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Speakers

Looking for veterans with real-world job experience? Connect with a talented veteran workforce at this free networking event. You’ll be introduced to veterans who are already pros in their field. Check out the “For Businesses” tab for information on registering as a business.


Patrick Benson - Keynote Speaker

Benson, Co-Founder and Director of War Horses for Veterans, is an Army veteran who served in the Infantry from 1998 to 2004. His numerous military operations enable his understanding of the physical and emotional strain on our combat veterans. As a professional horseman, he manages a training and breeding program for performance horses.

Zeke Crozier - Featured Artist

Crozier is an Overland Park-based Army veteran who creates custom-made bottle cap art at Handy-Cappin’.

Anthony Lowe - Speaker

Anthony “Tony” Lowe is Associate Director for Economic Opportunity and Transition Policy for the VFW National Veterans Service directorate, which operates out of the VFW Washington Office in Washington, D.C.

His duties include ensuring VFW employment, education, and transition veteran policy is accurately and effectively articulated to the Congress, federal agencies, veterans’ and military communities, and other interested policymakers. Mr. Lowe serves as primary focal point to the VFW Programs Department, VFW Legislative Service and VFW National Security & Foreign Affairs Department to ensure effective communication and administration of the VFW economic opportunity portfolio.

Mr. Lowe’s diverse military career spans nearly three decades, serving on Active Duty (RegAF), Active Reserve, Air Reserve Technician (Civil Service), Active Guard & Reserve (AGR) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Just prior to entering the veteran advocacy chapter of his life, Tony retired at the rank of
Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) in 2016.

He joined the VFW Washington Office in 2016 as a Pre-Discharge Claims Representative in the National Veterans Service directorate, primarily supporting the Military District of Washington. In February 2018, Tony was promoted to his current position.

He hails from Rochester, NY and is an alumnus of National Defense University and the Community College of the Air Force. Tony is an at-large Life Member of VFW Post 15048. He and his spouse Anamaria reside in Alexandria, VA

Richard McKenna - Speaker

Rick McKenna was appointed Deputy Director of Membership at VFW National Headquarters in Kansas City, MO, in March 2017. Previously he was the Regional Employment & Training Specialist with Wounded Warrior Project, and prior to that, State of Kansas Veterans Workforce Investment Program Coordinator.

McKenna joined the United States Air Force in 1985. He served four years overseas at RAF Mildenhall, UK, he deployed multiple times during his career in support of Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Restore Hope, and Operation Joint Endeavor as an aircrew member (Air Refueling Specialist) aboard the KC-135 tanker. In recognition of his service, he received the Meritorious Service Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal 3rd Award, Air Force Commendation Medal 4th award, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 2nd award, Southwest Asia Service Medal 3rd award, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait), among others.

He also served as an Air Force Recruiter. He is certified as a professional sales trainer and coach. He graduated with an Associates Degree in Human Resource Management from the Community College of the Air Force and later received his Bachelor’s Degree in Management & Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University. McKenna retired from the Air Force after 22 years of service on August 1st, 2007 as the regional manager for Northeast Kansas & Western Missouri for Air Force Recruiting Service achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7397 in Lenexa, Kansas, in 2016. He currently resides in Spring Hill, KS, where he is an active member of VFW Post 7397, where he maintains his Legacy Life membership.

Bob Young - Featured Speaker

Bob established biz2biz connect in 2008 so he could share his acquired wisdom on building long-term successful business relationships. His desire to mentor others began when he was the Membership Sales Representative for the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Chamber of Commerce. While holding this position he witnessed great networkers build trusted relationships that caused their businesses to flourish and he saw individuals waste great networking opportunities or use techniques that actually proved detrimental to their business because they did not have the right knowledge, attitude or tools. He took the insights he gained and use them repeatedly in his own successful business endeavors.

Today his desire is to pay it forward and in 2014 he partnered with the Business Club of Kansas City as Director of Training and Development. While his responsibilities vary, he is dedicated to his classes and workshops on building those all-important, long-term relationships. He never misses an opportunity to strike up a conversation and says, “True joy is putting people together.”

He is also a fervent supporter of local charities and provides multiple opportunities each year for his fellow business partners to connect with worthy service organizations.