John Narciso of Farmingdale Office Receives Award
The Veterans' Business Outreach Program (VBOC) at Farmingdale State College has been chosen to receive national recognition as the 2013 Veterans' Business Outreach Center of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Farmingdale is one of three SUNY campuses to house the VBOC program; the other two are in Albany and Buffalo. As lead coordinator of the program, John Narciso, of the Farmingdale office, was invited by U.S. Small Business Administrator Karen Mills to Washington, D.C. to receive the award.
John Narciso came to the Small Business Development Center at Farmingdale, which houses the VBOC, in 1994. He is a veteran himself, having served 30 years in the Navy before retiring as a Captain in 1991. "I drove ships," says Narciso of his Navy career. Narciso knows personally some of the difficulties that lie in making the transition from military to civilian life. "The biggest shock," he says, "was that people in civilian life didn't recognize the leadership and management skills that are developed in the military, or how they are transferable to the civilian world." He says public awareness has improved in recent years, but it is still difficult for many veterans to figure out and find their place in the civilian world. That's what the Veterans' Outreach office helps them do.
Narciso points out that many veterans decide to pursue their education, with the help of funding provided by the G.I. Bill. But if they think their future lies in small business – or if they already have a business but want to help it grow -- the Outreach offices of the New York Small Business Development Centers are there to help. "We take them through any steps necessary," says Narciso, "from coming up with a business idea, designing a business plan, doing the marketing study, going for a loan – whatever they need." The office provides one-on-one counseling, either in person or over the phone, and a complete panoply of services: pre-business plan workshops; business concept assessment, business plan development, comprehensive feasibility analysis; financial guidance; mentoring; getting certification; mentoring; and more – all free of charge to the veteran, as the office is underwritten by New York State and New York's Small Business Administration.
In citing the work of New York's Veterans' Business Outreach Centers, Administrator Mills praised "your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your community," which have helped them succeed. She added, "The SBA is pleased to recognize the Veterans Business Outreach Center's achievements" and their role in driving the nation's economic growth.
Narciso, a Valley Stream resident, represented New York State's VBOC Centers at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in June, during National Small Business Week. The Veterans' Business Outreach Program has existed, in its current configuration, since 1999; this is the first time this award has been given.