Sterling Heights veteran ranked one of nation's top business leaders

Sterling Heights company owner Katie Bigelow has been recognized for her business savvy at a national level. Bigelow was listed as a finalist for the Women's Veteran Business Enterprise of the Year (WVBEOY) award by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), for her role as the founder and president of Mettle Ops.

Katie Bigelow is the founder and president of MettleOps.Bigelow, whose business specializes in war-fighting research, development, and design, says she is honored to be a finalist, but is quick to point out she could not have achieved it without her staff.

"At Mettle Ops, we recognize the importance of team work," says Bigelow. "With a motto to never give up, we will continue working as a team, and continue growing."

The WVBEOY award is annually distributed to an elite group of women from the nation's 3 million U.S. military veteran business owners. To be eligible to receive the award, the nominee must be a U.S. military veteran business owner who actively runs a company and works as a supplier to private sector companies. 

"These women have such amazing stories," says Mimi Lohm, vice president of NaVOBA. "We're so proud to celebrate how they've gone from serving our country in the military to overcoming challenges to become successful business owners and employers." 

This year's WVBEOY winner is Quiana Gainey, the original founder of Secure Tech 360. Other finalists this year include Jennifer Luik form Decisions Oriented Inc., Kimberly Citizen, from Applied Development, LLC., and Wendy Perry from Catalyst Executive Advising and Development. The business leaders were honored on June 25 at the WVBEOY reception, held in conjunction with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council's (WBENC) conference. 
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Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at