Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today’s guest is Scott “Mack” Macksam AKA Major Mack Daddy. Mack is the Founder and President of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay in St Petersburg, FL since 2014. Florida’s First Center For Military and Veteran Artists.

Mack is also an Army Veteran who retired as a Major after 20 years of service. Mack has a passion to help other Veterans just as I do and I really believe in what he is doing, using art as a creative outlet and a type of therapy for returning Veterans. Many Veteran entrepreneurs start their own business and become successful. What I find special is when that success involves helping other Veterans. Today Mack will share his story and passion with us.

Major Retired Scott “Mack” Macksam graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in History with a Minor in German Studies. He received a commissioned in the United State Army, Field Artillery.  Major Mack has served honorably 20 years in the United States Army in various leadership, command and staff positions in a global setting.  His last assignment was Director of Military Science and Leadership at the University South Florida St Petersburg where he secured over 1.4 million scholarship awards to Cadets and personally dedicated a 8K Veterans Memorial to USFSP.  He has graduate of Officers Basic Course, Air Defense Officers Advanced Course ,CGSG and Combined Arms Staff Service School, Air Assault, Military History Instructors Course and holds a Masters in Organizational Management.  He also has implemented a National Leadership Development and Internship Programs for US Army Cadet Command. In 2014 he secured a 30K National American Soldier Exhibit which was a first in the State.  He now is the Founder and President of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay pioneering a model for the State of Florida and reaching into Germany.  Major Mack is active in the community and a serving member:  Board of Trustee, St Petersburg Museum of History, VP Association United States Army Executive Committee,  Remember/Honor/Support Advisory Board, Military Officers Association, Global SOF Foundation, Homes for Independence Board, Goodwill Ambassador and Social Enterprise Board of Trustees.

You can follow Mack here

Website: http://www.vactb.org/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-a-mack-macksam-maj-r-mao-846ba872
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vactb/
Twitter: @VACTB
Instagram: @VACTB


Transition from the military

How did you start your business?

Did your military experience and training help prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of your concerns when starting your business?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Do you think your military experience is responsible for the success in your business or are there other things you had to apply and learn along the way?

Are you going to be able to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with other Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items would you give them?


In this episode with Mack we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Creating a model of your idea
  • Prioritize so you know what is important and needs done first
  • Persistence is key, never give up!
  • Have passion for your idea
  • Find your niche
  • Determine if your idea has value
  • Seek resources to help you
  • Get a mentor

There is an event at the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay, “THE ART OF HEALING” on December 9th, 2016

The Grand Opening of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay building is on March 25th, 2017

The Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay is located at:

“Gaslight Square”
6798 Crosswinds Drive N
St Petersburg, Florida 33710

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete