Lt. Col. Thomas E. Keogh (USMC retired), owner of Corps Solutions in Stafford, VA, was honored as the 2012 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year. A highly decorated Marine officer, he retired in 2009 to start Corps Solutions to provides training and educational services to the Department of Defense.
Within three years, there were 35 employees, a 252% growth rate, almost no turnover in staff, and incredibly high customer satisfaction rates. Corps Solutions hires mostly Marine veterans and keeps them employed by keeping teams together even when contracts end.
He would rather carry people from month to month and reduce profit margins, Keogh explained, than lose talent and cause undue burdens on employee and their families. In addition he is a supporter of Toys for Tots, the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, the Wounded Warrior Project, in addition to coaching youth soccer and baseball.
Each year, Virginia's 29 SBDCs each select a veteran small-business owner or entrepreneur from their local service areas, and the winners then compete for Virginia's Small Business Veteran of the Year Award. The State winner receives a plaque from Virginia SBDC, and their name is inscribed on the award urn, which is permanently displayed at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia.