One of the things we are most proud of here at Sword & Plough is our commitment to strengthening civil-military understanding. Our team knows that veterans are highly skilled technical professionals, problem solvers, and proven leaders who are empowering assets to civilian communities and companies. Through our social media, email, blog, conversation starting products, and public speaking opportunities, we work to educate others about the incredible value that veterans provide. This month CEO and COO, Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez, participated in several events highlighting the civil-military divide and lessons learned in entrepreneurship.
Betsy kicked off the month at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City as a judge at the Bob Evans “Heroes to CEO's” award event. The winners included inspiring veteran-owned brands Fan Food, Mutt’s Sauce, and Vet Veggies. Emily and Betsy helped select the winners of the competition and joined Bob Evans leadership, The Mission Continues team, and Shark Tank’s Daymond John at the NYC event to recognize the winners. All three winners received a $25,000 business grant and a business coaching session with Daymond John.
While Betsy was in New York City with emerging veteran entrepreneurs, Emily was in Boston, Massachusetts at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit. The 2017 Forbes Under 30 is the most definitive gathering of today’s leading young changemakers and innovators in the U.S. Now in its sixth year, the 30 Under 30 offers an annual opportunity to embrace the optimism, inventiveness, and boldness of youth. In 2015, Sword & Plough co-founders were recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. This year, Emily spoke about her experiences as an entrepreneur during and after her military service. She was joined on stage by Kathryn Dill of CNBC, Jayson Browder of Veterans in Global Leadership, and Felix W. Ortiz III of Viridis. Meeting fellow veteran entrepreneurs and changemakers is one of Emily’s favorite things about leading at Sword & Plough!
After the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit, Emily and Betsy journeyed to Texas to participate in the MilBlogging conference. Emily was the keynote speaker and spoke to an audience of over 400 attendees and 35 other speakers. The audience was comprised of veterans, military spouses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and content creators. Emily shared the story of Sword & Plough and how it has grown from an idea to a viral social enterprise. She also shared many of the lessons she and Betsy have learned as social entrepreneurs, inspiring others to take action on their own great ideas.
After Texas, Emily headed to Wisconsin where she spoke at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater campus. The lecture was a part of the contemporary issues lecture series and was open to the public. Emily spoke about the civil military divide, how Sword & Plough bridges the gap, and how all citizens can work together to strengthen understanding by staying informed on matters of national security, starting meaningful conversations, focusing on how veterans are empowering assets and leaders, and forming relationships through shared experiences like those offered at veteran non-profit organizations such as Got Your 6, Team Red, White & Blue, Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues. Emily also met with a class earlier that day where she answered students’ questions about how she started Sword & Plough and balanced that with active-duty military service. Emily loves opportunities to share her experiences as an entrepreneur and military officer with all audiences and especially students, since she was a college student when she thought of the idea for Sword & Plough.
In addition to the exciting speaking events around the country, Sword & Plough held pop up shops during the month of October in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Check and follow our Facebook and Instagram pages daily for updates on where our next pop up shops will be held and for inspiration on great gifts to give this holiday season. We would also love for you to tag us in your next post! Use our hashtags #swordandplough and #repurposedforpurpose on Facebook or Instagram! Our pop up shops are hosted by our Brand Champion teammates. This month we recognized Robbin Alex as our Brand Champion of the month. We are so proud of Robbin!
The veteran charity Sword & Plough focused on this month is Ft. Hood Santa’s Workshop. Sword & Plough has donated over $35,000 worth of in-kind products to veteran causes and that includes a donation to Ft. Hood Santa’s Workshop. Fort Hood Santa’s Workshop is an organization that allows service member parents to select brand new toys, games and books for their children. Last year alone they ensured over 3,400 military children enjoyed a happier holiday. We encourage you to learn more about this organization and other veteran causes.
As always, thank you for all your support. We can’t wait to share more of our story with you next month!
The Sword & Plough team