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South Florida Region Business & Finance Conference


Thursday, May 25, 2017


4:00 PM Doors open, (Registration networking, pitch the media, video vignettes)
5:00 PM Welcome Remarks Justin Katz(Boynton Beach Vice Mayor)
5:15 PM Introduction of Allan Hendricks & Leadership Panel Annette Gray
5:45-6:15PM Introduction of Vincent Nolan & Contracts & Procurement Allan Hendricks
6:20-6:50PM Introduction of Alterraon Phillips & Inventors & New Product Panel Vincent Nolan (Break 10 minute pitch the editor video vignettes)
7:00-7:30PM Introduction of Cassondra Thaddies& Media Panel Alterraon Phillips
7:35-8:05PM Introduction of Annette Gray & Funding Panel Cassondra Thaddies
8:10PM Closing Remarks Annette Gray
8:35PM Close Vendor Breakdown

Video Vignettes by Ted White

Conference attendees interested in shooting a 2 Minute Video Vignette must prepare a 2 minute elevator pitch that begins with their name, include a business elevator pitch and conclude with a business question to our business development team.

Media Pitches

Conference attendees interested in presenting a 2 Minute Media Pitch must prepare a 2 minute pitch that begins with their name, include a business elevator pitch and conclude with why a media outlet might consider featuring their business in an upcoming issue or program.

Leadership Panel

Panelists: Community leaders discuss their views on economic development, small businesses & minimum wage, leadership styles and tips

Moderator: Alan Hendricks
Mr. Hendricks is a native of South Florida and a landscape architect by profession. Emphasis in his design studies has been on the re-creation and rehabilitation of communities in South Florida. Mr. Hendricks brings to Caulfield & Wheeler, Inc. strong design and graphic skills with an emphasis on security, New Urban Design concepts and pedestrian systems. After joining the firm in June of 2002, Mr. Hendricks has worked with our team on projects involving community planning, large-scale community landscape plans, roadway landscape plans, commercial site plans and environmental protection plans. His experience and expertise in working with graphic design programs has helped communicate our projects to cities and communities here in the South Florida area.

Diane Peart
Director of Continuing Education, Broward College Diane Peart - An innovative and results-driven Administrator with a proven record of expansive and progressive experience in a variety of leadership roles within higher education. Over the years she have demonstrated success in improving efficiency and maximizing results through the delivery of non-credit value-added programs, processes, and services. She joined Broward College November 2001 in the department of Staff Development and Training (now called Teaching, Learning and Technology). In 2006, she transferred to Continuing Education holding various positions over the years, including, her current position of Director. She leads the department in the Development of business and career training initiatives and marketing strategies for Continuing Education (CE) -Workforce Education Economic Development. CE Programs are designed to educate and enrich the community through workforce and community education programs including; Career Training, certification preparation, personal enrichment, non-credit online programs, and Kids & Teens College. Diane also oversees CE operations using strategies for success and continuous improvement and marketing using digital and social Mediums. Additionally, she oversee Project RENEW and Seaport Training Project, grant funded programs strategically focused on community outreach. She Holds an Associate In Science Business Administration from Broward College, a Bachelor of Science Management and a Master Of Business Admin Business Administration from University Of Phoenix. Her dream partner for lunch is former First Lady, Michele Obama and her fantasy career is remodeling homes.

Lori Berman

Florida House of Representatives, representing District 90. Lori Berman, is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing District 90. She was first elected to the chamber in 2010.Berman earned her B.A. from Tufts University, J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami Law School. Her professional experience includes working as an attorney for the firm Belson and Lewis, practicing estate planning law. She previously practiced regulatory and real estate law and worked as an in-house counsel for a federal savings bank.

Joe Casello
Comissioner Boynton Beach (District 4)
After winning a special election to fill a vacancy for the District 4 seat, Commissioner Casello was sworn into office April 2013. In 2014, he was re-elected and appointed Vice-Mayor. Commissioner Joseph Casello brings broad public and private experiences to the City of Boynton Beach. In his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, he served on many boards and committees, managing millions of dollars in assets and raising thousands of dollars for charitable organizations, such as the Worcester Fire Department Credit Union Board of Trustees, Municipal Retirees Organization, United Way and Habitat for Humanity. After moving to Boynton Beach in 2009, he served on the Golf Course Advisory Board and is currently President of the Knollwood Homeowners Association. Born in Worcester, Commissioner Casello attended public schools in his community. He graduated from Worcester Industrial Technical Institute in 1972 and Quinsigamond Community College in 2002, where he earned an Associate in Science. Commissioner Casello honorably served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force. Assigned to the 212th ANG Unit, he was responsible for the installation of radio transmission sites throughout the country. In 1974, he was appointed to the Worcester Fire Department and promoted to Lieutenant in 1984. Within the Fire Department, he served in many capacities, including arson investigator, working closely with State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). As a business owner and licensed electrical contractor for over 23 years, Commissioner Casello operated Casello Electrical Services, specializing in residential and commercial electrical design and installation.Commissioner Casello is married and has one daughter. He enjoys playing golf at the City’s municipal golf course, The Links at Boynton Beach. Taking pride in the Commission’s concept of team work, he most enjoys creating solutions to challenges, as well as promoting Boynton Beach as “America’s Gateway to the Gulfstream”.

Funding Panel

Panelists: representatives for funding products including factoring, grants, business loans, SBA micro loans, Invoice Lending, venture capital and crown funding.

Annette Gray

Annette Gray is an established Business Management and Economic Development Specialist, an international keynote speaker and trainer. She is the CEO of Global Business Development Center, Broker Owner of Global Real-Estate Collaborative and Founder/President of GBDC Entrepreneurship Institute 501© (3). She is a former Commissioner and Vice- Chair of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the former Vice-Chair of the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative (DBMC). She is a certified Micro Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Instructor and certified as a specialist in Federal Government procurement. She is the former Vice Chair of The Delray Beach Arts in Public Places Board and Vice Chair of the Education Committee of the Florida Real-Estate Association Commercial Alliance Education Board. Annette is the past winner of the Palm Beach Small Business of the Year Award, and nominee of the Executive Women in Leadership Award. Annette has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Management and Leadership from The University of Liverpool (London, England) and a Management and Leadership Certification from Harvard University.

Tim Thompson

Paragon Florida
Tim Thompson, an economic development professional with a strong financial industry background. Mr. Thompson is experienced in Economic and Community Development Finance strategies and programs, SBA and Small Business Finance, Client and Relationship Management, Commercial Real Estate Finance, Portfolio and Distressed Asset Management. Expert at providing technical assistance to small and medium sized businesses including business planning, financial analysis and projections. Develop strategies to allow these businesses to access the capital needed to grow and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. Certified Mentor/Counselor Palm Beach SCORE Economic Empowerment provide technical assistance to emerging and mature companies. Teach a workshop on developing financial projections.

Christopher Noe

Dr. Christopher Noe currently works with business and nonprofit social entrepreneurs to help re-define social change and create social impact. Much of his revolves around developing strategies and sustainable platforms for nonprofit leaders to develop enterprise strategies for their organizations to increase stakeholder ROI. Formerly served as Director of Social Investment at Nonprofits First, a management support organization providing leadership and organizational development for hundreds of nonprofits in South FL. Additionally worked as Manager of the Office Depot Foundation. Most recently, I completed a Ph.D. in Global Leadership at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Specialties: include working with social entrepreneurs to build new innovative concepts, nonprofit and social sector advocacy work, strategic fund-development, and political campaign management. Additionally, developing strategies to recruit and retain social investors to various nonprofit causes and building sustainability models to heighten awareness to promote social change beyond the traditional charity model to deliver sustainable and impactful social impact.

Kurt Valmond

Amtrust Bank
Kurt Valmond is an 18 year veteran banker based in Boca Raton Florida. Mr. Valmond is currently the Vice-President and Regional Business Banking Manager for Amtrust Bank. Prior to Amtrust Bank, Mr. Valmond began his career in the financial services industry as a Brokerage Associate for First Union Securities, A Division of First Union Bank – now known as Wells Fargo as part of a Team of 4 that managed in excess of $100 million in AOM. Mr. Valmond holds degrees in Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands and Finance from Florida Atlantic University. He is also a past Board Member of Boca Helping Hands, where he and his wife volunteered for over 15 years.

Matthew Malevich

District Manager
Wells Fargo Community Bank
Matthew is the District Manager for Greater Palm Beach of Wells Fargo Community Bank. Along with his Branch Managers, Matt strives to provide the resources and support needed for his team members to provide excellent service to customers and the community. Matthew started his career with Wells Fargo as a Teller and continued to build his career to a leadership position. He has been with Wells Fargo for 13 years. Passionate about the community he has been very involved in the Boys and Girls Club of the Palm Beaches, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and his Masters from Bethel University in St. Paul. Matthew lives in Palm Beach County with his wife Alecia and their new born baby girl Madilyn. He is an avid golfer and a huge Minnesota Viking football fan

Felix Hartmann

Founder FundThis.Com
Felix Hartmann is an entrepreneur, trader, award-winning author, philanthropist and one of the nation’s leading Millennial Life and Business Strategists. A recognized authority on branding, marketing, and sales psychology, he has served as an advisor to business leaders around the US for the past 3 years. Author of the internationally award-winning book Dark Age, Mr. Hartmann has inspired thousands of readers around the globe. Hartmann is the President of a holding company comprised and/or involved with more than a dozen privately held businesses with combined valuation exceeding $50 million. He has been involved at various key entrepreneurial conferences, from being on the founding team and Board of Directors of the Forbes Top Rated Next Gen Summit, to speaking to the leading Entrepreneurs of Puerto Rico at Cenas Empresariales, to reaching thousands of the world’s top traders at the Digital Stock Summit. In his mission to continually impact the lives of the new generation, Hartmann has made headlines disrupting the traditional approach to career and life planning with his concept Dream Diversity which has been shortlisted for TEDx.Practicing his own concept and methods, Hartmann effectively runs several companies, actively trades and coaches the financial markets, is a successful fiction writer, and can be found speaking at, attending, or even organizing most major networking events. As a philanthropist, Felix Hartmann has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars in his teens already for various causes including Autism Speaks, the Make a Wish Foundation, and the Children’s Miracle Network through his fraternal involvement. Every single day he mentors dozens others and helps them come closer to their dreams.

Corporate & Government Procurement/Contracting Panel

Panelists: Prime Contractors, Corporations, Government Procurement Agents discussing, the certification process and best practices for leveraging each certification. This panel is design to give all of the perspectives surrounding leveraging certification and building vendor relationships with corporate and government entities.

Vincent Nolan: Moderator
Regional Director for the FSBDC at Palm Beach State College
Vincent Nolan is the Regional Director for the FSBDC at Palm Beach State College. There he directs a ten person staff providing business consulting services to small businesses throughout Palm Beach County, as part of the overall Florida SBDC network. Prior to joining the SBDC, Nolan was the Economic Development Director for The City of Delray Beach, Florida, where he provided strategic and tactical services to promote local business growth. Earlier professional engagements included: Economic Development Supervisor for the Town of New Milford, CT; Executive Director of the Meriden Business & Learning Center, a job training center and business incubator located in Meriden, CT; Special Legislative Assistant to Senator Leonard Fasano in the CT General Assembly; and a principal in a multi-discipline commercial insurance brokerage firm in Garden City, NY. In addition to serving on numerous Chamber of Commerce boards and committees, Nolan has served as an executive committee member on the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board in Connecticut, was a Vice President and Director of the Connecticut Economic Development Association and is a former City Council President in Danbury, CT. He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) as conferred by the International Economic Development Council. Vin also holds the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) designation from the National Development Council and has a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Investments from Babson College.

Bruce Lewis/ CEO

L.B. Limited & Associates, Inc.
Bruce Lewis hails from Minneapolis and he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BSEE Degree where he specialized in chemical design engineering. Lewis came to South Florida in 1984 from Philadelphia as a result of accepting a Senior R & D Engineering assignment with RCA, Palm Beach Gardens research Hub. The R & D assignment was a five-year pilot project to develop what we today know as satellite television. Upon completion of his assignment, Lewis decided to remain in South Florida and tackled other projects: R&D engineering work to develop micro switches for railroads and developing a chemical process for titanium dental implants that speeds healing process. He also conducted extensive research on business development. In 1990 Lewis formed Limited & Associates, Inc. a full-service strategic public relations firm. The company specializes in large-scale public and private development projects, strategic relationship cultivation and business capacity building. Mr. Lewis is completely engaged in the community and serves on a number of Organization Boards.

Steve Michael

Principal Hudson Holdings, LLC
Mr. Steve Michael serves as a Principal at Hudson Holdings, LLC. Mr. Michael’s financial and real estate career began in 1985, when he first began to purchase and develop under-developed and/or distressed properties. Mr. Michael has an extensive career as a trader and investment fund manager. He began his career with the Chicago Board of Trade financial market, developing proprietary models used to successfully trade the yield curve instruments before expanding into the IMM. Mr. Michael is a member of the Chicago Board of Trade as well as the Chicago Mercantile Exchanges and the Mid American Exchange. In 2000, Mr. Michael joined forces with the head macro analyst at Soros Quantum Fund to form Macro Fund - a global macro fund. Mr. Michael is an Adjunct Professor at Florida Atlantic University and regularly lectures to graduate level students at both Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami.

David Eugene Scott, P.E.

Director of Economic Development
David E. Scott has joined the City of Boynton Beach as the Director of Economic Development and Strategy. As Director, Scott leads the City’s efforts to promote a healthy and vibrant economy and community through locally-based, regionally-driven economic development. Under his leadership, the Department of Economic Development and Strategy develops and implements specific goals and strategies, providing the roadmap for economic development, focused on retaining existing businesses, supporting sustainable communities, attracting new residents and businesses, creating jobs, improving walkability and transit readiness, improving the address of the City to attract developer investment, and revitalizing Community Redevelopment Agency neighborhoods. The Department of Economic Development and Strategy serves as the lead integrator of the City’s economic development initiatives; facilitating interagency planning, collaboration and coordination among the various City agencies and partners, and overseeing the development and implementation of the City’s strategic plan. Scott recently served as the Principal of Kaizen Management Solutions, where he provided public sector clients with strategic planning and accountability through performance management and data solutions. He brings more than 30 years of public and private experience to the position, overseeing a diverse portfolio of municipal operations with 7,000 employees and budgets of $700 million, and serving populations of 30,000 to 620,000. He has effectively created pathways to build, retain and transfer economic growth to the local community; thereby, creating true economic empowerment and emerging growth opportunities that generate jobs, lead to a reduced unemployment rate, increased home ownership, increased economic activity, decreased crime, decreased reliance on government services, and increased tax revenues. Scott is a member of several community and professional organizations. He also has published papers on Customer Value Performance Management, and Restoring Public Trust Through Outcome Based Budgeting and Performance Management. Scott has demonstrated a record of achievement and success. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Jim Knight

Jim Knight, a native Floridian, began honing his vast knowledge of real estate at the age of 19, when he received his first license. A graduate of Babson College and a licensed real estate agent, broker and general contractor, Jim has subsequently focused his expertise on Palm Beach and Broward Counties. His passionate commitment to responsible, community-driven endeavors is very real, and evident through his committee memberships and continuous nonprofit support.

Allen Gray
Manager Office of Small Business Assistance Palm Beach County
Providing counseling and support to individuals seeking to build their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs, has been the full time position for Allen Gray over the last 25 years. As Manager if the Office of Small Business Assistance for Palm Beach County, Mr. Gray works on creating and implementing policies that encourage small business growth and development. Through the Office of Small Business Assistance, Mr. Gray also provides guidance on business opportunities that exist with Palm Beach County and how business owners can position themselves to take advantage of some of the policies created to encourage local participation. Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Mr. Gray has seen the rapidly changing landscape within the County over the last 40 years. A proud alumnus of Oakwood University, where he earned a BA in Business Administration, Mr. Gray returned back home to make an impact on his community; and it was just a little too cold.

Marketing and Media Panel

Panelists:local news outlet, magazines and newspapers editors’ radio and TV producers discuss how to leverage local media to grow your business.

Inventors & Product Development Panel

Panelists: Inventors, Engineers, Manufactures, Investors, discussing how to get your idea made marketed and in stores.

Alterraon Phillips

President., CBC is a licensed Florida Certified Building Contractor and a Member of the Florida Bar. He received his BS Degree from the University of Florida Rinker School of Building Construction and Juris Doctrine from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center. Al has over 20 years of in the field construction experience. Prior to his legal career, Al has held positions as an Assistant Superintendent, Architect’s Representative (Construction Administrator), and Owner’s Representative. As an Architect’s Representative, Al oversaw construction for schools throughout Florida, private residences, banks, warehouses, retail buildings and historic renovation projects; of which and most notable the 1916 Historic Courthouse in Palm Beach County, FL. He is well versed in understanding the construction and real estate industry, FL Building Codes, NFPA Codes, and ADA Codes. Al also has vast experience with working with the private sector and government agencies throughout Central and South Florida. Al has taken his vast construction experience and applied it to the practice of law. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 2009, he has focused his practice to the areas of Construction and Real Estate issues. He has committed himself to represent his clients vigorously to bring resolution to their matter whether in the courtroom or through negotiation. Al has represented clients against municipalities and large corporations. He has successfully worked with lenders to modify his clients’ mortgage or provide other remedies with as little impact on the consumer.

Carolyn Keane

Founder, Product Coach, Inventor
Invent Daily
West Palm Beach, Florida Area Professional Training & Coaching Currently Inventing Daily, Charles Rutenberg Realty, FBI Citizens' Academy Alumni – Miami Inventor Society of South Florida, Education- Syracuse University Inventing is my passion. I started designing homes and then moved into products. As a designer and project manager, designed homes, furniture, and products; successfully took products from concept through prototyping, manufacturing, national trade shows, won National Retailers Choice Award, selected out of 1000 new products for top honors in the US & Canada, international award for Most Innovative Product, on Innovation Nation TV Show, was a presenter on QVC, an invention featured on DIY twice, interviewed for Made in America Radio Show, Home Talk News with Michael King, featured in Boca Observer Magazine,, promoting new products and inventors as well as selling new products on As entrepreneur, worked with inventors to launch new products, inventor mentor and product coach guiding inventors and helping them avoid costly pitfalls and mistakes, product & brand development, working with national investors to help get funding for new projects, inventor with 3 patents and one patent pending.

Debbie Landford
Debbie Lanford is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), Member of the Society for International Affairs, and an International Trade Specialist for the Florida SBDC at Palm Beach State College. Debbie assists clients in international expansion through market research identifying market potential, trade barriers, risks and methods of entry. The Florida SBDC team was honored recently with the President's E-Award for Export Assistance in 2016. Debbie is a former business owner and brings a host of real-world experience to the program with a special interest in market research and strategic planning. She is an alumnus of The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing an MBA in International Business at Lynn University She is an avid animal lover and long-term volunteer at Tri County Animal Rescue in Boca Raton.

Matthew Bordy
Matthew Bordy is a passionate entrepreneur who is leveraging his creativity and industry knowledge to make the product development process more accessible, customizable and affordable for start up entrepreneurs. After developing products for national and international brands, such as, Office Depot, Home Depot, Lowes, BMW Design works USA, Emerson, SanDisk, Skill, Craftsmen, and Husky, Matthew launched Prototype House Inc. in 2013. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of the GCVCA (Gold Coast Venture Capital Association).

Patrick Eloi

Mr. Patrick Eloi holds a Business Degree, as well as a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science. He holds several key industry certifications, including the very sought after Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). Mr. Eloi is an innovative, results-oriented management professional with over 25 years of visible achievements providing leading edge technology solutions. He possesses extensive qualifications in all aspects of system administration, management and maintenance, network / server operations and hardware / software solutions. His achievements include Keynote Speaker at 2011 Graduation Ceremony for McFatter Technical High School, Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year 2010, and Sr. IT Consultant to numerous corporations and non-profit organizations in the South Florida area.

Danielle H. Bratek, Esq
Danielle H. Bratek, Esq. focuses her practice in handling Intellectual Property matters. Ms. Bratek’s practice is devoted to trademark and copyright law, as well as patent litigation. Since 2004, Ms. Bratek’s practice has assisted large and small companies in protecting and defending their intellectual property rights. In addition, MS. Bratek works with corporations, independent inventors, marketing executives, and non-profits organizations to facilitate their branding and to promote consumer recognition of their products and services. Danielle was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. She enjoys hot yoga, boating, gardening, beach activities and spending time with two Labrador retrievers.

About GBDC Entrepreneurship Institute

GBDC Entrepreneurship Institute is a nonprofit 501 c (3) organization that strives to create Social Entrepreneurs of all ages, through cultural, artistic and professional development. We also create a platform where individuals can improve their socio-economic status. For over ten years the GBDCEI team has delivered programing from a traditional bricks and mortar office. GBDC Entrepreneurship Institute is looking to establish a Mobile Entrepreneurship & Leadership Training Program (M.E.L.T.) that will expand the reach of the organization and its strategic alliance partners in Florida. Programming addresses the state’s need for qualified and skilled talent. M.E.L.T. is a program that provides coaching, mentoring and business resources to individuals; looking to start or grow a business, develop a career and convertible professional skills. Always ready to encourage and support a dream, GBDCEI is now poised to become the foremost and the only mobile unit to offer financial empowerment and economic development solutions. We are proud to introduce an opportunity that allows you to help: • Reduce crime • Reduce unemployment • Reduce the high school dropout rate • Provide technology training for seniors • Create jobs for drop outs convicted felons, single parents • Provide technical assistance for small business and Entrepreneurs • Provide job re-entry skills for drop outs, convicted felons, single parents & seniors. Programs are designed to: • Provide opportunities for career instruction, financial literacy counseling, academic improvement, and social growth • Reduce the number of criminal offenses that are increased during the summer by youths without employment, school or parental guidance/structure • Introduce participants to the concept of being an entrepreneur • Create opportunities for participants to gain hands-on work experience while emphasizing real-world labor expectations • Provide opportunities for mentoring by industry professionals Funding... As a nonprofit organization, GBDCEI invests every penny of income over expenses in developing, and implementing programs for the communities it serves. Ninety percent (90%) of our funders are repeat funders and renewed again and again through a unique spirit of giving, a relationship characterized by people caring for the youth who will eventually care for them. Thanks to financial support from several foundations and government, quasi government entities, voluntary financial support—philanthropy— have paved the way for this expansion. Most recently, both the Police Departments of Boynton and Delray Beach committed funding that allowed GBDCEI to expand our summer youth program and our Kid-preneur leadership Academy and helped us reach our goal. Highlights include: • Over $5,000 in cash prizes to program participants • Program expansion statewide • 10% Increased number of program participants • 15% increase in Mentors and internship host organizations The question of how GBDC Entrepreneurship Institute will deliver mobile, relevant and affordable services to do more for young adults, families and communities rest with your support. Please make your gift today. 561-894-4510

Special Thanks to our Sponsors & Community Partners