What Is the Fast Forward Maine Business Conference?
Tuesday, 4/7/2020 at Aura Maine at 121 Center Street, Portland, Maine. Doors open at 8am and the event and networking go right up until 5pm.
Anything else I should know?
While we’ll have some light pastries and coffee during registration and networking breaks, you’re free to visit any of the hundreds of nearby restaurants for lunch.
However, we do have a Lunch & Learn at Aura sponsored by Supporting Strategies that’s free for the first 20 people who sign up for it.
And remember to bring plenty of business cards!
|8:00 – 8:45||Registration & Networking
|8:45 – 9:00|| Opening Remarks
|9:00 – 9:45|| Chris Brogan
|9:45 – 10:30||Michelle Neujahr
|10:30 – 11:00||Break & Networking
|11:00 – 11:45||People & Leadership Power Hour: Patrick Veroneau, Elizabeth Holmstrom, Angela Hansen
|11:45 – 1:15||Lunch Break in Town OR Lunch & Learn w/Supporting Strategies
|1:15 – 2:00||Rich Brooks|
|2:00 – 2:30||Break & Networking
|2:30 – 3:15||Workforce Development in Maine Panel: Bill Benson, Stefanie Trice Gill, Yellow Breen
|3:15 – 4:00||Larry Barker
|4:00 – 5:00||Networking
Chris Brogan provides simple plans and projects for business success. He is CEO of Owner Media Group, a sought after public speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of eight books and working on his ninth. Ask him about it! Learn more about him at chrisbrogan.com
A no-nonsense, contagiously positive straight talker, Michelle Neujahr is a strategic thinker and brass-tacks businessperson. Serious about helping businesses grow, she brings a depth and breadth of real business experience to each one of her clients—whether a small business owner or a multi-million dollar corporation. For Michelle, growth is about creativity, accountability, and strategy. She knows how to get her clients there because she’s done it herself.
Before starting nu-yar, Michelle owned a seven-figure, Minnesota-based renovation firm. She has spent time in the corporate world as a director of sales and marketing, and co-led a business growth group for the Small Business Association called ScaleUp. There, she helped mid-sized companies through the steps necessary to scale up their business. Michelle also serves as an Associate Professor of Business at Southern Maine Community College, where she teaches entrepreneurship and strategic planning. Michelle has a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Southern Maine.
Michelle is a wife, mother of three, grandmother of three, entrepreneur at heart and a lover of chocolate. She’s also a genuine connector of people and ideas and a tireless advocate for her clients. Michelle has the unique ability to help business owners feel more comfortable in who they are and where they are going by helping them create, implement, and maintain successful strategies for growth.
Topic: GROW YOUR BUSINESS NOW! Nine Strategies for Business Growth
Description: Are you ready to grow your business? Is NOW your time?
In this session business owners will have the opportunity to learn what it takes to overcome their current obstacles, renew the passion they once had for their business, and figure out which strategies they need to focus on to reach a new level of success. This session will challenge attendees to narrow their lane and focus on what is most important.
Michelle will share nine strategies, which build a valuable toolbox, that attendees can implement immediately to facilitate forward motion. These strategies are the same strategies Michelle has used to grow three businesses of her own and the tools she uses in helping her clients GROW every day. This seminar is a must for those serious about GROWTH!
Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, that’s been around for over 20 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media.
He founded The Agents of Change, an annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social & mobile marketing.
Rich is the author of The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, a popular and well-received book that helps entrepreneurs and marketers reach more of their ideal customers online.
He has appeared in Inc. Magazine, The Huffington Post, FastCompany.com, CNN.com, the Social Media Examiner, and many other news sources for stories on digital marketing.
He is also the “tech guru” on the evening news show, 207, which airs on the NBC affiliates in Maine.
Topic: How to Develop Your Thought Leadership Online
Description: Being seen as a “thought leader” is a competitive advantage for any company or individual. These people can attract more business, generate more revenue, and have other opportunities that aren’t available to their competition.
President of Machias Savings Bank, he’s overseen the rapid growth of MSB and credits much of it to the company culture that’s developed there. In a time where companies struggle to find A-List employees, Machias had 849 applications for only 40 open positions…meaning it’s mathematically easier to get accepted into Harvard! He’ll share what it takes to develop top-of-class company culture and the role it plays in your success.
Patrick Veroneau has held various sales, management and training roles in both national and international organizations.
In 2008, Patrick established Emery Leadership Group with the mission of helping individuals and organizations tap into the great potential inside themselves.
Patrick is accredited to deliver a variety of effective assessments for both individual and group development.
- Patrick earned his Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University
- He is certified as a professional development coach through iPEC, which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation.
- Patrick is also certified as a trainer in Genos Emotional Intelligence (EI). The Genos model is one of a select few that is recognized by CREIO
- He has trained in the discipline of Motivational Interviewing (MI).
- Patrick has completed training under the guidance of Dr. Gregory Neidert and Dr. Robert Cialdini in the Principles of Persuasion®
- Patrick is a member of Forbes Coaches Council and the Harvard Business Review Advisory Board
With his depth of personal experience and his formal training in coaching, EI, MI and human decision-making, Patrick has been able to create an environment of durable success for his clients. Whether in a corporation or a healthcare setting, Patrick’s approach and training will help individuals rise above their best. When individuals succeed, the organization succeeds.
Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom is a master facilitator and accomplished program developer, she has over 20 years of experience in leadership engagement and wellness program implementation. Elizabeth managed national account relationships and served as VP, Senior Health and Wellness Manager at a national bank with 26,000 employees. She left the corporate world after realizing that her efforts were not addressing the root cause of problems she witnessed every day. After years of research and a successful pilot program, Elizabeth committed to mindful work and conscious business full time. Knowing that not every company can hire a Chief Mindfulness Officer like Google or Aetna, she launched BreakTogether to help even the smallest businesses thrive.
Outside of work, Elizabeth finds balance through spending time with family and community, mountain biking, cooking, singing, and quarry swimming along the coast of Maine.
Angela is an HR professional with more than 20 years of experience in employee relations, leadership, performance management, policy development, benefits, recruiting and corporate compliance. She has also served as a college-level instructor.
Her extensive work spans industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, media and marketing, non-profit, construction, municipal, and transportation.
Angela holds a BS in Organizational Leadership as well as an AS in Medical Assisting. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and is certified as a Medical Practice Executive through the Medical Group Management Association.
An avid skier and golfer, Angela enjoys family and friends time at the lake and at home in the neighborhood.
Topic: Attracting and Retaining Talent
Description: With today’s tight labor market employers are anxious about filling open positions with competent staff. Hanging on to the staff we have is equally important. Once the talent is in the role, keeping them connected and inspired is good for everyone, and bonus: they will tell their smart friends. This powerful talk will address this circle of attraction and retention and provide ideas for tackling these common employer needs.
Bill Benson joined Boots2Roots in 2019 after a successful stint as the owner/operator of a small manufacturing business in Maine. Prior to owning his business and before moving to Maine in 2014, Bill spent 24 years on active duty with the United States Army. Bill is a combat veteran who served over 42 months deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. When not deployed, Bill enjoyed tours of duty in places like Texas, California, Germany, Colorado, Kansas, Georgia and Tennessee.
When it came time to transition, Bill, his wife Tara, and their three children chose to settle in Maine because, out of all the places they lived, Maine felt most like home. Bill joined Boots2Roots because of the opportunity to use his own experiences as a veteran and business owner to assist other transitioning service members in finding meaningful work and put down roots in Maine.
Stefanie Trice Gill
Stefanie is committed to helping employers fill the skills gap by connecting them with top work-ready immigrant and minority talent. She has a strong record of successful placements because she conducts extensive screening of candidates and work with employers to identify candidates who will be a good cultural fit for the organization.
Unique among recruiters, she is fluent in five languages that allow her to engage with immigrant communities and discover new talent that is not seeking employment through traditional pathways.
Stefanie founded IntWork after years of placing foreign-trained professionals in jobs pro-bono through the Maine Association for New Americans (MANA). IntWork, a Maine-based company, recruits Engineers, Building, IT, & STEM professionals. Additionally offering consulting services to employers who are struggling with issues relating to diversity hiring and retention.
IntWork’s candidates all have Work Authorization (NO Sponsorship required), are fluent in English, and most are already living in Maine.
Key competencies include: international recruiting, languages: Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, placement, STEM/IT/Engineering/Architecture recruiting, cross-cultural consulting, language assessment, cultural competence.
Yellow’s passion is promoting economic and educational opportunity for all Mainers regardless of geography or background. He became CEO of the Maine Development Foundation in August 2015, where he develops strategic direction, integration, and partnerships across MDF’s mission and programs.
The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a legislatively-created, non-partisan public-private partnership that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for Maine. MDF does this through trusted research, leadership, and creative cross-sector partnerships. Yellow has a diverse background in business, public policy, and law. He spent twelve years as an executive with Bangor Savings Bank, overseeing strategic planning, marketing, online banking, community development, and charitable activities. Prior, he was a senior official at the Maine Department of Education and an advisor to Independent Governor Angus King.
Yellow was born and raised in rural, central Maine, a product of Maine public schools, and earned undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. He has been an active volunteer in many education and economic development efforts, including the boards of the Maine Community Foundation and Educate Maine. He previously chaired Realize Maine, an ongoing initiative to attract, retain, and support young professionals. Yellow lives in Holden and loves to hike, swim, and ski with his wife and children.
Yury Nabokov – Emcee & Panel Moderator
Yury Nabokov, Omnichannel Experience Manager and Marketing Strategist, Machias Savings Bank
Yury Nabokov is a transformative leader in the business of creating emotional, personal and engaging experiences. He brings a wide range of insights extracted from his previous work in academia, healthcare, and entertainment.
Yury works full time at Machias Savings Bank as the Omnichannel Experience Manager and Marketing Strategist. He is also a member of the Maine Public Relations Council Board of Directors and a frequent contributor on topics of UX, gamification, change management and innovation.
In 2017, for his contributions to the digital initiatives of Machias Savings Bank, Yury was named “Emerging Leader” by the Bank Administration Institute. A year later he was presented with the “Rising Star” award from New England Financial Marketing Association. Yury holds two undergraduate and two graduate degrees with the recent additions of executive leadership degrees from The Wharton School and Rutgers University.
Earle is a student of the world who draws inspiration from learning about new people, cultures and communities — but he’s most animated when partnering with others to solve difficult business challenges. A strategic thinker, he has applied his analytical skills to benefit countless organizations, most recently in his work bringing outsourced bookkeeping and controller services to Southern Maine businesses.
Earle, who launched Supporting Strategies | Southern Maine in 2017, also founded the networking group Southern Maine Business Advisors to give local business leaders more opportunities to share ideas. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University and completed coursework in the MBA programs at York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Baltimore. Along with his wife Ann, he enjoys traveling, hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, photography and the many fine restaurants in the area.
Topic: Grow Your Business with Financial Intelligence [Lunch & Learn]