About the conference speakersWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Rohr, President and founder of Bare Bones Biz, has been a columnist for Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine — providing ”in the trenches” insight that business owners can relate to. Her consulting work led to a position as president of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, a home service plumbing franchise company. On her watch, the company grew from zero to $40 million in sales, becoming the 18th fastest growing franchise in 2003.
Ellen says, ”Business basics are EASY! The problem is…the basics aren’t TAUGHT in school. Common sense…isn’t common! I have a degree in Business Administration, and I still didn’t learn essential business success skills, even in college. I learned the hard way…and my mission is to make it easy for YOU. You CAN learn the basics…how to have more fun and make more money in your business. I can help you!”
Cynthia Riggs, the Business Diva, is a lifestyle entrepreneur, having successfully started and exited three profitable businesses. In 2004 she sold Making It Big, her multi million dollar mail order/catalog company and she has begun her fourth enterprise, Women Building Business, as a consultant and teacher of business development to small and micro business owners. Her conviction that every entrepreneur needs support, problem solving opportunities and a useable business plan culminated in her certification as a One Page Business Plan consultant. What sets her apart from other business consultants is that she has been a successful entrepreneur for 25 years and is using that experience and expertise to help small business owners garner growth and financial success of their own.
Joanne Gruszkos is Director of SpecialCare Program, MassMutual Financial Group
A sales and marketing professional in the financial services industry for over 30 years, Joanne has created a variety of marketing initiatives to help financial services professionals reach their targeted audiences including the Family Business Enterprise, the American Family Business Survey and Women Business Owners Supplement. Joanne is currently responsible for creating and developing the SpecialCare Program offering information, specialists and financial solutions for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families — a niche market for financial services professionals. She has lectured and taught numerous seminars on marketing for insurance professionals. Joanne is very active in her local community most recently as Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, Mass., where she was the recipient of the prestigious Red Triangle Award (second woman in this Y’s 153-year history). She holds industry certifications and securities licenses and most recently earned the certification of ”Special Care Planner” from The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Mary Rongyos, President and Champion of the Written Word, established Akron-based Say What?! Inc. in 1999. Mary is a seasoned, award-winning marketing communication professional who has created and managed marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies, including ALLTEL and NestlÈ Foodservices, and small businesses. Her talent for working with technical information has provided Say What?! with the privilege of producing printed and Web-based materials for an array of industries, including, but not limited to, aerospace, food services, heavy equipment, ophthalmic and telecommunications.
April Goyer is President of Avancez and Creator of ”It’s Not Downhill After 40!” A veteran coach, accomplished speaker, and dedicated athlete, April delivers focused, motivational, and content rich programs that get results. In her work entitled ”It’s Not Downhill After 40!” April uses a 4 step system to help you define your personal picture of health, believe that you can have what you want, create an action plan for realizing your goals, and through powerful coaching, stay on track.
Deb Ball is the Vice President Human Resources at St. Luke’s Hospital. In this role, Deb is responsible for all Human Resources services, facilities management, and environmental services, volunteer and auxiliary departments. Deb has been with St. Luke’s for over 8 years. Prior to working at St. Luke’s, Deb spent 9 years working with The Andersons, Inc., providing human resource, safety, training and development for their corporate and grain divisions.
Deb graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelor’s and masters of science and education degree. Deb is married and has two older daughters and two young sons!
Dave Dewey is currently the Vice President, Information & Marketing Services at St. Luke’s Hospital. In this role, Dave is responsible for the Hospital’s computer information programs, JCAHO and organizational and clinical quality programs, product and market development, physician relations, advertising and public relations and pastoral care. Dave has been with St. Luke’s for over 18 years. Dave graduated from Ohio State University and has a graduate degree from the University of Toledo. Dave is married and has two daughters and a son. Dave is very involved with the youth of Perrysburg where is commonly known as ”Coach Dewey.”
Norma Rist is president of Norma J. Rist CEO Consulting, Inc., a company that provides strategic growth and profitability solutions. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing, operations and financial management. Her management experience includes positions as comptroller for a $200-million division of a public corporation and vice president and general manager for a $40-million manufacturing and wholesale company, Pepsi-Cola Bottlers of Akron, Inc.
Norma, with co-author Katina Jones, wrote Small Business Savvy published by Adams Publishing in 2002. As a ”no-nonsense” business coach, Norma works with business owners to create and implement business development plans, understand financial information, improve operational effectiveness, and assess new opportunities. She has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs in growing their businesses and improving profitability.
Diana Patton’s company, Equilibria, has the mission to provide women with the comfort of knowing they are right where they belong by educating and empowering them on how to Live Life Alive through Holistic Health Practices. Ms. Patton was born and raised in Fostoria, received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UT in 1990 followed by a Juris Doctor degree and passed the Ohio State Supreme Court Bar Examination in 1997. Being that she has been a fitness advocate since she was 8, Diana then attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in Manhattan NY where she received her Holistic Health Counseling Certification as governed by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP) in June, 2005. After 7 years in the corporate arena, in January 2005, Diana started a company called Equilibria, which stands for Women in Balance. She helps women set goals to, for example, improve their eating habits, stop cravings and binges, feel better about their body image, get to an ideal weight, experience an increase satisfaction with their life, and help them find their purpose in life. Diana also offers group programs (for about 4 and 5 people per group) and Corporate lunch-n-learns.