NaVOBA and Capital One announce the 2019 LGBT Veteran’s Business Enterprise® of the Year

NaVOBA and Capital One, in partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), announced the 2019 LGBT Veteran’s Business Enterprises® of the Year as part of the LGBTUnity Conference in Tampa. NaVOBA’s Veteran’s Business Enterprises® of the Year is a prestigious honor bestowed annually to an elite selection of America’s veteran business owners working as supplier partners to NaVOBA’s Corporate Allies.

“NaVOBA’s Veteran’s Business Enterprise® of the Year awards have celebrated the incredible diversity of America’s military entrepreneur community,” said NaVOBA President Matthew Pavelek. “We’re honored to collaborate with our friends at the NGLCC to celebrate these amazing LGBT veteran business owners and share their remarkable stories.”

Kathy Clarke, SageRock Advisors
Kathy Clarke’s mantra is revealed in every aspect of her life. As owner of SageRock Advisors since 2009, she enhances her clients’ emotional wellness by providing peace of mind that all their program management needs will be met.

Clarke, a Towson graduate and U.S. Navy Veteran, brings to every experience the same discipline and commitment to physical, emotional, and occupational wellness that were cultivated during her Navy years. In life beyond her profession, she serves on the Board of Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation, an organization that educates communities about hospice and grief recovery. She also volunteers with MODUS, a group that provides rides to young people who lack transportation so they can get to necessary appointments. A certified yoga instructor, Clarke also volunteers to teach Yoga for Runners in her community. Clarke lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her wife Amy and three lovable fur babies.

Carlton A. Brown, Occasional Occasions by Carlton
Founded in 1994 by Mr. Carlton A. Brown, Occasional Occasions by Carlton (an LGBT, Minority, veteran certified establishment) has been repeatedly praised for its culinary displays, dynamic flavors, and unique table presentations. Brown is the chef-owner of Occasional Occasions by Carlton LLC, a company providing off-premise catering for the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Chef Carlton is an accomplished culinary professional who has tickled the palates of celebrities Who’s Who such as Supermodel Beverly Johnson, Former Mayor Andrew Young, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, the late Mr. E. Lynn Harris (national bestselling author), Nikki Giovanni (Grammy-nominated American poet), Ian Smith, M.D. (award winning medical correspondent for NBC News, and the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King, just to name a few. He is an active member of the International Catering Association, National Association of Catering and Events (NACE)and the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC).

Vernice Armour
Vernice “Flygirl” Armour. Leveraging her “Breakthrough Mentality” mindset, she propelled herself from beat cop to combat pilot in a record-breaking three years and became the United States Marine Corps’ first African American female pilot and, shortly after, she was recognized as America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot by the Department of Defense. Upon completion of two tours in Iraq and leaving the military, Armour launched VAI Consulting and Training, LLC. By applying the Zero to Breakthrough™ Success Model to her own company, Vernice produced over six-figures in revenue within the first 12 months and over a million in the first 5 years! Her passion is helping others create similar results. Armour ultimately impacts organizations and individuals with an understanding of the passion and leadership required to excel. Through her keynotes, executive and group coaching, seminars and executive retreats, Armour conveys messages of Zero to Breakthrough™ through her unique insight and life strategy: “You HAVE permission to Engage!”

NAVOBA announce US corporations working with veterans
The National Veteran-Owned Business Association recently announced the best U.S. corporations committed to working with veteran-owned businesses in 2019 using data and responses from the 2019 Best Corporations for Veteran’s Business Enterprises® (BCVBE) Survey. This prestigious list honors those large corporations that most successfully engage the nation’s certified Veteran’s and Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises® (VBEs/SDVBEs) as suppliers.

“The military teaches leadership, teamwork, integrity, resolve and ingenuity,” said NaVOBA President Matthew Pavelek. “These intangibles are also the most important ingredients for success in running a business – which is why corporate America is so eager to partner with veteran-owned suppliers. The corporations we honor with this program just happen to be the best.”

The companies that earned this year’s distinction include: American Airlines, AT&T, CenturyLink, Collins Aerospace a Rockwell Collins Company, DynCorp International, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pitney Bowes, Shell Oil Company, USAA, U.S. Bank, Vistra Energy and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

To determine the 2019 Best Corporations for Veteran’s Business Enterprises®, NaVOBA analyzed large companies’ policies relating to the inclusion of veteran-owned and/or service disabled, veteran-owned businesses as part of every company’s supplier diversity program and the way in which that company utilizes its outreach program to attract veteran-owned and/or service disabled, veteran-owned businesses. NaVOBA also explored the company’s procurement infrastructure and allocation of assets, and any supplemental actions the company may have taken to improve its relationship with Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprises® and/or Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises®.

The companies that earn the Best Corporations for Veteran’s Business Enterprise distinction were recognized and received the award at the Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference during National Veteran’s Small Business week in Arlington, Texas.

“NaVOBA’s efforts to identify the best big corporations doing business with veteran-owned businesses as suppliers has grown dramatically,” said NaVOBA Vice President Mimi Lohm. “Recognizing these excellent Supplier Diversity Programs brings well-deserved acknowledgement to the exceptional job these firms do at working with America’s vetrepreneurs.”

About The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)
NaVOBA provides a direct link for contracting between corporate America and Certified Veteran’s Business EnterprisesTM (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business EnterprisesTM (SDVBE). 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.

Front row (left to right): Heather Herndon Wright, NaVOBA board member; Carlton Brown, Occasional Occasions by Carlton; Kathy Clarke, SageRock Advisors; Vernice “Fly Girl” Armour, Mimi Lohm
Back row (left to right): Matt Pavelek, president NaVOBA, Brian Hall, Nancy Conner, Liz Wallis, Wayne Shanks

Matt Pavelek