technology industry and Pinterest
  • What it's like to join an internet rocket ship... at the very bottom
  • Why he thinks it may be better to skip grad school and going straight to industry
  • The difference between military leadership and Tech leadership
  • How customer-facing roles maximize your learning inside a company
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:30] Background
  • [2:40] Transition from the Navy to US Rowing Team and searching for a new career
  • [4:10] Three approaches to getting his first job (Recruiters, Networking, Mentors)
  • [6:38] Approaching the decision to leave the military
  • [8:40] Choosing to not join the Reserves
  • [10:55] The importance of choosing a lifestyle NOT a specific role
  • [11:55] Deciding to leave the US Rowing Team and enter industry
  • [12:53] Exploring career possibilities while rowing
  • [14:10] Narrowing a job search down to the Technology industry and Pinterest
  •  [16:30] Joining a rocket ship... at the very bottom
  • [17:57] Advice for skipping grad school and going straight to industry
  • [23:40] The difference between military leadership and Tech leadership
  • [26:50] How customer-facing roles maximize your learning inside a company
  • [27:52] Day-to-day life of a Community Operations / Customer Support roles
  • [30:00] Managing in an organization (vs. in the military)
  • [32:05] Day-to-day life in Growth Sales capacity
  • [36:50] Advice to those currently on Active Duty

 

BTU #3 - Robert Miller: Medical Devices, Operations, and Using a Recruiter

BTU #3 - Robert Miller: Medical Devices, Operations, and Using a Recruiter

Robert Miller - Robert is an Operations Manager in the Medical Device industry at a company called Drummond Scientific. Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rob enlisted in the US Marine Corps where he served as a technician on the stinger missile systems. After three years, while serving in Iraq he was accepted to the US Naval Academy, and returned back to the Marine Corps after graduating from USNA: