Thursday, April 28, 2011

Local Named National Vet Small Business Champ

Darrel Bowman has been named National Veteran Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Darrel Bowman of Tacoma served in the U.S. Coast Guard before becoming an entrepreneur, community leader, humanitarian, and veteran’s advocate. He is known for his strong belief that “what is good for our veterans is good for our country.”

The Chamber had selected Darrel for its first Vet-Owned Business of the Year in 2010 at the annual Spotlight on Business Awards Event. Darrel will receive the national award at ceremonies in Washington, D.C. May 20. Darrel enthusiastically says: “This is really cool. Wendy and I can make it, besides they said I may get to shake President Obama’s hand. Now that’s WAY cool! We now have the air and hotel reservations and are meeting (son) Justin in WA DC as he takes leave from his EOD Unit to join us in that celebration too!”

“Darrel Bowman is a dynamic community leader who helps grow the regional economy while supporting fellow veterans and military retirees. His high degree of integrity, responsibility, and commitment to community causes, veteran issues, and the promotion of veteran business initiatives is what merited him this prestigious recognition - SBA’s 2011 Veteran Business Champion award at the Washington state, Region 10 (WA, OR, ID, AK) , and National level,” said Regional Administrator, Calvin Goings.

Bowman’s foray into entrepreneurship flourished after he joined AppTech in 1999. Bowman eventually became the sole owner of AppTech, which he renamed in 2005. specializes in providing managed technology service solutions for a variety of industry companies, local governments, state agencies and federal departments. All this is accomplished while by providing proactive network and server maintenance, implementing IT best practices, providing unlimited remote & unlimited on site reactive computer support and providing a dedicated person to work with each organization as they plan their technology upgrades and budgets, all for a fixed monthly fee.

“As a veteran, Bowman knows firsthand that individuals with military experience tend to exhibit incredible tenacity and work ethic, outstanding leadership and teamwork skills, and a great sense of honor, respect and duty. Despite this, there are barriers that former military members face in the job market. To combat this phenomenon, Bowman - himself a disabled veteran - makes hiring veterans and current active duty IT personnel a priority in his company,” says Nancy Porzio, SBA Seattle District Director.

Bowman believes the military education, skills and training each veteran receives while in the Service are a hidden treasure to any business in need of dependable quality and dedicated employees. Bowman advocates for all military branches to identify direct links from the education received in the Service to correlating civilian certifications, degrees and credits.

To serve as a strong proponent of legislative and regulatory action to boost veteran-owned business access to state and federal government contracting opportunities, Bowman stays actively involved with community, congressional, senate leaders and the State Department of Veteran Affairs. He advocated for new legislation promoting the use of veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses as a percentage of the contracted services in Washington state government. State senate bill 5041 established a veteran-owned business registry which is quickly becoming the veteran business “yellow pages.” State senate bill 5253 encourages state agency use of veteran-owned businesses for contracted services and products. He also participated in Senator Patty Murray’s Pierce County Veteran Employment Roundtable to help shape proposed veteran employment legislation.

Applying his expertise to benefit educational programs for veterans and the general public, Bowman has constructed several vital curricula for college technology programs, serves on Congressman Adam Smith’s Technology Advisory Council, and chaired the South Sound IT and Emerging Technology Skills Advisory Panel. Additionally, he is the current President of the WA Coalition of Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Australia Orders Another C-17

Air Force Magazine Online reports Australia has signed the agreement with the US government to acquire a fifth C-17 transport via a foreign military sale, announced C-17 manufacturer Boeing. Boeing delivered Australia's four C-17s between 2006 and 2008.

"Boeing thanks the RAAF, a C-17 customer since 2006, for its confidence in the airlifter's capabilities," said Bob Ciesla, C-17 program manager for Boeing. "We salute the RAAF and its crews, who helped save lives in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. We are proud to serve as their partner." Already this year, RAAF C-17s have supported disaster-relief efforts in Japan and New Zealand as well as at home after floods ravaged parts of Queensland.

The additional airframe will bolster the Royal Australian Air Force's ability to support international humanitarian-support and disaster-relief missions. Due to the RAAF's pressing need for more airlift capacity, the US Air Force has approved Australia's request to receive the new C-17 in August, according to Boeing. The aircraft will be assigned to RAAF Base Amberley, near Brisbane, home of 36 Squadron, which operates the country's C-17 force.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JBLM Designated for Two Net Zero Centers

The Army announced yesterday the locations identified to be pilot net zero installations. As part of the Army's overall effort to conserve precious resources, net zero installations will consume only as much energy or water as they produce and eliminate solid waste to landfills.

The announcement initiates the programmatic environmental analysis and planning process for the Army's Net Zero Installation Strategy. Specifics for projects and initiatives will be determined through a programmatic environmental analysis which will include public engagement and stakeholder outreach.

"The Army has identified six net zero pilot installations in each of the energy, water, and waste categories and two integrated installations striving towards net zero by 2020. This is a significant step in addressing the Army's sustainability and energy security challenges," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, who made the announcement at the opening session of the annual Association of United States Army Installation Command Symposium. "Striving for net zero is operationally necessary, financially prudent, and critical to our mission."

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was selected as a pilot net zero water installation which will limit the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so as not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was also selected as a net zero waste installation for reducing, reusing, and recovering waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.

JBLM was not chosen as a net zero energy installation, which would produce as much energy on site as it uses, over the course of a year. The Oregon Army National Guard volunteered to pilot a unique and challenging Net Zero Energy Initiative, which includes all of their installations across the state. This strategy will be included in the environmental analysis.

Two installations were selected to be integrated net zero installations: Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo. A net zero installation is comprised of three interrelated components: net zero energy, net zero water, and net zero waste.

Hammack said the installations will become centers of environmental and energy excellence as they participate in the Net Zero Installation Strategy programmatic environmental planning process, showcase best management practices, and demonstrate effective resource management. Further, they will establish a framework of reduction, re-purposing, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and disposal to guide them towards achieving net zero in an environmentally responsible, cost-effective and efficient manner.

As part of the pilot, the installations will also participate in a kick-off meeting in June to receive training and showcase their proposed strategies to achieve net zero. Each installation will participate in monthly conference calls and share experiences and lessons learned in newsletters and military and industry conferences. These installations will also participate in a programmatic environmental analysis and integrated planning process that will inform future decisions regarding impacts to resources throughout the Army's initiative. Public participation will be an integrated part of the process and part of the environmental planning process.

Three panels made the pilot installation recommendations from the 100 self-nominations (53 energy, 23 water, and 24 waste) received from 60 highly motivated installations managed by the Army National Guard, Army Materiel Command, Installation Management Command, Medical Command, Space and Missile Defense Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Installations that self-nominated for the pilot Net Zero Installation Initiative, but were not identified are highly encouraged to continue to strive towards net zero learning from the net zero journey of the pilot installations. In fiscal 2014 another 25 installations in each category will be asked to self-nominate to achieving net zero.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30th Annual Scott Citizen-Soldier Honored

Today, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is honored to present the 2011 Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award – this year to an U.S. Air Force Reservist – to Lt. Col. Diego Wendt.

The event was held at the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma. Pictured (l to r) are George Cargill, Vice-Chair, Tacoma-Pierce County Chair, LC Diego Wendt, Sandy Roszman, Pres., Kiwanis Club of Tacoma.

Taking a leave from Boeing Company as an instructor pilot for the 737 and 777, Diego Wendt has flown for the past 18 months with the 97th Airlift Squadron, 446th Airlift Wing at JBLM-McChord Field.

Lt. Col. Wendt has deployed a total of 265 days, commanding resupply missions to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Antarctica as well as deploying for a six month tour as the acting Director of Mobility Operations at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

Lt. Col. Wendt defines the word “service.” In 2005, Wendt and his wife Kim, co-founded 4US, an all-volunteer charity which raises money to buy ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers. Since 2005, 4US has raised over $655,000 making possible the purchase of 15 ultrasound machines for centers across the state as well as providing the necessary staff training to operate each one. The first six machines were donated directly to pregnancy centers in Pierce County.

Each year, he organizes a single-day bike ride, run, walk and family fun festival hosted at Point Defiance Park. The event draws over a thousand participants from across the state and raises funds for 4US. Having outgrown the confines of Point Defiance Park, this year’s event is being held at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood.

Lt. Col. Wendt’s service does not end there.  Additionally:
• He is an active member of St Patrick’s Parish, serving as a lector and member of the Knights of Columbus;
• He organized and led a 10-member team in a week long effort to renovate a neighborhood widow’s home as she prepares to put the house on the market;
• He volunteers as a substitute “Spin Instructor” at the Downtown Tacoma YMCA.

Diego is also a supportive husband to his wife Kim (a Lt. Col. in the Washington ANG), and is an engaging father of four small children.

His children are taught the importance of service:
• Each has a role in 4US from stuffing envelopes to starring in the yearly promotional videos;
• The older children help serve pancakes at the Knights of Columbus breakfasts;
• They assist in the neighborhood home renovation effort;
• They collect toys and clothing for delivery to local crisis pregnancy centers;
• and they help prepare meals for families facing difficulties.

While the Wendt family serves their nation and community year-round, they place a high priority on maintaining family values. When Diego is not deployed, the family enjoys eating dinner together and attending Mass while ensuring “pajama days” and family vacations hold equal importance on a packed schedule.

A balanced life of service to country, community and family are the reasons behind this family’s success. Lieutenant Colonel Diego Wendt’s compassion, commitment and community impact in Pierce County and beyond makes him deserving of the Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award.

About Howard O. Scott
Each year, the Citizen-Soldier Award memorializes Howard Scott who grew up in Tacoma and served the nation when called upon during World War II—as part of “America’s Greatest Generation.” He returned to succeed as a banker in Tacoma, giving of his time to community service organizations, believing and enjoying this in his belief that doing so is one's responsibility.

JBLM Gets SecDef Environmental Award

The Department of Defense has announced the winners of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards.

A panel of judges representing federal and state agencies, academia, and the public has selected the following installations, teams, and individuals as the winners of this year's awards.  Leading the list is our own:

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
for Sustainability – Non-Industrial Installation

Each year since 1962, the Secretary of Defense has honored individuals, teams, and installations for their outstanding achievements to conserve and sustain the natural and cultural resources entrusted to the Department of Defense. A ceremony honoring the 2011 winners is planned for June 8, 2011, at the Pentagon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Massing of the Colors

You are invited.

The annual Massing of the Colors ceremony is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the Memorial Stadium (next to Cowan Stadium, behind the Carey Theater) at JBLM-Main, WA.

This is a family-oriented patriotic event and is part of the 2011 Armed Forces Day. The ceremony honors patriots and organizations who have served, are serving and will serve our nation.

This free ceremony is open to the public. Vehicles with DoD stickers can enter any gate. Vehicles without DoD stickers should enter JBLM-Main through the DuPont gate at I-5 exit 119.

Parking is available just inside the DuPont gate and shuttle buses run every 10 minutes to the ceremony stadium.
If you have questions, please contact COL (Ret) Jo Swartz at 253-582-4185 or Carroll Dickson at 253-566-5870. Spread the word. Encourage attendance.

See below form if your organization wishes to participate in the ceremony.

May 21, 2011, 3:00 p.m. Memorial Stadium JBLM-Lewis Main
Complete this application and send it to:
COL Swartz, 57 Hewitt Dr., Steilacoom, WA 98388 by May 10, 2011.

Participants in the ceremony will be one US Flag Bearer and one Organizational Color or Banner Bearer. All other unit members will be spectators.

Name of organization applying:_________________________________________________.

Affiliation (i.e. US Army, USAF, GSA, VFW, etc.)_____________________________________.

Mailing address:_____________________________________________________________.

Point of Contact (POC):________________________________________________________.

POC telephone:______________________________________________________________.

POC email: __________________________________________________________________.

Youth organizations consisting primarily of members 18 and younger may compete in the Most Spectators Award. Youth organization? Yes___; Members 18 or younger ____ Over 18 _____.

Request assistance carrying US Flag ____; Organizational Color of Banner ________________.

Application submitted by__________________________________________Date__________.

Friday, April 8, 2011

No pay? What do you say?

Some things in the military never change.  This issue of "no pay" harks back to the Revolutionary War.

Yesterday's Message to the DOD Workforce on Potential Government Shutdown by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III:

“The department remains hopeful that a government shutdown will be averted. The President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the administration is working to find a solution with which all sides can agree. However, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill before our current funding expires on April 8.

"The President and the secretary know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position, and are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on our military and civilian personnel as well as our military families. As we approach the expiration of the current continuing resolution, we will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown - should it occur - will impact our military and civilian personnel.

Department of Defense (DoD) Operations During a Shutdown

“Operations and activities that are essential to safety, protection of human life, and protection of our national security, are ‘excepted’ from shutting down. The DoD will continue to conduct activities in support of our national security, including operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Japan; Libya-related support operations; and other operations and activities essential to the security of our nation. The department must also continue to provide for the safety of human life and protection of property.

“Other excepted activities will include inpatient and essential outpatient care in DoD medical treatment facilities; emergency dental care; non-appropriated funds activities such as mess halls and child care activities; certain legal activities to support ongoing litigation and legal assistance for deployed DoD personnel; contracting and logistics operations that are in support of excepted activities; certain education and training activities to include the DoD education activity schools; and financial management activities necessary to ensure the control and accountability of funds.

“In the absence of appropriations, non-excepted activities that have not already been fully funded will need to be shut down in an orderly fashion. In accordance with existing laws and regulations, I will issue more detailed guidance to the department regarding specific activities that are considered excepted or non-excepted. However, the secretary and I understand that the military departments and defense agencies and individual commanders must tailor this guidance to many different situations around the world. Therefore, should there be a government shutdown, DoD personnel will be informed through their chain of command about how a shutdown may affect them personally.

Duty Status

“Military personnel are not subject to furlough and will report for duty as normal during the shutdown. Reserve component personnel should refer to the DoD Contingency Guidance document and to their chain of command for more specific information.

“Civilian personnel deemed to be performing excepted activities will continue to work during the period of a shutdown.

“If there is a government shutdown beginning on Saturday, April 9, all DoD personnel should still report to work on their next scheduled duty day, beginning at their normal duty hours to receive additional instructions.

“Civilians will be briefed by their supervisors by Friday, April 8, as to whether their work and responsibilities fall into excepted or non-excepted status, as defined by applicable laws and regulations. Excepted status categories are outlined in the DoD Contingency Guidance document, which is being distributed through the chain of command. If their work and responsibilities are non-excepted, or if they are not needed to carry out excepted work and responsibilities, employees will be furloughed in a non-pay status. Furloughed employees may not telework or volunteer to work.

“Generally, contractors performing work on contracts funded prior to a shutdown, whether supporting excepted activities or not, may continue working and will be paid out of the obligated funds, subject to further direction from the contracting officer. New contracts, or increases in funding of existing contracts, needed to support excepted activities may be entered into during the period of a shutdown, but payments under such contracts cannot be made until Congress provides additional funding. Contract personnel should also report to work on Monday, April 11, to be briefed on their status.

Military, Civilian, and Retiree Pay

“If the government shuts down due to the absence of funding, the DoD will have no funds to pay military members or civilian employees for the days during which the government is shut down. However, both military and civilian personnel will receive pay for the period worked prior to the shutdown. Military personnel, and civilians occupying excepted status positions and required to work, are entitled to be paid for work performed during the shutdown, and will be paid retroactively once the department receives additional funding. Congress would have to provide authority in order for the department to retroactively pay non-excepted employees for the furloughed period.

“Military retirees and annuitants are not paid from annually appropriated funds, and therefore their benefits should continue without interruption.

Additional Resources

“The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind. The document can be accessed at . OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses.

“The department’s leadership will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses. Additional information regarding military and DoD civilian pay, leave, and other DoD policies applicable to a potential shutdown will be posted on the department’s main website as soon as it becomes available.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, the Department of Defense provides critical services to the American public. Your contributions touch people’s lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply I appreciate your dedication and your expertise. Our decisions concerning which functions are excepted or not excepted are based on government-wide legal, regulatory, and policy guidance as well as our best judgment on how to reconcile our national security requirements with the limitations imposed by a government shutdown. The fact that certain functions are not excepted or that certain personnel may be subject to furlough should not be taken as a statement that the secretary or I or the department do not value those functions or employees. Thank you for your continued service to the department and the nation.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WA Gains Vets Hiring Preference

With the passage of HB1432/SB5841, permitting private employers to exercise a voluntary veterans’ preference in employment, Washington will be the first state in the country to honor our veterans with this kind of employment preference.

Introduced by Representative Jay Rodne, the legislation passed the state Senate unanimously and the state House 94-4.  Championed by Hire America's Heroes, the Chamber was supportive of this legislation as part of our TEACH agenda for workforce development.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bill Passes to Governor for Military Training Credit

S5307, with Sen. Derek Kilmer as prime sponsor, has just passed the State House and is now on its way to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her approval before becoming law.

The Chamber was joined by others including DoD State Liaison Office Northwest and the Washington Defense Partnership in support of the effort to recognize appropriate military training for medical professions.  Included in this bill are:
  • denturists;
  • dispensing opticians;
  • ocularists;
  • pharmacy assistants;
  • physician assistants;
  • osteopathic physician assistants;
  • emergency medical technicians;
  • radiologic technologists;
  • nursing assistants;
  • respiratory care practitioners;
  • health care assistants;
  • surgical technologists;
  • dental assistants;
  • expanded function dental auxiliaries;
  • physical therapists; and
  • physical therapy assistants.
Our community welcomes these professionals and their skills and the health care industry looks forward to this skills workforce helping alleviate the shortage in the healthcare industry.

The legislative process:

ESSB 5307

Description: Concerning evaluating military training and experience toward meeting licensing requirements in medical professions.
Sponsors: Senators Kilmer, Hewitt, Regala, Conway, Kastama, Hobbs, King, Rockefeller, Swecker, Roach
Companion Bill: HB 1417

  • Jan 20  First reading, referred to Health & Long-Term Care.
  • Jan 24  Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care
  • Jan 27  Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care
  • Jan 28  HEA - Majority; 1st substitute bill be substituted, do pass
  •             Passed to Rules Committee for second reading
  • Feb 1   Placed on second reading by Rules Committee
  • Feb 28 1st substitute bill substituted (HEA 11)  Floor amendment(s) adopted
  •             Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading
  •             Third reading, passed; yeas, 46; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 3
  • Mar 1  First reading, referred to Health Care & Wellness
  • Mar 9  Public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness
  • Mar 16 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness
  •             HCW - Executive action taken by committee
  •             HCW - Majority; do pass
  • Mar 21 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading
  • Mar 23 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee
  • Apr 1   Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading
  •            Third reading, passed; yeas, 93; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 4