Every veteran knows that the success of every mission hinges on valuable contributions from every member of the team. The mark of a brilliant leader is understanding that he or she doesn’t know everything – nor can they do everything themselves. What separates the wheat from the chaff is an executive’s ability to find the right people and organize a stellar team.

James Irish, president and chief financial officer of San Ramon, Calif.-based NSA Wireless and runner-up for the Vetrepreneur of the Year in the V2B category, learned this lesson well serving with his fellow soldiers in Iraq as a combat convoy noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) during Operation Desert Storm. “Whenever adversity and obstacles present themselves to me, I always remind myself of my service in the [Desert Storm] war, and how hard I worked with my unit in order to achieve something larger than myself,” Irish said. “That strength and my moral conviction allow me to prevail 99 percent of the time.”

The World of Wireless NSA Wireless Inc. was founded in November 1996 with a business objective to provide local high quality site acquisition and development services to the wireless communication industry at competitive rates. During the past several years, NSA has completed projects for clients such as AT&T Wireless Services, Sprint PCS, Nextel Communications, CALPINE Energy, Western Wireless Inc., and Bechtel Telecommunications, to name a few. “I lead my firm by example,” Irish said. “My business attire is professional and respect for my staff is paramount. I share the wealth that is produced by all the hard work within my firm.

We all set goals every year to attain and learn from. In lean years, bonus money is still offered for those who distinguish themselves.” Irish sticks to his team mentality, even when reacting to a very personal recognition like runner up for the Vetrepreneur of the Year. “In life and in business, I believe that for every success story, there is one more deserving,” Irish said. “I am honored just to be nominated among so many distinguished veteran-owned small businesses. Any success that I may enjoy with my firm will always be counted as a team achievement.”

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