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Military Appreciation Month: Celebrating Veteran Entrepreneurs in New Hampshire 


As we celebrate Military Appreciation Month, we extend our deepest gratitude to the veteran entrepreneurs whose unwavering dedication and innovative spirit continue to shape our nation’s business landscape. This May, Bank of New Hampshire proudly highlights two exceptional local veterans who have made significant strides in entrepreneurship within our local communities.

Art Escape – Jean and James Cox

The journey to owning an art studio for this veteran entrepreneur began with a childhood passion for sketching, which led to pursuits in fine arts at Boston University while still in high school. Despite later joining the military as a medic and meeting her husband, Jim, during Air Force training, her dedication to art remained unwavering. Throughout her service, she seized the opportunity to paint B-52 bomber nose art and create murals in hospital pediatric wards. Upon completing her enlistment, she returned home and taught art in public schools before realizing her dream of opening Art Escape in 2007, with Jim and their son Justin joining her in the venture. Today, Art Escape stands not only as a testament to her dedication but also as a space where others can explore their creativity and pursue their dreams.

ViDARR, Inc. – Cliff Byrd

Cliff Byrd stands at the helm of ViDARR, as its President and CEO, steering the company as a principal distribution ally for the U.S. military, with a sharp focus on Navy and Special Operations Command customers. ViDARR provides military entities with a comprehensive suite of products designed to enhance situational awareness, streamline communication and elevate operational efficiency. Byrd’s illustrious 12-year tenure as a Special Warfare Combat Crewman in the Navy, combined with his experience at Juliet Marine Systems and academic insights from Boston University, propelled his entrepreneurial voyage. Since its founding in 2020, ViDARR’s evolution continues to mirror its pledge to innovation and customer satisfaction, ensuring that all customers are Built for Battle.

Our local veterans’ unique experiences and commitment to excellence not only serve as a beacon of inspiration but also drive forward the very essence of ingenuity and resilience. From all of us at Bank of New Hampshire, thank you for service and for continuing to set a standard of excellence that uplifts us all. For veterans with entrepreneurial ambitions seeking to thrive, Bank of New Hampshire’s team of Commercial Bankers are ready to provide support and guidance. If you’ve been contemplating a new business venture, seize the opportunity to connect with BNH and embark on the journey of transforming your ideas into prosperous ventures.