ORLANDO, Florida -- Barron Mills, a Central Florida-based community activist and leader, has been named the first-ever executive director of the Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses [FAVOB], Orlando Chapter Chairman Don Morrell announced.
The hiring of Mills at the helm of the statewide veterans association is the first of its kind for what, until now, has been an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. However, the continuous growth of FAVOB -- whose membership now reaches 150 statewide -- led its leaders to create its first paid position.
"When the board interviewed Barron, it was clear to all that he has the passion, energy and expertise to grow FAVOB and increase our sphere of influence throughout the state of Florida," Morrell said. "Barron is a proven military and civilian leader, well known in the Florida veteran community. I am excited for the future of Florida's veterans!"
Mills, who grew up as the son of a career Army officer, served in the Marine Corps for 20 years. His prior experiences include leading Marines on missions in the Mediterranean, Haiti, Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan; screening and evaluating Marine Corps officer candidates; building and then assisting a 3,000-man Iraqi infantry brigade; managing operations for a schoolhouse with 14 unique courses and 6,000 annual students; managing a $42M project to develop and sustain a command and control training system; managing a six-month collaborative effort of 12 distinct organizations and 50 subject matter experts to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind technological training capability to the Marine Corps; and managing a $7M annual contract with a staff of 60 personnel providing project management, logistics, instructional systems design, engineering, cost analysis, and administrative/operations support to the Marine Corps. His eclectic background includes a degree in chemistry and a master's in program management.
"Florida veteran-owned businesses are very fortunate to have Barron Mills step up as our executive director," said Mack Sasser, chair of FAVOB's Spacecoast Chapter. "With Barron's tenacity and acumen, there is no doubt that he will take our efforts to the next level. Barron will create a long-needed, consistent, powerful voice and will be a catalyst in banding our fellow brother and sister veteran entrepreneurs together."
Along with his new primary duties as FAVOB's executive director, Mills' activities include serving as: strategist and connector through his company in solution, LLC; board member for the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation; vice president for the Central Florida Chapter of the First Marine Division Association; member of the Orlando Mission United Advisory Council; member of the University of Central Florida's Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board; member of the Valencia College Business Advisory Council; and mentor with the Camaraderie Foundation's Mentor Leadership Program and through Veterati.com. Mills is also a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class of '94.