The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated the first week of November as National Small Business Veterans Week, a time to honor the strength and resilience of the #VetBiz community by celebrating the accomplishments of veterans who have become entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Center at SNAP Financial Access is honored to work alongside several of these remarkable individuals, and we are excited to share their stories.
Stacy Clements, owner of web design and cybersecurity firm Milepost 42, has been working with the WBC since 2018 after learning about us during a small business expo at Fairchild AFB. Having experienced the SBA’s Boots to Business program, which provides entrepreneurial training for veterans, Stacy was excited to discover an organization in Spokane devoted to providing tools and resources for small business owners. She was even more excited to learn that she could become one of our resources by teaching some essentials of web design and cybersecurity to her fellow entrepreneurs.
During her 23 years of service in the US Air Force, Stacy occupied roles including support commander, emergency operations director, and cyber operations planner. Her duties allowed Stacy to build many skills critical for small business success including planning, goal setting, strategic operations, how to communicate with a diverse array of people, and how to persist when things don’t go exactly as planned. While there are lots of people who build websites, and lots of people who help keep them secure, Stacy believes that small businesses like Milepost 42 are unique for the personalized way they approach their craft and interact with people. There are generally accepted “best practices” in business, but Stacy thinks the “best way” for each business and its owner may differ. She says: “I’ve been lucky to have the chance to speak at several conferences, and what gives me warm fuzzies is when someone comes to me afterward and tells me how I was able to explain something or give an insight in a way that made sense to them and helped them learn.”
Stacy cites her ongoing passion to serve as her reason for joining the military, and she’s discovered that running her own business still requires serving others on a regular basis. Stacy recognized the WBC’s appreciation for the relationship between service and leadership, and now we’re honored to be able to connect Stacy with other small business owners in the Inland Northwest whose digital infrastructure needs a push in the right direction.