The Importance of Certification as a VOB

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Veteran Entrepreneur

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 percent 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 percent of the SDVOSBC
  • The SDV must control the management and daily operations of the SDVOSBC
  • The SDV must hold the highest officer position in the SDVOSBC

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

TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker to retire

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Barry Barker_Headshot_TARC

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker is retiring after nearly 25 years leading the city’s public transportation agency. His last day is Nov. 30.

TARC Assistant Executive Director Ferdinand L. Risco Jr., who joined TARC in February 2017, will begin serving as Interim Executive Director after Barker retires.

“I am so grateful to Barry Barker for all he has accomplished at TARC and in leadership roles with non-profit and professional organizations at the local, state and federal levels,” Mayor Fischer said. “In true Barry style, of course, he’s already said that he plans to continue helping our city through volunteer work, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as he transitions to that new role.”

“It’s been a great ride, and I know the TARC team, along with an outstanding Board of Directors, will do great things.  I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to have served TARC and our city,” Barker said. “After nearly 25 years with this great organization, I’m now looking forward to staying engaged in volunteer organizations, traveling and enjoying family and friends more.”

TARC Board Chair Cedric Merlin Powell said Barker’s “indelible imprint on Louisville’s transportation system has provided access, opportunity and enhanced quality of life to all citizens of Louisville Metro.”

“He is a national leader in public transportation and a true public servant, the rare public official whose heart is even bigger than his service,” Powell said. “I, and the Board, wish to express our sincere gratitude in recognition of all he has done for TARC and the community.”

Risco, a U.S. Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience relating to transportation with private, public and non-profit organizations, said, “This is an exciting time at TARC with improvements underway.  I’m honored to serve as Interim Executive Director and to work with Barry Barker and everyone on the TARC team.”

Before joining TARC, Risco was Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Association.

Early next year, TARC will launch a “tap and go” electronic fare payment system on all buses and a new mobility website with start-to-finish trip planning options linking TARC, ride sharing and biking.  The region’s first Bus Rapid Transit route will begin operating in late 2019 along Dixie Highway for faster service linking downtown and southwest Jefferson County.

And in May, TARC will host the American Public Transportation Association’s 2019 Bus and Paratransit Conference, which will bring 5,000 transit industry representatives to Louisville.

Under Barker, TARC was designated in 2006 as the nation’s Urban System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of American.  The next year, Barker was recognized as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager of the Year by the American Public Transportation Association. In 2012, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies honored Barker with the Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation.

Locally, Barker has served on more than a dozen non-profit agency boards, including in leadership positions, and in 2010 headed Metro United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

TARC provides 12 million passenger trips a year, with 63 percent of riders traveling to and from work, and another 20 percent on school trips.

“TARC moves the workforce of today and tomorrow, and we’re critical for people to access opportunity and all life has to offer,” Barker said. “I have always been motivated by the belief that the quality of life in our communities is only as good as it is for the least advantaged members of our communities. Access to life’s opportunities is a must if communities and individuals are to thrive.  I’ve been fortunate to champion these beliefs at TARC and in the community.”

The Mayor will work with the TARC board on next steps.

Hyatt Announces New Initiatives to Elevate Support of U.S. Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families

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Hyatt-Regency

In honor of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) recently announced new benefits and programs that demonstrate a strengthened commitment to honoring those who have served or are serving in the United States military.

These commitments include a new rate for U.S. veterans, active military personnel and their immediate family members, and reinforced veteran job placement and career development efforts.

“Military personnel, veterans and their families have worked and fought hard to support their country and they shouldn’t have to settle when on the road or pursuing a post-military career,” said Mark Vondrasek, Hyatt’s chief commercial officer and Veterans Diversity Business Resource Group (DBRG) executive sponsor. “We welcome military personnel, veterans and their families to work and stay with Hyatt.”

Veteran and Military Rate

Individuals who have served or are currently serving in any official government-sponsored branch of the United States armed services and their immediate family members can get between 10 and 15 percent off the Hyatt Standard Rate at any participating Hyatt-branded hotel in the United States when booking the Veteran and Military Rate with offer code MILVET*. This is the first-ever veteran and military discount to be offered by Hyatt hotels. A valid U.S. Military/Veteran ID or other documented proof of service is required at check-in, and military personnel, veterans and immediate family members who are World of Hyatt members will be eligible to earn World of Hyatt points for their stay.

The Hyatt House brand will also allow eligible military personnel, veterans and immediate family members to combine the Veteran and Military Rate with its upcoming holiday promotion, in which World of Hyatt members who stay for four or more consecutive nights at any Hyatt House hotel in the U.S. between November 1 and December 31, 2018 can earn 2,000 World of Hyatt bonus points. For full terms and conditions, please visit worldofhyatt.com/holiday.

Employer of Choice

Hyatt aims to be an employer of choice for military veterans and their families. A Hyatt career offers veterans an opportunity to further develop skills and pursue interests born from their military careers: leadership, teamwork and a chance to travel the world. The Hyatt Veterans DBRG champions veterans in job placement and career development, and pursues volunteer activities supporting military interests in Hyatt communities. To bolster its military recruiting efforts, Hyatt is collaborating with a key organization that helps veterans transition back into the workforce called HirePurpose.

Hyatt encourages colleagues to take pride in identifying as veterans and honors them through celebrations and events. Hyatt has been named to the 2018 FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list, an annual ranking of companies with outstanding workplace cultures according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and FORTUNE.

Support of Veteran-Operated Businesses

The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands will also further integrate veteran-owned businesses into the guest experience with proceeds benefiting veterans. These brands will expand their existing preferred t-shirt vendor relationship in the U.S. with Rags of Honor, the only silkscreen shop that is 100 percent operated by homeless and unemployed veterans with proceeds directly supporting that mission. On Veterans Day, and weekly throughout November, colleagues at 350 Hyatt Place and Hyatt House properties across the United States will wear Hyatt-branded Rags of Honor t-shirts as a sign of gratitude to those who have served. Additionally, World of Hyatt Globalists and Explorists will receive a t-shirt during any stay at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House hotel in the United States throughout November, subject to availability. The Hyatt House brand plans to test Veteran Roasters coffee at participating hotels across the U.S.

“We want to show those who serve and have served in the military that we understand them. They never settle and neither do we, which is why Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels are celebrating their service and commitment to their country this Veterans Day and beyond,” Steven Dominguez, vice president of global brands, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.

For more information about Hyatt and its ongoing commitment to military personnel, veterans and their immediate families, please visit: www.hyatt.com/Veterans.

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 14 premier brands. As of June 30, 2018, the Company’s portfolio included more than 750 properties in more than 55 countries across six continents. The Company’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top colleagues, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company’s subsidiaries develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, vacation ownership properties, and fitness and spa locations, including under the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Andaz®, Hyatt Centric®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara™, Hyatt Residence Club® and Exhale® brand names. For more information, please visit hyatt.com.

Click here to view the Terms and Conditions

Veteran uses military experience, builds record setting adventure park

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Mike Holder began his career as a Staff Sergeant/Airborne Ranger in the US Army. Mike went to Officer Candidate School and worked his way up to retire as a Colonel with 4 commands.

Mike used his military experience to build a world-record setting outdoor adventure park and builds and consults on zip line parks all over the Southeast. His original outdoor adventure park, Historic Banning Mills, in Whitesburg, Ga., started as a 10-room bed and breakfast, and was rebuilt after a devastating fire to become a revolutionary outdoor adventure resort with over ten miles of zip lines to date.

Mike and his team have grown immensely with more than seven parks that they manage and have assisted in constructing many more. Known as being a leader in the zipline and adventure park industry, Mike has worked to create his own service to ensure that all ziplines are as safe as they can be using a safety belay system. Although Mike works non-stop on his business ventures, he never forgets about his fellow veterans and always strives to give back to them.

Banning Mills is an avid supporter of the Wounded Warrior organization and has hosted several events over the years. Mike and team work to host multiple military decompression groups to re-emerge and re-integrate soldiers back in to society and offer an outlet for decompression. While many places are available for soldier decompression, Historic Banning Mills specifically offers many unique and exciting activities for the soldiers that turn their stressful energy to a more fun, positive energy, while also offering an adrenaline rush.

Now through Veterans Day, Banning Mills is running the following deals for veterans and their families:

Banning Mills – Whitesburg, GABanning Mills Cottage
historicbanningmills.com/
Buy any 2 Zip Line Canopy Tours and get a Creekside Overlook Room for $99+. Breakfast for two include. Good all of October
$99 Extreme Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents. ID required

Screaming Eagle at Guntersville – Guntersville, AL
http://www.lakeguntersvillezipline.com/
$20 Level Two Oct 1-Oct 29
BOGO Level One Oct 30-Nov 1
Level Two $79 Nov 9-11

Screaming Eagle at Windcreek – Alexander City, AL
windcreekzipline.com/
BOGO Level One Oct 1-Oct 31
Level Two $45 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Amicalola Aerial Adventure Park – Dawsonville, GA
amicalolazipline.com/

Mike and Donna Holder
Mike and Donna Holder

$25 off Level Two, Oct 1-Oct 31. Monday-Friday Only
Level Two $79 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Unicoi Aerial Adventure Park – Helen, GA
unicoizipline.com/
$25 off Level Two, Oct 1-Oct 31. Monday-Friday Only
Level Two $79 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Comcast Expands Program to Embrace Low-Income Veterans

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Veteran looking at iPad

PHILADELPHIA, PA – As part of its effort to close the digital divide for all low-income Americans, now including low-income veterans and seniors, Comcast  announced partnerships between Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive Internet adoption program for low-income households, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and the PsychArmor Institute.

The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement that, since 2011, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet, most for the first time in their lives.  In addition, the company expanded eligibility for the program to include all low-income veterans living in its service area, which is estimated to total nearly one million, and to low-income seniors in the District of Columbia.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor partnerships were announced at the Reserve Officers Association Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The partnerships will support the creation of 10 veteran-specific digital skills training modules, which will be made available online and delivered in classrooms at Comcast-sponsored computer labs in 10 markets.  In addition, the partnerships will implement an advocacy effort designed to reinforce the importance of digital inclusion among veteran-serving organizations, caregivers, and elected and government officials.  The ultimate goal is to connect more low-income veterans to Internet resources including: online social support networks, health benefits, access to colleges and scholarship programs, digital and technical skills training programs, as well as news, games, and entertainment.

“Internet access is incredibly important to the veteran community.  Yet, about a third of low-income veterans still do not have Internet service at home and about 40 percent do not even own a computer,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast Corporation.  “We think this is simply unacceptable and our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor will help more low-income veterans get connected to the Internet so they can receive the benefits they deserve and learn the digital skills they need to be successful as civilians in our fast-paced, global economy.”

“An Internet connection can be a transformative tool for low-income veterans and their caregivers. The greater access to benefits, resources and to each other can truly make a difference in their quality of life,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole, President of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.  “Our first partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal has helped us establish a nationwide network of support for veteran caregivers, and we look forward to building on this work by reaching out across our Hidden Heroes network to connect with low-income veterans who may have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide.  They should not be left behind.”

Also  in Washington, D.C., Comcast launched an Internet Essentials Learning Zone, which will create a network of Internet connectivity for students and families across all eight Wards of the City.  The goal is to ensure more low-income students are connected to the Internet at school, then after school at anchor institutions, such as libraries and community centers, and then at home through Internet Essentials.  As part of the D.C. Learning Zone, Comcast will provide courtesy broadband service to 19 partners, including nonprofit and social service organizations.

In addition, Comcast announced a grant for Beacon House, an Edgewood neighborhood organization dedicated to closing the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5.  The company donated 32 laptops to high school juniors and seniors who attend after school programs there.  Finally, Comcast announced that, in January 2019, it will expand its senior pilot program to low-income seniors in the District of Columbia.  The company plans to work with the District of Columbia Public Libraries to help expand digital inclusion training classes tailored to meet the needs of area seniors.

At various events, Comcast was joined by four Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists, including track and field star and still-standing world heptathlon record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee, U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey team gold medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, as well as two-time Paralympic sled hockey gold medalist, and veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Rico Roman.

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials is designed to address the three major barriers to broadband adoption by providing: high-speed Internet service for just $9.95 a month, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150, and access to free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person.  For more information, or to apply for the program, please either visit internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand.  NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Visit comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Starting a Business? Answers to 10 frequently asked questions

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By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Having been a start-up lawyer and entrepreneur, I have been asked many of the following questions over the years from entrepreneurs who are starting a company.

Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer and, as lawyers often like to say, “It depends on the circumstances.” But here are my short-hand answers to ten of the most frequently asked start-up questions:

  1. Should I form my company as a C corporation, an S corporation, an LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship?

Start it as an S corporation, unless you have to issue both common stock and preferred stock; in that case, start it as a C corporation. And an S corporation can easily be converted later into a C corporation. LLCs are popular, but can get overly complicated. Partnerships and sole proprietorships are to be avoided because of the potential personal liability to the owners of the business.

  1. Where should I incorporate my business?

The standard answer to this is Delaware, because of its well-developed corporate law. My answer is that it should be the state in which the business is located, as this will save you some fees and complexities. You can always reincorporate later in Delaware.

  1. How much should I capitalize my business with at the beginning?

As much as you can reasonably afford, and definitely enough to carry you for at least 6 to 9 months with no income. What you will find is that it always takes you longer to get revenues, and you will undoubtedly incur more expenses than you anticipated.

  1. How can I come up with a great name for my business?

This is difficult. First, brainstorm with a bunch of different names. Then do a Google search to see what is already taken, and that will eliminate 95 percent of your choices. Make it easy to spell. Make it interesting. Don’t pick a nonsensical name that will leave people wondering what you do. Do a trademark/trade name search on the name you like, then make sure you can purchase the domain name.

  1. What are the biggest challenges to starting a business?

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Some of the challenges you’ll face include—

  • Shortage of capital and cash flow
    • Having a good business plan
    • Coming up with a great product or service
    • Sticking to it
    • Working more than you expected
    • Getting through the frustrations of being constantly rejected by customers
    • Hiring good employees
    • Knowing when to fire bad employees
    • Having to wear so many hats
    • Managing your time
    • Maintaining some kind of work/life balance
  1. What kind of business should I start?

Be sure your business is one that—

  • You are passionate about
    • Is within your reach to fund
    • Has the potential to grow into something big in a reasonable time frame
    • You have some experience in
  1. What are the biggest mistakes made by start-up entrepreneurs?
  • Not starting with enough capital
    • Thinking that success will come quickly
    • Not carefully budgeting
    • Not focusing on the quality of the product or service
    • Underestimating the importance of sales and marketing
    • Not adapting quickly enough
    • Not understanding the competitive landscape
    • Ignoring legal and contract matters
    • Hiring the wrong employees
    • Mispricing the product or service
  1. Where can I get money for my business?

Many books and articles have been written on this subject, and those resources can be very useful. In short, some of the most effective sources of capital include—

  • Personal funds
    • Credit cards
    • Friends and family
    • Angel investors
    • Crowdsourcing sites, such as Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com
    • Bank loans/SBA financings
    • Venture capitalists
    • Equipment loan financing
  1. What kind of insurance does my business need?

Needs will vary, depending on the type of business, but consider the following:

  • General liability insurance
    • Product liability insurance
    • Professional liability insurance
    • Property insurance
    • Worker’s compensation insurance
    • D & O (directors & officers) insurance
    • Health insurance for employees
    • Business interruption insurance
    • Commercial auto insurance
    • Data breach insurance
    • Key man life insurance
  1. What book is helpful for learning more about starting a business?

Get answers to even more questions in my book, Go Legal Yourself: Know the Legal Lifecycle of Your Kelly BaglaBusiness, available on Amazon.

About the Author
Kelly Bagla has been providing expert legal counsel to domestic and international clients for more than 10 years. As a creator of the Legal Lifecycle program, she knows how to help her clients navigate the legalities of running a business. Kelly specializes in assisting entrepreneurs throughout the various stages of their company’s lifecycle, developing roadmaps that lead their businesses to success, and planning exit strategies that maximize their profits.

DynCorp International Awarded 12-Month Extension to Continue Supporting U.S. Army in Southern Afghanistan

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DynCorp

McLean, Va. – The U.S. Army Sustainment Command awarded DynCorp International (DI) a 12-month task order award extension that began July 1, 2018 to continue providing base life support and maintenance services in Afghanistan under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) IV contract.

The extension is valued at $258 million for services requiring more than 2,800 personnel at four locations proposed to support nearly eighteen thousand troops. DI’s performance in delivering support services to U.S. forces across Afghanistan on this task order spans more than nine years with a total contract value of $6.7 billion dollars.

“DI’s continued presence and ability to deliver and maintain performance demonstrates LOGCAP’s dedication in serving the warfighter in Southern Afghanistan and we’re proud of our excellent work on this vital program,” said Rob Tillery, LG4 senior vice president of Operations.

Under this task order, DI provides critical government support operations and operations and maintenance support, including but not limited to project planning, facilities management, electrical power, water production, sewage and waste management, HAZMAT management, laundry operations, billeting, material handling equipment operations and maintenance, firefighting services, transportation motor pool operations, dining and food service operations, Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR), airfield operations and container yard management and movement control operations.

“It is a privilege to provide support to the best customers in the world in their exceptional efforts in supporting the Resolute Support mission,” said DI’s LG4 project manager in Southern Afghanistan, Mark Weinerth. “Delivering exceptional service has earned our team a stellar reputation, and the team stands ready to continue our efforts.”

LOGCAP is a Department of Army regulatory program providing a broad range of contracted logistics and support services to augment U.S. and allied forces during combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian, and training operations.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

Defense News Lists DynCorp International to 2018 Top 100

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DynCorp

McLean, VA – (August, 2018) – Defense News has included DynCorp International (DI) in its Top 100 for 2018 list, ranking DI at number 54 according to 2017 defense revenue figures.

In 2017, DI’s total defense revenue was $1.5 billion and made up 75 percent of the company’s total revenue for the year.

Data for the Top 100 list comes from information Defense News solicited from companies, companies’ annual reports and Defense News staff research.

About Defense News

Defense News provides the global defense community with the latest news and analysis on defense programs, policy, business and technology through its bureaus and reporters around the world. Their coverage circulates to top leaders and decision makers around the world.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

From Service to Startup: Cars, Charity, and Community Service

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Gary-Peterson

Your first business plan. Your first employee. The training course that gives you an edge in the marketplace. Finding a mentor. Receiving the capital you need to expand your business. The turning point when long, hard hours begin to pay off in steady streams of income.

It’s the moment you realize you had an idea that worked—an idea you turned into a business. A dream that became reality.

Each of these pivotal moments—no matter how big or small—is a moment that matters in the veteran entrepreneurship journey. They represent growth, employment, service, delivery, and freedom.

In the United States, nearly one in 10 businesses—or approximately 2.5 million—are veteran-owned. These veteran-owned businesses contribute approximately $1.4 trillion to the nation’s total sales/receipts per year, making them a critical pillar of the American economy. The SBA works to empower these veteran entrepreneurs by providing the resources and access to opportunity required for business ownership. Since its inception in 2013, SBA’s Boots to Business (B2B) and Boots to Business Reboot program have served over 60,000 service members, veterans, and military spouses. From breweries and used car dealerships to software consulting and IT sales, these Boots to Business graduates have transitioned from service members to business owners.

Gary Peterson is a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major and owner of One Community Auto in New Mexico. Peterson’s One Community Auto is the product of a lifelong passion for automobiles combined with his post-service mission of giving back to the community. Since its inception, the business has grown exponentially and was named one of SCORE’s 2017 Small Business Champions.

Bringing Business to Life

Peterson joined the Air Force out of high school and served approximately 23 years before retiring in Albuquerque. A few months after retiring, Peterson actually worked as a Business Advisor at his local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Albuquerque.

“Gary Peterson is one of our most successful business owners,” said Richard Coffel, Director of the New Mexico VBOC. “Actually—he got the bug to start a business while working here at our VBOC as the Business Advisor. By helping other veterans, Gary saw how to conquer most of the challenges when starting a business and applied these newly learned traits to start his own small business.”

During his tenure as an advisor, Peterson decided to take the Boots to Business course, dusting off a business idea he had temporarily put on the shelf.

“I’d always been a huge car nut and had an affinity for fixing them up. Plus, I was a transportation and mechanical guy during my time with USAF,” said Peterson. “I loved community service and had this crazy business idea that combined the two. Taking Boots to Business—both the in-person and eight-week follow-on—helped me put my ideas together in a comprehensive business plan.”

“I came on board as Gary’s replacement, and found him to be one of the most knowledgeable, hungry entrepreneurs I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Coffel. “He is constantly seeking higher and higher challenges.”

For Peterson, Boots to Business opened the door to several SBA resources that were integral to his business success.

“Before B2B, I didn’t fully understand how to operate and grow a business. B2B helped me start my business and most importantly, connect me with resources I needed in the startup phase—such as bookkeeping, financing, and marketing,” said Peterson. “It opened my eyes to what it takes to be a business owner. Once I decided to pursue business ownership, B2B gave me the direction I needed and the steps to take to get started.”

Peterson tapped into the SBA ecosystem, harnessing the power of SBA resource partners to make the most of his business concept. After connecting with the Albuquerque Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) (link is external), Peterson also developed relationships with the local Small Business Development Center (link is external) (SBDC), SCORE (link is external), SBA District Office, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (link is external) (PTAP). Peterson’s sister, who helps with front office operations, even leveraged the Women’s Business Center (link is external) on behalf of One Community Auto.

“B2B started this chain reaction of business networking for me,” said Peterson. “I’ve worked closely with my VBOC—in fact, they’re the ones who recommended SCORE’s Emerging Leaders course. All of the SBA resources have continued to mentor and provide me with the tools I need to grow.”

The One Community Auto Motto: Everybody Wins

A unique idea to say the least, One Community Auto is a used car dealership that raises money for local charities through refurbished car sales. Once One Community Auto receives a car donation—usually a rundown model—they refurbish and then sell the donated car at their Albuquerque retail lot. They characterize the business model as a win-win for every party involved.

“Generally, when charities go through auctions, they only receive 1-20% of the sale,” said Peterson. “When the charities go through us, they’re able to receive 55-60% of the car sale. The car donor receives a much higher tax deduction as well.”

In the end, the donor receives a higher tax deduction than they would via a traditional charity auction; the charity receives a higher percentage of the sale; and the new car owner purchases a vehicle for a lower price than they would from a traditional used car dealership.

2017 Small Business Champion and Beyond

When Peterson first started One Community Auto in 2013, he was the sole employee, had one charity partner, and a total year one revenue of $26,000. Within four years, his business has grown to partner with 16 local charities and employ five people (including one part-time veteran). Now a fully profitable business, Peterson intends to expand One Community Auto and its services across the state of New Mexico—ultimately aiming for a nationwide presence with franchise units in every state.

“Gary has utilized every resource available to him, including the VBOC, SBDC, and SCORE,” said Coffel. “He has learned so much in such a short time that we actually put him on a contract to teach the Boots to Business course at our military installations. His ability to relate to the young entrepreneurs at these classes has proven to be current real-time experiences that students can tremendously benefit from.”

For veterans seeking business ownership or self-employment, Peterson provides a few key takeaways from his own entrepreneurial journey.

  • Create a business plan as soon as possible. Even if the plan is preliminary, a one-page business model canvas helps you at least sketch out your ideas. “If you’re still taking courses, focus them on business-related topics like marketing, accounting, sales, public speaking and so on,” said Peterson.
  • Take advantage of all available resources. Get help early with resources, especially those offered by the SBA. “The easiest thing to do is get some help and mentorship through VBOC, SBDC (link is external), SCORE (link is external), and other similar organizations. They can guide you through everything you need to do to be successful,” said Peterson. “They want to see you succeed.”
  • Use your military experience to guide the way—and don’t forget to take care of yourself. “The military teaches you how to be mission-focused, disciplined, a problem solver, and also a team player,” said Peterson. “Most importantly, the military teaches you how to take care of yourself in order to withstand stress. Use what you learned to carry you through your business ownership journey.”

If you’re a veteran, service member—including National Guard and Reserve, or a military spouse interested in starting, purchasing, or growing a business, tap into OVBD’s resource network today. To learn more about Boots to Business, or to sign up to attend the next two-day course in your area, visit sba.gov/B2B.

Source: sba.gov

DynCorp International Names New Senior Vice President of National Security Solutions

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DynCorp International

McLean, Va. – DynCorp International (DI) has named Mark Kelton senior vice president of national security solutions. Kelton is a retired senior Central Intelligence Agency executive with 34 years of experience in intelligence operations, having most recently served as director of MEK & Associates.

“With his impressive background and unparalleled experience, Mark Kelton will be a great asset to DynCorp International as we continue to focus on information technology and intelligence as key areas for growth,” said DI chief executive officer, George Krivo. “I am thrilled to welcome Mr. Kelton to our team.”

Kelton has comprehensive expertise in intelligence operations, international security issues, detection of insider threats, assessment of counterintelligence risk and crisis management. His CIA career included more than 16 years of overseas service, including four assignments in key field leadership positions and service as chief of CIA’s counterintelligence center. Kelton is a recipient of the CIA Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA Director’s Award, the 2015 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Intelligence Officer, the CIA Intelligence Medal of Merit and the CIA Directorate of Operations Donovan Award, among numerous other honors.

“I am thrilled to be joining DynCorp International,” said Kelton. “This is a team that I have long admired for their hard work and dedication to the nation’s national security, and I look forward to continuing that tradition.”

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Kelton also holds degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the U.S. Naval War College’s College of Naval Warfare. He serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the security studies program of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School for National Security.

About DynCorp International

DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

DynCorp International Awarded Contract for Aircraft Maintenance at Joint Base Andrews

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DynCorp International

McLean, VA-The Department of Defense recently awarded DynCorp International (DI) a contract to support the United States Air Force at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

DI will provide executive airlift maintenance support for all management, personnel and equipment. Services performed will include fixed-wing flight line and back shop maintenance for the 89th Airlift Wing aircraft, as well as back shop support services to the 811th Operations Group rotary-wing aircraft.

The competitively-awarded, firm-fixed-price contract has a base year plus four option years and an additional six-month option period, valued at $203.1 million if all options are exercised. The period of performance is September 1, 2018 through February 29, 2024.

“Maintaining the aircraft that transport our nation’s leaders is a tremendous responsibility,” said Joe Ford, DynAviation president. “We are honored to have earned the trust and confidence of the United States Air Force in this exceptionally important mission and look forward to continuing our legacy of superior service on this contract.”

DI was the first contractor awarded this contract, back in 2001.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.