When Dave Fingers met Shane Schmutz, they started planning a gala so they could donate to the Wounded Warriors Project. Some 750 people attendees and a donation of $249,000 later, they realized that the idea they put together “had legs.” They formed Veteran’s Passport to Hope in 2012 so they could more actively support a number of veterans organizations throughout Colorado.
Dave served in the Army for 10 ½ years so he understands the life of a veteran. He spent his last three years in the Army as a recruiter, which led him to a civilian career in technical recruiting. His service in the military gave him a transferrable skill that he still uses today, in his own recruiting firm.
After leaving the Army, Dave went to work for an IT staffing firm. He eventually started his own recruiting firm, launching that venture in 2008. In 2009, he launched a marketing firm for small businesses that became a digital marketing firm (adjusting to the times) by 2012.
He has since transitioned to a new digital marketing firm, with partner Anna Mannerfelt. Wired Mustang reflects the digital (wired) as well as Dave and Anna’s passion for horses (mustang). Continuing that theme, they are in the process of trademarking their tagline: “Increase your online horsepower!”
Dave sees VP2H as “heading in a great direction.” He says he can see that in what the organization is doing from a fundraising standpoint and in what it is doing with social media and a new website. He adds that he “would love to see us be a national organization with a presence in all the different states that would have their own chapters.”
As of now, VP2H is on track to continue to make a big impact on the veteran community in Colorado. Dave is pleased with the great board the organization has assembled and its new Executive Director, Tony Drees, all of whom have been innovative in moving the organization forward.
Dave was board president for 3 ½ years and is enjoying being “just” a board member now. He says he enjoys being a part of the organization “because of the impact we have” and will continue to do it because its his passion. What does he get in return? To be able to “feel good because we’ve helped impact the community.” He has talked to the organizations that VP2H helps and knows that the help is appreciated and, to him, that is the biggest reward of all.