Tennessee Veterans Band Together,
Promote Vet-Owned Businesses
Jan. 5, 2011
Knoxville, Tenn. – Veterans have the work ethic, organizational skills and technical know-how to succeed in the business world, says Air Force vet Katherine Bumgardner.
Bumgardner, president of LB Services, a successful excavation and wetlands restoration company with woman-owned, disabled veteran small business status, says she’s excited that Tennessee veterans with an entrepreneurial bent now have a new advocate, the Tennessee Veterans Business Association (TVBA).
TVBA is holding its first major event on Tuesday, Jan.25 – a Veteran Owned Business Vendor Day and Job Fair — at Rothchild’s Conference Center at 8807 Kingston Pike in West Knoxville.
Doors open at 8 a.m. for networking, with the job fair beginning at 10 a.m. There is no admission charge. The event concludes at 4 p.m.
The night before, TVBA is holding an opening reception with keynote speakers at 5 p.m. That event will also take place at Rothchild’s.
Details and registration are available at the Tennessee Veteran’s Business Association website, www.jointvba.org or by calling Jonathan Williams at 865/332-4476 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bumgardner says that “for years, help in translating military skills to the regular workforce was fragmented. There’s a great need for an organization like TVBA that helps veterans sell their services.”
She said there’s often confusion about how to take advantage of federal laws like Executive Order 13-360, which promotes contracting opportunities for service disabled, veteran owned small businesses.
“I think TVBA can turn that around,” she said. “Now we have a professional coalition of veteran business owners.”
Knowledge of the law, she said, can give vet-owned businesses a major boost.
LB Services has landed government contracts with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Bechtel Jacobs LLC and various Kentucky agencies, and has worked on numerous environmental projects in Tennessee.
“2010 was our best year ever,” she said.
The most satisfying type of work, she said, is stream and wetlands restoration and construction.
“How often do you get to do something that will benefit generations to come?” Bumgardner asked.
Sponsors for TVBA’s Jan. 25 event include the Knoxville Chamber Partners, EngerX LLC, Xcel Engineering, Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, Merle FM, The Veteran Next Door Radio Program, VR Habilis, Harrison Construction, ES&H Inc, LB Services, Pro Forms, Inc., Power Equipment Company, High Resolutions Inc., Diverse Green and Regions Bank.
Organizations registered so far include Covenant Health, B&W Y-12, Oak Ridge National Lab, University of Tennessee, Roane State, Pellissippi State, Lincoln Memorial University, University of Phoenix, Volunteers of America, Air Force Sergeants Association and TN Veterans Memorial Association.
“The quality of veterans’ goods and services makes them extremely productive in the business world,” Williams said. “They create jobs and contribute to society as civilians.”
Media representation: Clark Miller Communications, (865) 414-1908.