Mary Elaine and Brett experienced what most young military families experience—a stressful life of uncertainty and oftentimes, chaos. After Brett's 9th combat deployment Mary Elaine longed for a change of pace for their family. She desired a better work-life balance and a way to be more present for her children since their father was absent so much of the time. What she found in her job search was an opportunity to work from home as a virtual assistant. They both decided it was worth exploring.

Mary Elaine and Brett Baker are the co-founders of VAUSA®. The two met over ten years ago in Savannah, Georgia, when Brett was on active duty with the U.S. Army’s 1st Ranger Battalion. A few years later they were married with two young children. A typical military family, Mary Elaine worked in a demanding profession as an elementary school teacher, Brett deployed frequently, and together they struggled to balance often competing priorities.

Our Story

We are VAUSA® and we are America's Choice® for Delegation.

The change in their home life was immediate. Soon Mary Elaine discovered that the freedom to work remotely allowed her to thrive in other areas of her life. It didn't take long after that for them to realize how this new career was ideal for military families in general. The seed was planted to take this newfound freedom and share it with their friends and community.

Patriot Advantage was established in January 2018, and since then they have served clients across the country. Their team has grown to become a powerful force of over 80% military spouses with remarkable talents who are determined to thrive in their careers and in service to their clients.

In 2020 Mary Elaine and Brett decided that a new name for the growing company was needed.

Our Team

Aspiring grown-up that believes leggings really are pants. Mama to four and wife to a man with a glorious beard. Lover of Goldendoodles, books, Oreos, and fine point pens. Closet rapper with a full schedule (always). Needs to meditate more.

chief integration officer

Devis Burnam

Retired Army Ranger and top private chef (to wife & 2 kids). Believes that fishing is always the answer and real men wear aprons.

Vice President + Co-founder

Brett Baker

Military brat turned military spouse. Prefers chips over sweets any day. Does not enjoy cooking yet is an amateur food critic. Mother of two wildlings and two cats. Slightly obsessed with office supplies and candles.

Chief Vision Officer + Co-Founder

Mary Elaine Baker

Amateur bird watcher and non-practicing photographer. Raising two amazing kids on biting sarcasm. Thinks GIFs are an acceptable response to any situation. Uses too many emojis. 

executive assistant to devis

Martha Powers

Mother, wife, and coffee connoisseur. She is a dog loving human, with the personality of a Chihuahua - tiny, but would take on a Saint Bernard in a fight if she had to. Uses too many exclamation points, but someone you would want to have an IPA with.

executive assistant to brett

Megan Willis

Red wine sipper, certified Nespresso barista, mama to two sweet babies and proud Army wife. Pennsylvania Amish Country resident. Enjoys throwing heavy things around in her garage gym after eating baked goods for a pre-workout snack.

executive assistant to mary elaine

Ivy Wille

A California native who keeps finding herself everywhere but there. Former educator, Coast Guard wife, and mama to an active boy. Royals enthusiast and avid runner. 

hospitality ambassador

Melissa Evans

Heart of a traveler but grounded in family. Married to high school sweetheart and raising three fun kids. Can be found sipping wine, dreaming of beaches, and trying out a new recipe. 

hospitality ambassador

Katie Mann

Wife, baby mama and fur mama. Her southern accent is as strong as her southern roots. Has seen so many episodes of Grey's Anatomy, she considers herself an attending. Reba McEntire is her spirit animal. 

Director of marketing

Elizabeth Helmly

Army Brat turned Army Wife that calls Germany home. Mom to wild boy and bonus daughter. Lover of all things leopard print. Longtime Backstreet Boys groupie and a Reality TV Show fanatic. 

Executive assistant

Jessica Deshotel

Self appointed president of the Cool Mom Club who communicates almost entirely in movie quotes. Has been all around the world but enjoys nothing more than true crime and trash television. 

Director of recruiting

Jess Filardi

Retired full-time Georgia Air Guard member living contentedly taking regular naps and spending time with his grandchildren. Enjoys reading the newspaper and sipping his coffee in quiet solitude. Wearing fedoras since before it was cool.

Executive Advisor

Lawrence Eaddy