Veteran Entrepreneur Profile: Troy Derheim

Written by: Brady Drake

Photo by Hilary Ehlen

My Aquatic Services (1991)

“My Aquatic Services is a full retail sales and service aquatic development company that specializes in commercial and residential sales, service, and construction.”

Aquatics Empowered (2019)

“Aquatics Empowered’s mission is to help rural communities establish and maintain aquatic facilities, help individuals in need access aquatic therapy, and be a resource for all charities who have beneficiaries in need of aquatic therapy.”  

Branch: U.S. Army

Years Served: 3.5

First Job After Service: Started my own business, Tubs of Fun!

Did you use military benefits when starting your business?

Yes, counseling, and veterans advantage on loans.

Military skill most used in business: Perseverance 
What changed that made you want to start a business?

By chance, I wanted to rent a hot tub, no one wanted to provide good service to a college student, I got frustrated and figured a way to start a hot tub rental business on my own.

What words of encouragement do you have for fellow veteran entrepreneurs?

Use your resources, many people and organizations are out there willing to lend a hand and help pick you up.  Take your time, plan more, act less, and surround yourself with great people. 

Many veterans struggle with finding a sense of purpose when reintegrating into the civilian world. How can getting involved in the business community help with that reintegration process?

A business can be more than just a way to generate income, a business will connect you to the community, change lives, and create memories for those around you.  I recently connect with an individual on Facebook, she posted a picture of her daughter in a hot tub.  I recognized the hot tub as one of my hot tub rentals from the 90’s.  She stated in the post ” this is my teenage daughter in a hot tub we rented for her a few days before she died unexpectedly.”  I broke down with the overwhelming emotion and thoughts of a parent losing a teenage child.  My little hot tub side line rental business created a memory for that family that will never be forgotten.  I imagine that mother cherishes that picture.  A business can be a way to change lives, look at what you can do with your business to make a difference in other’s lives.  I love our business, we don’t sell products we create smiles and bring families together creating lifelong memories!  

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.