Marylyn Harris, a 2010 graduate of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and 2011 graduate of Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) programs operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 2013 Houston (Texas) District Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year. Harris is recognized for her contributions to the prosperity of the nation’s economy and will be honored at the annual Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 30 in Houston. Additionally, Harris will have the opportunity to advance further in SBA competition at the regional level.
In March 2013, the White House honored Harris as a Champion of Change for providing exemplary leadership and advocacy for the veteran community in a variety of areas. She was nominated by IVMF executive director and founder Mike Haynie due to her commitment to the veteran community, unwavering support of the IVMF’s V-WISE program (the first of its kind to specifically empower women veterans, spouses and service members through business ownership and success as a small business owner.
Harris is a former U.S. Army nurse and disabled war veteran who founded the Women Veterans Business Center (WVBC) in Houston, where she educates and empowers women veterans and military families to start and grow veteran-owned businesses. Harris actively travels the country advocating for active duty service members, veterans and military families. In addition to the WVBC, Harris founded Harrland Healthcare Consulting in 2006 to provide staffing, training and administrative services to businesses. Harris also serves as a national “ambassador” for V-WISE.
“The entire IVMF family is proud of Marylyn’s accomplishments as a veteran small business owner. We are thrilled for her recognition by the SBA for her contributions to the small business community and unwavering commitment and passion empowering her fellow veterans to pursue entrepreneurship as a post-service career,” says Haynie.