Dog Tag Bakery, Inc. is enriching the lives of veterans with service-connected disabilities, spouses and caregivers throughout the nation’s capitol by providing a quality education and the tools for a successful business venture.
“Prior to entering our five-month-long program veterans are vetted through an application process which includes individual phone interviews and subsequent in-person meetings with board members,” Meghan Ogilvie, Dog Tag Bakery, Inc. chief executive officer, said. “Once you’re accepted into our program, you’re enrolled at Georgetown University and are taught seven different courses by resident professors there just above the bakery.”
The curriculum includes accounting, management, communication, financial management, marketing, business policy and entrepreneurship.
Ogilvie said the bakery is the foundation of the educational program. The bakery helps teach the veterans how to run a small business.
“While they get education, they also get the training in the front-of-house of human resources, customer service, hiring, firing, scheduling, procurement, labor costs, marketing of business, accounting side of putting together costs expenses and ways to generate more money,” Ogilvie said. “The hands-on training in business can prove to be a platform for anyone trying to start their own nonprofit or their own business.”
Additionally, Dog Tag Bakery, Inc. provides professional development training, which includes resume review, digital marketing workshops and personal development in aiding an entrepreneur with his or her pitch for a business.
Dog Tag Bakery, Inc., also has a program called ‘Finding Our Voice,’ where each student goes through the process of telling his or her story to the class. The student must also provide a business plan to the class.
At the conclusion of the courses, students are presented with a certificate in business administration from Georgetown University.
Now gearing up for its fourth graduating class, Ogilvie is proud of the success rate of veterans completing the program – preserving to become savvy entrepreneurs and developing their own businesses.
Shay Mason, a former Army counter intelligence agent and Russian linguist, had a dream to start a business after leaving the military.
The recent alumna from the 3rd Cohort of Fellows beams with pride today as she revels in her journey as a new entrepreneur. Mason and her husband always dreamed of opening a production company and heard about Dog Tag Bakery, Inc.’s program at a Wounded Warrior event.
Today, the pair run Thriving on the Homefront Productions – producing corporate videos.
“The program was critical to (my) our success. The networking opportunities were just fabulous and the classes at Georgetown were comprehensive and they really filled in my knowledge gaps,” Mason said. “Dog Tag Inc. served as a catalyst to get us moving. It’s a unique transitional-type program that you don’t find like this anywhere. To be doing what we’re doing now is like a dream come true.”
The brainchild of Fr. Rick Curry, SJ and Connie Milstein, Dog Tag Bakery, Inc. also teams with other local veteran organizations – including Armed Services Arts Partnership to promote a monthly open mic night for veterans, service members and military family members.
For more information about Dog Tag Bakery, Inc. and all of the programs available, visit www.dogtaginc.org.