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Photo Caption: Tracey Wood

Janunuary 9, 2014
By
Titus Ledbetter III, Belvoir Eagle
Source: www.army.mil

The South Fairfax Development Corporation sponsors a free business start-up roundtable Jan. 10 and a former Fort Belvoir resident will be a guest speaker.

The event will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Springhill Suites on 6065 Richmond Highway in Alexandria. Tracey Wood, wife of a retired Soldier and founder of capture management firm Inkwell Duck, Inc., would like to help military spouses start their own businesses. The other roundtable speakers are Sonja Caison, a former Wall Street executive and Vik Patel, a hospitality entrepreneur.

Lindsey Doane, marketing and communications manager for SFDC, said coffee and other light breakfast items will be provided at the event.

"We hope that people will make a lot of connections with other people interested in having their small business thrive, and they come away with new tools and a fresh outlook on how to get their business running in 2014," she said.

SFDC officials are looking forward to seeing members of the military community at the event, Doane said. The organization wanted to promote small business development in Fairfax County and encourage local small business owners to get to know each other.

Wood was appointed as an at-large commissioner for the Fairfax County Small Business Commission in July. It was created by the board of supervisors, and provides advice to county officials about small business matters.

"American military Families sacrifice a lot for the good of our nation," Wood said. "For some of these Families, the American dream is owning a business. I enjoy sharing my business knowledge and directing our military Families to the enormous amount of free community resources to help them pursue business ownership."

The Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander must provide approval for anyone who would like to operate a business on post, Wood said. That is just one of the unique challenges of running a business on the installation.

Wood knows a lot of information that can help those in the military community who would like to own their own business. She plans to speak about starting a business, staying in business and what it takes to be successful during the roundtable.

"Military Families are big contributors to our societal success as a nation," Wood said. "Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than to see military Families winning at the ultimate American dream -- business success."

People are asked to register for the roundtable by emailing Edythe Kelleher, executive director for SFDC, at edythe.kelleher@sfdc.org, but walk-ins will be admitted. They can also contact Kelleher for more information about the event.