About 380 members of the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday night to celebrate a good year and to listen to retired Army Ranger Sgt. Matt Eversmann, one of the heroes of Black Hawk down and the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, speak.
The fundraising dinner was held at the Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown Johnstown.
Eversmann, now a businessman, told the crowd that surviving on the battlefield in an attempt to make the world a better place is much like the business world. In both arenas, it is dedicated personnel who are able to accomplish the mission when plans go awry, he said.
Soldiers have to be selfless to win the battle and to protect other members of their unit, he said. In business, employees have to be devoted to their employer, he said.
Soldiers have to be courageous with employees doing the same by pointing out mistakes to management that can hurt the company. Management should reciprocate by affording employees the opportunity to make critical statements, he said.
Eversmann began his speech by thanking all the veterans in the crowd for their service. He asked everyone in attendance to pray for our servicemen and women who are serving in Afghanistan.
Merritt A. Nord, of Boswell, a member of Johnstown Chapter 67, Special Forces Association and a retired Green Beret who served in Vietnam, said what Eversmann said was relevant to today’s veterans who are able to use their military experience in the business world.
Brian Stahl, a Cresson native who served in a Special Forces unit as a door gunner on a Black Hawk helicopter just prior to the Battle of Mogadishu, said he enjoyed how Eversmann communicated the importance of being a leader while in the military and how that experience has helped him to succeed in the business world.
Mary Borkow, chairwoman of the chamber’s Cultural Affairs Committee who presented Peoples Natural Gas Co. with the Chamber’s Cultural Affairs Award during the event, said Eversmann was an excellent speaker.
He pulled on all of our heartstrings while we listened to him describe what he and his men faced as they fought to help people in that part of the world, she said.
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