Join Us for One of the Biggest Entrepreneur Events of the Year!
When Alina Morse was 7 years old, she went to the bank with her dad and the teller offered her a lollipop. While she really wanted to accept, her parents always told her that candy was terrible for her teeth. So she asked her dad, “Why can’t we make a lollipop that’s actually good for your teeth?” And in that moment the idea for Zollipops® was born! Alina has been featured on Good Morning America, Shark Tank, The Steve Harvey Show and CNN. Her products are sold in over 7,000 stores throughout the country including Kroger and Whole Foods. At the 2018 Entrepreneur & Small Business Conference, she will discuss how she turned a simple idea into a multi-million dollar business at 13 years old.
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
October 3, 2018 at Lawrence Technological University
Lisa Mininni, Speaker and Best Selling Author
Thomas Vargo is Lead Business Opportunity Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan District Office, where he has served since 1998. He is responsible for the administration of the 8(a) Business Development Program and the HUBZone Program in the Michigan District Office. He also assists small businesses in all areas of federal procurement activities in achieving their small business goals. Thomas serves as the HUBZone liaison for the state of Michigan. Thomas is Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting (FAC-C) Level 1 certified. Each year, our government spends billions of dollars purchasing goods and services from private firms. The SBA works to create an environment for maximum participation by small, disadvantaged, and woman-owned businesses in federal government contract awards and large prime subcontract awards. Find out how these programs can help you expand into new markets and grow your business.
Speakers and Presenters
Marilyn Trent, Founder of Trent Creative
The National Entrepreneurs Association will launch its all new entrepreneur certification and training program at the 2018 Conference. This unique program is designed to reduce fail rates and provide entrepreneurs with the information needed to achieve success. Courses are taught by experienced entrepreneurs, college professors and leading subject matter experts who know what it takes to make it happen. Upon completing the program you will be prepared to deal with the challenges you will ultimately face and experience the success you deserve. You'll learn what they won't teach you in school including:
National Entrepreneurs association
Mark S Lee, Media Personality & Host of Small Talk WXYT 1270
Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 2018 Entrepreneur & Small Business Conference
1. Educational Opportunities:
No matter how much experience you have, you can always learn something new and sharpen your skills.
2. Networking Opportunities:
You'll have a chance to connect with influencers and decision makers for advice and collaboration.
3. Obtain New Clients:
You'll meet lots of people and some will want to do business with you and others can refer business to you.
4. Marketing and Exposure:
This conference is a great way to get out and spread the word about you and your business to a new audience.
5. Get Motivated:
Interacting with successful entrepreneurs is a great way to see what's possible and really get inspired to achieve your dreams.
Anne Harpe, Vice President & Community Consultant at PNC
Joe Anderson, Chairman of Tag Holdings, LLC
Born in Ukraine, Andrea Vygnanski immigrated to US with his mom in 1990 at the age of 9. He grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan and graduated with honors from Oakland University with Bachelors in Finance. Andre first worked at Morgan Stanley and then spent four years with CNG as sales associate before moving into a sales manager role. In 2005 he started DDCT Inc. which was a Michigan startup that offered a handmade quality skin and hair care line, distributing to local retail and salon channels. Andre started at Chase bank in 2009 as personal banker getting the Series 6, 63 and insurance license requirements. In 2011 he became a small business specialist and began to work on small business loans. Currently he works as a business relationship manager on the Detroit Metro team, covering east Macomb County. He partners with seven branches to serve business clients with $1M - $5M in revenue. Andre is married with two daughters ages 6 and 4. He will sit on the funding and finance panel.
Priscilla Archangel, Ph.D. has a passion for developing successful leaders. She began her entrepreneurial journey five years ago as an executive coach, leadership and organizational development consultant, speaker, author, and teacher. She is fortunate to be able to work with firms in industries such as automotive, healthcare, financial services, hospitality, and with non-profits. Prior to that time, she held a variety of strategic global executive roles at General Motors over the course of her 30-year career there, leading human resources and organizational development initiatives to achieve business results. She is a John Maxwell Team certified coach, speaker and teacher, and is President of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Dr. Archangel will lead a discussion on working with corporations.
Van Allen, Entrepreneur & Speaker
Dawn Verbrigghe is an entrepreneur and speaker with a passion for helping small business owners achieve their dreams through creative and inexpensive marketing that attracts just the right customers. Currently founder and CEO of Jottful, a company that makes and maintains affordable websites for small businesses, Dawn has nearly 20 years of marketing experience, primarily at early-stage companies. She taught at The New School University in New York (filming location of Project Run Way) for seven years and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and two bachelors degrees from the University of Michigan. Dawn will lead a session on "How to Use Digital Marketing to go BIG"
Mark S. Lee is President/CEO of The LEE Group, a marketing consulting firm. He is the former VP of Brand Development and Marketing Communications at Florida Blue. Prior, Mr. Lee held senior-marketing leadership roles with nationally known companies including, PepsiCo and The Auto Club Group (AAA). Lee hosts a weekly radio show, “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee” broad casted on CBS Detroit’s WXYT 1270 and streamed via cbsdetroit.com. He is a public speaker and an adjunct professor of Marketing at Eastern Michigan University. Lee contributes on numerous TV programs. Lee is the creator and host of “EMU Today”, a general affairs program focused on Eastern Michigan University. He holds a MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BBA from EMU. Lee will facilitate a fireside chat with Alina Morse and Dana White.
Join Hundreds of Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners for a day of Networking and Learning
Anne Harpe is Vice President and Community Consultant in Community Development Banking at PNC, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group. She manages community financial education and other CRA services, and is responsible for grants and sponsorships benefiting low to moderate income communities throughout Southeast Michigan. Anne started her banking career in market research with National Bank of Detroit, and joined the PNC Financial Services Group in 2007, after years of running a residential interior design business. Anne holds a BA in Economics from Oakland University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She chairs the Oakland County CRA Association and serves as Secretary of the Board of Macomb Habitat for Humanity. Anne is a member of Leadership Detroit XXXV and Leadership Macomb XIX, and is a PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocate. Anne will sit on the funding and finance panel.
After opening her first Paralee Boyd Salon in Southfield in 2012, owner Dana White announced a second location in Midtown Detroit. Paralee Boyd is a walk-in only salon that specializes in blow-dry treatments for women that have thick, curly hair, but don’t have hours to sit in a salon or time to book their appointments weeks or months in advance. In addition to the Midtown expansion, White is looking to have at least 10 locations throughout the region and taking Paralee Boyd national as part of a franchise model. She has partnered with Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business program, as well as Motor City Match, Invest Detroit, and JP Morgan Chase’s Entrepreneur of Color Fund. With the help of engineers from Ford Motor Co. and FCA US, White applied a lean manufacturing model generally used in the automotive industry to help Paralee Boyd reduce costs, run more smoothly, and save clients time. A metric-driven company, clients average a total time of 35 minutes for Paralee Boyd’s basic service, and up to an hour and 15 minutes for a basic service and a hair treatment. Dana will participate in a Fireside Chat with Mark S. Lee.
Jason Hoffmeyer, Manager at Chemical Bank
Dr. Kenneth L. Harris is known for his innovative style and visionary approach to addressing societal and economic challenges within Black and minority-owned communities. Born and raised in Detroit, he started the International Detroit Black Expo, Inc. in 2005, which hosted more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the globe and reached 300,000 consumers, becoming one of the largest expositions in the country. The Honorable Dr. Harris was also elected to the Detroit Charter Commission. He led the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce to become the largest African American chamber in the country. Dr. Harris recently became the President/CEO of the National Business League,Inc (formerly the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce) founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington in 1900, with more than 15,000 members and 365 local leagues, with access to 2.5 million Black-owned businesses across the country. Dr. Harris graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Counseling/Clinical Psychology from Clark Atlanta University. He received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Detroit's Lewis College of Business in 2008 and an Educational Specialist (EDS) degree from Wayne State University. He earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University in African American and African Studies with a specialization in Business & Entrepreneurship from Eli Broad School of Business. Dr. Harris will lead a discussion on funding and finance.
Lisa is considered by many to be one of the most innovative consultants and speakers on human hardwiring and business alignment today. Your biological wiring dictates the type of environment in which you are best equipped to thrive and succeed, and the kind of environment you prefer to live and work. All across North America, Lisa Mininni educates business owners and corporate leadership teams on how your innate wiring and business systems, when aligned, result in Increased productivity, highly effective company cultures, and profound increased levels of team engagement. Her popular and progressive book on human hardwiring, Me, Myself, and Why – The Secrets to Navigating Change, is often used as a leadership tool and pinpoints distinct strengths and unleashes innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in the workplace. With over 30 years in human hardwiring, Lisa Mininni’s expertise is leading-edge. She will conduct a session on breaking through challenges.
Marcus A. Jackson is a Community Development Relationship Manager at CIBC. He is responsible for delivering customized banking solutions specific to the needs of small businesses, including a variety of lending options for start-ups, early stage and more established small businesses in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. Jackson is responsible for partnering with various community organizations in the Tri-County area to deliver entrepreneurial training programs. Prior to joining CIBC, he worked at PNC Bank as a Business Banker. There he was responsible for lending and servicing small businesses in the Detroit and the Downriver Communities. He has over five years of experience in providing financial service expertise to small business owners. Jackson received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Co-ed Professional Business Fraternity, as well as Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. Jackson serves as Treasurer for the Wayne County CRA Association and is a big brother of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He will sit on the funding and finance panel.
Michael Cheatham, CRA Manager at Comerica Bank
We'll focus on key strategies to scale your business so that you can go to the next level even faster! You will hear from entrepreneurs and service providers who have experience growing multi-million dollar businesses from the ground up. After this event you will have the tools to immediately impact the future of your business. Invest in your success. Register today!
Dr. Sibrina Collins, Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center at Lawrence Tech University
Rochelle Riley, who always works with two phones, is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, where she has been a leading voice for children, education, competent government and race since 2000. She is author of the new book “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” (Wayne State University Press, 2018). She has won numerous national, state and local honors, including the 2013 National Headliner Award for local column writing. Her columns on the text message scandal of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were part of the Free Press’ 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning entry for local news. She received the 2017 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship from the Society of Professional Journalists and the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She will lead the panel discussion "Women In Business"(Book signing immediately following the panel discussion)
Dan is currently the Director of the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory, a program that helps accelerate and scale small manufacturers and innovators of new “hardware” products. In his prior role as Vice President of Industry and Venture Development at NextEnergy, Dan led all market and technology analytic efforts to support the growth of early-stage and mature energy technology firms in areas such as wind, solar, advanced batteries, power electronics, vehicle electrification, smart grid, micro-grid, natural gas, and energy efficiency. This included NextEnergy’s venture and incubator services, supporting the commercialization efforts of approximately 1,000 new developers of advanced energy technologies; and helping over 120 manufacturers successfully diversify into the clean energy supply chain. Radomski frequently serves as an advisor, judge, mentor and committee member for regional and national accelerators and cleantech competitions, including TechStars Mobility, CleanTech Open, Clean Energy Trust Challenge, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, DTE E-Challenge, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, and the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge. Dan will participate in the opening ceremony.
Andre Vygnanski, Business Relationship Manager at Chase
Marcus A. Jackson, Community Development Manager at CIBC
Priscilla Archangel, Executive Coach and Leadership Speaker
Vickie Gould, Best Selling Author and Book Coach
Vickie Gould is a certified Law of Attraction business and book coach who has studied under Joe Vitale and is currently coached by Lisa Nichols. Using her signature holistic strategy, she helps her clients self-publish best selling books that share their stories impactfully, grow their following, attract ideal clients, increase their income, and make the worldwide impact that they desire. Vickie is the author of 9 international best-selling books like Hit Publish! and Standing in the Gap, and has also helped nearly 100 others become worldwide best-selling authors. She has been featured in Entrepreneur, HuffPost, Thrive Global and YFS Magazine, amongst others. She has also been on numerous podcasts and previously published an online magazine. Vickie is a board member of the Michigan Chapter of the National Entrepreneurs Association. She will participate in the "Women in Business" panel discussion.
Alina Morse, Founder of Zollipops
Dr. ZaLonya Allen is President/CEO of the National Entrepreneurs Association. She has been an entrepreneur for nearly 20 years and has been involved in five for-profit start ups and one non-profit. As a Leadership Development Speaker and Trainer she has presented for organizations throughout the country including Ford UAW, Edison, Society for Human Resource Management, Macomb Community College, Clemson University and the Federal Government to name a few. She earned a Bachelors in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University and a Doctorate in Psychology from North Central University. She is a Psychology Professor and a member of the National Speakers Association. Dr. Allen will deliver the morning keynote.
Introducing the New NEA Entrepreneur Certification & Training Program
Elizabeth Mays, Millennial Entrepreneur & CEO of MCS Multimedia
Dawn Verbrigghe, Founder and CEO of Jottful
Elizabeth Mays is the CEO of MCS Multimedia formed in 2011, after inheriting Mays Printing, founded in 1946 by her late grandfather, J. Caulton Mays. Mays is a 3rd generation printer, entrepreneur and visionary who works closely with entrepreneurs and executives by using branding, printing, graphics, web design and marketing tactics to overcome roadblocks to increase profitability. Mays is president and co-founder of Entrepreneur & Executive Magazine and Chief Consultant of Valley Publishing. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Western Michigan University, with studies in Communications: Film, Video & Media Studies and minor in Engineering: Graphic & Printing Science. Elizabeth has been awarded and recognized by 9 entities for her leadership, innovation and strong business acumen, including MI Chronicle 40 under 40, NANBPWC- Detroit Business Woman of The Year, MICH Business Succession Success Award, and Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence. Elizabeth is born, raised, and resided in Detroit. She will take part in the "Women in Business" panel discussion.
Tammi Hart, Purchasing Manager at Federal Mogul
Tina Williams, Founder and COO of QT Business Solutions
Tina Williams, BAA, MBA, is the Founder & COO of QT Business Solutions. She is a former Banker with Chase and Fifth Third Banks. She is also a Board Certified Master Financial Professional and Chartered Asset Manager. She started the business while working full time at Chase Bank. During her time at the bank she noticed that the majority of entrepreneurs and small business owners who applied for financing were unprepared. They had no business plans and many of them didn’t fully understand the banks’ approval criteria for business financing. This resulted in many of them being denied for business financing. This is how she came up with the idea to start QT Business Solutions which helps entrepreneurs and small business owners properly prepare themselves to apply for business financing. Tina will sit on the "Women in Business Panel"
Dr. ZaLonya Allen, President of National Entrepreneurs Association
Meet 13 Year Old Teen Millionaire Entrepreneur
Van Allen is a lifelong entrepreneur. He first began his career in investing over 25 years ago. His primary investments include real estate and blue chip stocks as well as numerous entrepreneurial ventures. In addition, he is an award winning motivational speaker and former cable talk show host. He has received numerous speaking awards including first place in the District 28 World Championship of Public Speaking Contest for Toastmasters International. His signature presentation “Are You a Winner” encourages audiences to step out of their comfort zone to reach their true potential. He attended Henry Ford Community College and Wayne State University. He is a Master NLP Practitioner which allows him to help individuals tap into the power of the subconscious mind. Currently he is the President of Van Allen Productions which specializes in producing video and audio projects. Van is also Co-founder of SEMEA. He will serve as afternoon MC.
Tammi Hart serves as the Purchasing Manager, Supplier Diversity, and Supplier Financial Risk Management for Federal-Mogul Powertrain LLC. As Purchasing Manager, Tammi is responsible for developing and directing the supplier diversity purchasing strategies throughout Powertrain Global Purchasing, and managing financially distressed supplier’s. Tammi is a seasoned Supplier Diversity professional, who has had the opportunity to diversify supplier base for automotive Corporations and state government. Tammi continues to elevate her passion for advocating for diverse businesses. Tammi will participate in a discussion on working with corporations.
Dr. Kenneth L. Harris, President/CEO of National Business League
Mr. Anderson holds a B.S. in Math and Engineering from the United States Military Academy. He received two master degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. He received honorary doctorate degrees from Kettering University and Central Michigan University. Mr. Anderson is past Chairman of the Manufacturing Council with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Currently, he serves on the Board of Rite Aid Corporation and as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit Branch. His community involvement includes the National Recreation Foundation and Horizons-Upward Bound Advisory Board. Mr. Anderson has consistently been recognized as one of the top business owners in the country. Mr. Anderson will deliver the closing keynote.
Small Business Doing Big Business
Camille Walker Banks, Executive Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Marilyn Trent, principal and founder of Trent Creative, started as a freelance designer in 1992. While simultaneously raising two daughters and launching her business out of her home, Marilyn has built her company into a successful, award winning, full-service agency. Specializing in strategic branding, graphic design and marketing. Trent Creative has worked with over 100 B2B and B2C clients with gross sales totaling from $2 million to $300 million with offices in Detroit and Rochester. Her client list is becoming more extensive and diverse every year, working with companies such as Eaton Steel, Midtown Detroit Inc., Detroit Historical Museum, The Children’s Center and Beaumont Hospital, to name a few. Through tenacious brand building and expert marketing strategy, Trent Creative has become a catalyst for positive social and infrastructural change with Metro-Detroit area and national clients.
Amy Nicole Swift, CEO and Founder of Building Hugger
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press Award Winning Journalist
Thomas Vargo, Lead Business Opportunity Specialist for the SBA
Dana White, Owner of Paralee Boyd
Amy Nicole Swift is the CEO & Founder of Building Hugger, a Detroit-based woman-owned construction company specializing in historic window restoration. Since the launch of Building Hugger, Amy has led the company through a dramatic growth phase that has included three shop expansions, an aggressive hiring strategy, and a tenfold increase in revenue. In each stage of business and professional growth she continues to prove herself as one of Detroit’s emerging powerhouse entrepreneurs, and a vocal advocate for historic neighborhood development and opportunities for women to enter into the trades. A "recovering architect," Amy started her career as an architectural designer in globally recognized architectural offices in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. She holds a MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a BS in Interior Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. As Professor of Practice and adjunct faculty member she has taught history, design & theory of architecture at Lawrence Technological University and U of D Mercy.
Dan Radomski, Director of Lawrence Tech University Collaboratory
Dr. Sibrina N. Collins is an inorganic chemist and STEM administrator. She is a proud DPS graduate and began her college career at Highland Park Community College (Highland Park, Michigan), where she earned an associate of science degree in 1990. Dr. Collins later earned a B.A. in chemistry (cum laude) in 1994 from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). She earned her M.S. (1996) and Ph.D. (2000) both in the field of inorganic chemistry from The Ohio State University under the direction of Professor Bruce Bursten. As a graduate student at OSU, she received significant training as a photochemist, where she used light to study chemical reactions and photochemically reactive molecules. She later completed a postdoctoral appointment at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), where she focused on heart disease research. Dr. Collins is now the Executive Director of The Marburger STEM Center (MSC), housed on the campus of Lawrence Technological University. The Marburger STEM Center is the intellectual home of campus-wide STEM initiatives at LTU, which promotes inclusiveness, excellence, creativity and innovation.
Judge Debra Nance was elected to the bench on November 6, 2012. She began a six-year term as Judge of the 46th District Court on January 1, 2013. Judge Nance received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Detroit. She began her career as an Assistant Personnel Superintendent at the Hudson’s Northland Store before serving as Personnel Superintendent for several other Hudson’s Stores throughout Michigan. She has also worked in various Human Resource Management capacities in the automotive industry prior to launching her legal career. Judge Nance began her career as an attorney after obtaining a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. She gained invaluable experience while working in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Domestic Violence Unit and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Child & Family Abuse Bureau as an intern. After graduating she worked on assignment to the Office of the General Counsel at Ford Motor Company. In 2001, she went into private practice at a mid-sized law firm where she developed a successful litigation practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Probate Litigation, Juvenile & Family Litigation and Adoption Law.
Debra Nance, 46th District Court Judge
2018 Entrepreneur & Small Business Conference
Camille Walker Banks is executive director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, a $500 million investment provided by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with practical business education, access to capital and business support services. Under Camille's leadership, participating Michigan companies have outpaced the US small businesses’ and 10,000 Small Businesses' national averages in increasing revenues and job creation. Camille will lead a panel of Goldman Sach's graduates discussing how small businesses can Grow to the Next Level.
Jason Hoffmeyer is the Branch Manager for Chemical Bank at the Rochester office, with over 15 years of business development/lending experience. While always looking for organic growth opportunities throughout Oakland and Macomb County, he currently manages a loan portfolio of over 50 loans totaling $7,000,000 in balances, along with a $120,000,000 deposit base. By deepening relationships with several local CPAs, attorneys, and commercial real estate brokers, Jason has been the top performing Manager in all of Chemical Bank for the past four years. Jason takes a lot of pride in helping business owners achieve their financial goals, while also giving back to the business community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, as well as The Robby Atherton Foundation. In addition, he has been the Chairman of The Lawrence Technological University Golf Outing “The Tech Invitational” since 2012. He currently resides in Oxford, MI where he loves to spend time with his wife and two son’s Nathan (8) and Evan (6), while playing golf in his free time!
Mr. Anderson is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and majority owner of TAG Holdings, LLC, the fifth largest minority owned business in the United States and a global provider of manufacturing and supply chain services targeting the aerospace, automotive, construction and defense industries. Previously, Mr. Anderson spent thirteen years at General Motors in a variety of senior leadership positions. Additionally, Mr. Anderson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was awarded two silver stars, five bronze stars, three Army Commendation Medals, and eleven Air Medals after thirteen years as an officer in the US Army.
Michael Cheatham grew up in Detroit, and was educated in the Detroit public schools. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Business. While at U of M, he served in the Army Reserve. After college, Michael joined Comerica Bank and spent 19 years working in the banking center system. During that time, he earned an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. He currently serves as the bank’s Corporate Contributions and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) manager for the state of Michigan. His job duties include building community relationships, promoting CRA qualified volunteerism, and managing the budget for charitable contributions. He is very active in the community, and serves on the board of directors for several area non-profits and community focused professional associations. Michael lives in Detroit with his wife and daughter.
Event Highlights Include