G.I. Driver is a 501(c)(3) non-profit company that supports veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces by providing them with information, skills and introductions to successfully transition from active duty and obtain employment or start their own businesses. This is done with the support of other veterans who have had similar life experiences and are also part of the G.I. Driver community.
Rich is one of the most visible players on the business side of NASCAR. He is responsible for managing G.I. Driver's relationship with NASCAR, NASCAR teams and their major sponsors. Rich is also responsible for structuring G.I. Driver's marketing and promotional programs.
Rich was formerly President of DYNO Marketing (a private marketing company), Executive Vice President of Lionel, LLC and responsible for Lionel’s licensee relationships, including its very successful license and relationship with NASCAR. Rich also was formerly responsible for managing all of the NASCAR business at The SportingNews, including daily contact with NASCAR and its largest sponsors to deliver access to SportingNews' weekly reach of over 15 million people through print, online and radio.
Rich played college football for Rutgers University and the University of Delaware, and then played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins. He is also a NASCAR licensed driver and professional stunt driver with several SAG credits including The Bourne Ultimatum, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.
Rich served in the United States Navy (catapults and arresting gear) on the USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Independence (CV-62).
He received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Delaware and is a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity.
Mike Ferraro - COO/Partner
Mike Ferraro is an accomplished corporate, government, military and business entrepreneur with strategic, operational and tactical leadership talents and an exceptional record of establishing long term relationships, driving revenue generation and program development. At GI Driver, he leads a national effort to help military veterans and spouses find rewarding career paths using innovative, unique and cost effective transition programs enabling a successful employment result. As a Chief Door Opener, his career programs have successfully engaged many corporations to help make a difference to the military community in finding a rewarding career path.
In his civilian career, he has held technical and leadership positions in several Fortune 500 companies to include AT&T, Booz-Allen, Emerson Electric as well as within the federal government. A serial Entrepreneur, he has focused his passion and purpose in life by establishing Military Veteran career and educational programs that make a difference and a direct impact to veterans and their families.
During the culmination of nearly 32 years of honorable military service in both the active and reserve components, Ferraro achieved the highest rank of Command Chief Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Before his retirement from military service in June 2013, he had leadership oversight of nearly 28,000 Airmen at Number Air Force, Wing and Squadron levels and participated in numerous worldwide missions involving wartime readiness campaigns, humanitarian airlifts and strategic policy force development and employer outreach.
He earned an M.S. in Aeronautical Science and a B.S. Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Currently serving on several Non Profit, Industry and Academia Board of Advisors to include ESGR State Director for Military Outreach, Felician College Veterans Advisory Board, and Operation Jersey Shore Vacation. Additionally, he is a frequent guest speaker before veteran friendly employers and a radio show guest on the Welcome Home Show, 101.3 FM WIBG station.
He is a long time New Jersey resident of Manasquan, New Jersey residing with his two daughters.
Jean-Marc Zimmerman is a co-founder of G.I. Driver. He is responsible for its day-to-day operations including corporate and legal affairs.
Jean-Marc has almost twenty-five years experience working for his own boutique law firm, successfully litigating commercial cases in trial and appellate courts across the country. Mr. Zimmerman has served as lead counsel in hundreds of litigations.
Mr. Zimmerman received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware, and a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. Mr. Zimmerman is a member of the New Jersey Bar, the New York Bar, the Connecticut Bar, the U.S. Patent Bar, and is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Accredited Attorney.
Has a B.A. degree from Northeastern University, with a double major in Finance and Entrepreneurship. After spending nearly ten years working for a consulting firm on Wall Street that specialized in Post Trade Recovery for such firms as Bankers Trust, Met Life and Deutche Bank he left the company to work in the restaurant world. He now is the owner and CFO for Darby Road Public House in Scotch Plains, NJ.
After serving with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam as a Platoon Leader and Acting Company Commander, Stephen became a small business lender with a Connecticut bank, moved to New Hampshire to work with the SBA and then started a publishing company. Ten years later he started his marketing firm White & Company that provides marketing programs and materials to firms targeting small business.
At the same time his desire to help veterans guided him to start the Veterans Business Network, design and direct the entrepreneurship program for the New York Veterans Leadership Program, serve on the Veterans Task Force for Entrepreneurship, help draft and testify before Congress and assist in securing the appropriation for Public Law 106-50 (The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act) and to serve on the SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs.
Stephen has written numerous publications including Small Business Basics, a Guide for Women Veteran Entrepreneurs and Basics for Veterans, which will soon be available as a customized edition for the American Legion in both print and digital versions.
He divides his time between New Hampshire and Long Island, NY, and besides supporting veteran entrepreneurship likes to catch giant bluefin tuna.
The retired U.S. Army colonel currently serves as a military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and is a former investment manager. Mr. Jacobs is a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions during the Vietnam War and was also received two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts for his service. In addition Mr. Jacobs, is vice chairman of the Medal of Honor Foundation, a member of the board of trustees for the National World War II Museum, and holds the McDermott Chair of Politics at the U.S. Military Academy.
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