Veterans Summit features small business experts

By The West Virginia Record | Sep 9, 2010

CLARKSBURG -- The 2010 Veterans Summit set for Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the I-79 Technology Park Research Center in Fairmont will feature an abundance of speakers with expertise in veteran and business affairs.

"We are very fortunate to have three very successful veteran business owners on the agenda," said Judy McCauley, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's West Virginia District Office. "Craig Hartzell, president of Azimuth, Inc. in Morgantown has over 20 years experience dealing with government contracting officials. Scott Denniston, president of the Scott Group of Virginia, LLC, held various contracting related positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the SBA prior to starting his own business. And Harry Siegel, president of HMS TECHNOLOGIES, Inc. has grown his small business into one of the most successful veteran-owned businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region in just a few years."

Bill Jenkins, the opening keynote speaker, serves as SBA's Veteran's Procurement Liaison whose responsibilities include the delivery of the government's veteran's procurement program for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses throughout the country. His career encompasses 28 years contracting experience, most recently as a Senior Contracting Officer for SBA nationally.

Experts in the field of business financing include Terry Spears from Community Trust Bank, Stephanie Ellingson from Huntington National Bank, and Matt Coffey from BB&T. Also sharing their financing and loan packaging expertise are Jim Epling from the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Tara Elder from the West Virginia Women's Business & Training Center (WBC).

Prominent West Virginia business professionals Chuck Smith from Smith Cochran & Hicks, PLLC, and Jonathan Elder from Toothman Rice, PLLC, will provide guidance on business legal structures and federal contracting concerns for small businesses. Roy Jones, Jr. from HMS Technologies, Inc. will share his insight on the legal lessons learned through his many years of dealing with federal contractors.

Small business experts from SBA's resource partner network of SCORE, WBC, SBDC and the Regional Contracting Assistance Center, will be on hand to provide information on how and where to locate free small business resources.

West Virginia's own Medal of Honor Award recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams will be attending the Summit and will be recognized during lunch, which will be provided at no cost to attendees.

"There is no event a veteran can attend anywhere in West Virginia that will provide as much detailed information on starting or growing a business as the Veterans Business Summit on September 14," said McCauley. "Every presenter has valuable small business expertise and has volunteered to share that expertise with West Virginia's veteran community."

There is no charge to attend the Summit but pre-registration is required and attendance is limited to 150. To register, visit or call 1-800-767-8052 ext. 8.

Sponsors of the Summit include the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, the West Virginia Women's Business and Training Center, SCORE, Regional Contracting Assistance Center, the Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Network, HMS Techonologis, Inc., Azimuth Inc. and the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation.

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