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Jefferson County man takes 2nd place in national veteran business competition

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Jefferson County veteran won $20,000 as the 2nd place finisher in the 2016 D’Aniello Family Foundation Business Plan Competition.

Paul Kilgore’s plan for WAORGANY Brewing, LLC of Evans Mills (northeast of Watertown) was part of the competition that Syracuse University’s (SU) Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) organized.

An entrepreneur from Colorado captured the first place prize of $35,000, the IVMF said in a news release.


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WAORGANY Brewing, LLC is a farm brewery, according to its website. The name WAORGANY includes the abbreviations for Washington, Oregon, Georgia, and New York, places where he’s either lived or served in the military.

Kilgore was among eight veterans and military spouses sharing a total of $110,000 in seed funding.

The IVMF describes those involved as “established or aspiring entrepreneurs.”

The Washington, D.C.–based D’Aniello Family Foundation, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the EBV Foundation provided the funding.

The final judging and competition took place during the IVMF’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) national training & alumni conference in Charlotte, North Carolina during the first weekend in February.

Funded in part by an agreement between the IVMF and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the EBV is a veteran-entrepreneurship training program.

The D’Aniello Family Foundation business-plan competition was open to all graduates of the IVMF’s EBV and EBV-Families entrepreneurship training programs.

D’Aniello Family Foundation
The business-plan competition resulted from the D’Aniello Family Foundation’s recent $1 million gift to the IVMF and SU.

The IVMF is using the funding to “strengthen” its programming and operations to “better serve transitioning service members, veterans and their families all over the country,” according to the release.

“We are grateful for this transformational gift and the commitment Dan D’Aniello … is making to the IVMF,” Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and SU vice chancellor, said. “Dan’s support of the university’s work in this area will have substantial impact on our collective efforts to advance the post-service lives of our nation’s veterans, service members and their families.”

D’Aniello is a 1968 alumnus of SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and a current member of the SU board of trustees.

“Being a veteran and an entrepreneur myself, my goal in establishing the D’Aniello Family Foundation Business Plan Competition was to help veteran entrepreneurs to help themselves by creating or growing a business,” Dan D’Aniello, co-founder and chairman of the Carlyle Group, said in the release. “The results of this year’s competition clearly reveal that the next generation of veteran entrepreneurs is already well on its way to success.”

Washington, D.C.–based Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative-asset manager with $188 billion of assets under management, according to its website.

Contact Reinhardt at


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