Semper K9 Board member Tisa Newhouse, with service dog Vinny accepts the 2017 Distinguished Service Award
Semper K9 Board member Tisa Newhouse, with service dog Vinny accepts the 2017 Distinguished Service Award

 Tysons, Virginia – (July 27, 2017) The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Northern Virginia Chamber), has announced the winners of the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards: Honoring Veterans, Businesses & Leaders in Greater Washington. The awards celebrate individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations for their service to veterans in the Greater Washington business community. Nominees and winners were selected by an independent committee and announced live at the July 18 awards gala at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, USA, a Partner at Patriot Strategies LLC, presented a keynote address.

“We are thrilled to announce winners of our second annual Distinguished Service Awards,” said Jim Corcoran, Northern Virginia Chamber president and CEO. “These companies are true leaders in our business community who have dedicated their time and resources to help veterans succeed.”

2017 Distinguished Service Award Winners
2017 Distinguished Service Award Winners

The Winners are:

  • Veteran Business Mentorship Award – Community Business Partnership
  • Emerging Veteran Owned Business Award– Semper K9 Assistance Dogs
  • Established Veteran Owned Business Award– Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS)

“Semper K9 was thrilled to be nominated let alone win in the ‘Veteran Owned’ category,” said Christopher Baity, Semper K9’s founder and CEO. “In the service dog provider for veterans industry, we are one of the few who are combat veteran founded and operated. This recognition means a lot to our organization and volunteers.” Baity, an OEF/OIF Marine Corps MWD/SSD handler, trainer and kennel master. He founded Semper K9 in 2014 to give back to his fellow service members while using his experience and expertise the Marine Corps taught him.

The Nominees included:

Veteran Business Mentorship Award
Honoring a company, non-profit organization, or agency that has made meaningful contributions to support, mentor, and help positively integrate veteran entrepreneurs and/or veteran-owned businesses into the community in the Greater Washington region

  • Community Business Partnership (CBP)
  • Govmates
  • IntelliDyne
  • LMI
  • MorganFranklin Consulting
  • PenFed Credit Union
  • Professional Resources Information Systems Management (PRISM)
  • Retired Military Officers Business Association
  • Semper K9 Assistance Dogs
  • Standard Communications, Inc. (SCI)
  • StreetShares, Inc.
  • Veterans Next Mission (VNM)
  • Wexler, LLC

Meritorious Veteran Owned Business Award
Honoring a successful veteran owned business in the Greater Washington region that has demonstrated positive business performance, and is poised for future success.

Emerging Business – less than three years in business

  • Blake Wilson Group, LLC
  • Dark Cubed
  • Semper K9 Assistance Dogs
  • Squirrel Pitch
  • StreetShares, Inc.
  • Veterans Next Mission (VNM)

Established Business – more than three years in business

  • AOC Solutions
  • B3 Solutions, LLC
  • Corps Solutions
  • FH + H
  • Final Salute
  • IT Concepts, Inc.
  • Knight Point Systems (KPS)
  • LMI
  • MAG Aerospace
  • RightDirection Technology Solutions and Tsymmetry
  • Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS)

dsa-logo-17Also, Jerry D. Norris, Founder and Co-owner of Battlespace, Inc, was honored with the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award for his commitment and contributions to help veterans succeed in business in the Greater Washington region. More information about the Distinguished Service Awards can be found at

About Semper K9 Assistance Dogs: Semper K9 Assistance Dogs is a combat veteran founded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides assistance dogs for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Christopher Baity, Semper K9’s Executive Director, is an OEF/OIF combat veteran Marine Corps dog trainer and kennel master with three combat deployments, one civilian deployment and two additional overseas deployments with military working dogs. To learn more about Semper K9 at and follow them on social media: @SemperK9.


About the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce: The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Northern Virginia Chamber), The Voice of Business in Northern Virginia™, is the preeminent Northern Virginia membership organization for businesses to grow through relationship building and partnership engagement throughout the Greater Washington region. 700 organizations and 500,000 employees strong, the Northern Virginia Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in Northern Virginia and has been working hand-in-hand with regional businesses, government, and academia to build a robust and innovative business community for more than 90 years. To learn more about the Northern Virginia Chamber, please visit and follow the Northern Virginia Chamber on Twitter: @NOVAChamber and @NOVAChamber_CEO.