Our Brand Story
Hover over the logo to see our brand transformation
Hover over the sample shoulder patches to see the symbolism of our new logo
Our Brand Colors
Gedunk ('GEE dunk) is military slang for a candy bar or other snack or junk food items, or a snack bar where such items are sold. One of the leading theories on the term’s origin is a German word meaning to dunk bread in gravy or coffee.
Represents our Northern CA origins and the low, rolling hills of Sonoma County where the company was founded by a group of Vietnam veterans in 1972 under the name Flower of the Dragon, with a $9,000 budget that launched a 48-year (and counting) mission to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life.
For many veterans, “home” is more than a physical structure. Home is a feeling, and the journey to get there is a search for peace, purpose, health, identity and community. The ancient Greeks called it “a return to light and life.” In color psychology, this shade of blue encourages wisdom, spirituality and self-mastery, as well as a sense of structure and tradition.
Represents the desert combat boots, cammies, body armor and flight suits worn by American troops during Desert Storm and the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Represents our founding in 1972 by a group of Vietnam veterans, as well as our ongoing work in Vietnam’s Hoa Binh (hwa 'BEAN) province, where we’ve built three schools and a health clinic. Hoa Binh, which means “peace,” is a mountainous region with lush, green valleys and dense forest.
Why are you rebranding? Why now?
Since 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of new charitable organizations have been created to address a wide range of veterans' needs. According to GuideStar, more than 45,000 nonprofit organizations devoted to veterans and their families are registered with the IRS.
We're not new. We've been around for almost half a century and have been recognized by The White House as a model for effective community-based services to veterans, but the unique set of challenges faced by America’s veterans are constantly evolving along with the landscape of veteran service agencies.
We understand the challenge of standing out in a crowded field, and we also know that standing out is a prerequisite for staying ahead of these challenges and evolving along with the needs of our veterans. The name Veterans Resource Centers of America, while descriptive of our overall identity and mission, proved too generic in a sector that has never been more competitive than it is today.
To continue to be able to capture the attention of the volunteers, donors, and community leaders we depend on, and to ensure that veterans who need our services can find us, we knew we had to make a change. We needed a new identity that adequately represented the importance of our mission and honored the service and sacrifice of the veterans we serve.
Why Nation’s Finest?
It's not about us - it's about the veterans we serve.
We wanted a name that represented the importance of our mission while honoring the service and sacrifice of the community of veterans we serve. Those who served our country in uniform are often referred to as the “nation’s finest,” because whether they served in peacetime or in combat, they took an oath to do whatever was asked of them in defense of their country.
America’s veterans represent the nation’s finest ideals of service and sacrifice. Our mission is to serve them. It’s our way of honoring their sacrifice, of saying ‘thank you’ through action.
As one of the NATION'S FINEST, you undertook the most severe task one can be called upon to perform…we now look to you for leadership and example in further exalting our country in peace.
- President Truman in a letter to WWII veterans, 1946
What's the meaning behind your new logo?
The shield icon in our new logo symbolizes the various unit and rank patches worn on military uniforms.
What does your new tagline mean?
Guiding Veterans Home Since 1972 reflects our 48-year history of helping veterans integrate back into civilian life after they leave the military.
To many veterans, the concept of “home” goes far beyond the bricks and mortar of a house or apartment. One of the first challenges of their "journey home" (their transition from military service to civilian life) is finding a stable and secure place to live. But it’s more than that. It's an idea.
The journey home is about finding peace, purpose, health, identity and community. The ancient Greeks called it “a return to light and life.” Since 1972, our case managers and counselors have guided veterans and their families on this journey to find whatever “home” means to them.
What was the process for choosing the new name and logo?
Our new brand identity is the result of an inclusive and collaborative process that took several months and included a number of brainstorm sessions, surveys, and focus groups. Through this process, we were able to capture ideas and feedback from our staff, board of directors, veterans and members of the community.
What did the rebrand cost?
The vast majority of the branding work was done in-house, with help from a professional graphics designer on the logo. Our staff worked extended hours so we could limit costs and stay focused on meeting the needs of our clients. We also planned the rebranding project well in advance to ensure we were able to cover the cost of basic items such as new business cards and office signs without impacting our mission or the quality of services we provide to veterans and their families.
Has your nonprofit status changed? What about your federal ID number?
No. We will continue to operate as a nonprofit organization. Our federal IRS-provided EIN (Employer Identification Number) is still 94-2699571.
Is Nation’s Finest the legally incorporated name or a dba?
We filed the necessary paperwork to change our legally incorporated name to Nation’s Finest, Inc., and we expect to complete that process in the next several weeks.
Does this signal a change in your programs and services?
Our new brand identity signals our long-term commitment to meeting the ever-evolving needs of veterans and their families. Meeting those needs requires a willingness to continually grow and adapt.
We’re expanding, but our core focus hasn’t changed. There’s a consistent demand for housing, case management, counseling, and employment services. Where else we go, both geographically and in terms of programs and services, will depend on the needs of the veteran community.
A recent example we’re excited about is our new MSU (Mobile Support Unit) project, which allows us to better locate and serve more remote, rural veterans who have limited community and VA resources nearby and too often get overlooked.
Has there been a change in leadership?
Our former President and CEO, Peter Cameron, took a long-planned and well-deserved retirement last summer after 47 years of service to the organization he co-founded. Planning for the rebrand began under Peter’s leadership and was underway when our current President and CEO, Chris Johnson, took over in July 2019.
Chris brings a wealth of nonprofit leadership experience to our company to help us further build upon the amazing foundation Peter and others laid over the years, and we’re excited by all the positive momentum we’re benefiting from under his guidance and direction. Chris’s areas of nonprofit expertise include branding, marketing and fundraising - making him an ideal choice to lead Nation’s Finest during this period of transformation and growth.
Has my contact / your contact information changed?
The physical and mailing addresses of our corporate office and our site locations haven’t changed. This information can be found on our new website at nationsfinest.org. Our new corporate phone number is 833-GOT-YOR6 (833-468-9676).
If you maintain regular contact with a member of our staff, please continue to direct communications to that individual. Our employees have new email addresses (domain name changed from @vetsresource.org to @nationsfinest.org), so please update your records accordingly. Don’t worry if you send something to one of our old vetsresource.org email addresses. We’ll still receive it.
As always, if there is a change in staffing or responsibilities that impacts you in any way, we will be sure to let you know.
Has your website changed?
The website for our housing development subsidiary hasn't changed - it's still housingvets.org.
Have your social media channels changed?
Click on the social media icons in the footer of any page of our website to ensure you’re following our latest on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
I was making a recurring donation to VRC. Do I need to do anything?
No, you don’t need to change anything to continue supporting veterans with your recurring donation. All communications you receive from us going forward will reflect our new brand identity. Thank you!
Is there anything I need to do as a result of this change?
Aside from updating your records to reflect our name change, no other action is required. Communications you receive from us will also remind you to make note of our new company name.
We have a contract with VRC – is that still valid?
Yes. All contracts are still valid and will be updated with our new name as they come up for renewal.
I’m still seeing/hearing VRC (e.g., signs, old radio PSA) – are some things not changing?
Rebranding is a process, and a lot of steps are involved in updating our information everywhere it appears. We’re working hard to update everything as quickly as possible, but it does take time.
You should expect to see some additional changes over the next few days, weeks, and months. In a short period of time, Nation’s Finest will be fully integrated and updated online, in print, and in conversation throughout our fourteen communities in California, Arizona and Nevada.
Has Veterans Housing Development Corporation also rebranded?
No, nothing has changed regarding the branding or the mission of VHDC, our subsidiary that focuses exclusively on developing affordable housing for veterans and their families. You can find out more about VHDC by visiting nationsfinest.org and housingvets.org.
Are there any other big changes planned?
Other than the new branding, it’s business as usual for us, which means we’re as focused as ever on delivering the supportive services our veterans need and deserve.
Meeting the needs of our veterans requires a willingness to continually grow and adapt. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve in ways that benefit our clients, so if you have an idea or you just want to get involved and support our mission, let us know. We’d love to have you as part of our community.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you maintain regular contact with a member of our staff, please continue to direct communications to that individual. You can also find more information at nationsfinest.org, or by calling 833-GOT-YOR6 (833-468-9676) or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.