At first glance, VetCor Services may seem like a typical small business. The Florida-based company provides 24/7 emergency services for restoration of water and mold damage in commercial and residential property, and has earned awards such as the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year and Bright House Network’s Regional Business of the Year. What is more impressive than their long list of accolades is that VetCor is veteran-owned and they’re dedicated to hiring and employing veterans, currently providing careers for 25 former service members.
Paul Huszar, CEO of VetCor, is no stranger to the difficulties veterans are faced with when returning home from service. Paul’s own record includes graduating from West Point, receiving a Master’s in Engineering, leading battalions of troops, and eventually becoming the Director of Training and Leader Development for the U.S. Army Engineer School. Despite all of his achievements, it was still difficult for him to assimilate into civilian life. What Paul discovered was the challenge for veterans to apply their titles and skill sets from the military to civilian life, particularly for those from the engineering department.
After leaving the military, Paul was looking for employment and through a series of networking events met David Howard, who originally founded VetCor in 2013. When David saw Paul’s experience he immediately recognized the potential and hired him onto the team, where he was able to hire and deploy veterans as part of VetCor’s day-to-day operations. In 2014, Paul was offered the opportunity to buy the company and become majority owner, a role he still holds today. Paul’s drive and military experience provided him a can-do attitude and the logistical experience necessary for the industry – a major factor in the company’s success.
As with any driven entrepreneur, Paul is always looking for ways to expand. When the company was founded, David Howard said to him, “I’ll get the business, you build the business,” but there were a number of things that Paul had to learn in order to achieve this. Paul said he quickly, “realized there are a lot of things I didn’t understand in the civilian world that, frankly, caught me by surprise,” such as the, “two hardest things in business are getting the business and financing the business.”
Not long after this realization, Paul received an email about Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) and was immediately interested. After reading about the curriculum, Paul said that it “sounded perfect for [him],” so he applied, and was accepted. While the program in the Tampa Bay area was postponed because of hurricane damage, Paul is still eagerly awaiting the program in early 2018, so he can tackle what he sees as his two main problems: first, the executive education, “much of which I’m missing from my personal experience in education so it helps fill that gap” and second, financing, because Paul has basically funded the business himself, and, “probably went a little too fast and too aggressively because I didn’t take into account cash flow, diversity in customers, and all other kinds of challenges in the business world.”
Paul embodies the spirit of a great entrepreneur- he saw a need and filled it, both for veterans and for the restoration industry. Another unique and positive quality of his is that he isn’t afraid to acknowledge his needs, and knew exactly when to call on the assistance of ICCC. Paul is trying to pursue getting a good banking relationship and focusing on expanding his skills as an executive to grow VetCor. This will allow him to continue to provide jobs to veterans, and provide the best quality services to homeowners. VetCor will be heading into ICCC with years of good business behind them, and the mindset that they will grow more quickly and profitably in the future.
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