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Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas hires new outreach specialist

In new role, Sanzone will assist veterans and their spouses with starting, expanding small businesses

Doug Sanzone

The Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas (VBOC) proudly welcomes Douglas Sanzone as the new Veteran Business Outreach Specialist, providing training and advising services to veterans and their spouses looking to start and operate a small business.

Sanzone brings extensive experience to his role, with a diverse background including owning a chef-operated restaurant and overseeing operations at an online institutional brokerage firm. From hands-on roles such as truck driving to overseeing the development of advanced technological products, Sanzone’s experiences have shaped his understanding of business. He holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Buffalo, reinforcing his strategic approach to business ventures.

“Embracing the wealth of knowledge and diverse expertise that Doug brings to our program is truly exciting,” said VBOC Director, Julie Hinker. “His unique journey of business ownership reflects a multifaceted understanding of entrepreneurship. We look forward to Doug’s contributions as the new Veteran Business Outreach Specialist, guiding veterans, and their spouses in the pursuit of successful small businesses in North and South Dakota.”

As the Veterans Business Outreach Specialist, Sanzone will provide comprehensive training and advising services to veterans interested in starting or expanding their small businesses. These services, offered through workshops and one-on-one appointments, come at no cost to veterans and their spouses. While Sanzone offices out of the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota, VBOC services are available throughout North and South Dakota.

“With Doug on board, our veterans and military community now have a valuable resource to guide them on their entrepreneurial path. He will play a vital role in ensuring the seamless delivery of these services to our veteran community,” said Hinker. “I am excited about the positive impact he will bring to help them successfully launch and grow their small businesses.”

VBOC of the Dakotas is committed to providing veterans with the resources and support they need to succeed in entrepreneurship. Through tailored training, expert guidance, and ongoing mentorship, the program aims to enable veterans to establish business and enhance the economic well-being of the region.

VBOC of the Dakotas, funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, is part of the Center for Business Engagement & Development in the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. The program works closely with the other programs in that department, the North Dakota Small Business Development Center and the North Dakota APEX Accelerator.

For more information about VBOC of the Dakotas and the services offered to veterans, call 701.738.4850, email, visit our website,, or find us on social media (Facebook, X, and LinkedIn).

Media contacts:

Tiffany Ford, director of the Center for Business Engagement and Development, 701.777.8700,

Julie Hinker, VBOC director,