Veteran Highlight

Rich Possert

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Chairman, Veterans Council of Duval County
Business Founded: 1985
Phone: (904) 704-0225

117 W. Duval St. Ste. 175
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

How long have you been in your industry?Since 2009
Why did you choose your industry?I didn't choose my industry, my industry chose me. Through my service to our Country, I've experienced many things. The Veteran Service Community took care of me when I was at my lowest point(s) in life; it helped me in multiple ways. When I retired from the US Navy, I made a goal of giving back; of serving my fellow Veterans the way I was served. Even though I will turn the reins over to my successor in October 2024, I will remain active within the Veterans Service Community, both in the Veterans Council of Duval County, but also in a few of its member organizations.
Who are your typical clients?Our clients are the leaders of all Veteran Service Organizations and Businesses that serve Veterans who reside in Duval County, FL.
What do you like best about being in this industry?I enjoy the camaraderie, and the ability to help men and women who have served our Country in their time of need and to be an advocate for them.
What are common problems you see?We have a large turnover within many of our organizations' leadership; personalities can conflict with mission accomplishment; there are many organizations, mostly non-profits, who are "fighting" over a pot of money to do what their mission statements dictate. We, collectively, are not very good at advertising, at showing Veterans what each of our organizations or companies offer, and what is out there for them. Public affairs is cyclic depending on the tech-knowledge ability by each of the organizations' leadership and motivations.
What advice/tips do you have for clients?We all have a common goal; we need to work together to ensure our nation's heroes are properly served in their time of need. They need advocates. They need direction. I encourage all of our clients to tell their stories; give examples of the good you've done, and encourage folks to get involved.
When is your busy season?October-December and May-June.
What keeps you up at night?What will happen when I turnover my position?
How do you market yourself to grow/expand your business?I stay involved. I personally attend every Veteran-centric event I can. I believe a face-to-face with as many of our Veteran Service Organizations is essential to the growth and maintenance of relationships and mission accomplishment. The sharing of ideas and the mutual understanding of each others' missions and how we can help one another not just remain relevant but excel in our services makes a world of difference to all of us and our Veterans.
How involved are you in the community?I am at almost every Veteran-centric event held around Duval County and Northeast Florida, and even involved in the State of Florida and National Veterans service communities. I've conducted interviews with local media partners and TV stations advocating for Veterans. I attend every Jacksonville City Council meeting that has anything Veteran-related on the docket.
What is your favorite not for profit or charity?I'm biased, but the Veterans of Foreign Wars; they're the longest serving Congressionally Chartered Veterans Service Organization.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting into this business?Know your organization's mission, and its bylaws, and most importantly, know your people - who you serve and who your members and teammates are. You can't lead behind a computer screen.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?Working as a Realtor in NE Florida, golfing, and attending multiple sporting events here in Jacksonville.

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