EBV PROGRAM: CELEBRATING 10
YEARS, 10 UNIVERSITIES IN 2016
A GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT ON …
“Before I decided to go to EBV in 2007, I still felt like I was transitioning out of the military even though I was already four years out. I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life,” shared John Raftery, a 2007 graduate of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.
Raftery enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1999 as an infantryman. In 2001, he successfully completed indoctrination and training to become a member of Marine Recon. In 2003, he deployed with 1st Recon Battalion for Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 2003, Raftery attended Dallas Baptist University, receiving his undergraduate degree in Accounting with the help of the GI Bill. Like many veterans, Raftery had difficulty finding work after graduation and eventually took a part-time job as an accounting assistant in Dallas, Texas. Dissatisfied with his job and his future prospects, Raftery read about the EBV program online. He had always wanted to start a business, and thought the EBV program might offer the fresh start for which he and his wife were looking.
“For me, EBV was a launch pad,” recalls Raftery. “I came with aspirations, dreams of entrepreneurship. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start a business; I just didn’t know how to get off the ground. Well, after the EBV program, I was equipped with the tools, the building blocks to actually be able to forge a path to success and have the confidence to launch my venture.”
Upon graduating in 2007 from the EBV program, Raftery launched a venture called Patriot Contractors, a commercial construction contractor out of Dallas, Texas. A service-disabled, veteran-owned company, Patriot Contractors was named by Inc. Magazine in 2012 as number 106 of America’s 500 fastest growing private companies. Ranked fifth in construction, Patriot Contractors was also the sixth fastest growing company in the Dallas area. “We were very blessed and honored to be recognized on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing private companies,” said Raftery.
Reflecting on the impact that EBV has had on his professional and personal growth, Raftery adds, “I feel that the impact EBV has had on me and my family will be one that lasts a lifetime. If you’re a veteran and thinking about entrepreneurship, the EBV program is a wonderful program to get you launched out, to help you understand the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, to build relationships, to be able to find that mentorship that you look for when launching a venture.”
A proud member of the inaugural EBV class of 2007, Raftery has nothing but thanks and praise for the EBV program, Mike Haynie and the team, and the donors. “Thank you for all that you have done over the years; congratulations on ten years and many more years to come. God bless.”