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Breakout Session Details

Speaker Bios

April  28, 2017

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

UCONN Stamford 

Breakout Session Details


30 Ways to Grow Your Email List

Presenter: Cheryl Henchar

Learn 30 ways to grow your email marketing list with ease! Cheryl will teach you how to:

  •  Capitalize on " Text to Join feature "

  •  Ask people to join your list "face-to-face"

  •  Use social media to grow your list

  •  Grow your list on your website or blog 

  •  Grow your email list with Videos 

Get Your Target Market to Tune In & Take Action

Presenter: Shannon Daniels

In order to build a successful business you must identify your target customer and tailor your marketing message directly to their needs. One of the most common mistakes small business owners make is trying to be all things to everyone, but when you do this, you're not talking to anyone. In this session, Shannon will teach you how to narrow your target market and develop effective marketing messaging that gets your audience to pay attention and take action. :

10 Small Business Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Presenter: Colette Cote

Small businesses are typically short on both time and resources yet need to create brand awareness and preference in order to drive business revenue and growth. This session will address some of the common marketing mistakes made by small businesses, while providing guidance and helpful tips on how to avoid them. At the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Identify key components of a successful small business marketing program;

  • Begin to organize their marketing program for enhanced business results.

How to Bake a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Presenter: Valerie Chernetskyy

Are you new to the world of content marketing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Savvy business owners are taking content marketing much more seriously because of its ability to help brands gain authority and trust within their target audience, which drives lead generation, sales and ROI. As a small business competing in a highly digital world where more than half of consumers feel more comfortable buying from a company that delivers custom content (Demand Metric, 2014), you can't afford to ignore content marketing. Where do you start? Hear Valerie discuss the key ingredients you need to bake a killer content marketing strategy for your brand.

The Holy Grail: Getting to the Top of Page 1 on Google

Presenters: Michael & Marc Guberti

The top listing of Google’s results gets 33% (a full third) of the search traffic, compared to 18% in the second position with engagement rapidly descending from there. In an online business environment where perception is power, there is no more coveted spot that Google’s first page top listing for both businesses and nonprofit organizations. As seen in Success Magazine, The Huffington Post & US News & World Report, 18 time authors Michael & Marc Guberti will empower you to claim your spot at the top of Google’s first page. Additionally, as the founders of the nonprofit Guberti Giving Inc., the Guberti brothers will share their best fundraising strategies as related to SEO.

#Snaphappy: How to Get the Most Out of Hashtags

Presenter: Sharon Arena

You can’t get away from them, no matter how hard you try. Hashtags are here and now. You see them slapped all over sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. A good reason being that hashtags are one of the most powerful marketing tools around. You can reach a maximum target audience and gain followers to your brand.

So what exactly does this has to do with your business? A lot. Mostly all major social networks use hashtags for business purposes, and the outcome has been incredible. Hashtags can be used as a search tool to attract potential customers or clients to your site or page. I will talk about how to properly use hashtags, categorizing, sending your message, promote your business in social media using hashtags, and how to find the top trending hashtags to use.

How to Attract Clients Using Facebook Ads

Presenter: Gary Griffiths

Gary will show you a simple 3 step formula to attract leads, and turn those leads into paying customers, using Facebook™️ ads. More importantly, Gary will also walk through some live examples of exactly what to do in order to attract more leads and customers - for several business owners in the audience - you won't want to miss this!

7 Ways to Use Live Videos to Promote Your Brand & Business

Presenter: Zef Zan

Live streaming videos present many interesting possibilities and are making monstrous waves in the social media world. They provide opportunities for many things that were not possible just a short time ago. With the advancements in technology, live streaming videos(also known as “live videos”) can now be done by anyone and from anywhere in the world with a wi-fi or network connection. Businesses are using them as a means to connect, communicate and build a community. They are quickly changing the way we interact with one another. One thing live videos have proven to be is, they accelerate authentic relationships. 

Key takeaways from this session:

  • Who live video is for and why you should care.

  • How to optimize live videos to generate opportunities for your business.

  • Why they are key in helping you win clients!

Marketing to the Federal Government

Presenter: Lisa Wood

The Government buys close to $500 billion dollars’ worth of goods and services every year. The Government also commits to utilizing small businesses to meet their procurement needs.  Now is the time to consider if selling to the Government is right for your business.  This presentation will cover how to get the attention of federal buyers. Session attendees will learn:


  • Where to register so buyers can find you

  • How to perform market intelligence

  • How to create a capability statement


Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker
Ed "Skip" McLaughlin

Ed is the founder of four businesses and is currently running Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm. He bootstrapped his first business, United Systems Integrators (USI) Corporation, a corporate real estate outsourcing firm, and grew it into an Inc. 500 company. In 2001, Ed earned Entrepreneur of the Year honors from Ernst & Young. In 2005, he sold USI to Johnson Controls, a Fortune 100 company, and at that point, became CEO of JCI’s Global Workplace Business for the Americas. Ed's book, "The Purpose is Profit" just received the 2017 Axiom Book Award for Entrepreneurship. A member of the Board of Governors for Tufts Medical Center, Ed founded its David E. Wazer Breast Cancer Research Fund. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees. Active in philanthropy, Ed lives with his wife in Connecticut and has three adult children.

Featured Speaker
Caroline Simmons, State Representative, 144th District

Caroline B. Simmons is honored to represent the 144th District in Stamford, Connecticut. She is House Chair of the Commerce Committee. Caroline worked for the Women’s Business Development Council in Stamford where she helped provide entrepreneurial, financial, and professional development training programs for women in CT. She currently serves on the WBDC’s board. Caroline is Co-Chair of the Connecticut Young Democrats’ Women’s Caucus, and a member of the Stamford League of Women Voters and the Southwest CT Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Previously, Caroline worked at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for four and a half years. Learn more >

Cheryl Henchar, Founder Cheryl's Creative Services

Cheryl is the President and Founder of Cheryl’s Creative Services, which assists small business owners with email marketing. As an Authorized Local Expert Speaker with Constant Contact, she conducts educational seminars and webinars on the values of email marketing and integrated online tools. Cheryl was honored by Constant Contact as “Rookie of the Year 2014 Solutions Provider,”  a new provider who exemplifies what it means to achieve small business success for themselves and their clients.

Shannon Daniels, Public Speaking, Communication & Mindset Coach

Shannon is Founder of SPEAC, public speaking, communication and mindset coaching, where she works with companies and individuals to master the art of communication, create a positive mindset, overcome obstacles and achieve goals. Shannon is also an author, motivational speaker and educator. She is as an Associate, Enterprise Risk Management Program at Columbia University and Adjunct Instructor of communication studies at Iona College. 

Colette Cote, Integrated marketing and communications consultant 

Colette is an integrated marketing and communications consultant who grows brand awareness, preference and engagement to maximize revenue and growth for B2B and B2C organizations of all sizes. She provides strategic marketing and internal/external communications counsel and planning, including the hands-on implementation of integrated PR and digital marketing programs (website, blog, social media, enewsletters). Colette was honored among the “Top #Nifty50 Women on Twitter” as a leader who truly “gets” social media and social business.

Valerie Chernetskyy, Content Strategist & Copywriter

Valerie Chernetskyy is Creative Director of Chic Bytes, a boutique writing firm, helping businesses devise the strategy and content needed to build a profitable online presence. Valerie has 10 years of professional writing and marketing experience. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in journalism from Fairfield University.

Zef Zan, International Livestreamer & Keynote Speaker

Zef Zan is the "200 mph entrepreneur", International Livestreamer, Keynote Speaker, and “Chief Flight Officer” at Entrepreneurs That SOAR!

Gary Griffiths, Social Media Marketing Expert

Gary Griffiths is the CEO and Founder of 3 StartUps - G'Day Mate; ThreeSides; and ThreeSides Local. He has spoken extensively across 3 different continents on business strategy and social media marketing. For the past 12 months, Gary has led these three fast paced startups - helping businesses in the USA, Canada, France, Mexico, Portugal, the UK and Australia - attract more customers, using Facebook and Instagram advertising. 

Sharon Arena, Social Media Marketing, Event Planning & PR Expert

Owner & President of Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC, Sharon has over two decades experience working in roles such as operations, marketing, and sales. Growing up in a family-owned company, she understands the importance and dedication business owners need to be able to focus on their customers, services and their work. She helps provide services that business owners need in today's virtual world that will not only help them get more exposure online, but bring in more leads. Taking the time to get to know each and every one of her clients, from their short and long term goals, to re-branding themselves online, making sure you get the ultimate growth. Sharon is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, and serves on multiple boards, including Post University Marketing Board.

Michael & Marc Guberti, Social Media & SEO Experts

Michael and Marc are brothers, philanthropists, social media & SEO experts. They are also Co-Founders of Smart Business People Services. Michael and Marc have been featured Speakers at Microsoft, Fordham University, Rob Astorino’s Annual Westchester Business Development Event, Crowne Plaza, and are  Social Media Columnists for Westchester Business Journal. Through their philanthropy they empower youth in partnership with the New York Knicks, Nextiva Phone Service & other corporations.

Lisa Wood, Statewide Director CT PTAP

Lisa Wood is the Statewide Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (CT-PTAP), which provides marketing and technical assistance to Connecticut businesses selling, or interested in selling, their products and/or services to federal, state and local government agencies.  Ms. Wood holds a MBA from the University of New Haven and currently pursuing her PhD in Instructional Management and Leadership with Robert Morris University. She was previously the Statewide Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) for the Ohio Department of Development. Before joining the Ohio Department of Development, she was Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center for the Northwest Commission of Pennsylvania and was a contracting officer for Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc.  In these roles, Wood performed contract administration and negotiation duties. She also recommended bidders, handled issue inquiries, negotiated bids, performed cost and price analysis, and prepared comprehensive letters to justify recommended contract actions.  Lisa is a firm believer in the growth potential of Connecticut and is committed to helping businesses take advantage of government contracts.


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Stamford Small Business Symposium
April 28, 2017
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
University of Connecticut
Stamford Campus
1 University Place
Stamford, CT 06901
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