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National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) announces 2021 award recipients.

2021 NVBDC Award recipients

Brigadier General (ret) Dick Miller, President, NVBDC

Brigadier General (ret) Dick Miller, President, NVBDC

Nations leading veteran business certification organization

Nations leading veteran business certification organization

Keith King, Founder & CEO, National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)

Keith King, Founder & CEO, National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)

Congratulations to all NVBDC 2021 Award Recipients!

Congratulations to all NVBDC 2021 Award Recipients!

NVBDC award recipients are recognized for merit or achievements well above normal expectations supporting veteran businesses in supplier diversity.

Our initiatives to expand access and opportunities working with our partners, veterans, and the community, is a clear success through the commitment and dedication from each of our award recipients.”
— Brigadier General (ret) Dick Miller, President, NVBDC
DETROIT, MI, UNITED STATES, November 23, 2021 / -- National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) is proud to announce our 2021 award recipients. The awards are divided into 8 categories provided to corporations, individuals within a corporation, veteran businesses, resources partners and media partners all advocating for supplier diversity and veteran business awareness and inclusion. Nominations are publicly and privately solicited through an access portal to collect the information based on strict criteria for each award. NVBDC’s Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Officers review to match the nominations with the criteria to vote on the award recipients. Traditionally, recipients receive their award at NVBDC’s Annual National Veteran Business Matchmaking Conference; this year NVBDC held a virtual ceremony announcing the recipients on November 4th.

Including veteran business owners in supplier diversity is NVBDC's primary goal. Our initiatives to expand access and opportunities working with Corporate Supplier Diversity Professionals, Service-Disabled and Veteran-Owned Businesses, Resource Partners, and Media Partners is shown a clear success as seen through the commitment and dedication from each of our award recipients. We are so excited to make the announcement of all our 2021 Award recipients," Said Brigadier General (ret) Richard Miller, President, NVBDC.

Corporation of the Year: Google
Siofra Harnett, Global Head of Supplier Diversity and Inclusion, accepted the award on behalf of Google for their outstanding support and leadership in building an organization in support of America’s Veteran Business Owners. “We are proud of our partnership with National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) and look forward to continuing that partnership with NVBDC Certified Veteran-Owned Businesses,” said Siofra after receiving the award.

Corporate Veteran Champion of the Year: Cristen Cox, Senior Supplier Diversity Consultant, MetLife
“NVBDC is not only the gold standard for veteran business certification, but it’s people are the gold standard as well. MetLife has a longstanding connection to the U.S. Military, and with our highly valued partnership with NVBDC, together we will continue that commitment by helping to shape the future of veteran entrepreneurship in the United States,” said Cristen. This exemplifies her efforts on behalf of veteran business owners and NVBDC proving her patronage as an active participant in the growth of supplier diversity and NVBDC initiatives.

Corporate Veteran Advocate of the Year: Lisa Blake, Supplier Diversity Manager, Altria
“As a civilian, engaging with NVBDC has enhanced my knowledge of the veteran community and veteran owned businesses. I consider NVBDC as a strong force, not only in the Supplier Diversity arena, but as a source of information regarding military experience. As a corporate member, we look forward to utilizing NVBDC to increase veteran owned suppliers in Altria’s value chain,” said Lisa upon her acceptance. NVBDC recognizes and honors Lisa for her role demonstrating industry advocacy through her leadership within Altria in support of NVBDC’s initiatives and the veteran business community in supplier diversity.

Special Presidents Award (Posthumous): Chuck Poettker, Poettker Construction
A heartfelt acceptance was delivered by Kevin and Keith Poettker on behalf of their father during our award ceremony. “Chuck lived his life to the fullest with the most positive attitude. In every aspect, he built something of value and has left a lasting legacy for his family and Poettker Construction to carry forward. It is from Chuck’s grit, determination, and leadership that Poettker Construction has the privilege to continue his legacy of building relationships founded on unparalleled service, quality of work, and safety for its people and business partners. In the words of Chuck, as he’d always say, I’m having the best day since yesterday!”

President’s Award: Bashar Cholagh, Head of Supplier Diversity Development & Purchasing, Stellantis
The President’s Award is presented to an individual who has exceeded a set of standards and criteria well above normal expectations. Bashar has championed a positive culture through his supplier diversity leadership working at Stellantis. “Thank you for this honor! We will continue to focus on programs to support, develop, and grow veteran business enterprises!” Said Bashar as he accepted his award.

President’s Award: Daniel Muschong, Category Manager Supplier Diversity, DTE
Dan supports the development of others to create an effective and innovative environment within the culture at DTE. His values foster positive impacts in supplier diversity that reflect what our partnership brings to the frontline of the industry. “DTE is proud to work alongside a growing number of veteran-owned suppliers who have served our country and continue to help us service our customers. NVBDC is an invaluable partner in helping us find and connect to high-quality veteran-owned businesses,” said Dan when presented with his award.

Regional Resource Partner of the Year: Veterans Business Network
Steve White and Mark Hodder, Founder and Owners, Veterans Business Network, business practices have had a significant impact on the growth and development of NVBDC, our Certified Service-Disabled and Veteran-Owned Businesses and the MVO Task Force. “The VBN is excited and pleased to accept this award. NVBDC is the first and the best in connecting Veteran Owned Businesses with the American Corporate Culture,” said Steve and Mark as they reflected on a very long and fulfilling business relationship with NVBDC.

National Resource Partner of the Year: US Pan Asian American Chamber of Education Foundation (USPAACC)
Proudly accepting the award, Susan Allen, Founder, USPAACC, stated, “We are pleased to receive NVBDC’s 2021 National Resource Partner of the Year Award! This is a classic example of collaboration among people with different backgrounds and specialties serving as resources for each other to make America truly inclusive and so great!” With Susan’s leadership, USPAACC has demonstrated an impact in advocating for veteran owned businesses as an economic force in the national and global economy. We celebrate the high standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishments through their integral role in a creative, technical and professional progression of NVBDC and veteran owned business development.

Veteran Business of the Year: Primero Systems
This award is presented to a veteran owned business that has exceeded industry standards with a significant growth through the creation of additional jobs, while showing a commitment to social responsibility and strong community involvement. Founder and CEO, Gary Saner, accepted this award with grace and honor saying “It is a tremendous honor and privilege to help support the critical mission of NVBDC. Their collective commitment to our fellow veterans is humbling and exceptionally motivating.”

Media Partner of the Year: VetLikeMe
Hardy Stone, Founder and Editor, focused on promoting current industry events advocating for Veteran Businesses and Supplier Diversity. Expanding industry initiatives through NVBDC’s media partners and helping to promote veteran entrepreneurship is a partnership with a shared passion to help veterans transition from their military service into the civilian workforce. Hardy said upon his acceptance, “NVBDC has broadened my knowledge and perspective of business, let alone veteran business. I look forward to continuing the support and partnership with NVBDC for many years to come.”

NVBDC is proud and honored to share this announcement. "Please join us in congratulating each and every one of our 2021 Award recipients," said Keith King, Founder & CEO, NVBDC.

Please feel free to reach out to NVBDC by visiting our website: or contacting us directly: (888) CERTIFIED.

NVBDC is the only Veteran Owned Business Certification organization developed by Veterans, for Veterans. The purpose is to provide a credible and reliable certifying authority for all size businesses ensuring that valid documentation exists of Veteran ownership and control.

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Keith King, Founder & CEO
National Veteran Business Development Council
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