Adapt to Thrive!

We are LIVE! Discussing ideas and solutions for Businesses! with Jim Wong, Fred Parrish, and Lynn Lowder.

Posted by MSBDC Western Regional Office on Thursday, June 4, 2020


After our open question and answer zoom sessions, we felt it would be a good idea to bring together leaders and mentors in the business world who are military-connected.  I have been lucky to work with Lynn, Fred, and Jim, and was honored they participated in our 1st webinar that we co-hosted with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC).

I wanted to share the video with you, as well provide some excerpts:

“Place signs in your storefront welcoming your customers”

“Get back to the basics”

“Communicating with customers is so important”

“Safety is a priority!”

“Serve people with a smile” 

“smile behind the mask.”

“Bring entertainment to your store!”

“Even if you have money, think like you are broke”

“Treating people fair is super important! “Build loyalty amongst your employees! It will make the difference between surviving and thriving!”

 “Businesses will have to compete for discretionary dollars even more post COVID-19”

“Matrix for prioritizing measures for rapid revenue recovery” McKinsey & Company

“Hand out a customer feedback card, only have 2 question.  1st question:  On a scale of 0 – 100, how much did we delight you.  2nd question:  “What is one thing we can do better?”  Keep it simple

When asked to talk about people struggling with mindset.  Jim Wong “I was in combat in Vietnam, and Lynn and I have known each other for 53 years, we share these war stories and we say, ok things are bad, but at least nobody is shooting at us, that’s mindset.”  Lynn Lowder “The combat experience really levels out the planet real quick in a lot of ways.”  It is who you are as a person, we fight as a team. The attitude is all important, in everything, in every aspect of your life, so when Jim and I roll out of bed in the morning, we think Thank God we are alive.  It really is an attitude every day.

Below are the Resources and Speaker information:

New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Veteran Business Project                               

The Profit Beacon                                           

Center for Women & Enterprise                  

Department of Treasury                                

US Chamber of Commerce                           

Vigilance Risk                         


Small Business Development Centers           

Veteran Business Outreach Center NE     



Past webinars for small businesses here:


  • “From Surviving to Thriving: Reimagining the Post-COVID-19 Return”:

  • “Accelerating Analytics to Navigate COVID-19 and the Next Normal”:

  • “Elevating Customer Experience in the Next Normal”:


Charles “Lynn” Lowder, Co-founder and CEO of ​nonprofit Veteran Business Project (VBP), which energizes and sustains veteran and military spouse entrepreneurship.   A leader with in-depth experience in business, law and the military.  Among its services, VBP offers a unique “vharmony” matchmaking process, connecting veterans/military spouses seeking to acquire established businesses with business owners wanting to divest. Lynn is an appointee to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA).

 Along with being a former trial attorney, Lynn has held various business leadership positions, to include: General Counsel – Mail Boxes Etc., COO – Colt Firearms, Trustee – Marine Military Academy, Director of Veteran Services – UCM and President – “360 Degree Success.” A Marine infantry officer, he served as a team leader with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company (Special Operations) in South Vietnam where he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for valor, the Bronze Star Medal with combat “v” and the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. His combat and business experiences have been profiled in several books.


Fred G. Parrish  Founder and CEO of The Profit Experts and The Profit Institute, and CFO The Veteran Business Project. Since 1980 he has held positions from staff accountant to CEO in both public and private companies with revenues ranging from startup to $3.5 billion. Fred has served on the Board of Directors for 12 organizations in aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare services, business services, insurance, international missions, technology, and document management. He has extensive experience in directing and overseeing company operations, managing corporate resource development, and directing strategic planning for domestic and international organizations. With this broad experience in both operations and financial management in a wide range of industries and at all levels of the organization, he has developed a proven process for optimizing operational analysis, dynamic cash flow management, staff efficiency planning, profit mining and organizational development. Fred is a speaker and instructor on subjects related to profit and cash flow optimization.


Jim Wong, COO, the Veteran Business Project, a naturalized U.S. citizen, Jim offers both entrepreneurial startup and P&L experience in global corporations, to include serving on the boards of publicly-traded companies and three decades of serving as a volunteer and board member of nonprofit organizations. In all his endeavors, Jim continues to apply and build on leadership skills gained as a Marine Corps NCO and officer. As a young captain, Jim was assigned to a lieutenant colonel, general staff officer billet for 2 years. Educated at MIT, Jim’s corporate experience includes GM’s Packard Electric Division and PepsiCo. Since 1988, Jim has worked in entrepreneurial ventures, initially building a management and organization development consultancy to help Fortune 500 companies improve their labor and capital productivity, later helping clients to source and integrate disruptive technologies from innovative small firms. For ten years, Jim, his wife Linda and their partners owned and managed a Pizza Hut franchise, with nineteen restaurants in Brazil.

Jim also serves as Chairman of the National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. (REBOOT), a nonprofit recognized by the White House in 2010 as Champions of Change. As a member of The Rosie Network’s advisory board, he helps to provide entrepreneurship education and mentorship to veteran- and military spouse-owned companies across the U.S.