LOS ANGELES, CA: The current contracting programs set forth within the county of Los Angeles has been a great accomplishment for the DVBA and has taken numerous years of hard work and expense. Our organization has helped Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority with their new DVBE program in the efforts of outreach and procurement methods. The DVBE community has seen outstanding progress in the LA Metro program and numerous DVBA members have been awarded contracts with LA Metro directly and within the sub-contracting situations with Prime contractors.

The DVBA recognized LA County procurement departments as they enacted a DVBE preference program in 2015 with the final preference program (LA County ordinance 2013-0042, LA County code sections 2.211.010 to 2.211.100) providing up to a 15% preference to certified DVBE’s on LA County contracts. This appeared to be another win for the organization and for DVBE’s in our community. The organization provided insight into the great strides the County was taking to help DVBE’s and was optimistic that LA County’s program would be just as successful as the LA Metro program. Those of us who have the DVBE certification and who have been around contracting for years know that the proof is in contracts awarded.

2016 Lou Zamperini award winner Erick Castro is the owner of KSE (Kana Subsurface Engineering), and longtime DVBA member is one of our organization's success stories. Erick has taken his construction company to great success in the government contracting realm. KSE has been awarded contracts within numerous government agencies in Federal, State and Utility contracting. KSE is one DVBE who competes against large prime contractors for projects. With the new LA County DVBE preference program in place, Erick set his sights on the county and started bidding for projects with LA County Public Works. Erick found an opportunity to bid on a public works project with LA County. KSE conducted an analysis of the bid and found the documentation within the RFP stating the DVBE preference and moved forward with their proposal.

LA County Public Works released the bid results in March 2017. The results revealed that KSE was the second lowest bidder on the project with the lowest bidder coming in just six thousand dollars lower than Erick’s bid. Erick took the loss in stride and conducted an after-action assessment of his bid and requested a debrief of his offering with the county. During the analysis Erick recognized that two of the bidders were provided preferences as “small businesses” within LA County and that his bid was not provided any preference as a certified DVBE. Erick contacted the contracting official with the county and attempting to gain clarification on why no preference was afforded to his company.

It should be noted that during this entire interaction with the LA County Public Works Dept. Erick was dealing with the civil engineer on the project Ali Dana, PE Associate Civil Engineer. During one of the numerous calls with Mr. Dana he made the comment “...you are creating a big problem for me on this situation”.

Being a combat Veteran and advocate of DVBE’s in our community, Erick made the decision to move forward with legal action against the County. Gerald Mouzis is Erick’s attorney and has a great amount of experience in procurement litigation on all levels of government contracting. In May of 2017 KSE filed a suit in LA County court attempting to get a temporary injunction on the contract award until the merits of the case could be presented by KSE. KSE provided information to the court that focused on the LA County DVBE preference program. LA County Judge Amy Hogue provided an analysis of her probable ruling on the matter. In short, the LA County judge sided with LA County Public Works. During the hearing Judge Hogue asked the LA County Attorney, “has the department awarded any DVBE preference to any DVBE’s since the ordinance adoption?”. The County council could not provide an answer to the judge and advised he does not know that information.

You can conclude from this situation that the LA County DVBE preference program may just be more smoke and mirrors that we have seen in the past. The obvious question is, are contracts being awarded to DVBE’s by LA County departments. To date our organization cannot find any situation that the County has provided this preference to or any awarded contracts to DVBE’s. Erick Castro and his company KSE took on a great amount of time and expense to fight the County in court and he should be commended for fighting the good fight. This situation should serve as a caution to those looking to contract with LA County and as ammunition to reach out to your contacts to help in the effort of trying to change future DVBE program abuse.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DVBE preference based procurements for LA County, the organization has put together a list of point of contacts that would help move our efforts.

Contract administrator
Ali Dana, PE
Associate Civil Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Office: (626) 458-3110

LA County Supervisor and individual who proposed the DVBE program
Mark Ridley Thomas
Administrative Offices East
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(213) 741-9292

LA County Supervisor
Hilda Solis
856 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-4111
Fax: (213) 613-1739

LA County Supervisor
Sheila Kuehl
821 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 W. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-3333
Email: sheila@bos.lacounty.gov

LA County Supervisor
Janice Hahn
500 W. Temple Street, Room 822 Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 974-4444

LA County Supervisor
Kathryn Barger
500 West Temple Street, Room 869
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 974-5555



Marty Keller, New DVBA Executive Director

Sacramento CA: Following Board of Directors elections and new staff appointments, the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance leadership team met last week to plan its course for the next eighteen months.

Mr. Leslie Marshall, US Air Force veteran and CEO of MEI Mail Services in Richardson, Texas, was elected Board President. He and the new Board adopted organizational goals, including the development of a powerful marketing campaign to let veteran business owners know the opportunities that DVBA membership affords them; expanding from its the first veteran business incubator in Sacramento to a total of ten around the country; and strengthening local chapters to better serve the members.

“The name of the game,” Mr. Marshall declared, “is veteran business success. Our veterans give years of their lives to serving their country, and when they return to civilian life to become entrepreneurs we are there to support them.”

The DVBA is a non-profit corporation founded in 1994 to help disabled veteran business owners in California take advantage of that state’s first-ever disabled veteran business enterprise (DVBE) procurement program. Passed in 1989, the law requires that state agencies dedicate a minimum of 3% of their procurement and contracting spend to DVBEs. Subsequent to the initiation of the California program, the federal government also adopted measures to include veteran businesses in federal procurement. In the past decade, other states, including New York and Michigan, have also started programs for veteran business enterprises.

Like most of corporate America, the DVBA also recently extended its focus to encompass all veteran businesses.

“The nation as a whole has determined to support its sons and daughters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as effectively as we can,” Mr. Marshall noted, “and not to repeat the mistreatment that so many of our Vietnam vets received. The DVBA works with each government agency, corporation, and non-profit that works for veteran business success to help any and every veteran business owner connect to resources and opportunities that will help them make money and succeed.”

The Board also announced that Marty Keller has been chosen to lead the organization as its new Executive Director, and small business owner Brock Kelly, veteran of both the US Marine Corps and the US Army, as his Deputy.

“Marty has worked with the DVBA in several capacities for years,” Mr. Marshall said. “He brings a depth of knowledge of the veteran business world, along with a wealth of connections to state and federal government and the non-profit sector. He has a sterling reputation for leadership and innovation, and we are excited that he is returning to lead us into our next phase.”

“The DVBA has always been a leader in supporting veteran business success,” Mr. Keller noted. “All the pieces are in place to support the on-going generational transition as our Vietnam vets leave their businesses to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. These vets and the DVBA are determined to do everything we can to help the next generation be successful entrepreneurs.”

After its recent elections, the Board now comprises the following members:

  • - Mr. Leslie Marshall, US Air Force veteran and CEO of MEI Mail Services in Richardson, Texas, who was elected Board President;
  • - Randolph Sinnott, Esq., US Marine Corps veteran and founding partner of the law firm Sinnott, Puebla, Campagne & Curet, APLC, in Los Angeles, who was re-elected Vice President;
  • - Mr. Jack Smith, US Air Force veteran and CEO of Fortuna BMC in Folsom, California, who was re-elected Treasurer;
  • - Mr. Dan Connor, US Marine Corps veteran and CEO of Rams Head Solutions in Newport Beach, California, who was elected Secretary;
  • - Mr. Ted Fuentes, US Air Force veteran and President of the Alliance Resource Group in Newport Beach, California;
  • - Mr. Drake Muat, US Army veteran and CEO of Global Environmental Network, Inc., of Santa Ana, California;
  • - Mr. Raimone Roberts, US Air Force veteran and Chief Strategy Officer of Empire Construction in Palmdale, California;
  • - Mr. Mike Wray, US Air Force veteran and President of BidSpeed in Fullerton, California;
  • - Mr. Dave Hornbeck, US Marine Corps veteran and CEO of Global Blue DVBE in Rocklin, California;
  • - Mr. David Feldman, Manager, Supplier Diversity/Local Content for Chevron, Inc., in Houston, Texas;
  • - Ms. Erica Courtney, US Army veteran and CEO of 2020vet in Vienna, Virginia, returns as President Emerita.

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14 JUN


Our journey culminated in success last night - and I am humbled by the support I received.

For 30 years, I was a defender of Democracy across the globe. Taking this direct leap into the Democratic process brought it full circle for me and provided an even deeper level of appreciation for everything that makes America great.

I can't wait to get to work at City Hall. Together, we will restore accountability - and the PEOPLE's voice. The hardest part of this journey is just beginning, and I look forward to taking on the challenge of making Las Vegas a better place.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and effort (and money!) to help me win. I will never forget the loyalty and sacrifice you made to put us over the top.


Steve Seroka
Las Vegas City Council

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31 MAY


For those of you who are not current members, the DVBA is seeking new and existing businesses, Veteran-owned businesses, new start-ups, and solo entrepreneurs to become part of the first and longest serving Veteran operated business organization to grow and expand your business.

Membership starts at $179 per year!

  • - Meet prime contractors at chapter meetings
  • - Meet primes at DVBA events such as the Keeping the Promise, Construction Expo and the IT and Professional Services Expo
  • - Participate in one-on-one matchmaking with corporate buyers at DVBA events, such as Turning Contacts into Contracts
  • - Representation of members to government agencies and prime contractors on business advisory councils for High Speed Rail, Caltrans, DGS, etc.
  • - Opportunity to participate in events and tradeshows with other veteran and disabled veteran businesses and corporate buyers at a discount
  • - All this and more...

Learn More...

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10 APR

PRESS RELEASE - How the DVBA Helps Insurance Firms

The DVBA supports disabled veterans through mentorship, advocation, education, and promoting and navigating the joys and pitfalls of business ownership. The Disabled Veteran Business Alliance has formed a task force to assist insurance companies better understand the benefits of working with DVBE’s and can also help them identify corporate ready suppliers across the many services and goods.

Statistical Information
  • - Over 1 million recently discharged veterans go into business for themselves.
  • - 40% of recently discharged (post gulf war)veterans are going into business for themselves as opposed to 10% during Vietnam era
  • - 1 out of every 10 small business in the US are veteran owned, yet we make up less than 1% of the population
  • - 1 out of every 7 franchises are veteran owned · We contribute over $6 billion in annual receipts and employ over 6 million
  • - Veterans are twice as likely to succeed over other small business
  • - Twice as likely to hire our veteran brothers and sisters; which reduces the social burden cost to society in the US, i.e., healthcare costs, prescription drugs, welfare, etc, which helps the veteran, the family, the community and the nation
  • - 8 million military member have served since 1991, 6.6 million are now out of the service, 30% of those have a service connected disability
  • - 2.4 million service disabled veterans are out there since the gulf war
  • - 40% of us will go into business for ourselves
  • - By 2020 the current veteran population will outnumber those who have served in previous wars of the 20th Century
  • - The woman veteran entrepreneurs are the fasted growing small business segment in the country

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PRESS RELEASE - DVBA Announces New Team Members

The DVBA is has successfully created the infrastructure to scale and grow the organization with increased stability.

April 3, 2017 - The Disabled Veterans Business Alliance (DVBA) today announced William Osgood, Michelle Matthews, and Tyler Byrne to its sponsor management, accounting, communications, and event planning departments.

As an experienced business owner and Los Angeles DVBA chapter president, William Osgood will lead the charge in serving as the organization’s primary interface for corporate and member relations.

“William is the perfect candidate for the job since he’s worked with many of our sponsors over the years and already has a working relationship,” said Rene Cota, Executive Director of DVBA. “We’re very proud to have him on board.”

Michelle Mathews has many years of accounting experience and is a UCLA alumni with a B.A. in Economics. Michelle will manage the DVBA’s new hi-tech accounting system, leveraged by Google Drive and Quickbooks Cloud. Michelle will serve as the accounting director for the DVBA.

“Michelle is a tremendous asset to the organization because of her relentless focus on details and improving financial performance for the DVBA.” said Rene Cota.

Tyler Byrne is a bonafide business owner and entrepreneur with many years of event planning, graphic design, web marketing, and communications experience. He has over 15 years of event planning and project management experience at various locations. Moreover, Tyler has planned, produced, and managed twelve successful conventions in AZ, TX, and CA venues which include over 1,200 sponsors and exhibitors per venue.

“With the addition of Tyler Byrne and his diversified skill-set to handle a broad range of technical tasks, the DVBA has the edge and extended capacity to manage information, communications, and marketing,” said Rene Cota. “We’re excited to have him.”


Invitation - Keeping The Promise “Celebrating Success”

Keeping The Promise “Celebrating Success" - APRIL 25 – 27, 2017 THE RIO HOTEL, 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Three days of peer-to-peer networking, break-outs, training, speakers, and multiple opportunities to help Veteran & Disabled Veteran business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses in 2017.

KTP CELEBRATING SUCCESS is the best place for companies and agencies to connect with a broad base of the DVBA’s qualified & certified Disabled Veteran-owned business and general contractor community.

Many of DVBA’s Veteran business members are engaged, motivated, and actively seeking opportunities needed to move their businesses forward.

For event ticket, sponsorships, or exhibits opportunities, please click below #ktplasvegas #ktpcelebratingsuccess

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