Unlock the 'key to success' at Sesi Entrepreneurship conference Feb. 12

by Paul Nucci, Published February 03, 2010

YPSILANTI — Local entrepreneurs will share their success with aspiring entrepreneurs as the Eastern Michigan University College of Business presents the Sesi Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference February 12 at the EMU Student Center.

Chris Holman, publisher of the Greater Lansing Business Monthly and Small Business Advocate for the state of Michigan, will be the keynote speaker. Holman, an Eastern Michigan graduate, will speak about entrepreneurship in Michigan and how young people can get started. Chris is an Eastern graduate.

"The Sesi Conference is where the passion for entrepreneurship is instilled in us,” said Melissa Heatlie, president of the CEO Club at EMU, the organization that hosts the conference. “Each speaker and session is designed to offer a different take on being an entrepreneur, at different stages; including students.”

Tom Root, managing partner of the world famous Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, opens the conference. The Zingerman's Community of Businesses (ZCoB) is a family of small food-related companies in the Ann Arbor area, each operated by one or more managing partners who share ownership. 

Breakout sessions include:

  • David Merritt, owner of IMU T-Shirts, an apparel brand that plans to innovatively change the face of fashion by building its foundation on a socially-conscious platform. Merritt founded the company after he graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was a captain on the basketball team.
  • Katherine Hilboldt Farrell of Katherine's Catering will discuss how she ‘catered her way to success."  Farrell has worked in the catering business for more than 25 years.
  • Nick Pagano is a director with YTB, a public company in the leisure, travel and tourism industry, will discuss “Multiple Streams of Revenue.” Pagano co-authored "The Morality of Money" and has spoken at organizations and companies throughout the country.
  • Joe Venuto, a recent Eastern graduate, will discuss "Entrepreneurship: Going into Business for Yourself." Venuto operated several businesses as a student and has started new companies since graduation. 

Special Presentation: Doing Business in China
The Sesi Conference, in conjunction with the American Chinese Students Association and Chinese Week, will present a two-part series focusing on international business. Dr. Jamie Hsu of Lawrence Technological University will host, "East Meets West Business," A panel discussion, "Doing Business in China," follows with panelists John S. Wilson, attorney at law, and Mr. Wei Wang, president of Atra Plastics, Inc.
 All EMU faculty staff and students are invited to attend, as well as community college and high school students and faculty that have curriculum centered on entrepreneurship or business. A continental breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by opening remarks. A sit-down lunch follows and concludes with the keynote speaker.  The Skandalaris Business Plan Competition begins after the conference as high school and university/community college students compete for cash prizes totaling more than $5,000.

The event is free but registration is required. Visit the Center For Entrepreneurship website or call Paul A. Nucci at 734.487.0902 for details. The Student Center is located at 900 Oakwood Street in Ypsilanti.  

Students in the CEO Club gain real world experience by working on club projects involving real products for sale. Projects have included: software solutions, creating new apparel, training videos, new market products and promotion techniques. The Club also provides students with the opportunity to run a current chapter business.

For more information, go to: http://www.cob.emich.edu/include/templatesubpage.cfm?ID=1018&preview=0

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Eastern Michigan University within the College of Business strives to create, encourage and sustain the entrepreneurial spirit through its various activities. It assists emerging growth companies in the southeastern Michigan region with mentoring, seminars, business plan reviews and structured mentoring and networking between entrepreneurs and various

Paul Nucci



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