17 May Recap PCBC Business Forum: Technology: Responding to the New Rate of Change
On Monday May 15th 2017, The Presidents’ Council Business Chamber held its Quarterly Business Forum- Technology: Responding to the New Rate of Change, in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University. PCBC members as well as local small business owners and entrepreneurs, had the opportunity to engage in a riveting conversation with experts in information technologies, artificial intelligence, intellectual property law and digital and social media marketing. Participants were invited to the Center for Innovation and Growth on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University for a morning of networking and information sharing.
Guests registered for the event and were offered breakfast, provided by Baldwin Wallace. Erica C. Penick, Director of Operations of The Presidents’ Council welcomed guests to and discussed the morning’s theme, Technology: Responding to The New Rate of Change. Erica then introduced the group to Charles Harkness, Director of Campus Diversity Affairs at Baldwin Wallace University who thanked the PCF for their collaboration and introduced our moderator and panelists.
Dr. Thomas Sutton, Burton D. Morgan Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Baldwin Wallace Community Research Institute. Dr. Sutton is a seasoned educator and professional with 15 years in nonprofit management in civic education and youth services and 15 years in education.
Greg Flanik, Chief Information Officer at Baldwin Wallace University. During his 16 years of leadership at Baldwin Wallace University, Greg Flanik has been applauded for his impressive track record of technology efficiency initiatives, including the virtualization and consolidation of BW’s network storage infrastructure and the implementation of a cost-saving print management system.
Ludgy LaRochelle, Associate at Tucker Ellis LLP. Ludgy is a results-oriented business and transactional attorney representing both domestic and international companies. Ludgy counsels businesses of all sizes through all phases of the business life cycle: from initial formation through operations, acquisitions, and restructuring to maturity and succession planning.
Freddie Coffey, Digital Marketing Manager at JumpStart Inc. Freddie manages the day-to-day digital execution of Jumpstart including digital strategy, website development, email automation, audio and video production and social media outreach.
Dr. Sutton jumped right into the discussion, asking the panelists to talk about some of the new technologies that will affect small business owners and how quickly they are disrupting the ways in which we currently do business. PCBC Board Member Eddie Taylor of Taylor Oswald, brought up the issues of hacking and the new wave of “Ransomeware” attacks. Ludgy LaRochelle spoke to creating employee policies that limit a potential hackers access points to your information and servers. He emphasized having these policies in writing should your server be hacked via an employee’s home computer or phone as well as issues of liability. Adding to this discussion, Freddie Coffey and Greg Flanik both emphasized the importance of small business owners taking the time to set up as many barriers as possible to company property. Using semi-complicated and less obvious passwords, as well as every safety feature available within sites and apps could make the difference in having your information hacked.
Audience member Michael Elliot from the City of Clevland’s Department of Economic Development asked the panel for suggestions to small business owners looking to work with various levels of government, which are often slow to adopt new technologies. The panel discussed the sheer number of government units and personnel across all levels. Ludgy suggested that small businesses incorporate an educational component in their pitches to government agencies, and that tech and software companies seek out opportunities to work with their local city and county departments to bring new systems.
Other topics that were discussed include: developing a mindset and company culture that is open to constant change, the quick pace at which new iterations of technologies have come out and some of the elements that all new technologies must consider as they work towards creating the perfect level of human interaction.
The morning concluded with Freddie Coffey of JumpStart Inc. providing the audience with some tools and resources to help organize their tasks and to-do list and to set-up automated emails and social media postings. Freddie also stressed the importance of carving out a small budget to use for social media ads especially Facebook Ads and the incredible ROI that he has seen in doing so with his own business.
Erica C. Penick thanked everyone for their participation in the forum; she also discussed upcoming PCBC events, including our upcoming sponsorship of the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s lecture with renowned author Michael Eric Dyson, our upcoming PC Nights Networking Event with FirstEnergy and our Annual Golf Outing and Inaugural Conference.
Once again, we would like to thank all that came out to our Business Forum: Technology: Responding to the New Rate of Change, making it a great success. We appreciate your support and look forward to bringing you more profound and informative business forums in the near future.