For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2019
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Middletown, VA. – The Laurel Ridge Small Business Development Center is proud to announce the 2019 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year Award from the Virginia Small Business Development Center (VASBDC) will be presented to its client, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran Brian Steorts. Steorts is the founder and president of Flags of Valor in Frederick County.
The award is given each year to a veteran small-business owner based on his or her contributions to the military, their business and the community. VASBC Director Jody Keenan will present the award during Laurel Ridge Community College’s annual Appreciation Luncheon April 19 on the Middletown Campus.
Steorts started Flags of Valor (www.flagsofvalor.com) after being injured during his military service. After rehabilitation, he missed wearing the flag as part of his daily attire. When he tried to order a large wooden flag for his home, he could only find ones made in China.
That’s when Steorts decided to create his small business, Flags of Valor, and provide jobs to disabled veterans who could produce beautiful wooden flags here in the United States. He moved the workshop to Frederick County two years ago. That’s when he turned to the Laurel Ridge Small Business Development Center.
“Brian is an exceptional business leader and member of our community,” says the development center’s director, Christine Kriz, who has consulted with Steorts. “His dedication to his employees and his passion for our country shine bright. We are very fortunate to have veteran small business owners like Brian to support our returning veterans!”
Steorts’s and his team’s commitment to providing a top-quality products and connecting with each customer has led to huge success. He has been featured in numerous media, including NBC News, Fox News, ABC World News, Entrepreneur and ESPN Radio.
Steorts even presented a flag to President Donald Trump, which can be seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYXCwQqAGYc&t=158s.
In addition to employing dozens of veterans, Flags of Valor has raised nearly $700,000 for veteran and first-responder charities.
Steorts is civically engaged as a member of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and as a Small Business Council Board member.
Steorts’s military awards and commendations include:
- Airman’s Medal, the highest non-combat medal
- Air Medal with 10 oak-leaf clusters for 200 combat missions
- Aerial Achievement Medal
- Air Force Commendation Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- Meritorious Unit Award with two oak-leaf clusters
- National Service Defense Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Armed Forces Services Medal
- Air Force Overseas Ribbon
- Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border and six oak-leaf clusters
- Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with two oak-leaf clusters
- Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one star
- Army Service Ribbon
- NATO Medal
- 2018 Capital One Small Business Award for Veteran and Military Spouse Employment
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.