Marine Corps Veteran
Marine Corps Veteran Sharod Wade came to the DTI Fellowship program after his medical retirement from the military, knowing he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Inspired by his grandfather who ran a cleaning company that Sharod worked at growing up, and armed with the skills and business acumen gleaned from the Dog Tag Fellowship Program, in 2017 Sharod founded Semper Sanitize––a janitorial service providing building maintenance and housekeeping to government agencies, private firms, and residential clients in the DC metro area.
Post-graduation from Dog Tag, Sharod took a position with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but continued to work on growing Semper Sanitize on the side. Through Dog Tag’s alumni network, Sharod met John Lira, a fellow Marine Corps veteran who then worked for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). John helped link Sharod to resources to boost his business, including assistance in obtaining VA and SBA certifications as a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business. Today, Sharod has been approved for the VA’s vocational-rehabilitation self-employment track, and John continues to mentor Sharod, connecting him with resources to help him be more marketable and business-ready. At SBA’s July 2019 Veteran Small Business Summit, Sharod shared the story of his entrepreneurship journey––passing his knowledge and insight on to other entrepreneurial veterans.
Sharod currently serves as the Director of Operations for the DC Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, but on the side runs Semper Sanitize. Semper Sanitize has felt the impact of COVID-19, and in light of the new challenges, has added additional services to their repertoire, including landscaping and decontamination of facilities that may have been exposed to COVID-19. Sharod has also passed the torch back to Dog Tag; Semper Sanitize was employed by Dog Tag Bakery to take precautionary measures against the virus, and has continued to keep the bakery sparkly clean for the safety of our staff, customers, and fellows.