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Veteran-owned Businesses Focus of Eastern Florida Conference

August 28, 2014 - The transition from military to civilian life isn’t easy for many veterans as they seek jobs and careers in a world out of uniform.

That’s particularly true among veterans who have returned home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and look to the future with uncertainty.

But many agencies are helping them get a fresh start, including the Small Business Development Center at Eastern Florida State College.

The center will hold its 14th Annual Veterans Conference Sept. 17 at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne campus with a focus on making veteran-owned businesses succeed.

“Brevard has a large number of veteran run businesses and we want those companies to grow and prosper,” said Sandy Pfrimmer, the SDBC’s conference organizer.

“The conference can help that happen by providing veterans with information and giving them the opportunity to connect with experts who can give them valuable insights with their business needs.”

Conference topics will include:

  • How companies can get their Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Verification.
  • A discussion about new veteran initiatives in Central Florida, including Brevard, with members of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority that operates Orlando International Airport.
  • A banking panel that will offer advice on how veterans can finance their own business.

The conference is one of the largest of its kind in Central Florida with about 100 companies and organizations expected to participate.

This year’s keynote speaker is Moses Harvin, President and CEO of American Services Technology Inc., which has logistical and facility support contracts with the Army, Air Force, Marines, Department of Defense and NASA.

The Rockledge-based company was founded by Harvin, a Gulf War veteran and decorated former Army major who will talk about his successful business strategy and how other veterans can implement winning plans too.

Earlier this year, Harvin was honored with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year Award for the Florida and South Florida District.

He is also a member of the Eastern Florida State College Board of Trustees.

The conference comes as the college’s new Veterans Resource Center with offices on the Cocoa and Melbourne campuses continues to expand.

About 850 veterans are currently enrolled at Eastern Florida with the center playing an important role in providing services to help them in the classroom and their private lives.

The center’s staff will be at the conference reaching out to veterans with information about their on-campus and off-campus programs, said Veterans Resource Center coordinator Kim Koplar.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is sponsored by Florida Today, American Services Technology, Inc., Craig Technologies and Harris Corporation.

The cost is $50 to attend and includes breakfast, mid-morning snack and workshop materials.

For more information on the conference, contact Sandy Pfrimmer at 321-433-5570 or