A leading creator in Western Michigan and a leading supporter of veterans worldwide
M-22 Ventures is an S-Corporation with three main goals. To bring my inventions to market, promote my art/writing and to provide quality rental properties in the Grand Rapids Area. Whenever possible I like to closely tie these main efforts with both the veteran community (great people) and with “up north” Michigan (a great place)!
As of the spring of 2022, my garage remains my world headquarters–with aspirations to upgrade to a pole barn soon. My biggest accomplishment so far is my patent recently issued by the USPTO. I filed for my second in February and am working on the concept and prototype for my third. Aside from that, my first book is about 75% written, an art studio is under construction and I’m looking for the first rental property to add to the inventory.
I certainly have a long way to go to call myself “up and running.” Nevertheless, with the business, accounting, and bookkeeping set up, I have a solid foundation to enter the market and expand when the time comes. For now, this could go any direction. The path I will ultimately follow is the one that works and the one that inspires me. I look forward to expanding the business enough to get more involved in the western Michigan and veteran communities.
Create. Enhance the sense of community in Western Michigan and among veterans.
I suppose as it is written, you can drive a mack truck through this particular mission statement–and evolve it into just about anything. The risk with such flexibility is being spread too thin or getting bogged down with too many irons in the fire…in other words…doing many things but not doing them well. The solution is to prioritize and to limit the scope of your work; which is easier said than done. In this endeavor, finding the sweet spot between flexibility and simplicity will require regular monitoring and course correction. As I said above, this could go any direction. The path I will ultimately follow is the one that works and the one that inspires me. On any given day, aside from the administration and the red-tape I will encounter I will focus on four main efforts. Each one of these represents my “moving the ball forward.” The more I can focus on these four tasks the more successful the day will be.
On May 17, 2022 the USPTO issued my first patent and I officially became an inventor. My next goal by the end of this year is to license this to a manufacturer that can bring the product to market. A second patent was filed in February this year and a third is in the early design phase. There are other projects in other fields currently in concept development phase. I am also writing a book about my 2004 deployment as an Air Force Company Commander assigned to a US Army unit in Iraq. I’m at 60,000 words with a goal of 100,000 and publication by the end of the year.
Enhancing Creativity and Community for Western Michigan and for Veterans Worldwide
--- My Story ---
Porch Sittin' with the Dog
On a cold crisp Michigan morning, you’ll find my wife and I bundled up, coffee in hand, out on the steps of the front porch with the dog. We’re there most mornings–especially in the summer. There is no better place to find your purpose for the day and there is no better counsel than a furry companion. As she thoughtfully surveys the neighborhood for any changes, we quietly discuss our goals for the coming day. The wind in the trees and the singing of the birds provides all the sensory input needed to get in the right mindset. We spend about 30 minutes to an hour a day here. A good portion of that time is spent in silence, each in our own thoughts…and the meeting adjourns when the time is right.
What’s your board meeting like?
How M22 Ventures Came to Be
I grew up in western Connecticut and our family vacationed in Northern Michigan nearly every summer since I was a teenager. Just two days after graduating High School, I enlisted in the Navy. I met my wife while assigned as a P-3B Aircrewman stationed at NAF Detroit. While there, my family decided to make their vacation permanent and moved from Connecticut to Michigan. A few years later, I completed my undergrad and received my commission in the Air Force. During my career, my wife and I moved all over the country but knew someday we’d settle in Western Michigan. After three deployments, two commands and countless moves, we retired in 2018…and settled in Western Michigan.
One of the most scenic drives in the Midwest (arguably in the country) is state road M-22 along the lake Michigan coastline. It starts on the west coast of Michigan just north of Manistee and winds all through the sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Arbor, Fishtown, Northport and Traverse City. One of the many turn-offs along this glorious drive is a dirt driveway leading to our beautiful lakehouse. Near the coast town of Frankfort, “Sunset Ridge” has been in the family since it was built in the 1950s. It is a year-round destination anytime we are looking to unwind, relax and connect with family past and present. So this wonderful path, M-22, described above, inspires me to create.
On a serious side, the veteran community has more than its fair share of challenges. There are on average 22 veterans a day choosing to leave this world rather than continuing to live with an unbearable pain. That number is staggering. Over the decades, we have come a long way both in recognizing the sacrifices our veteran community makes and in the help we collectively provide–but the work is far from over. The good news is many organizations are already out there helping veterans. Many also recognize the number 22 as a call to action; a call to help veterans find a purpose…to reconnect with themselves, their families and their communities…to belong once again to something meaningful. I am privileged to share this quest. So this staggering number, 22, inspires me to act.