Honoring Our Veterans: Meet Some of Office Evolution’s Very Own
In the spirit of Veterans Day and the gratitude we owe to those who have served our country, we had the privilege of sitting down with Eddie Uribazo, a proud veteran and the owner of Office Evolution in Plantation, Florida. Eddie’s journey from the United States Navy to successful entrepreneurship offers valuable insights into the life of a veteran business owner. This month, we’re commemorating Eddie’s service and extending a special promotion to all veteran business owners, allowing them to work for free in the coworking space at participating Office Evolutions across the country throughout November.
Eddie’s military journey began right out of high school, viewing it as an alternative to college. He joined the United States Navy and was deployed on the USS New Jersey during the Lebanon-Beirut conflict. He started as a deckhand and later became a fire control technician, responsible for the ship’s artillery guns. After four years of active service, Eddie transitioned to the reserves in Key West, Florida, where he spent two more years. His military experience instilled discipline and the ability to overcome obstacles, invaluable skills that served him well in his professional career.
Leaving the military and transitioning to the civilian world is no easy task, but Eddie’s resilience and determination helped him succeed. He notes the importance of utilizing available resources as he sought assistance from a program that helped with resume building, interview preparation, and job placement. Eddie realized the need for further education, attending night school to earn an electronics degree. Although he joined the Navy to avoid college, lifelong learning became an integral part of his career journey.
One of the most cherished aspects of Eddie’s military experience was the camaraderie formed with fellow sailors. These deep bonds endured beyond the military, and Eddie recalls a heartwarming reunion with his shipmates at the USS New Jersey Museum. Their shared experiences created lifelong connections that continue to be a source of comfort and support.
Eddie emphasizes two crucial lessons from his military service that aided his professional success. Discipline, a trait that helped him stay focused and determined in his career, and the ability to overcome obstacles. In the military, there is no room for giving up or saying no; this mentality carries into the business world, where challenges must be tackled head-on.
After 24 years at Johnson Controls, Eddie decided to explore entrepreneurship. He opened his own controls company, Converge Systems. Despite facing a challenging economy, Eddie’s conservative financial planning and resourcefulness ensured the success of his new venture. His career journey demonstrates that the transition from military service to successful entrepreneurship is possible with the right mindset and determination. In 2019, Eddie and his wife, Mitzy, decided to invest in a franchise. The decision to diversify their business interests led them to Office Evolution. They appreciated the professional nature of the business, its focus on local communities, and the integrity of the company. This choice allowed them to continue their journey as business owners and maintain strong connections with their local community.
Eddie’s advice to fellow veterans looking to enter the business world is to leverage their unique skill sets, whether gained in the military or through other experiences. He encourages veterans to consider entrepreneurship sooner rather than later and to explore opportunities such as franchises that provide ready-made systems and support.
Office Evolution: A Home for Veterans in Business
At Office Evolution, we are privileged to also have a number of veteran Owners who are essential members of our community. They are not only excellent examples of strong leadership, but they continually contribute to the development of a positive and empowering work environment in our shared workspaces.
“I’m proud to have served 21 years in the US Army following four years in Siena College ROTC. I served in combat units in Germany and the US during the Cold War. Entering the Army as a long-haired 70’s kid, I was surprised to find it so people focused, challenging, and rewarding; consequently inspiring me to remain through retirement. My military experience served me well in operational roles in publishing, consulting, and food logistics. I retired from my last job in 2016 but did not realize I would be missing the game only six months later. That’s when I discovered the opportunity of Office Evolution to be my own boss with a proven business concept. As an Office Evolution owner, I enjoy my weekly contact with a variety of inspiring entrepreneurs for whom I provide workspace solutions. Since it’s not a full-time commitment, I have more time for family and giving back to my community.” – Mike Patenaude
“I was a LtCol from the Air Force serving my country for 28 years and worked as a Hospital Engineer for the Air Force Medical Centers Design/Renovation programs. I continue to support the military by volunteering for the Indy Honor Flight program to help World War, Vietnam, and Korean War veterans visit Washington D.C.’s Military War Memorials, and other Veteran programs in the Indianapolis area. I am proud to be a veteran servicing the greatest country in the world. I have always dabbled in working with rental properties in the past, but I finally learned about Office Evolution’s franchise opportunity and thought this would be a great way to step into the entrepreneurial world. I never looked back, this has been a great opportunity to learn and grow for the past three years.” – Tom Fifer
As we celebrate Veterans throughout November, we extend our greatest gratitude to Eddie, Mike, Tom, and all veterans who have served our nation. To honor their service and support their entrepreneurial aspirations, Office Evolution is offering a special promotion for Veterans to work for free in our coworking space during the month of November. We encourage all Veterans exploring business opportunities to consider the resources and support available at Office Evolution and the inspiring journeys of Veterans like Eddie, Mike, and Tom.