Legal Meets Practical: Accessible Solutions

Ron Swanson Would Want You at VETS 16

As I begin this blog, I can’t help but think of the words of Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation:

(to couple in bar)

“Hello. My name is Ron Swanson. In general I try never to speak with people. But I have been drinking this Snake Juice thing, and it is damn good. You should buy it.”

“Yeah, okay. Thanks, man.”

“Son, you should know that my recommendation is essentially a guarantee. Drink this. Now.”

Ron and I have few things in common, as I do not like shooting deer and cannot handle whiskey; also, I cannot grow a mustache. We are, however, similar in our refusal to endorse or recommend anything other than something we can stand behind wholeheartedly.

One thing I can stand behind wholeheartedly is the annual conference hosted by the National Veteran Small Business Coalition (“NVSBC”), a veteran business organization with a mission of transitioning veterans into business owners servicing the federal government. As an attorney who focuses on helping veteran business owners working in federal space, the NVSBC is the one organization with which I’m very active – they’re extremely well-organized, have a tight community of folks who help each other out on procurement issues, offer a boot camp and monthly dinner meeting in the Washington, D.C. area, and are overall a great resource for their members across the country.

Every year, the NVSBC hosts its Veterans Training Symposium, or VETS 16 this year, to bring together veteran-owned businesses who want to learn more about maximizing their federal contracting opportunities. For two years running, the conference has been in Norfolk, Virginia, at the Waterside Marriott. This year, it’s from June 20th through the 23rd at this location.

The NVSBC conference is worth the investment for three main reasons:

  • The attendees, the number of which ranges in the several hundreds (at least three hundred), are a very close-knit community. These are folks who know each other, and team with each other and help each other; and interacting with this type of group as opposed to faceless thousands (such as with the VA’s conference), is much more fruitful (especially for teaming opportunities). There are numerous networking opportunities throughout the conference.
  • The learning sessions are practical and helpful. This year, there are twelve to pick from, including: what prime contractors expect of subcontractors, pitfalls of VA verification, how to compete in a mid-tier market, when and how to protest, and using social media. This is an opportunity to get free advice from experts. Full disclosure – I am one such expert this year (speaking on bid protests and VA verification).
  • As many procurement officials attend, contractors have the opportunity to learn the needs of contracting agencies and how to get in on the opportunities. They also can make valuable connections.

Last year, I recommended this conference to several veteran business owners who attended, and each of them thanked me for the recommendation and highly praised the conference. In other words, I don’t see this entry as a “fluff” piece, but as a continuation of my normal blog – I truly feel that this is information that can help veteran business owners, because this conference is wonderful.

If VETS 16 sounds like something that might be valuable to your business, visit the website to learn more. As a tip, I believe this conference is the best fit for small businesses seeking to learn more about federal procurement, growth opportunities, and how to leverage veteran status.

I hope to see you at VETS 16 in Norfolk!

*Did you find this article informative? If so, sign up for Sarah Schauerte’s legal blog on veteran business issues at:

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One Response to “Ron Swanson Would Want You at VETS 16”

  1. Good luck at the conference!! 🙂 Can’t wait to read your post-event review!!

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