The Veterans Entrepreneur Conference in Ft. Walton Beach, FL Sponsored by Celtic Bank


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Bullet Proof Battle Strategies for Your Business Success. Join these distinguished presenters and industry leaders who are veterans just like you for three days of networking, training and coaching. The Veterans' Conference is sponsored by Celtic Bank, a leader in lending to small businesses around the United States and its territories.

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The Veterans Entrepreneur Conference in Ft. Walton Beach, FL Sponsored by Celtic Bank

  2. 2. ALL HANDS ON DECK! Veteran’s Entrepreneur Conference Bullet Proof Battle Strategies For your Business Success February 14- 16, 2014 | Emerald Coast Convention Center 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway – Fort Walton Beach, FL “The Veteran’s Entrepreneur Conference is THE best learning opportunity of 2014 for ex-military business builders and business leaders of a new generation of veterans.”
  4. 4. WHO WE ARE! The driving force behind the Veterans' Entrepreneur Conference, Deanna Wharwood, brings a decade of stellar service in the US Navy followed by many years of successful entrepreneurship. With mentoring from top business coaches of industry, Deanna has become a leading coach/trainer/mentors of our time in her own right with a specialty in assisting military veterans and their family’s transition to private life and new careers. Her career is summed up in three words: Excellence, action and results. Deanna’s sessions will present the challenges of military-civilian transitions. She will also demonstrate effective business startup strategies. Don Taylor, USAF Col (Ret) is the National Director of the Air Force Association and a respected business leader across multiple industries. During his nearly 30 year career as an Air Force officer, Col Taylor honed skills in leadership, business management, strategic and tactical planning, human resources and the ins-andouts of government contracting. After leaving the military Don spent six years as president of Team Engineering in San Antonio. In 2012 Don formed his own company, Bulldog Performance and Consulting. He is driven to provide the highest standards of leadership consulting for business executives, veteran start-ups, or any business professional looking to sharpen their game. Don Purdum is a veteran of two branches – four years to the Navy and another four as an Army National Guard Chaplain. Since leaving the military in 2002, Don has become a serial entrepreneur with experience starting up multiple successful businesses geared towards web design, online marketing and business networking within a community. In 2012, Don and wife Nicole founded Dynamis International to educate, train and inform small business owners on business growth through the Sales Supply Chain. He also provides family counseling for business owners struggling with the challenges placed on families as they deal with the long hours and commitment of business startups.
  5. 5. WHO WE ARE! Megan Blancho, Esq., is a Juris Doctorate with many years of experience in business law, assets and contracts. She will share a diverse range of topics regarding the legal considerations of starting a business including insurance and bonds, agreements and contracts, estate planning, trusts and other legal tips and traps of business planning. As a Navy spouse and business law practitioner, her experience can arm you with the legal information needed to send you down a worry free path of business success. With a minimum amount of social media savvy, anyone can harness the power of the internet and kick start a successful marketing campaign. Miriam Slozberg will shine the light on the mystical world of online marketing and show you the gears behind the social media machines. From building prosperous Facebook landing pages, to the effective use of Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram as powerful marketing tools, Miriam will show you how to implement a winning strategy for online success. With nearly three decades of business sales experience, Judy Hoberman has seen it all – most importantly, what works and what doesn’t. Judy is a bona fide entrepreneur, a self-employed success story with an accomplished corporate background. She took her sales talent to the internet at, presenting a philosophy and way of life for the next generation of sales entrepreneurs. Join Judy as she shares her wisdom about evaluating marketplaces, the art of selling vs. conversion, leveraging social media in your sells effort, creative questioning and building relationships that payoff.
  6. 6. WHO WE ARE! Debby McKinney is a self-made entrepreneur, Master Mentor and Business Strategist with a history of excellence that comes from applying specific strategies and cutting edge techniques coupled with a constant drive to achieve. Her passion today is passing that knowledge along to small business owners needing guidance in business development. In her sessions Debby will reveal specific methods in networking and negotiating. She will also show you a wealth creation plan with clear-cut instructions and effective tactics and tools to take you to business victory. Mary Kelly, PhD is a nationally recognized and renowned economist and leadership expert specializing in improving business efficiency and maximizing available resources. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mary has trained over 40,000 military and civilian personnel in multi-cultural environments around the world. She served 21 years as a commissioned officer in the Navy, and retired a commander. With extensive experience in human resources, finance, insurance, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and project development, she focuses on building successful strategies for business leaders at all levels of an organization. Mary has authored several books and remains a sought after motivational speaker. Capital funding can be the lifeblood of any startup business. Fred Crispin, Sr. Vice President of Celtic Bank in Panama City, Florida, is a legitimate expert in small business loans. With nearly 40 years of institutional as well as non-bank lending experience in conventional and government programs under his belt and a vast portfolio of lending products at his disposal, Fred brings a wealth of information to the conference. Since 1988 he has concentrated his efforts in SBA lending operations on a national basis. He has been the recipient of numerous awards on behalf of his SBA lending, including Outstanding Resource Partner from the Florida SBDC Network and Financial Advocate of the year from the Virgin Island SBDC.
  7. 7. WHO WE ARE! Tom Hermanson is the Associate Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida. Tom specializes in business planning, acquisition and finance. He is an instructor and consultant, recognized for program impact and success in assisting small business clients. Tom is a Certified Business Analyst with experience in research and development, product innovation, and operations management. Join Tom as he presents proven strategies for business evaluation, franchising and how to buy and/or sell a business. Tom is also a USAF veteran, test pilot and physicist. Crystal Berger is a veteran of the broadcast media world with impeccable credentials of success. She has achieved success at a diverse set of media outlets including the Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, CBS Affiliate WJZ in Baltimore, Sēn Baltimore Magazine and ultimately serving as the News/Sports Director and the General Manager of WBIM Television and WBIM Radio, 99.7AM. She is a member of the Association of Women in Sports Media and the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a member of the Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore Business Development Program. Armed with her extensive formed Berger Consulting Group, LLC in the summer of 2006. Ms. Berger is dedicated to the empowerment of individuals through entertainment, inspiration and information. A sampling of media outlets where presenters have been seen, heard or read: Red, White & Blue Pages PROMOTING MILITARY SPOUSE & VETERAN ENTREPRENEURS
  8. 8. CONFERENCE SCHEDULE Day One – Friday, February 14, 2014 Opportunity and Getting Started Day Two – Saturday, February 15 Growing 7:30 – Registration and coffee service 8:00 – Capitalization Planning and Access to Start Up Funding Mr. Fred Crispin, Sr. VP, Celtic Bank 8:30 – Introduction and opening remarks Don Taylor, USAF Col Ret 9:00 – Leaving the Military and its Challenges: The Veterans' Perspective Deanna Wharwood 10:00 – Leaving the Military and its Challenges: The Military Retirees' Perspective Don Taylor 11:00 – Getting Your Head Right for the New Future Don Purdum 12:00 – Lunch (on your own) 9:00 – How to Get Your First Corporate and Government Contract Don Taylor, USAF Col Ret 10:00 – Sales: The Fuel to Your Future Judy Hoberman 10:00 – Leaving the Military and its Challenges: The Military Retirees' Perspective Don Taylor 12:00 – Lunch (on your own) 1:30 – Bullet proof Business Start-up Strategies Deanna Wharwood 1:30 – Your Business is an Asset: Buying, Selling or Franchising Your Business Tom Hermanson, UWF SBDC 2:30 – Leaving a Legacy: Protecting Yourself, Your Family and Your Businesses Megan Blancho 2:30 – Decoding Civilian Intel - Networking and Negotiating in Today's Marketplace Debby McKinney 3:30 – Empowering Entrepreneurs with Social Media Marketing Miriam Slozberg 3:30 – Empowering Entrepreneurs with Social Influence Leverage Miriam Slozberg 4:30 – Money Smart: Personal Financial Preparation and Organization Dr. Mary Kelly 4:30 – Contracts and Other Legal Issues Megan Blancho Day Three – Sunday, February 16 Rewards 8:00 – A Winning Wealth Plan: Little Known Strategies, Techniques and Tactics Debby McKinney 9:00 – Family Matters! Don Purdum 7:00 – Networking and Social Dinner 10:00 – Sales: What's In It For Them? Judy Hoberman 11:00 – Bringing It All Together Open Q and A All hands on deck 12:00 – End of Conference
  9. 9. REGISTRATION Veterans' Entrepreneur Conference: Bullet Proof Business Boot Camp Attendees who come to the Ft. Walton Beach location will be eligible for door prizes, raffles and gift bags. Attendees spouses can attend at no extra cost. Tickets are $197 and include the conference attendance (goodie bags, outline of all presentations with space for personal notes, a social evening/networking event and coffee, water and snacks. For registration: The Veterans' Entrepreneur Conference will be live streamed for those registrants unable to get to Ft. Walton Beach. So if travel is an issue, but you still want to attend, your registration will allow remote access on the live streaming broadcast.