OD Greens, LLC, Don Tobul
Here’s what one veteran said about his program- “As a veteran, being able to connect with someone who knows what I've experienced isn't just important, it actively promotes my level of engagement. My time overseas is something I don't get to share too often, and it's a relief to feel so at ease with Mr. Tobul during a counseling session. In the container, or "on the farm", I'm able to completely focus on the task at hand; whether it's harvesting or planting seeds, I can simply let my fingers do the work. When I leave, I feel happier and more at peace than I have in a very long while. Working with OD Greens makes me feel like me again, and I could not be more grateful.”
OD Greens is an Army veteran-owned and operated business that assists transitioning military service members and veterans through workplace training and mental health counseling. We use hydroponic farming as a platform for mental health (through agriculture therapy) as well as a workplace training environment to develop the essential occupational skills of the individual veteran. The workplace/therapeutic environment is highly adaptable to accommodate the individual’s disabilities and limitations.
OD Greens was incorporated in April 2017 and began commercial growing operations in December 2018. The second phase of OD Greens commenced in March 2020 and includes workplace training and mental health counseling components.
Don Tobul, Owner and Operator of OD Greens grew up in Leroy, Ohio, just 35 minutes from downtown Cleveland. As a youth, he was involved in 4-H and expressed strong interests in gardening, agriculture, and the sciences. This interest and passion led him to formal training as a high school chemistry and physics teacher at Bowling Green State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Science Education. During his time at BGSU, he was also a member of the Ohio Army National Guard. Following the attacks on September 11th, 2001, Don ultimately found himself on active duty in Iraq from January 2004 through March 2005. His own experiences in Iraq, and working with friends in the military, steered him in a new direction altogether. Don began working on his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at John Carroll University in 2010 and finished that program in 2013 following an internship at the Cleveland Clinic. Don envisions OD Greens as the perfect combination of all of his life experiences with the potential to help more than individual people; OD Greens is an opportunity for him to give back to the community that has supported him throughout his life
Tobul stated,” I don't have a business background. When I started with SCORE I was overwhelmed with the tasks associated with starting my own business. My SCORE team helped me focus on the steps I should take in order to make my vision a reality. They helped me identify my key needs, obstacles, and strengths/weaknesses. As a start-up, they also assisted me (smartly) in the development of the two-phase unrolling of OD Greens. They provided me with a sounding board to discuss ideas and best business practices which have proven invaluable throughout my entrepreneurial journey.”
I have recommended SCORE to every veteran or entrepreneur I have come across. My team was patient, flexible, and insightful, and they brought a variety of different perspectives to our meetings. I can honestly say that I would not have been able to do it without them. Their encouragement and practical knowledge helped me to transform my idea into a reality.