After a six-month search, representatives from Signal 88 Security and a panel of military veterans have chosen Gregory Murphy of Salt Lake City, Utah, as the winner of Operation American Dream: From Battlefield to Boss. Murphy, a United States Army veteran, will be awarded either $5,000 to start his own business or $10,000 to open his own Signal 88 Security franchise.
Since January, military veterans with entrepreneurial dreams competed for start-up money to open a business through Signal 88 Security’s nationwide contest. Each entrant submitted a 500-word essay describing a desire to open his or her own business. Following monthly online voting periods, the public narrowed the field to five finalists. Each finalist received a $500 cash prize and advanced to a final selection process. Selection criteria included an evaluation of each finalist’s essay and video entry, plus a Q&A from a panel of judges that included military veterans and representatives from Signal 88 Security.
Gregory Murphy joined the United States Army in 1985. After completing 22 years of active duty and 14 years of service with the Army Active Guard & Reserves, he is currently in the process of retiring. Murphy is married and has seven children. His oldest daughter recently returned from serving in Afghanistan.
“I’ve thought about this for some time now,” says Murphy. “Being named a finalist early in the contest gave me a chance to plan my next step, should I be the winner. I’m currently putting a team together to help me open a Signal 88 franchise, and I’m feeling both happy and surprised.”
According to statistics from the Small Business Association Office of Advocacy, veterans are at least 45 percent more likely to take the plunge into entrepreneurship than people with no active-duty military experience.
“Signal 88 Security is a top employer of military veterans,” said Reed Nyffeler, CEO and co-founder of Signal 88 Security. “We were named on the G.I. Jobs list in 2012 among the top 10 percent of the nation’s franchises that are doing the most to recruit military veterans. Providing another deserving veteran with a chance to own his own business was a great opportunity for us to give back.”
In 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau – the most recent statistics available on the subject – veterans owned 2.4 million businesses, or 9 percent of all businesses nationwide, generating $1.2 trillion in receipts and employing nearly 5.8 million people.
“Veterans possess many of the traits needed in entrepreneurism,” said Nyffeler. “Their leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills are second-to-none in my experience and Greg Murphy is no exception. Signal 88 Security is looking forward to his future success.”
To learn more about Murphy, visit http://www.signal88.com/operation-american-dream-winner.aspx