Our Team

 
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PEDRO DE LEON JR.
CO-FOUNDER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Pedro is a successful entrepreneur with a background in the fitness, finance, and leadership sectors.

Pedro served twelve years (six years active and six years reserves) in the United States Army. While a reservist, Pedro started several businesses, including Renewal Fitness, a successful fitness gym where he helped individuals achieve a healthy lifestyle and trained soldiers in the US Army reserve unit who didn’t meet fitness standards. In 2015, Pedro decided to expand into the financial industry where he helped brand, acquire and provide services to new commercial prospects for a boutique financial services firm in Beverly Hills, CA. Pedro holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership and is currently in the process of obtaining his MBA in finance from Brandman University.

Despite achieving success with his various business ventures, Pedro never forgot about his fellow veterans who began to fall in and out of homelessness. Pedro understands these challenges as he initially struggled to find focus and make ends meets when he transitioned out of the military. As a result, Pedro and his family were at risk of being homeless on several occasions. He has been heavily involved in the veteran community and earned various awards and certificates for his efforts in teaching leadership to veteran students and entrepreneurs. 

In 2017, Pedro, along with his co-founder Jose Pila, decided to go all in and start Tent-Hut. Pedro is passionate about reaching out to the “Veteran Drifters”, finding new resources and housing to help them, and ultimately building a community of new leaders who can continue to give back.

Favorite MRE #9 Beef Stew

 
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JoSE M. PILA
CO-FOUNDER
CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER

Jose is an experienced strategist with an extensive background in security, student services, finance, and veteran issues. 

Jose served in United States Army 82nd Airborne Division and in 2009, Jose dropped his rifle and hit the books with the help of his G.I. Bill. He attended California State Polytechnic University Pomona and earned a B.S. in Marketing and International Business in 2011. After his undergraduate education, Jose was recruited to work for Constellis Group, a government contracting company that provides paramilitary security forces to the Middle East. He also worked for various non-profits in the homeless veteran sector, at universities in veteran student services, and extensively in the insurance and finance industries. In 2016, Jose completed his M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Redlands. He is currently attending a Ph.D. program in finance and plans to pursue a second Ph.D. in philosophy.

Through all of his educational and career related endeavors, Jose’s attention and spare time always reverted to helping other veterans. As a former combat soldier, he overcame struggles and low points during his own transition. Jose deeply understands the unique challenges that veterans face as they try to regain their sense of purpose and focus after transitioning out of the military. In 2011, Jose was the chairman of a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that was the pioneer in bridging the gap in how supportive services communicate. He helped put together the first three day Los Angeles Veteran Stand Down, an event that has been modeled by a number of other counties around the country. 

In 2017, Jose co-founded Tent Hut with fellow veteran, Pedro De Leon. Jose believes that Tent-Hut’s proactive approach to veteran issues will prevent many of the subsequent barriers that veterans face in their post-military life. 

 
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MARISA CALI

Marisa is a social media strategist with a background in digital marketing and a keen eye for design. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of California, San Diego in 2002. Shortly after that, she boarded a plane and moved to the borough of Queens.

While exploring her way through the corporate world and enjoying life as a New Yorker, she found her calling in digital marketing in 2007. In 2015, she ventured into the world of entrepreneurship and helping startup businesses develop their social media strategy & establish their online presence. In 2018, she had the privilege of teaching social media marketing at USD’s School of Professional Studies & Continuing Education.

She supports the advancements of women in technology via her involvement with Girls in Tech San Diego and has mentored local entrepreneurs via the Fōkcus Founders Group startup mentoring program.

During her free time, she loves to travel; her favorite city outside of San Diego and New York City is New Orleans. She is intrigued by abandoned historical places, the Latin language, and live music.

 
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ALEXANDRA JACQUES

Alexandra Jacques, daughter of a Navy Veteran, is a Southern California native. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. After graduation she spent time in a finance internship and freelanced as a bookkeeper, before finding her place as a Mortgage Consultant NMLS#1633592 with Commerce Home Mortgage in Irvine,  CA. She has a passion providing financial education to underserved communities.

She is looking to empower civilians to get to know the veteran experience so they may better support their transition out of the military. As the host of the TentHut podcast, she hopes Meal with a Vet will help that process along. 

 
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Ranger
CHIEF HAPPINESS OFFICER

Ranger is happy to serve as Chief Happiness Officer for TentHut. He is a Husky/Malamute mix from the SPCA LA Long Beach was selected and trained specifically for Jose Pila; a strong, stoic dog who has a knack for recognizing the emotional needs of his human counterpart. Ranger is instrumental in reducing Jose’s anxiety in crowds, sleeps in bed with him to eliminate nightmares and even “clears a room” for his new dad. They spend every moment together, even at work Ranger rests peacefully by Jose’s feet.