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Veteran-Owned Business Uses SBA Assistance to Start Training Application Firm

Engaging the workplace and employees is considered a critical element to being prepared, making people smile, and maximizing the time of each unique individual – both in and outside of the workplace.  

“It’s all about shaping the future and making people smile,” said Chelsea Treboniak.

Treboniak is the co-owner of Critical Ops based out of Ohio.  She is the mother of three boys, and the wife of Chad Treboniak, a Major in the United States Army.  She is dedicated to creating a rewarding workplace and lives her vision of mainstreaming readiness with daily passion.

The firm’s primary focus centers around workplace engagement. Critical Ops uniquely applies project-based learning techniques to create focus on practical applications, enhanced communication, increased trust, and teamwork. The firm started in 2012 with one employee. Currently, the firm has five full-time employees. On a regular basis, Critical Ops employs additional personnel based on project demands.

For the firm, it is all about empowering work ethics and values in an efficient and effective manner. The firm’s core competencies are facilitation, peer engagement, and project-based learning. Years of experiences in the armed forces and the emergency management industry are the backbone for such efficiencies and time management within the firm. This framework generates the maximum return on investment for clients.

Since Critical Ops’ beginning, it has continuously sought the advice of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). SBDCs provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. By supporting business growth, sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities, SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. As a result of the no cost, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training and other specialized services SBDC clients receive, the program remains one of the nation’s largest small business assistance programs in the federal government. 

Treboniak loves mentoring. As a United States Military Academy (USMA) graduate, she served as a mentor for West Point Swimming and Diving team. She is recognized as the most decorated Army diver in history and was added to the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. She continues to mentor aspiring youth and business professionals. When asked about overcoming challenges, Treboniak talked about humility.

“Business is about humble authencity. It’s about learning lessons and not repeating the same mistakes,” said Treboniak.

“Going forward the firm plans to target CEOs to help them sustain and recruit talented people as a complement to their culture,” In addition, we applied for the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program to complement our existing set-asides of a certified Serviced-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB),” said Treboniak.

Treboniak talked about running a business and the difficulties associated with ownership. She offered this piece of advice to future business owners.

“There are lots of people who have been successful by learning about people and past failures; no question is a bad question – it just has to be asked,” said Treboniak.

Company Name: 
Critical Ops
Columbia, SC