HCC’s objective is to empower the best and brightest military talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Through training and mentoring, the organization is equipping veterans to redefine their sense of purpose.
Over 380,000 veterans currently live in the 13 counties which comprise the North Texas region; and as a nation, the public expense to train and develop these service men and women as the greatest military in the world costs the U.S. billions of dollars.
At HCC, we return the societal investment in military service members by integrating veteran talent into local economies as business owners, community leaders, and professionals. In so doing, the ultimate goal is to produce veteran leaders for the civilian sector as well as generate more jobs and support more programs for the 240,000 – 300,000 veterans who transition out of military service annually.
HCC focuses on 3 pillars
Veteran Entrepreneur Training (VET) Program
A 4-phase program designed to assist veteran entrepreneurs in every stage of the business lifecycle. Each phase has a curriculum specifically tailored to the knowledge needed at each stage of businesses growth.
1. The Recon Phase
The Recon phase is an 8-week, program for a committed group of ambitious veteran leaders. HCC has partnered with SMU Cox School of Business and the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. The program is non-degree bearing, and entails 48 hours of informative sessions, case studies, and covers expansive approaches to veteran leaders in business and community.
2. The Pre-Deployment Phase
The Pre-Deployment Phase consists of 4-hour classes, 3 days a week focused strictly on business formation. Classes will be on topics such as State filing for business formation, website design, developing sales techniques such as sales funnel and a unique selling proposition (USP), and developing a customer relationship management tool, just to name a few.
3.The Deployment Phase
The Deployment Phase is designed to ensure the business is running smoothly and that the entrepreneur has a solid grasp of the business side of their company.
4.The Occupation Phase
In the Occupation Phase, business scalability is key. To make it into this phase of the program a business is growing and will need the knowledge on how to successfully do so. The need for additional staff, space and product are the triggers.
By participating in the VET program, veterans acquire skills, fellowship and a professional experience that will lead them down the path of success. From their classroom work, lectures from business leaders, and practical applications of their interactions with entrepreneurs and business leaders, they will become equipped to face the challenges of entrepreneurship and succeed.
This education and training prepare veterans to hone key entrepreneurial skill sets that will allow them to develop, validate and grow their businesses. Additionally, the VET program also establishes a business eco-system where partnerships and strategic alliances are established in efforts secure greater profitability and sustainability for veteran-owned businesses.
The Recon (Concept) Phase
This initiative connects veteran participants with distinguished veteran entrepreneurs and high-level executives in the corporate and non-profit industries to develop the veterans' talents. Participants will learn varying methodologies of entrepreneurship; develop a network of peers, share ideas with mentors, as well as, others who will assist them to make an impact on the economy and their communities. Parallel with military service, an aspect of this program is the opportunity to establish camaraderie with other motivated veterans who are also seeking to create change through action. The HCC VET’s have an opportunity to meet and build relationships with guest speakers comprised of entrepreneurs, pro athletes, and executive leaders. The alumni remain actively involved, ensuring the program continues to meet the needs of future veteran leaders. The Recon Phase requires a commitment to the veteran’s business and the program. During that time, the class meets 2 nights a week, both at the HCC Veteran Business Center and SMU.
The Pre-Deployment (Formation) Phase
HCC will assist the veterans, through by need grants, to pay for initial lawyer fees and web development fees. This will ensure the veteran has recourses necessary to begin selling their products and get their message out. This phase is 6 weeks and will have set deliverables for the veteran to ensure HCC’s recourses are being utilized effectively and that the business has a sound foundation on which to launch. Once the deliverables are met, it is time to start selling.
The Deployment (Validation) Phase
Length of time in this phase depends on a couple factors. 1) How marketable is the product or service. Is it something there is a need for and that the consumers are desiring. 2) Does the entrepreneur need to pivot or adjust the product or the marketing side. 3) How motivated is the entrepreneur to make the business work. From time to time, individuals can be stuck on their vision of the business, even when the market is telling them to pivot in a different direction. These factors are key indicators to length of time in this phase. The classes in this phase focus on advertising, accounting, branding, social media marketing, sales training, developing and evaluating pre-established metrics, inventory management, customer relations development, etc.
The Occupation (Growth) Phase
Classes will be focused on how to effectively scale a business, developing human resource procedures, and develop strategic partnerships to enhance the business growth to name a few. This is also the phase the business will begin the search for outside capital. Additional connections, classes and resources will be given to develop executive summaries, create a more robust business plan and creating a pitch deck and message.
OUR VISION FOR 2017
The leadership has a bold vision for future of HCC. We are in the process of moving to a larger facility and creating the first Veteran Business Center in North Texas. This will include office space for existing veteran-owned businesses, making it more affordable by offering space at a lower rate than other Class A or Class B offices through a membership model. It also includes shared office space, training facilities for HCC and the introduction of the first veteran only business incubator and accelerator. This would also allow HCC to not only assist veterans looking to start a new business, but bring in existing veteran-owned businesses and provide them with best in class services and a path to greater success.
Clifford SosamonExecutive Director
Cliff Sosamon was born and raised in Central Illinois. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served on Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti before volunteering for Marine Security Guard School in Quantico, VA. He then served at the American Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he met Paula, his future wife and the mother of his two sons.
Cliff and Paula moved to Dallas where Cliff took a job conducting security for Perot Systems. He earned his Associate of Arts degree from Collin County Community College and then two, Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and public policy, minoring in economics from Southern Methodist University. In 2009, Cliff and Paula founded PRISMA Staffing in Frisco, Texas. In 2012, they helped co-found the North Texas Military Association (NXTMA), a 501(c) (19) that supports veterans and veteran service organizations through events such as the annual, 4th of July 10-Mile Hump fundraiser.
In 2014, Cliff began working with Honor Courage Commitment to strengthen its Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Under his leadership, the program has morphed from two nights a week to a full-time class. In October 2015, Cliff became the Executive Director of HCC, a role that includes the management of the VET Program, the Operation Job Placement Program, the Fellows Program, HCC donor relations, and myriad day-to-day administration of the entire organization.
Urshel MetcalfDirector of Operations
Urshel Metcalf is a Dallas, Texas native with 13 years of active duty in the Marine Corps as well as a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Before leaving the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant, Urshel served in a variety of capacities in addition to his regular duties that all revolved around educating and building Marines professionally.
After leaving active service in the Marine Corps, Urshel served the military community as a local pastor, doing missionary work for 9 years. Working with local churches in Mexico, Brazil, and Italy, Urshel expanded his ability to motivate, lead, and mentor people across the globe. As both a speaker and a vocalist Urshel’s passion to be a voice of positive change focuses on moving people as well as organizations from “good to great” so they can continue to flourish.
Returning to Dallas in 2009, Urshel started a career in Financial Services selling insurance products. After initial success, he launched his own independent agency and began recruiting agents to educate clients on wealth building strategies. Urshel also traveled for a national networking company as a business coach and speaker at business masterminds. In 2014 Urshel launched Insured Liquidity Partners, providing financial professionals the education and opportunity to move into private investing using a shared revenue model coined ‘collaborative capitalism’.
During this time Urshel also connected with Honor Courage Commitment and began working with the team to explore opportunities to create a hybrid financial product to allow individuals to both invest and be philanthropic. He officially joined HCC in November of 2016 as the Director of Operations and is excited about the opportunity to grow and develop HCC programs as well leverage his experience and knowledge to increase funding for veteran businesses.
Urshel and his wife, Robyn, have three daughters and one son; Christina, Danielle, Harper and Urshel III (aka Tripp).
Board of Directors
Judd RogersChairman of the Board
Judd Rogers is living proof that Americans who have no personal experience of military service still can care deeply about veteran issues and veteran support services. Judd comes from a family history of military servants including a grandfather who served in World War II, a father who served in Vietnam, and a brother who served in Desert Storm.
After 9/11, Judd wanted to join the military, but at that time his mother was battling a cancer diagnosis and begged Judd not to enlist. Out of filial devotion and profound respect, he chose formal education instead, poignantly remembering his mother who eventually lost her own battle on September 11, 2003. His mother would be proud to know that Judd did go on to earn his Bachelor of Business Administration in management from Texas Tech University; a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from the University of North Texas; and, a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University, graduating Beta Gamma Sigma.
While at SMU finishing his second Master’s degree, Judd met USMC Staff Sergeant Andy Nguyen. The two shared a vision to lower the veteran unemployment rate and provide veteran employment transition assistance; and, so they launched HCC to serve that purpose. In 2011, HCC was formally recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. “I felt guilty for a long time about not serving in the military, but then I realized that I didn’t have to serve in the military to serve our country. Our communities need us, and our veterans need us more than ever. I’m honored to be part of Honor Courage Commitment and 22Kill,” said Judd. Judd donates his time to serve as Chairman of the Board for HCC, drawing no salary for himself.
Career wise, Jude is a national accounts manager of Crouse-Hinds by Eaton, a diversified global electrical products manufacturer. Since helping launch HCC as a co-founder, Judd has mentored veterans, recruited participants, pursued funding, and provided financial oversight.
Billy DickinsonBoard Member
Billy Dickinson has twenty-five years of experience in accounting and information technology with credentials in financial planning, business valuations and tax as well as Microsoft systems engineering and database administration. Billy is also an expert on non-profit administration/management; and, he has a heart for philanthropy. An avid outdoorsman and hunter, Billy’s family owns a historic ranch and homestead which dates back to the time when Texas was actually a province of Spain.
Salvatore GiuntaBoard Member
Salvatore Augustine “Sal” Giunta is a former United States Army Soldier and the first person since the Vietnam War to receive the U.S. military’s highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, while still living as opposed to being posthumously awarded. Sal was cited for saving the lives of members of his squad on October 25, 2007 during the War in Afghanistan. He left the U.S. Army in June 2011.
Carl AllenBoard Member
Carl Allen was born in Rochester, NY and received a degree in Business from Villanova University. After college, Carl began working in a production capacity for Heritage Bag Company of New Jersey and Georgia. Throughout his years with Heritage Bag, he worked in nearly every department, eventually being promoted to the President/CEO position in Dallas. In 2005, Carl Allen acquired Heritage Bag.
Heritage Bag experienced its greatest sales through Carl Allen’s leadership with the addition of new plants and continued increased capacity to meet the demand from this growth with manufacturing facilities in California, Utah, Texas, Ohio, Georgia and New Jersey. Both Heritage Bag and Carl Allen were recognized as leaders of commercial industry before he sold Heritage Bag at the height of its success just recently.
Carl Allen is very active in philanthropic projects that span several countries and diverse foci and priorities like education, national politics and defense as well as public health research. He has served as Honorary Chairman of both ALS and the Arthritis Foundation. He has a reputation and passion for helping veterans in both Israel and the United States.
Carl met his wife Anne “Gigi” Allen at Villanova. They have one daughter, three sons and one granddaughter. All the Allen’s sons and their son-in-law are involved in the new company founded by Carl Allen, i.e. Allen Exploration.