By ICIC | November 13, 2023
ICIC takes pride in spotlighting the accomplishments of Veteran alumni and alumni supporting Veterans from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, exemplified by entrepreneurs like Carl Chaisson and Darcella Craven, who are not only making significant strides in their businesses but also impacting the Veteran community.
As the national recruitment partner since the program’s inception, ICIC has had the privilege of cultivating enduring relationships with business owners committed to both expanding their enterprises and fostering community development.
Under the guidance of President & CEO Carl Chaisson, United One Communications transcends being merely a technological powerhouse; it stands as a tribute to the profound influence of education and community, shaped significantly by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. With expertise in cybersecurity, systems engineering, network operations, and program management services for both U.S. government and commercial customers, United One Communications exemplifies the synergy between cutting-edge capabilities and community-focused endeavors.
Since 2015, United One Communications has proudly served as a defense contractor, offering crucial support to the U.S. Department of Defense and actively contributing to the employment of veterans.
Chaisson’s commitment to staying ahead of technological advancements led to the founding of United One Communications, addressing the escalating threat of cybercrime. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program played a pivotal role, providing access to a curated curriculum that honed technical skills and fostered strategic thinking and business acumen. The program not only contributed to Chaisson’s education but also connected him with a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, creating a community of shared experiences and mutual support.
Education, skill-building, and community engagement form a symbiotic relationship within United One Communications. The knowledge gained through education extends beyond the technical realm to areas of leadership, strategy, and business development—pillars that fortify the company’s foundation. The skills acquired through the Goldman Sachs program become a driving force behind United One Communications’ ability to secure critical government contracts and contribute to national cybersecurity efforts.
In parallel, the sense of community instilled by the Goldman Sachs program ripples through United One Communications’ corporate culture. The emphasis on collaboration, shared learning, and mentorship creates an environment where employees actively participate in the company’s mission to bolster cybersecurity defenses. United One Communications, under the visionary leadership of Carl Chaisson, exemplifies how education and community building are not just catalysts for individual success but foundations for building resilient, skilled, and socially conscious businesses that contribute meaningfully to the community and the nation.
Darcella Craven, the driving force behind VetBiz, embodies a commitment to empowering veterans through entrepreneurship. After serving in Combat Communications for 10 years in the U.S. Army, Craven went on to lead the dedicated team at VetBiz as their Executive Director for 20 years.
VetBiz guides veterans through the complex maze of entrepreneurship. Their mission goes beyond offering services—it’s about transitioning military skills into tangible small business success through education, personalized consulting, and mentoring. VetBiz doesn’t just help veterans take the leap into entrepreneurship; it’s a steadfast ally for those already in business, providing advanced counseling, resource access, networking opportunities, CEO Roundtable membership, and executive-level mentorship.
The impact of VetBiz is profound, with impressive statistics showcasing their commitment to building veteran businesses. A staggering 4,900 new jobs, 1,437 successful trainees, 8,451 entrepreneurs assisted, and more than 68,000 counseling sessions underscore their mission’s success. VetBiz serves a diverse community, including active-duty personnel transitioning to civilian life, Reserve and National Guard members, honorably discharged veterans, military spouses, families, and veteran caregivers in Missouri, Kansas, and Southern Illinois.
The impact of VetBiz includes 4,900 new jobs, 1,437 successful trainees, 8,451 entrepreneurs assisted, and more than 68,000 counseling sessions.
Darcella Craven transitioned from VetBiz in February of 2023, leaving the nonprofit in the capable hands of Seth Miller, a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant of 21 years. Her passion to help military entrepreneurs decide if starting a small business is the right choice for them has landed her in a full-time position as a Regional Advocate at the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. Leveraging over two decades of experience in the non-profit and entrepreneurship space, Darcella specializes in program implementation, change management, and group training. Currently pursuing a DMG degree in Management from Webster University, she is on a mission to empower experienced and nascent entrepreneurs, especially those transitioning from the military, veterans, or family members. Darcella focuses on fostering relationships, creating transparent communication, and developing soft skills and life skills for successful transitions, passionately helping people think differently, speak differently, and believe in themselves and their potential.
Darcella Craven’s exceptional commitment to veterans and entrepreneurship is further highlighted by her selection as a scholar in the 2019 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. As one of 152 scholars in the 12th cohort of the program, operated by Babson College, Darcella exemplifies the program’s mission to create jobs and economic opportunities by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services. Her journey with the Goldman Sachs program signifies her dedication to advancing economic opportunities for veterans and fostering their success in the business landscape.
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