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GROW Your Business. One Day, New Ideas: Get Your Edge!

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The annual GROW Your Business conference is Westchester Community College’s signature entrepreneurship event.  GROW inspires and empowers entrepreneurs and business owners across the Hudson Valley. The full-day forum offers the nuts and bolts of growing your business and maximizing success, with a focus on networking, mentoring, business development and driving revenue.  Attendees are able to tap into a network of like-minded business leaders, potential partners and resources, and hear from marquee-name professionals and innovators from Westchester and beyond.

This is an energetic full day of learning with an inspiring keynote speaker and breakout sessions, followed by a networking reception. Our content is based on surveys of small businesses and their crucial needs to thrive. The day will emphasize solid business fundamentals along with some potentially transformative strategies.
 
Program
 
9:45a    Registration & Breakfast                                   
 
10:15a  Welcoming Remarks                                       
 
10:30a    PechaKucha 20 X 20 - Leadership: Tactical and Practical for New Direction
Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 is a dynamic presentation format where 20 images are shown, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and the presenter speaks along to the images for 6 minutes and 40 seconds. New and exciting for GROW 2018, Pecha Kucha format has grown in the last 10 years from Tokyo to over 1000 cities. Perfect for us to find out about new ideas, concisely. (The opposite of "death by PowerPoint") In this presentation, we will feature four speakers who will quickly inform and maybe entertain us about the best aspects of leadership - whether your company has 2 employees or 200. Topics include:
  • Leading for Innovation
  • Leading Through Change
  • Leading in Technology
  • Leading for Growth Mode

Presenters
Tony Fareed of Bridge Global Capital Group & 360accel
Jocelyn Greenky of Sider Road Business Transformation 
Karen Short of SGC3
John Watkins of Westchester Community College

 11:15a    Morning Breakout Sessions

Session 1: Got a Smartphone? Start Creating Videos for Your Business
Video is hot!  But most businesses do not use it because they think that it is complicated, expensive and require hiring a video professional.  Thanks to smartphones, DSLR and tablets, we all have the ability to capture HD quality video.  In addition, with free social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, we now have the ability to share video content with people.  The good news is there are videos you can and should be creating yourself.  In this workshop, learn step-by-step what types of videos to create, how to create powerful videos and how to use them for the greatest impact.
PresenterDavid Vogel, Video Seo Pro

Session 2: Say It! Stepping Up to Crucial Conversations as a Business Owner    
In business - and especially family-owned business, it is a given that challenging situations occur that must be addressed if the business is to survive. Most conflicts and chronic problems in family businesses stem from avoiding hard topics and tough questions. Learn tools and strategies and get the Essential Checklist for crucial conversations.     
PresenterCatherine McMaster-Pietrow, Advantage Family Business

Session 3: The Art of Making Your Value Unquestionable, Unforgettable and Marketable  
In this session, the presenter will share best practices for making yourself indispensable to clients.  Through an open and lively discussion, you willll learn how he built a six-figure consulting business working part time, with no website or other promotional material.  Success comes in many forms, and successful entrepreneurs know when to follow others’ approaches and when to break the mold.  Use this session to challenge and expand your thinking about how to succeed.
PresenterDavid Severance, New Door Leadership

Session 4: Get Connected and GROW Your Business
This workshop will explain how business owners can access free services that will support and help GROW their business. Learn about On-the-Job Training reimbursement funds, Sector Business Partnership membership and benefits, job fairs and recruitment help, Career Pathways, READI for Youth, the “Just Add One” Business Academy and more.
Presenters: Thom Kleiner, WPWDB Executive Director and Dr. LaTasha Hamlett-Carver, Employment and Training Specialist

Session 5: WCC Student Pitch Competition
Westchester Community College students will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of business leaders for the chance to win a prize.

12:00p    Lunch & Networking

12:40p      Keynote: Amirah Kassem, Founder of The Flour Shop

New York-based baker and Flour-ist, Amirah Kassem, is an artist at heart and cake is her medium. But she didn’t learn her skills in culinary school. Instead, Amirah grew-up baking and sculpting with her mother in Mexico, where she discovered an appreciation for fine ingredients—and mastered the art of multi-sensory experiences. Today, her food-based installations have been exhibited everywhere from private settings at the Whitney Museum to 64-foot edible hallways at the Brooklyn Museum. Her fondant-free creations have also caught the attention of Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, and every fashion party in NYC. 
 
You can find Amirah's signature rainbow-exploding cakes, (Instagram’s “2017 Trend of the Year,”) along with her other whimsical creations, at her rainbow glittery bakery in SoHo.

1:30p    Afternoon Breakout Sessions I 

Session 6: Fire Your Webmaster! 
Learn about online resources which will give you independence with your business website. Learn to be more proactive and save yourself from being blindsided by anyone who claims to be a web design expert. Talk to them with the same confidence, and speak their lingo.
Presenter: John Watkins, Westchester Community College IT & Cybersecurity

Session 7: The Psychology of Sales   
Most of us have sub-conscious filters about what sales is all about: being pushy, manipulative, self-serving, etc. These filters inhibit our ability to be effective as sales people for our business, which directly impacts our ability to generate income.  In this workshop you will become aware of your personal filters about selling and how they might be holding you back, understand the mindset of the buyer and what he or she is truly looking for from you, learn how to set yourself up for success in selling your product or service and be at ease with the sales process.
Presenter
Patty Franco, GrowthSource Academy

Session 8: Thinking Strategically About Growing Your Business 
Growth opportunities are all around us but sustainable growth is difficult and needs informed leadership that delivers bottom line results.  You must create a positive value proposition for the customer, and you must plan ahead and construct an economically sustainable business model to effectively manage the pace of growth. By attending this workshop, you will better understand the sources of capital available to fund growth, the framework to create your growth plan and understand the operational obstacles to growth.
Presenter: Karen Short, SGC3

Encore Session 9: The Art of Making Your Value Unquestionable, Unforgettable and Marketable   
In this session the presenter will share best practices for making yourself indispensable to clients.  Through an open and lively discussion, you’ll learn how he built a six-figure consulting business working part time, with no website or other promotional material.  Success comes in many forms and successful entrepreneurs know when to follow others’ approaches and when to break the mold.  Use this session to challenge and expand your thinking about how to succeed. 
PresenterDavid Severance, New Door Leadership

2:20p    Afternoon Breakout Sessions II

Session 10: Your Digital Marketing Guide: A Checklist   
Get the most out of your website, social media marketing and email campaigns. This workshop will walk you through the essential steps for successful execution of your online marketing. You will get practical advise for small business owners who have many responsibilities and not a lot of time.
Presenter: Jann Mirchandani, Westchester Marketing Cafe

Session 11: Legal Changes and Tax Issues for Small Businesses 
This presentation will cover the changes made by the new Tax Cuts and Job Act and how they affect small businesses and their owners. These recent changes in the law will impact your small business even if you just have one employee.  
Other topics which will be covered in this workshop include:
  • New York State Paid Family Leave and Westchester County Paid Sick Leave
  • New York State and Sexual Harassment New York City Sexual Harassment
  • Westchester County and New York City - Salary History Ban
  • Westchester County and New York City - Ban the Box
  • Minimum Wage Escalations - a competitive disadvantage                                                                                                                                                                  Presenters: Allison Madison, Madison Approach Staffing and Paul Herman, Herman & Company CPA's
 Encore Session 12: Got a Smartphone? Start Creating Videos for Your Business  
Video is hot!  But most businesses do not use it because they think that it is complicated, expensive and require hiring a video professional.  Thanks to smartphones, DSLR and tablets, we all have the ability to capture HD quality video.  In addition, with free social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, we now have the ability to share video content with people.  The good news is there are videos you can and should be creating yourself.  In this workshop, learn step-by-step what types of videos to create, how to create powerful videos and how to use them for the greatest impact.
Presenter
David Vogel, Video Seo Pro
 
Encore Session 13: The Psychology of Sales
Most of us have sub-conscious filters about what sales is all about: being pushy, manipulative, self-serving, etc. These filters inhibit our ability to be effective as sales people for our business, which directly impacts our ability to generate income.  In this workshop you will become aware of your personal filters about selling and how they might be holding you back, understand the mindset of the buyer and what he or she is truly looking for from you, learn how to set yourself up for success in selling your product or service and be at ease with the sales process.
Presenter
Patty Franco,  GrowthSource Academy

  3:10p    Afternoon Encore Breakout Sessions III

Session 14: Find Me! Ways of Getting Found Online
"Build it and they will come..." If only it were that easy, every business would be successful. It isn’t good enough to just have a great website or even a fantastic product or service - you have to get your business found online by people who want to buy from you. Maybe they will find you after doing a Google search, maybe they will see your ad on Facebook or maybe they will discover a piece of content you shared on social media. There are so many ways of getting found online today, but what is the best way to get in front of the people you need to attract? Hear a panel of experts discuss the many ways you can improve your chances of getting your company found online.
Presenters: Saroosh Gull of EVENTCOMBO, Jann Mirchandani of Marketing Cafe and David Vogel of Video SEO Pro 
 
Session 15: Grassroots Marketing: How to Grow a Business Through Community Involvement 
People do business with people they know.  Learn how community involvement can help grow your business with limited marketing resources. This workshop will address the various types of groups and community organizations, their purpose, and help to identify those which might be most beneficial to join. 
Presenter: 
Deborah Milone, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce
 
Session 16: Go Hack Yourself! 
Software security flaws, the online presence of companies, and the dissemination of information on the internet cause worldwide computer security problems. Companies, individuals, and even government agencies are affected by security flaws, costing millions of dollars each year. You can implement simple techniques to mitigate some of these security problems. 
PresenterJohn Watkins, Westchester Community College IT & Cybersecurity
 

Session 17: MWBE Resources to Attract and Retain Business
The Westchester County Office of Economic Development, along with the Industrial Development Agency and Local Development Corporation, offers business resources, financial assistance and a wide range of related services and incentives to help attract and retain business and talent in Westchester.

 4:00p    Afternoon Breakout Sessions IV

 Panel of Micro-Brewing Companies Share Their Start-up Stories
Captain Lawrence Brewing CompanyPeekskill BreweryYonkers Brewing
 
4:40p    Closing Reception & Announcement of Winner of the Student Pitch Competition
 
 
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