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Founder of Tandem Legal Group Gives Back to Our Nation’s Heroes

Michael McDevitt, the owner of Tandem Legal Group starts a pro-bono mentorship program that helps our heroes enter the private sector.

I’m impressed by their willingness to walk behind those walls on day one, give their blood, sweat, and tears for four years, then stand on top of our walls to protect us.”
— Michael McDevitt
BALITMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES, October 11, 2022 / -- As the son of a federal agent and public school teacher, Michael McDevitt grew up with two unwavering family rules. First, respect the flag and, a close second, respect those in uniform that protect us. “These might be the only two rules that I didn’t try to break as a kid. And my mother was always quick to remind me that 'it isn’t how far you fall, but how high you bounce' and that the truth would always set me free." he says with a playful grin.

But honoring our heroes was serious business growing up in the McDevitt Household, and a tradition that continues with his own family. Living just a few miles from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Mike gets a daily reminder of the sacrifices that our military men and women make for this nation.

“I’m impressed by their willingness to walk behind those walls on day one, give their blood, sweat, and tears for four years, then stand on top of our walls to protect us.” It was the combination of his patriotic upbringing, and his proximity to the Naval Academy, that motivated Mike to give back to our retiring and transitioning service members.

With several successful businesses in his portfolio, Mike started a pro-bono mentorship program that helps our heroes enter the private sector. Mike realized that many service members have inherent qualities that will make them successful in business, but did not have the knowledge to put a plan into action.

“They don’t need much,” Mike notes. “I haven’t met one that isn’t ambitious, smart, and tenacious.” But the best quality Mike highlights is their ability to deal with adversity. “Quite frankly, due to the rigorous nature of their training and jobs, they are probably better at handling the ups and downs of business than I am.” McDevitt acknowledges that while he has enjoyed many successes in business, he's also learned a great deal through a few setbacks.

Mike started his career in the private equity sector as a senior analyst with the Blackstone Group. “I was successful but always had a yearning to run my own business,” says McDevitt. He left Blackstone and grabbed the helm of Medifast, where he steered the company to 46 consecutive quarters of profitability, eventually driving it to be the fastest-growing business in America and taking it public on the New York Stock Exchange. Mike then started Terra’s Kitchen, a ready-meal company that enabled busy families to have healthy dinners around the table. He wanted to provide working families with the same great dinner-time experiences that he really enjoyed as a child.

Unfortunately, and despite their successes, Medifast and Terra’s Kitchen did present challenges that required some resilience. Despite reaching successful revenue generation and significant outperformance of competitors, Mike was replaced at Medifast eventually, and economics forced Terra’s to file bankruptcy in 2019. “No matter how good you are at running a company, internal dynamics, public trends, product interests, the economy, and wildcards such as the pandemic have a way of controlling your fate.”

McDevitt saw these wins and losses as tremendous life experiences and wanted to share his knowledge with others, specifically the service members, to help them transition to the private sector. But after mentoring several, particularly those is the special operations community, Mike is enamored with their resiliency and their ability to easily shift to “Plan B.” Or, as one Green Beret relayed to Mike, while we may train and plan incessantly, “...the enemy and environment also have a say, and the only thing we can do is remain calm and adjust as necessary.”.

“Since they already come to me with the right mindset and amazing qualities, I simply provide them with the knowledge gained through my business experience, not necessarily a textbook,” says McDevitt. There are large strategic tasks, from shaping business strategy, legal structuring, financial planning, and raising capital, to the more tactical side of the business, like shaping contacts, establishing service agreements, negotiating commercial retail space, etc. These are just some of the processes that McDevitt teaches others as they transition to owning their own business.

On speaking to the media, Mike wants everyone to know the incredible talent that resides among the members of our military. "Helping them in business or to become entrepreneurs is a very small way I can give back to these amazing heroes."

Michael is the founder of the Tandem Legal Group. The firm provides expert legal services and strategic business advice to help innovative and emerging businesses develop. Tandem is proud to share its unique catchphrase, BIKE: Be Yourself · Innovate · Kindness · Engagement.

Hannah Evans
NCX Communications
+1 615-418-1296
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Success and Startups with Mike McDevitt