Originally from Caldwell, New Jersey, Stan Fitzgerald spent the first portion of his career working as a detective for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in New Jersey.
There, he filled various roles over the course of thirteen years, primarily working in narcotics investigation. At various points, Stan worked with the prosecutors’ task force, the county Bureau of Narcotics, and was even tapped to work with a special Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) task force. Lamentably, his career was cut short by an accident that forced him to retire on a disability pension. He and his wife moved to Georgia, where they have lived for the past thirteen years. By the time he left law enforcement, Stan Fitzgerald had earned numerous commendations for valor.
In 1999, Stan and his wife founded a retail business called Something Special, LLC that deals in entertainment products. Later, the couple also joined with a civil liberties organization called Veterans for America First, helping disabled veterans and first responders across the nation to get the support they need. Since then, he’s been heavily involved as a chief political adviser, while his wife works as an ambassador for the organization as a whole. Together, they currently run the operations for the organization in Georgia, vetting political candidates across the country for endorsement among other things. Stan Fitzgerald also lends his efforts and expertise to two other publicly-minded organizations: Christian Patriots United and BlakPAC.
What do you currently do with your company?
With Veterans for America First, I’m the Chief Political Adviser. As you might guess, I work on the political side of the organization. I consult on everything as far as major strategic decisions are concerned. For example, I now recommend which candidates proceed to board review for a vote on endorsement , which events to attend, and so on. After I compile all the relevant materials, I advise the founders of the group on what decisions might be best—so, the final decisions are ultimately out of my hands, but I do make recommendations. Any and all information needed to make informed choices is researched, documented and flows through me to the founders.
What was the inspiration behind taking this position?
I was a law enforcement officer in New Jersey, so I can understand the struggles of post-traumatic stress (PTS), which affects veterans and first responders in high tension situations. Our organization does a lot to support them with regards to mental health and suicide prevention, which is done through our partner organizations called Christian Patriots United. In particular, we like to get involved with programs to help homeless vets get their lives back on track.
What defines your way of approaching this business?
We help all veterans in a non-partisan fashion. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. If you are a veteran or a first responder, we will help you with whatever type of assistance we can provide. Whether it’s help with housing or learning new skills, we are there for you.
What are the keys to being productive that you can share?
Getting up early and getting a lot done in a day is how I stay productive. My wife and I work fourteen hour days, starting from 5 am. Because of that, we’re able to juggle our own businesses while dedicating almost as much time to our efforts with veterans and first responders.
How do you measure success?
Well, Veterans For America First is a political organization, so when our chosen candidates win elections, we know that we’re succeeding.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
I can sum that up in one word: loyalty. By that, I mean loyalty to our fellow service members and police officers. We show them loyalty by always having their back and looking out for them in every way we possibly can. And believe me, once demonstrated, that loyalty is returned.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to get into a similar field?
My wife likes to tell people not to get involved with politics, and she’s serious about it. If you do enter the political arena, you have to be prepared to be attacked for any reason. You need a thick skin, as well as the skillset to speak publicly—sometimes in front of a camera. If you’re not that kind of person, you shouldn’t be at the forefront of a political organization, because it is inevitable that people will come after you, unfortunately. That’s the way it is in this country. But you get through it by staying strong, focusing on God and the greater good, and trying to get the right people into office.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Most people say I’m humble. Personally, I don’t like doing interviews, but I’ll do them for what I think is the greater good. So, I don’t really try to self-promote. People also say that I’m driven, that I focus on the task at hand, and that I work hard to get the job done.
What are you favorite things to do outside of work?
We have a home in Florida, so we take a few days away from Georgia once a month. For three nights, we unplug and spend our time at the beach. Just having time away from everything else really helps keep you balanced.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
There’s an old saying: ‘Happy wife, happy life.’ So, I make sure that my wife is comfortable with whatever we’re doing. She helps me immeasurably, and as long as she’s happy, everything works out fine for the both of us.
What is a piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
At fifty-four years old, I’ve only had a smartphone for about three years. Between running a business and all my support work, it’s been a very helpful tool. It’s kept me organized and able to keep in touch with everyone that I need to be in touch with.
What is one piece of advice you’ve never forgotten?
When I was young, my father owned his own business, and he would make me go to work with him. When we were there, he taught me to always carry the business with integrity and give one hundred percent of my effort. So, I tried to apply that not only in my law enforcement career, but also with our business in Georgia and service for veterans. So, my wife and I give it our all and make sure to operate ethically, and things seem to turn out well enough for us.