By Keith King
It’s great being popular, if you’re popular for the right reasons. But when you’re popular and other people make money off your popularity, it’s usually not so great. But for those of us who remember the days before Veteran Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Owned businesses weren’t recognized as a separate class of businesses by the federal government, we know the struggle wasn’t great at all. It was a fight, and a lot of people used their own personal capital to lead the fight. Sure, there were the normal back stabbers, nay-sayers and critics telling us that we didn’t need or deserve business preference in government contracting and every other negative comment they could throw at us.
But now that we’re here and growing and on the way to opening new markets for our fellow VOB/SDVOBs, we are the flavor of the month. It was just last month that Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. claimed they were the new Gods of Veteran Certification. After I paid them and discovered what their certification program really was about, it became clear it was nothing more than another self-certification program.
Now we have another company claiming that they are the new standard in certification and have tied their banner around the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification and are using the American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC™) to market their program. Their marketing screams that they are introducing “VOB 9009 quality certification program for Veteran-owned businesses.” You have to give it to them; they are really good at the hype: “VOB 9009 certification automatically qualifies Veteran-owned businesses for ISO 9001 certification, and is superior to the Generic ISO 9001:2008 standard”.
Now for a little check of the truth, first off the company that is promoting this is owned by a NON VETERAN who has gotten his ISO program accepted by the ABAC. Who knew that there are a bunch of companies out there selling their version of ISO certification? Seems like this guy has the background in quality control but it was clear that he knows nothing about veterans. In our conversation with him he was quick to name a bunch of veterans but when I asked him for specifics on how they were going to certify Veteran businesses it was clear that he was talking about another form of self-certification. Only this time he wants $2,000 per veteran certification plus another $7,500 to get your ISO certification.
What we know is that Corporate America has very strict guidelines for what acceptable certification means to them. We have met those standards and are gaining more and more corporations naming the NVBDC as the third party organization to certify VOB/SDVOB’s. To be perfectly clear, the NVBDC is in startup mode and much like the days when we were trying to get the VOB/SDVOB laws passed, we have a lot of the nay-sayers and negative people trying to tell us that we will never be successful. We are way past that and in a few years when we look back on the beginning of the NVBDC, we will honor those who were willing to take a leadership role and create new opportunities for all of the Veterans to follow.