Military Career Instills Leadership Skills, Helps Pave Road for MGA's VP of Business Development, Colorado
Justin Grant is a United States Army veteran serving on the governing body for all MGA home care companies as vice president of business development in Colorado. He currently resides in Colorado Springs with his beautiful wife, Jennifer and three children – Logan, Jake, and Maeve. Justin graduated from Norwich University, Military College of Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts in sports medicine and minor in biology. After graduation, he began his career in the United States Army with the rank of second lieutenant and proudly served for over four years on active duty. After his officer basic training course, Justin volunteered for the most challenging training course the military has to offer, U.S. Army Ranger School. Upon completion, he tried out for the Army’s most elite special operations fighting unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment. Justin was hand-selected by his superiors and entered the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington. Through multiple deployments, training, and experience, he developed top leadership skills that have proven invaluable in the civilian sector and at MGA.
JUSTIN GRANT Q+A -
How did you begin your military career?
Upon graduation from Norwich University, Military College of Vermont and completion of Advanced Camp I pinned on the rank of 2LT. After receiving my commission as an Army Officer I then went on to successfully complete US Army Ranger School, Airborne and the Ranger Officer Program. My first active duty assignment was Wonju, South Korea where I served as a Chemical Platoon Leader for 12 months with a follow-on assignment at Fort Lewis, WA.
What motivated you to join?
My grandfather was a WWII veteran who fought in the Pacific Theater at the age of 17 years old. He lied on his enlistment application so that he could help support his mother and siblings living in Portland, Maine. As a young kid growing up, I always admired my grandfather for serving his country in a time of need. I didn't commit to the military until my sophomore year at Norwich where I received a scholarship from the army covering my final three years of college. Norwich really prepared me for the army and allowed me to develop as a student and also grow as a person.
How did you and your role evolve during your time of service?
The great thing about the military is that your role is always evolving. The leadership/development is there for the taking, but as a soldier, you have to initiate that yourself. There are so many great leaders in our military with a ton of knowledge so you have to try hard NOT to succeed or excel.
What was the most challenging aspect of serving?
Ranger School and being deployed overseas with limited or no communication while loved ones were stateside.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful aspect of serving?
Being selected to the 2d Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and serving with some amazing men/heroes.
When did you join MGA and what was your first role with the company?
I joined MGA in August of 2008! I actually flew from Iraq to Scottsdale, AZ around July 2008 to meet with Dave Zowine (CEO) and the leadership team of MGA. My close friend from Norwich, Pat Shanahan (VP of MGA Healthcare Sales and Marketing), picked me up at the airport and we headed over to the office. I spent two days with the team in Scottsdale and instantly knew this was the company for me. I accepted the position as an entry-level recruiter, headed back to Maine to pick up my girlfriend at the time (now wife) so we could start our journey together. Movers arrived in the middle of August and we drove across the country to Scottsdale for the beginning of our MGA career. It was definitely a leap of faith, but I trusted Pat and Dave which made my decision much easier.
What would you say are the top 3 things you do every day in order to be in your current position at MGA?
1 - Constantly staying motivated - I've always enjoyed working with MGA and still do to this day. I can honestly say I love coming to work. 2 - Never stop learning from your superiors, but more importantly your employees. 3 - Work hard every day.
Your office is heavily involved in philanthropic initiatives. Where did the desire to serve your community come from?
Having been with MGA and spending a lot of time around Dave, I was able to see how much he took care of people and gave back to the community. It was amazing to see such a generous person touch so many people and change lives.
Your office has partnered with We Honor Veterans. What does this mean to you and for the communities MGA serves?
This is an organization that Timmy Evans from our Community Resource Division brought to our attention as he worked with them at his previous job. We looked into who they were and felt their mission aligned with MGA's core values. Given the multiple military installations and soldiers located in Colorado Springs, we felt that it made sense for us to partner with their organization.
What do you want people to know about serving in the military?
Serving in the military gives you such a sense of pride and purpose which has allowed me to carry those traits into the civilian sector. Anyone who is thinking of joining the military, I would highly recommend them to do so. It's one of the most selfless jobs/careers you could have in your lifetime.
As a proud community partner of We Honor Veterans, MGA will be featuring spotlights of veterans in our local offices and communities throughout the year to help further the We Honor Veterans national awareness campaign. Stay connected with us and share our stories with your friends on social media.