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7th Annual Business Conference for Military Community Operation Start Up & Grow Features Speakers and Award Winners

Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Cathy Pokines 315-471-9393 x 241

March 14 Registration Deadline Approaching

SYRACUSE, NY- Veterans and active members of the military interested in starting their own business or growing their existing business are invited to register by March 14th for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7th Annual Business Conference for the Military Community, Operation: Start Up & Grow.

The conference is Thursday, March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Gordon Student Center Onondaga Community College. Veteran entrepreneur Lee Buttolph will present the keynote address at the half-day event. Veteran entrepreneur Jerry Garritillo will be featured during the luncheon interview.

  • Lee Buttolph- USMC Veteran, Buttolph Lumber Co.

    Buttolph Lumber Co., Inc. is a wholesale lumber company that sells to retail lumber yards within a 150 mile radius of Syracuse. Buttolph Lumber sells commodity lumber, plywood, OSB, insulation and Eastern white pine to all of the small mom and pop retail lumber companies that dot every community. The company was started by John "Lute" Buttolph in 1967 and is a family owned business in its third generation. The current owner, Lee Buttolph purchased the business in 2010. Since then the lumber company has moved to a new location in Phoenix, NY and has doubled in size.

  • Jerry Garritillo- USAF Veteran, The Garritillo Agency

    A Brooklyn, NY native, Jerry Garritillo took a winding path to business ownership after retiring from his 20 year career in the Air Force, ultimately becoming an independent insurance agent specializing in Medicare coverage in New York State. After a rocky start, he discovered and completed the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veteran’s with Disabilities in 2008, which gave him the tools needed to create The Garritillo Agency. Since achieving success in his business, Jerry is determined to help those who have served and devotes much of his time to helping other veterans.

In addition to the featured speakers, business financing, marketing, and government contracting workshops will be offered at no cost. Veterans will also have the opportunity to network with exhibitors from over 30 different agencies and organizations that provide veteran business programs and services.

The free conference features speakers, workshops, networking and exhibitors, and is open to individuals with prior or current U.S. military service, including veterans, active duty, reservists and National Guard members. Online registration is available by visiting Contact the SBA to register by phone at 315-471-9393 or e-mail

The conference is sponsored by the Falcone Center at Syracuse University, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, New York Business Development Corporation, Onondaga Community College, Onondaga Small Business Development Center, Syracuse SCORE, Tech Garden, U.S. Small Business Administration and the WISE Women’s Business Center.

Complete event details and agenda are available online at

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