Celebrating Heroes

Wearing Made in USA Creates Jobs, and that is Authentically American

OpsLens Deck of 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders

In 2018, as a spin-off and salute to the original 2003 deck of 52 Most Wanted playing cards, let’s honor post 9/11 frontline leaders here at home. Once a week, for 52 weeks this year, OpsLens will post a card highlighting one of the 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders. You’ll learn the top facts about their business or organization, as well as why they made the list, which comes down to impact, scalability, health, and unique value proposition.

I encourage you to look for these weekly updates, share the card with your network, and support or buy the products and services they offer. See the 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders launch story here.

 6 of Hearts| Authentically American

You probably have a polo or mug with a company logo. How about a shirt from a concert or volunteer organization that brazenly screams to the world who you are—and your values. Most of us have at least one item like this—whether apparel or accessory—in our closets or on our desks, right? Yet if you look closer, does that tag, stamp, or sticker say Made in USA? Now … does it really tell the world what you care about and believe? Cofounders Dean and Kelly Wegner launched Authentically American in 2017 because they believed they were not alone in their desire to walk faithfully in life, and for that walk to reflect their sincere pride and commitment to our country.

Authentically American is not just about the Made in USA stamp, it’s about how that support employs a neighbor to make a living here at home. Their company mission is all about setting the universally accepted standard for Made in USA by focusing on producing and providing high-quality branded products at a competitive price while having a measurable impact on job creation. They trust that endeavor is what builds an iconic American brand, which they are well on their way to achieving. With their value proposition locked in, they also have the look—check out their breathtaking vintage US flag logo.

To date, their specialty is B2B, serving as a custom partner to businesses, political campaigns, schools, nonprofits, concert promoters, and golf tournaments—those who seek products that allow them to promote their brand while showing they are truly Authentically American and Made in USA. And they open their doors to collaborate with entities of any size, whether your company or organization has 10 or 1000+ employees (all while staying current with fashion, color, and design trends that solely use American manufacturers). In their first year alone, they have worked with more than 100 customers (including Fortune 500 companies) and secured collegiate licenses with several of the nation’s top academic institutions, all while establishing a supply chain in six states. Stay tuned this next year as they expand their product offerings to include a lifestyle consumer line in addition to their B2B model.

And there’s one more thing to know about this company’s genuine approach: they give back ten percent of their revenue to help benefit nonprofit enterprises that assist American veterans and their families as they move forward with their lives after combat.

Authentically American is a frontline leader that should be on your list of most wanted businesses to support in 2018.

Frontline Leader (Founders): Dean & Kelly Wegner.

Name of Company/Organization: Authentically American, founded 2017.

Location: HQ is Nashville, Tennessee, with production taking place in six states (Alabama, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Texas).

Post 9/11 Service Connection: U.S. Army (USMA, helicopter pilot, Ranger) and military spouse.

Tours of Duty: Seven years active duty, and several other examples of servant leadership throughout both their lives.

One sentence tagline &/or mission statement: Where is yours made?™

Website: http://www.authenticallyamerican.us

“Corporations now have the opportunity to choose to stand apart from their competition with Made in USA branded apparel. Their choice to support American manufacturing helps create jobs in our great nation. That’s what it is all about, job creation!”                             – Dean Wegner


The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Marjorie K. Eastman

Marjorie K. Eastman is a US Army Veteran. Eastman served 10 years in the Army Reserve, including two combat deployments. She received a Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, and has her MBA from Vanderbilt University. She is on the 2018 list of Top 25 Influencers supporting the military community and also a 2017 National Independent Publisher Award winning author of The Frontline Generation: How We Served Post 9/11.

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