Griff on Combat Flip Flops
Co-Founder and CEO, Combat Flip Flops
- Former member of the elite Army Special Operation Forces
- Co-founded Combat Flip Flops with a fellow Ranger after witnessing the positive effects of economic growth in conflict areas
- Known for his moving TedX talk and his successful appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, where he secured a deal with three "sharks" including Mark Cuban
- Discusses leadership lessons learned in service, the importance of a purpose-driven culture, and how to work with millennials
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A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in engineering management, Griff served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer, with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq. Post military, he moved to the private sector as the Director of Military Sales for Remote Medical International and the Director of Special Operations for Protect the Force.
After leaving the Army, Griffin specialized in developing solutions for companies growing business in "difficult" locations, which led to the development of Combat Flip Flops, now a $1 million retailer of shoes and accessories. The company currently operates in Afghanistan, Laos, and Colombia, helping local populations pull themselves out of poverty. Proceeds are additionally used to put Afghan girls in school and to help clear mines from war-ravaged lands in Laos.
In addition to his work with Combat Flip Flops, Griffin currently serves as a logistics officer for Team 5 Foundation, an organization comprised of veteran and medical volunteers who travel to remote areas across the globe providing medical assistance to those in need.
Matthew Griffin has moved from student to Army Ranger to military veteran to director of sales and special operations to co-founder and CEO of a global organization providing jobs, education, and safer communities for vulnerable populations. The journey has been eye-opening and full of challenges and successes. Throughout it all, Griffin’s biggest takeaway has been the importance of persistence, creativity, and respect—or, in other words, never underestimating the abilities of yourself or those around you. Here, Griffin shares his incredible life-story and lights up the stage with his passion and drive for change. Audiences leave feeling determined to chart their own course, focus their goals, and tackle big challenges.
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