The National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) Launches Veteran’s Business Enterprise Certification Program

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The National Veteran-Owned Business Association announced the upcoming launch of its Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (SDVBE) programs. It is the mission of NaVOBA to provide a direct link for contracting between corporate America and veteran’s business enterprises and in doing so, to improve business opportunities for VBEs of all sizes.

NaVOBA: The National Veteran Owned Business Association

“NaVOBA’s certification ensures we are utilizing and developing companies that are truly owned, controlled and managed by the veterans we are endeavoring to support, and not front companies for non-qualified individuals or businesses,” said Heather Herndon-Wright, NaVOBA Board Director.

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) announced the upcoming launch of its Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (SDVBE) programs. It is the mission of NaVOBA to provide a direct link for contracting between corporate America and veteran’s business enterprises and in doing so, to improve business opportunities for VBEs of all sizes.     

Laxmi (Mimi) Lohm, NaVOBA’s VP of Corporate Advocacy, has been working with corporations to advocate the inclusion of veteran-owned firms since 2007. Lohm said the demand has always be great for VBE certification to mirror those certifications that already exist for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs).

“This is a very exciting time for the veteran’s business community,” Lohm said. “It’s no secret that everyone loves our nation’s veterans – especially in Corporate America.”

At its core certification is a protection for both small business suppliers as well as the corporations that do business with them. Certification ensures the firms that receive contracts are truly deserving of the opportunity. Simply put, it makes sure that scam artists can’t take contract dollars away from legitimate VBEs.

"People can easily say ‘I’m a veteran-owned business’ when they really aren’t,” Lohm said. “Corporations will not risk the accuracy of their Supplier Diversity spending goals by recording spend on contracts with firms that say they are owned by veterans if they aren’t absolutely certain of the ownership, operation and control of that firm. Working with a third-party nonprofit organization like NaVOBA and its VBE certification provides that certainty.”

Heather Herndon-Wright, Director of Supply Chain Diversity for Dallas-based Vistra Energy and a NaVOBA Board Director, said verification and validation of the ownership, control and management of suppliers participating in the company’s supplier diversity initiatives is critical to the integrity of Vistra’s efforts.

“NaVOBA’s certification ensures we are utilizing and developing companies that are truly owned, controlled and managed by the veterans we are endeavoring to support, and not front companies for non-qualified individuals or businesses,” Wright said.

NaVOBA conducted a pilot program to certify VBEs and SDVBEs over this past summer. NaVOBA will launch its VBE database and open applications to eligible VBEs/SDVBEs to coincide with its conference next month in Phoenix. The event will be filled with informative workshops and matchmaking. There will also be an expo hall and recognition of the 2017 Best Corporations for Veteran’s Business Enterprises and 2017 Vetrepreneurs® of the Year.

About NaVOBA:
NaVOBA is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by Corporate Supplier Diversity professionals. NaVOBA’s mission is to create corporate contracting opportunities for America’s Veteran’s and Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises (VBEs/SDVBEs) through certification, advocacy, outreach, recognition and education.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
NaVOBA
Matthew Pavelek
(412) 477-3218
matthew.pavelek(at)navoba(dot)com

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