Veterans’ Pathway to Business Success, a nonprofit, entrepreneurial grant program for Florida’s Veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq, has announced that highly decorated Marine veteran Mark Llano has joined its board of directors. Llano is president and CEO of Source One Distributors, based in Wellington.
Recipients of grants from Veterans’ Pathway are veteran entrepreneurs who are hoping to start their own business or who have an established business and are seeking funding for expansion. The main requirements for receiving funding are for veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001; have, or are eligible for, an honorable discharge; reside in Florida and can provide proof of residency; and present a detailed business plan for eventual approval by the Veterans’ Pathway Board of Directors.
Llano is the founder of Source One Distributors Inc., an established leader in military tactical gear distribution. In addition to being a Marine veteran and serving on active duty during the first Gulf War in 1990-91, Llano has been presented with many entrepreneurial awards during his time at Source One, including the National Veteran Owned Business Association’s Vetrepreneur of the Year Award, the United States Small Business Administration’s Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award (Florida) and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Florida Award (Distribution & Manufacturing). According to Ernst & Young LLP, the award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
“We believe Mark Llano will bring immense value to Veterans’ Pathway mission,” said retired Army Major Gen. Joe Taluto, vice president of the Veterans Pathway Board of Directors. “Not only is he a highly respected and decorated Marine, he has achieved great professional success as an entrepreneur following his military service. Mark exemplifies the business leader we want our veterans to become — entrepreneurs with the vision, determination and leadership skills to succeed.”
Taluto added that he is “greatly impressed by Mark’s life story, the adversity he overcame and the courage and skill it took to build a successful business. I have met many great leaders over my 44 years of military service. Mark’s character and integrity ranks with some of the best I have known.”
For more information on Veterans’ Pathway, visit www.veteranspathway.org.
Above: Mark Llano