Bob Evans Farms Annual “Heroes to CEOs” Contest for Veterans

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Bob Evans Farms, Inc. announced that the second annual Our Farm Salutes grant-giving program, “Heroes to CEOs,” will open for applications on May 22, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. EST and will remain open through June 27, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Each of the three winning Veteran-owned businesses will be awarded grants of $25,000 as well as an all-expenses-paid, three-day trip for two to New York City for a half-day mentoring session with Daymond John, Founder & CEO of FUBU and Co-Star of ABC’s Shark Tank.

A panel of judges will score each eligible entry based on reason, presentation, feasibility, opportunity and future success of the business or plan submitted. The top 10 highest-scoring entrants will be deemed finalists, which will then be judged by a panel of celebrity judges – including last year’s grant winners – who will score the finalists’ entries based on the same criteria. Winners will be announced on September 5, 2018, and invited to an awards ceremony on September 6, 2018, at Blueprint + Co, Daymond John’s co-working space in New York City.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to partner with Bob Evans Farms for a second year and to share what I have learned throughout my journey as an entrepreneur with this year’s three deserving Veterans,” said Daymond John. “I know firsthand how hard it is to start a business and understand the immense value that both mentoring and a grant of this amount can bring. More than anything, I am passionate about working with veterans and helping them harness the skills that they’ve learned throughout their military careers to build a successful business.  I look forward to hearing their ideas and business plans and help them look to the future.”

The Heroes to CEOs grant contest is the largest Veterans-only business grant and is open to Veterans of all US military branches who own an independent registered business or have a plan for an independent business in the United States or the District of Columbia. Nonprofits are also eligible for the grant.

“As we saw last year with our outstanding winners, Veterans have amazing and innovative ideas but sometimes have trouble getting started. Learning how to run a business and securing the required financing can be a challenge, so we created the Heroes to CEOs grant contest to support and encourage entrepreneurial Veterans,” said Mike Townsley, CEO and president, Bob Evans Farms. “We’re beyond proud of what Veterans accomplish and know that a grant of this size and a personal one-on-one coaching session with entrepreneur and investor from ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John, is invaluable.”

In order to have their business considered, Veteran entrepreneurs are required to submit a plan demonstrating a solid business concept, multimedia assets in a video format, and a personal essay about their passion for their business. Veterans can learn more about the program and register at

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V. Sheree Williams is the publisher of Cuisine Noir Magazine, the country's first digital and print culinary magazine that connects the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. For more, in-depth stories, visit
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