Campus News

Advance registration underway for West Tennessee Small Business Conference


Contact 1: Bud Grimes

MARTIN, Tenn. — Advance registration is open for the West Tennessee Small Business Conference on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church, 200 South Church Street, in Jackson. The conference theme is “Growing Your Business in Small Town America.” The conference is a collaborative effort among West Tennessee partners led by UT Martin’s WestStar Leadership Program.

UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes, Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist and Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris will welcome participants, followed by nationally known speaker Michael Angelo Caruso whose topic will be “Effective Leadership – Getting People to do Stuff.” Caruso will also present an optional session at 1 p.m. titled “Special Presentation for Non-Profits: Fundraising Through Stories.” Caruso is also the author of the “Five Cool Ideas” book series.

Concurrent sessions begin in the morning and continue into the afternoon. Lunch will be at noon and will feature Grant Edwards, owner of Chick-fil-A on Vann Drive in Jackson, as the luncheon speaker.

Concurrent sessions include:

•Show Me the Money: Business Plans/Strategic Planning – Joe Rowell, entrepreneur and president, Check Solutions Company, Memphis;

•Survival vs. the Giants: The 3 R’s – Recruit, Revive and Retain – Grant Edwards, owner, Chick-fil-A, Vann Drive, Jackson;

•Networking and Marketing (Including Social Media) – Amy Howell, owner, Howell Marketing, Memphis;

•How Do We Measure Success? – Joe Rowell, Check Solutions Company;

•Be a Winner: Learn How to Negotiate – Michael Angelo Caruso, speaker and author;

•Managing Generational Differences (panel discussion) – Dave Bratcher, panel moderator and vice president, financial services, West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Jackson; Austin Baker, president, HRO Partners, Memphis; Chuck Doss, INCO Ag Irrigation, Union City; Cheri Childress, vice president, BeCe Enterprises Inc., Milan; and Joe White, owner, Ace Hardware, Parsons.

Commercial booths and networking opportunities will follow the concurrent sessions. Call the WestStar Leadership Program for booth or sponsorship information at 731-881-7298.

The conference fee is $65 per person until Jan. 1 and $75 after that date. Registration includes breakfast sponsored by Chick-fil-A at 7:30 a.m. and lunch. Register for the conference online at or e-mail Virginia Grimes at or Jordan Jones at E-mail registrations should include name, business, a complete address and phone number.



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