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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Matthew “Griff” Griffin is a former Special Operations Army Ranger, West Point Graduate, award-winning documentary producer, philanthropist, and co-founder and CEO of Combat Flip Flops – a fashion and lifestyle company that sells goods manufactured in conflict and post-conflict zones.
After serving four combat tours as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq with the storied 2nd Ranger Battalion, Griffin departed the military in 2006 to create positive, sustainable change in conflict areas. With the skills learned in the military, he co-founded Combat Flip Flops, which uses their profits to aid the areas in which they are made – funding girls’ education, clearing land mines, and supporting veteran charities as a part of Griffin’s mission to encourage peace through trade and “business over bullets.” A powerful and emotional speaker, Griffin is known for a moving TEDx talk on the power of persistence, creativity, and respect, as well as for his successful appearance on the entrepreneurial television show Shark Tank, where he secured a deal with not only one but three “sharks” including Mark Cuban. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Griffin is a firm believer that “anything worth doing is worth overdoing” and shares his inspiring and motivating story of chasing big goals and creating positive change with audiences globally.
A Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in Engineering Management, Griffin served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer, with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq. After leaving the Army, Griffin 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. There, he specialized in developing solutions for companies growing business in "difficult" locations, which led to the development of Combat Flip Flops. The company has operated in Afghanistan, Laos, and Colombia, helping local populations pull themselves out of poverty, and has funded education for more than 800 girls in Northern Afghanistan.
In addition to building a globally respected philanthropic brand, Griffin was a member of the first team to successfully ski off the tallest mountain in Iraq in the award-winning film, Adventure Not War: Ski Iraq. In 2019, he led and executive produced the film, Here Am I, Send Me, a Sundance recognized film that follows the trail of Griffin and fellow Rangers freefalling a Gold Star Mother into the opening ceremonies of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
In 2021, Griffin founded 46&2 Transitions, a non-profit organization focused on helping transitioning veterans overcome PTSD through holistic methodologies. He is currently leading a 2-year clinical study to prove the effectiveness of focused meditation and plant medicine to heal wounds sustained in combat.
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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