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Westchester Community College's Gateway to Entrepreneurship will host its annual entrepreneurship conference virtually on three consecutive Fridays: November 6th, 13th and 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 

  • Three dynamic sessions packed with relevant content and tips that you can incorporate tomorrow to grow your business
  • Focus on Leadership, Strategy and Marketing in times of economic distress
  • Networking opportunities with local and national entrepreneurs

Program Schedule

Friday, November 6 - Leadership Session

8:00 - 8:30a.m.     Networking through breakout sessions

8:30 - 9:00a.m.     Make and Embrace CHANGEKeynote: Jason Feifer, Editor in Chief at Entrepreneur magazine. Jason will inspire you to make and embrace change and he will share how to approach these times with a fresh mindset and discover the opportunities in them. 


9:15 - 10:00a.m.     Panel Discussion: Stories of Resiliency  + Q&A

Panel membersMaria Boustead, Founder and CEO at Po Campo, Cynthia Del Rosario, Owner of Whisky River, Sonya Louis, Owner of Specialty Fitness Inc. and Castel Valere-Couturier, Founder of Sound Off

Student Pitch Competition (event closed to judges)

10:30 - 11:30a.m.     Student Pitch Competition Pre-selection discussion based on video submissions


Friday, November 13 - Strategy Session

8:00 - 8:30a.m.     Networking through breakout sessions

8:30 - 9:00a.m.     Strategically Pivoting your business.   Stressful economic times often cause business owners to put their head in the sand to withstand the storm. Change is hard and scary. It’s essential to pivot when faced with uncertainty and business interruption. In this session, Andi Gray will share some strategies to pivot your business while staying focused on building your biggest asset – your business. 

SpeakerAndi Gray, President and Founder of Strategy Leaders Inc.

Break - Short presentation: Westchester County Minority Women Business Enterprise ProgramConnecting your business with county contracting opportunities

9:15 - 10:00a.m.     Turning around sales, profits and the business overall + Q&A.   Building a successful business takes planning for good times and for bad. In this session, Andi Gray will help you prioritize areas of focus, how to develop turnaround opportunities to boost cash from existing work and customers. And how to care for the business in the long term.

SpeakerAndi Gray, President and Founder of Strategy Leaders Inc.

Friday, November 20 - Marketing Session

8:00 - 8:30a.m.     Networking through breakout sessions

8:30 - 9:00a.m.     Social for business? How to maximize organic social media to get new clients, stay top of mind and build meaningful relationships. With fewer opportunities to connect in person, social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram have become even more valuable. Join us to hear our top tips for getting results through organic social media (ie, not paid advertising) including what to post and where. And please come prepared with your questions – this will be an interactive session and we want you to walk away with ideas you can implement for your own business right away.

SpeakersHillary Millman, Owner of In Better Words Marketing, Mike Dardano, Marketing Executive of Buzz Potential

Break - Short presentation - Words Matter by Debbie Fay, founder of bespeak presentation solutions When presenting ourselves, our product or service our words matter. A lot. Jargon, acronyms and initialisms have no place in presentations to prospects and customers. Nor do weak wishy-washy words. BIG BOLD BRAVE words are what is required – and necessary – to a successful pitch.  

9:15 - 10:00a.m.   Hello? Are you there? Five strategies to better understand (and engage) your customers. Are you trying to reach your customers but being met with silence? Yes, your customers are being bombarded with emails, virtual event invites, and social media ads and so it might seem like you aren’t able to get your fair share of their attention.  But they’re still out there -- and with the right strategies, you can get (back) on their radar. Learn five ways to better understand and engage with your customers this year like: channeling the voice of your customer; mapping your customers value drivers; charting your customer experience and more… Don’t miss out on this session to set you up for more customer-centric marketing and communications.

Speakers: Heidi Davidson, CEO and co-founder at Galvanize Worldwide and Jeff Gadwayco-founder at Galvanize Worldwide

Student Pitch Competition

10:30 - 11:30a.m.    Student Pitch Competition Final Round - 5 presentations

About the speakers:

 JASON FEIFER is the editor in chief at Entrepreneur magazine, and host of three podcasts: Pessimists Archive, a history show about why people resist new things; Hush Money, about the way money makes life awkward; and Problem Solvers, about entrepreneurs solving unexpected problems in their business. He has been an editor at Men's HealthFast CompanyMaxim, and Boston magazine, and has written about business and technology for the Washington PostSlateNew York, and others. His novel Mr. Nice Guy, which he wrote with his wife, is currently being developed for television. Jason lives in Brooklyn.

 MARIA BOUSTEAD is the Founder and CEO at Po Campo, the leading designer of bags and accessories for the micromobility movement. Now in its 11th year, Maria manages a growing team and oversees Po Campo's international manufacturing and distribution. Maria also sits on the Executive Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists, the nation's oldest and largest bicycle advocacy organization, bringing her entrepreneurialism and industry expertise to shaping the organization's strategic goals.

Prior to Po Campo, Maria led design strategy at international design consultancy Webb deVlam, working with clients as varied as Procter & Gamble to Microsoft to 3M. She loves spending her time on making new things and biking through cities, which thankfully is her full-time job now.

CYNTHIA DEL ROSARIO began her career at an early age working for the Board of Education at just 13 years old. She quickly fell in love with production and the art of telling stories by creating videos. Right after college, she created her own company, CynDeR Productions with clients such as American Express, Kraft Foods, Citibank and QVC to name a few. Many of her professional relationship came through her work with the Association of National Advertiser (ANA), DG FastChannel and The TEAM Companies. Each various position provided her with insights into the hurdles and challenges advertisers face in managing vendor partners while trying to keep up with the changing landscape. She created 7Miles out of need to service clients by adding value, finding solutions and offering options to situations which are not black or white. Currently, she runs 7Miles Global as their CEO, she is a member of the HERO Club (exclusive invite only CEO club), she owns Whiskey River, is on the Board of Directors for the Peekskill BID and Co-Chaired a Re-Open Committee for the Peekskill City Manager.

SONYA LOUIS is the founder and President at Specialty Fitness, Inc. Declining health led to her start in the fitness industry. While in nursing school, she took massive action and went from being pre-diabetic to healthy while improving her heart function. Her understanding of how this worked sparked her passion for fitness leading her to earn numerous certifications as a Personal Fitness Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. She went on to earn additional certifications in prenatal fitness, indoor group cycling, nutrition, youth fitness, Pilates, and senior fitness. Sonya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Her graduate training is in Exercise Science with a focus in Cardiac Rehabilitation. Serving as a Trainer Hero in the 911 Fitness Challenge has allowed her to help first responders while raising money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. She uses her 20+ years of experience in health and fitness to develop fun, effective programs that help her clients get out of pain AND in shape in less time. Sonya is on a mission to empower 1 million women to take control of their health.

CASTEL VALERE-COUTURIER is the founder at Sound Off™, a silent disco headphone company based out of New York City. A first-generation American born to parents from the French Caribbean, Castel finds that life is most rewarding when you seek out new perspectives and stay open to the unexpected ideas that follow. Introduced to the concept of silent disco on a vacation in 2010, he built on his history of entrepreneurship and a love of music to create Sound Off later that year. Originally a method for bringing dance music into noise-challenged spaces, Sound Off has found application in many areas such as conferences, geriatrics, and fitness and wellness.

ANDI GRAY founded Strategy Leaders Inc. in 1995 to help owners of established, privately held businesses achieve  growth, profit, stability, predictability and peace of mind. Using proprietary systems, Strategy Leaders' consultants typically put clients on track to double revenue and triple profit in repetitive 5 year cycles. 

Gray's corporate career included 20 years in sales, marketing and new business development, starting at Xerox, American Express, Contel, progressing from field to corporate management positions up through the VP level. Growing up in family-owned businesses taught her about the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship. 

Educated in the U.S. and Europe, Gray earned an Executive MBA from Columbia Business School/Columbia University while conducting 2 years of independent research on success and failure drivers for entrepreneurial businesses. Working with Columbia Business School Professor and American Business Historian Stuart Bruchey, Gray documented the path to a vibrant, 21st Century U.S. Economy through entrepreneurship, initially writing about her research in the book New Game, New Rules, published in 1994. Strategy Leaders was founded on the principles Gray learned about while working with Professor Bruchey pre- and post-graduation. 

Andi authors the column “Ask Andi,” - practical advice for business owners - published weekly in Westfair Business Journals and distributed online to thousands of business owners nationwide. She regularly hosts The Owners Game©, a proprietary tool developed at Strategy Leaders, which teaches business owners about managing for long term profit and preparing a business for exit. 

Recognition includes two APEX Awards for Entrepreneurship and Call to Action, and Winner of the Family Owned Business Award. Gray was named to the Westchester Business Journal's "Top 100 in Westchester" with the likes of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Leon Black and Michael Bloomberg. She serves on the boards of the Westchester County Association and Columbia Business School Alumni Club of NY.


HILLARY MILLMAN works with nonprofit executives, business owners and professionals to define, articulate, and share what’s unique about their organizations and why their products or services matter to potential clients or donors.  She launched In Better Words Marketing, a New York State-certified woman-owned business, in 2012. For six years prior, Hillary was the Director of Communications for the Business Council of Westchester. She marketed the organization and managed communications with members, worked closely with small business owners, and ran events. During that time she was also an adjunct instructor at the College of Westchester in White Plains where she taught business, marketing, and communications courses.  In 2019, Hillary was named a 40 Under 40 Rising Star by the Business Council of Westchester. She is President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Development Officers and a 2011 graduate of Leadership Westchester.

MIKE DARDANO brings 41 years of marketing and sales experience to BuzzPotential. His company focuses on making a positive difference for his clients that includes increasing profitable sales and enhancing community give back efforts. 

Prior to forming BuzzPotential, Mike was a Senior Vice President at Co-Communications where he oversaw day-to-day operations, account management, strategic and new business development, media planning, research, and event management. Mike held senior positions in marketing and advertising sales at Burst! Media, Editor and Publisher, Media Passage, and The Los Angeles Times. 

Mike is an active member of The Business Council of Westchester, Armonk Chamber of Commerce, Eastchester Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce and Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce. 

Mike believes in supporting local charities and has recently helped raise funds for WestCop, Cluster Community Services, Latino U College Access, Support Connection, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, March of Dimes, Homes For Veterans, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, Scarsdale Public Library and North Castle Public Library. He and his wife Susan, were awarded the Support Connection Maria Rubino Jennings Spirit of Caring Award for their charitable work on behalf of the Yorktown based charity. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in Speech Communications

DEBBIE FAY is founder and president of bespeak presentation solutions, llc, providing presentations coaching, training and consulting to businesses worldwide since 2006. Bespeak’s clients include: KornFerry Hay Group, US Fund for UNICEF, NYCEDC, , Sabra Dipping Products and many others.  Debbie helps her clients present themselves with confidence, conviction, and clarity, delivering presentations that get heard and get results.   Debbie is a sought-after speaker and contributing author to and the Huffington Post. Debbie’s book, “Nail it. Create and deliver presentations that connect, compel, and convince.” is available from Amazon and other book retailers.

HEIDI DAVIDSON is the CEO of Galvanize Worldwide, the largest distributed marketing and communications consulting firm in the world.  The Galvanize team focuses on startup advisory work, outsourced marketing, crisis communications and change management for organizations of all sizes.  Before co-founding Galvanize Worldwide, Heidi spent four years as part of the turn-around team at BlackBerry in senior executive roles focused on helping BlackBerry move from a device manufacturer to a security software and services provider.  Prior to that, Heidi worked at MasterCard Worldwide at its global headquarters in Purchase, New York for 11 years. She served in various leadership capacities across communications, marketing, compliance, global public policy, consumer education, training and events, security and risk management, mergers and acquisitions, among others.  Heidi’s career began in association and agency public relations.

Heidi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, an MBA in Marketing and a Doctorate degree (ABD) in Business from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York. In 2015, Heidi was named to the PR News list of Top Women in PR and won the Canada’s Top Women in Technology - Leadership Excellence Award. At BlackBerry, Heidi and her team won a number of awards, including Global PR Week’s Corporate Branding Campaign of the Year for their work in turning the media sentiment of the company around. Heidi is Chairman of the Board for the Business Council of Westchester and a member of the Board of Governors for the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester.

JEFF GADWAY is a marketing leader with a background in product marketing, brand management and channel marketing. As director of worldwide product marketing at BlackBerry, Jeff led over a dozen new product and services launches. At Vidyard, a VC-backed SaaS company, Jeff established the product marketing team and led go-to-market strategy, including pricing, positioning, and new product introduction. Today, as co-founder of Galvanize Worldwide, Jeff works with founders to enable scalable, on-demand marketing strategy and execution.  Jeff is an adjunct professor of marketing at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.




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