Richard Coffel Tapped For Director Of New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center

New VBOC Director Richard Coffel

ALBUQUERQUE — Richard Coffel has been named director of the New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).

Coffel had been serving as the VBOC Veterans’ Business advisor since his hiring in March 2014. As director, he will lead the veterans’ business development division of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, which in April was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the nation’s best VBOC at the SBA’s annual Small Business Week luncheon in Washington, D.C.

He replaces Joseph L. Long, who retired Dec. 23 after serving five years as VBOC director.

Coffel has a strong business and business development background. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and has owned and managed several small businesses with his wife. Prior to his hiring at the VBOC, Coffel was a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist with the New Mexico Workforce Connection, helping disabled veterans find employment.

He also brings a strong military background to his new position, having served 26-years with the United States Air Force—including combat action during the Vietnam War, 18 years in the Pacific region, and service with military’s Special Operations community.

According to NMDVS Secretary Jack Fox, Coffel was selected after an intensive search, which drew applications from several dozen excellent candidates.

“We are pleased to announce that Rich emerged as the finalist for the VBOC Director’s position,” Secretary Fox said. “His excellent work with entrepreneurial-minded veterans was instrumental in helping New Mexico’s VBOC to be recognized as the top center in the nation by the SBA. I am confident that Rich will build on the great foundation already in place and will lead us to new levels of excellence.”

The New Mexico Veterans’ Business Outreach Center

The New Mexico Veterans’ Business Outreach Center (VBOC) was created by the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services to help entrepreneurial-minded veterans start or expand a small business. It was the first state-managed center in the nation created specifically to help veterans.

The VBOC is funded through a grant issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is managed by the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services. It is located in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights but provides service to any veteran statewide.

For more information about the VBOC, contact Rich Coffel at 505.383.2402 or richardl.coffel@state.nm.us.

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