Meet Chris Soriano, Founder & CEO Of Clever Talks And Tactical Fest
ThereSanDiego.com had the good fortune to be able to sit down for a quick interview with Chris Sorian, Founder & CEO of San Diego-based Clever Talks and Tactical Fest, which takes place Saturday, September 9th at Waterfront Park.
If you aren’t familiar with Chris or Clever Talks, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the great things his organization is doing to support our Veterans!
TSD: Give me a little bit of background on the event and organization – how you got started and the the mission beyond it.
CHRIS: Absolutely. The event is called Tactical Fest and we are bringing it to San Diego to showcase veteran tactical companies and their products, as well as create interactive experiences such as night vision and archery – basically tactical activities for the public to experience. Usually with these type of events they have things like like guns and all sorts of weapons; we limited the weapons because we believe that tactical is is more than weapons – it’s also things like the new virtual reality gear that our troops are using, or the belts that turn into a safety device that saves lives. Those are examples of the cool things that you’ll be able experience at Tactical Fest.
TSD: That’s sounds very cool. And for somebody who hasn’t been associated with the military and the language in that world, what exactly does ‘tactical’ mean?
CHRIS: It means supporting a mission; it’s whatever it takes to support the combat mission. That’s why we we chose these cool experiences – whether it’s night vision goggles that the audience gets to try on for the first time or even being able to get into a submarine. We want to show San Diego what our military goes through to complete their missions and the tactical gear that supports them.
TSD: And is this the first Tactical Fest?
CHRIS: Yes this is our first one here in San Diego – we’re debuting it here. We usually do events called Clever Talks; we are a nonprofit that puts on speaking engagements where our military can talk about their experiences and ideas and what they’re going through, but this year we decided to do something different and give San Diego a unique experience.
TSD: And you’ll have guest speakers coming as well?
CHRIS: Yes, so I made sure to find people that the civilians could appreciate, such as Grant Cardone, who is going to give advice on how to stay tactical with your finances. And we also have Daniel Alarik, who is the founder of GruntStyle.com. He and his company are very well known in the military community and his business has been a huge success with them. So he decided to come out and give some free stuff away and show his support for our troops and veterans.
TSD: Could you tell me a little bit about the companies that are going to be featured here? Are they owned and operated by veterans?
CHRIS: Yes, we did our best to get veteran owned and operated companies, and we also do have non-profits such as the Navy Seal Foundation and the Marine equivalent called the MARSOC Foundation. So we we’ve got a lot of cool military nonprofits as well as regular companies that are either owned and operated by veterans, or our military uses their products.
TSD: What about your background? Why did you start Clever Talks in the first place?
CHRIS: I started Clever Talks about three years ago and it was a small conference and my goal was just inspire other millennials like myself. After the conference I noticed a lot of people coming up to me – looked just like me and were around my same age – and they’re like “Oh yeah, I’m a former Navy Seal or former Marine.
And you know, I’m just like “Wow, these guys are too young to be ‘former’ already, but I guess I’m talking to veterans here.”
I realized that we have all of these young people getting out of the military but they don’t really know their purpose and they’re coming to Clever Talks to find it. So I felt compelled to fulfill that need; to provide them with a resource and help them however I could. So that’s what I’ve dedicated my life to ever since – running this non-profit Clever Talks to try to achieve that mission.
TSD: That’s fantastic. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like people to know about the event or about the organization?
CHRIS: I’d like to let people know that this is their chance to interact with our military products and experience some of what our military is using to achieve their mission – from the night vision escape to our virtual reality experience hosted by Sony’s PlayStation. This is their chance to really get into it, and I hope that they support Tactical Fest and our military this year and in the future.
Tactical Fest is Saturday, September 9th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Waterfront Park.
There will be cool companies, guest speakers, interactive experiences and even a beer garden – all to support our fine veterans.
As of the time of publication of this post, you can still get discounted tix to the festival, here!
Come experience the best in tactical gear and support our military!