VR Habilis is finalist in contest to select best veteran run small business


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program and Knoxville, Tennessee’s Spike TV named Knoxville based environmental contractor VR Habilis LLC one of eight finalists in the Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions.

Tom Rancich of Vineyard Haven, a retired Navy SEAL is co-owner of the company he helped start with a group of retired veterans. Several years ago, VRHabilis worked in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers to locate and remove World War II era training ordnance from the beaches and waters of Martha’s Vineyard.

“We had extraordinary entries from coast-to-coast, but VR Habilis’ commitment to our nation’s veterans set itself apart,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel (ret.), executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “These eight finalists have established themselves as national leaders for other small businesses to follow. VR Habilis deserves to be recognized for its innovative strategies to recruit and support the men and women who have served our country.”

A combination of public voting and a panel of judges will narrow the group down to four semifinalists and the same format will be used to select a winner. Voting for the Final Four continues through May 16, and for the champion through May 30. Judging for the tournament is based on criteria such as innovative recruiting and retention strategies for veterans, veteran community engagement and leadership as well as an ongoing commitment to hire veterans.

For more information or to vote go to VetChampsTourney.com. Hiring Our Heroes (hiringourheroes.org) is a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment, according to a press release.