Transition Assistance for San Antonio Military Veterans

Jack Coley meets with Mayor Ivy Taylor to discuss Military Veteran transition assistance ideas for San Antonio.

Jack introduced Force+, our Military Veteran-focused, Transition Management Platform, designed by Veterans, that enhance a community’s ability to successfully transition more military Veterans into the workforce. (more…)

Join the Movement to Remember Everyone Deployed

Join the Movement to Remember Everyone Deployed

RED Shirt Fridays

Coley joins the nationwide movement “RED Shirt Fridays” to honor, respect and support our Military.

“Participating in this national movement was suggested from our staff and everyone on the team was extremely receptive,” said Founder and President Jack Coley. “As a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), our mission focuses on supporting our Men and Women who joined the military and serve their country. (more…)

VA CVE Challenges Veteran’s Ownership in Community Property States

By Jack Coley
Coley & Associates, Inc.

SDVOSB Business Owner
[email protected]

If you are a Veteran business owner and live in a community property state, then take heed: the VA Center for Veterans Entrepreneurship (CVE) is now enforcing the law that says your spouse owns 50% of your share in any business unless your business ownership has been established as separate property or the business was established before you were married.

I encourage all Veteran business owners located in a common property state to review their situation with their attorneys and take action as appropriate to ensure they can substantiate unconditional ownership.

Here’s my story. I am the 100% shareholder of my S Corporation that I founded in 2001, I am in the office every day intimately involved in every aspect of my business. As a small business developing learning and performance solutions for the government with a special focus on helping the VA better serve Veterans, my SDVOSB status is a critical component of my company’s growth strategy. So I worked hard to ensure my corporate documents were in order, that I was in control of the company, and that I didn’t have any affiliations or agreements that would disqualify me.

Over the past three years I’ve considered myself one of the fortunate companies that had sailed through the VA’s CVE SDVOSB verification and re-verification process with little to no delay. I had been verified by CVE in 2011 and again in 2012. I had even weathered an unannounced office visit by an examiner one morning who asked to see all of the paperwork I had previously submitted and went on to ask me a number of questions to confirm my status and involvement in the company. All three events had gone smoothly. I had been quick to defend CVE to others saying that if one had their paperwork in order that the verification process could go pretty smoothly. That had been my experience—until recently.

Given that I had been verified twice and gone through an onsite, unannounced site visit by a VA examiner, you can imagine my shock when I received a Notice of Proposed Cancellation of my verified status the CVE. The letter informed me that the CVE could not confirm that I had “unconditional ownership” of 51% of my company in accordance with 38 CFR 74 because I was incorporated in Texas, a community property state and “technically” my wife owned 50% of the company. They gave me 30 days to prove otherwise or I would lose my verified status.

The letter caught me by surprise—we were in the middle of competing for a VA-solicited SDVOSB set-aside and the loss of our verified status could have been significant. I immediately shifted my time and attention to researching what all of this meant and what I needed to do to prevent my verified status from being cancelled.

Through my research I found out that the CVE actually had a document on their website about community property challenges, but for some reason had not included this in their letter and I had to find it myself. I would have been less stressed and expended less time had they simply provided a link to the additional information on the subject that they had available on their website.

I also discovered that 38 CFR 74.3(4)(f) had always required CVE to consider a spouses legal claim to ownership of a company in common property states. So why had they approved me twice before without questioning my unconditional ownership?

To prove unconditional ownership and save my verified status I needed to retain an attorney specializing in Texas Community Property laws. My attorney constructed a legal agreement separating the minimum amount of property required to show me as having an unconditional ownership of 51%. My wife and I signed it, voided my stock, reissued the stock, and then she “gifted” her stock to me to make my ownership unconditional. I submitted the agreement and stock certificates to CVE who reviewed and accepted it as proof of unconditional ownership saving my verified status until my next re-verification.

Of course there are always unintended consequences and costs associated with the enforcement of laws. In my case not only did I pay attorney fees, I also lost several weeks of momentum in my business. But the real cost of this event to my estate will come if I were to die before my wife. Under those circumstances my wife would lose the benefit of stepping up the basis value of the business to fair-market value on that portion of the business that is now separated property and will owe the IRS taxes when she assumes ownership where otherwise no taxes would have been due.

The enforcement of 38 CFR 74.3(4)(f) also brings another unintended consequence in the form of potentially increased protests. There are nine community property States, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. If one were to lose a SDVOSB set-aside bid to a company in one of the common property States, it would be reasonable to protest the SDVOSB status of the winner based on them not having 51% “unconditional” ownership. My guess is that most Veterans are unaware of this requirement and haven’t put agreements in place according to their respective State’s laws that separate their and their spouse’s property to establish unconditional ownership and support majority ownership. The complexity of such a transaction would be compounded when there are multiple Veteran owners involved.

This appears to be another case where CVE is enforcing an extreme interpretation of the law rather than considering business realities. Until such time as my death, my wife has absolutely no involvement or interest in my business making this a ridiculous exercise to say the least.

I encourage all Veteran business owners located in a common property state to 1) review their situation with their attorneys and take action as appropriate to ensure unconditional ownership before you receive the dreaded “Notice of Intent to Cancel” letter from CVE or win an award to lose it in protest; and 2) to write their congressperson asking them to put a little common sense back into the verification process.

There are Many Advantages on Hiring a Veteran

There are Many Advantages on Hiring a Veteran

Useful Recruiting Tools to Help you Find Veterans Looking for Jobs.

As a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, hiring Veterans is of primary importance for Coley GSA and we believe that they make good employees. Therefore, we would like to share some information and a number of useful recruiting tools and databases geared towards helping you find Veterans who are looking for jobs.

Top 10 Advantages to Hiring a Veteran from the These great Americans are the 1% of the population who volunteered to serve our country in time of war. Not only is hiring them a great way to say thank you for their service and sacrifice, but it also brings many benefits to your company.

Why Hire our military veterans? Here are some benefits:

Coley Supports San Antonio Family Endeavors

San Antonio, September 15, 2012 – Saturday night two of Coley’s team members dressed up and spent the evening supporting Mary Ellen Londrie, CEO of P3S Corporation, a long-time customer of Coley, in the annual San Antonio Family Endeavors charitable fundraising event, “Dancing with the Stars.”

Combined with Coley’s donation, Ms. Londrie raised over $40,000, in the Dancing with the Stars charitable fundraiser.

Coley’s CEO and President, Jack Coley, commented, “”Our company is focused on empowering others and is happy to be able to sponsor Mary Ellen’s efforts to raise money for Family Endeavors that is doing so much for the San Antonio community.”

Over the last 40 years Family Endeavors has been a catalyst for assisting and/or establishing several local community programs.  These programs are the legacy and accomplishments of Family Endeavors and include such agencies as: Habitat for Humanity-SA, Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, Ella Austin Community Center, Victoria Courts Childcare, SAMMinistries Shelter, Presa Community Services Center, Urban Alliance, and the San Antonio Food Bank.

Coley & Associates Named One of the “Best Places to Work

San Antonio, TX – May 9, 2012 –Coley & Associates has been named by San Antonio Business Journal as one of the best companies to work for in San Antonio in its 2012 “Best Places to Work” awards program. The scores are based on an evaluation of results of an independent employee survey compiled by an independent firm.

“Coley is dedicated to helping others and we start with our own employees. I believe that we have an outstanding team of exceptional employees that work hard every day to accomplish our client’s and company’s goals.” said Jack Coley, CEO. “In the current economic reality where many employers are cutting employee benefits, we are proud that we are able to continue to offer a robust benefits program that addresses our employees’ and their families’ needs.”

At Coley, “culture” isn’t just a buzzword—it defines our work ethic, strong tradition of respect, integrity, and employee development. Coley is a place where a person’s talents, contributions, and ideas are welcomed and rewarded. We pride ourselves on our culture of open communication – one in which employees know where the organization is headed, how they fit into these plans, and what’s expected of them. Best of all, our culture creates a superior work/life balance where people can plan weekend trips without fear of last minute work requirements.

Coley & Associates, an equal opportunity employer, currently has a variety of career opportunities. Opportunities are listed on Coley’s Career Portal.

About Coley & Associates
Since 2001, Coley & Associates, Inc., a San Antonio-based, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), has delivered world-class solutions and services to our corporate and government customers.

Coley CEO to Speak at the National Veterans Small Business Conference & Expo

Coley CEO to Speak at the National Veterans Small Business Conference & Expo

San Antonio, TX – May 1, 2012 – Mr. Jack Coley, President/CEO – has been invited to speak at the National Veterans Small Business Conference & Expo, being held June 26-29, 2012 in Detroit, MI. The conference is the largest nationwide event of its kind and attracts more than 1,600 attendees and over 500 exhibitors representing all levels of federal, state, and local government agencies, the small business community, large/prime contractors, minority educational institutions, and many more. (more…)

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