Opportunity Brewing in OSD and Cuvee Coffee Partnership
Mike McKim, owner of Cuvee Coffee, an Austin, Texas-based coffee company, has teamed up with Operation Supply Drop, a non-profit organization that aids veterans in finding community and resources during and after service. McKim will join the Advisory Team, playing a key role in advising, fundraising and generating membership for the organization.
“Operation Supply Drop’s mission makes sense. It’s relevant and current and it reaches out to active duty military, giving them something to do while they’re deployed as well as reaching veterans who need a community and network for resources,” McKim said.
McKim believes that OSD fills an important gap for military members and veterans through its video game care packages, veteran VIP treatment sponsorships and local teams that emphasize camaraderie and support.
“That network is vital for service members to reach out to both during and after their military service. They are able to get advice from people who have experienced the transition to civilian life already. They also have access to more opportunities like jobs or programs like OSD’s Thank You Deployment, that offers vets therapeutic experiences.”
McKim speaks from hard-earned experience. As an aviation electronics technician, McKim thought it would be easy to get a job when he transitioned out of the military in 1992. He was a technically skilled veteran. But he had difficulty communicating those skills to the civilian workforce, a problem that is still experienced by veterans today as demonstrated by the 4.6 percent veteran unemployment rate as of 2015, according to the United States Department of Labor.
“I didn’t know how to write a resume. I didn’t know what skills to highlight,” he said. “I kept getting turned down because I didn’t know how to market myself. I think that’s still an issue for veterans today. They want to find a job that offers the same sort of fulfillment that the military does. One that also recognizes the diverse skills that they’ve picked up in the military.”
McKim languished in pizza delivery, telemarketing and sales jobs for six years before he found his passion.
“My uncle introduced me to coffee roasting. I went into it as a hobby, and then it became a full-blown business,” he said. “I was enamored by the physical process of roasting coffee, taking a raw ingredient and turning it into something delicious.”
McKim’s business, Cuvee Coffee, is credited with pioneering specialty coffee in Texas. Cuvee has won numerous awards, including BevNet’s Best Packaging Innovation of the Year in 2015, for canned nitro coffee. Wanting to expand on the company’s success, McKim is currently developing coffee shop franchise opportunities for fellow veterans.
“Veterans are a valuable resource. They are hard-working people with integrity, drive and an entrepreneurial spirit. I want to be able to offer them the opportunities that I struggled to find when I first got out of the military,” he said.
Operation Supply Drop CEO, Glenn D. Banton, Sr. added, “With the addition of Mike to the team, we get yet another great and motivated mind to continue positively impacting the lives of our veterans. Mike knows what it’s like to struggle through the transition and come out on top and he wants to share those experiences to help his fellow veterans shorten the gap.”
Founded in 2010, Operation Supply Drop is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together. Focused on combating depression, suicide, homelessness and unemployment, OSD is the world’s most generationally relevant veteran support organization, serving U.S., NATO and ANZAC veterans and active duty via three core programs: The Teams (local volunteering and support, uniting civilians and veterans), Supply Drops (video game care packages and morale building events) and Thank You Deployments (gaming insider, entertainment and other exclusive VIP experiences). To date, OSD has raised over (U.S.) $8 million in monetary and in- kind donations and served over 60,000 veterans, active-duty and military families worldwide. For more information, please visit https://www.