The Importance of Certification as a VOB

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If you’re a veteran-owned business, be sure you’re certified

How many times you had been asked by your customers if your business is certified veteran-owned? If you’ve served in the military, and perhaps now have a service-related disability, you are often eligible for a certification that will allow you to receive up to 3 percent of prime federal government contracts and subcontracts, according to The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999.

Research by the National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) shows that 70 percent of Americans would prefer to do business with a veteran-owned business than one that is not veteran-owned. In addition, if you plan on doing business and securing contracts with the government a certification is necessary.

How to Get Certified as a Veteran-Owned Business: Do You Qualify?

The qualifications for becoming a veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned business are very specific. You must own at least 51 percent of the company applying for certification. But it’s not enough to be an owner just in name. You must also be in control of management and day-to-day operations within the business.

To prove that you are a veteran, you will need to have a Department of Defense Form 214(DD 214), which is issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation or discharge from active-duty military. If you intend to apply for service-disabled status, you will also need a letter from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs stating that you are, indeed, service-disabled. Contact the VA’s benefits office if you have lost or misplaced this disability status letter.

The first step of getting certified through the VA is registering with the VetBiz Registry, which is a veteran business database. The Center for Veterans Enterprise provides the registry as well as step-by-step guidelines on applying for certification with the VA. You will also be required to have the DD 214 form and possibly a letter from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs stating that you are service-disabled, if applicable.

Registering as a Service-Disabled Veteran

All federal agencies have set aside contracts for service-disabled veterans, if you do plan on doing business with the government, it would be smart to seek out a service-disability rating from the VA. There is no minimum disability rating required to register as a service-disabled veteran. You are eligible for the same benefits, regardless of whether you have a zero percent rating or a 100 percent rating.

The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 established an annual government-wide goal of not less than 3% of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

Purpose of the SDVOSBC Program

The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, as well as the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns if certain conditions are met.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the SDVOSBC, you and your business must meet the following criteria:

  • The Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) must have a service-connected disability that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense
  • The SDVOSBC must be small under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the procurement
  • The SDV must unconditionally own 51% of the SDVOSBC
  • The SDVO must control the management and daily operations of the SDVOSBC
  • The SDV must hold the highest officer position in the SDVOSBC

Source: NaVOBA, VA.com, sba.gov, Inc.com

Success Takes Work

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Though achieving NVBDC Veteran Owned Business Certification requires some work, our process will clearly guide you through the various steps necessary to accomplish this task much faster than you could accomplish it on your own.

Our certification was designed to meet the highest corporate supplier diversity standards as practiced by the NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Diversity Council) and WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council). As we have been telling the applicants, “It is not enough that you’re a Veteran; you have to show up and run the company,” says Keith King, Founder and CEO. In the supplier diversity language, “showing up” translates to “operational control and authority.”

No corporation that we know accepts self-certification of a minority- or woman-owned business. Why would they do it with Veterans? Why would a Veteran even expect that they don’t have to prove their status? The NVBDC does not accept DD214s from the applicant. The applicant must request that their DD214 military records be sent directly to the NVBDC. The DD214 takes a highly-trained person to read and determine if that person meets the various statutory and regulatory legislation standards to be called a Veteran.

With over $2 billion in contracts awarded to NVBDC service-disabled and Veteran-owned businesses per year since 2017, it is difficult to just feature one company.

HOWEVER, HERE ARE A FEW SAMPLES OF WHAT OUR VETERANS WRITE US:

ATLANTA, March 31, 2022 — Digital Marketing Agency Joseph Studios Passes Rigorous Veteran Certification. The organic marketing firm is proud to be successfully vetted by the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC).

After a rigorous process, Joseph Studios — Atlanta’s leading digital marketing firm — was awarded an official certification from the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOB). The accreditation reassures other brands and VOBs that Joseph Studios is a reliable ally and validates our position as a VOB.

“Like our clients, we want to provide a brighter future for our community,” said Daniel Klein, IRR Army Captain (O3) and CEO of Joseph Studios. “By displaying that our business is Veteran-owned, we can assure our clients of our commitment to outstanding service while opening doors for other Veterans looking to transition into civilian life.” With their commitment to empowerment and social responsibility, all while providing the highest standard of service, Joseph Studios is proud to be officially certified as an NVBDC Veteran-Owned Business.

NVBDC Creates Win-Win Relationships:
The NVBDC system Keith and his team have in place, the relationships they cultivate, the tools they share and the knowledge you gain as a member works! The NVBDC member corporations want to work with Vets. They spend the money to be able to hire Vets, and when you put the work in – you get work. This month we received a master’s Service Agreement from JLL for J.P. Morgan Chase and an RFI from Pfizer. Sending a big thank you to the NVBDC Team!”

John J. Piekarski, U. S. Navy Veteran & President | ALLY Construction Services

JOE PAMELIA COLLECTIONS

I just wanted to let you know WE ARE A WALMART SUPPLIER AS OF YESTERDAY!! Excited, scared, overwhelmed but very proud of all of us. Just went live on Walmart Marketplace in the U.S. and soon to be on Walmart Globally. Soon to be on Amazon.com U.S. and then Amazon Globally.

Joe Pamelia, CEO | Joe Pamelia Collections

For more samples of what your fellow Veterans have to say about being NVBDC certified go to: nvbdc.org/certified-success-working-it.

To date, NVBDC has the support of over 140 corporations of all sizes helping NVBDC Certified Veteran Businesses with access and opportunities to become a part of their supply chain. Tier 1 Suppliers are being evaluated and held accountable to capture and report their Veteran spend as part of the process. NVBDC Certified Service-Disabled and Veteran-Owned Businesses (SD/VOBs) are gaining the advantage with new markets and new opportunities that will open a massive new range of potential business through our NVBDC Corporate Members.

NVBDC regularly receives direct requests from our corporate members regarding their current opportunities. We provide the detailed capability information from our NVBDC-certified SD/VOBs that match these corporate procurement opportunities. This alerts the SD/VOBs that their information has been shared with our corporate members.

“The NVBDC views entrepreneurship as another form of employment and believes that helping our Veterans succeed in business helps them, their families and the communities in which they reside,” said NVBDC founder and CEO Keith King.

We are excited to announce that NVBDC has signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the SBA (Small Business Administration). The United States Small Business Administration and the National Veteran Business Development Council are joining together to uphold a common mission: to help start, maintain and expand Veteran businesses. The two organizations will work together in the spirit of cooperation and open communications, with the primary goal of meeting the needs of the Veteran business community.

For more information and to learn how to become an NVBDC Certified SD/VOB please feel free to reach out to NVBDC by visiting our website: nvbdc.org or contacting us directly: (888) CERTIFIED.

The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) is a non-profit organization providing nationally recognized certification, training, networking and advocacy for Veteran small business entrepreneurs in the federal and commercial market. NVBDC’s goal is to ensure Veterans are procurement ready and have enhanced access to opportunities to start, operate, sustain and grow competitive and strong businesses serving Federal agencies and other corporate contractors. NVBDC will continue to fight to eliminate Veteran business “ineligible contracts.” NVBDC continues to work with the SBA to support Veteran businesses with opportunities made directly to them, for them!

Source: NVBDC

NASM Supports Military Families with Career Opportunities

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By Chris Billingsley

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), a global leader in fitness education and certifications, supports military families – not only on days like the annual – Military Spouse Appreciation Day – but every day by providing 30% off all courses for military members and their families, as well as a free course on mental toughness.

Since 2017, NASM has been recognized as a Military Friendly School, and its Certified Personal Training (CPT) program is also eligible for military funding reimbursement.

Not only do NASM courses offer invaluable health knowledge, for military members and their spouses, NASM also offers flexible career opportunities perfect for a military family’s lifestyle, which can often include multiple moves and makes working in a traditional environment difficult.

Working as a NASM certified personal trainer, wellness coach, or nutrition coach offers the freedom to work wherever and whenever works best for your family, while offering the purpose and satisfaction that comes from helping others achieve their goals.

In fact, for those that want to coach virtually, now is the best time to get started. NASM is seeing a 23% uptick in graduates who are offering virtual services since 2017, with the online fitness industry projected to grow from $16.15 billion this year to $79.87 billion in 2026.

Military spouses looking for career opportunities can also apply MyCAA scholarship funding to specific programs, including a Group Fitness Instructor certification through AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America).

Learners have many options for their course of study – whether they’re interested in offering clients nutritional support, fitness knowledge, or comprehensive wellness coaching. NASM even offers bundles of courses as well as specializations, such as virtual coaching, to help students create the best program for their career goals.

For more information on how NASM supports military members and their families, visit www.nasm.org/certified-personal-trainer/military-support.

Wells Fargo Launches Military Spouse Hiring Program, Designed to Onboard 100 New Employees Per Year for the Next Five Years

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By Yahoo! Finance

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) recently announced its Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring program, offering mid- to high-level remote, hybrid, and in-office career opportunities with a focus on portability for spouses of those actively serving. The new program is designed to onboard 100 new employees each year for the next five years.

Wells Fargo’s Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring (HHH) program is now accepting interested candidates into its talent community in preparation for launching 100 open positions in early June 2022. The HHH program team will help prepare candidates and hiring managers for a virtual hiring event, assisting with resume development and interview training to help applicants articulate transferrable skills and potential employment gaps. The virtual hiring event will occur in August 2022, with a program start date of Sept. 12, 2022.

The announcement came in advance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on Friday, May 6.

“The 24% unemployment rate for military spouses far exceeds the national average; this is largely a result of permanent change of station and the inability to have a portable career,” said Sean Passmore, head of Military Talent Strategic Sourcing and Enterprise Military & Veteran Initiatives at Wells Fargo. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to military spouse un- or underemployment. The scale and complexity of HHH demonstrate our understanding of the unique career challenges faced by military spouses, and our commitment to helping solve the problem.”

Positions will be available in Human Resources, Consumer & Small Business Banking, Technology, Wealth & Investment Management, and Consumer Lending. Each line of business will host 20 roles, and new hires will begin the inaugural program on Sept. 12, 2022.

HHH is just one of several programs Wells Fargo has implemented to serve and employ the military community. Others include:

The Veteran Employment Transition (VET) Program: A nationwide, competitively paid 8+ week Spring and Fall internship for experienced talent that converts directly to a full-time role based on performance. Interns develop an understanding of the daily responsibilities of a full-time Wells Fargo employee, while networking and participating in special training opportunities.

Military Apprenticeships: A Department of Labor structured experiential training program that results in skills certification for applicants who do not initially meet qualifications for the non-apprentice equivalent role.

Boots to Banking: A Wells Fargo one-of-a-kind program designed to attract, prepare, and hire military talent into various career opportunities through military-specific hiring events. Pre- and post-event components include candidate and hiring manager preparation along with valuable resources for a successful transition.

Corporate Fellowship Program: In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Initiative, the program hosts military personnel within six months of separation for a 12-week fellowship experience to achieve full-time employment.

Applicants interested in joining the HHH talent community should visit the Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring Program website.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance.

Diversity in the Healthcare Industry, at Every Step

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Abbott and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) recently announced a $37.5 million initiative to empower diverse small businesses to help create a more diverse healthcare supply chain. The initiative will provide diverse small-business owners with the tailored solutions, support and resources they need to grow, compete and create jobs – enabling greater diversity in healthcare and a more inclusive supply chain for Abbott and other healthcare companies.

This work advances Abbott and LISC’s shared commitment to create a more diverse healthcare industry and generate jobs and stronger economies in underinvested communities.

This funding opportunity is open to qualified diverse small businesses and offers support through:

  • Growth capital: interest-free capital to help businesses overcome hurdles to expansion, such as investing in management systems to comply with regulatory and environmental requirements
  • Business loans: flexible, affordable loans that would not typically be available through conventional lenders
  • Tailored coaching and technical assistance: targeted, customized support, including help with fulfilling investment and loan requirements and identifying and addressing specific business challenges

Eligible diverse small businesses for program participation and funding must be:

  • Diverse-owned, defined as those that are majority owned by people of color (including Black, Latino, Asian and Native Americans), women, veterans, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ, and other historically underrepresented groups;
  • In business for more than two years and are based in the U.S. with an annual revenue of $250,000 or more; and
  • Focused on manufacturing nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices or other health technologies, or offering business-to-business products and services that the healthcare industry can use.
  • Sole proprietors are not eligible for the program.

For more information about this initiative, please visit the LISC site. And to learn more about Abbott’s work to support a more diverse supply chain, visit Abbott’s site.

Plans for the World’s Tallest Flagpole and Most Comprehensive Veterans Memorial to be Unveiled in Maine

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The Park will create thousands of jobs and catalyze year-round economic opportunity

WHAT: Born from a desire to advance unity and patriotism in America, the founder of Wreaths Across America, Morrill Worcester, will unveil Flagpole of Freedom Park – an apolitical project 12 years in the making.

This Park will become the only place in the country to honor all 24 million American veterans in one location.

Standing taller than the Empire State Building, the Park will fly the world’s largest American flag from the tallest flagpole in the world, symbolizing the commitment and sacrifice veterans make to protect America’s freedom.

The Park will humanize key milestones that have shaped American history and will feature immersive educational experiences and living history museums. Phase 1 will open on July 4, 2026 – America’s 250th birthday.

Located in Columbia Falls, the large-scale project will catalyze economic development for the State of Maine, creating an estimated 8,000+ year-round jobs and $27M in tax revenue.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29, 2022 11:00 a.m. Eastern

WHERE: Livestream link

WHO:

  • Morrill Worcester, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Flagpole of Freedom
  • Senator Marianne Moore (R), Washington County Maine
  • Chris Gardner, Washington County Commissioner
  • Tony Santiago, Chair, Columbia Falls Select Board
  • Tim Gatz, Maine Tourism Alliance
  • Maine State Chamber of Commerce
  • Tricia Thurston, American Legion, Department of Maine

DETAILS: Flagpole of Freedom Park: https://www.flagpoleoffreedom.com/launch/

Relying on Military Experience During Times of Uncertainty

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By Chris Wayne, Verizon Small Business Essentials

I spent nearly four years in the military as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. During that time, I learned a lot about perseverance, discipline, and determination from the military standards for working as a team.

Little did I realize how much those skills and experiences would shape my leadership during a global pandemic.

In the military, we prepare for a variety of scenarios and rely on our team to play their individual roles to achieve a greater goal. The belief in this process is how we navigate and survive the challenges we encounter. When you have clear expectations of yourself and those around you, it’s easy to follow through, execute a plan, and be accountable.

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in early 2020, my organization, like many, was unsure of what the future held. But what we did know is we owed it to our customers and our employees to ensure there was minimal disruption to their daily lives, especially as we all hunkered down at home and learned to work in new ways.

Nearly two years later, many companies, large and small, are still grappling with the disruptions of COVID-19. Thus making it imperative to maintain a sense of stability and ensure our teams have the resources they need to work effectively against a set of challenges that constantly evolve.

Here are four ways my time in the military taught me how to lead during times of uncertainty, and it’s my hope that sharing these experiences can help you lead when you are met with adversity.

Create a culture of open communication
Leaders can face an uphill battle when it comes to managing unforeseen or unprecedented issues. Being in charge — whether leading a large team, company or battalion — requires that those who report to you buy into the fact that you are the one who makes the final decision. But just like any endeavor, those in charge can lose control of their team if they don’t earn their respect and trust.

Maintaining that respect starts with open and frequent communication, especially in times of uncertainty. Fostering an environment where your team feels connected and comfortable to express concerns will create trust and ultimately lead to respect. Earning respect can also mean remaining consistent in your work, setting clear expectations with your team, and making sure everyone understands the impact and importance of their role.

Know when to lead and when to bring others in
The mark of a strong leader is someone who understands when there are smarter people in the room. There will be instances where it’s the right decision to lean on others who might have more expertise or more insight into the issue you are facing. True leadership can look different in various scenarios, especially when your team is navigating uncharted territory. Knowing when to step back and allow your team members to lead won’t lessen your leadership; in fact, it might do the opposite.

Failure is a catalyst for growth
Failure is an inevitable part of life. In the military, we know failure can mean the difference between life and death. But that doesn’t mean you should completely dismiss failure when the stakes are not as high.

For our customers, the stakes are always high, just in a different way. They are small business owners and entrepreneurs who put their livelihood on the line to realize their dreams. We recognize and respect that they face challenges every day, and our job is to help them solve those challenges. At Verizon Small Business Essentials, we learn from our failures to help refine our strategies. Making data-driven decisions to help our customers compete and succeed, as well as creating an environment for our employees to learn and innovate in their roles, is key to our success.

Build a network of trusted peers
Leading can be lonely. While you might have a team that looks up to you for guidance, the buck stops with you, meaning success or failure falls squarely upon your shoulders. When you go home at the end of the day, it can be difficult to shake the feeling that you have nowhere to turn to vent.

This is when your network becomes vital. Chances are good your network contains people you trust, who may also have served in the military. Our common experiences can be helpful when seeking advice or a sounding board to work through a variety of challenging scenarios. If you can find the right people to bring into your trusted circle, it will make all the difference when uncertainty arises.

I credit my military service for my ascension in the civilian ranks to becoming a leader with one of the largest companies in the country. Everything I picked up along the way has led me here, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without that experience.

Leadership is defined as the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by conviction, and ignited by purpose. As veterans, our paths to leadership opportunities are diverse. And I firmly believe we are uniquely suited to lead because of our history of military service and sacrifice.

Chris Wayne is the managing director for Verizon Small Business Essentials. Prior to this, he was the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Chris holds a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) degree from the University of Southern California and is a certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP). Before joining Yahoo Small Business, Chris was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

Supplier Diversity Certifications: Game Changers for the Disadvantaged

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In today’s competitive environment, every owner must take advantage of any opportunity to differentiate their company from the competition.

Supplier diversity certifications for disadvantaged businesses are an often-overlooked option with great potential. Qualifying companies include those with veteran, minority, LGBTQ+ or women owners, as well as those in historically underutilized business zones, or HUBZones. These certifications grant access to private-sector opportunities and contracts with local, state, and federal government agencies that want to do business with a diverse pool of suppliers.

Certification History

According to “A History of Corporate Supply Chain Diversity” (WEUSA 4 [2020]: 95), certification programs were born out of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and guided by legislative mandates enacted to end discrimination that gave large businesses a disproportionate share of opportunities. The program flourished in 1969, when the Office of Minority Business Enterprise was established to provide guidance and support. In 1978, the Small Business Act re-categorized minority businesses as socially and economically disadvantaged and required federal agencies to comply with new goals for federal contracts.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, new legislation fostered the advancement of federal contracting opportunities to businesses in HUBZones and those owned by women, veterans, service-disabled veterans and members of the LBGTQ+ community. Today, as more companies invest in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, the demand for diverse suppliers will only increase.

How Certifications Benefited Our Company

The owner of Black Box Safety, Jackson Dalton, is a military veteran who was disabled while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. That status could put a small business owner at a disadvantage, but it qualified Black Box Safety for certifications and network memberships that introduced us to new and otherwise inaccessible clients.

Certification with the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) gives us access to special events (such as its recent Marching Forward Monday) and networking connections that resulted in at least $90,000 in contract wins in the company’s first year of certification. Black Box also received NaVOBA’s 2021 Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise of the Year award.

Certification with Disability:IN led to our nomination for the organization’s Pitch Perfect Challenge. We presented our pitch to a panel of experienced judges and took first place, landing a five-figure prize and a subsequent feature in a November 2021 Forbes article. Black Box also served on the Re-Imagining Your Business from 2020 Learnings conference panel, which put us in front of potential clients such as Bristol Myers Squibb.

Membership in the Veterans in Business (VIB) Network connects us with private entities, third-party nonprofits and federal contractors through conferences and events. Through VIB alone we secured at least one new regular customer per quarter, and we also increased our visibility as general-session presenters on supplier diversity at the 2021 VIB National Conference.

Black Box Safety put time, money and energy into engaging with these organizations, approaching each with a sense of how our goals and values align with theirs. That investment paid off not only in great opportunities — putting our name in front of Disney, Shell Oil, T-Mobile and other market giants — but also motivation to reach and exceed our own expectations.

The Process

When applying for diversity supplier certifications, begin with the end in mind. Define your target market and evaluate which certifications that market will value. For example, if you manufacture garden and patio decor and want to expand distribution, consider certifications accepted and valued by big-box retailers. NaVOBA certification puts you in front of their corporate sponsors, which include Lowe’s Home Improvement. Many large buyers post a list of accepted certifications on their website, and you can also ask them directly.

Next, evaluate honestly which certifications best reflect the status of your company and whether you meet their requirements. Certification is a rigorous process managed by government agencies or third-party agencies that advocate for the development of disadvantaged-owned businesses. Each has its own conditions, but most require a business to be at least 51 percent diverse-owned. Some require that the owner be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The application process does have associated costs, and you should also set aside time to navigate the documentation, screening, interviews and on-site visits needed to prove that your company is qualified.

For businesses that qualify, the advantages of obtaining diverse supplier certifications far outweigh the costs of earning them. Business partners admire this classification, and certification is alluring to diverse supplier programs. It is not an easy process: it takes not only time and money, but also perseverance and patience to earn these certifications. However, for Black Box Safety, diverse supplier certifications opened doors enough to be well worth the effort and hard work.

Source: Black Box Safety

Veterans Business Battle invites entrepreneurs to participate in 2022 competition

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HOUSTON- Rice University’s business competition geared for military veterans will take applications from new entrepreneurs. Applications are open for the 2022 Veterans Business Battle, an event that gives military veterans an opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of investors for a chance at investments, business partnerships, and prize money. In recent years, finalists received more than $4 million of investments through the program. Early-stage businesses and existing companies needing growth capital are both encouraged to apply.

This year’s event will extend networking opportunities to other business startup founders who want to attend sessions led by previous Veterans Business Battle winners.

“We’re looking forward to giving veterans the opportunity not just to share their ideas and get financing, but learn from other past winners the lessons about entrepreneurship they’ve lived through while growing their businesses ” event co-chair Reid Schrodel said.

Veterans Business Battle will award a combined $30,000 in cash prizes to winners at the event. The cash will be split between a $15,000 prize for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place. The event is hosted by Rice Business Veterans Association, a student organization for military veterans at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

To apply, applicants must submit a business plan on the competition website, www.vetbizbattle.org, by Feb. 15. Businesses must have an honorably discharged veteran or active duty founder and equity holder who is actively running the venture.

Finalists will be invited to make their business pitch April 22-23 at Rice University. All types of businesses are encouraged. Previous winners have included retail products, a commercial drone business, technology firms and more. Those interested in competing should visit business.rice.edu/vetbizbattle

Veterans Business Battle was established in 2015 by a group of Houston entrepreneurs and Rice University’s Veterans in Business Association. The competition aims to foster entrepreneurship among veterans, grow veteran-owned businesses and give back to veterans seeking to make a difference in the business world. For more information, visit business.rice.edu/vetbizbattle

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Ann Phillips as Chief Administrative Officer

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She joins Guardian Angels and brings academic and leadership experience in development, marketing, communications, human resource management and diversity, equity and inclusion.

She is a results-oriented leader and nationally recognized advocate in the veteran and disability community. As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran she brings strategic focus to the growth and development of the organization.

Chris joins us from PNC Bank where she served as the Military Affairs Liaison and Enterprise Business Lead for PNC’s Annual Community Mutt Strut – supporting veterans in danger of suicide by raising funds to provide medically trained service dogs across the country. Starting her career with PNC as a Diversity Specialist in HR recruiting, she was instrumental in the design, development, and execution of the veteran hiring strategy for PNC.

For the last 3 years Chris has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Business and Professional Communications at Duquesne University. She has held successful positions with Chrysler Corporation and the Department of Labor as a national sales trainer and regional job developer.

Her civic duties include Pittsburgh Veteran Employer Coalition and the Veteran’s Advisory Board for Duquesne University. She is an active member of the board of directors for Pittsburgh Warrior Hockey and is a highly sought-after mentor and public speaker in the military community.

Guardian Angels logoShe is the recipient of a 2013 PA ESGR Patriot Award and instrumental in PNC receiving the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award. Having twice been named in the nation’s top five finalists for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment by the US Chamber of Commerce, her commitment and passion to the veteran community is exemplary.

Chris holds master’s degrees in Leadership, Professional and Corporate Communications from Duquesne University and will complete her doctorate from Duquesne in 2022. She has two daughters, two granddaughters and a large family. In her free time, she enjoys reading, entertaining and traveling.

Joining the Guardian Angels executive leadership team at a time of amazing growth and expansion, she will be an integral part of the transformation geared towards furthering the mission and long-term sustainability. Her proven leadership and strategic focus will offer great value to our team and all those we serve.

For information about Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, visit https://www.medicalservicedogs.org/

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. Multiple Hire GI Hiring Events During June-December!
    June 21, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. Commercial UAV Expo Americas
    September 6, 2022 - September 8, 2022
  5. Department of the Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event
    September 6, 2022 - September 8, 2022