Troy aerospace firm wins Tully Rinckey award

United Aircraft Technologies of Troy won first place in the business plan competition at this year’s Veterans in Economic Transition Conference organized by the Tully Rinckey Foundation, the charitable arm of the Tully Rinckey law firm.

The conference took place Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Colonie.

Renssealer Polytechnic Institute graduate Daryian Rhysing, an Army and Navy veteran, is executive chairman of United Aircraft Technologies.

I should have thought to count the number of times Amy Amoroso peppered her talk with the word “free.”

No matter, it was a lot.

Amoroso, based in Watervliet, is director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Veteran Business Outreach Center for a federal region that covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She described as “predominantly free” the many programs she has contact with that offer information and assistance to former service members looking to start or grow a business.

Her audience, numbering two dozen or so, was at one of the break-out sessions held earlier this week as part of VetCon 2018, the annual two-day business-opportunity conference for veterans organized by Colonie law firm Tully Rinckey and its charitable arm, the Tully Rinckey Foundation.

The event, part trade show and part concurrent seminars (with ample networking available, too), is billed as offering an assist to veterans as they transition back into civilian life as employees or entrepreneurs. This year’s sold-out conference drew participants from across the state.

I asked to sit in on Amoroso’s session after reading a report this month from the Small Business Administration and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that suggested veteran-owned businesses were having more trouble accessing capital than those operated by non-veterans.

The report was based on the 2017 results of a yearly survey done by Federal Reserve banks across the country that collects data on small-business financing needs and borrowing experiences.

The results indicated that veteran-owned businesses seeking financing – loans, lines of credit and cash advances – were more likely than their non-veteran counterparts to get less than they asked for. Their approval rate for loans from the top three sources of credit – large banks, small banks and online lenders – also was lower than for non-veteran applicants, the report said.

The differences may be explained by the smaller loan amounts sought by veterans (sometimes regarded as too low by banks for the paperwork costs involved), or by veterans’ insufficient credit history or available collateral (the result of frequent moves and overseas assignments), according to the report.

While the report was not mentioned in Amoroso’s lively session, her walk through programs offered by her group and others (“It’s free!” she kept interjecting) illustrated one of its “forward thoughts”: that “spreading awareness of all the organizations that exist to help veteran entrepreneurs will go a long way to addressing [capital access] problems.”

“Veterans get credit for defending our freedom, and now we know that they need more credit for their businesses,” the report concluded.

Business census data from 2012, the latest numbers available, show the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area with 6,100 veteran-owned firms, New York with 137,000, and the U.S. with 2.5 million. That put veteran-owned firms at more than 10 percent of all firms counted that year.

Marlene Kennedy is a freelance columnist. Opinions expressed in her column are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. Reach her at marlenejkennedy@gmail.com.

September 7, 2017 – Albany, N.Y. – After a highly successful debut last year, the Veterans in Economic Transition Conference (VETCON) returns to Albany’s Desmond Hotel Nov. 28 and 29, 2017.

Last year’s event brought together public and private businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and New York State agencies for two days of hands-on workshops and networking opportunities. Over 100 Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBs) and more than 130 state agency and authority personnel participated in the inaugural conference and job fair.

This year’s VETCON will feature speakers of national notoriety serving as mentors during seminar sessions. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in valuable hands-on workshops designed specifically for them, in addition to taking part in numerous informational and networking sessions with businesses, organizations and state agency purchasing personnel. Practical workshops will include information about how to certify a veteran-owned business and obtain federal and state contract set asides, proposal and business plan writing, business fundamentals, and matchmaking between entrepreneurial business and government agencies. Funds raised after cost of the conference has been paid for will be donated toward the advancement of veterans’ services.

“No group is more worthy of support than our veterans who are transitioning from service. Our goal of this conference is to utilize local and national business leaders, non-profit organizations, state and federal government to provide veterans with the tools that they need to be successful in their businesses or careers,” said Greg T. Rinckey, Esq., a founding partner with the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC, which is sponsoring and underwriting the event.

For more information, visit www.VetConNY.com or contact Kelsey Knutsen at (518) 218-7100 or .


The VETCON Alliance is meant to aid veterans facing socio-economic hardships, and promote growth through education, entrepreneurship and employment. In order to achieve this purpose the alliance will provide indispensable resources to veterans at VETCON, and through future endeavors.

Unprecedented Veterans in Economic Transition Conference (VETCON) coming to the Capital Region next week.

VETCON is the first of its kind in Albany’s Capital Region and will provide support, advice, and direction to startups and existing businesses owned by veterans, as well as veterans (re)entering the workforce. The Job Fair, taking place on day two of the conference, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 1:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to all veterans or current military personnel.

The VETCON Job Fair has been organized specifically for veterans seeking employment. Participating companies include over 15 local and national businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations, all eagerly seeking to hire veterans. Veterans are encouraged to bring several, updated copies of their resume for distribution.

Current companies participating in the Job Fair include: Tully Rinckey PLLC, Berkshire Bank, PepsiCo., FedEx, Target, Integra Optics, Time Warner Cable, Social Security Administration, Global Foundries, New York State Department of Labor, W.B. Mason, Living Resources, AccuStaff, and more.

VETCON is an unprecedented collection of public and private businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and government agencies collaborating for an extremely worthy cause. The conference will include interactive seminars, informative keynotes, matchmaking sessions with NYS purchasing agencies, and opportunities to network with presenters of national renown who will be serving as mentors during seminar sessions.

The conference will be held at the Desmond, Hotel in Albany, NY. Registration for the full two-day conference is still open and tickets are $100 per day. Veterans may attend the VETCON Job Fair for free on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

For more information about all of VETCON’s speakers and a full list of conference workshops, visit www.VetConNY.com or contact Marcy Velte at (518) 218-7100 or info@VetConNY.com.

Mario D. Cometti, Esq. sits down with LOOKTV

Join Look TV as we sit down with Mario Cometti of VETCON. We discuss the importance of helping our veterans get back into the workforce. VETCON is a conference helping veterans transition into their future professional careers. Please visit www.vetconny.com for more information and how YOU can get involved.

Veterans in Economic Transition Conference promotes new opportunities and growth for veterans through education, entrepreneurship and employment.
Oct. 14, 2016 – Albany, N.Y. –The Veterans in Economic Transition Conference is proud to announce the speakers for its 2016 event to be held on Oct. 24-25, 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY.

VETCON is an unprecedented collection of public and private businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations and government agencies gathering together for a worthy initiative. The event will provide support, advice and direction to startups and existing businesses owned by veterans. It will also include networking opportunities with speakers of national notoriety serving as mentors during seminar sessions.

Keynote speaker: Paisley Demby

Paisley Demby is the Business Services Director with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative. He is responsible for the training and development of over 12,000 business owners. Mr. Demby, who is a renowned CEO trainer, will share with the audience how to create exceptional business growth by taking action in the areas of business strategy, leadership, marketing, and finance.

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PBN Consulting, LLC., Mr. Demby is recognized for his work in business and economic development. With nearly 25 years of finance and strategic management experience, he has been employed by such renowned firms as IBM, General Motors, Westinghouse, JP Morgan, Synergie Capital Group, The May Davis Group, and Andersen Consulting, LLP. Mr. Demby holds an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School of Business, and a BA in Engineering and Economics from Brown University.

Mr. Demby will be speaking during the Keynote Lunch session on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 12-1:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker: Justin Constantine

Justin Constantine is a former United States Marine who was severely injured while serving in Iraq. He has since become a widely-acclaimed leadership consultant and inspirational speaker, who at the conference will share with attendees invaluable lessons about leadership, and overcoming personal and professional adversity through determination and perseverance. His speech will serve to invigorate business owners and employees alike.

Mr. Constantine volunteered for deployment to Iraq in 2006, and served as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion. While on a routine combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper. Although the original prognosis was that he had been killed in action, Justin survived. While on active duty, he had served as a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps. Upon recovering from his injuries, he continued to serve in the Federal government in a number of attorney positions, including the Department of Justice, Capitol Hill and most recently with the FBI on a counter terrorism team.

Mr. Constantine will be speaking during the first day’s lunch session on Monday, Oct. 24 from 12-1:30 p.m.

Additional speakers:

The conference will be opened on Monday by Tully Rinckey PLLC Founding Partner Greg Rinckey, with firm Partner and VETCON Alliance Chairman Mario Cometti. The conference was conceived and developed by Tully Rinckey PLLC with the goal to assist veterans as they transition from service to civilian life. Mr. Rinckey and Mr. Cometti will highlight the features of the first annual Veterans in Economic Transition Conference, which will include a meet-and-greet room staffed by Tully Rinckey attorneys, interactive workshops, various business booths, and a free job fair.

Tuesday will be opened by Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at University at Albany Darrell Wheeler, who will highlight various features and opportunities of VETCON’s second day. He will focus on educational opportunities available to veterans, and speak about University at Albany’s commitment to helping veterans gain access to the educational resources needed to jumpstart their civilian careers. All other speakers can be found on the VETCON website.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to take part in valuable hands-on workshops designed specifically for them, in addition to participating in numerous informational sessions with businesses, organizations and more than 30 different New York state purchasing agencies. Practical workshops will include information about how to certify a veteran-owned business and obtain federal and state contract set asides, business plan writing and business fundamentals.

Registration for the conference is $100 per day and is now open. Veterans may attend the event’s job fair for free on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 1:45- 4 p.m.

VETCON Now Accepting Submissions for Business Plan Competition
Winners will be awarded with in-kind legal, financial, and consulting services.

September 19, 2016- Albany, N.Y.- Today, The Veterans in Economic Transition Conference (VETCON) announced that it will begin accepting submissions for their first-ever Business Plan Competition. The Business Plan Competition will provide professional and financial support to veterans who are considering starting a company or currently have an early stage venture. The Veterans in Economic Transition Conference will be held on Oct. 24 and 25, 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY.

“We’re eager to assist Veteran business owners and aspiring owners develop the best plan possible so that they are on the right track for success,” said Scott DeMarco, VETCON Alliance member and organizer of the competition. “We’re helping Veterans ignite their entrepreneurial spirit, and giving them tools to overcome obstacles that might otherwise keep them from achieving their mission.”

Interested Veterans should visit http://www.vetconny.com to learn more about the Business Plan Competition. All business plans should be submitted to Scott DeMarco at sdemarco@bstco.com by October 3, 2016

Important Dates:

  • Oct. 3 – All participants must submit their applications and executive summaries.
  • Oct.  15– Three teams will be notified that they will present at VETCON.
  • Oct.  20– The three presenting teams must submit content for their 15-minute presentations.
  • Oct.  24 – Finalists present their plans at VETCON 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY.
  • Oct.  25– First, second and third place winners announced at VETCON 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY

“VETCON will offer Veteran Business owners the opportunity to hear from expert panelist, attend workshops, and network with other Veterans,” said Mario Cometti, Chairman of the VETCON Alliance. “We want to work with our Veterans to provide them with the resources they need to be successful. We’re committed to giving back to these Veterans who have already made sacrifices for us.”

This conference is the first of its kind in the Capital Region to help veterans as they make transitions into their future professional careers. It is an unprecedented collection of public and private businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and government agencies gathering together for a worthy initiative.

ABOUT VETCON: The VETCON Alliance is meant to aid veterans facing socio-economic hardships, and promote growth through education, entrepreneurship and employment. In order to achieve this purpose, the alliance will provide indispensable resources to veterans at VETCON, and through future endeavors.

Veterans in Economic Transition Conference promotes new opportunities and growth for veterans through
education, entrepreneurship and employment.

Aug. 11, 2016 – Albany, N.Y. – A first of its kind conference in the Capital Region will be held to help veterans as they transition into their future professional careers. The Veterans in Economic Transition Conference (VETCON) is an unprecedented collection of public and private businesses, non-profit and for-profit organizations and government agencies gathering together for a worthy initiative.

VETCON will be held on Oct. 24-25, 2016 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY. The event will provide support, advice and direction to startups and existing businesses owned by veterans. It will also include networking opportunities with speakers of national notoriety serving as mentors during seminar sessions.  It is the goal of the conference to assist current or future veteran business owners, assist veterans to find employment and provide educational resources for those who are transitioning their lives or careers.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to take part in valuable hands-on workshops designed specifically for them, in addition to participating in numerous informational and networking sessions with businesses, organizations and New York state agency purchasing personnel. Practical workshops will include information about how to certify a veteran owned business and obtain federal and state contract set asides, proposal and business plan writing, business fundamentals, and matchmaking between entrepreneurial businesses and government agencies. Funds that are raised after cost of the conference has been paid for will be donated toward the advancement of veteran’s services.

Present sponsors for the event include Tully Rinckey PLLC, Berkshire Bank, the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership, the Michael R. McNulty Center for Veteran Entrepreneurial Activity, BBL Construction and Rose & Kiernan Insurance Agency.

“No group is more worthy of support than our veterans who are transitioning from service. Our goal of this conference is to utilize local and national business leaders, non-profit organizations, state and federal government to provide veterans with the tools that they need to be successful in their businesses or careers” said Greg T. Rinckey, Esq., a founding partner with the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC, which is sponsoring and underwriting the event. “This conference will be the first of its kind in the Capital Region and we are very pleased with the level of support that we have received so far to make this event possible.”

“Veterans have already given so much to us through their service to this country,” said former congressman Michael McNulty, who helped found the Michael R. McNulty Center for Veteran Entrepreneurial Activity. “It is now our responsibility to ensure that when they return, they are able to transition back into their civilian lives. VETCON will be an excellent starting point for veterans looking for a new career or new business opportunities.”

“The Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership prides itself on helping veterans pivot into new career opportunities,” said Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership president Peter Gannon. “Businesses aren’t always sure how to utilize the vast number of skills veterans have. VetCon is an opportunity for veterans who want to start or grow a business and connect them with the companies that will learn there is no more reliable partner in business than a United States veteran.”

The conference was conceived and developed by Tully Rinckey PLLC. The firm is working with an alliance that includes the New York State Office of General Services Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development Division, the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership, the Michael R. McNulty Center for Veteran Entrepreneurial Activity, Service to the Armed Forces Program of the American Red Cross of Eastern New York, Living Resources, SaxBST LLP, University at Albany’s Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises, University at Albany’s Division of Research, Direct Impact Associates LLC, Sandler Training, and Gramercy Communications.

Registration prior to Aug. 31, 2016 is $100 per day and attendees may begin registering now. Fees increase to $150 per day starting in September.