Invest in Customer Experience: Profits Will Follow
April 25, 2016
Hosted by Brendan Anderson and Jeffrey Kadlic
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In today’s customer-focused world, most businesses want happy customers to spread the viral word and increase brand reputation, but overall customer experience ratings are dropping. In fact, the founder of Frank Reactions podcast, Tema Frank, notes in her latest book, PeopleShock: The Path To Profits When Customers Rule, “sixty-one percent of consumers say they have switched service providers in the past year due to a bad service experience. Interestingly, 82 percent said that the previous provider could have done something to keep them from switching.” Why is this occurring and how do businesses evolve to meet these increased customer standards and expectations? To help us explore this topic further, we have asked Ms. Frank to join us to share her insights, having over three decades of experience in marketing strategy and customer experience improvement. We will also touch on the higher expectations of employees today, and how this factors into the customer experience.
The Second Stage
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The Second Stage serves as an entrepreneurial forum to exchange ideas and best practices amongst peers. While each business is unique, most companies face the same obstacles on their path to success. The topics and trends addressed within this community of like-minded individuals will include financials and reporting, valuation and value creation, succession planning, human resources, technology, insurance and benefits, as well as many others. The show will be delivered from the perspective of the hosts who view opportunities from both an entrepreneurial and institutional private investor perspective.
The Second Stage also shines a light on the significant impact that entrepreneurs and their growing companies have on creating a vibrant economic base. Tune in every Monday at 2 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.
Brendan Anderson and Jeffrey Kadlic
Brendan Anderson has spent the past 20 years as an investor and manager of businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services. Fascinated by the capital gap within the small business growth sector, he rapidly came to the conclusion that providing best practices in addition to growth capital could consistently produce great results for the management, employees, communities, and investors. He is an active member and mentor within Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and is continuously entrenched in its culture of best practices.
Jeffrey Kadlic spent the first 10 years of his career making private investments in an institutional setting. Early success was achieved in large part to an entrepreneurial mindset within a corporate culture. While practicing as an institutional investor, working in and around dynamic small businesses, he recognized that growing small businesses needed more than just an influx of cash to scale operations. Leveraging corporate practices within an entrepreneurial setting, in addition to the capital, was the best way to achieve great performance.
Brendan and Jeffrey are both alumni of Crain’s Forty under 40 and E and Y Entrepreneur of the Year finalists.
Connected by their passion for growing small companies, in 2005, Anderson and Kadlic partnered to co-found Evolution Capital Partners, focused exclusively on advising and investing growth capital in Second Stage Companies. Evolution and its companies recognized on the Inc.500 5000.
- 4/25/2016: Invest in Customer Experience: Profits Will Follow Listen Now
- 4/18/2016: Encore: When to Conduct a Business Valuation Listen Now
- 4/11/2016: Encore: Value Creation: Tangible and Intangible Asset Management Listen Now
- 4/4/2016: Why Great Entrepreneurs Establish Strong Relationships Listen Now
Itzik Amiel (www.itzikamiel.com) is the Global Leading Authority on Networking & Relations Capital. He is a sought after International Professional Speaker, trainer, Business mentor, Attorney-at-law & Global Expansion Authority. Itzik helps business executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, firms and associations create and maintain successful and strategic relationship & expand globally, instantly and fast. Itzik does so by providing internationally public speaking, training & mentoring through online and offline programs via The Power Networking Academy; and consulting and execution services via his Global Expansion firm - EyeRon Group (www.EyeRongroup.com). Itzik is also the Author of ‘The Attention Switch™’, one of the leading networking books globally. It was said that the book is “Dale Carnegie super upgraded for the cyber-age.” Mr. Amiel lives in The Netherlands with his wife and 2 daughters. View Guest page
Vikas Bhatia is the Founder and CEO of Kalki Consulting, http://www.kalkiconsulting.com, a New York City-based cyber security consultancy that focuses on small and medium sized businesses. He started the organization in 2012 after 15+ years of providing cyber expertise to global organizations. Vikas recognized that SMBs were at the receiving end of cyber attacks at a much higher rate than most companies realized. He led the Kalki team to develop a cyber security service offering that allows even the smallest firms to have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Kalki Consulting recently developed a cyber security guide for the City of New York’s Small Business Services office that the city is distributing from its web site. Today, Vikas designs cyber security strategies while leading Kalki’s most complex client engagements. He regularly contributes to mainstream, industry, and electronic media with candid and forward-thinking cyber security insights. View Guest page
Owners of $10 million businesses, their families and advisors turn to growth strategist Andy Birol to improve how they run, fix, grow, and prepare to sell their established firms. With Birol Growth Consulting, http://andybirol.com/, more than 450 owners have created profitable growth by focusing on their Best and Highest Use®. Andy is a national, weekly columnist for American City Business Journals where he writes about growth issues facing private business owners in 43 Business Journals published in nearly every national city. Birol also presents workshops, keynotes and strategic planning sessions worldwide and is the author of five books, including “The Five Catalysts of Seven Figure Growth.” View Guest page
Rene Boer Certified EOS Implementer www.tractionprocess.com Rene’ Boer is a Certified Implementer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and a charter member of EOS Worldwide. Over a 30-year career as a franchisee, corporate officer and business owner, he experienced first-hand the triumphs, trials and tribulations faced by entrepreneurs. He’s led over 150 full-day EOS sessions with leaders at 30 privately-held companies helping them to clarify, simplify and achieve their vision. Rene’ earned a BS in Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He’s an active blogger, speaker and the founder of a unique cycling event, the Sub-5 Ride that has raised over $250,000 for Parkinson’s research. View Guest page
Bernie Brenner is an expert in strategic business development and enjoys the development of new businesses and markets. He specializes in securing and expanding strategic partnerships and is a frequent speaker on business development (BD) to entrepreneurs and venture investors.
He is the co-founder and EVP of Business Development of TrueCar, Inc., a company focused on changing how cars are sold. Under Bernie’s direction, TrueCar secured more than 100 BD deals, including partnerships with USAA, American Express, Geico, Nationwide Insurance, Consumer Reports, and AAA, generating over $100 million in annual revenue. View Guest page
Founder & CEO - Budco Financial Services
Bud Brian is the founder and original owner of Budco, a marketing services company located in Detroit. He started the organization in 1982 when he purchased D.W. Hacker Co., a small printing and distribution company. At the time, the company employed 15 people and had gross sales of $800,000. Under Bud’s leadership, Budco grew into a $100 million operation with nearly 1,000 employees serving a wide variety of globally recognized brands. He created a unique and customer-focused corporate culture, which became one of the company’s differential advantages. Bud’s entrepreneurial spirit and desire to provide greater employment opportunities to the local community pushed him to take the leap and establish Budco, and then to leave retirement and purchase Budco Financial Services. View Guest page
As the founder of Three Creative Tim has set his sights on positively impacting the lives of millions of people across the world through his books and life changing leadership programs. Whether in book or seminar form, Three Creative learning opportunities combine the rich entrepreneurial experience of one of the most successful CEO’s on the planet with the best educational practices of today to create highly impactful learning experience. Tim has a passion for developing individuals responsible for sales and business development and creating momentum around powerful sales engines. He has led sales teams both as an intrepreneur, leading sales efforts for mid-size companies, and as an entrepreneur successfully starting and building profitable companies. Find out more about Tim, his books (“Jumping Into The Parade” and “Old School with New Tools”) and Three Creative at www.3CR8.com. View Guest page
Bo Burlingham is the author of “Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big,” founder of the Inc. Small Giants Community (http://www.smallgiants.org/) and an editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine. Bo joined Inc. in January 1983 as a senior editor and became executive editor six months later, a position he held for the next seven years or so. He subsequently wrote two books, “The Great Game of Business” and “A Stake in the Outcome,” with Jack Stack, the co-founder and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp and the pioneer of open-book management. Before joining Inc., Bo freelanced for various publications and was managing editor of Ramparts magazine. In 1982 he joined Fidelity Investments, where he wrote for Peter Lynch, Ned Johnson, and others until coming to Inc. He was also a founder, with Tom Peters, of PAC World, a weird international networking group that gave him a chance to meet a lot of zany—and brilliant—people from around the globe. View Guest page
Host of Business Buff Entrepreneurs Podcast; CEO and Founder of Business Buff (www.businessbuff.com); CEO and Co-Founder of AxiomV.com; Husband to the most amazing woman to walk the planet earth; Father of 4 amazing little treasures that make up my brood View Guest page
Patrick is responsible for introducing new clients to the power of open book management, business literacy and facilitation of new methods for exciting and involving employees in high employee involvement workplace. Patrick’s 20 year career includes senior management positions with two global fortune 100 companies and international business assignments. He has had several senior leadership roles within SRC, helping to lead several organizations through the recent recession. While other companies struggled SRC grew profits and increased sales. Patrick is the son of the late Jill Carpenter, who helped to pioneer the concept of Open Book Management, co-authoring two books, The Power of Open-Book Management and The Field Book of Open-Book Management. Patrick’s life work is now dedicated to honoring the legacy of Jill and the thousands of employees who are just crazy enough to believe that all employees should be taught the financials and reap the rewards they helped create. View Guest page
John Carvalho is the co-founder of Divestopdia, an on-line resource to help educate business owners on all topic related to selling a mid-market business. John has 15 years of deal-making experience helping business owner with valuation, exit strategies and executing M&A deals. View Guest page
Anese Cavanaugh is the creator of the IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence®) as well as an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations primarily in the design, service, and innovation spaces. Anese built the IEP Method to help people unlock even greater leadership potential, collaborate more inspiringly, create more openly, intuit more bravely, and lead more joyfully and effectively. As a leading voice on intention, energy, and presence, in leadership, collaboration, and cultural optimization, she’s devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in the world — while feeling amazing doing so. Her book “Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives” (McGraw Hill), comes out this November. Follow her @AneseCavanaugh. View Guest page
Dorie Clark is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the author of 'Reinventing You' (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and 'Stand Out' (Portfolio/Penguin, 2015). A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is a frequent contributor to the 'Harvard Business Review,' 'TIME,' and 'Entrepreneur.' Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, 'Inc.,' and 'Fortune,' Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank. You can follow her on Twitter @dorieclark and visit her website at www.dorieclark.com View Guest page
Andrew Coleman Sr. Vice President, Jones Lang Lasalle http://www.joneslanglasalleblog.com/spaces/ Mr. Coleman has over 10 years of extensive experience in the commercial real estate industry allowing him to successfully manage global transactions totaling over $10M in revenue across two hundred fifty (250) lease or sale transactions. Mr. Coleman’s expertise includes corporate headquarters, international transactions, transaction management for corporate clients and agency leasing services for institutional REITs. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2006, Mr. Coleman was an Associate at CB Richard Ellis where he oversaw agency leasing activity for a One Million square foot Suburban office portfolio. Andrew was also awarded “Rookie of the Year.” Upon joining Jones Lang LaSalle Mr. Coleman served as Transaction Manager for the NCB/PNC Bank real estate portfolio, which he managed 9.1M s.f. of commercial real estate across 1,800 properties nationwide. This past year Mr. Coleman was promoted to Associate Director at Jones Lang LaSalle. View Guest page
Timothy Connors, J.D.
Tim practices information technology and intellectual property law, advising a diverse range of clients from emerging software and internet-based business to established companies in sectors such as health care and life sciences, media, consumer products, professional services, manufacturing, and private equity. Tim has been an associate in the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; the acting executive director of National Public Telecomputing Network; and president of Connors Productions, Inc., a computer multimedia design firm. Tim began his tenure with Calfee in 1998 and became a partner in 2005. View Guest page
Greg Crabtree is a speaker, author, entrepreneur and financial expert. Crabtree has used his entrepreneurial skills to develop Crabtree, Rowe & Berger, PC, a CPA firm focused solely on the needs of entrepreneurs, helping them build the economic engine of their businesses. Working with entrepreneurs all over the country in a broad range of industries, Crabtree has simplified financial reporting and empowered all entrepreneurs to take ownership of their finances. He has pioneered a revolutionary metric for driving business profitability: measuring labor efficiency and developing simple benchmarks for company, team and individual performance. In 2011, Crabtree published his first book “Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits,” in which he shares his core principles of how to turn your business into a wealth building engine. View Guest page
Joan Crain, Senior Director, Global Family Wealth Strategist, BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Joan works closely with wealthy families and their advisors to provide comprehensive and customized wealth planning. She joined the firm in 2001 and has more than 25 years of experience working with individuals and families, with special focus on navigating through major life transitions. Joan is frequently invited to speak to clients and professional groups such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the American Institute of CPAs, the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and numerous local Bar conferences and estate planning councils throughout the United States. To learn more, go to bnymellonwealthmanagement.com or follow on Twitter @BNYMellonWealth. View Guest page
Dr. Jeff DeGraff
Dr. Jeff DeGraff, Professor of Management and Organization, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He is an author, speaker and advisor to hundreds of the top organizations in the world using the Competing Values Framework that he co-created, on how to grow, change and ultimately move forward to see positive results. He is called the Dean of Innovation because of his influence on the field. Jeff’s ideas have gained such a following that he created the Innovatrium, an innovation institute in the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus. His talent for breaking down the steps needed to innovate effectively also prompted him to write a slew of successful books, including his most recent title “Making Stone Soup: How to Jumpstart Teams Highlights.” You can learn more about Jeff and his work on innovation at www.jeffdegraff.com View Guest page
Rob Dube President & Owner Image One http://www.imageoneway.com/ Even though Rob Dube was fresh out of college in 1991 when he and his life-long friend, Joel Pearlman, founded Image One, he was more than ready for the role of co-owner and President. In fact, he had practically spent his whole life preparing for the day. Rob’s journey began in ninth grade when he and Joel launched their first business. Rob and his partner realized early on that their Passion to Exceed what YOU think Possible would be key to their success. It is this passion that has become the driving force behind Image One’s success. In 2004, Image One was acquired by a public company; and in 2006 Rob and his partner reacquired the company. While going through the process of reacquiring Image One, they discussed ways they could make a difference in the world. After reading the book Small Giants, they became obsessed with building an amazing company culture and giving back. Their mission is to change the lives of their team, their customers, and everyday people in small and big ways. View Guest page
Mr. Eden and Ms. Long are the Co-Founders of Harvest Earnings, www.harvestearnings.com, and Authors of “Low-Hanging Fruit, 77 Eye-Opening Ways to Improve Productivity and Profits.” Jeremy has decades of consulting and performance improvement experience in business and government including McKinsey. Terri was in the corporate banking world for eighteen years before joining Jeremy over a decade ago.They met in the mid-90s when Terri was the client and an SVP at what is now U.S. Bancorp. Jeremy was the consultant assigned to work with her on the bank’s earnings improvement project.They quickly realized that they were in lock step about how best to achieve real continuous improvement, something they both agreed companies sorely needed. Company insiders, not outside consultants, had the answers to improving their company. Jeremy and Terri are considered two of the most practical and straightforward business thinkers in the field. View Guest page
Robert W Edmonds III
Robert Edmonds works in Group Benefits at Oswald Companies, specifically focusing on business development & strategic oversight for the Private Equity/M&A Practice. He specializes in assisting clients with their employee benefit needs throughout the life cycle of an acquisition, from due diligence to exit. He was instrumental in helping create an aggregate portfolio-wide benefits program for a large middle market private equity fund resulting in $14M in savings across 30 companies over a seven year span. Rob brings more than 10 years of experience to the practice of analyzing, creating, and managing group health & welfare programs. Prior to joining Oswald Companies, Rob was with Segal Consulting working as a Benefits Analyst. Mr. Edmonds received his Master’s in Business Administration from Cleveland State University. He received his Bachelor in Business Administration in Finance from Ohio University. View Guest page
Andrea Esselstein, JD
Andrea Esselstein leads Oswald’s health care reform research and interpretation services to resolve complex issues and provide consulting strategies for clients. By authoring Oswald’s advisory materials for employee benefits compliance services, Andrea incorporates legislative updates into current multi-year client strategies for clients. Andrea also drafts, reviews and negotiates contracts in corporate compliance capacity. Andrea joined Oswald’s Professional Associate Program in January 2008, a unique program designed to attract and retain the best young talent entering the workforce -- Andrea met expectations as a peak performer and leader in the company and community. Andrea earned her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a member of the Ohio Bar. Andrea is a Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expert from the National Association of Health Underwriters. She also holds an Ohio Life, Accident and Health Insurance License. View Guest page
Kimberly K Ferenchak is Vice President and Practice Leader of Executive Risk at Oswald Companies (www.oswaldcompanies.com). With specializations in management liability, professional liability, cybersecurity, environmental liability and fidelity coverages, she combines her product and market knowledge to solve business challenges that arise daily. Ms. Ferenchak realizes success by identifying customer needs and working creatively to craft policy language to best meet those needs. Advising clients in areas such as prudent corporate governance, mergers, acquisitions, winding down, and divestitures is a critical piece of pro-active risk management. Prior to joining Oswald, Ms. Ferenchak served as an Underwriting Officer and Practice Leader at Chubb Insurance, responsible for underwriting a wide variety of Executive Risk and Crime Products. View Guest page
Mark Fiala, CEBS,SPHR
Mark is the President of Organizational Architecture, Inc. and brings over fifteen years of strategic human resources leadership to provide you with solutions to your business’ needs in talent management. As a member of senior management himself, Mark has led the Human Resources functions in both privately-held and public companies with revenues exceeding $500 million. Mark understands your needs and can provide solutions to help you achieve your organization’s goals. Prior to Organizational Architecture, Mark held senior human resources positions in the retail, specialty chemical and mortgage industries. Additionally, he has experience in the insurance and health care industries. Before his career in the private sector, Mark Served in the United States Navy as an intelligence officer. He holds the designations of Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and Senior Professional in Human Resources. View Guest page
Best-selling author, international speaker and consultant, Tema Frank, has over three decades’ experience in business & marketing strategy, usability testing, and customer experience improvement. She started using the Internet for e-mail in 1991 and put up her first website in 1995. She’s been immersed in the web world ever since. In 2001 she launched Web Mystery Shoppers Inc., one of the world’s first usability testing companies to do large sample-size, remote usability testing of websites & web-related customer experience. In 2012 she created the Frank Online Marketing Show, which has now become the Frank Reactions podcast, and extended her digital & customer experience (CX) consulting, speaking and teaching services. She is also author of the best-selling book, "Canada’s Best Employers for Women: A guide for job-hunters, employees and employers," and is currently publishing her 2nd book,"PeopleShock: Why People Matter More Than Ever in the Digital Era & How That Changes Business." View Guest page
Randy Gerber is the founder and principal of Gerber LLC, a wealth management & business consulting firm focused solely on improving the lives of first generation entrepreneurs through the integration of personal and business endeavors. Founding Gerber shortly after graduating from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business in 1991, Randy has made every effort to cater his life’s work to assist in the business development and asset management of people just like him, first generation entrepreneurs. Accompanying his business degree and formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility, Gerber commends much of his company’s success on the brand’s customized, holistic approach to wealth management. Gerber and his team help clients take care of the details and align their business and personal lives, enabling the business owner to focus on the growth of the business, a process that betters themselves, their families, their employees, and, ultimately, the community.
Randy Gerber is a registered principal with and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. 121 E. Nationwide Blvd. Columbus, OH 43215 614.431.4343. Gerber LLC is an independent registered investment advisory firm. Raymond James is not affiliated with VoiceAmerica. View Guest page
Mike Goldman is a nationally recognized speaker, consultant and author of the book “Performance Breakthrough: The 4 Secrets of Passionate Organizations.” He has over 25 years consulting and coaching companies from the local entrepreneur to the Fortune 500. Throughout his career at Accenture and Deloitte Consulting, he helped companies like Verizon, Disney, Polo Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Kmart, Dillard's, Liz Claiborne and Levi Strauss. In 2007, Mike founded Performance Breakthrough to help mid-sized companies achieve dramatic business growth. He does this by working with leadership teams to ensure they have the right people, strategies and execution habits for growth. Mike's clients value his vast experience with organizations of all sizes as well as his incredible passion and energy. His no-nonsense, practical style enables individuals and teams to uncover opportunity areas and achieve revolutionary results with laser focus. www.passionateorganizations.com View Guest page
Clint Greenleaf is the CEO of Moonshot Brands (parent company of HomePlate Peanut Butter, based in Austin, Texas. Clint also manages a children’s book franchise that teaches kids about money called Pigs and Bricks, a baby clothing line called Bambino Balls, and a non-profit called Tree Neutral. He founded Greenleaf Book Group in 1997 above his parent’s garage. GBG, an Inc 500 Company, is a leading publisher and book distributor. Clint sold the company in 2011 and recently left his active role. Clint (a CPA) sits on the University of Texas Libraries Board, blogs for AMEX Open, and is a regular guest host on Fox Business Network. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc magazine, Fox, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Money magazine, Forbes and Entrepreneur among others. Clint sits on corporate boards, is a NACD Governance Fellow, and speaks about innovation, entrepreneurship and personal finance across the country and internationally at conferences, seminars and schools. View Guest page
Stephen J. Gurgovits, Jr.
Stephen J. Gurgovits, Jr. is the Managing Partner and co-founding partner of F.N.B. Capital Partners (www.fnbcp.com), a $175 million SBIC fund managed by Tecum Capital Management for which he serves as President. He is responsible for providing strategic, operational and investment management leadership to the fund, including its overall planning, fund raising, growth and execution. When contemplating new investments with F.N.B. Capital Partners, Mr. Gurgovits and his partners will structure, research, negotiate and approve investments in companies, based on financial analysis, financial modeling, industry research, and overall coordination of additional internal and/or external resources. After the investment has closed, he and his team advise companies and/or partner with management teams to create profitable and sustainable businesses to protect and secure adequate returns on the investment portfolio. View Guest page
Allie Harding is a consultant, researcher, and is currently completing her PhD in Business Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her research is focused on the psychological dynamics that owners experience related to their inevitable business exit. Allie is a partner at Orange Kiwi, a firm that provides assessment tools, training and consulting to low and mid-market advisors and owners in understanding and leveraging the psychology of exits for bottom-line success. Website presence at www.planfortransition.com. View Guest page
Managing Director of Global Marketing & Communications and Global Talent Management, The Riverside Company http://www.riversidecompany.com/ Graham Hearns joined The Riverside Company in 2006. He leads both the firm’s marketing and communications efforts and its human resource efforts. Graham’s responsibilities include media relations, web strategy, advertising, marketing, event management, and human capital management and development. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has maintained a core philosophy of investing in smaller market-leading companies, enabling it to acquire more than 300 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to Riverside, Graham spent nearly 10 years at IMG, a Cleveland-based global sports marketing firm, with dual responsibilities as Vice President for the Motorsports Division, as well as the Exposition Division, where he directed several different grand prix races and special events. He is active in the community, having volunteered for a number of nonprofit organizations. He is currently on the Board of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and active with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. View Guest page
Brett Hickey is the Founder & CEO of Star Mountain Capital, LLC (www.starmountaincapital.com), a specialized asset management firm focused exclusively on small and medium-sized businesses as a strategic fund and direct investor. Star Mountain and its partner fund managers represent one of the largest non-bank small and medium-sized business investment platforms in the U.S. with a portfolio of over 200 companies. Previously, Mr. Hickey co-founded and ran a multi-manager platform including 4 in-state small business funds, through which he invested debt and equity capital into U.S. growing small businesses on behalf of large insurance companies. Prior to that, he was an investment banking analyst with Salomon Smith Barney (later Citigroup Global Markets) where he assisted leading financial institutions including insurance companies and asset managers, in over $20 billion of completed debt and equity capital raising, restructuring and merger & acquisition transactions. View Guest page
John Hoesley is a Managing Director with Silicon Valley Bank’s technology Midwest technology practice (http://www.svb.com/), where he works closely with growing companies, angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity to deliver innovative financing solutions. Prior to joining SVB in 2011, John spent 10 years with Prism Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm with $190MM under management. At Prism, John was a partner in the firm’s venture capital and mezzanine funds and led its healthcare investment initiative. Previously, Hoesley was the CFO of Legato Partners, which successfully restarted the Breck’s and Spring Hill horticulture brands after the bankruptcy of their parent company, and co-founded Evincio Corporation, provider of data management software. He is on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and is the President of IMSA Fund for the Advancement of Education. View Guest page
Mr. Horman is a Practice Leader & Architect at Progressive AE, www.progressiveae.com View Guest page
Dr. Paul Hsu
Entrepreneur & Author, Guardians of the Dream http://www.guardiansofthedream.com/ Dr. Paul Hsu is chairman of Hsu Enterprise Group, an energy management consulting company with offices in New York, Florida and Shanghai. As chairman and chief executive, Paul grew MTI into a 450-employee military electronics company with annual revenues of $60 million. In addition to MTI, Paul has founded Total Parts Plus, an Internet-based data content provider, and ActiGraph, a medical device manufacturer. A dedicated public servant, Paul was appointed associate administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Government Contracting and Business Development under President George W. Bush in 2007. In 2010, Paul was named to the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise. He has also been a member of the Civic Leaders Advisory Group to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, as well as member of the President’s Export Council. In 2006, Paul served as National Chairman of the International Leadership Foundation in Washington, D.C. Paul and his wife, Maggie, live in Florida. They have three children. View Guest page
G. William (Bill) Hubbard
G. William (Bill) Hubbard is the owner of Hubbard Business Counsel (www.HubbardBusiness.com), founded after having been a partner at two large Chicago law firms. He provides business legal counsel to small and middle-market companies and their owners. For over 25 years Mr. Hubbard has helped guide clients in the decisions involved with buying, growing, selling, and financing companies, including the structuring (tax structuring), pricing, and negotiating of these transactions. Amongst others, the industries in which he has represented clients include: Manufacturing, Technology, Distribution, Service, Banking, Financial Services, Publishing, Construction, Automotive, Mining, Oil and Gas, Real Estate and Health Care. Mr. Hubbard is also the founder of Hubbard Business S.A.E., Inc. (www.HubbardBusinessSAE.com), where he designs, implements and leads "Next Level" focused Advisory Boards for and with CEOs, owners and other leaders, and Legal Governance Boards of middle-market companies. View Guest page
Sean Hutchinson is the CEO of Strategic Value Advisors (SVA). SVA works with owners and management teams to rapidly and dramatically increase the transferrable financial value of their business and implement strategies to tax-efficiently harvest the resulting wealth. He is a thought leader in business value acceleration and owner transition planning. Over his career, he has helped hundreds of owners navigate the complexities of creating wealth from their businesses. His experiences have been translated into SVA’s unique “Exponential Value Creation” program, recognized as one of the most innovative in the value growth profession. Although he has previously served as the Chief Executive of a large global real estate advisory firm, his heart belongs to his fellow entrepreneurs. His passion and commitment are grounded in personal experience. The Hutchinson family owns and operates a 60-yr-old manufacturing business soon transitioning to the 3rd generation. www.strategicvalueadvisors.com View Guest page
Steve Kimball, Entrepreneur and Strategic Advisor Principal, The Chasm Group www.linkedin.com/in/stevekimball/ Steve Kimball is a strategic advisor to CEOs and boards on developing and executing strategies that accelerate growth and increase the value of their business. Steve, a veteran of Silicon Valley, has spent over 20 years starting, reinventing, and advising fast-growth companies and has hands-on experience launching innovative business models, introducing new products, and acquiring and integrating companies. Steve is a Principal with The Chasm Group. View Guest page
Oren D. Klaff is an American investment banker, business media personality and best-selling author. He is the founder of Intersectional Capital, and is the creator of "Pitch Anything", a sales and finance method used by many of the Fortune 500, by Wall Street bankers and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Over the past 15 years, Oren has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $1 billion for Intersection Capital clients, and has helped countless others raise money and close deals. In 2011 McGraw-Hill published Oren’s path-breaking book, Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning The Deal; it has been a chart-topping title and has dominated Amazon sales rankings for years. In addition to corporate training for the Fortune 500 and Global 2000, Oren also supports entrepreneurs at all stages of development through his website pitchanything.com. His online courses have helped thousands of founders and executives raise money for their business ventures. View Guest page
Kaihan Krippendorff is the CEO of Outthinker LLC (www.outthinker.com), a former McKinsey consultant andauthor of four business strategy books (most recently "Outthink the Competition"). He writes one of the most popular blogs on Fastcompany.com and is the founder of the Outthinker Network, a global community of creative innovators.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus has said, "Kaihan shows that with a compelling idea anyone can change the world" and that message has made Kaihan one of the most sought-after public speakers on the topics of business, strategy, and innovation. Through his firm, Outthinker, he helps leading firms including Red Bull, Microsoft, VMware, Nestle Purina, L'Oreal, TIAA-CREF, Aetna, Experian, Johnson & Johnson, and Citibank reach strategic clarity and build strategic-thinking capacity.
He earned his MBA at Columbia Business School, his BS in Finance from Wharton Business School, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. View Guest page
Chirag Kulkarni is an entrepreneur, speaker, and startup advisor, who has experience starting, advising and running successful companies. Chirag's experience ranges from operations based companies, dotcom startups, consumer goods brands, and ed tech ventures. Currently, Chirag is Co-founder of Insightfully, a predictive analytics company focused on tapping into the 99% of individuals that people don't stay in touch with on a yearly basis. He is also the CEO of C&M Group, an entrepreneurial strategy consulting firm focused on growth and new product innovation for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. A majority of consulting firms focus on theory and lack operational experience. C&M consults on operational experience by proven entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. In his free time, he loves to help fellow entrepreneurs and gives back to the community in any way he can. He currently advises for ACE Abroad Inc., an ed tech company in Claremont, CA, and Snip.ly, in Ontario, CA. View Guest page
Dr. Gary Kunkle
Dr. Gary Kunkle is a leading expert on the drivers and impact of sustained growth for businesses and regional economies. He is the founder of Outlier LLC, a consultancy that serves corporate and government clients related to economic research and strategy, and the Research Fellow at Business Dynamics Research Consortium (Formerly the Institute for Exceptional Growth Companies) based at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Gary’s current and past clients include Symantec, Principle Financial Group, GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market, Entrepreneur Magazine, Summit Professional Networks, as well as the States of Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Gary has worked with more than 1,000 companies on international expansion projects in 34 countries around the world. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. View Guest page
Mark D Langford
Mark D. Langford is a Transformational Career Consultant, Motivational Speaker & Author of “Thank God It’s Wednesday!” In 2004, in full health and at the pinnacle of his life and career, Mark contracted a very serious infection from a routine arthroscopy. After a dozen surgeries and forty-one days of lying immobilized in a hospital bed, Mark experienced a life-changing encounter with what he can only describe as the “Divine.” From this epiphany, Mark developed an intense interest in spirituality and spent the next 10-years studying and working with spiritual leaders. Interest turned to inspiration when Mark realized that he could do the most good by mentoring business professionals using his 25-years of successful corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Harvard MBA and coaching training. He decided to transition out of the corporate world and founded C-Synergy, LLC to help both people to get clear on their purpose and calling and to develop manageable action plans. www.TGIW.com View Guest page
The founding CEO of JumpStart Inc., under Ray’s leadership the Cleveland-based organization has gained national recognition for its innovative investing and high-impact business assistance programs that have generated significant growth outcomes in Northeast Ohio, as well as for leading JumpStart’s partnerships with leaders throughout the U.S. to design and implement programmatic solutions that spark and support entrepreneurial activity to create measurable impact. Ray began his career at IBM before founding and bootstrapping two startup companies. Both were sold to Multigraphics Inc. in 1997. In 2000, he founded Capella Investments, an investment and management consulting firm focused on startup IT companies. Ray earned his BA in Finance from the University of Akron and later taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management while earning his MBA as a Sloan Fellow. Ray serves on the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association and Invent Now. View Guest page
Ms. Long and Mr. Eden are the Co-Founders of Harvest Earnings, www.harvestearnings.com, and Authors of “Low-Hanging Fruit, 77 Eye-Opening Ways to Improve Productivity and Profits.” Jeremy has decades of consulting and performance improvement experience in business and government including McKinsey. Terri was in the corporate banking world for eighteen years before joining Jeremy over a decade ago.They met in the mid-90s when Terri was the client and an SVP at what is now U.S. Bancorp. Jeremy was the consultant assigned to work with her on the bank’s earnings improvement project.They quickly realized that they were in lock step about how best to achieve real continuous improvement, something they both agreed companies sorely needed. Company insiders, not outside consultants, had the answers to improving their company. Jeremy and Terri are considered two of the most practical and straightforward business thinkers in the field. View Guest page
Scot Lowry President & CEO Fathom http://www.fathomdelivers.com Scot Lowry joined Fathom in 2007. He is also the president of PromiseONE, LLC, a Beachwood, Ohio-based investment company whose partnership with Fathom coincided with his arrival. Prior to Fathom, Scot gained leadership development and management experience with diverse service organizations, including real-estate development, construction management and health care information systems businesses. His experience is with companies ranging in size from start-ups to $100+ million private companies. Scot is a graduate of the University of Florida and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University (MBA). Scot is past Managing Partner and current Board Member of Promise Partners, a Cleveland non-profit entrepreneurial incubator that has helped 22 first time business owners start or buy over 37 companies. View Guest page
In 1994, Arnie launched cj Advertising (cj), an agency focused solely on growing personal injury law firms. Built on a foundation of financial comparison models extracted from his bank experience, and advertising insight gained from his time at the TV station, the agency grew rapidly. cj Advertising grew to become the largest full-service legal advertising agency in the country. cj gained recognition in multiple publications as one of Nashville’s best places to work and was the 2012 Winner of Nashville Business Journal’s “Best in Business” award. After internally running an innovative pay for reading program for over 7 years within the agency, BetterBookClub.com was launched in late 2014 so that others could implement this overwhelmingly effective platform for their teams. Arnie believes that different is better than good; that outliers are fascinating; that mindset is everything; and he has no problem with getting it wrong until he gets it right. View Guest page
Rich Manders is the Co-Founder of FreeScale Coaching Systems, www.FreeScaleCoaching.com. A serial entrepreneur, Rich is dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs realize their vision through coaching and development backed by more than 30 years of experience. Mr. Manders Co-Founded iAutomation, leading the organization from $0 in sales to becoming the industry leader with 140 employees and nearly $80M in sales. iAutomation proved profitable from Q3 onward for more than 15 years at 5 to 10 times the industry average. Rich successfully sold iAutomation to middle market private equity firm, Riverside. Following the sale he worked with Riverside to grow the company 8 fold. Rich has a deep understanding of how to value, qualify for strategic fit, merge, optimize and grow combined enterprises. As a lifelong learner, he has attended hundreds of seminars and worked with many thought leaders on Business Management, Sales, Personal Development, Coaching, People skills and Negotiation. View Guest page
Partner Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
Michael specializes in consummating mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures for a wide range of companies and industries. His experience with private equity funds helps him assist clients in capital formation matters, including venture and mezzanine capital and other private equity financings.
Michael serves on the board of directors and as corporate secretary for several privately-held companies. He is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and also served on the Advancement Council for The University of Akron College of Business Administration for many years. In 2010, Michael was ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Chambers USA in the Corporate/M&A category. Michael was an associate with Frost & Jacobs in Cincinnati, OH before joining Calfee in 1996. He became a partner with the firm in 2003. View Guest page
- 2016 Year in Review Special Edition: Part 2
- Encore: Law 101 for Business Owners
- Special Encore Presentation: Law 101 for Business Owners
- Special Encore Presentation: Selling Your Business, Part 3: Other Key Agreements
- Special Encore Presentation: Selling Your Business, Part 1: Understand the Sale/Purchase Agreement
- Selling Your Business, Part 3: Other Key Agreements
- Selling Your Business, Part 2: Understand the Sale/Purchase Agreement
- Selling Your Business, Part 1: Understand the Sale/Purchase Agreement
- Law 101 for Business Owners
R. Bruce McAuliffe
R. Bruce McAuliffe Director, Tax Services McGladrey LLP www.mcgladrey.com Bruce advises closely held companies in a variety of areas that support their success, including tax planning, compliance, choice of entity, tax controversy, and mergers and acquisitions. He works with business owners and high-net-worth individuals, providing them with tax services and succession planning. With over 15 years of experience meeting the unique needs of private companies, Bruce offers an extensive set of services and in-depth skills to northern Ohio companies in industries that include real estate, manufacturing, distribution, apparel, business services, retail and consumer goods. View Guest page
Jack McDonald is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Leeza Distribution Inc., a leading supplier of premium surfaces for counter-tops, sinks, vanity tops, and wall cladding in showers, which he successfully exited in 2015. Jack is an avid student of entrepreneurship, active in Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and a graduate of the EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP). In addition to his professional work, he also volunteers as a Scouts Leader and serves on the Board of Dix Milles Villages, a non-profit organization that strives to better the lives of thousands of artisans and small business people in developing countries. View Guest page
Disruptive Leadership Speaker, Expert, and Author, Dave Moore is a Navy AND Air Force decorated aviator and officer. He survived two plane crashes, flew through three hurricanes while performing search and rescue with the Coast Guard, and has logged 39 combat missions in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom with the Air Force. Moore takes a disruptive approach in building teams and developing leaders that creates cohesion and maximizes results, all while minimizing human error and keeping safety first. He creates an environment where others are encouraged to speak up and challenge one another, spawning new thoughts and ideas. Moore's unique background and insight allows him to address the men and women on the shop floor, showing them how to engage and connect with management, or the C-level executive. Mr. Moore’s latest book is entitled ‘Gear Up, Shut Up!, Navigating Disruptive Leadership.’ www.mooremotivated.com View Guest page
Shila Morris is the President and co-owner of the Squeeze In restaurants, along with her husband Chad and parents Gary and Misty Young. She was born and raised in Reno Nevada and at the age of 18 she began as a busser in the family restaurant. She was quickly promoted to server which allowed her to pay for and attend university. In 2008, she graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a dual major in Sociology and Psychology. That same year she and Chad became partners in the family business and helped launch the company’s second location. In 2010 the Squeeze In was featured on the hit series Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Shila and Chad had their boy/girl twins Wesley and Emerie. In 2013 they welcomed daughter Annadelle to the family and began the process of franchising the Squeeze In. In addition to leading her family's company through massive growth, she regularly speaks at the local, regional and national level regarding family business, small business marketing and leadership. View Guest page
Brett T. Palmer
Brett T. Palmer is the president of the Small Business Investor Alliance. In this role, Mr. Palmer works to foster a healthy environment for small business investing and a strong and profitable private equity industry. In addition to running the SBIA organization, he serves as its principal liaison with Congress, the Executive Branch, and other industry organizations. Mr. Palmer brings years of valuable public policy and advocacy experience to the Alliance. In Congress he served as a policy aide for the Speaker of the House. He served in the executive branch as a Presidential appointee in the Commerce Department as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Legislation. Mr. Palmer graduated from Davidson College with a degree in history. View Guest page
Todd Palmer Partner Calfee http://calfee.com/ Todd provides counsel to publicly-traded and closely-held companies regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, Equal Employment Opportunity laws, federal wage and hour laws, and other state and federal laws. He represents employers in labor contract negotiations, labor disputes and grievance arbitrations. Todd works closely with clients regarding employee discipline and discharge decisions and to develop employee handbooks and personnel policies, including drug testing, workplace harassment and disciplinary policies. Todd also serves as counselor to Calfee’s management on the Firm’s employment matters. In that role, Todd gains a unique perspective on the operational and business ramifications of advice on employment issues. He is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section, along with the Ohio Management Lawyers’ Association. View Guest page
Roger Prough Audit Director & Partner McGladrey LLP http://mcgladrey.com/ Roger Prough specializes in servicing manufacturing and wholesale distribution clients with over 16 years of experience with assemble-to-order manufacturers and their suppliers. As a partner and audit director with McGladrey he works with private equity groups and their respective portfolio companies and is an employee benefit plan specialist. Mr. Prough is the leader of McGladrey’s CFO Club in Ohio and a member of the Assurance Growth Task Force. He is also a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. View Guest page
Robert Rapp Partner Calfee www.calfee.com As an advocate for and counselor to issuers, financial intermediaries, the analyst community and other financial market participants for more than 35 years, Bob brings a unique skill set to bear in representing clients faced with the challenge of navigating market regulatory structures and dealing with the always evolving scope of market-related liabilities. Bob regularly counsels market participants on regulatory compliance and licensing matters and assists issuers of securities on the regulatory aspects of fund formation and the offer and sale of securities. Bob previously served as a member of the NASD Legal Advisory Board, and currently is a member of the Market Operations Review Committee for the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, NASDAQ OMX-BX and NASDAQ OMX-PHLX. In securities litigation, Bob’s work has repeatedly earned him recognition as an Ohio Super Lawyer. A noted author and teacher, Bob is Adjunct Professor of Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. View Guest page
Anthony (Tony) Rehak
President, DCT Telecom Group, Inc. www.4dct.com Mr. Rehak is an industry veteran with 23 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He joined DCT Telecom Group, a firm dedicated to delivering leading edge telecommunications services and support to business customers throughout the United States, as a managing partner and co-owner in 1998 and is actively involved in all aspects of day-to-day operations. In addition to his focus on revenue growth, Mr. Rehak manages carrier and vendor relationships as well as all legal, regulatory and financial aspects of the business. View Guest page
Patrick Rettig is the CEO of The Rettig Corporation. For over 25 years Mr. Rettig has successfully saved companies from bankruptcy. He is passionate about helping the American entrepreneur - the companies $20 million and under, which are the backbone of this country. Rettig appears regularly on TV and radio shows including Fox Business' Varney & Company.
Patrick serves as an independent Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for business ventures of all sizes. In this position he acts as the strategic planner for the organization and an absolute ally to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization. Specifically, he specializes in emergency situations and reorganization. In the past he has helped all types of corporations, CEO's and their administration staff. He teaches the CEO and the administration how to manage all aspects of the corporation while navigating and negotiating extreme financial challenges. www.therettigcorporation.com View Guest page
Cathy Salit is the CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, a singer, an actor, and an artistic associate at the Castillo Theatre in New York City. She is a speaker, facilitator, executive coach, instructional designer, and social entrepreneur. Cathy performs regularly with the musical improv comedy troupe the Proverbial Loons and, less frequently, sings jazz and R & B on any stage she can find or create. Cathy’s new book, PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH: A Radical Approach to Success at Work reveals her Performance of a Lifetime methodology, presenting a brand new paradigm for learning and inspiring organizational change. She offers case studies and practical exercises to help you hone your listening, communication skills; recognize and act on opportunities; build healthy working relationships; and grow as a leader. View Guest page
Mark Samar President The Indemnity Group, LLC www.theindemnitygroup.com Mr. Samar is a founding partner and the president of The Indemnity Group, LLC and lobbylights.com (formerly known as the TIG lodging survey). He has a broad and diversified background in the design and implementation of employee benefit programs over the last 25 years. Mr. Samar earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from The Ohio State University in 1986. He holds insurance licenses in Life, Accident & Health in several states and is a member of various insurance associations as well as an active participant in community and charitable organizations. View Guest page
Brent Sapp is a Strategic Advisor, Product Innovator, Author, Entrepreneur Activist, and Founder of the Economy Heroes movement. His experience spans multiple industries including Health Care, Education and Software. He’s worked with startups, mid-market companies, and Fortune the 500 to help C.E.O.s and their teams to break through the second stage of growth. His company, Inc.Navigator, equips CEOs to make team alignment and accountability a routine so that they can create a sustainable Execution Habit. He helps CEOs and Founders transition through second stage growth where over 90% of companies fail. He has over 500 companies under his belt to verify that the right strategy made simple and measurable gets executed. View Guest page
Jeffrey Schwab M&A Practice Leader Oswald Companies www.oswaldcompanies.com Jeff coordinates the analysis of a target company’s exposure to risk in the areas of commercial insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans and life insurance strategies. His group delivers a comprehensive review and understanding of the entire risk profile of the target company; including the insured and uninsured exposures faced by an entity. Jeff has a track record of negotiating meaningful overall reductions, improving operational efficiencies, and implementing service improvements on behalf of his M&A and growth clients. Prior to joining Oswald Companies, Jeff was the Ohio-based leader for the Private Equity M&A Services group of a national broker, and has almost 20 years of experience serving the risk management and employee benefit needs of clients. Mr. Schwab is a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter designee and an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth. View Guest page
Gabriel Shaoolian CEO & Founder Blue Fountain Media http://www.bluefountainmedia.com/ Gabriel Shaoolian is a digital trends expert and CEO and founder of Blue Fountain Media, a NYC digital agency focused on growing brands online through effective websites and online marketing. From Fortune 1,000 to start ups, Blue Fountain Media helps online businesses generate more leads and increased brand recognition. Last year alone, Blue Fountain Media drove more than 200 million monthly visitors and $2 billion in revenue to the digital properties of its clients. As Blue Fountain Media grew, the company was able to attract the top talent in design, development and marketing. Today, Blue Fountain Media has nearly 140 employees in offices around the world. Mr. Shaoolian has grown his company by producing web sites and web marketing programs designed to provide the highest possible return on investment for his clients. Blue Fountain Media results driven websites greatly enhance the profitability of its clients businesses. View Guest page
Dr. Carl Sheeler
Dr. Carl Sheeler, Managing Director at Berkeley Research Group, brings wisdom gained from his 25 years of litigation expertise coupled with his corporate governance, business/military operations, strategic planning, finance, and academic background to address complex risk measurement, management, and mitigation issues. His public and private company experience includes family business/office valuation and advisory services associated with intergenerational planning, equity transfers with estate and gift tax issues, as well as partial and full liquidity event options and disruptions. He is a national thought-leader on identifying and quantifying risks and how intangible assets effect value. He has written and presented more than 300 treatises on valuation, merger, acquisition, divesture, and litigation-related matters. He serves on two national valuation boards and is the author of 'Equity Value Enhancement: A Tool to Leverage Human and Financial Capital While Managing Risk.' View Guest page
Brett R. Smith, Ph.D.
Brett R. Smith, Ph.D. is Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He leads one of the leading undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. (ranked in Top 25 in the country seven years in a row) and founded the social entrepreneurship program which has won several international awards including: Best Undergraduate Program in Social Entrepreneurship (GCEC), the U.S. Department of State grants for social entrepreneurship programs with Fulbright scholars from Afghanistan and North Africa, two Ashoka U Innovation Awards, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship Pedagogical Innovation Award, and the NYU Social Entrepreneurship Research Conference Best Paper Award.
His research has been featured in a number of leading academic and practitioner journals including “Academy of Management Journal,” “Forbes,” “Journal of Public Policy & Marketing,” “ Leadership Quarterly,” and “M.I.T’s Innovations.” View Guest page
Blake Squires is a product entrepreneur who has founded several product companies and he has navigated 3 successful exits since 1999. Blake co-founded Everstream, Findaway and Movable. He also founded Hatch that invests in and helps entrepreneurs maximize their ideas. From his love of entrepreneurship and business in general, Blake also coaches several product CEOs. Because that wasn't enough, he's also started three more companies: DoctorsOrders, Stuhr and Stubl. It's no surprise that Blake was awarded “40 Most Influential People Under 40” by Crain’s Magazine and was named as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2010. Blake is a Cleveland-native, and resides in Fairlawn Heights with his wife Michelle and their four children. View Guest page
Managing Director, Western Reserve Valuation Services http://wesresvaluation.com/ Mr. Stutz’s entire career has been dedicated to the valuation industry. He is a frequent lecturer on numerous valuation topics and is the leading national instructor for the largest credentialing organization in the valuation field, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA). Mr. Stutz has trained over 1,000 NACVA members over the last ten years and has received the Instructor of the Year award as well as the coveted Circle of Light award from this organization. He currently serves as Chairman of NACVA’s Executive Advisory Board and previously served on their Valuation Credentialing Board from 2007-2009. He continues to instruct new members with NACVA today and is now a nationally recognized instructor on the merger acquisition topic as well. Mr. Stutz holds the ASA credential from the American Society of Appraisers, a highly coveted credential due to the 10,000 hour experience requirement and its intense training program led by many national experts. View Guest page
Mike Vea is the President and Co-Owner of Lewellyn Technology, a national leader in workplace safety. Lewellyn provides complete solutions for Electrical (Arc Flash/NFPA 70E) and Combustible Dust safety. Their services include facility and hazard assessments, engineering, safety program development and onsite employee training. Under Mike’s leadership over the past three years Lewellyn has increased revenue 70% and EBITDA 250%. Previous to Lewellyn, Mike was a CEO, Board Member and Business Advisor to several service businesses in financial services, education, and the healthcare space. His specialty is growing second stage niche businesses with a focus on having the best people, processes, and products. Other areas of interest include leadership development, strategic assessment, and using sales and marketing tools to grow market share and profits. View Guest page
William Vogelgesang is CEO and co-founder of Candlewood Partners, an investment banking company addressing the capital formation needs of the middle market, and South Franklin Street Partners, its private equity affiliate. Bill works with companies to help build long-term value as they pursue their own vision for success. Having experienced the strength of a stakeholder-focused business model, he has been active with employee-owned business and is a frequent speaker on the subject of ESOPs and employee ownership. In 2013, Bill started a practice area for Candlewood focused on purpose-driven or impact companies—those businesses that exist to provide both social as well as financial returns to their stakeholders. Sometimes known as Conscious Companies, these businesses are identified by a strong culture focused on benefiting all stakeholders and have heightened concerns about maintaining that culture when raising capital or looking for a merger partner. View Guest page
Benjamin Von Seeger
Benjamin Von Seeger is a senior sales executive known for delivering and sustaining revenue and profit gain within a competitive global telecommunications market. Throughout his 20-year professional career, Benjamin has held key sales positions with wholesale telecommunication and colocation service providers in the US and Germany. His new book, “The RiVal,” is available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and www.worldcat.org. For more information, please visit: www.benjaminvonseeger.com, or follow him on Twitter: @benvonseeger. View Guest page
Mr. Wagner is first a blessed husband and father with a loving wife and beautiful daughters. He lives in the mountains of Sisters, next to the hottest entrepreneurial town in America – Bend, Oregon. Second he is a dedicated, life-long entrepreneur for over 30 years, having done multiple startups, acquisitions and successful exits – ranging from tech to sports nutrition to lifestyle businesses. Mr. Wagner is the founder and CEO of Mighty Wise Academy (mightywisemedia.com), helping entrepreneurs build great companies. He is also a contributing writer on Forbes and Entrepreneur, writing about the core principles and secrets of entrepreneurship. To be released soon is his new book “Walk Through Fire: How to Rise Up, Face The Inferno and Build The Business Of Your Dreams.” View Guest page
Author of ‘Built To Sell’ & Founder of The Sellability Score http://www.builttosell.com/ John Warrillow is the founder of The Sellability Score, a cloud-based assessment tool business owners use to assess the "sellability" of their company. The Sellability Score is licensed to a network of 1,700 accountants and other advisors around the world who use it as a succession planning conversation starter with their clients. John is the author of the bestselling book ‘Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You,’ which was recognized by both Fortune and Inc.Magazine as one of the best business books of 2011. ‘Built to Sell’ has been translated into four languages. Prior to starting The Sellability Score, John started and exited four companies, including a quantitative market research business that was acquired by The Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB) in 2008. John has been recognized by B2B Marketing as one of the top 10 b2b marketers in the US. John was born in England and grew up in Canada. He now lives with his family in Toronto, Ontario. View Guest page
Daniel J. Weinfurter
Daniel J. Weinfurter Author, Second Stage Entrepreneurship Founder, Chicago Growth Consultants www.danweinfurter.com Dan Weinfurter is a serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience. He has been the founder and CEO of two private equity-backed businesses and was the number two executive for a third. All three achieved high rankings on the Inc. 500, with Parson Group landing the coveted #1 spot. He has also provided consulting and interim management to a variety of start-ups and large public companies. Prior to forming Chicago Growth Consultants, Dan was the co-founder and CEO of Capital H Group LLC. A Chicago-based international talent and leadership solutions company, Capital H helped clients organize, attract, develop and reward their people in order to improve business performance. It grew from start-up in 2003 to an international company in 2007, serving some of the world’s largest businesses out of eight U.S. offices and a London location. Capital H was ranked on the Inc. 5000 list in 2006, 2007 and 2008. View Guest page
Spencer Williams is the President and Owner of West Paw Design (www.westpawdesign.com). A 5th generation, Montanan, Spencer grew up on a ranch in Columbus, MT. His love for his home state led Williams back to MT after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. With a strong desire to “make stuff,” Williams acquired West Paw Design. Since 1996, Williams has grown the Bozeman, MT-based business into a world-class manufacturer of eco-friendly pet toys and beds for dogs and cats. West Paw Design is a founding member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition which strives to be the leading organization for sustainable advancement in the pet industry. In 2013, West Paw Design became the first pet product manufacturer to become a certified B Corp and in 2015, West Paw Design became Montana’s first Benefit Corporation. In 2016, West Paw Design was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Best Small Companies. View Guest page
Mark Winters is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience. As a Certified EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer, he's actively engaged in helping other entrepreneurs implement EOS in their own companies. An entrepreneur since the age of 28, Mark has started, bought, shut down, or sold 9 different companies. One of his ventures as a Founder and CEO had a very successful exit – yielding a 100x cash return in less than 36 months. All this activity has led to some recognition, including being named a Tech Titan finalist as an emerging company CEO, and identified as “40 Under Forty” by the Business Journal in both Milwaukee and Dallas. Vistage International recognized his CEO peer group chairing with their Rookie of the Year award, and their Chair Excellence distinction. Mark is also a long-time member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization), having served for multiple terms on the Dallas Chapter Board View Guest page
Jonathan Wygant is CEO and founder of BigSpeak, Inc. (www.bigspeak.com) one of the largest business-oriented speakers bureaus in North America focused on serving the Fortune 1000 and multinational companies worldwide. BigSpeak addresses the needs of corporations, associations, non-profits and government agencies by providing motivational speakers, thought leaders and subject matter experts as well as facilitating strategic change initiatives and executive development programs through BigSpeak Consulting. View Guest page
After over two decades in politics, public relations and marketing, Misty Young risked everything to buy the Squeeze In, a tiny, struggling restaurant, nestled in historic downtown Truckee, CA. Leaping in with reckless abandon, Misty worked days, nights, weekends and holidays and made it her mission to understand the business from top to bottom and from an inside out perspective. She served guests, cooked, washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, mopped floors, paid vendors, prepared payroll and tax returns – and – designed and developed processes, systems and efficiencies to lead the company’s growth from a single location to five family owned locations. As a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer, Misty assists other restaurateurs and small business owners to attract success, wealth and prosperity in their businesses.She speaks nationally about the “Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success,” the centerpiece of her book, “From Rags to Restaurants: The Secret Recipe.” View Guest page
Tom Zucker President & Founder, EdgePoint Capital Advisors http://www.edgepoint.com/ Tom uses his extensive business and financial experience to assist business owners in completing transition events, acquisitions or recapitalizations. His diverse experiences range from executing corporate divestitures for General Electric to assisting small closely held businesses in executing family ownership transitions. Prior to founding EdgePoint, Tom had more than nine years of financial and transactional experience at Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen. Early in his career, Tom had a significant experience participating in a family business. He is active in several civic leadership roles including being a Board Member of the Association of Corporate Growth Cleveland chapter, Board Member of several private and public companies, and leadership roles in other organizations. Tom’s educational background included a B.S. in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University. Tom is also a CPA (Inactive) and maintains the FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 63, and 79 licenses. View Guest page