I wanted to share some thoughts about what I expect to gain from attending the upcoming Columbus Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit and Awards. The Columbus Chamber awards event has been showcasing the accomplishments of local small businesses since 1984. I actually ran this program from 1999 - 2004. What always struck me about the nominees and the finalists were the back stories we didn't know. I remember one business that had their facility totally wiped out by a fire. It would have been easy to call it quits but they persevered. With the help of other community businesses, including competitors they came back stronger then ever. There are thousands of stories like this that inspire and motivate small business owners to reach new heights.
It is truly the passion and commitment of the small business owner that allows a business to succeed. This year the Columbus Chamber will be recognizing nine exemplary small businesses owners for their accomplishments. They include:Lisa Huang, president of Advanced Engineering Consultants
Wayne “Skip” Stringfield, owner/president of Coalesce Software, Inc.
Otto Beatty, III and Brian Brooks, co-owners of E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. LLC
Mohan Viddam and Sanjay Dudaney, CEO and president, respectively, of Halcyon Solutions
Parker MacDonell, principal of Invergarry Partners
Pamela Springer, president/CEO of Manta Media
Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, co-founders of Mindset Digital, LLC
Michelle Kerr, president of Oxford Consulting Group, Inc.
Michelle Galligan, CEO of ViaVero Consulting
Normally hearing the stories of these businesses would be enough to get me to attend but this year the Columbus Chamber will also be presenting two panel discussions designed to help businesses attain higher levels of success.
The first panel is Building a Breakthrough Brand. Branding and marketing experts Bev Bethge, Ologie; Lynn Blashford, White Castle; Ryan Vesler, Homage and Artie Isaac of Vistage Columbus will discuss what does it take to standout from your competition, transform into a recognizable brand, and create a following of loyal customers and clients.
The second panel is Innovation: Lessons from Startup Entrepreneurs. Todd Whittier, Left Channel; Shawn O’Reilly, Robert Gregory Partners; Bob Sheehan, BMW Financial Services and Brooke Paul of the Founders Factory will discuss how to focus on innovation and run your business like top entrepreneurs.
The Columbus Chamber's Small Business Summit will take place on November 13, 2012 at the The Renaissance Columbus Downtown and will run from 8:00 - 1:00. I would encourage you to participate and attend this event as it will allow you to gain knowledge, motivation and inspiration from those that are showcased at the event.
I look forward to connecting with you at the event, be sure to look me up. I'll be blogging and live Tweeting from the event and hanging around the Ohio SBDC booth.