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PR Update: StartupNation member booked for NBC Nightly News

StartupNation members who’ve opted in for our newsletters are receiving periodic PR Opportunity Breaking News Bulletins. This is all part of how StartupNation is helping its members get recognition and become more successful.

(You can sign up to receive these bulletins here.)

We’re really excited to share with you the most recent PR triumph that we’ve facilitated for a StartupNation member - Thomas Venable of Tommy V’s Salsa.

Here’s the email I just received from NBC Nightly News:

I wanted to thank you for all the great recommendations you sent our way.  We’re going to be profiling Thomas Venable who started Tommy Vs salsa.  I’m really excited, he seems like an incredibly guy  – a really enthusiastic and savvy entrepreneur.

I’m going to keep the rest of the responses handy for the future.  There are so many great stories there.  I’ll get an answer to them shortly so they don’t feel their e-mail fell into a vast dark void.

Thanks again for all your help.

If you’ve been following my blog postings, you know the new air date is July 13, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

FYI, to know what caught the NBC Nightly News producer’s eye, I’ve provided Thomas’s response to our PR Opportunity Breaking News bulletin below:

My name is Thomas T Venable Jr and I would like the opportunity to tell my story. I was laid off from my Graphic/Web designer job back on October 31, 2008 after being 5 years on the job. The company was doing great until new management came in and drove the company into the ground, plus the economy didn’t help any. Nothing like having a bunch of idiots run a business that didn’t know anything about the industry and fired the entire original knowledge base. The industry was email marketing.

Anyway, after I got laid off, it took about a week for reality to sink in and that’s when the internal panic button was pushed. An almost 40 year old black man, divorced with 2 kids, paying child support and living with his girlfriend (known her since high school), had to find employment fast! I applied for job after job, went on interviews, had phone interviews, nothing, still no job. The problem that I was having was that the employers wanted me to have a BA in Graphics Arts. I am self taught and have 14 plus years experience in the field of graphic design.

OK, so months roll past, I apply for unemployment. I am selling stuff on eBay just to get some extra money and on top of it, the credit card people are calling me, they want their money!

I am stressing, real bad! My girlfriend is doing as much as she can to help out. I need to do something, I need to do something fast. I sat around the apartment, cried when my girlfriend was not around and just asked the higher power for some help.

Long story short, (I don’t think my story is ever going to be read) I love to cook so I spent a lot of time learning about the specialty food market. I got my kitchen certified, I created a
food business called Tommy V Foods, LLC and developed a line of fresh salsa called TommyV’s Salsa.

I sell at local Farmers’ Markets and on the campus of George Mason University.

Being in business for only 3 months, my salsa is a HUGE hit. People are really digging my salsa!

Though I am not making the “big” yet, I wake up everyday with a smile on my face because this is MY business. I call the shots, I make the decisions and I create the path on where my business should be going. It’s difficult but I smile every morning I wake up now.

Thomas T. Venable, Jr.
CEO/President
Tommy V Foods, LLC

Congratulations to Thomas! And it sounds like many of you who responded to the PR Opportunity Breaking News bulletin may have a shot to be featured in front of millions of viewers in the future…

Again, SIGN UP HERE to get on the PR Opportunity Breaking News Bulletin list.

About the Author: Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to [...]