TBA.11.05.15The first annual “Vets Rock” event is scheduled this year for November 11th, Veterans Day at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. This combination concert and business conference is designed to celebrate veterans and promote veteran-owned businesses. The event will be broadcasted all over the North East and the organizers hope eventually all over the country. We are proud and honored to have been selected to speak to the veterans there about how to start and grow their own businesses.

Aside from the entertainment which will be stellar, over a hundred Fortune 5000 businesses will attend to discover how they can hire vets and engage their businesses for products, parts, and services. The folks who are putting this together (Mohegan Sun, Til Duty Is Done, and News 8),  have faced a multitude of challenges: assisting in organizing the vets and helping them in their participation; soliciting the donations of goods, entertainment, venues and services; getting the attention of the media; and pulling in the big corporations.

We will be donating our time to this great benefit by sharing our experiences and Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) with over 150 veterans owned businesses. Like our own undercapitalized business, their success is dependent on making the most out of their limited resources. Being resourceful, identifying and working with strategic alliances, and using our suppliers and buyers as bankers were some of the keys to our success that we will be sharing. By telling stories from our own business and those of our clients to demonstrate these points, the vets will have real-life experiences of success to move them closer to their own goals.

We were invited to Vets Rock because of our work with the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with disabilities (EBV).  This program is a crash course in entrepreneurship for disabled, but not disempowered, veterans. We are happy to donate our time over the years to helping this noble effort. After all, the vets are the perfect candidates for this kind of assignment of starting a business. They’re tough, work well under pressure, work well with team members, and understand goals and work hard to achieve them. We have learned that these are the qualifications required to start a business with very little resources, overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, work at it for years, and finally see it take off.

Vets Rock will take that message and more to the general public and the corporate community. We like this 21st century rebranding of Veterans Day. It’s an opportunity for music fans to discover the vet’s message: they are back home and ready to serve us in new ways. It’s an opportunity for corporations to discover the broad array of goods and services vets provide and learn how to diversify their contracts and employment by hiring vets and vet business.

Vets Rock has the potential to establish a new national tradition for another fun event Americans can enjoy on Veterans Day to rekindle respect, admiration, and patronage to these men and women who have given us all so much. This will give everyone an insight into what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and how we all can help. Bravo!

Great music will get people’s attention, but the cause behind it will transform this entertainment into action. Vets Rock! – In more ways than one! Happy Veterans Day everyone! Enjoy the show and support our vets!



Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular business site at www.thebarefootspirit.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.