Transitioning into Post Military Entrepreneurship with Stuart Stu Smith Featured Image

#28: Transitioning into Post-Military Entrepreneurship with Stuart “Stu” Smith

A distinguished U.S. Army Veteran, Stewart (also known as Stu) Smith is the CEO of the Florida Association of Veteran-Owned Businesses (FAVOB). FAVOB is the recognized voice for Florida’s veteran business owners. This organization also intends to position Florida as the “state of choice” for veterans wishing to own and operate businesses.


Stu is a distinguished U.S. Army (9th Infantry Division) Veteran. Recognized as the 1987 FORSCOM Soldier of the Year, he entered service in Brevard County (FL) and currently resides in Cape Canaveral (FL). After 6 years of active duty, Smith worked in the Atlanta-based staffing industry and served as a Business Unit VP of HR. He later opened a consulting firm focused on assisting veterans transition into civilian careers.

Smith served as the head of the Military Affairs Council of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce and has been a relentless advocate for his fellow veterans seeking jobs in entrepreneurship. He currently serves as the Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses (FAVOB) Space Coast’s CEO and founding board member. FAVOB is the acknowledged voice for Florida’s veteran business owners. This organization seeks to establish Florida as the “state of choice” for veterans desiring to own and operate businesses.

Stu was also recognized with the Outstanding Military Service Award by Brevard County, Florida, and was inducted into the Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame in 2018. He also belongs to the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Brevard County Veterans Center as a life member.

Episode Highlights

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1:15 – 13:40: Smith starts out discussing how he enlisted in the military after finishing high school under the advice of his father. He talks about forging strong friendships and navigating his (later) marriage whilst on active duty. Moreover, he discusses his transition into teaching an advanced leadership course as a formal instructor in the military. From here, Smith talks about being honoured for his service and dealing with the tragic scars – physical and emotional – of his fellow veterans who fought against the Soviets. Towards the end of his military career as a Staff Sergeant, Smith decided to finish his baccalaureate education and pursue a career in business.

14:31 – 21:06: Smith discusses beginning and rising in his professional career in the Atlanta-based staffing and HR industry. He also talks about doing so whilst building cases for veterans needing work assistance. Smith eventually ventures into discussing his work at the FAVOB, its expansion through Florida-based chapters, and how it has helped benefit veterans professionally throughout Florida.

21:27 – 23:12: Smith finalizes the conversation by talking about the value of professional self-discovery. Specifically, he emphasizes that managing time, customer needs, goals, and expectations are perhaps the most challenging aspects of running a business. Overall, Smith states that there comes a time when performing one thing over another will allow you to add greater value – that it’s time to locate someone else to complete that assignment once you’ve identified it.

Your Move

Show Resources: Don’t wait for balance to occur – be a warrior and make it happen! Get the armor and support you need for your fulfilment here.

Connect with Gene on LinkedIn for more useful tips and proven strategies to maximize your post-military career success.

Connect with Stu Smith on LinkedIn or visit his website.

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Gene Moran

Gene spent nearly 25 years in uniform, serving in six ships and more than ten duty stations, and visiting over 50 countries serving as a US Navy Surface Warfare Officer and retiring as a Captain. In corporate, he led legislative affairs for a large international defense company from the Washington, DC office. In doing so, Gene gained a detailed understanding of the defense industrial base and supply chains of myriad platforms, systems and capabilities. Then in 2013, he took the leap to start his own business, Capitol Integration. Since then Gene has helped scores of companies improve their federal positions.

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