On November 10, Honor2Lead gathered experts from an incredible range of professions to share entrepreneurial wisdom with veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. If you missed this 9-hour Live event, we can give you some of the highlights.

Honor2Lead is a partnership of the Military Influence Conference (MIC). While MIC is an annual conference typically held in person at a different location each year, Honor2Lead was a one-day global simulcast with a digital pass to live presentations and interviews with industry experts. Honor2Lead is “tailor-made for our military community of veterans, entrepreneurs, active duty, military-spouses, national guard and military supporters.”

Many presenters were veterans who successfully started new companies after their time in the military. They spoke on a range of topics, but in general the conversations and advice challenged listeners to apply military leadership ideals to new fields like business and marketing.

Our PCSgrades founder, Todd Ernst, was a featured presenter who falls into this category. Ernst served over 20 years total in the Air Force and Reserves. He spoke meaningfully about how his experience working with his friend’s widow to change Survivor Benefits inspired him to found a company that would become a trusted resource for military families. With a prior background in real estate, Ernst knew families needed more PCS resources. He said, “that’s where it made the most sense to focus on serving the community during their time of greatest need. Pulling in trusted reviews by military families means that I am not the expert–other military families are all listening and trusting each other. It’s a big opportunity to give back to the community.” You can read more about the reasons Ernst founded PCSgrades and his WHY story here

Other notable veteran presenters at Honor2Lead include:

  • Jake Wood, the CEO of the nonprofit Team Rubicon. When he witnessed the devastation following earthquakes in Haiti, Wood realized the need for a non-profit that can respond quickly to natural disasters. His talk, “Courage in Crisis,” encouraged listeners to use crises experiences as learning opportunities and ways to find inspiration to serve.
  • Jim Murphy, founder and CEO of Afterburner. In the Air Force, he was an F-15 pilot and instructor. He focused on the importance of Family and Team Alignment, and gave his viewers a worksheet to help them design the future they want.
  • Lacey Evans is a WWE Superstar and a Marine, as well as a wife and mother. Her account of being a woman in the male-dominated worlds of the Marine Corps and professional wrestling demonstrate her message that you can accomplish anything with the right mindset.
  • Christina Hopper became the first African-American fighter pilot to fly into war. This was in 2000, when there were only 50 female fighter pilots in the Air Force. She is now a mentor for the next generation of pilots, who spoke about ways to build and sustain a passion for leadership.
  • Phyllis Newhouse is a retired SNCO and an entrepreneur making waves in the field of cybersecurity. She shared her top 11 leadership principles for entrepreneurs.
  • Vincent Vargas is a decorated Army Ranger and a veteran activist. He is an actor in the FX show Mayans M.C. His presentation focused on ways veterans can lift each other up.

However, Honor2Lead did not limit their expert interviews to veterans only. Several notable presenters were successful individuals without personal experience in the military.

  • Daymond John, a keynote presenter is the founder of FUBU and “The People’s Shark” from ABC’s Shark Tank. Now a consultant, John spoke about the value of mentorship, and his definition of what it means to be a S.H.A.R.K.
  • Elena Cardone began as a Hollywood actress, and is now an author, speaker, and mentor. Her annual 10X Ladies Event helps women grow their business. She shared her best “empire-building” tips to inspire entrepreneurial growth.
  • Harris Faulkner is best known as an anchor on Fox News, where she appears on Outnumbered and runs her own hour Outnumbered Overtime. But she grew up as a military child whose father was an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Years of exposure to high-end leadership taught her what leadership skills make the biggest impact. She presented the audience with great advice about how to “Think Like a General.”
  • Alexander Ludwig is an actor who appeared in Hunger Games and the TV show Vikings. After his latest role in the move Recon, telling the true story of a group of American soldiers in Italy in World War I, Ludwig wants to use his celebrity to share the stories of more veterans.

PCSgrades was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Honor2Lead event. We have always believed that it is the “military family” that takes care of its own. Our focus has always been on helping the military community by sharing our experiences and building trust, so this was a great opportunity to elevate voices of experience in our community. Thank you to all of the Honor2Lead presenters who shared their experiences to help veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.