Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year Award


The mission of Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is to contribute to the development of Virginia's economy and provide technical business assistance to small and medium sized businesses throughout Virginia. From the Federal mandate of the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999, Public Law 106-50, plus a deep sense of indebtedness to all Veterans, Virginia SBDC has continued to include Virginia Veterans as a target group for special assistance. The Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year Award has been established to recognize the accomplishments of this special group of Virginia entrepreneurs. Each year, the members of the Virginia SBDC Network nominate and vote on a deserving Veteran small business owner who has shown commitment to the military, their community and to fellow Veterans and their families. The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Community Business Partnership is honored to be able to offer the Veterans in Business Conference as a venue to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.


Patricia A. Frame

2016 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year


The Virginia Small Business Development Center has named Patricia Frame, Owner of Strategies for Human Resources, as the 2016 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year.


In the Air Force, Major Frame served for over 10 years as a Personnel Officer in the US, Thailand, and West Germany. She paved the way for future women in the military by being the first to serve in several capacities, including the AFCC’s Inspector General team, and oversaw the integration of the first enlisted women in non-traditional fields in Europe.  After her distinguished active duty she served in the Reserves for seven years as Admissions Liaison Officer, counseling students and family on admission to US Air Force Academy and full AFROTC scholarships, and evaluating candidates who applied.

Ms. Frame founded her company, Strategies for Human Resources, over 20 years ago to provide Human Resource expertise and advice to small businesses and organizations. Her clients range from 2 – 100 employees, though she has helped some clients grow even larger. She trains CEOs, and managers on effective hiring, performance management, and people-related decision-making. Her clients learn to achieve their goals through more effective management of their people, integrating their company’s culture into their personnel actions. Ms. Frame is a highly-regarded subject-matter expert in her field and a sought-after speaker, presenting seminars to organizations such as MetroDC WomenGrowBiz conference, Virginia Women Veterans 2nd Conference (Hampton Roads), Northern VA Veterans Business OC, HRA-NCA Veterans Hiring panel, and CyberMaryland 2014, among others. She has presented numerous workshops for Alexandria SBDC and assisted many of its clients with HR issues from initial hiring to effective termination when necessary. She has provided extensive pro-bono HR advice and services to non-profits in Alexandria and Northern Virginia.


For the past thirty years, Patricia Frame’s community involvement has focused on career development and military in transition. This work includes extensive articles and videos featured on her careers website,, and the recently published Networking Guide for Military in Transition and Veterans.



Previous Year's Winners Include:


2015 – Fred Wellman (ScoutComms)

LTC Fred Wellman, US Army retired, is a revolutionary businessman and passionate supporter of the Veteran’s community. He led a distinguished military career after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy that included airborne combat service in Operation Desert Storm and three tours in Iraq. He was selected by General Petraeus to be his public affairs officer in Iraq, then served as spokesman for Gen. Martin Dempsey before he became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   Fred retired in 2009 and started ScoutComms, a public relations, advocacy and corporate social responsibility firm that focuses exclusively on Veterans and military family causes. Within a year, ScoutComms was the first certified B Corp in the Fredericksburg region and the third in the world to focus on Veterans’ issues as a social cause. His firm donated over 30% of their profits to veteran-focused nonprofits in 2015.

2014 – Michael Leigh (OpX Solutions)

Michael Leigh began his military service in 1988 by joining the US Navy Nuclear Power Officer Candidate program while still in college, and served in the Navy for 10 years, retiring as a Commander.   He went to work at GE Energy.  His career culminated as a leader in GE Energy's Global Central Lean Office, where he developed Lean programs, implemented Lean concepts, and trained site leaders and executives at over 25 different businesses, both domestically and internationally.  Since he was also in the reserves, Mike was recalled to active duty in 2001, following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and remained on active duty for almost eight months.  Mike left GE Energy in 2012 to start OpX Solutions and, with George Repa Kaizen Healthcare Innovation.  Mike takes great pride in helping local businesses and leaders become more successful, especially Veterans.  Actively involved in local charitable and civic organizations, Mike is also a board member of the local Military Officers Association of America chapter and supports numerous Veteran causes.

2013 - Staci Redmon (Strategy and Management Services)

A 3rd generation service-disabled veteran, Staci Redmon started SAMS in 2007 to “exceed expectations with people who make a difference.” As fiscal belts were tightening, Staci knew she had to exceed expectations, including taking care of her employees.  If they took care of their employees, the employees would take care of their customers.   SAMS closed their 2013 financial year generating more than $10 million and 105 employees, all in just 5.5 years.  Over 90% of SAMS’ staff are veterans or family members of vets.  She has devoted countless hours counseling and mentoring emerging small businesses, and she never misses an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs to share her lessons learned.

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