Small Business Summit

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On October 22, the Small Business Council is hosting the Small Business Summit at the Ramada Downtown Hotel & Convention Center in the Jefferson Room. This summit will have morning sessions with leaders discussing marketing, financing, insurance and human resources. The afternoon sessions will be roundtables of banking, insurance, legal and marketing. Purchasing a ticket to the Small Business Summit includes a keynote speaker, panels, breakfast, lunch and access to the 2019 Business Expo and Business Unwind. Purchase your tickets here.

Small Business Summit Agenda

Ramada Inn

October 22, 2019

8:00 a.m. – Welcome & Video

Jennifer Kirmse, Azura Credit Union, Premier Sponsor

Mistress of Ceremony

 Martha Piland

MB Piland Advertising & Marketing

8:05 – 8:20 a.m. - Shannon Reilly – Wake Up Call

Topeka Civic Theatre

8:25 – 9:25 a.m. - Marketing Panel

Alex Reilly – MB Piland Advertising & Marketing

 Sheila Ellis-Glasper – SEG Media Collective

 Alissa Menke – JHP

 Bob Ross – The Greater Topeka Partnership

 9:30 – 10:05 a.m. - Alternative Financing

Topeka/Shawnee County First Opportunity Fund – Glenda Washington

Shawnee Start Up – Cindy Evans

Kansas Department of Commerce Loan Programs – Imogene Harris

U S Small Business Administration

10:10 – 10:45 am – Insuring Your Business

Health Insurance for Small Businesses (TIBA)

Cyber Security Insurance- Is if for My Business

10:50 – 11:45 am – HR and Small Businesses

Caleb Asher – Sprout Communication

 KEYNOTE LUNCHEON with Paul Vitale

 1:15 – 2:00 p.m. – Roundtables


Azura Credit Union, Jennifer Kirmse

Fidelity, Tony Blancas

UMB, Aaron Classi


Corporate Plan, Erick Punches

TIBA, Kristin Scott



Nicole Revenaugh, Irigonegaray, Turney, & Revenaugh, LLP


JHP, Alissa Menke

GTP, Bob Ross

 City of Topeka

Richard Faulkner, Director of Development Services

Leigha Boling, City Purchasing

State of Kansas

Kansas Dept. of Commerce & Transportation – Rhonda Harris

Kansas Dept. of Agriculture – Michael Turner

Closing Statement


 Tour the Expo and Enjoy Business Unwind


 Noon – 1:00 pm – Luncheon Speaker

Paul Vitale, Keynote Speaker – Community Support and Partnerships

The infancy of successful programs, social movements, and partnerships begins with a shared vision that over time has the potential to breed greatness within the confines of a community, as well as beyond. For many, what begins as challenging the process is turned into a vision that develops into a greater idea, fueled by those who are encouraged to take ownership in the cause. It is critical that the most effective strategic plan is put in place at the beginning of any project, knowing the limitations of both manpower and dollar power. During this presentation, Paul will challenge participants to focus on details that will help produce positive outcomes.

Paul Vitale has become one of America's most sought-out speakers and trainers while using his unique combination of passion, energy and experience to encourage and motivate others. The founder of Vital Communications, Inc., Paul is a native of Arkansas and received his degree in mass communications and journalism from the University of Central Arkansas.

For more than fifteen years, Paul has impacted individuals and organizations, imparting an understanding of the leadership and passion required to excel. Through his keynote presentations, seminars and retreats, Paul helps his clients build strong teams and increase productivity. He speaks worldwide about the significance of optimism, a strong work ethic, and concepts vital to personal and professional growth, while reaching hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life. Paul's energetic and enjoyable presentation style have made him one of the most requested speakers at hundreds of universities, meetings, conventions, seminars and training conferences.

His diverse client list includes ESPN, the United States Postal Service, Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Redskins, Landstar Global Logistics, the Georgia Department of Education, Tyson Foods, the Minnesota Vikings, the Antiques Roadshow, the University of Kentucky and Dole Hong Kong.

Prior to speaking professionally, Paul was director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Preceding his role at the CVB, Paul launched his professional career with the largest marketing firm in the State of Arkansas--Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods. His team was responsible for all of the Natural State's tourism promotion.

Paul has written the best sellers Are You Puzzled by the Puzzle of Life; Sell With Confidence; and Pass It On. He has also written several curriculums in use across the nation and recorded Live Life Like You Mean It. Paul has been featured on NBC, ABC and FOX, and is a regular guest on talk shows sharing his insight and life strategies. Paul's expertise, enthusiasm and ability to encourage people to exceed their potential have been described by his audiences as extraordinary.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Arkansas Hospitality Association. He is a graduate of the Little Rock Citizen's Police Academy, Leadership Greater Little Rock, currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Travel Council and was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel. Recognized by Arkansas Business as one of its "Forty Under 40," Paul was selected by its readers as Best Motivational Speaker and Trainer.