The late Jack Nadel was in service throughout his life in a variety of capacities giving back to others, whether it was to contribute to his family by working at a young age when funds were tight, or during his extensive WWII military service, or after, when he started his post-war career as a fledgling business man—a self proclaimed “opportunist”—looking for a way he could get ahead doing something new and offering early opportunities along the way for women and fellow veterans in the workspace.
One of his early ventures as a veteran stemmed from an ingenious international deal with the Chinese that used letters of credit, dyed woolen material and a lot of grit that eventually turned into a huge success called Jack Nadel International, and today, is a company thriving with 25 offices around the world with the third Nadel at the helm leading the charge: Craig Nadel, Jack’s nephew and President of JNI.
As a hardworking and resourceful decorated WWII veteran, Jack quickly became a distinguished industry professional and entrepreneur, and later, an award-winning author and writer. In 1970, he was appointed as Chairman of the Promotional Products Association International, and in 1988, Jack was inducted into the Promotional Products Hall of Fame, presented by PPAI, which honors individuals whose contributions to the promotional products industry are not only noteworthy, but also go beyond their own companies.
Recently, Jack’s passion and last mission in life, to foster greater entrepreneurship among fellow veterans, was further memorialized in Counselor Magazine, published monthly by The Advertising Specialty Institute, in the February 2019 edition by writer Christopher Ruvo. Jack was featured in the “Veteran Voices” special section dedicated to veteran entrepreneurs and professionals in the promotional products industry. (The entire Veteran Voices section can be downloaded as a PDF here.) Below is the excerpt.
JACK NADEL: A GRANDFATHER OF A MOVEMENT
When it comes to veteran entrepreneurship, the late Jack Nadel was a luminary in the promotional products world and beyond.
Not only was the founder of Top 40 distributor Jack Nadel International (asi/279600) a highly decorated World War II hero, he was also considered by many to be, as the Huffington Post put it, one of the “grandfathers” of the “vetrepreneurship” movement, which has sought to inspire and support veterans to entrepreneurial success.
During World War II, Nadel served as a combat flight navigator and radar bombardier. A captain in the U.S. Army Air Force, Nadel flew 27 missions over Japan, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal. He would go on to become a successful author, founder of the promo distributorship that still bears his name, and overall fearless entrepreneur who started, acquired and operated more than a dozen companies worldwide.
Through his personal achievements, Nadel made supporting veterans a priority. As one example, he created a gifting program so other vets considering business ownership could learn from his expertise by getting a free digital copy of his book The Evolution of an Entrepreneur. A proponent of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Veterans Small Business Week, Nadel also took part in an SBA webinar series for veteran entrepreneurs, allowed his “Nadel Method” for success to be published for free in G.I. Jobs magazine, and recorded and appeared in 16 online courses for a business learning platform that offers free subscriptions to veterans, military members and their spouses.
Not long after his passing in 2016 at age 92, The Huffington Post quoted Nadel’s belief that veterans are “America’s most untapped and highly skilled economic development resource that we should immediately start empowering.”
He made numerous media appearances before he passed, including on Entrepreneur, Forbes, FOX Business, The Huffington Post, and Vetrepreneur among many others, and was also recognized by both Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan.
The awards and recognitions Jack received in life are a testament to the hard work, aptitude, dedication and drive he had in life to succeed as an entrepreneur, with a strong commitment to helping others in the process. It was his mission in life to pass on what he had learned with those who can benefit the most.
This past November, Julie Nadel, Jack’s wife—also an accomplished and award-winning entrepreneur—helped to celebrate veterans and Jack Nadel’s legacy with a special vetrepreneur event. The Vetrepreneur LAUNCH event announced a new program tract for the Jack & Julie Nadel School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Santa Barbara City College, that through the generous support of The Nadel Foundation, was revamped and renamed in 2017, a year after Jack’s passing, and houses all Business Division education programs at SBCC. (The Nadel School offers courses in all facets of business: accounting; business administration; computer applications; finance (both personal and business); information systems; law; management; marketing and real estate.) The event featured keynote speaker Larry Broughton, who shared some incredible insights with those in attendance. (Read the write up on Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.)
There are many ways Jack’s mission, and Julie’s commitment to honor and support that mission, continue. There are countless materials available for anyone interested in business and entrepreneurship featured on the JackNadel.com website, including, a dedicated section of resources for veterans. More than 25 articles reside on The Huffington Post, authored by Jack. He published award-winning books, appeared in educational videos, media interviews and met with budding veteran entrepreneurs while he was alive—all of which this next generation of vetrepreneurs can access freely on the Internet.
Any active duty members of the military or veterans visiting the JackNadel.com website can download, read and watch much of Jack’s esteemed wisdom via accessible digital materials for FREE, including his award-winning book, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur. Visit the links below to immediately access these valuable resources.
The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, Featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business, by Jack Nadel. Follow the link and quick submission steps to receive your digital copy.
Tried and True Business Principles:
The Nadel Method. Since the beginning of his career, Jack Nadel had been creating and refining what he called the “Nadel Method,” outlining five proven steps aimed at providing a clear process for better business and startup success. After nearly 70 years of business experience, he was confident that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries and levels of business knowledge could utilize The Nadel Method, outlined in his book and available as an easy PDF download readable on any laptop or mobile device.
How to Success in Business. Join Jack and the late Joel Silberman, in this powerful and inspiring video conversation. Learn directly and instantly from Jack’s seven decades of profitable experience in this personal, exclusive and intimate conversational-style video, where Jack shares relevant and profound insights and lessons from his vast knowledge about how to succeed in business for long-term success. It’s like having a personal meeting with the “Mentor’s Mentor,” one-on-one in the privacy of your home or with your startup team to launch forward in the right direction.