Gordon H. Mansfield Veteran Small Business Award

Gordon H. Mansfield, is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, became a leading advocate for disabled veterans. (Courtesy of Department of Veterans Affairs/COURTESY OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS)

While serving as a company commander with the 101st Airborne Division was wounded during the Tet Offensive on February 4, 1968, spending the next 45 years in a wheelchair as a result of spinal injuries. For his actions while his unit was under fire he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. His other combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation. Mr Mansfield passed away on January 29, 2013.

Gordon Mansfield’s service to his country and fellow veterans didn’t stop there. In one way it had just begun. While serving as the President of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, he was recruited to assist at the VA with some major initiatives that were underway. Gordon Mansfield was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs on November 3, 2003. From October 1, 2007 until December 20, 2007 he served as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs. While the Deputy Secretary, Gordon was frustrated by the Government’s lack of progress in achieving the 3% goal of prime and subcontract awards to service disabled veteran owned small businesses as mandated by Public Law 106-50. Gordon was instrumental in the drafting and signing by President Bush of Executive Order 13360 which, among other things, required agencies to develop plans to achieve the 3% goal, established the GSA “VETS GWAC”, and institutionalized VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise. Under VA’s plan, Gordon demanded accountability by requiring the 3% goal to be part of the performance plan of all VA senior managers who influenced the acquisition process.

The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) wishes to memorialize this great American and passionate veteran small business advocate with the establishment of an award to recognize one veteran small business owner a year who successfully owns and operates a successful small business, provides employment opportunities to veterans and who, like Gordon Mansfield in his most selfless manner, gives back to the veteran community in a substantial and continuous way.

The awardee must demonstrate that they have paid the price, produced, perhaps against the odds, sustained achievement that has required courage, vision, and the ability to make tough choices or determined application and hard work. In addition, the awardee must demonstrate sustained employment opportunities for veterans and have devoted themselves to sustained and selfless voluntary service to help other veterans. Gordon Mansfield paid this kind of ‘Earth Rent’ and has successfully paved the way for all of us who follow.

All applications will be reviewed and a winner chosen by the Board of Directors of the NVSBC and awarded annually a the Veterans Training Symposium (VETS). The recognized award winner must be present at the presentation ceremony to be eligible for the award. Application instructions are attached.

Click here  to fill out Gordan H Mansfield Veterans Small BusinessAward-NominationForm.pdf

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