Transition Plus is our exciting new 501c3 project in Summerfield! Targeted to create rural renewal, with stable housing, agricultural small business education, and a place for healing and learning for our transitioning military, we are now at the fundraising stage of our endeavor.
The purpose of Transition Plus Association and its chapters is to encourage RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT by creating education centers for transitioning veterans reintegrating into rural America to build SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE and COMMUNITY ECONOMIC GROWTH which are essential for National Security.
We provide assistance with housing, healthcare, employment, agricultural and small business education, plus the needed time to discover a new career path, purpose for life, and healing from visible and invisible wounds, all in a quiet area ready for rural renewal.
1. The City of Summerfield is allowing us to use the former school building rent free as we provide the maintenance. We are developing a community kitchen and will use the classrooms to house part of the Tower Farm that is being established. The produce will grow under special lights. The rooms will allow for storage and packaging and getting it ready for distribution. The gym will be for the community's use and the veteran's use. The football field will house a full-size Commercial Greenhouse with state-of-the-art aeroponic Towers for farming all kinds of produce.
2. The former Veteran Home, Good Shepherd, is available for the project for affordable housing. It has 25 beds and will provide inexpensive, stable housing for the veterans who come to learn produce farming in a high-tech way, along with other agricultural options like beekeeping, goat herding, and chicken or egg production.
3. We have a fantastic board working on a solid business plan and small business opportunities for transitioning veterans.
Gary Smith, Transition Plus Association President and Executive Director has extensive experience as a defense contractor and entrepreneur.He was project manager for a $43 M radar program for the US Army with installation and support of radars located across the US, Europe and in the South Pacific. He has also served as CEO, Chief Technical Officer, and VP in the defense electronics industry and successfully complied with all applicable Department of Defense fiscal controls on several projects. He has a passion to come along side transitioning veterans and give them the career path support they need to succeed in a whole different world. Too many veterans don't transition well and so struggle for years, or even end their life. We aim to change that!
Linn Sunderland - Former college professor and ag devotee with strong roots to Summerfield and on its Alumni Board will oversee the building of the Commercial Greenhouse and the Tower Farm indoors as well.
Ellen Barber, MCP4G Director. She has helped raise $300k of tax credit pledges toward the project and helps with the direction of the project.
Roy Messick - Highly experienced CPA, serves as the treasurer.
Jerry Zayas - West Point graduate and Veteran of 30+ years, a retired Colonel. Resides in Blue Rapids, and will be the next mayor.
Jim McNeal - Roots in Summerfield and a veteran chaplain with a mental health specialty. Will be available to our resident veterans.