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Tennessee veterans gather for education, employment and entrepreneurship

Accord Federal Services, LLC is a service disabled veteran owned business
Accord Federal Services, LLC is a service disabled veteran owned business
Toni S. Williams

The Tennessee Veterans Business Administration sponsored the Fourth Annual Business and Education Expo at the Knoxville Convention Center on January 28, 2014. The purpose of the expo is to provide veterans with the employment, education and entrepreneur opportunities.

Despite the inclement weather, the event was well attended in the morning. The city of Knoxville was hit with an unexpected snow storm rather than the predicted dusting, which held down all day attendance. Local popular personality Hallerin Hilton Hill broadcast his morning talk show from the mezzanine level of the center.

Scheduled were breakout sessions all morning that were dedicated to various veterans issues. There were also informal knots of veterans enjoying coffee and conversation.

Major national corporations such as Pilot Flying J were represented. Service disabled veteran owned companies were there, including VRHabilis and Accord Federal Services, LLC. Oak Ridge National Laboratory had several small business grant writers available.

There was also a young man named Jeremy Chapin, who suffered two traumatic brain injuries during his deployment and who found peace and strength through woodworking. Jeremy's company is called Woodworks, in Signal Mountain, Tenn. and he credits University of Tennessee, Chattanooga with helping him find direction. He gifted all of the companies participating in the event with a beautiful handmade pen.

There was a $5000,00 cash prize for the Small Business Plan Competition sponsored by the law firm of Brown & Roberto, Pllc. Veterans were invited to submit a business plan with a live presentation.

Jonathan Williams, chairman of the Tennessee Veterans Business Association, was smiling through the morning at a job well done.

To join, participate, or receive more information, contact the Tennessee Veterans Business Association at 865-675-9384 or by email

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