2016 SPEAKERS

speaker
Emcee: Dawn Kendrick
Reporter/WKYC-TV

8:45 A.M. | Event Welcome and Introductions

Dawn Kendrick joined Channel 3 as a reporter in January of 2015. Dawn originally came to Cleveland in 2001 as a reporter for the local CBS affiliate where she reported for 13 years before joining the WKYC team. Before that, she reported and anchored for KDNL, the ABC affiliate in St. Louis where Dawn grew up. In fact, her roots run deep in the Show Me State. Dawn graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri and when she got her degree, Dawn's dad is on record saying "Praise God. She's finally going to get PAID TO TALK!" Dawn's first stop out of school, in what has been more than 20 years of broadcast news experience, was at WLFI in Lafayette, Indiana where she was the 5pm weekday news anchor. Then it was back to Missouri to anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. weekday news for the ABC affiliate in Columbia. Here, in Cleveland, Dawn is enterprising memorable stories at Channel 3 News on a daily basis that resonate with viewers. She likes to call it "the good stuff" and is thankful every single day for the opportunity to do what she loves in a city she is proud to call home.

speaker
Renée DeLuca Dolan
President, Contempo Communications; Publisher at CBC Magazine

8:55 A.M. | Sponsor Recognition and Intro to Wake-up Session

It’s only understandable that Renée “occasionally” finds herself arriving late to an appointment – after all, as a human perpetual motion machine, she’s constantly trying to fit an extra couple of hours of activity into a 24-hour day. But high energy is the necessary fuel for the type of entrepreneurial spirit that created CBC™ Magazine as well runs Contempo Communications, one of the most successful and fastest-growing communications firms in the region. If growing her businesses isn’t enough to fill the day, Renée works tirelessly for charitable causes, such as The Littlest Heroes, which helps NE Ohio families and children diagnosed with cancer. Renée and her husband, Mark, enjoy wine tasting, traveling, hiking and spending time with their families. Cooking, walking, shopping and spending time with friends fill what other precious leisure time this Kent State University graduate has—as she works toward her long-term goals of growing Contempo Communications into the premiere design firm in Cleveland, introducing a note card/paper product line and becoming involved in a gallery/winery venture.

speaker
Joe Pulizzi
Founder/Content Marketing Institute
Author/Content Inc.

WAKE UP SESSION:
9:00 A.M. | How to Launch a Content-First Business
Joe Pulizzi is founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s fourth book "Content Inc." was just released. His third book, "Epic Content Marketing" was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. You can find Joe on Twitter @JoePulizzi. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange.

speaker
Mel McGee
CEO/We Can Code IT

SESSION:
10:00 A.M. | Defining Success: Leading Ladies of Ohio
Founder and CEO of We Can Code IT, Crain's Cleveland 2014 Woman of Note, author, and software engineer with nearly 20 years of professional experience, Mel McGee has worked with clients like Tyco International, DeLorean Motor company, and hundreds of others to develop software. Her programming experience translated to the classroom nearly as soon as she began coding. An experienced educator, she has taught computer science and engineering subjects to kids, teens, and adults at We Can Code IT, Colleges, and even overseas. Lead educator and curriculum developer of We Can Code IT, she brings creativity into the STEM classroom through unique workshops for kids and adults. Mel's knowledge of full-stack development and over 20 programming languages allows her to adapt curriculum to students in a variety of ways. Her main objectives are to add fun and increase diversity in computer science. Her love for sharing her creative computing techniques has not gone unnoticed. Her innovative early wearable computer was featured in Howard Rheingold's book Smart Mobs. Her web development expertise was featured in books like Curt Harler's Beyond the Browser. She has been featured on NPR, publications like Motor World, Crain's Cleveland Business, as well as the front page of Cleveland's Plain Dealer as an early Google Glass explorer. Her artificial intelligence bots, Zoe-bot and Skeletor-bot, have been entertaining the masses online and at community events since the early 2000s. She continues to break barriers in innovation with explorations in augmented reality. Her company, We Can Code IT, concentrates on motivating, mentoring, and educating people who are underrepresented in computer science and engineering. We Can Code IT has coding bootcamps for adults, and computer science / computational thinking workshops for kids. Our goal is to empower underrepresented populations in technology, and help low to moderate income earners make a fast and lucrative career change. She’s married, has a daughter who is learning how to program, and two dogs who follow her everywhere they possibly can.

speaker
Candice Peters
CEO/Hello Parent

SESSION:
10:00 A.M. | Defining Success: Leading Ladies of Ohio
Candice Peters is the founder and CEO of Hello Parent. Hello Parent is a family social network that makes it simple to connect with other families and organize daily activities. She is a successful entrepreneur having established several businesses catering to women. At her first company, Fit Mommies, she challenged moms and moms-to-be to stay active. Candice is the first African American female 'tech founder' in the greater Cincinnati area, sits on the Board of Directors at the Beech Acres Parenting Center, and currently leads the Black Tech Founders Cincinnati monthly meet up. Candice majored in Economics and minored in Statistics at the University of Cincinnati.

speaker
Charity D’Amato Crawford
CEO/Chartreuse + I Heart Cleveland Blog

SESSION:
10:00 A.M. | Defining Success: Leading Ladies of Ohio
Charity D’Amato Crawford is the founder of studio Chartreuse and works alongside each and every client to ensure the best experience and design outcome. She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design and Art Education. Charity is a Cleveland Bridge Builders graduate and the recipient of the 2010 Inside Business Athena Young Professional Award. Since 2007, Charity has also been the voice behind the regional lifestyle blog, iheartcleveland.com. Charity and her family live in Westlake, Ohio.

speaker
Maribeth Kuzmeski, PhD.
President, Red Zone Marketing Inc., Author

MARKETING SESSION:
11:00 A.M. | The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life
Maribeth Kuzmeski is President of the consulting firm Red Zone Marketing, Inc founded in 1994. Maribeth and her firm personally consult with some of the nation’s top financial professionals and advisors managing from $300 million to over $1 billion in client assets. She and her firm also work with entrepreneurial-minded corporations and salespeople on unique marketing messages, strategic marketing planning, recruiting, and business growth.

speaker
Cindy Monroe
Founder, President & CEO, Thirty-One Gifts

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
12:00 P.M. | Ohio Leading Lady
Cindy Monroe launched Thirty-One Gifts in the basement of her home in Tennessee in 2003 with just two employees at her side. Today, the company is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, where there are over 1,000 employees, and an independent sales Consultant force of more than 82,000 strong throughout the U.S. and in nine provinces in Canada. The goal when starting Thirty-One was foremost to provide an opportunity for women to find financial freedom through owning their own business in direct selling. Cindy also wanted to provide affordable and fashionable products for working women. She held the first party, recruited the first Consultant and helped develop the first products.

speaker
Michelle Tomallo
President and Co-Founder, FIT Technologies and President of LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce

1:00 P.M. | Introduction to Business Certification Center
Michelle is a co-founder of FIT and has served in many roles during the company’s history—from client services, to account management and operations. She currently focuses on marketing, business development and change management. She loves participating in the on-going transformation of the city and representing FIT at local events. Michelle is active in the neighborhoods in which she lives and works, fancies herself an arts patron, and doesn’t miss a chance to attend a gala whenever she can. She incorporates her commitment to fitness by leading the firm’s wellness program, is an avid runner and participant in many charitable races. Michelle is the board president of Plexus, the LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce and was involved for four years with the Gay Games as a board member and community liaison. She is engaged in committees for COSE and women’s business groups and serves as a speaker at regional and national conferences on workplace wellbeing, entrepreneurship, supplier diversity, and leadership.

speaker
Carrie Rosenfelt
Executive Director, Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI)

1:00 P.M. | Access to Capital Center Representative
Carrie Rosenfelt serves as the Executive Director of the Economic and Community Development Institute’s (ECDI), Northern Ohio region. ECDI is a non-profit economic development organization and U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution that provides training, coaching and access to capital to help start and grow businesses. Previously, Carrie served as Vice President and Community Development Relationship Manager for Huntington National Bank’s Northern Ohio region. In past roles, Carrie has served as a fundraiser for several nonprofit organizations and as a political speechwriter. Carrie is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s LeadDIVERSITY program, the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Program, and the German Marshall Fellowship program. Carrie serves on the boards of the Ohio Community Development Corporation Association and Milestones Autism Resources.

speaker
Gail Kelley
Owner/Two Men & A Truck/Central Ohio; Franchisee Panel

FRANCHISE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | Do You Have What it Takes to be a Successful Franchise Owner?
Gail Kelley and her husband, John, started the franchise in 1993 with two 30-foot trucks. During the past 20 years, she has grown the business to one of the five largest franchises in the country. She has a fleet of 33 trucks and five vans and provide moving services throughout Franklin County and the contiguous counties. Gail Kelley was chosen as CEO of the Year of a small for-profit business in a recent Columbus CEO survey.

speaker
Colleen Franklin
Director of Marketing/Buffalo Wild Wings - BW3

FRANCHISE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | Do You Have What it Takes to be a Successful Franchise Owner?
Colleen Franklin's family has owned numerous Buffalo Wild Wings franchise locations since 1993. Their current locations include Strongsville, Medina and Warrensville Hts. Colleen is the Director of Marketing and oversees each locations local store marketing efforts. She also assists with the NEO Buffalo Wild Wings Co-Op on joint traffic driving projects. In August, the Franklin's expanded their profile with the opening of a new 'quick serve' franchise, Tom & Chee. Their first location is in Strongsville and they look to open more over the next few years. With the opening of Tom & Chee, Colleen’s role will now include overseeing the marketing of both concepts. Colleen is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Marketing. Follow her (and her restaurants) on Twitter at @colfrank, @TomandCheeCLE and @BdubsNEO.

speaker
Susan Rodgers
GC + Head of Employment PG/Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

LEGAL/FINANCE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Starting Your Business!
Susan Rodgers is an employment and labor attorney and in-house general counsel at Buckingham. Susan serves as a resource for business owners, management teams and human resources directors as she guides them through the day-to-day issues that arise with employment and labor law matters. She defends her clients before the National Labor Relations Board, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and state federal and courts.

speaker
Carol Treska
Senior Manager, CFO Services, Pease & Associates, CPAs

LEGAL/FINANCE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Starting Your Business!
Carol Treska is a senior manager in Pease & Associates CFO Services Department, which caters exclusively to closely held, entrepreneurial, and family owned businesses. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Carol spent over 11 years as a Senior Tax Accountant in the 10th largest firm in the country and as Director of Family Office Administration and Business Entities for a wealth management company. With a specialization in tax compliance for partnership entities, Carol provides tax expertise and consulting to entrepreneurs in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, service, and direct marketing. Carol received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Miami University and her Master’s Degree from John Carroll University. She is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Carol regularly lends her support to Junior Achievement and is an active volunteer for the St. Augustine Hunger Center.

speaker
Grant Keating
Associate, Dworken & Bernstein

LEGAL/FINANCE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Starting Your Business!
Grant’s practice focuses on Business Law and Commercial Litigation. During his career, he has successfully represented a wide variety of business clients at trials, appeals and alternative dispute resolution. Grant has extensive experience in the following areas of law: director and officer liability, minority shareholder rights, breach of contract, commercial lease disputes, banking, construction disputes, creditor’s rights, e-commerce, employment disputes, environmental litigation, mechanic’s liens, property rights, professional negligence, receivers, stock fraud, defamation, foreclosure, international discovery assistance, commercial loan workouts, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, and Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.

speaker
Raymond Graves
Lender Relations Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration Cleveland District Office

LEGAL/FINANCE BREAKOUT SESSION:
2:00 P.M. | How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Starting Your Business!
Raymond Graves is a Lender Relations Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration Cleveland District Office. He has been with the SBA for three years, prior to which he was the chief credit officer for a not-for-profit business lending company based in Chicago. Ray covers Cuyahoga County and Lucas County for the SBA, with primary responsibility for lender development and economic development activities in those areas.

speaker
Deborah Spake
Dean, College of Business Administration, Kent State University

LEADERSHIP BREAKOUT SESSION:
3:00 P.M. | Building an Effective Advisory Board for Your Business (Facilitator)
Deborah Spake, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Business Administration at Kent State University. She previously served as associate dean and professor of marketing at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business and on the faculties of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Western Michigan University, and as a visiting professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, Germany. Her industry experience includes working as the marketing research director of a publishing company and for consulting firms in Atlanta, Georgia, working with Fortune 500 clients on new product development and strategic planning.

 Dean Spake has published on the topics of business ethics, customer loyalty, and advertising in top business journals including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Business Research. She is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Business Research and currently serves on the board of the MidAmerican Business Deans Association. She has previously served as a judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program.


speaker
Sally Schriner
Venture Partner/Jumpstart

LEADERSHIP BREAKOUT SESSION:
3:00 P.M. | Building an Effective Advisory Board for Your Business
Sally Schriner is a Venture Partner in JumpStart’s Entrepreneurial Advisory Services & Investing program. In this role she provides subject matter expertise to entrepreneurial companies with high-growth potential, assessing their needs and priorities while helping them build sales and marketing capabilities. Sally also serves as President of Sociagram, a Cleveland-based digital expressions business delivering video greeting cards, along-side e-commerce gifts. Prior to Sociagram, Sally was President of AG Interactive responsible for all things digital at American Greetings and started her career in subscription marketing and retention for U.S. Satellite Broadcasting. Sally graduated from Penn State University with a BS in Marketing and went on to receive her MBA in Marketing & Ecommerce from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

speaker
Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes
CEO, InterChez

LEADERSHIP BREAKOUT SESSION:
3:00 P.M. | Building an Effective Advisory Board for Your Business
Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the successful InterChez family of companies, based in Stow, OH. Over the past eleven years, Ramos-Chesnes has demonstrated impressive day-to-day leadership, supporting the growth of the InterChez family of companies from a start-up organization to an industry leader in domestic and international logistics. Numerous local organizations have recognized Ramos-Chesnes for her exceptional achievements as a minority business owner and entrepreneur. Ramos-Chesnes has been honored with the Cleveland Hispanic Business Association’s 2008 Award for Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year, the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Hispanic Business Woman of the Year, the Kent State University 2011 Latino Networking Caucus Outstanding Alumni Award, and the National Association of Professional Women’s 2011/2012 Woman of the Year Award. In 2013 she received the Key Bank Key4Women Achievement Award.

speaker
Gwenay Reaze-Coniglio
President, The Coniglio Company; Founder, Lavender Nail Bar & Studio

LEADERSHIP BREAKOUT SESSION:
3:00 P.M. | Building an Effective Advisory Board for Your Business
Ms. Reaze-Coniglio is a graduate of Kent State University. She has grown The Coniglio Company’s from a small, private general contractor serving the Cleveland market in 1994 into a regional general contracting and construction management firm completing projects in ten (10) states throughout the Midwest, East and West Regions in the private, public and federal government sectors. Ms. Reaze-Coniglio is a member and former Chairperson of The Presidents Council LLC, has participated in the ACE Mentoring Program for inner-city high school students interested in Architecture, Construction and Engineering, as well as, other economic development initiatives with the City Of Cleveland, the Cleveland Municipal School District and associated agencies in Northeast Ohio. She participated with Habitat For Humanity – Women Build in Akron, Ohio constructing a home with all women trades. She is currently developing a health and wellness initiative for the urban community with the Cleveland Clinic. University Hospitals, MetroHealth Medical System and Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services are all participating in her initiative. Ms. Reaze-Coniglio has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list, Entrpreneur.com and Cleveland.com. Ms. Reaze-Coniglio was featured on WKYC, channel 3 and WEWS, channel 5 for her involvement in being one of 100 small business owners invited by President Obama to his “Winning The Future” forum in Cleveland. She was, also, interviewed on WEWS, channel 5 to discuss the opening of the Minority Business Development Agency in Cleveland by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Through her continuous efforts in business development and sound operational strategies, she has positioned The Coniglio Company for significant growth over the next five (5) years.

speaker
Gloria Ware
Principal Inclusion, JumpStart

1:00 P.M. | Access to Capital Center Representative
Gloria leads JumpStart’s strategic efforts to create inclusive, high-impact entrepreneurial ecosystems. She brings a wealth of finance and business development expertise to the organization, along with a passion for community engagement. Gloria has a 25-year track record of success in the banking industry, providing financing and cash flow management solutions to a portfolio of small businesses, public entities, non-profit organizations, private schools and universities. Prior to joining JumpStart, she was Vice President of Public Funds at Fifth Third Bank where she participated in the sourcing, execution and maintenance of more than $100 Million in debt underwriting and interest rate hedging transactions that helped public sector and non-profit entities achieve their missions. Throughout her career, Gloria has been active in providing advisory services to small and women-owned businesses. She also works with a diverse group of young people to improve employability and promote sustainable entrepreneurship. She serves as a board member for the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association and for Youth Opportunities Unlimited, an organization which helps at risk teens to succeed in school, life and work using the tools of summer jobs and entrepreneurship. Gloria’s community awards include the City Year Idealism in Action Award and the S & A Consulting Relationship Builder Award. She has been inducted into the Kaleidoscope Magazine 40/40 Club and profiled by Who’s Who in Black Cleveland for her role as a banking advocate for women-owned businesses.

speaker
Mike Belsito
VP of Employer Solutions/DHS Group

FINANCE BREAKOUT SESSION:
3:00 P.M. | Funding Your Business: How to Get It Done
Mike Belsito is a startup business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us and currently serves as VP of Employer Solutions at DHS Group, a population health analytics company. Mike is also the Co-Organizer of Industry, a conference in the midwest for people that build, launch, and scale world class products. Mike has spent eleven years in various startup companies as an early employee, leader, and co-founder, including being hired as Employee #1 at Findaway, Co-Founding and serving as CEO of eFuneral, and serving as VP of Product and later --President -- of Movable. Products and businesses created by Mike have been featured in national media outlets like The Atlantic, Inc Magazine, CNN, PBS and the New York Times. Mike earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and his Bachelor’s Degree from Bowling Green State University in 2003. Mike, his wife, Hannah, and their two children, Edison and Emery, reside in Lakewood, Ohio – where Mike also serves as the City’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence.