Experience the best speakers, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in the country!
Tommey Walker became his own boss at the age of 25. In 2012 the Detroit native became the owner and creator of Detroit VS Everybody which was introduced as an apparel line but has since been adopted as the cities motto. In five short years, Detroit VS Everybody has grown from an online retail store to a global brand with six storefront locations. The impact of the brand has reached well into the world of sports, news and entertainment and caught the attention of many celebrities including Big Sean, Drake and Nas. The mantra has also been licensed to Eminem and Shady Records for an ongoing "Shady Vs. Everybody". Attend the 2019 Entrepreneur and Small Business Conference to find out how a local entrepreneur, who started online, became a global brand in just a few years.
Since 1989 Paul Glantz has focused his efforts on building entrepreneurial businesses. Mr. Glantz has been the driving force behind the development and operation of Metro Detroit’s Emagine Theatres. Serving as the CEO of Emagine Novi, Emagine Canton, Emagine Rochester Hills, Emagine Royal Oak, and Emagine Macomb, he raised over $55 million in capital to initiate those ventures, and in doing so, brought his concept of an exemplary entertainment experience to reality. Emagine’s theatres were recognized by the readers of The Detroit News as the “Best Theatres in Michigan” for three years. WDIV Detroit viewers also voted Emagine as Detroit’s best theatres for two years in a row. In addition to Emagine, Glantz grew an insurance company into a 50 million dollar business. Mr. Glantz will deliver the closing keynote and receive the NEA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. ZaLonya Allen is President of the National Entrepreneurs Association and has been an entrepreneur for nearly 20 years. As a professional speaker and trainer she has delivered hundreds of presentations for colleges, businesses, conferences and organizations throughout the country. As a coach and psychologist she helps entrepreneurs uncover and remove mental blocks that are standing in the way of their success.
Dr. Allen earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan, a Masters degree in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University and a Doctorate degree in Psychology from North Central University. Dr. Allen is a member of the National Speakers Association and the American Psychological Association. She enjoys teaching online psychology classes, writing poetry, bike riding and spending time with family.
Angelina is a speaker for the Grow with Google partner program. She helps Google bridge the digital divide by offering free coaching and resources to over 2,500 N.Y.-based diverse small businesses. She’s helped these businesses strategically revamp their digital outreach strategies through over 60 in-person programs.
As the founder of C-Suite Coach, a career-coaching platform that provides accessible professional development resources to diverse working professionals, Angelina collaborates with employers to create business solutions that empower and educate teams, as well as retain and engage diverse employees. C-Suite Coach has been featured in Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, Thrive Global, Essence, and career sites such as Levo.com, Recruiter.com and Monster.com. Angelina holds an M.A. in Management from Wake Forest University, a Certificate of Coaching from New York University and a B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College.
Jessie is a one-of-a-kind social media strategist whose special skills lie in helping business owners be right on top of things with their social media presence – whether that is via training, direct management of their various social platforms – or both.
Jessie dove in head first into the disruptive world of social media marketing in 2012 where she took over the reins of a marketing and public relations firms’ efforts with their book of clients. There she discovered the true power of social media and why businesses must stand out on digital platforms where the world now shares, shop and sell. Today she manages a diverse book of clients ranging from technology, health, green products to ---you name it!
Jessie earned a Bachelors in Communications from Michigan State University and a Masters in Business Management from Walsh College
Monica Wheat is a Strategist, Educator, and Venture Developer. She is the Managing Director of the Backstage Capital - Detroit Accelerator, a global tech accelerator investing $100,000 each in scaling startups for underrepresented founders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Venture Catalysts, a non-profit venture and ecosystem development group focusing on large-scale entrepreneurial initiatives, investor education, innovation hub, entrepreneur education, a seed fund and competitions for over 30,000 attendees. Her work has been featured in Crains, Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, and Forbes. She regularly speaks at corporations and conferences on topics of digital innovation, ecosystem development, global social media and women in technology.
Lydia is the Owner and Founder of Blended Collective, a multicultural marketing and brand consultancy in Detroit. Last year, Blended Collective launched Blended, its quarterly speaker event series to spark conversations among creative and business talent extending across cultures and industries. After graduating from Wayne State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Lydia began her career at the Detroit Jazz Festival, followed by global marketing and international management positions in the entertainment and music industries. In 2016, she earned her MBA in International Management from Pforzheim University outside of Stuttgart, Germany. During her time in Germany, she worked on projects with Deloitte and L’Oréal before returning to the United States to begin her entrepreneurial journey. In 2018, she received the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business Emerging Leader Award. In 2019, she received the Corp! Most Valuable Millennials Award.
Robin Kinnie is the President of Motor City Woman and Audio Engineers of Detroit, specializing in podcast production, digital radio and audio engineering. She is dedicated to creating a platform for underrepresented voices in broadcasting and podcasting. As a contributor to the Podcast Business Journal, Robin highlights issues of diversity of inclusion within the industry. She recently completed “The Top 10 Mistakes New Podcasters Make”, available for download on Amazon.
Robin serves as the Detroit Chapter Head of Soundgirls.org, a national organization focused on increasing the number of women in audio engineering. Her service for others extends to volunteering as an Advisory Board Member for Y Arts, the arts and humanities branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Eli Broad College of Business and a Masters’ degree in higher, adult, lifelong education from MSU.
Robin has been recognized by Walker’s Legacy as part of the ‘Top 25 Women Leading In the Detroit Community’ , Diversity Leader Honoree by Corp! Magazine, the Association for Women in Communications and was recently honored with a Proclamation from Mayor Kelly Garrett, Mayor of Lathrup Village. Robin is a wife and mother of three which she counts as her true lifes’ work.
Paul Jones has a unique combination of institutional finance, small business advisory and entrepreneurship experience. Prior to joining the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Team, Paul founded TIVA Capital Advisors, a “virtual CFO company, focusing on data analytics, financial literacy and value extraction. In the previous 10 years, Mr. Jones was co-founder and CEO of IPX EG International; a telecom company domiciled in west Africa. Under Paul’s leadership; IPX grew from start-up to $20 million annual sales with over 100 employees.
Thanh Tran is a serial entrepreneur that founded AccelerateKID to teach kids grades K-8 about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education and entrepreneurship. In less than 4 years, the supplemental education, after-school startup has two teaching centers, nearly 50 partnerships, and has taught over 5500 young students. Thanh earned his Electrical Engineering Bachelors and Masters Degree from MSU. He then worked for corporations like GM and Eli Lilly. After gaining experience in the pharmaceutical and health care industry, he co-founded tech startups including MentalNote, and SchedFull, a scheduling software. Thanh is the recipient of the 2014 Salute to Excellence Award from the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and 2016 Startup of the Year Award from EMU’s School of Business. His AccelerateKID students won the 2014 Ernst & Young’s Youth Entrepreneurship Award and have spoken at TEDxDetroit.
Ashley is the leading Millennial strategist, spokesperson, consultant, and speaker for brands that want to reach Millennials. She is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR, the Millennial Marketplace.™ Through RIZZARR, brands are able to find and work with Millennial content creators, particularly nano-influencers and micro-influencers.
Ashley is also the founder of Millennials Change, an event series created to inspire Millennials to make a positive impact on the world. In addition to managing the company and its event series, Ashley is the host of the RIZZARR TV Show and podcast series, "The Ripple Effect of You". Before starting her journey into entrepreneurship, Ashley was an award-winning journalist. She worked for NBC News, WBAL Radio, and USA TODAY. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism as well as minors in international relations and Spanish.
Amanda joined the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in 2017 starting her role as the Marketing Coordinator and later transitioned into the Community Outreach Coordinator after relocating to Michigan from California. With a background in broadcast journalism as well as business management and marketing. Ms. Hill has a passion for serving the community. Passionate about service, Hill works with youth at Woodside Bible Church, is a member of Dames Collective and volunteers her time with Commission on Senior Adults (COSA) board in an effort to better serve the senior citizen community. Ms. Hill is responsible for overseeing events, community outreach and other marketing efforts for BBB, her role consists of community activities, presenting, content creation and social media. She earned a BA in Journalism from Hampton University in Hampton VA.
Keith Crispen serves as the Principal of Consulting for The Crispen Group, Inc. (TCG). Crispen’s firm has connected startups and nonprofits to capital for nearly 10 years. TCG was chosen by the Small Business Administration as an e200 Emerging Leader in small business operational excellence in 2013. Crispen believes that most organizations and/or people need minor tweaks to reach their goals, and is always excited to create value and positively impact their trajectories. Crispen has connected startups to over $20 million since 2009, and helped nonprofits raise $4.7 million for community-based programming and place-based initiatives.
Crispen has been featured as a Guest Lecturer on Entrepreneurship for Blackstone Launchpad at Wayne State University, and hosts a podcast named Foundr Fuel that helps startups and nonprofits avoid common pitfalls and learn from the mistakes of others. In addition to his work, Crispen has recently volunteered as President of Detroit Young Professionals and Director of Development for AIGA Detroit, and currently serves as Director of Community Development for Detroit Hives. Crispen holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Management from Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business, and a Master of Community (Economic) Development degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy’s School of Architecture. In his spare time, Crispen cooks for his family, reads nonfiction, and enjoys music.
Dr. Jeffrey Stoltman is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing at Wayne State University. He is former associate dean for research and graduate programs in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University (2008-2011), and former interim department chair. He has been a member of the Wayne State marketing faculty since 1988, having previously served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska and as an instructor at Syracuse University. Jeff teaches in the areas of consumer research, retailing and marketing strategy. Jeff is an active consultant, having worked with over 100 organizations, in areas such as strategy development and strategic planning, organizational change, marketing research, customer research and loyalty/relationship management, product development and promotion strategy. He is a member of the American Marketing Association, Association for Consumer Research and World Future Society.
Marcus A. Jackson is a Community Development Relationship Manager at CIBC. He is responsible for delivering customized banking solutions specific to the needs of small businesses, including a variety of lending options for start-ups, early stage and more established small businesses. Jackson is also responsible for partnering with community organizations in the area to deliver entrepreneurial training programs. He received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Co-ed Professional Business Fraternity, and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. Jackson serves as Treasurer for the Wayne County CRA Association and is a big brother of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He will be a part of the session on "Understanding Your Money"
Kevin has more than 22 years of experience in strategic planning, branding, marketing, communications, business development and agency management. This includes senior marketing management roles at Dell Financial Services in Round Rock, Texas, State Street Corp in Boston, Massachusetts and his previous agency, KMED Marketing.
Kevin is a regular blogger and speaker at national conferences and workshops on topics including marketing strategy, consumer behavior, branding, digital marketing, business development and the value of diversity in both work and personal experience.
In addition to his responsibilities at Kyrris, Kevin is a Lecturer in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with an additional major in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Science degree in Mass Communication from Boston University. In his free time, Kevin enjoys biking with his family along the Detroit River or exploring the city’s ever-growing food scene. As a Gen X’er, most of his Spotify list songs are from the 80’s and 90’s. He does mix it up with new stuff that he steals from his kids, which totally ruins it for them.
Kevin will serve as the afternoon MC and distribute entrepreneur awards. Awards will be handed out for lifetime achievement and outstanding business practices.
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