#BeYourOwnIcon: Alec Reisberg
A country is defined by how it treats its servicemen and women. For US Marine Corps veteran Alec Reisberg that treatment has largely been positive. “As far as us associating with the public, once someone finds out you’re a veteran, they want to say, ‘Thank you,’” he told American Sunglass in a recent interview. “That’s not why I served, but it makes you feel that much better because we know that many of those who have gone before us, those coming back from Korea and Vietnam, were not welcomed back into their own country.”
With an immense pride in his military service – the Southern Californian was deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom during his seven-year stint – Reisberg is doing his part to ensure that continues by supporting those who serve and have served through his company, Match Grade Apparel.
Launched in April of this year, the company features patriotic T-shirts designed by Alec, made in downtown Los Angeles and printed in a shop in his hometown of Long Beach. The fledgling company is a small operation, consisting of Alec, who oversees the day-to-day management of Match Grade and his wife, Nicole, who handles all of the marketing.
The fact that everything is made here in the United States is not lost on Alec. And it is not unlike one manufacturer we sell, Randolph, that makes all of its eyewear in America, having served as the primary sunglass supplier for the country’s military for more than 36 years.
While starting his company is the embodiment of the American entrepreneurial spirit, Match Grade is not just a capitalistic endeavor. For every T-shirt sold, the company is donating $1 that goes to benefit one charity every quarter that supports veterans or those currently serving our country.
The first nonprofit was the Cpl Chad E. Oligschlaegel Foundation for the Study of PTSD which assists American troops who are suffering from stress, adversity and trauma due to their military service. Next, Match Grade donated a portion of its third quarter profits to Project Healing Waters which utilizes fly fishing as a form of nature therapy for disabled active military service personnel and veterans. This quarter, it is backing Special Operations Warrior Foundation which provides financial assistance for post-secondary education, as well as family and educational counseling, for surviving children of military servicemen who lost their lives in the line of duty.
One T-shirt at a time, Alec and his wife are not only expressing their gratitude for our servicemen, but making a difference in the lives of our troops, their families and our veterans. “Our first quarter, we were able to financially help two families go through a drug alternative inpatient PTSD treatment,” Reisberg said. “And this last quarter, we were able to donate enough money to buy some vices to tie flies so they can go out there, fly fish and not worry if their line is going to break.”
This Veterans Day, we salute those like Alec Reisberg, not only for his service, but for finding ways to give back in meaningful ways to his fellow troops and their families. We encourage you to learn more about the charities he has supported and visit Match Grade’s website to learn how one company has found a simple, but effective way to say, “Thank you” to this country’s servicemen and women.
And learn more about Randolph Sunglasses ties to the military in our interview with its CEO Peter Waszkiewicz.
Words of an Icon: “Regardless of what you did, when you laid your head down to rest, you took pride in knowing you had served your country.” – Alec Reisberg