Sara Moola and her husband Mike Vaughn met the night before our country invaded Iraq. That’s significant because that meeting not produced a great marriage and family, but also a fantastic business that better prepares our troops to execute strategy on the battlefield. Sara, Co-Founder and CEO of Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting (VATC, Inc.) describes the company inception:
We debated on the night we met whether or not the US would invade (Iraq). Mike was working for systems integration for the military and is a retired Special Operations Veteran. I have a background in International Development/Geographical Information Systems (ID/GIS) and I was working with the military in missionplanning systems. We both thought regardless of what the USA decided to do, there had to be a better way to serve our military with faster, innovative solutions to prepare them for better coordination and execution on the battlefield. I wrote the Business Plan for VATC and we started our business on this premise in 2003. We married in 2005. As of 2012 the company has over 160 employees in over 20 locations worldwide. We support Integrated Training Environments and Integrated Training Systems to better prepare our troops and coalition partners in irregular scenarios.
Mike and Sara make a dynamic team. She brings business savvy to her husbands extensive experience with battlefield execution. Together with their team, talented individuals who also have Special Forces experience, they help our troops to fight the fight better. They equip our military elite to stay excellent at what they do and stay ahead of the curve in a changing (world) environment.
But Mike and Sara don’t stop with helping those fighters in the field. They are staunch supporters of those soldiers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice during their service. Sara describes their mission behind the mission:
Mike introduced me to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, an organization that provides free education and other support to the children of the Special Operations Warriors Killed in Action. I wanted to do more for these kids other than going to the fundraising events. I founded the Warrior Outdoor Leadership for the Future (W.O.L.F.), which provides week-long outdoor leadership camps led by active duty and retire Special Operations Forces. We are currently trying to initiate a human resiliency support program. This entails hiring social workers and psychologists worldwide to support our military troops. As the suicide rate of our US soldiers hits one per day, we find it troubling that we cannot fill these positions. We need the psychology community to mobilize and help us in this critical area.
Sara and Mike have won numerous awards, including Inc. 5000 in 2012, Lead Women Entrepreneurs, 2012 SBA Team of the Year, etc., and they are destined to win much more. VATC is a great company with a great service, a great mission and a great team. They train other organizations to do what they do on a regular basis; plan and execute effectively in the midst of a changing environment. ”Never be surprised by surprises,” Mike states. Sound like valuable advice to a business as well as a strike team? You bet. That’s in the works. For now, this husband and wife team is dedicated to protecting our nation and providing for those who’ve given all for that protection.