Interviews

KeepAmerica sells only American products, hires veterans

CEO David Seliktar talks bid to boost job creation on 'Your World'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 4, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DAGEN MCDOWELL, GUEST HOST: Using your green to help the red, white, and blue.

David Seliktar is here, the CEO of KeepAmerica. His company sells only American products to try and boost business and job creation right here in the U.S. of A., and including hiring veterans.

David, tell us what you are doing, because you have a whole array of products in front of you.

DAVID SELIKTAR, CEO, KEEPAMERICA: Yes, we are all about, as you know, job creation and boosting the American economy by buying American-made products.

Not only that, but we believe obviously in keeping jobs here. Now, what we do, we have veteran- owned and -operated organizations and companies on our site. Everything you see here is veteran-owned and-operated.

They give back to veterans and as well as military causes. In the front is a new energy drink that has just been launched. And we give back 5 percent of our gross sales to hire here USA for job training and placement for our veterans and their spouses.

Here is a brand called Heroes Vodka. This man Travis McVey, he is a CEO, former Marine guard for George Bush Sr., President George Bush Sr. Phenomenal brand, gives back 25 percent of their profits to AMVETS.

And, again, we are all about not only just the job creation, but the quality of the work these organizations and these companies do, giving back to our troops, as well as our veterans.

MCDOWELL: There are dog treats here, Bogart's Barkery do treats.

But in terms of, do people, just as general consumers, really respond when they feel like that they are supporting an American business and supporting one backed by veterans?

SELIKTAR: They do. They do.

Everyone, first of all, realizes the need. It's been well-documented all the troubles of the VA and everything veterans go through. So, it really does help. People have finally understood, and the consumer demand.

And major retailers, for example, Wal-Mart, have tremendous initiatives now. Consumer demand really is the strongest thing we have as customers, as a nation. So, it really does make a huge impact.

MCDOWELL: Yes. I have heard Ken Langone say over and over and over again, one of the founders of Home Depot, that he's never, ever made a mistake hiring a veteran.

SELIKTAR: That's right.

MCDOWELL: That what they bring to the table in terms of work ethic, organization, management skills is really unparalleled.

Do you think all business owners understand that?

SELIKTAR: I don't know, but you know what? They should, because the efficiency, the job training, they pick things up so quickly. And, like you said, the work ethic really is unparalleled to most people out there.

We hire veterans as well. We're honored to have them. They really are heroes. And we just try and support them any way possible.

MCDOWELL: And in terms of these American companies and these companies that -- where veterans work, that are founded by veterans, when people leave the military, are there opportunities out there for them? Are enough companies stepping up in terms of giving them jobs, training, experience and even the ability to be promoted?

SELIKTAR: Every bit helps. That's what we try and do.

We try and get them out there. We bring the traffic to our site, and bring the attention to them. As I mentioned, with the beverage Hire Heroes, they really focus on that. There are other organizations as well.

But people don't realize, when you buy American-made, not only does it help that one organization, that one company, but there is like a ripple-down effect. There's actually eight different states involved in the production of that, in the cans, or the co-packing, distribution.

So, it spreads like a wildfire across the country, creating jobs. There's many different aspects and many different states.

MCDOWELL: And people, they love the red, white, and blue for so many reasons.

But, David, thank you so much for being here.

SELIKTAR: Thank you.

MCDOWELL: David Seliktar.

SELIKTAR: Pleasure.

MCDOWELL: It's great to see you. Happy Fourth of July.

SELIKTAR: You too. Happy Fourth of July.

MCDOWELL: Enjoy the celebration.

END

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