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American Heroes Network host Gary Ray and his co-host, Lt. Col Bill Forbes, sat down with VAMBOA’s Debbie Gregory to tap into the wealth of resources and information she has acquired over the years.

As the daughter of a disabled veteran and the former CEO of one of the most comprehensive online directories for military and veterans, Ms. Gregory has always considered it an honor to serve those who have donned our nation’s uniform. Recognizing that veterans have the skills and drive to become successful entrepreneurs, Gregory founded VAMBOA, a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association, to connect veteran and military business owners with the corporations seeking to do business with them.

“My goal is to show our members the advantages of looking beyond government contracts to the opportunities that working with corporations provide,” said Gregory. “These corporations are looking to fulfill their supplier diversity requirements, and veterans are a diverse network of suppliers on many levels.

VAMBOA does not charge members fees for membership and is supported through corporate sponsorships.

Gregory is also proud of her continuing contributions as a board member and producer of “America Salutes You – Guitar Legends II”. The annual concert raises awareness for those who serve, including first responders , and raises funds for some of the excellent non-profits that support them.

This year’s concert will take place December 2nd at the Novo Theater in Los Angeles. There is an incredible line up of talent. Those wishing to either purchase tickets or donate should go to the web site at http://www.americasalutesyou.org.

Ms. Gregory also serves in the DoD volunteer position of Director of Employer Engagement for California‘s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

The interview can be heard at: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/110372/vamboa#

About VAMBOA
With over 7,200 members and more than 300,000 fans and followers on social media, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is fast becoming the “Go To” association for veteran and military business owners. VAMBOA is a non-profit 501(c) 6 trade association that connects members with top corporations seeking a diverse network of suppliers.

About American Heroes Network Radio
American Heroes Network Radio provides support to our nation’s heroes by helping veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They assist veterans with employment, housing, and additional resources and information. American Heroes Network Radio also provides scholarships for families of our fallen heroes. American Heroes Network Radio airs every Tuesday at 11am EST on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

About America Salutes You
America Salutes You is a 501c3 organization created to express our national gratitude to our service members, veterans and their families through an annual nationally broadcasted benefit concert that raises funds for a range of highly rated charities. One hundred percent of all money raised are granted to nonprofit organizations with programs that provide services to our troops, veterans and their families.

By Debbie Gregory.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, has opened nominations for the 2019 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the “Freedom Award.”

The Freedom Award is the highest Department of Defense award given to a civilian employer for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve service members. The award was instituted in 1996 by then Secretary of Defense William Perry, and has since presented the honor to hundreds of recipients.

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. ESGR accepts nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Fifteen awards are presented in three categories – large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

National Guardsmen and Reservists nominated 2,350 employers for the Freedom Award in 2018. The winners were: Amazon, Seattle, Washington; AME Swiss Machining LLC, Ligonier, Indiana; ArgenTech Solutions, Inc., Newmarket, New Hampshire; Big Sky Advisors, St. Louis, Missouri; Crystal Group Inc., Hiawatha, Iowa; Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina; Dunlap Police Department, Dunlap, Tennessee; FMI Corporation, Raleigh, North Carolina; Greencastle Associates Consulting, LLC, Malvern, Pennsylvania; Minnesota Department of Transportation, St. Paul, Minnesota; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania; South Charleston Police Department, South Charleston, West Virginia; Texas Department of Insurance, Austin, Texas; Werner Enterprises, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska; and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Salisbury, Maryland.

A national selection board comprised of senior Defense officials and business leaders select the award recipients.

If you have a “top boss” and would like to nominate him or her, you can do so by clicking here from now through December 31st.

By Debbie Gregory.

The Chinese government broke into the supply chain for about 30 US companies as well as government contractors by using malicious computer chips, according to a new report by Bloomberg Businessweek.

The tiny microchips are no larger than single grains of rice.  Chinese spies inserted the microchips into equipment used by the companies and American agencies in order to gather intellectual property, along with trade and governmental secrets.

 

The chips, which were allegedly discovered in 2015 by engineers at Amazon and Apple, allowed hackers to “create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines,” a Trojan horse that gave hackers a direct line into any sensitive network, according to the report.

Amazon and Apple denied the Bloomberg report.

But the report stated that Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, which sent a shudder through the intelligence community. Affected servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships.

There have been heightened concerns about foreign intelligence agencies infiltrating American and other companies through so-called “supply chain attacks,” particularly from China where several high-tech firms outsource their manufacturing, according to Reuters.

Cybersecurity companies have warned that Chinese hacking activity has skyrocketed amid increased tensions between Washington and Beijing. The United States and China are locked in a bitter and escalating trade war, in which hundreds of billions of U.S. and Chinese products are under tariff.

The reported electronic spying via supply chains to U.S. companies are certain to continue long-standing questions about the essential but uneasy relationship between the world’s two leading economies.

American companies design and sell leading technology products, such as servers, laptop computers and smartphones, but depend on the labor force  in China to build and assemble them.

Although there have been multiple studies on individual characteristics and operations on owner managers, there are knowledge gaps related to the challenges these entrepreneurs encounter when entering and building their ventures. To fill in that gap, the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations(NAVSO) has commissioned Purdue University to study what is driving entrepreneurial success so that these veterans can be better served with improved resource allocation. The Veterans and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is proud to assist in securing participants for the study.

The insights from this survey will help deliver best practices for providing realistic solutions for the issues and challenges these veterans face.

“We are so grateful to the VAMBOA community for joining us on this important research for veteran entrepreneurs.” said NAVSO CEO, Chris Ford. “We expect the research results to help future veteran business owners gain access to capital, change how incubators and accelerators support founders, and in the end, help more veteran businesses succeed. Founders and Co-Founders who participate in this research are really paying it forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

“There are some qualities that servicemembers and veterans have attained through their military service that make them excel as entrepreneurs,” said VAMBOA founder and CEO Debbie Gregory. “Traits such as leadership, discipline, the ability to solve problems and a “can-do” attitude contribute to their success. We are happy to help get the word out to our members and other potential participants of the survey to ensure the best possible result.”

NAVSO is offering incentives valued at more than $2000 to be awarded to more than sixty participants who complete the survey. At the end of the study, the research team will conduct a random drawing and determine the winners: one $500 winner, one $250 winner, two $100 winners, ten $50 winners and fifty $20 gift cards. All personal identifiable information will be masked and confidentiality will be strictly enforced.

Those wishing to participate in the survey can do so at https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6WnSXOMSn3fw5lH?utm_source=VAMBOA&utm_medium=Email%20%26%20Social.

By Debbie Gregory.

We previously wrote about the deal for two new Air Force One airplanes that President Trump was trying to negotiate with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. After talks stalled, the president stepped in to push through a fixed-price deal that would require Boeing to buy the planes at an agreed price. Boeing would then be responsible to absorb any cost overruns.

The list price for one of Boeing’s 747-8s is $351.4 million, but the stock jumbo jets require significant and timely modifications before they will be ready to transport a president.

The president asked for the new planes to be done by 2021, the beginning of what would be a second term, which is three years sooner than the original plan of 2024. The two 747s are in California now, and although Boeing will be done upgrading the planes by then, but the Air Force testing requirements could take an additional three years.

And upon closer investigation, it now looks like that “informal” $3.9 billion deal for the two planes may not be such a deal.

It appears that a “fixed-price contract” is not the same thing as a “firm, fixed-price” contract. And that could be a problem.

Boeing officials have always been and remain adamantly opposed to a firm, fixed-price deal. Given that Boeing has had to absorb more than $2 billion in cost overruns while developing the Air Force’s new refueling tanker, it is no wonder that the company is trying to avoid the same situation with refitting the two commercial 747s for presidential use.

The current Air Force One planes began service in 1990 under former President George H.W. Bush and they are reaching near the end of their planned life.

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