jack_tilley.jpgBOCA RATON — Veterans and others can learn how to start companies and sell their products and services to the government at the second annual “Battlefield to Business: Build Your Bottom Line” seminar on Friday, Nov. 16.

This information pack-ed seminar, exhibition and networking event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Countess de Hoernle Humanities & Technology building, Room HT 103,  on Palm Beach State College’s Boca Raton campus, 3000 St. Lucie Ave.

There is no cost to attend or exhibit.

The event is again presented by the Small Business Development Center and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at PBSC. Participants will hear advice from veteran-entrepreneurs, agencies and successful contractors, as well as have the chance to talk one-on-one with 30 exhibitors representing various industries. Last year’s event drew nearly 200 attendees.

A continental breakfast and boxed lunch will be provided. To register, go to palmbeachstate.edu/sbdc. Those with general questions about attending may call 561-862-4726 or email:   sbdc@palmbeachstate.edu

Keynote speaker retired Army Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Tilley will address the importance of supporting veterans and service members in business success. Tilley is the 12th of only 14 men in U.S. history to serve in this position, the Army’s highest rank for enlistees.

Other speakers include:

• Scott Denniston, president, The Scott Group of Virginia.
• Dan Sturdivant, U.S. Department of Homeland Security official who advocates for veterans to be awarded contracts from that agency.
• Retired Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto.
• Gerald Paulsen, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Veteran Champion of the Year, who specializes in training veterans to obtain government contracts.
• Paul Simpkins, assistant director, Office of Small Business Programs, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense.

“Securing government contracts can be a daunting process, even for those who have served in the military,” noted Carole Hart, procurement specialist and certified business analyst at PBSC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center. “Our objective is to de-mystify the process and equip veterans and small companies with the information and tools that they need to be successful in this arena.”

Hart and her staff monitor the government’s track record of working with veterans.

They report that the federal government appears to have raised its goals in terms of awarding more contracts to veteran-owned small businesses: In 2011, federal agencies awarded $112.5 billion in contracts, 21.7 percent of which went to veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.