Mike Sabellico | 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
Service-Disabled Veteran Small Business Owner, Chapter President for California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Alliance, Orange County SBDC Consultant helps veterans start and grow businesses
Mike Sabellico, President and CEO of Vanguard Global Solutions and Chapter President for the California Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise Alliance (California DVBE Alliance), has been selected to receive the 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Santa Ana District Office. Sabellico was nominated for the award by Leila Mozaffari, Director of the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in recognition of his efforts serving the veteran business community as a mentor, consultant, and volunteer.
Vanguard Global Solutions is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business and certified State of California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) specializing in homeland security, emergency preparedness, and business consulting, based in Encinitas, California.
Sabellico has demonstrated active support for legislative and regulatory action designed to improve the conditions for veteran owned businesses through his leadership of the Orange County/Los Angeles Chapter of the California DVBE Alliance, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization supporting and advocating on behalf of disabled veteran-owned businesses in California. He worked partnership with the Center for Veterans Excellence, created by the Department of Veteran Affairs, to streamline the national verification program for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). Sabellico’s input led to a complete overhaul of the system, decreasing the average time to get verified from 270 days to 90 days.
Sabellico demonstrated evidence of increased opportunities for veterans through his participation in the “ReadyVetHire” initiative, sponsored by SBA’s Santa Ana District Office and the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, an effort through which connections were made for small businesses looking to hire transitioning veterans. Additional efforts taken by Sabellico include support of the Wounded Warrior Project, routinely advertising job postings from his small business clients to the Wounded Warrior open jobs board and working to help his clients identify possible hires; and participating in the Orange County Veterans and Military Families Collaborative, contributing to the employment and outreach committees.
Sabellico improved awareness of small business opportunities in part by developing a strong working relationship with the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts to enhance opportunities for DVBE participation. Both districts exceeded their goals by significant margins and their results were lauded by California DVBE Alliance and California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) leadership.
Working on conjunction with the regional chapters of the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA), the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), Sabellico helped identify a variety of SDVOSBs to support large businesses as subcontractors. In addition to helping these large companies meet their subcontracting goals, it helped SDVOSBs establish their reputation and build their past performance resumes with federal agencies in the region.
Since 2010, Sabellico has been a consultant for the Orange County SBDC, leveraging his acquisition experience as a twenty-year US Coast Guard veteran and managing business development for a San Diego based defense contractor. He has developed and presented several business seminars and events, such as “Business Best Practice and Matchmaking”, Government Contracting 101” and “Responding to an RFP”. He was awarded the SBDC “State Star” Award in 2013 for helping his clients receive $48.8 million in contracts, $22 million in increased sales, and to create or retain 558 jobs. Sabellico has also been an instructor in the SBA sponsored Boots to Business training program, through which transitioning service members are provided entrepreneurship training.
According to J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director for the Small Business Administration’s Santa Ana District Office, “Mike Sabellico stands apart in a field of veterans finding ways to continue serving their communities. He’s been a valued partner to our office, our Resource Partner network, and most importantly, the military and veteran community. We are absolutely thrilled to present him with the 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion Award.”