On January 28, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) held a special Board of Directors Installation Ceremony at Vistra Energy Headquarters in Irving, Texas. NaVOBA’s bylaws require two-thirds of Board of Director seats are held by corporations to ensure the organization is focused on creating maximum benefit to both Corporate Allies that strive to include Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprises™ (VBEs) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises™ (SDVBEs) in their supply chains as well as the veteran-owned supplier firms of all sizes.

“Vistra Energy is so proud to be one of the founding Members of NaVOBA,” Heather Herndon-Wright, Director of Supply Chain Diversity for Vistra Energy and NaVOBA’s Board Chairperson said. “The corporate governance and oversight that this board provides for VBE certification ensures that our veteran-owned businesses receive the same level of support and advocacy that our minority- and women’s business enterprises receive in corporate supplier diversity programs.”

NaVOBA is proud to announce the following members of its founding Board of Directors Executive Committee: Heather Herndon-Wright, Board Chairperson and Director of Supply Chain Diversity for Vistra Energy; Brian K. Hall, Board Secretary and Supplier Diversity & Outreach for Shell Oil Company; Brian Karpiel, Board Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for Aviall, A Boeing Company, Kyle Whitmire, Board Vice Treasurer and Assistant Vice President for Financial Analysis at AT&T; Patrick Sanders, Director & Sr. Attorney of Government Contracts and Compliance for American Airlines and Chair of the Certification Committee; Bede Ramcharan of the VBE Board Directors and President and CEO of Indatatech; and Georgia Marsh of the Partner Organizations Board Directors and Chief Development Officer of the Women’s Business Development Center.

“This ceremony is the beginning of a new era for veterans’ entrepreneurship and corporate supplier diversity inclusion,” said NaVOBA President and CEO Matthew Pavelek. “NaVOBA is the only national veteran’s association dedicated to satisfying corporate demand for a VBE-certification nonprofit organization governed and led by Corporate America.”

NaVOBA also proudly welcomes the following directors to lead its other standing committees, including: Tabatha Bowman, Chair of the Marketing Committee and Supplier Diversity Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Nino Campos, Chair of the Technology Committee and Sr. Manager of the Supplier Diversity Program at Oracle. In addition, NaVOBA proudly recognizes the remaining members of the Founding Board of Directors including: Fred Lona, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity for Hilton Worldwide; Kathleen Castore, Head of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability for Sanofi, Lori Simmons Chief Marketing Officer for Armed Forces Insurance; Dave Guerra, VBE Director and President of Puente Technology LLC; and Staci Redmon, VBE Director and President & CEO of Strategy and Management Services (SAMS).

NaVOBA also sends its sincere gratitude to its special guests from Vistra Energy who provided remarks during the ceremony including Vistra President and CEO Curt Morgan and Phil Seidler, Vice President, Supply Chain. We’d also like to thank additional NaVOBA Founding Partners and Board members USAA and JPMorgan Chase.

The ceremony began with attention to the colors, presented by the Color Guard from Echo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 354th Regiment based out of Grand Prairie, Texas and the Pledge of Allegiance led by NaVOBA President Matthew Pavelek, followed by an invocation led by Bishop DD Hayes, Senior Chaplain of the DFW Airport Interfaith Chaplaincy. The oaths of office were presided over by Patrick Alcorn, a West Point alumnus who now serves as the Director of the University of Texas at Arlington Veterans Business Outreach Center (UTAVBOC) 2017 Small Business Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Finally, NaVOBA extends its sincerest gratitude to David and Robin Pulford for their generosity and hospitality for the NaVOBA Team Building dinner held in their home in Dallas. Thank you both.