The organizational team at Operation Startup is a unique blend of military, business and education experiences folded into dynamic personalities with tireless devotion to Veterans. Utilizing their technical skills and business acumen, this team tries to move the unmovable for every Veteran member of Operation Startup.
Check out Fulfill Your Destiny’s Grants for Start-up Members here!
Karen Mertes always jumps at the chance to inspire groups with her story. She recently spoke at South University in Tampa to the graduating class. Here is a snippet from the letter that Campus President James McCoy sent her —
“Your story of overcoming life’s challenges was an incredible message to our graduates, who will all face challenges/adversity in the years ahead. Additionally, your message was a source of inspiration to so many and provided a road map of how we all should promote ourselves.”
Karen R. Mertes turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose with her organization, Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is a Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) from our United States Air Force, serving as the Squadron Commander in two back-to-back command tours as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a $169 million dollar budget at an overseas base.
In 2007, Karen’s car was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph on I-75 resulting in Karen suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Facing the consequences of this life-changing injury, this would be the genesis which led her to create Fulfill Your Destiny. Its signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to local entrepreneurs desiring to take their businesses to the next level.
Karen is a highly regarded Professional Speaker; Award Winning, Best Selling Author; Certified Entrepreneur, Leadership and Business Consultant all to benefit Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is the creator of Fulfill Your Destiny’s annual premiere event, Spring Chari-Tea held each year in March.
Fulfill Your Destiny helps people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to survivors living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
1) Keep People Working: To provide financial support to individuals whose careers have been altered due to permanent injuries or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to traumatic brain injuries for the purpose of obtaining vocational counseling, educational or occupational retraining.
2) Inspire and Motivate: To educate others about those personal challenges facing any of us suffering injuries that permanently changes our lives. How we confront our challenges is the key to the core motto of Fulfill Your Destiny: Character Drives Destiny. We teach people that we are all defined by our character, which compels us to pick up the pieces and carry on when confronted with tremendous obstacles.
3) Build Awareness and Educate: To offer assistance – educational, financial, volunteer time and/or in-kind services directly to individuals and other non-profit corporations, to increase awareness of traumatic brain injuries and to support those who have experienced TBIs.
For more facts about National Brain Injury Awareness Month click here!