After 22 years of military service, Brad Briller was faced with the tough transition of leaving life as a U.S. Navy F/A-18 pilot for the civilian world. While Brad had relished his life as a pilot, his military career frequently uprooted him and his family—his wife Amy and their three children. They lived all over the world, but never for more than a few years at a time.
When Brad retired from the Navy, he wanted to continue flying, so he began his next career as a pilot with a national commercial airline. Brad found his transition from an active-duty service member to civilian life challenging. Brad recalls, “I really missed the sense of service I had in the Navy. I was proud of the difference not only for my small role in defending our country, but more importantly, supporting my comrades. I also felt incredibly fortunate that my family experienced a safe military career, with a quick transition to a civilian job upon retirement. Not all families have this luxury.”
Brad’s wife Amy also found herself missing the sense of service she felt as a Navy wife: “I was a navy wife for 22 years. When Brad retired, we instantly missed our ‘Navy family.’” Although Amy holds a master’s degree in social work, the military moves and frequent deployments kept her from developing a career in this field, but she was able to pursue another position. “I met so many other military spouses that did not have the same opportunity I had and basically gave up on their careers, because it was just too difficult,” she continues.
Both Brad and Amy agreed that they needed to find a way to remain connected to their military roots and give back to fellow veterans and their families.
That opportunity came for the Brillers when Brad’s brother and CEO of MerchantPro Express (MPX), Chris Briller, asked Amy to get involved as a referral partner in his credit card processing business. Amy leveraged her and Brad’s military relationships across the U.S. to make introductions to MPX to become customers. She could do this from home on her own schedule, help her military friends who owned businesses save money, and get paid recurring monthly commissions from those referrals. Amy never imagined a career in sales, but quickly realized how fun, easy and flexible sales at MPX could be.
Both Brad and Amy saw an opportunity with MPX’s referral partner program they thought would significantly benefit families like theirs. Thus, the start of Patriot Payments.
Soon Amy began asking Brad to suggest additional friends for her to approach, and Brad immediately took an interest. Like Amy, he appreciated the financial upside, but found the service to veterans to be most appealing.
“I discovered we could help veteran business owners with cost-cutting opportunities,” Brad says. “But we could also engage veteran job seekers who wanted to maintain some connection to the military community.”
Soon, the idea for Patriot Payments was born.
Brad and Amy approached Chris with an idea for a new MPX division focused on helping veterans and their families, called Patriot Payments. Chris instantly knew what an impactful program this could be. Although MPX has always been dedicated to giving back—the company has given to charities, including PinkTie.org and Giving the Glam—this felt more personal to Chris.
“I was suddenly blessed with this tremendous opportunity to work directly with my brother and Amy and watch them incubate their idea into a full-fledged business within MPX. This program will deliver a tremendous service to veterans’ charities, veteran-owned businesses, military spouses, and under-employed veterans,” Chris says.
Brad and Amy have been managing Patriot Payments since the start of 2018. They knew that this type of opportunity could change the lives of military families for the better, regardless of where they reside or what their professional background consists of. Not only have they recruited several veteran sales agents, but they’ve also connected with veterans' charities to ensure that even military families who don't work for Patriot Payments will benefit from its services. As an example, the team started supporting Gold Star Teen Adventures, an extraordinary organization that provides support to children of fallen U.S. Special Forces members. Most recently, Patriot Payments has begun signing several veteran-owned businesses that can trust they are being taken care of in regards to their processing needs.
Although Patriot Payments is a new division within MPX, the Brillers are steadily getting the word out.
The Brillers are also hoping their cause will resonate with merchants as they choose a credit card processing company. “If they’re making a decision between two fairly equal offers, I would hope that they would go with the one that’s supporting veterans,” says Amy. "I think it’s an added bonus.”
With an exciting future ahead, Patriot Payments is looking forward to helping military families in any way they can, and in doing so, giving back to those who've already given so much to protect us all.