Brian Thompson, Metal Supermarkets – Tampa, FL - Open for Opportunity

Brian Thompson wasn’t always active in the veteran community in Tampa, Florida. A veteran of the United States Navy, Brian spent nine years working in the nuclear power program in the submarine service. After retiring from service, he spent more than two decades working in corporate America before an opportunity to own his own business came up – and he decided he wanted to plant roots in Florida as owner of three Metal Supermarkets stores (and more on the way!).

Today, nearly half of Brian’s employees are veterans, and he values the experience, discipline, and knowledge they bring to the business – showing up on time and being ready to work. “We’re making a difference for other veterans as well, and we’re tapped in as part of that veteran community to try to provide jobs to veterans that are looking for it.”

Brian gives back to the veteran community because of what he received from it himself. All the other veterans who had started businesses before him, the mentors he could rely on for answers to questions, and the network of support allowed him to become a business owner. As Brian puts it, “there’s no way I would have taken the leap to start something like this without the help.”

The trust other veterans put in Brian is the same trust he has in those he hires. He is building lasting community partnerships – like the one he has with the local technical college donating metal for their welding students instead of scrapping it – that will afford more opportunities to veterans like himself.

Brian Thompson is a local business owner, and he is Open for Opportunity.