This book is about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur. The fact is, it’s not always easy, and rest assured you will face many challenges. It comes down to sheer will and determination to push through for the “Win.” It is also about the power of the pivot when necessary. BuyVet was created in 2020 to help veteran-owned businesses during the Pandemic and transitioned to Think Veterans First in 2021. The COVID-19 mandatory shutdowns in Columbus, Ohio brought a once bustling city to a screeching halt. It was surreal; no cars were on the roads, no people were out walking around. It was like a 21st Century concrete ghost town.

Like my small business, many of the businesses were shut down except for those considered “Essential” like Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Mandatory masks were required and residents were asked to stay home to slow the deadly spread of COVID-19. Schools were also closed, and many companies sent their workers home to work from home to avoid the spreading of COVID-19 in the workplace. Businesses large and small were scrambling for survival as the required mandates shifted from day to day.

This was a very difficult time, especially for small businesses who were forced to endure a long and arduous shutdown that lasted for several months. Without revenue coming in, or customers to service, many were forced to lay off their workers and close their doors. Some were forced to close their doors permanently as bills for rent and other essentials continued to mount with no revenue to pay.

As a 22-year Army veteran and small business owner, I made the conscious decision to DO SOMETHING not only for my own small business, but also for the other veteran businesses in my community. During this time, many campaigns were springing up like “Shop Small Business,” “Support Black Businesses,” “Restaurant Relief,” and more; however, there was “nothing” out there to bring awareness and support for veterans, those who had answered the call in the defense of our nation. These heroes are the reason we have the freedoms that we have, and they deserve our support. Not to say that all small businesses are not important, but it is to say that veterans should be recognized and appreciated for their service.

In response, I started BuyVet, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to promote, support, and advocate for veteran-owned businesses. The fruits of this organization’s labor gave birth to the Think, Shop, BuyVeteran First Movement.

About the Author

Regina D. Rembert is currently a Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment & Placement) for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Prior to assuming this role, her last assignment was as the Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment & Placement) for the 944th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During her tenure at Luke, she assisted with the successful recruitment and placement of more than 119 civilian and technical maintenance personnel. In addition, Mrs. Rembert volunteered her time helping Veterans at the Veteran Success Center in Glendale, AZ with Federal resume writing and providing assistance with seeking Federal employment to continue serving.

Mrs. Rembert retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 2010 after a military career that spanned 22 years. During her military tenure, she held various roles with her final role being the Chief Paralegal Non-Commissioned Officer, 416th Theatre Engineer Command in Darien, Illinois. In addition to her military career, Mrs. Rembert is the founder of Brightstar Consulting, LLC and also the Chief Executive Officer for Think Veterans First (Formerly BuyVet). Think Veterans First is a veteran-centric 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2020, which advocates for, supports, and promotes veteran-owned businesses. It continues the BuyVet mission and vision under its new name, Think Veterans First.

Mrs. Rembert has more than 25 years of professional Human Resources experience in union, non-union, and government sectors. She resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband. Mrs. Rembert has six children and eleven grandchildren who all live in the Columbus area.