The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its Military Affairs Committee Kickoff Event in support of and to facilitate the growth and success of veteran-owned businesses and transitioning veterans.

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) proudly announces the successful completion of its first Military Affairs Committee Kickoff Event. The February 21 event was tailored to cater to the needs of veteran-owned businesses, transitioning veterans, spouses and other professionals who extend support to this esteemed community.

The event provided a unique opportunity for current veteran business owners to engage, connect and exchange valuable insights, experiences and best practices, and it served as a platform for individuals interested in embarking on their entrepreneurial journey or gaining a deeper understanding of business operations within the community.

As a vital part of its commitment to serving the military community, the GBCC aims to facilitate the growth and success of veteran-owned businesses as well as support transitioning veterans and their spouses in their pursuit of business ventures. This inaugural event marked the beginning of a series of initiatives aimed at fostering stronger relationships, providing resources and promoting collaboration within the military community.

TECO served as the presenting sponsor, showcasing its commitment to supporting transitioning veterans through the TECO Veterans Alliance. Annual sponsors include Sellers & Associates LLC, a renowned technology and solutions provider catering to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with XP Crunch Media, an aerial and digital media production company.

Kat Mahoney, CEO and executive producer of XP Crunch Media and chair for the Military Affairs Committee, was the keynote speaker. With over 40 years of experience in military life as a daughter of a service member and spouse of a retired flight engineer, Mahoney brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the role. Her background includes founding a nonprofit for military families of deployed service members and special needs children, collaborating with Lockheed Martin on military children’s books and advocating for veteran and family mental health through government and political conferences. Mahoney’s accolades as a past National Military Spouse of the Year and Outstanding Military Spouse at various U.S. Air Force bases further highlight her dedication to the military community.

“With the Military Affairs Committee Kickoff Event, we aimed to create an environment that fosters knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities for veterans and their spouses interested in entrepreneurship,” said Mahoney, “Our goal is to empower and equip this remarkable community with the necessary tools and support to thrive in the business world and build a business in Brandon.”

Joining Mahoney on the committee are Ted Martin and Chris ‘Ranger’ Gay, owners of the 2nd Amendment Armory; Tony Melchiorre, President of AimHigHR LLC; Toni Hedstrom, editor of FireWatch Magazine and founder of Veterans Alliance Network; David Thomas, co-owner of Home Care for the 21st Century; Stella Lopez-Jimenez, military veteran public health expert at Suncoast Community Health; and Connie Huber from Physician Partners of America.

The GBCC Military Affairs Committee will continue its work by hosting monthly meetings in a hybrid setting as well as organizing workshops and events focused on business development and veteran-family-related outings. This ongoing commitment to supporting veteran entrepreneurs and their families underscores the importance of the committee’s mission and the dedication of its members.

For more information, contact Amber Aaron from the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce at or Kat Mahoney at or

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