NaVOBA Announces New York Business Owner as 2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year

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Air Force Veteran Uses His Military Experience to Make Businesses Thrive: The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), in partnership with Armed Forces Insurance, is pleased to announce that Emmett Walker, founder and CEO of Walker SCM of Valley Stream, New York, is the 2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year.

2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year Sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance

2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year Sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance

“Emmett embodies how military training prepares veterans for business success,” said NaVOBA President Chris Hale. "We are honored to name someone with such tenacity, patience and dedication, coupled with tremendous success, as our Vetrepreneur® of Year.

Emmett Walker, founder and CEO of Walker SCM of Valley Stream, New York, joins an impressive group of military veterans whose service and training has helped them become successful vetrepreneurs. With great pride, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), in partnership with Armed Forces Insurance, is pleased to announce that Emmett Walker is the 2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year.

“Emmett embodies how military training prepares veterans for business success,” said NaVOBA President Chris Hale. “Walker and his team overcame embezzlement, bankruptcy and a massive recession and emerged victorious. Today, Walker SCM works as a trusted partner with NaVOBA’s corporate members like General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, and Pitney Bowes, and has a presence in over 25 countries around the globe. NaVOBA is honored to name someone with such tenacity, patience and dedication, coupled with tremendous success, as our 2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Year.”

Like most vetrepreneurs, Walker’s remarkable resilience and fortitude were first cultivated in the military. He enlisted immediately after high school and became an aircraft mechanic with the U.S. Air Force at the tail end of the Vietnam War. After his discharge, he took courses at Hofstra University and secured a position with Fairchild Freight. After joining another company, Walker learned the freight forwarding business and quickly rose from clerk to director. With more than ten years of experience in the industry, he decided he was ready to start his own company.

Walker and his wife, Betty, launched Walker International Transportation, the first of what would become several related businesses under the Walker SCM holding company, in 1989. They worked from their kitchen table and used the money they had been saving for a down payment on a home to fund the startup.

Today, Walker SCM is the holding company for seven operating companies that offer global air and ocean freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, inventory management and fulfillment, specialty packaging, customs brokerage, procurement, consolidation and deconsolidation, domestic trucking, supplier relationship management and network visibility services.

“Armed Forces Insurance salutes the multi-skilled veterans who have transitioned from the military to create businesses. These businesses stimulate the local and national economy, and provide jobs for other veterans,” said Lori Simmons, Chief Marketing Officer of Armed Forces Insurance. “We’re proud to sponsor the 2016 Vetrepreneur of the Year® Award for 2016 and to recognize someone of Emmett Walker’s caliber as a businessman and veteran.”

NaVOBA and Armed Forces Insurance will present Walker with his award at a special ceremony held at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on November 2 as part of the 2016 National Veterans Small Business Engagement. Joining Walker will be five 2016 Vetrepreneur® of the Yearrecipients including: Kimberley Jung, Asian American Vetrepreneur® of the Year; Rondia Moss, Woman® Vetrepreneur of the Year; Eli Valenzuela, Hispanic Vetrepreneur® of the Year; Brian Butler, Minority Vetrepreneur® of the Year; and Jerry Flanagan, Franchise Vetrepreneur® of the Year.

NaVOBA will also honor several veterans advocates, including: Jay Sheldon Wesley, Global Head of Supplier Diversity and Performance for Pitney Bowes, as the 2016 Corporate Veterans Champion; John Moliere, President of Standard Communications, Inc., with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Travis McVey, founder of Heroes Vodka as the Veterans Business Advocate of the Year; and Pat Birmingham, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Vice President of Technology and Marketing, as the 2016 Women’s Veterans Advocate of the Year.

Each veteran’s remarkable story is featured in the November/December dual issue of Vetrepreneur®, NaVOBA’s national print and digital magazine.

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About the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA):
NaVOBA unites the nation’s 3 million businesses owned by military veterans by providing a single voice to advocate for important issues. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.navoba.com, or follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/navoba and on Twitter @NaVOBA.

About Armed Forces Insurance:
Armed Forces Insurance was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. Armed Forces Insurance understands that its members have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized service that’s unequaled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at http://www.afi.org or call 1-800-495-8234.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Susan Matis, Victory Media, at susan.matis(at)victorymedia(dot)com.

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