The Institute welcomes VR Small as an Associate. Ms. Small supports the business community via WINGS and as a Certified SCORE Mentor. She continually focuses her energy on developing innovative programs for women, veterans and small business owners—turning visions into realities as the Founder and Executive Director for the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC): a national initiative that has broken ground in southern Dallas as the first of many VWECs projected for Texas and our nation.
Ms. Small’s former positions include President and Chief Executive Officer, Small Industries Organizational Success Strategies (SIOSS), Founder and Executive Director for the Brooklyn Executive Business Women’s Association (BEBWA), Director of the Center for Healthy Living at Long Island University and more than ten years as an adjunct professor specializing in psychology, organizational development and management of human service agencies. VR’s expertise in building strategic alliances and providing innovative technical assistance spans nearly 20 years, illustrating a vibrant history of success helping individuals, nonprofits, businesses and associations access the resources they need to succeed.
A dynamic advocate for women veterans, VR testified in support of the original House Bill to make June 12, Women Veterans Day in Texas and organized a celebration of the 2017 signing of the Bill supported by women veterans across the region. She chaired the 2018 Dallas Planning Committee coordinating events around the city in recognition of the first official Women Veterans Day in the State of Texas, which also celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the 1948 Women Armed Services Integration Act. And in collaboration with the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, the VWEC has launched the “Moments that Matter” research project, the first local survey focused exclusively on women veteran-owned businesses in the DFW area.
Committed to advocacy for women and small businesses, VR serves on the Advisory Committee for TWU Center for Women Entrepreneurs. Ms. Small is a SMU, Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity—Inclusive Economy, Dallas Public Voices 2019, and Bush Institute Stand to Veteran Leadership Program Fellow and featured in Dallas Innovates: The Future 50. Actively involved in veteran support, she continues to serve on the 30th Congressional District Veteran Advisory Committee, Representative Neave’s Sexual Violence Task Force and support the efforts of various local veteran coalitions and service organizations. Ms. Small chaired the Veteran Business Subcommittee for the City of Dallas, Office of Business Diversity and was the 2017 VP for Veteran Affairs with SCORE Dallas. Most importantly, VR is a U.S. Navy Veteran, proud stepdaughter and sister to U.S. Army Retired Vietnam & Iraq Veterans respectively!