January 24, 2017
Detroit, MI. John E. James currently serves as Chairman on the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF) Board of Trustees. The MVTF is a $50 Million fund established after World War II to help Michigan"s Veteran in "emergent" need of support. "As a Veteran, and a business leader I"m looking forward to working with the NVBDC and helping our fellow Veteran business owners understand the opportunities being certified by the NVBDC presents", John said.
Mr. James is President and CEO of Renaissance Global Logistics (RGL) where he is responsible for strategic leadership of people and processes in order to maximize both shareholder value and customer satisfaction. He also serves on the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) Board of Directors and the Detroit Workforce Development Board.
John joined RGL in 2012 as Director of Operations after eight years of active duty military service as a Ranger-qualified aviation officer and leading two Apache platoons in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, John earned a Bachelor"s degree in Law and Systems (Industrial) Engineering.
Working in a family business is a dream job that will let him continue his father"s legacy and create his own. His father, John A. James enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966 and served as a Commissioned Officer in the Corps of Engineers while serving in Vietnam.
Keith King, President of the NVBDC said "it is great to have a second generation business leader stepping into a leadership role with us, not only is he a second generation CEO but a second generation Veteran. We expect John to help us achieve our goals by working with our board on how we can reach other Veteran business owners and showing them the value of adding the NVBDC certification."
James said, in addition to helping to run a company, he also wants to be a part of shaping the city of Detroit and supporting other black and Veteran business owners.
January 5, 2017
Richard Miller, Vice President of the National Veterans Business Development Council (NVBDC), is pleased to announce the launch of its NVBDC eMarketplace in partnership with eProcurement Services (ePS). The NVBDC is the nation's leading third party authority for certification of veteran owned businesses of all sizes and the corporations wanting to engage them. The NVBDC eMarketplace is an on-line shopping environment that will bring together Corporations and NVBDC-certified Veteran suppliers into a customized one-stop shopping experience for Veteran Owned Business purchases.
“The NVBDC certification program has been approved by many major corporations who are seeking to expand their SDVOB/VOB supply chain purchases. Companies such as General Motors, Kellogg’s, Ford, AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, Freddie Mac, MEDC, Magna International, 3M, Harley Davidson, CBRE, Consumers Energy, MetLife, Kroger, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, Delphi , CPI and many others. This group of national corporations provides a powerful platform to introduce the NVBDC eMarketplace to Diversity Program stakeholders within each organization,” said Miller.
Since 2005, ePS has been offering its web-based spend management solutions to customers seeking efficiencies in the way they manage spend. This privately-held business, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, focuses on delivering a flexible and intuitive solution to both Buyers and their respective suppliers. ePS specializes in enabling suppliers of all sizes to participate in e-procurement environments.
David Saroli, CEO of ePS, is proud to partner with the NVBDC. “ePS is a strong supporter of our Veterans, and we are very excited to provide our expertise in eProcurement to assist in expanding opportunities for these SDVOB/VOB businesses.”
Saroli continued, “The NVBDC eMarketplace creates one customized central portal for each corporate buying customer, making buying from Certified Service Disabled/Veteran Owned Businesses simple and efficient, while adhering to the unique business requirements of the organization. This includes such value added functions as the ability for the corporate buying customer to route an order for approval or include financial assignments needed for their purchasing and accounting processes. This will streamline the purchasing process and remove barriers for spending funds on products from target suppliers.”To learn more about launching your own customized NVBDC eMarketplace , click here
Former Nevada State Director,
U.S. Department of Labor,
and Training Service,
Joins NVBDC as Vice President
December 12, 2016
The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) is proud to announce that Darrol L. Brown has been elected to the office of Vice President of the organization, joining Brigadier General Richard Miller in that capacity. Darrol served 12 years as the Nevada State Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.
"Darrol has been involved in many aspects of Veteran programs and employment issues over the course of his career," said Keith King, President of the NVBDC. "He has been on our Board for over two years now and has attended National Veteran Conferences on our behalf, and presented the NVBDC to a number of business and Veteran group events."
Darrol lives in Nevada, but as a former Regional Board of Directors member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), he covered seven Western states for that organization.
In his function as a Vice President of the NVBDC, Darrol will be taking on additional responsibilities, with an eye to helping the Council achieve its growth objectives for the future.
"We are pleased that Darrol is accepting the second VP position, and we welcome him and his new role as an Officer," said King.
General Richard Miller concurs: "Darrol is dedicated and experienced with veterans and veterans' issues."
Darrol served 3+ years in the U.S. Air Force as a Communications Analysis Specialist, stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan and Ramasun Army Station, Thailand. He has been vigorously involved in a wide range of voluntary activities related to Veterans' affairs over the years.
VP Brown was born in Ohio and moved to Nevada in 1982. He has been married to the former Loretta M. Laughlin for 46 years with two daughters and six grandchildren. Darrol is a life member of VVA and also has memberships in VFW, American Legion, Welcome All Veterans Everywhere (WAVE, his local Veterans Community Council in Douglas County, Nevada), and several other veteran-related service organizations.
November 16, 2016
Keith King, President of the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), announced today the appointment of New York financial executive, Richard Swift, to the NVBDC Advisory Board.
“Rich is the next generation of leadership for the NVBDC. As we continue to build the organization, we are looking to add Veteran leaders like Rich," King said.
"As a West Point graduate, Rich has proven his leadership skills, and as a member of a successful Veteran owned business, he brings the skills we will need to continue to grow.”
"With his financial background and his New York location, Rich provides the NVBDC with Advisory Board members on both coasts," King said. "Rich will help the NVBDC with our organizational structure, and gives us the ability to reach our Iraq and Afghanistan generation Veterans."
Having earned a Masters of Business Administration in Finance at New York University, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics & Systems Engineering at West Point, Rich served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Georgia, Oklahoma and Germany.
He then went on to serve in senior positions as a financial analyst with Merrill Lynch and Red Coat Capital Management, where his responsibilities included the overseeing of over $400 million, before founding his own firm - Stadia Capital Management.
Under his management, the company grew dramatically, managing over $1 billion in assets, with Rich staying on as Managing Director once the company was acquired by Morgan Stanley.
Currently, Rich holds the title of Managing Director of Axonic Capital LLC, an investment company based in New York which was recently certified by the NVBDC.
All of this expertise represents an immense contribution to the Advisory Board of the NVBDC.
Rich Swift is looking forward to the challenge. "Keith, it’s an honor to help serve our fellow veterans with this great organization!”
Veteran Supplier Diversity Expert
Brenda R. (Dizer) Smith, CPSM, CPSD
Joins the NVBDC Advisory Board
October 17, 2016
Keith King, President of the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), is pleased to announce the appointment of Veteran Supplier Diversity expert Brenda R. (Dizer) Smith, to the NVBDC Advisory Board.
"Brenda brings the perfect confluence of deep experience as a Supplier Diversity professional, relevant leadership positions in corporate, non-profit and government settings, and the fact that she is a veteran is an added bonus for us," said King.
Ms. Smith is an award-winning Supplier Diversity professional. For eighteen years, she served in the Global Procurement Organizations of Intel and Nike, respectively, as Senior Procurement Program Manager, and Supplier Diversity Director. She is a founding Board Member of Astra Women’s Business Alliance (Astra), a Regional Partner Organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and served on the Board of the Northwest Mountain Supplier Development Council (NW MTN), a Regional Council of National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). She has been a member of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) since 1998 and has acquired all of their certifications. She currently serves on their Certification and Diversity Committees. She has an MBA in Management and BBA in Marketing.
“I am passionate about working with veterans and their families to continue my father’s 35-year legacy and dedication of service to his country”, says Smith”.
In 2013, Ms. Smith launched B.R. Smith Inc., a consulting company primarily focused on veteran business development and supply chain/supplier diversity certification training. She also provides solutions and directions to small businesses as well as providing access for veterans and their families to resources and housing.
She is also an alumna of the Veteran Women Inspired for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (VWISE) Program. This program was initiated by the Institute of Veteran and Military Families (IVMF), administered by Syracuse University.
"We are very much looking forward to Brenda's guidance," King said, "and we are certain she'll make an immense contribution to the NVBDC as our organization continues to grow and thrive.”
The NVBDC Earns Veteran Community Award From The ESGR
September 29, 2016
On 9/15/2016, Keith King, President of the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) accepted a Veteran Community Award from Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR) on behalf of the work done by many members of the NVBDC.
"First of all, I especially want to thank David Thomas, MVAA Veteran Services Coordinator, Tri-county Metro Region 10 for nominating the NVBDC for this award," said King. "David is an outstanding Veteran Advocate and we are proud to work with him and the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency."
The mission of the ESGR is to create a robust culture in which military service is valued by every civilian employer in the United States.
“What we know, King went on to say, is that veteran-owned businesses have a much higher propensity for hiring veterans than non-veteran-owned businesses. And although it is not something we do as a part of the charter of the NVBDC, many of our sponsors also support the ESGR, and we are proud to honor their efforts as well."
For instance, Brigadier General Dick Miller (ret) has been meeting with base commanders all over the country for his work with the NVBDC and his company. He has established an extensive network to help his fellow veterans find employment upon discharge from the military.
“Working with the ESGR supports all of our efforts on every level,” said General Miller.
Another outstanding example is the work of Major General Bruce MacDonald (ret). General MacDonald works closely with the VA, Reserve, Guard and Regular Army units, as well as countless veteran groups, to help soldiers coming out from their service find a new career path.
"Many of our Officers and Board Members at the NVBDC support the efforts of the ESGR," Keith said, and we are proud to be partners with many of the corporations that also provide them with important support. We are extremely gratified to have received this award from them."
Veterans bring skills, leadership to the workplace
May 8, 2016
In the summer of 1970, Keith King was a 19-year-old M-60 machine gunner with the U.S. Army's military police protecting supply convoys running ammunition along the dangerous routes to American troops fighting in South Vietnam's war-torn Central Highlands.
A year later, the Detroit native's enlistment term complete, King was told by those processing his transition to back to civilian life not to wear his uniform. It was an ugly era for those leaving the military. The public was weary of the war, and protesters were said to insult veterans.
Corporate America was skeptical of Vietnam veterans for many years, too, he said, and many companies didn't want to know about applicants' Vietnam service.
"It was detrimental to me in my business career. I took it off my résumé," said King, who spent decades in broadcast sales and advertising before launching an organization to certify veteran-owned businesses a few years ago.
Forty-five years after King left the Army, the pendulum has swung the other direction, and companies actively seek America's veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They're seen as offering skills and leadership that civilians don't always bring to the table, especially as the military has grown increasingly complex with technology and systems, said King, who now is president of the Detroit-based National Veteran Business Development Council.
Pipeline of returning vets slowing
The pipeline of veterans, however, could slow in coming years and create a demand for ex-service members that gives them an advantage in the workplace not seen since after World War II.
That's because the Pentagon is under orders to slash its manpower numbers to meet budgetary constraints. If opposition withing the ranks and on Capitol Hill don't hold sway, under the current budget the Army must cut 30,000 troops by fiscal 2018. That would leave 450,000 active-duty soldiers, making it the smallest U.S. Army since 1940, before conscription ballooned the ranks on the eve of World War II.
By the end of World War II, there were 12 million men in uniform, and the original G.I. Bill provided them money for college or vocational training along with low-interest home mortgages and loans to start a business.
"The educational portion of that is what really drove the change in society in America," King said. "We became a society with a high percentage of people leaving the farm and coming into the city. That created the suburbs. They came home, went to school, and had the opportunity to get jobs."
In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, the Pentagon had 3.5 million active-duty troops, including 1.5 million in the Army. The numbers have slowly dwindled since.
Today, the most recent headcount from the Pentagon shows 1.3 million men and women in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. That's the lowest troop strength since 2001, according to federal data.
Michigan has the 11th-largest veteran population, state and federal data show. There were 658,469 known veterans as of 2014, the most recent accounting available. The majority of those are Vietnam vets (237,675), followed by those who have served since 1990 (155,745).
The U.S. military's post-9/11 peak manpower was 1.43 million in 2003, with the Army's peak of 566,045 coming in 2010. The Army alone has cut 80,000 troops since 2012, and barring a change in policy under the next president (or another war), troop levels will fall further.
That means there will be a burst of new veterans in the workforce for a few years as the services cut troops, but then the flow of new vets will be reduced to numbers not seen since before 9/11.
A smaller pool
That's likely to mean the corporate world will compete for the smaller pool of veterans, especially those with technical skills and experience that translate into civilian jobs, King said.
"It's kind of like college recruiting. Some are in a place they can demand only the best academic students," he said. "When (vets) come out, they're going to come out with a pretty good opportunity for employment. We have a lot of demand. If they did IT security, computers, drones, worked on nuclear-powered submarines, we've got a job for them."
While America has had troops deployed in combat since 2001, the veterans of current conflicts don't account for the largest cohort of former service members. Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era accounted for 42 percent (8.9 million) of the total veteran population in 2015. The remainder are 7 million veterans of the first Gulf War and subsequent conflicts, and 5.3 million who served in peacetime, records show.
About 9 percent of all veterans are women.
"America has been pretty good at making veterans. We're not always good at taking care of them. We've been through drawdowns before, only to rebuild," King said. "I'm always a little cautious when we start talking about politicians and their decision on exactly how many active-duty troops they're going to let go. But assuming they do, we're going to have to reintegrate all these people into normal society."
A variety of skills, abilities
Whatever the manpower totals of the active-duty armed forces, veterans can offer employers a variety of skill experiences, such as expertise in computers, engines and other technology, medical training and leadership.
Enlisted personnel account for the largest portion of veterans. For example, for every 10 Marine enlisted personnel, there is one officer. In the more technically oriented Air Force, that ratio is close to three airmen for every one officer.
Enlisted personnel must have at least a high school diploma or GED, while officers have college degrees. Officers appeal to companies because they attend regular training and classroom instruction at military staff colleges and many earn advanced degrees during their military careers.
It's not just technical abilities that veterans offer, said Ken Huxley, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who manages talent acquisition for Detroit-based Strategic Staffing Solutions and runs its veteran hiring initiative.
Veterans also offer employers organizational abilities, respect, loyalty and the ability to work in a structured environment, he said.
One factor affecting the pace of veteran hiring, Huxley said, is the nation's economic health.
"A lot will depend on where the economy is at the time these folks stream out of the military," he said. "That will determine how much opportunity these folks have."
If Washington continues to reduce troop strength and the stream of veterans into the workplace tightens, it's important that civilian employers continue their emphasis on hiring former service members, Huxley said.
"My hope is corporate America will continue its campaign to recognize and bring those veterans into their workforce," said Huxley, who joined the Air Force after graduating from Wayne State University in 1979 and retired in 2005 after a military career primarily in human relations management.
Whatever the economic situation, the federal government has made great strides in aiding new veterans, Huxley said. That always hasn't been the case.
"The Department of Defense and Veterans Administration do a pretty good job of providing programs that help veterans transition into the workforce or continue their education," he said.
NVBDC Certified Veteran Business Wins Veteran Business of the Year award!
April 30, 2016
Contract Professionals, Inc. (CPI), a veteran owned global staffing company based in Waterford, was recently awarded the Veteran Owned Small Business Award from the Michigan Small Business Administration. “As a veteran-owned company, CPI has been working to put out processing military personnel and veterans to work for more than 34 years,” said Jim Cowper, president, CPI.
Cowper leads CPI’s efforts to hire those who will be transitioning out of the military and those who are already veterans.
“This company was born out of a singular desire to give veterans the opportunity to pursue a better way of life through gainful and productive employment. It is our privilege to receive such an honor from the SBA.”
VetBizCentral was responsible for nominating CPI for this award. “It is with great pride and delight that we provided the winning nomination for this year’s veteran owned small business award winner. CPI is extremely worthy of this award, and we look forward to providing them with continued support, so they might further their mission to employ our nation’s veterans,” said Matt Sherwood, executive director, VetBizCentral. VetBizCentral’s mission is to assist veterans, active duty, guard and reserve members in the formation and expansion of their businesses.
As CPI continues to grow as a result of their veteran certifications from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VOSB) and the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), CPI plans to double in size within the next three years. Employing in excess of 100 veterans a year, the goal is to increase that number by at least a third by the end 2017. CPI actively works to access out processing military personnel and veterans by conducting onsite and virtual recruitment programs through the Military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
A veteran himself, Steve York, CEO and founder, CPI, will accept the award on May 5 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards ceremony. “I am humbled and honored to be a part of serving our nations hero’s. It is with deep gratitude that I will accept this most prestigious award on their behalf,” said York.
NVBDC teams up with Freddie Mac to Enhance Opportunities for Certified Veteran Business Owners
March 30, 2016
DETROIT — The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) are joining forces to expand business opportunities for certified Service Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses (SD/VOBs). Working together, NVBDC and Freddie Mac look to increase the pool of qualified SD/VOBs that are considered for contracting opportunities at Freddie Mac and help educate SD/VOBs on the steps needed to be successful.
"What we know is that those federal agencies and corporations that expand their diverse supplier bases to include SD/VOBs benefit in innovation, market share, and economic growth. The NVBDC is proud to work with Freddie Mac to increase the opportunities for our fellow Veteran Business Owners. With Freddie Mac including our SD/VOBs they are advancing their supplier diversity initiatives and will have a better opportunity to achieve their business objectives," said Keith King, NVBDC President.
The NVBDC is the leading independent third party organization certifying SD/VOBs in America. We salute Freddie Mac for recognizing the value of working with certified Veteran Businesses. "With Freddie Mac making this commitment to accept the NVBDC certification; they have ensured the integrity of their SD/VOB supplier base" said King.
"Freddie Mac is committed to a strong supplier diversity program and working with NVBDC will further enhance opportunities for certified Veteran Owned businesses. Over the past 22 years, we have awarded millions of dollars in contracts to qualified diverse vendors who maintain high quality standards, place a premium on customer service and are cost-competitive," said Jay Inouye, director of vendor and diversity management at Freddie Mac.
Many current members of the Armed Forces are transitioning out of the service every year and an estimated 10% of them will become business owners. By providing Veteran Owned Businesses with the opportunity to work with Freddie Mac as suppliers they are creating an opportunity for success and achievement of the American dream.
State of Veteran Certification as of March, 2016
- VA/CVE (Department of Veteran Affairs) verification as a Veteran Owned or Veteran Disabled Owned Business was specifically designed for Veterans eager to do business with the VA. It is not required for going after federal contracts and is not accepted by most commercial/corporations (www.vip.vetbiz.gov).
- US Small Business Administration DOES NOT PROVIDE Certification as a Veteran Owned or Veteran Disabled Owned Business (www.sba.gov/sdvosb ). This program (8A) was designed for economically and socially disadvantaged companies. It applies only to Federal contracting opportunities and is not pertinent to most commercial/corporate supplier diversity programs.
- Some States are attempting to establish certification processes; however these only apply for those specific state contract opportunities. None have been deemed reliable for seeking out corporate/commercial opportunities regionally or nationwide.
- The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) and the Veteran Owned Business Certification process is the only national SDVOB and VOB Certification process designed and structured to meet the needs of U.S. companies and government agencies desiring to use veteran owned businesses as suppliers. It is the only source meeting rigorous verification and validation standards concerning business ownership and control now required by corporations/commercial entities.
- To get started, please review http://nvbdc.org/certification.html. This page answers the most common questions about accreditation and also provides a link to the application process (secure National Certification Management System (NCMS)).
NOTE - NCMS uses the highest levels of commercial hardware and software security. All Registration, Payment, and Application processes occur online (written information should not be sent to our offices). Supporting documents must be submitted using the NCMS unless otherwise instructed by NVBDC personnel.
NVBDC Elects New Officers
January 15, 2016
At its first 2016 meeting of the National Veteran Business Development Council Executive Board & Committee, the following industry professionals were elected to these leadership positions:
Executive Board - John Oleson, Secretary
Executive Board Advisors -
Leamon R. Sowell Jr. - Sowell Law Partners
Bruce Legge - Director, Defense - Automation Alley
Keith King was re-elected as President and Dick Miller was re-elected as 1st Vice President.
Keith King, President, also announced the retirement of of Jack Devine, long time NVBDC Secretary, from the Board and the loss of Advisor, Dan Raubinger, who retired from his position as Director - Defense at Automation Alley.