2013 Induction Committee
Jane Applegate is America’s most respected small business management expert. A popular keynote speaker and commentator, she’s author of four books on small business success, including 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business and The Entrepreneur’s Desk Reference. On April 16, 2011, John Wiley & Sons published the third edition of 201 Great Ideas as a trade paperback and in all eBook formats for Kindle, Nook, Adobe Digital Editions and iPad.
Applegate is a popular keynote speaker who spoke at more than 20 events in 2010 sponsored by business associations, chambers of commerce and companies serving business owners. In 2011, she is scheduled to speak at more than a dozen events sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Virtual CFO (vcfo.com, Elance.com, HubSpot.com.
In 2011, Applegate launched The Great Ideas Network, a small business video network devoted to sharing great business, marketing and management ideas via www.201greatideas.com.
A former syndicated small business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Applegate writes a bi-monthly small business blog for Amex’s Open Forum.com and exclusive monthly columns for Cox Communications, Pitney Bowes and Montecito Bank.
When she left the Times, she created, produced and co-anchored Bloomberg Small Business for the USA Network. She also wrote and produced a daily radio show. Succeeding in Small Business radio report aired on hundreds of CBS stations in the 1990s.
The Applegate Group, founded in 1991, provides strategic marketing and video production services to big and small companies. (www.theapplegategroup.com).
James Barrood is the Executive Director of the nationally recognized Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business. He has developed and managed many of the Institute’s innovative academic and outreach programs since 1997. Barrood has won several honors, is frequently quoted in print and online media and often appears as a guest on TV programs to discuss entrepreneurship and innovation.
James has developed and managed many of the Institute’s innovative academic and outreach programs since 1997. He is active in the regional entrepreneurial and business communities and was recently recognized as the 2008 Small Business Advocate (NYER) and among the state's 'Forty Under 40 Business Achievers' by NJBIZ business journal. James frequently speaks at regional business events and has appeared on MSNBC, ABC, My9, NJN (Voices of Innovation) and News12. He sits on several boards, including the Silberman College of Business, Innovation New Jersey, North Jersey WIRED, the National Association of Corporate Directors-NJ (Advisory Committee), NJN 2008 Gala Committee and the advisory boards of a public company and private firm. He is also a member of the Council on Competitiveness and the Business Council of the United Nations. James has been a columnist for NJBIZ, has written articles for Entrepreneur and GSW magazines and newspapers, including BusinessInsider.com and the Star-Ledger, NorthJersey.com, and The Providence Journal, and is widely quoted both regionally and nationally (USA Today). He brings with him a background in small business/family business and the real estate and automobile industries, as well as marketing and e-business expertise. James holds an MBA from Texas A & M and a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Jim Beach is a serial entrepreneur with success in building web based businesses. Jim started his first company when he was 25 years old. He was the Co-founder and CEO of American Computer Experience which he grew with no capital infusion to $12 million in annual revenue in 2000 and to over 30 permanent and 700 temporary employees, operating in 39 states and in three countries. American Computer Experience became the world's largest technology training company for children, and enjoyed sponsor tie-ins with Microsoft, Intel, Lego, NASA, and many others. The Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized the company was one for the fastest growing companies in Georgia for both 1999 and 2000. In 2001, Jim was selected as one of the "Forty under Forty" most influential citizens by Georgia Trend magazine. He sold the company in 2000 and joined GSU teaching International Entrepreneurship. Jim's first book, School for Startups, was published by McGraw-Hill in June 2011. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal (US and Indian editions), Entrepreneur, Fortune, Kiplinger, Wired, the NYT, on NPR, MSNBC, CBS, and CNN. He has consulted and run educational programs for SunTrust, Wells Fargo, and Toshiba, and has been a featured speaker around the US and in Egypt, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, and India.
Bo Burlingham is an editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and the author of several books on entrepreneurship. Mr. Burlingham joined Inc. in January 1983 as a senior editor. Promoted to executive editor six months later, he played a major role in the magazine’s early coverage of innovative companies that have since emerged as leaders of the so-called New Economy. In 1990, he resigned as executive editor so that he could do more writing and became editor-at-large. Subsequently he wrote two books with Jack Stack, the co-founder and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. and the pioneer of open-book management. Their first book, The Great Game of Business, was honored as one of the 100 best business books of all time and has sold more than 500,000 copies. The second, A Stake in the Outcome, has been called “the first management classic of the new millennium.” Burlingham’s next book, Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big, was published in 2006 and named one of five finalists for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award. His most recent book, co-authored with Norm Brodsky, is The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up. (It is now available in paperback under the title Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs.) Since 1995, Burlingham has co-authored Brodsky’s popular monthly column in Inc. called “Street Smarts,” which was the winner of a gold “AZBEE” award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors in 2008, and a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2006 and 2008.
A former Fulbright Scholar and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Burlingham graduated from Princeton University in 1967 with a B.A. in public and international affairs. He later served as managing editor of Ramparts magazine and wrote for numerous publications, including Harper’s, Esquire, Mother Jones, The Boston Globe, and Boston magazine.In the early 1980s, he joined Fidelity Investments, the mutual fund company, where he worked with fund managers and top executives, including Peter Lynch. Burlingham was a founding member, with Tom Peters, of PAC/World, an international organization of business leaders and observers. He served on the board of The Body Shop Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the international skin and hair care company, from 1992 to 1997.
He has been married for 40 years to his wife, Lisa. They have two children and two grandchildren and live in Oakland, CA.
Anita Campbell is Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Trends (SmallBizTrends.com) an online community touching over 2 Million small business owners each year. The site has won numerous awards, including Forbes Best of the Web, twice. Integral to the success of the community is the Small Business Trends network of over 150 experts – a group of small business owners and influencers who share their expertise to other small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs.
Anita also hosts a weekly Internet radio podcast show featuring interviews with hundreds of small business owners, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. She also operates a small-business social media site, called BizSugar.com, with over 200,000 registered small business members.
Anita Campbell is currently or was formerly on: the Advisory Board of NEOSA, the technology network of COSE, a 17,000-member small business organization in Ohio; the Advisory Board of the Center for Information Technology and eBusiness at the University of Akron, College of Business; and NorTech, an Ohio economic development organization. She is a frequent speaker at small business conferences and webinars. She was an expert tapped to contribute to the Intuit Future of Small Business Report.
Before starting her own business, Anita held a variety of senior executive positions, including General Counsel and Senior Vice President, culminating in the role of CEO of an information technology subsidiary of Bell & Howell Company.
Anita holds a B.A. from Duquesne University and a J.D. from the University of Akron Law School. She completed an Executive Education program at the University of Michigan Business School, and the Leadership at the Peak program at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Daniel R. Castro is a business litigation attorney and partner in the law firm of Castro & Baker, LLP, in Austin, Texas. Dan is an honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He has spent the last 25 years mentoring teenagers and law students. Professionally, Dan has represented Fortune 500 corporations in multimillion-dollar litigation, individual corporate executives in employment disputes and small to mid-size corporations in hotly contested commercial and real estate disputes.
Aside from practicing law, Dan is the owner of a real estate company, a mortgage company, a proerty management company and a Boot Camp For Entrepreneurs called Entrepreneur.Ology.
After he started practicing law, Dan started conducting the research that went into Critical Choices That Change Lives. His natural curiosity led him on a ten year adventure of reading volumes of biographies, academic articles, psychological treatises, magazines, newspapers, and observing people from ancient history to the present.
He wanted to know why some people are able to survive and prosper in the midst of crisis, while most people cannot.
What he discovered was that heroes are people who can literally see and hear opportunities and solutions around them that other people cannot.
Dario E. Collado
Dario E. Collado is the Program Manager for the Latino Leadership Initiative; he began working at the Center for Public Leadership in September 2008. Prior to coming to the Harvard Kennedy School, Collado was a Senior Solutions Consultant with Dun and Bradstreet Government Solutions Team working on the Department of Justice account, primarily with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Collado also helped run the 1-800 Crime TV hotline for John Walsh and America's Most Wanted. Collado attended Andover and holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Masters in Leadership with honors from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Collado is fluent in both English and Spanish and was born and raised in Lawrence, MA.
Jerry Darnell has been involved in franchising for over 36 years and is known in some quarters as the "Mayor of Franchising." Others say Jerry is the most connected man in franchising. He is often credited with creating the concept of "Discovery Days." He has worked with several franchise companies including Sterling Optical, Physicians Weight Loss Centers, Medicine Shoppe International and Maaco. For the past three years he has worked in the franchise finance arena with industry leaders Guidant Financial Group and BeneTrends. Today, Jerry is proud to have joined forces with Doug Smith to form Jerry Darnell and Associates, serving as the company's CEO. The company is dedicated to helping franchisors and suppliers connect for efficiency and growth. In addition to coaching and consulting with franchisors and suppliers, Jerry is part of VetFran and is an avid advocate of FRANPAC. Jerry has a passion for producing results and takes great pride in helping people and organizations with innovative solutions reach their goals.
Stefan Doering has been innovating in environmental business and sustainability since 1987. He also teaches and coaches green businesses in three major areas: 1) innovating powerful green business models, 2) crafting and implementing marketing and positioning strategies for bringing green to mainstream, and 3) creating a consistently profitable and sustainable business.
Key Business Sustainability Accomplishments:
• Developed green intrapreneurship strategy for General Motors, later included in GM’s final bailout plan presented to Congress in December, 2008 • Coached almost 2,000 business innovators in 13 countries • Green retail pioneer, growing business to one of the largest green retail companies in the US, selling over 3,500 different products screened for their environmental impact • Certified Entrepreneur In Residence for clean technology companies New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) • Certified facilitator and “green” advisor for the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest non-profit entrepreneurial training organization • Co-founder: Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s Green Finance Subcommittee • Co-Founder: the first council for sustainable businesses in New York City • Guest speaker / panelist on Corporate Sustainability and “greening” the music industry • Advisor /presenter at NYU/PolyTech’s ACRE, Green Spaces, Green Drinks NYC and Pratt Institute’s green incubators in New York City • Past Director of the Board for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE), a large urban environmental education non-profit organization • Launched One Earth, an environmental education non-profit for early adoption of intensive recycling programs in NYC • Teaching landmark courses on green entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship at Columbia University’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation • Teaching courses in small business development at the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC) • Past Professor at Minnesota College of Art and Design, Eco Design and Green Marketing • Official Mentor and Sounding Board member for the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia University’s Business School
CLIFF ENNICO is widely considered to be one of America's leading experts on the legal and tax problems facing entrepreneurs, small businesses and self-employed professionals, particularly "e-Businesses" engaged in online commerce. Cliff is best known as the former host of MONEYHUNT, the fast-paced PBS reality television series where entrepreneurs defend their business plans before America's toughest panel of experts. His weekly business advice column, Succeeding in Your Business, the "Ann Landers of the business world", is syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate, and appears in dozens of major newspapers and small business Websites throughout the world (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com). A frequent contributor to major business magazines and websites, including Susan Solovic's ItsYourBiz.com, and a regular participant in eBay's live events for its high-ranking sellers , Cliff delivers talks and webinars to business and venture capital groups nationwide on the legal, tax, accounting, financial and personnel management issues involved in running a successful startup or early-stage business, particularly the online or "e-Business". His books and DVD programs include Small Business Survival Guide, The eBay Seller's Business Answer Book, The eBay Seller's Tax and Legal Answer Book, The eBay Marketing Bible, Advising eBusinesses, Forms for Small Business Entities, MoneyHunt: 27 New Rules for Growing a Breakaway Business, and Congratulations, You've Been Downsized! Welcome to the Entrepreneurial Life. He holds a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Vanderbilt University, where he was Articles Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review.
Rod Kurtz is executive editor of AOL Small Business, where he oversees all editorial content and strategic direction, including news, features, Board of Directors, and video. He also stars in the "Ask Rod" series. Rod joined AOL in January, after nearly seven years as a staff writer and senior editor at Inc. and Inc.com. He has also served as small business editor for BusinessWeek.com. Rod is a frequent commentator on TV and radio, including NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and National Public Radio, where he speaks on a variety of business and workplace issues. He is also a guest lecturer in entrepreneurship at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as a moderator and speaker at events across the entrepreneurial community. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Rod resides in New York City.
Jennifer Kushell has led a movement inspiring millions of young people to pursue their passions professionally for more than a decade. As the President and Co-founder of YSN.com – Your Success Network, Jennifer’s work focuses on arming emerging adults with the tools, resources and insights critical to finding success in their lives and careers. YSN.com supports members from over 190 countries through an online community, state of the art scientific assessment/career planner, professional online identity builder and a rich library of content through the youngandsuccessful.com blog.
Co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, Secrets of the Young & Successful, The Young Entrepreneur’s Edge and Solo Para Emprendedores, Jennifer is an acclaimed professional speaker, corporate strategist, and leading expert on the next generation global workforce. Her greatest experience, however, comes from having worked with over ten thousand young people, dozens of non-profit organizations, and a vast array of government, education and corporate leaders. She is also actively involved on the advisory boards for The Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and The National Association of Women Business Owners in Los Angeles. Jennifer has been called the “Career Doctor” by Cosmopolitan, a “guru” of her generation by US News & World Report, and has appeared in front of over 200 million people through major media from Wall Street Journal to CNN and BBC. At 13 she started her first small business making t-shirts and has since started up 8 other ventures. Today she lives in Los Angeles and hopes to one day transition from social entrepreneur into major philanthropist.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO, president and founder of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Lesonsky has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for nearly 30 years. Before starting GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. She has written several books about small business, including the bestselling Start Your Own Business. Lesonsky’s work can be found on her blog, SmallBizDaily.com. In addition Lesonsky is an editor-at-large for AllBusiness.com, the editor-in-chief at GrowSmartBusiness.com, and also writes about small business for Aol Small Business, SCORE, Small Business Trends, SBA.Gov, AT&T Small Business, American Express OPENForum and BusinessonMain. In 2009, she was named to Folio Magazine’s “Folio 40” list, which honors publishing’s top innovators. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, and was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization honored her for helping drive “the entrepreneurial revolution in secondary education.” The ASBDC awarded her a “Champion of Small Business” award. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox Business News, The Martha Stewart show and Oprah, and can regularly be seen on MSNBC’s Your Business.
Dahlynn McKowen is a busy woman. With her husband Ken McKowen, she is co-owner of Publishing Syndicate, a publishing house based in Northern California. The duo also provides writing, ghostwriting and editing services to publishers and high-profile clients. Dahlynn is an established full-time freelance writer and author with numerous book contracts and screenplays under production at any given moment. Since selling her first feature article in 1987, Dahlynn has sold/had published over 2,000 works including business features and travel articles. Her integrity and reputation is such that she has also ghostwritten for a former U.S. president, more than two dozen Fortune 100 and 500 corporate founders and CEOs and a few California governors.
Dahlynn has been referred to by Chicken Soup for the Soul founders as one of their most trusted coauthors, having worked nearly a decade with series creators Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and their staffs. She, along with Ken, coauthored Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters. Dahlynn also coauthored, along with Canfield and Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause and Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, working closely with the nation’s top entrepreneurs/founders from companies such as Monster.com, Curves, Famous Dave’s, Cookie Lee Incorporated, Jelly Belly, Celestial Seasonings, Zelda Wisdom, eWomenNetwork, Jazzercise and Dippin’ Dots. Dahlynn has also ghost-created and edited too many Chicken Soup titles to list. She has also spoken all over the country and has given hundreds of media interviews regarding her writing career.
The McKowens are noted travel freelancers and authors. In 2007, their title Best of California’s Missions, Mansions and Museums: Bringing the Golden State’s Past Alive for Today’s Travelers (Wilderness Press) took home Publisher’s Marketing Association’s prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award as the best independently published travel guide in the country. They are now creating several book series, including a winery-destination series entitled Wine Wherever: [region] and are developing a destination television show by the same name. True to her entrepreneurial spirit, when Dahlynn purchased an iPhone in early 2010, she became intrigued with the marketing potential of smart devices and how an app could augment the Wine Wherever wine-book series and show. Ten months later, her company released not one, but thirteen iPhone apps, all on the very same day! Called “Wine Wherever” and available through the iTunes’ store, the thirteen individual winery destination and journaling apps cover the major wine regions of the United States.
Barry Moltz gets business owners growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own businesses ventures as well as consulting countless other entrepreneurs, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners out of their funk and marching forward. Barry applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change for entrepreneurs, and get’s them growing their business once again. Barry Moltz has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. After successfully selling his last operating business, Barry has branched out into a number of entrepreneurship-related activities. He founded an angel investor group, an angel fund, and is a former advisory member of the board of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. His first book, “You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business” describes the ups and downs and emotional trials of running a business. It is in its fifth reprint and has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Korean and Thai. His second book, "Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success", shows what it takes to comeback and develop true business confidence. It has been translated into Korean and German. His third book , “BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World" shows how customer service is the new marketing. Barry is a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship who has given hundreds of presentations to audiences ranging from 20 to 20,000. Barry has also has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has appeared on many TV and radio programs such as The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and The Tavis Smiley Show. He hosts his own radio show, Business Insanity Talk Radio and writes regularly for American Express’s Open Forum, Allbusiness.com, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Now and Crain’s Chicago Enterprise City.
Brian Moran is the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal. In his current role, Brian oversees the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. Prior to joining the Wall Street Journal, Brian was President of Veracle Media, a provider of relevant and practical information to business owners, helping them start, manage and grow their companies. Veracle Media published three national magazines for the small-to-midsize business market: Small Business Success, Urban Success and Winning Bids. In addition to magazines, Veracle Media partnered with many leading small business organizations in running workshops, seminars and national conferences aimed at various segments of the small business market. Veracle Media also hosted www.SmallBusinessEdge.com, a web site dedicated to maintaining an ongoing dialogue between Veracle Media, its partners and business owners. Prior to Veracle Media, Brian was President of Moran Media Group, the Associate Publisher at Inc. Magazine, a Publisher and Associate Publisher at Entrepreneur Media and held managment positions at Success Magazine and Medical Economics Magazine. In total, Brian has spent over 20 years assisting entrepreneurs in their pursuit of the American dream. Brian is currently a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council, a member of the CEO Advisory Board of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a member of the Advisory Board of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship Studies at FDU and a member of SCORE’s National Marketing Council. Brian is a graduate of Marquette University’s School of Journalism.
He currently leads INNOVALIUS www.innovalius.com , a business concept which value proposition is related to "Facilitate learning environments for both individuals and organizations" which main topics are related to Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, using both face to face and/or online environments". Strategic partner of 7 Mindsets www.7mindsets.com in México and country business developer for the EPICENTER http://www.theehalloffame.com. Author of "Your Entrepreneurial Potential" (2007) Pearson/Prentice Hall. Master of Arts in Education from Western Kentucky University and currently completing a Master of Innovation for Business Development at Monterrey Institute of Technology Virtual University. Olmos obtained a certification on Project Oriented Learning -POL- at Twente University in Holland and Business and Management Certification from the International Baccalaurate Organization -IBO- at Buenos Aires, Argentina and Albuquerque, New México. Over the course of several years, Olmos was a multiple 101 Entrepreneurship Award recipient from the Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education, located at Columbus,Ohio. His experience covers both academic and business environments and one of his main objectives is to lead national and international projects related to Entrepreneurship and Leadership Programs.
JJ Ramberg is the host of msnbc's “Your Business,” the only television show dedicated to issues affecting small business owners. Now in its fourth season, the program has profiled hundreds of small business owners and offered advice from countless small business experts and investors. In addition, Your Business guests have included Senate and House Small Business Committee members, the head of the Small Business Administration, and members of the Cabinet. As a leader in this field, Ramberg has been called upon to moderate town halls, including one during Washington D.C.'s Small Business Week. Ramberg is a regular contributor to the TODAY Show on small business and financial issues. She is also msnbc's small business expert and occassional on-air anchor. In addition, she is a financial columnist for Cookie Magazine, Conde Nast's parenting magazine. She has also written columns on social entreprenuership for Entreprenuer Magazine. Ramberg is passionate about small business and has firsthand experience as an entrepreneur herself. With her brother, she co-founded GoodSearch.com, a search engine that donates 50 percent of revenue to the charities and schools its users designate. Ramberg also spent two years after business school as the director of marketing and one of the first employees at Cooking.com, an Internet-based cookware retailer. In addition, Ramberg has spent her career balancing business with public service, spending considerable time working for microfinance organizations in Uganda and India. Ramberg graduated cum laude from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and received her MBA from Stanford Business School. Before joining msnbc, Ramberg was a reporter at CNN, where she covered a wide range of topics, ranging from breaking news to profiles of the country’s top business leaders. Her extensive field experience includes reporting from Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She also hosted the daytime talk program “The Flipside” on CNNfn and was a producer on CNN’s profile program “Pinnacle.” She began her television career at NBC News, where she was an associate producer at Dateline NBC.
Rhonda Sanderson began her career in public relations in 1981 working for a small Chicago PR firm. While there she and three others developed a system to help franchisors grow and then applied it to Subway, Hair Performers and many others. In 1985 she left that firm and founded Sanderson & Associates. Since the last 27 years, Rhonda and her staff have helped grow hundreds of franchise systems such as Molly Maid, ServiceMaster, Hardees, Smoothie King, Maaco, Comfort Keepers, Meineke Discount Muffler, Sbarro Italian Eatery, , PostNet and Juice Club, known today as Jamba Juice. Her company is a boutique firm based in Chicago, and currently represents 48 franchise systems and hundreds of their franchisees.
Michael Simmons is a young, serial, award-winning entrepreneur, Forbes columnist, bestselling author of The Student Success Manifesto, and internationally recognized keynote speaker.
Michael's company, Empact, helps build the entrepreneurship ecosystem globally. Empact has held over 500 events at colleges, high schools, workforce development organizations, corporations, and Small Business Development centers. One of Empact's signature programs is the Empact Showcase, the largest showcase of companies run by the country's top young entrepreneurs with recognition events at the White House and United Nations. The annual Empact Summit brings together over 300+ invite-only college presidents & deans, senior government administration; elected representatives such as governors, congressmen, and senators; icon entrepreneurs such as the founders of AOL, Chobani, and USA Network; along with the country's top entrepreneurship foundations and entrepreneurship support organizations. Michael has be recognized by President Obama for his work as a young leader in America.
Michael co-founded his first business, Princeton WebSolutions (PWS), when he was sixteen years old. PWS was later rated the #1 youth-run web development company in the nation by Youngbiz Magazine. In addition, Michael has been the winner of three entrepreneur of the year and was personally recognized for his entrepreneurial accomplishments by President Barack Obama. He and his company have been featured in five books and on the AOL Home Page, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Finally, in 2006, Michael was named by Business Week as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25 by Inc. as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award- winning entrepreneur and journalist, best-selling author, media personality, and attorney. As the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com (formerly SBTV.com – Small Business Television) Solovic led the company from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise. Her successful entrepreneurial experience and legal background provides her with a unique vantage point from which to share information and insight with business owners around the world.
Solovic is a sought-after keynote speaker having spoken to approximately half a million small business owners worldwide. She is a small business contributor for ABC News and appears regularly on MSBNC, Fox Business News, Good Day New York, WABC, WCBS and many other stations across the country. In addition to television and radio appearances, Solovic is a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact and Fast Company. Recently, in conjunction with PBS, she created a feature program called: “Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World.”
Solovic has written three best-selling books: “The Girls’ Guide to Power and Success”; “Reinvent Your Career: Attain the Success You Desire and Deserve”; and “The Girls’ Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business.” Her next book “It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss” is scheduled for release in October 2011.
Solovic serves on the advisory board for the John Cook School of Business Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Louis University – one of the top rated entrepreneurial schools in the U.S. She serves as chairperson of Women Impacting Public Policy’s (WIPP) Executive Advisory Board and is Vice President of the Executive Committee of the organization’s Board of Directors. In 2009, Solovic received the Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship Leader of Distinction Award, and she was the first recipient of AT&T’s Innovator of the Year Award for being a pioneer in a new industry in 2008. WIPP honored Solovic with the President’s Award in 2007, the organization’s most prestigious recognition. In 2006, Solovic accepted the Stevie Award on behalf of SBTV.com for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees and that same year, SBTV was voted the Best Investment Opportunity presenting to a Venture Forum event in the Silicon Valley. Previously, Solovic served on the National Women’s Business Council which counsels the President, Congress and the SBA on issues impacting women business owners. She is also a past member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University.
Steven D. Strauss
Steven D. Strauss, often called “America’s small business expert,” is an internationally recognized author, columnist, lawyer, and speaker. He is the senior business columnist for USATODAY.com and his column, Ask an Expert, is one of the most highly syndicated business columns in the world. Steve is also the small business columnist for AOL, American Express OPEN Forum, and AT&T. The author of 15 books, his latest is The Small Business Bible.
A highly sought after commentator and media guest, Steve has been on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, The O’Reilly Factor, and the BBC, among others. He is a regular guest on both MSNBC’s business show Your Business and ABC News Now. Steve is regularly seen in magazines and newspapers such as Time, Inc., Entrepreneur, Success, New York, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News, and scores of others.
Steve often speaks to groups the world over, including a recent visit to the United Nations. He sits on the Board of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and is also a speaker for the United States State Department, speaking in places such as the West Bank, South Korea, Bahrain, Japan, Mongolia, and Jordan. He is also often asked to be the small business spokesperson for companies that wish to reach the small business marketplace.
Finally, Steve too is an entrepreneur. He is president of The Strauss Group, Inc: The Strauss Law Firm, Strauss Seminar Co., Strauss Syndication, and MrAllBiz.com. He graduated from UCLA, the Claremont Graduate School, the McGeorge School of Law, and was a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs. If you would like to get in touch with him, have him speak to your group, or sign up for his free newsletter -- Small Business Success Secrets! -- please visit his website, www.MrAllBiz.com.
Jason is a philosopher and global entrepreneur, successfully building businesses in over 15 countries during the past decade. During this time, Jason has mastered the art of global awareness and human communication, allowing the organizations he serves to earn revenues in excess of $1Billion USD. Jason provides critical-path thought leadership to several Fortune 500 companies and serves as a special advisor to many global research institutes in the areas of data integration, technology, media, advertising, entertainment, global distribution, and intellectual property. Jason is a lifelong student and philosopher of universal and human design and a sought after international speaker. Jason is a devoted husband and father of 2 beautifully energetic children. He holds a double major in economics and finance, as well as, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.
SCORE CEO Ken Yancey leads SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business," America's premiere free & confidential business mentoring organization. Yancey represents SCORE nationally before the media, industry leaders and in Congressional testimony. He is responsible for SCORE's network of 364 offices and 13,000 volunteers.
He coordinates all program efforts, prepares the association’s development plan and manages strategic alliances and fundraising activities for SCORE. He represents SCORE before Congress in Congressional Testimony and serves as SCORE's chief liaison with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Yancey speaks nationally on the topics of entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, small business trends and mentoring. He has presented at conferences for The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), BoardSource and panels for the SBA.
Yancey has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS and numerous national and regional radio programs. He has been interviewed by Susan Solovic of SBTV.com and Ken & Daria Dolans of Dolans.com on small business issues.
As CEO, Yancey plays a key role in establishing SCORE as small business mentoring resource. He first assembled a strong association staff to contribute and support his efforts to develop the association. He then initiated the association’s national alliance program, acquiring top-level partnerships, developing a network of supporting small business leaders, and bringing more quality resources to SCORE clients.