Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Benjamin C. Pablo for receiving the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2012 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award. Ben is a United States Army veteran who served for 22 years, and is currently the Vice President and Community Development Officer at the Bank of Guam, where he is fondly referred to as its ``veteran ambassador.''
Ben has worked to create educational opportunities for veterans and servicemembers interested in simplifying their finances or opening up a small business. Most notably, in 2010, he helped establish the Guam Veterans Business Outreach Center, which provides resources and training workshops to veterans. Through the outreach center, Ben consults with local veterans on credit and lending criteria and also shares his expertise in creating and developing a successful business plan. Further, Ben helped secure the Bank of Guam's ability to administer SBA Patriot Express Loans to assist veteran clients and members of the military community in creating or expanding their small business.
Additionally, Ben devotes his time to participating in community service activities and civic organizations. He played an instrumental role in helping the Vietnam Veterans of Guam Chapter 668 in obtaining donations from the bank and other organizations to construct the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Walls, to memorialize the servicemembers from Guam killed during the Vietnam War. He also serves as the treasurer for Catholic Social Services (CSS) on Guam, and has been a board member for seven years. CSS is a nonprofit organization that provides numerous services to Guam's most vulnerable residents, including many veterans.
I commend Mr. Benjamin C. Pablo for working to improve veterans' business opportunities on Guam and for being SBA's Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for 2012. I join our island in thanking him for his service to our country, and for his dedication to sharing his financial expertise with our veteran community on Guam.
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