(3:20PM - 4:20PM)

(re) Establishing My Journey by Building A Strong Company Profile: 

  • Capability Statement
  • Building Your Business Character /Culture
  • Building The Right Team - What Are Your Core Values
  • What Do you Want People To Know about you & your business

Gaining Momentum in my Journey w/The Art of Building Relationships

  • Defining Your Networking Strategies - How Do You Show Up
  • Getting Referrals & Partners
  • Building Your Circle of Influence
  • Leveling Up and Becoming A Board Member

Mapping My Journey with Strategic Planning: 

  • Adding & Defining Value To Your Customer
  • Process Mapping & Strategic Planning
  • Setting Goals
  • Keys To Successful Business Planning

Enhancing My Business Journey to Scale My Business for Growth:  (Panel Discussion) 

  • Steps to Upgrade Your Credit Score
  • Building Your Start Up Cost
  • Improving Your Investment Opportunities
  • Being Loan READY - what does it take to qualify



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McPherson, Berry & Associates, Inc.

LaSonya Berry, an HR thought leader, has an exceptional track record of helping businesses and individuals achieve their full potential. A dynamic human resource professional, she has lent her expertise to a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as Wells Fargo, IBM and General Electric for over 18 years. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson, Berry & Associates (McPherson|Berry), a multifaceted consulting firm dedicated to providing first-class HR consulting, leadership development, performance and talent management solutions. Her propensity for achieving significant bottom-line results earned her IBM’s COM Award and the prestigious IBM Leadership Award. She has been awarded one of the 2018 Enterprising Women of the Year, 25 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business, one of the Charleston Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, and a WBENC Business Star. In 2015 (partnership) and 2014 her company made the exclusive HR industry Leadership 500 Excellence Award for leadership development and programs specifically for individuals in STEM areas. She has served on various boards including the Georgia SHRM State Council. A two-time Clemson University alumna, LaSonya holds a BS in Industrial Engineering, an MS in Human Resource Development, and ABD in Educational Leadership. She frequently writes human resources content and publications, is featured in several magazines, conference speaker, and she is a Performance Coach to CEOs. LaSonya authored several books including “101 Power Tips for the Workplace” and the "CEO Strategy Planner" for business owners. 

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Latoya everett

D.A Everette Construction

Toya Everett has been a resident of Charlotte, NC, for 12 years. She has a unique background encompassing corporate, small business, and non-profit experiences, which has allowed her to be effective at maneuvering and building relationships within the three communities.  She has the ability to combine leading with the heart and taking a social approach with a business approach.  

Toya is the Vice President of D.A. Everett Construction Group (DAECG), a family-owned Commercial General Contracting and Construction Management firm.  She is responsible for the development and implementation of risk management and safety strategies, and vendor management.  Toya is also involved in the planning and implementation of DAECG’s overall strategic plan. 

Toya’s prior experience in the risk consulting industry afforded her the opportunity to partner with diverse clientele whom are leading in their industries, to include, but not limited to Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, Crocs, Apple, WD-40, Red Bull, where she partnered with various lines of business, including senior executives to front line staff to front line staff identify, assess and mitigate risks, educated to change behaviors, and recommended/developed corrective actions which added value that positively impacted the clients’ bottom line.

Toya currently serves as the President of the Charlotte Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.  She is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization that is in line with the Mission and maintaining the national organizational brand.  She is also responsible for board development, building the Chapter, and developing and strengthening corporate and community partnerships that provide members with exposure, access, education and opportunities that lead to intellectual and economic growth.

Toya serves on the Board of the Charlotte Post Foundation and the Johnson C. Smith Business Advisory Board.   She has served on a host of advisory councils, steering and event planning committees to include, but not limited to, the 2017 & 2018 Women’s Business Center of Charlotte Women’s Conference, 2017 & 2018 Career Mastered Advisory Council – Charlotte, 2018 KIPP Charlotte College Send-Off Host Committee, and the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit Steering Committee.

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sandi thorman

GreerWalker LLP

Sandi Thorman is the leader of GreerWalker LLP’s Estate, Gift and Trust Practice and also the Professional and Financial Services Practice. Sandi has more than 20 years of tax and business advisory experience with a strong focus on the professional and financial services industry which includes attorneys, architects, engineers, investment advisors, private equity funds, mortgage bankers, investment banking firms, broker dealers, and insurance companies. Sandi assists closely held companies and their owners with tax planning and compliance needs. She has significant expertise in entity selection, entity structure, ownership changes, mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, and estate planning.

Prior to joining GreerWalker LLP in 2000, Sandi worked at KPM Gin Cincinnati, Ohio.

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lisa rolan

South Piedmont Community College

Lisa L. Rolan is a doctoral student in Business Administration in the Belk College of Business, under the advisement of Dr. Franz W. Kellermanns. She is employed full-time by South Piedmont Community College as a Small Business Center Director, where she offers free seminars, counseling, assistance, and resources for small business owners, employees, and prospective business owners in Anson and Union counties. Prior to working for South Piedmont, Ms. Rolan worked as a Chief Financial Officer for cities and counties across the United States, managing budgets and administration from $1 million to $1 billion. Ms. Rolan grew in Durham, North Carolina where she obtained her Associates in Paralegal Science from Durham Technical Community College;  Bachelor of Science in Accounting from North Carolina Wesleyan College; and her Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University.  Ms. Rolan loves to read, hike, and spend time at the beach as well as remodeling of homes.  She is pursuing her DBA because she wants a career in research and teaching business administration where she can focus on investigating issues concerned with business administration and the effects of generational differences on the various different business structures, strategies, and systems of a small businesses including sole proprietor, corporations, and partnerships.

Ms. Rolan’s research interest is to understand the entrepreneurial mindset, characteristics and relationship of multi-generational workforce in small family owned businesses and how the different generations from Traditionalist to Millennials do succession planning.  Specifically, her research will test whether the generational cohort to which an individual belongs influences his or her preferred characteristics to become an entrepreneur and carry on the family tradition.

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tessa williams

The Palmerton  Group

Tessa Williams is a speaker, consultant and founder of The Palmerton Group - a boutique project management firm that specializes in strategic planning and process improvement. She works with service driven businesses to improve their clarity and efficiency so they can plan, delegate and execute with confidence in their business.

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Elaine Fairman


Since 1987, Elaine has worked with 3 non-profit lenders in the Carolinas:  Catawba Regional Development Corporation in Rock Hill, SC; Self-Help Ventures Fund, based in Durham; and now, Business Expansion Funding Corporation “BEFCOR” in Charlotte.

Elaine became the Executive Director of BEFCOR in 2012.  As a non-profit lender specializing in the SBA 504 Loan Program, BEFCOR partners with banks to provide fixed asset financing to North Carolina’s small businesses. Headquartered in Charlotte with additional offices in Raleigh and New Bern, BEFCOR has earned the SBA’s recognition as North Carolina’s top SBA 504 lender for the past 6 years.

As the Director of BEFCOR, Elaine leads a seasoned team that is deeply committed to helping small companies obtain financing.  Her SBA 504 program experience spans marketing, financial analysis, loan packaging, closing, servicing, Board relations, compliance, advocacy, and executive management.  During her 30-year career in economic development lending, she has also worked with SBA 7a, USDA, and micro-lending programs.

Elaine is a Board member for the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) and the Charlotte Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA).  She has enjoyed serving in numerous volunteer leadership roles in her community. 

Elaine lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons.

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bobbi jo lazarus

Elliott Davis Decosimo

Bobbi Jo Lazarus, CPA, Senior Manager, Elliott Davis Decosimo- Bobbi Jo has more than 11 years of public accounting experience, specializing in tax services. She focuses on providing tax planning and compliance services specifically in the partnership, and individual income tax return reporting areas with a specialization in the real estate industry. Additionally, Bobbi Jo has been involved with several partnership allocations, cancelation of debt and basis issues, as well as Section 179D energy efficiency and cost segregation studies.