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Founders First CDC Awarded $25,000 to Veteran-Owned Small Business Owners Across The Country

Founders First CDC

San Diego, CA – November 10, 2022 Founders First CDC (Founders First), a national 501(c)(3) non- profit organization that empowers expansion in diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses, is pleased to announce the Veteran small business recipients of its 2022 Stephen L. Tadlock Fund – a grant program to support U.S. Veteran small business owners. The recipients had to meet specific qualifications to receive their grants, including: the company’s founder must be a U.S. military Veteran, have an active U.S.-based business, and employ between 2 and 50 employees.

“As Veteran owned businesses are critical contributors to the small business community, I’m proud to extend this fund for the second year in a row to Veteran business owners who need the extra boost of funding; as these funds help drive economic growth in communities which need it most during this

critical, and uncertain economic time.” says Kim Folsom, Founder and CEO of Founders First.

Inspired by Founders First CEO Kim Folsom’s brother, U.S. Navy Veteran Stephen L. Tadlock, the purpose

of the grant is to provide micro-investments to Veterans who own and operate small businesses. The

$25,000 grant has been awarded to 25 Veteran recipients who received $1,000 each, which will help aid in their employer-based small businesses.

“I’ve experienced what these Veterans have experienced when they leave the service – losing our support group, wearing a different uniform, and it can be daunting and challenging. But when a grant program like the Stephen L. Tadlock Fund becomes available, it’s an incredible pillar of support that these Veterans need to continue their success with their businesses,” says Arthur Bartell, U.S. Army General (Ret.) and lead judge for the Northern U.S. Stephen L Tadlock Fund.

Since launching, Founders First CDC has awarded more than $423,000 to minority and underserved business owners throughout the United States with a focus on Texas, Chicago, Southern California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“As a finalist for the 2021 Stephen L. Tadlock Veteran grant, we were able to gain the confidence and validation we needed to help us increase our runway, support our finances, and build a stronger

mentality as business owners to know we are onto something,” says Broderick Neel-Feller, founder of

 Jammin’ Together.

The 25 recipients of the 2022 Stephen L. Tadlock fund includes:

1. Mickey DennisMickey Dennis LLCLocust Grove, GA
2. Vincent HarrisVehtechConyers, GA
3. Mock AbdelaalVelos LabsMadison, AL
4. Haleema ShafeekGreen Office Furniture Solutions, LLCFranklin County, OH
5. Tiffany JonesTjl CollectionDallas County, TX
6. Eric VasquezVeterans Logistics GroupHawthorne, CA
7. Luvina SabreeGolden Ideas UnlimitedKilleen, TX
8. Nadean CarsonOya Construction, LLCRoanoke, VA
9. Willmour DanielYoung Chefs Academy Of Coral Springs FLCoral Springs, FL
10. Roland BakerRolovision, LLCBaton Rouge, LA
11. Nestor MoralesAccessible Solar & Energy StorageSan Diego County, CA
12. Elston JoynerBattery Express, Inc.Fort Lauderdale, FL
13. Joseph FinnieSew A Seed, LLCAnna, TX
14. Tucker BurnsThe Charge Stately ApparelAustin, TX
15. Warnita FosterDreams Of BeautyKilleen, TX
16. Derren BurrellVeteran Ventures CapitalKnoxville, TN
17. Broderick Neel-FellerJammin’ TogetherAnnapolis, MD
18. Quinton McnairStruggle Beard BakeryMatteson, IL
19. Beth FynboBusy Baby, LLCOlmsted County, MN
20. Edward McdonaldAspire Health And Wellness Management PCPeachtree Corners, GA
21. Joe ArenellaTracker Systems, LLCAustin, TX
22. Thomas HuebnerDockstar, LLCKingston, WA
23. Joseph GilbreathRise Up IndustriesSantee, CA
24. Steve Eden IiSmoke Sumthin BarbecueMenifee, CA
25. Cody BessPoprouser Inc.Miami, FL

The judging committee for the Stephen L. Tadlock Grant includes a panel of distinguished Veterans, representing multiple branches of service.

“When learning of campaigns to support small businesses, you rarely learn of local, and sometimes national, businesses that are owned and operated by Veterans. Through grants and outreach programs like the Stephen L. Tadlock Veteran Grant, not only are Veterans receiving monetary support to keep their businesses thriving, but also invaluable exposure for their businesses they may otherwise not have received,” says Dr. Chermaine M. Harrell, retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major, and Deputy Chief Transformation Officer at National University. Harrell is also a judge for the Northern U.S. Stephen L Tadlock Fund.

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of small business owners, there are more than 2.5 million Veteran majority-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ more than 5 million individuals. As a result, these businesses generate a revenue of more than $1.14 trillion, and account for an annual payroll of $195 billion.

“Programs like the Stephen Tadlock Veteran Grant provide financial assistance, but possibly more importantly, recognition for the hard work and dedication Veterans are providing to their communities every day once their service is completed. I’m honored to work hand-in-hand with Founders First CDC on their generous grant programs and serve on the judging panel for the Stephen Tadlock Veteran grant,

to continue to support our Veterans,” says Yolanda Clarke, United States Army Reserve Officer, CEO of Power River Industries and volunteer with Bunker Labs.

Founders First CDC programs guide business owners through the process of achieving accelerated growth through curriculum, hands-on assignments, and expert coaching. To learn more about Founders First CDC programs and grant qualifications, visit

About Founders First CDC

Founders First CDC is a non-profit 501c3 that was founded in 2015 and has received significant support from the regional community reinvestment banks to empower diverse founder-led, revenue-generating small businesses through three primary programs: (1) Founders Challenge; (2) Founders Bootcamp; and (3) Founders FastPath. By building recurring revenues, tech- enablement, and essential solution focus, Founders First serves as a catalyst for positive change to entrepreneurs of color and female founders to become leading employers in their communities. Learn more at

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