Keeping the Promise 2016 Recap

Sponsors Exhibitors  Speakers  Complete Program

AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011

“Keeping the Promise” 2016 is in our rearview mirror as I write this article and from my perspective it was a tremendous success! The conference kicked off with a competition between veterans of the various services “pitching” a mock drone company called Prosperity from Above. This exercise jumpstarted the high energy networking that was interwoven in every aspect of the conference. Mr. Chase Cunningham, a DVBA DFW Chapter board member, represented the Navy and won the event with an impressive presentation which left people thinking they could start and make money with their own drone company!We had 250 people attend the two-day conference, approximately 35 expo booths, and 40 matchmaking tables. There were many highlights including the VIP reception in the Draft King’s Lounge just off the Dallas Cowboys’ field at the Stadium. We heard from distinguished keynote speakers such as Sport Clips founder and CEO

We had 250 people attend the two-day conference, approximately 35 expo booths, and 40 matchmaking tables. There were many highlights including the VIP reception in the Draft King’s Lounge just off the Dallas Cowboys’ field at the Stadium. We heard from distinguished keynote speakers such as Sport Clips founder and CEO Gordon Logan; Dr. Betty Moseley Brown from the Department of Veterans Affairs; Joe Rapissi, Senior Vice President Lockheed Martin; Elizabeth McCormick, Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot; Harvetta Spann, CEO of the WAVE; and Martha Daniel, CEO of IMRI. Our second day lunch theme was women veterans; the speaker lineup was so moving and inspirational that they drew rousing standing ovations one after another. There wasn’t a person in the room who didn’t feel that positive energy and inspiration.

DVBA Leaders with new Advisory Board member Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, US Army, Retired (rear row, fourth from left)

DVBA Leaders with new Advisory Board member Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, US Army, Retired (rear row, fourth from left)

The feedback we received from our members in attendance has been very positive. I’ve heard from several buyers who commented on the quality of the suppliers they met at the event and that they are happy to report that they were able to identify several potential new suppliers for upcoming contract opportunities. I know that many of the SDVOSBs and DVBEs in attendance were able to create new relationships or solidify current relationships which will result in new business opportunities down the road and allowed them to build and maintain their business development pipeline.

Always a very moving segment of our events is the swearing-in ceremony for our bravest new warriors. At the Gala dinner we had Captain Michael Steffen, Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Dallas Fort Worth and Joint Reserve Base, swear in 50 courageous young men and women into the five branches.

Young Texans take the oath of military service at AT&T Stadium on May 18

Young Texans take the oath of military service at AT&T Stadium on May 18

They will be our next generation of warfighters, peacekeepers, and service men and women who on a daily basis protect our way of life. They looked so young to me and I really enjoyed networking with them during and after the dinner.

Keeping the Promise Across America 2017 will be in Las Vegas during the week of 24 April! The event already has many top level sponsors and will again be filled with high energy speakers, a business expo hall, Alliance 1:1 Matchmaking, our annual DVBA “Pitch” contest, and engaging break-out sessions targeted for businesses ranging from start-ups to those that are well established. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event.

In the coming year we will launch our “Pass the Torch” program which creates a market for recent veterans to buy businesses from those that have been running successful enterprises since Vietnam, helping them transition their business to the next generation of veteran and disabled veteran business owners.

Finally, I’m happy to report that our paid membership continues to grow daily. We hope to have 2000 by next KTP! Please see the website for more information and find out how you can become a member and learn about member only benefits!