ALEXANDRIA, VA – Photographer Laura Hatcher is the 2021 Veteran of the Year, an honor bestowed last week by the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.
At the same time, Hatcher was recognized as the runner-up for the Statewide Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year award. The State award recognizes veteran business owners who have made a significant difference in their communities by promoting a sense of duty, volunteerism, and an appreciation of country, democracy, and freedom.
Hatcher has photographed many local and regional events and specializes in professional headshots taken in her Lee Street studio in Old Town. Her many volunteer activities include mentoring military veterans and spouses on transitioning from military to civilian life and employment and on starting small businesses. She has donated more than 100 professional headshots to veterans entering the civilian job market.
Hatcher, a Navy veteran, launched her SWaM-certified business in the City of Alexandria four years ago. (The Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) certification program is a state program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose is to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM businesses participating in state-funded projects.)
Hatcher also won the 2021 Trailblazer Award from the Women Program Office of the Virginia Department of Veteran Affairs, which recognizes creativity, vision, courage, commitment, and tenacity in advocating for and creating changes to improve the quality of life for Virginia’s women veterans.