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CalVet Presents Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Awards

Citrus Heights, CA — California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Peter J. Gravett recognized two Disabled Veteran Businesses with the John K. Lopez Award for outstanding contributions to California’s Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) community at the 13th Annual State Agency Recognition Awards.

Secretary Gravett also accepted the Small Business Advocate Innovation Award which was given to the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) for having significantly increased the number of Small Business/DVBE firms with which the Department contracts. By personally contacting firms and encouraging them to apply for or renew state certification, CalVet increased its non-IT services small business contract participation from 12.42% in 2010-2011 to 20.65% in 2011-12.

The awards were part of the State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) ceremony during which the Department of General Services honored 41 state agencies and 17 state employees for their outstanding work with California small businesses and disabled veterans’ businesses.

Secretary Gravett presented the 2012 John K. Lopez Award for Individual Excellence to Robert Mulz, founder and owner of Video Electronics in San Diego, California—the premier source for hard-to-find, niche and specialty electronics products. Since his founding of the Elite Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Chapter in San Diego in 1994, Mulz has consistently fought for a better business climate for disabled veteran entrepreneurs. As Chairman of the Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Network, he expanded the Elite’s reach to more than 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Secretary Gravett presented the 2012 John K. Lopez Award for Business Excellence to The Amerit Companies. Through owner and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Herbold, Amerit Consulting and Amerit Fleet Solutions has formed the largest disabled veteran business enterprise company in California, with 2,800 employees doing business in 47 states. Amerit Consulting and Staffing also provides services to some of California’s most important industries, and Amerit Fleet Solutions maintains one of the nation’s largest corporate fleets.

“It was an honor to recognize outstanding achievement by and on behalf of our service-disabled veterans,” said Gravett. “The DVBE program allows disabled veterans to compete more effectively for a share of the State’s contracting dollars. It’s one of the many benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice to our country.”

The awards are named for John K. Lopez, a Korean War Marine Corps veteran whose efforts are largely responsible for the original DVBE legislation being passed in 1989. Lopez passed away in April of this year at the age of 78.

A complete list of SARA recipients is available at on the DGS web site.


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