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Small Business Success Summit

The purpose of the Small Business Success Summit is to inform, educate and inspire business owners in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Summit hosts keynote speakers, workshops and breakout sessions on a variety of timely topics that affect business owners and managers. Attendees have time to network and establish strategic partnerships.

2018 Event Details

Date & Time

November 9, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


FFA Enrichment Center at DMACC
1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Session Details  |  Sponsors 


Registration for the 2018 Small Business Success Summit is now closed. Walk-ins at the door are welcome. Cash or check accepted ($99).


Register today to secure your spot for this year's Small Business Success Summit in November!

Breakout Sessions

OPENING SESSION KEYNOTE  |  9 – 10:15 a.m.   

Whitney Cox Headshot 

How Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business  |  Google – Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager for Small Business Outreach

Marketers are using technology to drive their strategies to new, creative heights. Come explore how consumer behavior is disrupting ‘business as usual’ and shaping the evolution of digital tools. Whitney Cox, Small Business Manager for Google, will discuss how businesses are positioning their products and brands for success in today's connected age.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1  |  10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Mary Edrington 

Branding is NOT a Good Logo  |  Drake University, College of Business and Public Administration – Mary Edrington

Examine the importance of brand strategy development for small businesses. In this session, work with brand promises and brand touchpoints and their impact on business success. The importance of employee training in branding strategy will be highlighted. The intersection of personal branding and company branding will also be examined.

Courtney De Ronde 

How Does Your Company Keep Score?  |  TDT CPAs and Advisors, P.C. – Courtney De Ronde

Most companies measure profit by taking revenue minus expenses. This is only part of the equation. A business is made up of people performing various activities. Businesses need to measure, manage and leverage those activities on a real-time basis. This session will show how utilizing a balanced scorecard of traditional financial indicators and key performance indicators will provide you with better information to support decision making.

Christine Lebron-Dykeman

Brand Protection and Infringement Prevention  |  McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC – Christine Lebron-Dykeman, J.D.

Christine Lebron-Dykeman, Intellectual Property Attorney at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, will walk attendees through the steps to protect a brand and how to avoid trademark infringement issues with other companies. It is just as important to protect your business as it is to avoid stepping on the toes of other businesses. Learn how to do so by joining Lebron-Dykeman in this informative discussion!

Daniel Miller, SPHR 

Finding and Retaining Great Employees  |  Aureon HR – Daniel Miller, SPHR

Finding and retaining top talent can be a significant challenge. Owners and executives must consider their workforces' appetite for specific benefits such as PTO, VTO, family leave and competitive pay, while accounting for generational preferences such as flexible schedules, clear career paths and mentorship or educational opportunities. This presentation will provide guidance that can be leveraged across industries to help growing businesses flourish in Iowa.

Kelsey K. Cross 

Things to Know When Hiring an Employee  |  Davis Brown Law Firm – Kelsey K. Crosse

If you run your own company or are in human resources at a small to medium size company, you are pulled in many directions and it can be hard to keep track of the changes in employment law at the state and federal level. In this presentation, learn the top five things you need to know when hiring employees. You will walk away with a better understanding of the keys to good hiring practices and areas where we see employer missteps that can lead to legal trouble.

Laura Kinnard 

Facebook and Instagram Marketing Essentials  |  DMACC – Laura Kinnard

With Facebook Pages, Groups, Events, Live Video, Stories and the whole suite of Facebook and Instagram advertising offerings, this dynamic social media duo provide some of the best avenues for businesses and organizations to reach and engage with the right people. Learn the latest on how to leverage both platforms to target your audience.

LUNCH KEYNOTE  |  11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Meredith Elliott Powell

"Open More Doors - Close More Sales: Be the Envy of Your Competitors"  |  Meridith Elliott Powell – Business Growth Expert and Global Keynote

To sell successfully today, you have to know how to: tape into the drivers of buying behavior, create trust in moments and use your skills to get out of a price war! In this keynote, uncover the three must-have strategies to open more doors, close more sales and be the envy of your competitors.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2  |  12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Chris Conetzkey 

How to Leverage the Media  |  The Business Record – Chris Conetzkey

Learn how to leverage the media, stand out from the competition, and get the inside scoop on how to work with a media organization so your business is well-positioned in front of the right potential future customers, viewed as an industry thought leader and makes the news with greater frequency.

How to Understand the 3 Essential Financial Statements for Financial Reporting  |  McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C./Business Warrior Member – Ashley Sly and Rob Poterucha

Financial statements and financial reporting can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. It's essential though! During this session, learn how to understand the three main financial statements including the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement. These reports can come from QuickBooks. After this session, you will feel more confident when disclosing your financial status to potential investors, current shareholders, your business advisors, the government and more. Also learn how to attract investors, stay solvent and avoid audits.


Disciplining and Terminating Employees  |  BrownWinick Law Firm – Beth Coonan, Megan Moritz, Ann Kendell and Amanda Jansen

Breaking up is hard to do – especially with employees who may sue. Join BrownWinick's Employment Practice Group for a panel discussion on how and why to discipline and discharge employees while avoiding liability and contributing to productivity.

Lynn Schreder 

How to Leverage Health Insurance Benefits to Attract and Retain Top Talent  |  KHI Solutions – Lynn Schreder

This workshop will explore benefit plans, contribution strategies, benchmarking data and the use of technology to elevate your organization as you compete for top talent in the marketplace. Specific case studies will be reviewed to illustrate the impact of a strong benefit package.

Mary Edrington 

Developing an Integrated Communications Plan for Your Organization  |  Drake University, College of Business and Public Administration – Mary Edrington

The development of an integrated marketing communications strategy is critical for business success. In this session, uncover the elements of an IMC plan including: target markets and decision processes, promotional objectives, earned/paid/owned promotions, budget and creative considerations and how to measure what works.

Dan McCraine

Build a Business to Last - Leadership Skills for Business Builders  |  McCraine Associates – Daniel McCraine

This 45-minute session will guide business builders through three areas of "low-hanging fruit:" work environment, staffing expectations and business controls. These are the three areas that would require minimal effort to implement leadership systems which will strengthen the foundation of "the way things are done around here." Business builders will learn how to implement these systems to help free up time to work, grow the business and sell more!

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 3  |  1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Scott Meeker

Rich Eckstein

Matt Hatting

Assessing Your Information Security Risk  |  BerganKDV – Scott Meeker, Rich Eckstein and Matt Hatting

While cybersecurity is now a top of mind issue for all businesses, you cannot strategically mitigate your risks until you know exactly where your small business stands. It's vital for your company to have an unbiased and objective assessment. This assessment should be comprehensive and risk-based measurement of information security to identify critical vulnerabilities, control gaps, deficiencies and applicable threats to the security of your organization. A thorough assessment allows businesses to understand how they are vulnerable and how they compare with peers within similar industries. It should also allow their small business to communicate the level of information security risk to interested third-parties (i.e. customers, stakeholders, auditors, regulators, et al). This presentation will focus on the evaluation of risks within four phases: Administrative Controls, Physical Controls, Internal Technical Controls and External Technical Controls.

Courtney De Ronde 

Increasing the Value of Your Business  |  TDT CPAs and Advisors, P.C. – Courtney De Ronde

Most people think of succession planning as something they do when they near retirement to facilitate a transfer of ownership to a co-owner, key employee or outside party. This is certainly important, but you don't have to wait until you are within a few years of retirement to start planning. This session will talk about the steps you can start to take now to increase the value of your business and reduce the stress and burnout caused by overreliance on you, the business owner.

U.S. Bank 

Financial Needs of Growing a Business  |  U.S. Bank – Kendra Meyer

When looking to grow your business to the next level, you will most likely need some funding that helps you execute plans. Whether you want to increase sales, expand your range of products or services, move into new premises, hire more staff or expand internationally, a loan for growth finance can help.

Ryan Johnson

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget  |  Performance Marketing – Ryan Johnson

There are more ways than ever to get the word out about your business, connect with those showing interest in you and keep your customers coming back. This session will cover the cortical things to consider about how to talk about your business in a compelling way, find new buyers and engage them without spending a fortune.

Kate Banasiak

Michelle DeClerck

James Deeds

Shifting Your Business into Growth Mode  |  Diversified Management Services/Conference Event Management/KCL Engineering – Kate Banasiak, Michelle DeClerck and James Deeds

If you've been in business for more than a few years, chances are you've hit a plateau at some point. Learn from these three Goldman Sachs 10KSB graduates what steps they took to transform their companies, enhance their growth and generate more revenue; and learn how, with dedication, you can do the same.

Diversified Management Services enables your organization to benefit from the professional expertise of top top specialists.

Conference Event Management provides world-class event, conference, gala, incentive travel, gifting and meeting experiences.

KCL Engineering is a consulting engineering firm that creates ingenious solutions through curiosity, ingenuity and collaboration.

Jill Lippincott 

Leveraging Your Diverse Status to Expand Your Customer Base  |  Iowa Economic Development Authority – Jill Lippincott

Small businesses are continually required to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Learn how to amplify your status as a woman, minority, individual with a disability or a service-disabled veteran business owner to promote yourself as a Certified Iowa Targeted Small (TSB) business - a certification valued by both the state of Iowa and private industries that seek partners to do business with as part of an ever-growing trend of organizations with supplier diversity goals.

CLOSING KEYNOTE  |  2:45 – 3:45 p.m. 

Joe Schmidt 

Impact Leadership: Influence Through Purpose, Persistence and Passion  |  Joe Schmit – Author and Impact Leadership Expert

In this high energy, high-impact presentation loaded with humor, Joe Schmit inspires and helps you discover how to ramp up the profound power of your influence. When you become more aware and intentional with the impact you have as a leader, it will improve your bottom line and your R.O.I. - Return On Impact. Through research, Joe has discovered that we make our biggest impressions when we are not trying to be impressive. Impact Leadership is a blueprint to help you improve your company culture, help you develop a high-performance team and make you a leader of significance.


Registration for the 2018 Small Business Success Summit is now closed. Walk-ins at the door are welcome. Cash or check accepted ($99).

Thank You To Our Sponsors:

Premier Sponsor

Downing Logo

Media Sponsor

Business Record Logo

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Hospitality Sponsor


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