Being a nonprofit is a tax status, not a business plan. If you are not approaching your nonprofit efforts as a business, then growth and sustainment will be incredibly difficult. FAVOB has some great Florida-based nonprofits in its network and this event will be utilized to introduce them and talk about the reasons to start (or not start) a nonprofit and some of the many difficulties in operating a nonprofit along with some resources that can assist. Our great guests will be representatives from the Camaraderie Foundation, Honoring the Heroes, OASIS of Central Florida, and the Zahara Veterans Network.
Neftali Rodriguez joined the Camaraderie Foundation in March 2018 as their Executive Director. The Camaraderie Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides private counseling and support services to combat the “invisible wounds of war” for post-9/11 veterans, current service members, and family members. Nef is a retired Army armor officer and served over 30 years with decorations including the Bronze Star during Desert Storm. After retiring from the Army, he served the next seven years in Afghanistan building the Afghan National Army Training Centers from the ground up as a contractor. He has more than 45 years of senior executive experience in program planning and management, risk management and leadership in diverse industries including civilian and military that span national and global markets.
Teresa Brady Heribacka is a Florida native, born in Titusville, FL, where her father was a space pioneer starting up Kennedy Space Center. Tess is currently employed at Attorneys’ Title Fund Services as a Member Account Advisor, and has been there for 23 years. She started her nonprofit, Operation America Standing In Support (OASIS), in 2007 after her sons' first tours to Iraq. She is the President and Co-Founder of this 501(c)(3) organization. In 2017 she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award signed by President Barack Obama, and the Humanitarian Award from Space Coast Daily. OASIS was also the recipient of the Non-Profit of the Year Award for the Space Coast Public Service Awards, presented by Sheriff Wayne Ivey. Today, OASIS has 3 Directors and 3 support staff, along with many great and valued volunteers. It’s been a great vehicle for allowing the general public to support the military. OASIS provides six themed package events per year, and has many fund raising and awareness events. It also provides the Col Matthew J. Hearon Scholarship annually to ROTC students.
Ryan Jones was born and raised in Illinois and grew up on the far Southside of Chicago. He joined the Army right out of high school and just retired on 1 December 2020 with 20 years of service. Near the end of his service, Ryan started his 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Honoring the Heroes, to give back to law enforcement and first responders. The organization provides a tactical bag filled with resources for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health for these daily heroes. Honoring the Heroes wants these public servants to know that they are loved and cared for by the community. Since starting in February of this year, over 500 bags have already been presented thanks to the generous donations of many organizations and individuals.
Hellena Pugh is the Founder of the Iola Marie Corporation, a holding company and Zahara Veterans Network, Inc. ZVN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established to connect women military veterans to each other and to resources within their community. ZVN is one of the only organizations nationwide to host monthly programs/events specifically for women veterans and they have been doing so since 2016. Hellena is an accomplished, results-oriented professional with a background of service as a corporate employee, a Marine Corps officer, volunteer for national organizations, and entrepreneur.