Created by Bob Evans Farms, Inc. in 2016, “Our Farm Salutes” is committed to supporting America’s service members, veterans, and their families through volunteerism, strategic partnerships, grant opportunities, awareness, and donations.
For the fifth year, Bob Evans launched the Heroes to CEOs Contest. Entrepreneurial Veterans applied for a business grant and one Veteran won the Grand Prize of $50,000. Five runners-up won $10,000 each. This year we had a tie with two Grand Prize winners each winning $50,000. You can learn more about these Veterans below.
Ryan Onda, Semper-Fi Service Dogs
Our mission is to provide Veterans with a service dog that significantly improves their quality of life, give rescue dogs the opportunity to find a loving home, and train them to provide dedicated service to those who have served. Our goal is to reduce Veteran suicide from 22 each day to 0 and enable our Veterans to take back their dignity. Our nonprofit provides PTSD Service Dogs of the highest quality at no cost to the Veteran and restore their physical and emotional independence.
Lukas Simianer, Clusiv
The mission of Clusiv is to reduce the net amount of suffering in the world. Clusiv does this by providing the world’s first e-learning and accessible onboarding platform built for and by blind and visually impaired people. Clusiv aims to drastically reduce the current 83%+ unemployment rate and double or better the $27k average salary of VI/B people that exists currently. Clusiv values liberty, agency, and the pursuit of happiness; something VI/B people don’t currently have a way to pursue.
Antone Aku, Voyager Cold Brew Coffee
Voyager Cold Brew Coffee (VCBC) believes in natural, healthy energy for people on the go! Our cold brew coffee is made from only three simple ingredients: filtered water, 100% Hawaiian single origin coffee and patience! We embody the spirit of the original Hawaiian Voyagers who were constantly on the quest to discover new things, overcome challenges and seek new territory of the pacific islands on their journey—just like modern day entrepreneurs!
Brendan Aronson, Paintru
Paintru turns your most cherished moments into custom, hand-painted artwork that makes for the perfect gift or a high-quality, personalized way to decorate your home. We bring your memories to life like never before–with a streamlined buying process and concierge service to ensure your painting is perfect every time. We proudly continue to grow a network of top-tier artists from around the globe to empower everyday people to experience the magic of fine art.
Mike Smith, Custom Donations, Custom Donations
After over a decade of building custom transaction systems for nonprofits resulting in over $145,000,000 from 360,000+ transactions, Custom Donations identified an opportunity to change the way nonprofits and membership organizations currently pay for and use transaction technology. Our mission is to simplify giving for both the donor and the nonprofit through powerful and customizable online giving tools that can be implemented without IT staff. Custom Donations builds great solutions for those who do good.
Wayne Swanson, HV-Flex
The mission of HV-Flex is to facilitate and aid in the reduction of waste oil in spin-off filters, preventing it from entering our environment. We also aim to educate the public about the benefits of environmental conservation and stewardship, and promote the well-being and development of our associates.