What is a VBOC?
The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veteran Business Development and is directed by the Small Business Act (Title 15 U.S.C. sec 637 (b)) to participate in the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program.
The Southern California (SoCal) VBOC coordinates and facilitates the Boots to Business program held at Vandenberg AFB, Edwards AFB, Fort Irwin, Los Angeles AFB, Naval Base Ventura, Twentynine Palms, Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Naval Station San Diego and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar military bases. These programs are taught by staff members of SoCal VBOC and the SBA District Offices along with staff from SBA Resource Partners (SDBC, SCORE, WBC).
There are 22 VBOCs around the country, with two locations in California – one in Sacramento and the other at MiraCosta Community College District in Carlsbad, California.
The SoCal VBOC opened in 2016 and serves transitioning service members, Guard, Reserve, Veterans of all eras and military-connected family members in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Meet Your Director – Hazel Beck
As Director of the SoCal Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), Hazel is responsible for the overall management of the VBOC, ensuring that business development services are provided to transitioning active duty service members, Guard, Reserve, Veterans and military-connected family members.
Before joining the SoCal VBOC, Hazel served as the Director of the VBOC in Chicago and as the Center Director for the Hawai’i Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located in Kailua Kona on Hawaii Island providing a range of business consulting services to aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up companies and existing businesses.
Hazel is a Veteran of the United States NAVY and holds a B.A. in Business Management, cum laude, from Hiram College. She has owned and managed three consulting companies from 1990 through 2006. With over 16 years of consulting experience, she worked with global manufacturing clients and their Tier 1 suppliers in North America, the UK and Western Europe to increase collaboration throughout supply chains, improve manufacturing processes and reduce costs. Major clients included Ford Motor Company, Rolls-Royce Aerospace and Lucent Technologies.
Meet Your Associate Director – Keli Anthis
Keli Benham-Anthis is the Associate Director for the SoCal Veterans Business Outreach Center. She is a progressive-minded professional with more than 20 years of combined experience in education, small business development, economic development, civic and non-profit management, workshop curriculum development and presentation, hospitality and tourism, project coordination and community outreach.
Her passion is assisting veteran entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses through marketing, business plans and access to capital. Keli received her MBA from Cal State University Chico.
Meet Your Business Consultant – Mike Sabellico
Mike Sabellico is part-time business consultant with the SoCal VBOC. He is a versatile executive management professional and has over 30 years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing multi-million dollar budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes. He is a twenty year Veteran of the US Coast Guard with several Command Cadre tours. During his time with the Coast Guard, he gained a significant amount of experience in Maritime and Emergency Response, ranging from Search and Rescue and Maritime counter smuggling efforts to hurricane and natural disaster response. After leaving the Coast Guard, he managed a robust business development program for a San Diego based defense contractor with offices throughout the US. He left that company in 2010 to launch Vanguard Global Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, and specialized business consulting focusing on marketing, growth strategy, certifications, and sales.
Meet Your Boots to Business Facilitator – Ashley Lambeth
Ashley Lambeth Christian is currently a SoCal VBOC Boots to Business Facilitator and Associate Faculty at Miracosta Community College. She teaches entrepreneurship, feasibility studies, business plan development, and business law. She obtained a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Strategy.
Ashley has launched multiple business ventures ranging from women’s clothing to real estate investment. Her career has included leadership roles in hospitality, education, construction and over a decade of public speaking and training experience. Ashley feels privileged and honored to be able to serve this great nation’s service members and their families as they begin or expand their business ventures!
Meet Your Boots to Business Facilitator – Peter Ovwiovwio
Peter Ovwiovwio is an Associate Faculty of Business at MiraCosta Community College and Palomar College. As an Associate Faculty, Peter teaches Introduction to Business, Business Statistics and Introduction to Supply Chain Management. Peter has created, grown and sold two small businesses and currently owns two national franchises.
Peter is a Veteran of the United States Navy and holds a BSc in Business Management, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from Colorado Technical University. In addition, Peter has a master’s degree in Supply Chain Management from University of San Diego and a Doctorate in Business with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. As a certified college instructor and an industry practitioner, Peter has strong expertise in entrepreneurship, business creation strategies and effective cost management methodologies.