2014 Speaker Roster
Duane Spires is a high energy motivational speaker who has one main goal… To produce positive results in the lives of the people who hear him speak. From the second he steps on stage, the audience becomes engaged, excited, and inspired to succeed in their lives, their careers, and their businesses!
Duane speaks to groups of entrepreneurs about taking action on their personal and business goals to enable them to have a successful life. His goal is to show entrepreneurs across the United States how to break through their personal roadblocks and fears so they can start highly successful businesses.
Duane Spires was born in Ohio and grew up in Tampa Florida. During his first year at the University of South Florida he decided to start a company where he would teach sports enrichment classes to children at local schools. He created Extreme Youth Sports Inc. EYS quickly expanded to over 50 locations with several employees in the Tampa Bay area and offered Karate, Dance, Cheerleading, Tennis, Fitness, and team sports classes.
Extreme Youth Sports has expanded into other markets including Miami FL, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Hollywood FL, Portsmouth Ohio, and Sacramento California through its business opportunity sales to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Duane currently serves as a board member for the Entrepreneur’s Organization, which is a global organization committed to the growth of it’s members businesses. As the CEO of Extreme Youth Sports Inc., Duane qualified in 2009 to join EO with gross revenues exceeding 1 million dollars per year.
Fun Fact: Duane is also a professional ring announcer for MMA cage fighting events and is VP of World Class Fight League. He has been featured on several television programs and he has interviewed many famous sports athletes.
President of RAIN Group
President of RAIN Group, Mike Schultz is world-renowned as a consultant and expert in sales performance improvement. He’s co-author of the Wall Street Journal and Inc. Magazine bestseller Rainmaking Conversations: How to Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation (Wiley, 2011) and Professional Services Marketing, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2013) and was named a Top Sales Thought Leader globally in 2011 by Top Sales Awards.
Mike and the team at RAIN Group have worked with organizations such as HP, Monitor Group, Harvard Business School, Oracle, Fidelity Investments, Ryder, Quintiles, Bayer, Navigant Consulting, Bank of America, Mellon Bank, Lowe’s, and dozens of others to help them unleash the sales potential of their teams.
As a sales leader himself, Mike oversaw a sales force at a leading business-to-business company, engineering growth in his division by 800% in a four-year period while increasing margins significantly. Mike has also sold millions of dollars of products and services to companies across industries and of various sizes.
Mike is publisher of RainToday.com. Named the Top Sales Resource Site in 2010, 2011, and 2012, RainToday.com is one of the world’s largest sales and marketing resources. Mike is also on the faculty in the marketing division of the graduate school at Babson College.
News outlets such as Business Week, Inc. Magazine, and MSNBC and hundreds of others have featured Mike’s original articles and white papers. His most recent research includes Rainmaking Conversations, What Sales Winners Do Differently, and Benchmark Report on High Performance in Strategic Account Management.
Along with Professional Services Marketing and Rainmaking Conversations, Mike has written hundreds of articles, case studies, research reports, books, and other publications in the areas of selling and marketing. He also writes for the RAIN Selling Blog.
Mike is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA with a B.A. in American Studies, and holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Mike also enjoys fly fishing and golf, and actively studies and teaches the traditional martial arts of Seirenkai Karate and Jujitsu, holding the ranks of third degree black belt and Sensei. He lives on a lake west of Boston.
Founder at Social Media Contractors
Adrian Blake began his career in the Television Business, leading the international growth of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central in broadcast markets around the world.
He then spent several years with McKinsey & Co. with a dual focus on Marketing and the Media & Entertainment Industry. He served clients on four continents on issues relating to adapting to the new digital reality.
He was a key executive during the turnaround of DTN, the world’s largest media company focused on the agriculture market, and ran their advertising businesses, including The Progressive Farmer, the world’s largest farm magazine.
He is a Founder of Social Media Contractors, a social media agency serving clients from coast to coast. He has spoken at conferences and universities around the world, particularly on issues around Social Media and how it interacts with other Marketing tactics. He has led several startup organizations, is a board member of Conceive Nebraska, and is on the Advisory Board of Infotec, the Midwest’s largest IT conference.
Adrian graduated from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
CEO / Co-Founder of Soapbox Soaps
David Simnick is the CEO and Co-Founder of SoapBox Soaps, a company whose mission is to empower consumers with the chance to change the world through everyday, simple purchases. They started with donating bars of soap for every bar sold, and now sell a full range of products that have relevant social missions at their core.
You can find SoapBox Soaps in Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Vitamin Shoppe and other chain stores across the United States and beyond. As an Eagle Scout, Dave’s dream was to found for-profit companies with a social mission at its core.
Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer Bulubox
Bulu Box is a discovery commerce platform for health and nutrition products. We help people discover products to help them feel better. We help vitamin, supplement and nutritional brands understand the ROI of sampling their product. We’re like www.Birchbox.com for the $30B Vitamin & Supplement industry.
Paul Jarrett is no stranger to vitamins and supplements. He used supplements to help him gain 100 pounds and become a 307 lb D1 starting defensive lineman in the Big 12. When his collegiate football career was over, Paul used vitamins and supplements to lose 100 pounds.
Paul’s work experience spans the country. From NYC to San Francisco, Paul has launched million dollar brands such as Neebo and executed multi-facted campaigns for Lowe’s and Nike. In 2010, Paul joined Complete Nutrition where he became the Vice President of Marketing and an Executive Board Member. He built the MarComm department, trained dozens of franchises and positioned Complete Nutrition and its products for success in a saturated market. The company’s growth skyrocketed. In fact, it was one of the fastest growing startups in the U.S. Paul’s experience at Complete Nutrition was the precursor to starting his own company. In 2012, Bulu Box was born.
Co-Founder / Chief Marketing Officer Bulubox
With one hand strategizing big ad campaigns for successful brands like Jergens and Curel and the other hand sketching interactive design for brands like LeapFrog and TD Ameritrade, Stephanie made a name for herself as a multi-tasking master who oozes creativity and success. Stephanie built her portfolio as an Art Director and Interactive Designer for big brands like LeapFrog, TD Ameritrade and Complete Nutrition. Her varied marketing background, management ability, killer creativity, and online/offline skillset propelled her into the startup world.
Stephanie love’s traveling, experimenting with new recipes and trying to convince her husband to run full marathons with her.
Co-Founder / CTO of GrooveShark
Josh Greenberg is the Chief Technology Officer of Grooveshark, the world’s largest on-demand music discovery service. Josh co-founded Grooveshark in 2006 while studying Business Administration at the University of Florida. He is a lifelong tech entrepreneur, having previously founded two web development companies. Josh has led Grooveshark as CTO since its inception, overseeing Grooveshark’s engineering, infrastructure, creative, data, and community teams. In addition to playing a large role in Grooveshark’s strategic planning, Josh guides the direction for Grooveshark’s unique set of products, spending most of his time coordinating high-level strategy with technological implementation.
Businessweek named Josh a finalist for America’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2008. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 Forbes named Josh one of the Top 30 Under 30 for Music
Co-Founder of opendorse
Blake Lawrence is the Co-Founder of opendorse, an athlete endorsement marketplace. opendorse allows brands to build robust endorsement campaigns featuring professional athletes. In January 2014, opendorse announced a partnership with the NFL Players Association, providing access to 2,000+ athletes, 300+ brands, and 100+ sports agents. Launched in April 2013, opendorse is Blake’s second startup, after Co-Founding Hurrdat, a social media agency, in 2010. Blake has helped grow his businesses from two employees in 2010, to 25 today. Hurrdat and opendorse are located in the Haymarket District in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, just blocks away from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where Lawrence played football and received his marketing and MBA degrees.
Founder of More than Cheer
For Brittany Rose, founder of More Than Cheer — a recreational sports management company — taking the chance of being whisked into the unemployment madness wasn’t an option. In 2008, while she was a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University she launched More Than Cheer. More Than Cheer offers classes and training in the areas of dance, cheerleading, tumbling and gymnastics. Because of More Than Cheer’s recent peak in participation and income, Rose launched two more businesses last year.
“Personally I really enjoy helping people and working with youth. I wanted to create a lifestyle where I could have financial freedom and time to spend with my family — when I have one,” said Rose.
Professional development is a component that is present in each of Rose’s companies. Aside from More Than Cheer’s “Cheerleadership” sessions where themes like bravery and compassion are incorporated into tumbling lessons, Rose uses her professional speaking skills most through HelpMeStartUp.com. Last year Rose joined the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.
CEO and Founder of Big Fish Presentations
At 21 years old, Kenny Nguyen is the CEO/Founder of Big Fish Presentations, a presentation company that does three things; presentation design, presentation consulting, and producing commercial video. Through his leadership, he and his team has been featured in notable outlets such as Inc. as one of “2012′s Coolest College Startups” and Business Insider. His presentation writings have also been featured on popular websites such as EO Overdrive, Work Awesome, Mo.Com, YFS Magazine, and Under30CEO.
Nationally recognized, Big Fish works with brands of all calibers from start-up to Fortune 500 companies. Our company works with brands to present themselves in new and innovative ways. We keep design and communication in mind in all things we do. Whether it is designing a sales deck, training you for a $2 million pitch, or producing a 30 second commercial spot showcasing your brand to the public, we have the capabilities to present your brand in a new light to your market. We transform your presentation into an experience.
Chief Scientific Officer at Boston Mountain Biotech LLC
Science is in her blood, so it’s not really surprising that Ellen Brune earned her doctorate in chemical engineering, invented a patent-worthy technology and founded her own pharmaceutical company by the time she was 27 years old.
The St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Arkansas is the chief scientific officer at Boston Mountain Biotech LLC, formed in 2011, and as the company’s momentum grows, Brune finds herself right where she wants to be — shaking hands, making connections and speaking on behalf of her creation.
BMB is revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry by providing protein purification solutions that result in new drugs moving from development to patient faster while simultaneously lowering the cost of manufacturing.
CEO of Livney+Partners
Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and advisor in the digital technology realm. Jeff is currently working on a startup aimed at improving the airport retail experience.
Jeff founded Livney+Partners in 2003 and has managed its growth and expansion since the beginning. After noticing a disconnect between many web design firms and the typical entrepreneur or non-profit, Jeff decided that there must be an easier way to create effective marketing campaigns than the traditional means. He has founded the company on a client-centric foundation, which transcends through everything we do. He guides the company by values that establish long-term relationships with our clients, and we approach each campaign as if it was for our own company.
Jeff was named the TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006. Jeff has been featured on the cover of the Houston Business Journal, and Livney+Partners was named “One of Houston’s Largest Website Development Firms” by the Houston Business Journal. Jeff has been one of twenty-five semi-finalists out of over 750 applicants in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards conducted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
CEO of Blabfeed
Keith is a serial entrepreneur who started a national computer support business at 16 and was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine. Keith has won national awards such as the CEO Best Student Entrepreneur and Best Student Business, as well at Nebraska’s PKI Entrepreneur of the year and the Maverick Business Plan Competition.
Keith’s current venture is blabfeed, an award-winning value added reseller (VAR) specializing in the procurement, installation, and integration of digital signage communications and marketing technologies. Blabfeed currently has contracts with a national beauty chain and one of the world’s largest retailers.
Keith is a Native American operates his enterprise in partnership with the Ho Chunk Inc. – a $250 million economic development corporation wholly owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
Co-founder of STATFUSE
Jeet Banerjee is a 21 year old serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, best-selling author, and digital marketing consultant.
Jeet created his first company at the age of 17, JBMediaForce.com, which provided web design, web development, online marketing, and video production for businesses of all sizes. He sold the company two years later after growing it to more than 15 employees. In 2012, Jeet launched a second company, StatFuse, an ed-tech website that helps high school students with college. This grew to over 14,000 users almost overnight and the website completely blew up without any money spent on marketing.
Jeet is the author of two books, the first is an ebook, “Profitable SEO Strategies,”, which discussed strategies for business owners to find ways to increase sales through search engine optimization. His latest effort is “The Pursuit of Passion: Entrepreneurs Guide To Turn Hobbies into Successful Businesses.”
Jeet speaks at conferences around the nation based on an invite basis to inspire, engage, and share expertise, knowledge, and information with others aspiring in entrepreneurship, online marketing, etc.
Founder of Spark Boulder
Fletcher is the founder and Managing Director of Spark Boulder. As a senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering, he has been the central organizing force behind developing the first student incubator and coworking space in Boulder. He helped raise $140K from the community and organized a team of ten students to launch Spark, which is currently home to almost 100 student members and companies and profitable in its first month.
Fletcher is also a self-taught web developer. He’s built his skills as a software engineer working for PivotDesk, a TechStars ’12 company, and Sound Web Consulting, the company he started with two other students. He’s passionate about solving hard business problems with software.
Yoga for Mindfulness, Creativity, and Relaxation
Welcor Enterprise Yoga
In this interactive session, Stefanie will introduce yoga concepts and practices that can increase mindfulness, creativity, and relaxation helpful to those pursuing the hectic entrepreneurial life.
Stefanie Monge, RYT, who studied yoga and meditation in Nepal and India and is the founder Welcor Enterprise Yoga. Welcor provides on-site yoga instruction for organizations across the Omaha metro. Employees learn simple and practical techniques – to improve posture, reduce stress and increase overall well-being – that can be applied throughout the work day. Welcor creates a customized yoga and/or meditation practice to address each organization’s unique needs and goals. More information at www.welcoryoga.com.
Finding the Fun in Business
You won’t want to miss the comedic take on business offered by Austin Anderson. We will take a few minutes to laugh at ourselves and remember that the startup lifestyle is not just blood, sweat and tears but is also a lot of fun!
Austin Anderson has been doing standup comedy since he was 18 years old. Since then, he has won comedy competitions, performed in over 20 states at colleges and the most prestigious comedy clubs in the country including Hollywood. He has entertained hundreds of events for companies, churches, and private parties.