Daniel was just seven blocks away when the first tower of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. Despite the shock and anger he felt that day, Daniel says he was still too immature and self-centered to enlist in the military. Later, while working in the United States Senate, he was interviewing 400 New Yorkers seeking admission to military service academies. He was inspired by the talented young men and women who could have gained entry to America’s finest universities. He said their modesty and desire to serve others gave him the courage to say goodbye to his family and join the Marines.
Eventually, he became a lieutenant and was put in command of a platoon. Shortly after his unit returned from Iraq, Dan met with his platoon and was distressed to discover its members had abandoned many of their post-deployment professional plans, instead drifting into alcoholism, depression, and suicide. What he saw in his platoon caused him to want to become an agent of change.
Daniel’s career vision is to form the nation’s premiere nonprofit organization to engage military veterans to start, fund, expand and turn around small and family businesses. He plans to build a board and staff of prior-military business leaders to partner with transitioning veterans to write comprehensive business plans, hold entrepreneurial boot camps and connect them with resources for startup capital.