Tim Barone, the CEO of Phoenix-based Vantage Mobility International (VMI), will be honored by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for outstanding contributions in support of the military community. The MOAA will present Barone with its prestigious Distinguished Service Award at an April 17 ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Only one other company, Starbucks, has also been selected to win a 2018 award.

The award recognizes organizations, who are not in Congress, but who have greatly aided people who served in the U.S. armed forces. Barone is being recognized for VMI’s work helping thousands of disabled veterans achieve independence and mobility through the company’s line of wheelchair accessible vehicles. “Tim Barone and Vantage Mobility International are helping wounded service members reclaim independence,” said MOAA President and CEO retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins. “That impacts every aspect of their lives.”

MOAA has bestowed the Distinguished Service awards since 1997 and past recipients have included Tom Brokaw, Toby Keith, and retired Army Gen. Colin Powell.  Barone said, “VMI’s mission is to never forget the challenges that our customers face every day and our dedicated Veteran Advocate Center (VAC) is all about having a team of employees committed to meeting the needs of our veteran customer base.  The employees who work in that department are veterans themselves and can truly relate to their needs.”  VMI’s dedicated Veteran Advocate team members assist veterans everyday with information about exclusive VMI rebate programs such as Operation Independence and USAA and VMI has contributed over 2.1 million dollars to help veterans achieve greater independence. He added, “We are incredibly proud that our work in serving this community is being recognized and humbled by the prestigious company we are in as recipients of this award.”

This year’s award ceremony will also recognize Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, for Starbucks’ continued support in the hiring of veterans and military spouses. Additionally at the awards event, MOAA will present its 2018 Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award to U.S. Reps. Martha McSally (R) and Kyrsten Sinema (D), both of Arizona. Jorge Rueda, formerly with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and Samantha Gonzalez, with the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will receive MOAA’s 2018 Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award.

The Military Officers Association of America is a nonpartisan, non-profit and the nation’s largest military officers’ association with more than 350,000 members from every branch of uniformed service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors.