Executive Highlight

Mike O’Brien

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Development Director/COO, 5 Star Veterans Center
Business Founded: 2012
Phone: (904) 866-3694

605 Hannah Park Ln
St Augustine, Florida 32095

How long have you been in your industry?11.5 years
Why did you choose your industry?Having never served in the military but always having a deep appreciation for all our service members, serving our veterans through our non-profit, is a way to give back to all those that have given us so much.
Who are your typical clients?Veterans from post 9-11, many dealing with PTSD, TBI and other emotional scars from the battlefield. These veterans are homeless and broken when they arrive.
What do you like best about being in this industry?Helping our battle scarred veterans return to independent living, returning them to their families, churches and communities.
What are common problems you see?Many civilians do not understand the invisible scars of PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
What advice/tips do you have for clients?One day at a time. Healing and recovery does not happen over night.
When is your busy season?Jan-April but we stay busy year round.
What keeps you up at night?The thought of a veteran having a mental breakdown.
How do you market yourself to grow/expand your business?We are very active on all social media outlets and I do a good number of public speaking events. We also have four special events per year that draws a lot fo attention and financial support.
How involved are you in the community?Rotarian at the West Jacksonville Club, Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus member of Council 16492., dog walker for elderly neighbors.
What is your favorite not for profit or charity?5 Star Veterans Center
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting into this business?Your heart must be in the mission of the operation
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?Running, biking, swimming and exercising in general. Love the beach

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