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Veteran company trades across nation

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record staff

One year is all it took for Veterans Trading Company to stand on its feet.

"They are very new, they’ve been organized for a little over a year and they have been tremendously successful in a very short time," said Chuck Spence, the deputy director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

John Pierce, the senior vice president for Veterans Trading Company (VTC), based in Park City, said in the first quarter of last year, the company had "zero sales." By the fourth quarter, Pierce said it had 250,000 sales and this quarter he estimates 400,000.

The company specializes in three different areas, distribution and manufacturing, aviation consulting and freight/parcel services. VTC estimates adding 10 new jobs in the near future.

"There are lots of things on our plate right now," Pierce said.

VTC is a distributor of electronic components, electromechanical devices, embedded computing systems, displays, cabling and similar services. It provides integration services, contract manufacturing and quick-turn prototyping, Pierce said.

Much of its work in the manufacturing area is with government entities such as Boeing and L3 Communications, a prime contractor in command, control and communications; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. L3 Communications works with government services, mainly aircraft modernization and maintenance. L-3 is also a major provider of homeland defense products.

"They are primarily subcontractors to the large L3 Communications and they are very aggressive in their approach," Spence said.

Because VTC is a disabled veteran and a HUB zone company that wants to work with the government, The Governor’s Office of Economic Development gave them a helping hand. Recently, Spence took them to a technology trade show that included NASA.

"They came to us and we helped them get media exposure and government contracting," Spence said. "We’ve put them in touch with contacts and we’ve been impressed with the management of that company."

Part of VTC’s success comes from being a HUB zone and disabled veteran business.

"Right now, you will see the veteran disabled-owned businesses start to become more visible and in demand," Spence said. "Government agencies have goals for companies like that. It’s a popular area and segment."

Jack Climer, the president of VTC, was disabled in Vietnam. He also sees businesses, run by the disabled as a growing trend.

"There’s more pressure from the government to work with service disabled vets," Climer said. "There’s a wave of support and that’s phenomenal."

VTC also provides aviation consulting services through its connection to qualified pilots and others skilled in airfield and aircraft planning and operations. There are many flight simulators through either commercial or military use that need feedback from skilled pilots and others with experience.

VTC coordinates with pilots to come in and debug simulators and consult with the companies.

"We have a pool of pilots that we can line up with companies, "said Rudy Tessnow, operations manager for the aviation consulting branch of VTC.

Tessnow says he can hook pilots up with temporary work or full-time contracts.

"There’s a wide spectrum of aviation experts and aircraft," Tessnow said. "If you have expertise, sign up."

It is no cost for pilots to join the database. To join, pilots should go to the VTC Web-site and click on employment options.

"It’s a good way for pilots to up their income," Pierce said.

VTC also provides a range of parcel recovery, freight auditing and best-cost routing and planning services for all shipping operations.

"We do post-audit functions and 4 to 8 percent of UPS and FedEx service and delivery packages are late," said Vic Method, vice president of freight services.

Method says customers can file cash claims for anything that is even one-minute late. Some employees weigh packages wrong and have errors when shipping, which cost customers money.

VTC uses software and online reporting to identify mistakes. People who ship packages, especially various businesses can benefit from the service.

"When people use us, their overall shipping bills go down 5 to 10 percent," Method said. "It’s a non-invasive, simple, easy way to work with businesses in Utah and around the country."

Spence said he is "thrilled" to have helped VTC.

"I’ve bumped into them at trade shows and they have been very aggressive in marketing their services and products," Spence said. "They’ve expanded their products and services pretty quickly."

Spence also credited the leadership of the company for its success.

"The people we have like John (Pierce) who started as a buyer in the defense industry, any company would be fortunate to have him. He could be vice president in any company," Climer said. "Paul Costello, who worked with the Navy. Vic (Method) was a major designer with General Motors in developing OnStar. Rudy (Tessnow) worked with the Air Force and developed connections and Amber Stremke handles all the orders and shipments.

"We have quality, class-act people and it’s awe-inspiring," Climer continued. "Customers recognize that. It’s an attractive quality and a remarkable achievement."

A year ago, VTC attended the same technology trade show in Los Angeles that Spence took them to this year. The results were vastly different.

"It was absolutely fascinating in L.A.," Method said.

Method said in the previous show, people were interested in their ideas but didn’t want to conduct business. This year, after building a resume, large national companies were asking them how they can work together.

"Now we’re doing work with Fortune 500 companies, this is kind of different," Method said.

"Here we are," Climer said, "a small business that started here in a resort town and have grown to the point that has such a dynamic reach."

For more information on Veterans Trading Company, call 649-4566, e-mail or visit http://www.veteranstrading.com.


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