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VETCON 2023 conference set for late November in Albany

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Clay veteran, business owner recommends the event      

Chris Dambach, seen in this 2019 file photo, is the founder of Clay–based Industry Standard USA, which focuses on general construction and excavation services. Dambach, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq, recommends veteran business owners attend the upcoming VETCON 2023 conference, set for late November in Albany. (ERIC REINHARDT / CNYBJ FILE PHOTO)

ALBANY, N.Y. — The annual conference dedicated to the education and professional growth of veteran business owners and entrepreneurs is set for late November in the state capital.

VETCON 2023 is scheduled for Nov. 28-29 at the Crowne Plaza Desmond Hotel in Albany, according to an Aug. 4 announcement from Tully Rinckey PLLC, Tully Rinckey Kuhn PLLC, and the Tully Rinckey Foundation.

Launched in 2016, VETCON provides seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities. The activities include a forum for New York State service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs) to connect with state agencies and authorities and develop business opportunities through state contracts.

Since 2016, hundreds of SDVOBs have attended VETCON, per the announcement. Among them is Clay–based Industry Standard USA, founded by Chris Dambach, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq.

“I can vouch for the knowledge and opportunities that come from attending VETCON,” said Dambach, who is also a VETCON Alliance board member. “Veterans and business owners learn so much in the VETCON educational sessions, and the structure of the conference allows me to ask questions to like-minded individuals. One year, I had an employee issue that I wasn’t sure how to address. I ended up speaking to another veteran business owner over lunch, and he explained how he dealt with the same issue. I ended up using the knowledge he passed along, and it worked out very well.”

This year will be Dambach’s fifth VETCON conference. His company is a certified SDVOB & DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) that focuses on general construction and excavation services.

“I went into VETCON for education. Little did I know, I’d be walking away with so much more,” Dambach said. “After chatting with some teams at VETCON regarding the New York State Thruway projects, we ended up winning three of the rest stop projects, which ended up being a multimillion-dollar contract.”

Dambach said he’s had “so much success” from VETCON that he feels it’s his time to give back. He said the next step could be to become a sponsor of future conferences.

“The brave men and women who have served this country deserve to be acknowledged,” Anthony Kuhn, chairman of the VETCON Alliance and founding partner of SDVOB Tully Rinckey Kuhn PLLC, said. “VETCON helps veterans strengthen the ways they utilize the skills gained through military experience to help them grow professionally. It’s always incredible to hear success stories, like those from Chris at Industry Standard. Along with our partners at New York State OGS, we will continue to do what we can to provide these valuable resources for our veteran business owner community.”

This year’s conference will again include two awards programs. The Veterans in Business Awards highlight multiple veteran-owned businesses that have exhibited exemplary achievements in areas of patriotism, leadership, community service, and business activity.

The VETCON Business Plan Competition offers aspiring or recently formed veteran businesses a chance to pitch their business plans to a panel of judge and compete for cash prizes.

For tickets and additional information about attending or sponsoring VETCON 2023, the Business Plan Competition, or the Veterans in Business Awards, visit www.vetconny.com.        

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