Blayne Smith is the Executive Director of Team Red, White, and Blue. As Team RWB’s first employee, he has played a key role the development, growth, and operation of what has become America’s fastest growing Veteran-serving nonprofit organization. With chapters in over 200 cities, Team RWB now serves more than 120,000 members and enriches their lives by connecting them to their community through fitness, service, and leadership.
Blayne is a West Point graduate and former Special Forces officer with combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the distinguished honor graduate of the Army’s Ranger School and has earned numerous military awards including three Bronze Stars, one with “V” device for valor.
Blayne grew up on southwest Florida, earned his MBA from the University of Florida, and now lives in Tampa with his wife and children. He is a fitness enthusiast and avid athlete, and regular competes in running, triathlon, and CrossFit.
Dwayne Paro welcomes Rick Yost to today’s podcast. He is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of VeteransList.US, a service disabled veteran owned small business that provides the most comprehensive Veteran Owned business directory available. They help Veteran Owned Businesses be found. A service disabled veteran himself, Rick brings his military experience as an Army officer (12+ years), extensive education (PMP, MA, MBA, and JD), startup experience, and his business experience to bear in consulting, entrepreneurship, and providing support to multiple businesses. Additionally, Rick volunteers as secretary and board member for the U.S. Army Ranger Association.
Before becoming an Army officer and trekking out into the world, Rick grew up in a small town in South Dakota and loves to golf, hunt, and ski. Rick resides in Los Altos, CA with his loving wife where they are devoted parents to four children and one Labrador retriever ranging in age from 2 to 23 years.
Courageous Champions of Veterans Series
Dwayne Paro welcomes Jeremy Paris to today’s podcast, as part of our Courageous Champions of Veterans series. He was born in Buffalo, NY and joined the US Army immediately after graduating from high school. After ten years as a Personnel Administration Sergeant he left the military to become a government contractor performing computer support to the Department of Defense. Although the initial plan was to be a contractor for two years and then split, he spent the next 16 years supporting the same customer within different rolls. Jeremy has been on the staff of Veteran Artist Program (VAP), a non-profit organization, since 2010 and after leaving the DoD contractor world became the Executive Director of VAP.
While at an event in Washington DC with VAP Jeremy shook hands with people representing so many veteran-focused organizations that he was blown away. It was the realization that most veterans had no idea that these organizations existed that prompted Jeremy to start the Veteran Resource Podcast where he interviews veteran nonprofits and thought leaders. The new mission of the Veteran Resource Podcast is that every single one of the 20,000 veterans transitioning out of the military each month will have the opportunity to learn about and get plugged into the veteran organizations that are available to them.
Dwayne Paro welcomes Jim Raschella to today’s podcast. Jim is a Marine Corps veteran from Syracuse, New York. Jim was a born entrepreneur. From selling tickets to his backyard carnival as a child, to dreaming up multi-million dollar companies—Jim’s ambitions have always been as limitless as his creativity. After graduating high school in 2004, Jim joined the Marine Corps Reserve. After separating from the Marine Corps, Mark pursued a career in law enforcement and Jim began working on a degree in business. In 2013 Jim’s idea for his entrepreneurial endeavor became obvious, he partnered with a fellow officer familiar with the challenge his business would address, Jim and Mark created Off Duty Blue. Jim serves as Off Duty Blue’s Chief Executive Officer. Over the past 3 years, Jim has proudly overseen the company’s transformation from scribbles in a notebook, to the most comprehensive special event and detail management software platform available on the market.
Dwayne Paro welcomes Courtney Wilson to today’s podcast. Courtney is a former Army Engineer Captain, combat veteran and Bronze Star Medal recipient. She has been profiled in the New York Times and interviewed by CNN and NPR for her experience in Afghanistan, as well as named a ‘Military Entrepreneur Making a Difference’. A Creative Writing major turned Engineer turned MBA Candidate, Courtney is a creative analytic who believes equally in authenticity and efficiency. She lives in Boston, MA with her boyfriend, also a veteran and their adorable King Cavalier Spaniel, Molly.