Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, and Georgetown Cupcake owners Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne visited Dog Tag Bakery to speak to military veterans, in the second class of Dog Tag Bakery, about their experiences in personal branding and running a small business.
As Kira Kazantsev nears the end of her work on behalf of the Miss America Organization with the crowning of the 2016 Miss America on September 13, Kazantsev emphasized the importance of establishing a personal brand and utilizing personal skill sets to be a leader. “Here I am at the end of my reign and I feel really, really proud of everything I’ve been able to do because I’ve stuck with who I am as a person, and who I am as a personal brand. When I carry forward as Kira, I’m going to be the woman who’s strong on women’s issues and is passionate about the military and will care more about giving back than about whatever I do in my personal career. So that’s what I’m selling,” Kazantsev said to her audience, initiating laughter. “But it’s true!”
Business professionals, sisters and co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake, Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, also spoke to the Dog Tag fellows about the challenges in creating, managing and growing a small business. “I think that is a constant issue for all business owners. How do you scale your business but maintain what makes it special? And for us the answer has been to stay in the weeds. No matter how big you grow, you need to be in the details, everyday,” Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne said.
These leadership experts spoke in the Dog Tag Bakery classroom on the second floor of Dog Tag Bakery, located in Georgetown, Washington DC. The Dog Tag Inc. program helps veterans transition back to civilian life through a business education program. By taking a series of business classes in the classroom space at Dog Tag Bakery, military veterans and spouses have the opportunity to receive their Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University to further capitalize on their acquired skill sets.