Florida Wounded Vet Starts Lawn Business with grant from CT Nonprofit and support from Grass Pro Shops of Tampa and Newman’s Own Foundation

Starting a new business is hard for anyone.  But for US Army Specialist Michael Listemann of Clearwater, Florida, getting Big Mike’s Lawn Care off the ground is a little easier thanks to the gift of a new Gravely Zero Turn commercial mower from the Connecticut based nonprofit, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. and Tampa’s Grass Pro Shops

Listemann Mower 2017 530 x 707

Florida Wounded Vet Starts Lawn Business with grant from CT Nonprofit and support from Grass Pro Shops of Tampa and Newman’s Own Foundation   Starting a new business is hard for anyone.  But for US Army Specialist Michael Listemann of Clearwater, Florida, getting Big Mike’s Lawn Care off the ground is a little easier thanks to the gift of a new Gravely Zero Turn commercial mower from the Connecticut based nonprofit, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. and Tampa’s Grass Pro Shops.

Listemann returned to civilian life after injuries from multiple IED explosions in Afghanistan leaving him with an inoperable back injury and an 80% disability rating.  Like many returning vets, he asked himself what he could do to support his family.   He opted to start Big Mike’s Lawn Care but he needed equipment.

 “I was immediately willing to help to get this vet started,” offered Tony at Grass Pro Shops of Tampa.  “I had never heard of Work Vessels for Vets before, but I admire their mission.”  Tony was able to obtain discounts from the manufacturer as well as offering a personal discount to Work Vessels for Vets.

Listemann was overwhelmed with the support, “Thank you again for all you have done. Now I have the equipment to accommodate my injuries and still support my family with my business Big Mike’s Lawn Care, LLC.  I can’t tell you how much this means to me!”

“We are proud to help such a deserving combat veteran,” says Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Vets.  “Often we find that a small investment on our part leads to greater independence and a fulfilling career.”   Since 2008, Work Vessels for Vets has equipped over 1600 veteran-entrepreneure with over $1.6 million in tools to start a civilian business.

Work Vessels for Vet, Inc. received funding to underwrite this purchase from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman.  Newman’s Own Foundation has a long-standing history of supporting nonprofits that help United States military personnel, veterans and their families.  100% of profits from Newman’s Own food products are donated to charitable organizations. 

“We are proud to support Work vessels for Vets, and we commend the work they are doing to help veteran entrepreneurs,” said Bob Forrester, President and CEO, Newman’s Own Foundation.  “Our men and women in uniform make great sacrifices in their own lives to protect the unique freedom and opportunities we enjoy as Americans, and it’s a privilege to express our gratitude for their service.” 

Michael Listemann and Big Mike’s Lawn Care can be reached at 727-219-2917 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since 2008, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. has equipped over 1600 veterans from 48 states with equipment for self employment valued at over $1.6 million. To learn more or give to Work Vessels for Vets, Inc, go to www.WVFV.org.  WVFV has earned the prestigious Top NonProfit Awards each year from Great NonProfits, as well as achieving the coveted PLATINUM highest rating from GuideStar. 

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