Houston Organization WVBC Celebrates Women Veteran Owned Businesses | Veteran Owned Business Member News

Attention Veteran Owned Business Members and Visitors:
The Women Veterans Business Center (WVBC) celebrated its 1st Anniversary on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at The Palm Center in Houston. The WVBC, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2010 by Army Veteran and businesswoman Marylyn Harris to educate and empower women veterans and military families to start and grow veteran owned businesses.

The anniversary fundraiser event, included training for business owners, a youth entrepreneur challenge, an expo, a keynote speaker, and the recognition of local woman veteran owned businesses.

The Women Veterans Business Center presented the 2011 Woman Veteran Business of the Year Award to Ms. Linda Dailey. Ms Dailey, an Air Force Veteran, is the owner of Health Initiatives Learning Center (HILC) and the Founder of Restoration Ministries in Galveston. HILC is a school that trains and entry-level Healthcare and Technology professionals and Restoration Ministries is a shelter for homeless woman. “Ms. Dailey embodies the resilient spirit of Women Veterans.” says Marylyn Harris, Army Veteran and Founder of the Women Veterans Business Center. “Her strong faith and commitment to employing women and improving communities is contagious.”

The 2011 Veteran Friendly Company of the Year Award was presented to Dignity Memorial Funeral Services. Donese Greene, Sales Manager, accepted for Dignity. “Dignity believes that every Veteran should have a dignified burial,” she said.

Air Force Veteran and business owner, Jean Craig, was the event’s keynote speaker. Mrs Craig, a Nurse during the Korean War, wowed the audience with her military stories and useful “lessons learned” from her successful Mesquite Wood business. Event attendees received ‘top notch’ training from Houston SBA Deputy Director, Mark Winchester, Houston SCORE President, Beth Shapiro and a Bankers/Lenders panel that included representatives from Chase Bank, Peoplefund, Houston Business Development, Inc and 4P Enterprises, a veteran owned firm.

Representatives from the Houston VA Hospital , Office of Acquisitions were onsite, along with representatives from the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC), Harris County Veterans Services, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Depelchin Veterans Program and Riverside General Hospital PTSD Program for Veterans.

The anniversary event provided entrepreneurship training for the entire military family. In the Boardroom, the WVBC’s Military Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge took place. Military youth (with Youth Coaches from Windsor Village Church Christian Millionaires in the Making Ministry), competed in teams and presented strategies to grow a local business. After the competition, Mr Willie “Skyy” Foreman, a former Harlem Globetrotter and owner of Swirlls Yogurt in Spring Branch’s CityCentre, remarked, “I want to hire the Military Youth Teams to train my staff on the strategies they presented today.” Foreman was among a panel of judges tasked with choosing the best strategies that would increase his customer base and annual revenue.

The anniversary attendees enjoyed an EXPO after the training and awards ceremony concluded. Woman veteran owned businesses and community vendors convened on the exhibit floor to showcase their products and services. The EXPO was co-sponsored by Goodwill Industries (Houston) Homeless Women Veterans Program and included free massages from Massage Envy, free makeovers by Modern Makeup Society, and WVBC Signature PINK CAMP Cupcakes by Organic Sweete Shoppe. The Newcomers and Neighbors of Greater Houston (NNGH) provided the “We Support Women Veterans” banners and donated business suits for homeless women veterans going to interview for jobs or to business meetings.

Houston is home to over 200,000 Veterans and home to over 30,000 Women Veterans. The Women Veterans Business Center serves as a conduit, connecting women veteran- owned businesses (Suppliers) to industry, government and the non-profit sector. WVBC services include: Event Planning (Outreach / Networking Events), Business Training and Business Coaching.

For more information on the Women Veterans Business Center, contact the WVBC at (713) 230–8926, on FACEBOOK or LINKEDIN, or via email at [email protected].

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