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Press Release

Marine Corps Veteran Launches "Meritorious," a Private Network for Military Veterans and Military Spouses in Senior Level Positions, With 600 Person Waitlist

After successfully lobbying to reform the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program, Ryan Loya and Katherine Kostreva introduce an all-in-one, networking and professional development platform for military-connected executives and founders.




NEW YORK, NY, September 15, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Launching September 16, 2020, Meritorious is the only national network exclusive to military Veterans and military spouses in senior level positions, combining a private member portal, networking events and professional development. While the pandemic has harmed and shuttered many small businesses, Meritorious is finding unusual success through its niche virtual platform, with over 600 individuals already on its waitlist.
Based out of New York City, Meritorious is the brainchild of co-founders Katherine Kostreva, current national Director of Development and Marketing for PsychArmor Institute, and Ryan Loya, a US Marine Corps Veteran, and fractional CEO for startups at Columbia Technology Ventures. During Ryan's transition from the military, the duo lobbied to reform the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP), with key mandates now law in NDAA 2019, including the requirement that TAP be completed 365 days prior to End of Active Service, and program impact be measured, consolidated and delivered to Congress annually. Over the past few years Katherine and Ryan struggled to find groups specific to military connected individuals for executive level peer-to-peer and professional growth. They set out to build such a platform that would create connectivity and access to resources during a time of social distancing, with capacity to scale both virtually and physically post pandemic.
Meritorious boasts an all-in-one online portal featuring a member directory, Startup Hub, Mentor Connect, groups and forums, career opportunities and more. The Startup Hub connects entrepreneurs with advisors, investors and potential partners, while showcasing their businesses, fundraising goals, and current projects. Members can harness their military turned civilian leadership in support of transitioning Veterans and their spouses via Mentor Connect, a robust virtual group with search capabilities, forum and monthly meetups. They can also join Meritorious Working Committees (MWC) to collaborate and move the needle on issues affecting military transition, employment, mental health, homelessness, wounded warriors and women Veterans.
Meritorious events range from virtual peer-to-peer networking huddles and executive coaching workshops, to educational presentations, whether on corporate social responsibility with Matt Kress, Senior Manager of Veteran and Military Affairs at Starbucks, or the US economy with Jim Glassman, Head Economist at JPMorgan Chase. Meritorious hosts recurring educational events for entrepreneurs, including a small business management series with Jelina Saliu, CEO of The Laundress, which sold to Unilever for $300 million. Larger TEDx style talks and Q&As serve as inspiration to members, featuring individuals like Laura Lane, the newly minted Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer for UPS.
Unique to Meritorious, members can request to host events as a resource to their fellow Veterans, while growing their own brands. Craig Washburn, Founder and CEO of VTC Veteran Tax Credit, and US Navy Veteran, teaches owners and leaders of businesses, who have a desire to hire Veterans, how to earn a tax credit for doing so. John McGloughlin, a Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary civilian volunteer, and Founder of GuardSight, educates on tactical cybersecurity, and sees Meritorious as a vehicle for hiring Veterans for his mostly military centric staff.
Members of Meritorious pay annual dues, while transitioning Veterans and military spouses, and early stage entrepreneurs, can opt for a Freemium membership to gain limited access to the portal. Post launch, Katherine and Ryan will introduce a mobile app with geolocation capabilities, so individuals can find each other locally. They also plan to introduce a donation feature allowing members to donate directly to nonprofits supporting active duty servicemembers, Veterans and their families.
Visit Meritorious.us to learn more and join.
ABOUT MERITORIOUS
Meritorious is the only national network exclusive to military Veterans and military spouses in senior level positions, with private member portal, networking events and professional development. The all-in-one online portal features a member directory, Startup Hub, Mentor Connect, groups and forums, career opportunities and more. The Startup Hub connects entrepreneurs with advisors, investors and potential partners, while Mentor Connect, brings together members and transitioning veterans and spouses. Unique to Meritorious, members can host events to promote their brands, as well as join Meritorious Working Committees (MWC) to collaborate and move the needle on issues affecting the military connected community. Meritorious was co-founded by Katherine Kostreva, current national Director of Development and Marketing for PsychArmor Institute, and Ryan Loya, a US Marine Corps Veteran, and fractional CEO for startups at Columbia Technology Ventures. During Ryan's transition from the military, the duo lobbied to reform the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP), with key mandates now law in NDAA 2019, including the requirement that TAP be completed 365 days prior to End of Active Service, and program impact be measured, consolidated and delivered to Congress annually.
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