The University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development has presented its annual Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year award to Dr. Sharon Kelley, owner of P Cubed Consulting LLC.

Kelley, a Stafford County resident, formed her defense contracting company in 2014 after retiring from the Marine Corps. It specializes in cybersecurity and logistics management.

Besides running her successful business, Kelley gives back to veterans by conducting workshops on entering the civilian workforce and mentoring veterans with mental and financial crises. She also helps other small business owners develop business structures and identify resources.

In the community, she helps young people learn trade and technical skills and understand entrepreneurship. She’s active with the Cinderella Experience, aiding young women to choose outfits and accessories for special events.

Kelley is on the boards of several organizations helping homeless and underserved populations, including Watchman Ministries Inc., Propulsion Circle Inc., FailSafe ERA, the Transition Place and the Resting Place.

After Kelley became a client of the Center for Economic Development in 2016, “It quickly became apparent that she had much to offer that would benefit other clients,” said Susan Ball, director of the UMW Small Business Development Center.

“We invited her to be a speaker for one of our seminars. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” Ball said. “Since then, she has frequently spoken to our clients, and the comments we hear most often are that we should give her more time to speak because she has so much great information to share.”

Joel Griffin, chair of the Stafford County Economic Development Authority, added his congratulations to Kelley. “Stafford County is proud to have businesses and community leaders like Sharon making an impact not only professionally in the defense contracting and cybersecurity industry but leading community support efforts in education, mentorship, and volunteering time and resources to those in need of food, clothes and shelter,” he said.

Besides presenting the Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year award, the Center for Economic Development helped inaugurate the Boots to Business program launched in 2012 and has partnered with Stafford County Economic Development for the past six years to host Veteran Business Bootcamps.