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2020 Entrepreneur & Small Business Conference

The Future of Entrepreneurship

October 23, 2020 from 10am to 3pm ET on Zoom



Pictures from the 2019 Entrepreneur & Small Business Conference: Power Up Your Business

at the Mike Ilitch School of Business. Visit last years conference website ​


This will be one of the most substantive entrepreneurial events of the year! You'll learn innovative ways to use technology to take your business to new heights, get more clients and increase profits at the 2020 Entrepreneur and Small Business Conference: The Future of Entrepreneurship. Hear speakers from Microsoft, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, NPower, National Entrepreneurs Association and more.  Here are a few key takeaways:

  • How to have more effective online meetings

  • Simple ways to use technology to increase business

  • Leveraging technology to ensure business agility

  • A complete step-by-step networking strategy to increase referrals

  • The 3 biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make that stunt growth

  • How your relationship with money effects your ability to make a profit

  • 7 Secrets That Turned A Bankrupt Startup into a $231,000,000 business

*All conference attendees will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a Dell Computer valued at over $1000!!!

Meet Our 2020 Keynote Speaker Dave Zilko

Entrepreneur, Speaker & Author of the National Best Seller Irrational Persistence:

​Seven Secrets That Turned A Bankrupt Startup into a $231,000,000 Business

Topic: Irrational Persistence

Get ready to be inspired as one of America's most successful entrepreneurs shares one of the most inspirational stories of entrepreneurship that you'll ever hear along with practical solutions that you can apply to your business immediately to get more clients, increase profits and grow your business.

Bio: Dave Zilko founded his first specialty food company more than 25 years ago. While today Dave remains an equity partner in several food-oriented enterprises, he recently exited active involvement in the industry when he engineered the sale of Garden Fresh Gourmet, makers of the number one brand of fresh salsa in North America, to the Campbell’s Soup Company for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. Dave was a partner at Garden Fresh for 13 years, serving as Vice Chairman with primary responsibility for strategy and sales.

In early 2016 Dave published a book, via Wiley & Sons, detailing his experience as an entrepreneur in general and his experiences with Garden Fresh in particular. Entitled Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned A Bankrupt Startup into a $231,000,000 Business. The book became an instant national best seller. Today Dave has invested in and has assumed the role of CEO at FUEL Leadership, a digital media property that also organizes exclusive business events. He has started another food company, Skinny Butcher brand ready to serve meals.

Dave is an Operating Partner at Huron Capital, a Detroit-based private equity firm with over $1 billion under management. Dave also serves on the boards of the $60 million Grow Michigan venture fund, of Jimmy Buffett's charitable foundation "Singing for Change," and on the executive board of the largest food rescue organization in the country Forgotten Harvest. Dave graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in finance and earned a Master of Business Administration in marketing from The George Washington University.

Meet Our 2020 Kickoff Keynote Speaker

Camille Walker Bank

Executive Director at NPower Michigan

Topic: The Future is Tech

Camille will discuss how entrepreneurs can lean on technology to get through these challenging times of social distancing and still achieve the success they desire in their businesses. She will provide examples of how business owners are using technology to reach their goals. She will also discuss today's latest innovation and share what our nations young entrepreneurs are doing to make a difference.

Bio: Camille is a Detroit native with deep roots in the business, nonprofit and philanthropic communities. She is a seasoned, growth-minded leader who has built a successful career across corporate and government sectors. She recently led the highest performing site in the United States for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative at Wayne State University. Camille is now leading the expansion of NPower to the Detroit/Southeast Michigan market at an ideal time as the demand for tech talent and lack of supply creates a real opportunity for the Detroit region’s young adults.

Her rapidly rising career trajectory coupled with increased community responsibilities as a thought-leader in entrepreneurship education, and business growth strategy has won numerous professional plaudits, including a citation in the Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence, MichBusiness Women Thrive honoree, the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council’s Partner of the Year, Global Treasure Award from the International School/Cyber Education Center, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s CEO of Excellence Award. She serves on a number of boards, has worked to establish and sustain incubators and accelerators in the SE-Michigan region since 2007, and is internationally sought for speaking engagements.

Camille implemented key state and local initiatives around economic development and community revitalization resulting in over $5.5B in new capital investment and over 5,000 new jobs created during her tenure with the MEDC in underserved communities. Camille holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Urban/Regional Planning with economic development focus from Wayne State University.

Meet Our 2020 Microsoft Trainer Alykhan Hirani

Sr. Channel Sales Executive MNA Microsoft

Topic: Leveraging Technology to Ensure Business Agility and Digitally Transform Your Business With Dell and Microsoft

Leveraging technology to ensure business agility is important in any environment, but in today’s world of COVID-19 where it’s your main or only way to collaborate with employees and customers, it’s truly imperative. In fact, you have the opportunity to digitally transform your business now to position yourself for the future. In this session, you’ll learn about tools—from Windows 10 Pro to Microsoft 365 Business, that will help you do it. Key takeaways:

  • Modern Workplace Solutions &

  • Collaboration Technologies

  • Windows 10 Pro

  • Microsoft 365 Business

Bio: Alykhan is a Sr. channel sales executive with MNA Microsoft. He is a dynamic, mid-level business leader with extensive P&L management, business development and account planning expertise. He’s demonstrated a track record of creating processes and partnerships that deliver desired results in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. Alykhan also has a strong entrepreneurial spirit with a proven domestic and international track record.

Meet Our 2020 Conference Host Dr. ZaLonya Allen

President of National Entrepreneurs Association

Topic: How to Get Unstuck and Find Your Flow

Is there an area in your life or business where you feel stuck? Using principles of psychology and  physics Dr. Allen will share three powerful techniques that you can use immediately to help you get unstuck, find your flow and create more opportunities for yourself.

Bio: Dr. ZaLonya Allen is the President of the National Entrepreneurs Association. She has been an entrepreneur for 20 years. As a Leadership Speaker and Trainer she has delivered hundreds of presentations for organizations throughout the country and coaches professionals in a variety of industries. Dr. Allen has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Woman of Wonder Award from University of Phoenix, Unsung Hero Award from Wayne state University Association of Black Business Students and the Spirit of Detroit Award. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan, a M.A. in industrial Relations from Wayne State University and a Doctorate in Psychology from North Central University. Dr. Allen enjoys teaches psychology classes in her spare time. To learn more visit

Conference Agenda

10:00am to 10:10am - Welcome

Dr. ZaLonya Allen, President of NEA

10:10am to 10:30am - Opening Keynote: The Future is Tech

Camille Walker Banks, Executive Director at NPower

10:30am to 11:15am Technology in the New Normal (Panel)

  • Paul Jones, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

  • Dr. Dawn Cone, Management Consultant & Executive Coach

  • Nicol Pasuit, Founder and CEO of TechStak & TechStak Marketing

  • Tisha Hammond, Founder of Ascent Small Business Promotion LLC

11:15am to 12:00pm - Dell/Microsoft Training Session: Leveraging Technology to

Ensure Business Agility and Digitally Transform Your  Business With Dell & Microsoft

Aly Hirani, Sr Channel Sales Executive MNA Microsoft

11:45pm to 12:15pm - Facilitated Networking

Van Allen, Owner at Van Allen Productions  

12:15pm to 12:30pm - Lunch Break

12:30pm to 01:15pm - Financial Literacy Panel

Financial Secrets to Increase Your Bottom Line

Presented by Marcus Jackson, Relationship Manager at CIBC

  • Dr. Eddie Connor, International Speaker, Author and College Professor

  • Warren S. Galloway, Business Consultant, Author, Professor, Coach, Entrepreneur

  • Priscilla Archangel, President of Archangel and Associates

  • Imran Mumtaz, Financial Loan Officer, Michigan Women Forward

  • Ashley Mizzi, Managing Director, Accounting Aid Society   

  • ​Meaghan McLaughlin, Senior Consultant, TIVA Capital Advisors

01:15pm to 02:00pm - Breakout Sessions

1. Enhancing Your Relationship with Money
Beth Dana Financial Coach, Educator, Author

2. How to Have More Effective Online Meetings and Crush It!
Presented by Regina Newberry, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker/Author

02:00pm to 02:45pm - Closing Keynote: Irrational Persistence
Dave Zilko, Keynote Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur

02:45pm to 03:00pm - Drawings & Giveaways

​* Please note the time zone is eastern.

Panel and Breakout Session Descriptions

Technology in the New Normal

A panel of dynamic entrepreneurs from diverse professional backgrounds discuss how they have used technology to pivot and maintain business success despite the challenges of COVID19. Find out how they did it! You’ll learn about tech tools, software programs, internet resources and more. Attend and discover new ways to do business. There will be a Q & A session immediately following the panel discussion.

Financial Secrets to Increase Your Bottom Line  

Financial literacy is an essential part of every business. Do you understand your financials? Balance sheets, profit and loss statements, funding and business taxes are all a part of being an entrepreneur.  A panel of entrepreneurs and financial professionals discuss financial strategies that will help you save money and increase profits. You’ll learn how small changes to your business model can make a big difference. Bring your financial questions. There will be a Q & A session immediately following the panel discussion.

How to Have More Effective Online Meetings and Crush it!

​Have you become frustrated with online meetings. From boredom to interruptions to the myriad of distractions online meetings can be unproductive. Attend this session and learn practical tips for producing more engaging online meetings and establishing professional video meeting etiquette. Our new normal in the virtual space can be just as impactful as meeting in person when everyone is informed about how to interact starting with the do’s and don’ts of video conferencing.

Enhancing Your Relationship with Money

During this session you will learn a holistic approach to deepening and healing your relationship with money. By creating a space of financial wellness and wholeness, Beth Dana supports people in creating breakthroughs in their relationship with self and money by releasing limiting beliefs that are in the way of creating abundance and prosperity.

Facilitated Networking

During this session you will learn an easy 5 step formula for putting together your 30 and 60 second commercials, that you can use at networking events to make connections and get new leads. You will also have an opportunity to practice your commercial and connect with conference attendees.

Conference Speakers Include

Regina Newberry is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author of the book “Recognizing a Cash Cow-Honing In on Your Company’s Best Asset-THE PEOPLE.” She has extensive experience working with leaders and building empowered diverse teams. Her passion to serve them evolved during her 20 years of professional work history in the automotive supplier manufacturing industry.

She has held various positions as Lead Design Engineer, Engineering Supervisor, and Program Manager with awards; and sought after to champion complex company bottle-necks. She refers to herself as a CI (Continuous Improvement) expert and leadership disruptor.

In her current role, she serves as CEO of OutDo Wit Consulting Group, a small woman-owned management consulting business specializing in administrative and general management support. She brings a fresh eyes approach with a talent for discerning company challenges that impact workflow productivity and team development. Her motto is “Start with People first then work on systems and processes

Nicol Pasuit, the founder and CEO of TechStak and TechStak Marketing, is a ‘corporate intrapreneur’ turned entrepreneur. After working in corporate healthcare for 20 years building and scaling various tech-enabled services across the country she founded TechStak. Her company helps small businesses find and hire the right outsourced tech and IT firms – especially those skilled in cybersecurity. She recently launched TechStak Marketing to further help IT service providers solve their number one pain point – sales and marketing.

As a self-taught techie and marketer, she is always looking for and testing new SaaS-based tools to improve her business operations. Nicol was even introduced at a pitch competition as a “total geek”, which she proudly accepted as a compliment. She took 2nd place in the emerging technology category at that competition.Outside of her company, Nicol is a member of CompTia, a global IT industry organization and Michigan Women in Cybersecurity. She previously hosted a tech-focused podcast for small businesses. But now presents on IT outsourcing and management for different industry groups as well as marketing and sales consulting for IT providers.

Dr. Dawn Cone is a Management Consultant and Executive Coach with 25 years of experience specializing in individual, team and organizational effectiveness. Her areas of expertise include individual, team and organizational assessment, culture change, leadership and team development, and bringing organizational vision to life. As Founder/CEO of DSC Consulting Solutions, Dawn’s clients have spanned across several industries. As a speaker, trainer, and facilitator, she has delivered numerous presentations to a variety of audiences across the country. She has won awards for her research and has presented at both national and international professional conferences.

Dawn is a licensed psychologist and earned her dual Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University. She is certified in The Hogan Development Suite and Korn Ferry Leadership Architect and has served as Adjunct Professor teaching at both graduate and undergraduate levels. She also serves as a Consultant Board Member of Temeku Life Center and is a member of the Institute of  the Institute of Management Consultants and Society of Consulting Psychology. Management Consultants and Society of Consulting Psychology

Beth Dana is a financial educator, coach, author and humanitarian from sunny California. She brings a feminine, holistic approach to the, sometimes, masculine financial environment. She is a financial professional, and has studied holistic energy healing to further support her clients in deepening their healing in their relationship with money. By creating a space of financial wellness and wholeness, she supports people in creating breakthroughs in their relationship with self and money by releasing limiting beliefs that are in the way from creating abundance and prosperity.

Beth couples her business interests with her passion for philanthropy, and has coached hundreds of students participating in leadership trainings, and raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations. She has traveled to India to volunteer at the Mother Teresa House, served at orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico, and is founder of The Beetle Group a non-profit organization focusing on global aid projects. Her book ‘Make Money Your Partner’ -Your 30-Day Guide To Financial Wellness & Healing, is a working journal style of book, giving a holistic approach to financial. freedom

Paul Jones has a unique combination of institutional finance, small business advisory and entrepreneurship experience. He is the Executive Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in Detroit Michigan. Prior to joining the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Team, Paul founded TIVA Capital Advisors, a “virtual CFO company, focusing on data analytics, financial literacy and value extraction. In the previous 10 years, Mr. Jones was co-founder & CEO of IPX EG International; a telecom company domiciled in west Africa. Under Paul’s leadership; IPX grew from start-up to $20 million in annual sales with over 100 employees.

Imran Mumtaz is a Loan Officer at Michigan Women Forward. Imran helps coordinate the organization’s statewide microlending operations – working in collaboration with entrepreneurs and various support organizations to help businesses get to their next level. Additionally, he helps develop collaborations with MWF’s strategic partners and relationships with other external parties, hoping to leverage the organization’s strengths to tackle systemic issues related to entrepreneurship and economic development in the state. Imran is a 2019 Venture For America Fellow and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Finance and Accounting. Prior to working at MWF, Imran was an Analyst at NISA Investment Advisors, a pioneering asset manager for some of the biggest institutional investors in the world.

Priscilla Archangel, PhD has a passion for developing successful leaders. She helps them to build high-performing, healthy teams; develop leadership skills for success; quickly and successfully transition into a new role; identify and implement strategies to navigate organizational networks; design and develop organizational culture to support objectives; and develop purpose, mission, vision, values and behaviors to achieve goals. As an executive coach, leadership and organizational development consultant she supports individuals and teams at automotive, healthcare, financial services, hospitality, and non-profit organizations. This leverages her 30 years of global executive level Fortune 10 experience in organizational development and human resources. Priscilla offers practical solutions for real challenges, along with insightful and candid feedback. She is also a sought-after speaker, teacher, and author/blogger and believes that “everything rises and falls on leadership.

Ashley Mizzi, MBA joined the organization in 2018 and has been instrumental in both the launch and expansion of the Accounting Aid Academy. She has over a decade of experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, where she specialized in developing and deploying programs for small business owners, particularly in the areas of financial education, loan, and capital utilization. Ashley earned her undergraduate degree in business,  her MBA in finance, and has completed certifications for continuing education from Central Michigan University and Harvard University. She is a 2017 dBusiness Magazine 30 in Their Thirties honoree and a 2019 Michigan’s Most Valuable Millennial award recipient. Ashley is also fluent in German.

Warren S. Galloway, Jr., BS, JD, has more than 14 years of executive level banking and over 25 years of small business experience. He has worked in many capacities with nonprofit groups, individuals, and businesses. Mr. Galloway has served in key positions at some of the largest national and regional financial institutions in the United States—among them E*TRADE Bank, Charter One Bank (now known as Citizens Bank), Standard Federal Bank (now known as Bank of America), and NBD Bank (now known as Chase Bank)—holding a number of posts in Regulatory Affairs, Compliance, Community Reinvestment (CRA), Community Development, Personal and Mortgage Lending, Investments, Small Business Lending, and Retail Branch Operations.

Mr. Galloway earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing/Business Administration from Central Michigan University, as well as a Juris Doctor Degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. After completing his education, he became a community advocate, working to rebuild urban and rural communities by utilizing funds from financial institutions, government, businesses, foundations, private individuals, and his own personal resource.

Tisha Hammond is a woman who woke up to realize that she can influence economies by empowering Entrepreneurs to assert and insert themselves into their business communities. Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLC, the company that she founded in January 2015, models a faith-based, profit first entrepreneurship mindset. She is an award-winning Entrepreneur who successfully transitioned from employee to self-employed at the age of 41. In 2018, her employer became her first customer through Federal contracting. Tisha’s superpower is WOO and she elevates the conversation around Entrepreneurship in three primary ways:
1.Business Consulting 2.Sales of her International Bestselling book, ‘Daily Devotional for Entrepreneurs: Your Season to Grow’; and as
3.Host of the YouTube series, ‘Pep Talk with Tisha Hammond…Powered by Dell Technologies and Intel Corporation,’ where she spotlights half the world’s workforce who call themselves “Boss.” ​When she mentions your name in rooms full of opportunities, you can expect new results and solutions to come your way. Learn more about why she is affectionately called “The Small Business Cheerleader” at

Meaghan McLaughlin is responsible for the day-to-day operations as the Senior Consultant at TIVA Capital Advisors, assisting companies in scaling up and increasing their profitability through the development and execution of their short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals. TIVA takes a data-driven approach in monitoring, measuring, and managing all those things that business owners want to be able to make real-time decisions. Prior to her role with TIVA, Meaghan managed a state-wide microloan fund whose primary target was low-to-moderate income women and other minority populations. She also has experience with running entrepreneurial events and programs, including several pitch competitions across the state.

Van Allen is a lifelong entrepreneur. He 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 Owner and President of Van Allen Productions which specializes in producing audio and video projects.

Dr. Eddie Connor: Empowering people to overcome obstacles and walk in their unique purpose, is the real life message shared by Dr. Eddie Connor, who is a survivor of stage 4 cancer. Dr. Connor is an international speaker, college professor, and conference host of Vision Summit. He is a best-selling author of 11 books and founder of the mentoring program Boys 2 Books, which empowers young males via literacy, leadership, and life skills enrichment. He serves as the President of the National Entrepreneurs Association of Michigan. Dr. Connor is a recipient of The President Barack Obama Volunteer Service Award and The President Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award from The White House.

Dr. Connor is recognized as one of the Top 35 Millennial Influencers in America, listed in the Top 100 Leaders in Who’s Who in Black Detroit, and named to Michigan Chronicle’s Top 40 Under 40. Dr. Connor has been featured on ABC News, BET, CBS, Ebony, FOX News, Jet, Lifetime TV, NBC, PBS, The Steve Harvey TV Show, The Tom Joyner Show, The Word Network, and USA Today. He was an empowerment speaker at Bishop T.D. Jakes' MegaFest and featured on the acclaimed BET documentary, It Takes A Village to Raise Detroit. Learn more by visiting

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