Archive | April, 2014

Whimsy Matters!

11 Apr


Another inspirational TEDTalk – Aimee Mullins: My 12 Pairs of Legs (TED2009)



2014 Veterans in Business Conference

11 Apr
We were honored to have Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) as our morning keynote speaker - yours truly relegated to the far right.

We were honored to have Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) as our morning keynote speaker – yours truly relegated to the far right.

I am happy to announce another successful Veterans in Business Conference has concluded – now back to blogging.

March 27, 2014 – Over 250 veteran small business owners, government agency representatives, prime contractors and elected officials converged on the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA for the 9th Annual Veterans in Business Conference. The showcase event of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Community Business Partnership, the Veterans in Business Conference provides relevant education, networking and business opportunities for veteran small business owners seeking to conduct business with local, state and federal government agencies. This year’s theme was “Sustainability and Growth in Uncertain Times.”

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by Dr. Gerald Gordon (President & CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority) and a keynote address by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). Despite sequestration, the 2013 government shutdown and impending federal budget cuts, both speakers were optimistic about opportunities for veteran small business owners in Fairfax County and the metro DC area.

We were particularly honored this year to be able to present the 2013 Virginia SBDC Small Business Veteran of the Year Award to a longtime friend of Community Business Partnership – Staci Redmon (President & CEO of Strategy and Management Services). Staci is a 3rd generation service-disabled veteran who has grown her government contracting company to $10M in annual revenue and 105 employees in just over 5 years.

The attendees then dispersed throughout the conference sight to network, visit the exhibitor’s hall and attend a variety of workshops designed for both start-up and existing government contractors. Topics included: Capture Planning (presented by Dr. Jim McCarthy – host of the popular series Government Contracting Weekly), Marketing to the Government, Growing Value in Your Business and Understanding Joint Ventures.

At lunch, the group was treated to remarks from Mr. John Shoraka (SBA Office of Government Contracting and Business Development) and a keynote address by Mr. Sean Crean (Director of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs). Mr. Crean surprised the audience by presenting his command coin to event photographer, Johnathon Mullen – a service disabled veteran who turned his love of photography into a growing business.

The day concluded with a matchmaking session that provided an ideal venue for veteran small business owners to meet face-to-face with government OSDBUs and prime contracting SBLOs, build relationships and learn how they can get a piece of the federal contracting pie.

Feedback from attendees has been incredibly positive – praising the “quality of the venue, workshops and speakers”, as well as remarking on the “friendly air of inclusion” that many of the first-time small business owners felt throughout the day.

Save the date: March 26, 2015 at the Army Navy Country Club – we will be celebrating our 10th Annual Veterans in Business Conference!