Making the transition to civilian life is one of the greatest challenges veterans face. For veteran entrepreneurs, this transition can pose an even bigger challenge. While almost 50% of veterans returning home from World War II started businesses, that number is down to 4.5% today. But why? The biggest challenge faced by today’s veterans is access to the funds and social networks needed to start and grow their businesses. That’s why the PenFed Foundation launched the Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP), which equips military members and veterans with the resources and training needed to realize their business aspirations.

Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and CEO and Founder of ‘Free to Feed,’ Trillitye “Trill” Paullin participated in the PenFed Foundation’s VEIP Master’s Program Accelerator. Her passion as a Molecular Biologist and mother of two led her to found Free to Feed, an organization that creates science-based content for allergen-free breastfeeding and is developing products to empower parents through infant allergies such as patenting the technology for mothers to analyze their breast milk for allergen proteins.

President of the PenFed Foundation, Andrea McCarren, and Trillitye “Trill” Paullin discuss the importance of supporting veteran-owned businesses. They also identify the best cities for veteran entrepreneurs in America based on PenFed Foundation’s new study which highlights how these cities have committed substantial resources to supporting veteran entrepreneurs and military communities.

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More About Andrea McCarren

Andrea McCarren is the President of The PenFed Foundation, which champions our military through investment, advocacy and outreach. She’s also the Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer of PenFed Digital. Andrea and her team produce daily content for the Credit Union and Foundation’s social media platforms. Their mission is to serve and inspire PenFed’s three Million members by showcasing the stories of veterans, active-duty service members and military families who give back to their communities.

Andrea also enjoys a full-time volunteer gig, raising service dogs for veterans and first responders with a disability. She’s successfully raised and trained five service dogs and is eagerly awaiting her sixth puppy in December. She’s been named to the HillVets 100, an honor designated for the country’s most influential veterans, service members and advocates.

Service is in Andrea’s DNA. Her father served in the Air Force and Air National Guard, retiring as a Brigadier General.

Prior to joining PenFed, Andrea spent more than 30 years working in television news. Her reporting and producing have been recognized with 25 Emmy Awards, and dozens of other national and local honors. In 2006, she was awarded the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

More About Trillitye Paullin, Ph.D.

Trillitye (Dr. Trill) Paullin, PhD earned a doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Biology, is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran, is currently serving her 18th year in the Army National Guard and is the CEO and co-founder of Free to Feed. After her daughters suffered through food reactions to proteins transferred from her diet to breast milk, Dr. Trill wanted to create a place for parents to find answers and empower them to reach their feeding goals. Free to Feed was born to provide the research, resources, and support she wished they had early on. Dr. Trill invented the first at-home test kit to detect allergens in human milk which is in manufacturing phases and supported by Free to Feed’s educational support package, tracking app, personal consultations, and more.

Produced for PenFed Credit Union