Willie and Mae Modica reared 11 children — 10 boys and one girl – in small-town Arkansas, with six of the boys serving in the United States military.
The youngest son, Greg, had a dream of conquering the world as he watched his elder siblings enlist and vow to protect their country. Greg also had a dream of becoming the first in the family to earn a college degree. He did.
After graduating from high school in El Dorado, Ark., Greg joined the Army reserves and enrolled at Grambling State University, with a major in criminal justice. Upon completion of that degree with honors, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army during the commencement ceremony in 1990.
Greg served for eight years but was injured while on duty and returned to the States as a disabled veteran. When asked who his greatest inspiration is, he quickly said, “My dad was an inspiration as a solider, veteran and father. He encouraged me to take pride in everything that I do no matter what it is.” Willie Modica served in WWII from 1941 to 1943.
Greg also had the backing of his mother.
“My mom encouraged me to work hard in school so that I would obtain a good education. She was the glue that held the family together,” he said. As a result of her support, Greg was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa international Honors Society, Golden Key International Honors society, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. He was recently nominated by the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate to serve on the Arkansas Minority Business Advisory Council and was sworn in by the Honorable Judge George Van Hook, Jr. of El Dorado, Ark.
Greg learned, though, that realizing dreams do not come easy, especially for a disabled veteran. He faced many challenges trying to attend flight school. However, the tenacious, well-organized former soldier would not give up and has become a licensed pilot and completed an additional BS degree in Aviation Administration from Utah Valley University and is currently completing hours toward a professional pilot degree in aviation to become a commercial airline pilot.
This accomplishment wasn’t enough, as the passion for entrepreneurship continued to burn. Greg said that although he knew that “starting my own business as a disabled veteran was a difficult journey, I understood that a support system is a very necessary ingredient for success and if I want to be successful, I had to have a strong network of support.
The management experience in start-up companies proved helpful in this new and exciting endeavor. So, Greg founded Government Supply Services (GSS) in 2009, a state-certified and Service Disable Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).
“I had no idea where to begin, but I surveyed the market and realized that it is in my heart to serve, to help people and small businesses succeed,” Greg said.
The company or GSS is an online retailer for office, packaging and technology supplies for government agencies and public entities. It is located in his hometown of Eldorado but has no storefront, as all of its business is conducted through the Internet.
Since the minority-owned small business began, it has obtained several certifications in order to sell to specific government agencies. The state of Arkansas recognizes two certifications for GSS, the Certified Minority Business Enterprise (CMBE’s) and the Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). These certifications are crucial to the business because ACT 1222 highly encourages state agencies to purchase 10 percent of their supplies from CMBE’s and SDVOSB’s. The company is also certified with the Department of Transportation (DBE) program and the Small Business Administration HUBZone program. The company’s products and services are highlighted on the business website, governmentsupplyservices.com or gssorder.com.
One would think that with popular supply outlets available from stores such as Office Depot and Staples, no small business would be successful. However, Greg credits his success to the company’s philosophy of customer service.
“I believe in Southern hospitality. It works! It’s all about relationships. We go that extra mile to help the customer by providing a diverse range of specialty and hard to find products. Without them, there is no business,” Greg said.
“There is no doubt that he will provide the best customer service possible, he was like that in high school, a motivated, over achiever who always went that extra mile to help anyone who needed it,” said his former coach and veteran Joe Berry.
Although Gregory Modicas’ sole objective in life is dedicated to helping others succeed in their personal and professional endeavors. His life’s motto is, “just do your best and in that you will find honor.”
“Through it all there is no place like home, the land of the free and the home of the brave,” said Greg.