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Honor Courage Commitment

A Habit of Service

 Date published: Jan. 8, 2018

Ryan ColeEach year over 1.2 million men and women serve in our country’s military, and each year nearly 300,000 veterans transition out of military service and back into civilian life. That transition is not always easy, but the service of these brave men and women inspire many, including University of Dallas alumnus, Ryan Cole, MBA ’16.

Cole is a supplier risk manager at Capital One with a passion for serving his community. During his time in the MBA program he was part of a semester long project called the Capstone Consulting Experience, where he and his team of fellow MBA students worked with Honor Courage Commitment (HCC), a North Texas organization founded by veterans to provide education and resources to train veterans to become entrepreneurs and business owners.

“At the start of the project I didn't know too much about Honor Courage Commitment, but I knew they were a veteran-focused non-profit organization and that was enough for me to want to get involved,” said Cole.

Throughout the Capstone project, the MBA students worked closely with HCC’s leadership to better understand the mission and help the organization to flourish. As part of the project, Cole’s team was tasked with determining the economic impact that HCC’s veteran training program has on the North Texas economy. In addition, the team also created a marketing handbook for HCC to help them share information about their mission.

HCC’s success has been monumental and, thanks to Cole and his team, HCC is now able to better quantify that success: The organization has had over 60 veterans graduate from their program and over 30 veteran-owned businesses have been launched, resulting in an estimated $16 million of added revenue in North Texas.

“What makes HCC so unique is their focus on the bigger picture,” said Cole. “Working on this project changed my thinking in the workplace as a business professional. Now, I look at how I can influence a larger audience and consider the indirect impact my work can have on others.”

Even after completing the Capstone project, Cole has continued living out his philosophy of service.

“As much as we take from our community, we need to try to give back. When everyone is uplifted, there’s an impact that goes on down the road.”

For the last two years, Cole has worked with his employer, Capital One, to secure a "Transform Your Community" corporate grant for HCC, resulting in an additional $10,000 of donations to HCC’s veterans programs.

Capital One’s “Transform Your Community” campaign helps direct funding to organizations that make a big impact in their communities.

“Capital One goes to great lengths to serve the community,” said Cole. “We help with all kinds of service projects that range from can drives and coat collections, to even a golf tournament that raises over $200,000 each year.”

Cole continues to be impassioned by organizations like Honor Courage Commitment and his habit of service serves as a model to others.

Learn more about the nearly 1,000 organizations that have been impacted by the Capstone Consulting Experience at the University of Dallas.