Central Florida Business Expo

Breakout Sessions (Listed Alphabetically)

In “Building Your Legacy,” we’ll dive deep into the core strategies you need to create a lasting impact through your business. This workshop is tailor-made for entrepreneurs and small business owners, to guide you in pinpointing your main priorities, clarifying your unique legacy, and translating your vision into achievable, practical steps. As an attendee, you’ll be equipped with a legacy worksheet, a powerful tool to kick-start your journey towards not merely sustaining today’s operations but transforming your hard work into a valuable asset for the future.

Join us for a thrilling session in which Cris Rodriguez unveils the blueprint for forging an unparalleled career path for your team. This will catapult your business into a realm of exceptional growth and soaring profitability. Dive deep into the secrets of constructing a world-class team where every member recognizes their soaring potential within your enterprise.

Discover how instilling a clear career trajectory from the outset not only boosts your team’s morale and confidence but also cements their commitment, amplifying their contribution to your business’s success.

Don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers – this workshop promises to be a game-changer for businesses at any stage, ready to elevate their teams and profit margins to stellar heights.

Join experts from Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Prospera, Black Business Investment Fund, and Small Business Development Center – Tampa Bay for a comprehensive panel discussion on unlocking capital for your business.

This session will provide specific takeaways, including:

  • Understanding the Funding Landscape: Explore the current environment of business financing, focusing on what today’s lenders and investors are looking for.
  • Accessing Diverse Funding Sources: Learn about the variety of financial support mechanisms available, including loans, grants, and equity investments.
  • Strategies for Minority-Owned Businesses: Gain insights into unique opportunities and resources tailored for minority-owned businesses.
  • Preparing for Success: Get practical advice on how to effectively prepare your business for funding applications to maximize your chances of success.
  • Navigating Challenges: Discuss common challenges businesses face when securing funding and strategies to overcome them.


This panel aims not only to demystify the process of securing financial support but also to empower business owners with the knowledge to access necessary capital efficiently.

Embark on a discovery journey tailored for solo entrepreneurs and small teams seeking their ideal workspace. Are you too small to justify a commercial office but need somewhere other than a home office? If so, this session is for you. This engaging session is your chance to ask anything and unlock insights into selecting a workspace that meets and accelerates your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Our panelists bring a wealth of experience from their vibrant coworking communities, offering perspectives on how to find a space that fuels creativity, fosters networking, and fits the unique needs of solo entrepreneurs. Whether you’re in the quest for collaborative energy, solitude for concentration, or flexible amenities, this dialogue promises to help you decide on a workspace that resonates with your professional rhythm and ambition.

Don’t miss this opportunity to glean wisdom from those who’ve crafted nurturing environments for solo ventures & small teams. Dive into a discussion that bridges the gap between solo work and community benefits and step closer to pinpointing a workspace that amplifies your entrepreneurial spirit.

Join Billy Sticker, a renowned speaker and business advisor, as he unveils the five crucial superpowers every entrepreneur needs to successfully launch and scale a business reaching multiple 6-to-7 figures. Whether you are a business coach, consultant, agency owner, or author, this session is designed to provide you with the tools and insights derived from Billy’s extensive experience and his acclaimed book, The Blessed Entrepreneur: 5 Steps to Launch & Scale a Business With Impact.

In this transformative session, Billy will dive deep into the strategies that have helped numerous entrepreneurs achieve exponential growth and sustainability. You’ll explore how to harness your unique strengths, implement scalable systems, and create a significant impact in your market. Key takeaways include:

  1. Visionary Thinking: Learn how to set ambitious, achievable goals that propel your business forward.
  2. Strategic Leveraging: Discover how to maximize your resources for optimal growth and efficiency.
  3. Brand Positioning: Understand the art of differentiating yourself in a crowded market.
  4. Impactful Marketing: Master techniques to connect deeply with your target audience and convert them into loyal customers.
  5. Resilience Building: Equip yourself to navigate challenges and bounce back stronger.

This session is not just about growth; it’s about growing right. Billy’s approach combines practical business tactics with a heartfelt mission, ensuring that your entrepreneurial journey is not only profitable but also purposeful.

Don’t miss the opportunity to transform your business ideas into a thriving enterprise with Billy Sticker’s expert guidance and the collective power of motivated peers eager to scale new heights.

“Funding The Dream” offers a transformative exploration into business finance led by the astute Jonathan K. Davis. With a keen focus on empowering entrepreneurs and business owners, this session unravels the complexities of establishing and leveraging business credit to fuel growth and opportunity. Davis, with his rich finance and business development background, distills his expertise into actionable insights, guiding attendees through the strategic steps necessary to build a robust credit foundation.

This breakout session is designed to inform and transform how participants think about and engage with business finance. Attendees will learn the intricacies of credit management, the nuances of credit scoring, and how to harness financial tools to their advantage. Jonathan K. Davis will share pioneering strategies to access funding, mitigate risks, and capitalize on credit as a catalyst for expansion and innovation.

Perfect for startups eager to chart a course for success and established businesses looking to scale, this session promises a deep dive into the financial strategies that can set a business apart. Participants will leave equipped with the knowledge to navigate the financial landscape confidently, laying the groundwork for sustainable growth and the realization of their entrepreneurial dreams.

Unlock the power of memberships to drive your business forward in ‘How Memberships Can Generate Recurring Revenue and Boost Customer Engagement.’ Led by Amanda Webster, whose expertise has empowered small businesses to thrive, this session explores innovative strategies for leveraging memberships. Discover how to create a sustainable revenue model while enhancing customer loyalty and participation. Webster will share insights on structuring membership programs that attract and retain customers, fostering a community around your brand and services.

Join us for a dynamic session tailored for both nonprofits and businesses eager to explore the successful integration of corporate volunteers. This panel, featuring representatives from Junior Achievement, will delve into effective strategies for fostering impactful partnerships between the business and nonprofit sectors. Attendees will gain invaluable insights into recruiting, training, and retaining corporate volunteers who are not only committed but also bring mutual benefits to the table.


  • Junior Achievement Overview: Learn about the mission and significant impact of Junior Achievement and how they leverage corporate volunteers to fulfill their goals.
  • A Day in the Life – 3DE Model: Get an exclusive look into the daily operations and outcomes of the 3DE model, illustrating the real-world benefits of this initiative.
  • Upcoming Opportunities in Polk County – JA Discovery Center: Discover upcoming volunteer opportunities with JA BizTown and JA Finance Park in Polk County, a new venture poised to offer profound community and corporate engagement.
  • Q&A Panel Discussion: Have your questions answered directly by the Junior Achievement team during an interactive Q&A session, ensuring you leave with a clear path to implement these strategies within your own organization.

Who Should Attend: This session is designed for nonprofit leaders and business managers alike, seeking to enhance their volunteer engagement strategies or to start a volunteer program that aligns with their corporate social responsibility goals.

Maximize your organization’s impact by learning from the successes of a leading nonprofit in volunteer management. This session promises to be an essential resource for anyone looking to deepen their engagement with corporate volunteers.

The business world has changed dramatically over the past few years, and we now live in a connected society where change can be fast-paced, constant and unpredictable.

Rapid advances and changes from technology to social media, global events, the COVID 19 pandemic, and, most recently, conflict in Ukraine, have increased the sense of turbulence, danger and unpredictability.

A VUCA World has replaced the sense of certainty, stability and familiarity that businesses and organizations had grown accustomed to. The ‘Keys To Unleashing Potential & Thriving In a VUCA World” is intended to help you, and your organization, recognize what leadership looks like in a VUCA Environment, the (3) options available to organizations and how to effectively leverage your people power.

The “Keys To Unleashing Potential & Thriving In a VUCA World” Presentation Seeks to Uncover (5) important things:

  • What is a VUCA World and why businesses/organizations need to fully understand it?
  • What is leadership in a VUCA World?
  • What does your organization need to do to succeed in a VUCA World?
  • The allegory of change how to use it to inspire your people.
  • Practical steps on how to build momentum and leverage your “people power” in a VUCA World.

Key Presentation Take Away:
After attending this session, participants will have actionable strategies to build EQ Skills and be equipped to leverage our VUCA World to fuel team performance and innovation.

Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association is excited to bring a unique, exclusive session to the Expo!  This session will combine premium video content from a previous Leadercast event and a live roundtable discussion about the topics discussed.

In this compelling talk, Andy Stanley explores the pivotal role of intuition in leadership. Drawing on his personal journey of founding North Point Ministries—which has grown from a single church to eight locations across Atlanta—Stanley illustrates how intuition, or cognitive knowing without evident rationale, plays a crucial part in making decisive leadership choices. Often dismissed in the corporate realm for its reliance on instinct rather than data, intuition can guide leaders toward decisions that, while seemingly illogical on paper, may prove right in the long run.

This session will not only showcase Stanley’s insights but also provide a platform for lively discussion among attendees. Following the video, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a guided conversation, reflecting on how intuition has influenced their own leadership experiences and decision-making processes.

The Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association is honored to host this session as part of our ongoing efforts to highlight Leadercast. This annual event aims to empower and inspire leaders worldwide, and we are excited to bring this premium content to our local community.

Gain valuable insights into the ever-changing world of digital marketing with this expert forum!

As the digital marketing landscape evolves at breakneck speed, staying ahead means learning from the best. This interactive panel offers a rare opportunity to ask anything — from cutting-edge SEO and social media marketing strategies to personal branding and digital advertising insights. Whether you’re looking to refine your marketing plan, explore innovative tools, or get inspired by new ideas, our experts are here to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

This forum is not just about answering questions; it’s about connecting the dots, uncovering trends, and identifying opportunities that can catapult your brand into the spotlight. Join us for a session that promises to be enlightening, engaging, and potentially game-changing for your marketing efforts.

Whether an owner wants to sell their business – or just know they could – this presentation will show them the eight things that drive the value of a company and suggestions on how to dramatically increase the value of their business.

This presentation looks at how to:

  • Increase your score on each of the eight drivers of company value.
  • Find strategic buyers for your business.
  • Structure your business to maximize its value.
  • Accelerate the pace of positive word-of-mouth for your business.
  • Boost your company’s cash flow in the same way Harley Davidson finances its business.
  • Differentiate your business using the same methodology Warren Buffet looks for in the companies he invests in.
  • Minimize your company’s reliance on your personal involvement using some of the strategies Tim Ferriss used to reduce the time he spent in this business to just four hours a week.

In today’s complex financial landscape, cultivating a strong partnership with your business banker is more crucial than ever. This session aims to demystify the role of a business banker and explore how they can become an integral part of your business’s success. Our panel of experts from Suncoast Federal Credit Union, MidFlorida Federal Credit Union, Publix Employee Federal Credit Union, Crews Bank, and SouthState Bank will provide valuable insights into effective fraud prevention, the dynamics of lending, and the innovative tools that can streamline your banking operations. Join us as we uncover strategies to build and maintain a productive banking relationship that supports the growth and sustainability of your business.

1. Understanding the Role of Your Business Banker

Overview of what a business banker does, the range of services they provide, and how they differ from retail bankers. This topic can establish the foundation of the discussion by explaining the basics of business banking and the banker’s role in a business’s financial health.

2. Strategies for Effective Fraud Prevention
Discussion on the various types of fraud that businesses commonly face, the latest trends in fraudulent tactics, and effective strategies that bankers employ to help businesses protect themselves. This could include real-life examples or case studies where banking insight has helped avert or mitigate fraud.

3. The Dynamics of Lending: What Bankers Look For
Insight into the lending process, including what criteria and metrics bankers consider when assessing a business for a loan. This topic can delve into how a strong relationship with a banker can influence and facilitate the lending process, including preparation tips for loan applications.

4. Making Business Banking Seamless
Exploration of tools, services, and banking advice that can streamline financial operations, enhance efficiency, and improve overall financial management. This might include digital banking tools, cash flow management, and tailored banking solutions.

5. Cultivating a Lasting Banking Relationship
Tips on how to build and maintain a strong, productive relationship with your banker. Discussion could include communication strategies, regular financial reviews, and how to leverage this relationship for business growth and crisis management.

In today’s competitive market, businesses are increasingly recognized not just for their products or services, but for their commitment to the community. “Beyond Business: Advancing Brand Awareness Through Philanthropy” is a session designed for business leaders and marketing professionals who aim to deepen their company’s impact and enhance brand awareness through meaningful philanthropy.

In this interactive session, we will explore how integrating philanthropy into your business strategy can transform your brand’s image and create lasting bonds with the community. We’ll discuss the three key pillars of effective community engagement and how to tie them all together with employee engagement.

  • Give: Learn how financial contributions can make a significant impact and resonate well with your target audiences, reinforcing your brand’s commitment to societal improvement.
  • Advocate: Discover the power of using your brand’s voice to champion important causes, influencing public perceptions and driving social change.
  • Volunteer: Understand the benefits of encouraging employee participation in volunteer activities, and how this fosters team cohesion and amplifies your brand’s presence in the community.
  • Employee Engagement: Delve into strategies for boosting employee involvement in philanthropy, illustrating how a culture of giving enhances internal dynamics and positively impacts your brand perception.

Join us to uncover practical insights and innovative approaches to philanthropy that not only give back to the community but also position your brand prominently in the minds of consumers. Equip your business with the tools to be a force for good and a beacon of positive influence in the marketplace.

Description: This panel discussion is a deep dive into the barriers and breakthroughs that influence the growth and sustainability of small businesses within a thriving economic ecosystem. Our expert panelists will explore how fostering an educated community leads to a stronger, more prosperous local economy and discuss strategic approaches to enhance economic inclusion and education.

Session Focus Areas:

  • Understanding Economic Barriers: An examination of the challenges that hinder the progress and sustainability of small businesses.
  • Strategies for Inclusion: A discussion on reducing economic barriers to improve local economic benefits and foster inclusivity.
  • The Role of Education: Insights into the importance of educating small business owners about available resources and support systems.
  • Leveraging Breakthroughs: Identification of innovative strategies and breakthroughs that have driven small businesses towards prosperity.
  • Actionable Insights: Practical solutions and policy recommendations aimed at supporting the growth and sustainability of small enterprises.


Join us as we engage with thought leaders and entrepreneurs in uncovering the challenges and opportunities that shape the economic landscape for small businesses, providing actionable strategies to support their growth. This session is ideal for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone interested in enhancing the vitality of their local business community through education and inclusive policies.

Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, this session will focus on the tax topics essential to those who do business in Polk County in any capacity. Attendees will learn tips for understanding and navigating

  • Tourist Development Tax
  • Business Tax Receipt
  • Property Tax
  • Many other topics, including the various DMV services tailored specifically to serve the needs of businesses and entrepreneurs.

Have you ever wondered how to get registered for selling to the local government? Discover the keys to successfully navigating the procurement process and securing contracts with local government, thanks to the City Of Lakeland, City Of Winter Haven, Polk County BoCC & Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s procurement departments. In this insightful panel discussion, members of the City Of Lakeland, City Of Winter Haven, Polk County BoCC & Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s purchasing departments will share insider tips on what they look for in bids, common pitfalls to avoid, and how to make your business stand out. Whether new to government contracts or seeking to improve your success rate, this session will provide valuable guidance directly from the source.

Join Marcus Hall, founder of Marc Nelson Denim, as he shares his compelling journey from the depths of legal troubles back to the pinnacle of entrepreneurial success. Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, near the old Levi’s factory, Marcus grew up surrounded by the denim industry, which deeply influenced his career and aspirations. Despite facing significant setbacks, including a highly publicized arrest for involvement in an illegal gambling ring, Marcus’s story is one of true resilience and redemption.

This session will explore how Marcus overcame his challenges to reinvent himself and his brand, transforming his mistakes into milestones. With a focus on resilience, Marcus will share insights on the importance of persistence, the power of a supportive community, and the courage needed to pivot and embrace a path of positive change.

Attendees will learn about the founding of Marc Nelson Denim, a brand that symbolizes the revival of American craftsmanship and the spirit of Knoxville. Marcus’s dedication to restoring jobs lost to offshoring and revitalizing his community reflects his commitment to making a meaningful impact beyond business.

Through personal anecdotes and practical advice, “Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Turning Mistakes into Milestones” promises to inspire and motivate entrepreneurs, professionals, and anyone facing their own set of challenges. Discover how to turn setbacks into comebacks and adversity into advantage, embodying the resilience needed to thrive in both business and life.

Envision leading a team that operates at peak efficiency and productivity, where every member is eager to contribute and brings greater success. Imagine yourself leading with less stress and finding more joy and fulfillment in your leadership role.

The secret? Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the cornerstone of effective, smart leadership.

In this dynamic workshop, Cheri Anderson from Good Life Productions will unveil two powerful EQ tools to enhance your leadership skills. These strategies will elevate your emotional intelligence and turn you into the kind of charismatic leader who naturally attracts loyalty, boosts productivity, inspires creativity, and wins the team’s trust and buy-in.

Join us for a 45-minute journey of leadership transformation that will empower you to lead with confidence, empathy, and inspiration. This is your opportunity to become the leader you’ve always aspired to be, admired and respected by your team. Don’t miss out on this chance to unlock the full potential of your leadership capabilities with Good Life Productions.

“You get what you demand, and you encourage what you tolerate.” This is a quote that Troy used while in the corporate world that transcends into any environment where there is trust, communication, or teamwork needing to be executed effectively. In a world that travels along a challenging path of assumption, deadlines, and the need to produce revenue, as a leader responsible for their team, there are critical gaps in their own equipping that may be at deficient levels.

During this session you see how society has easily programmed many of us in a
communication format that could be detrimental in effectively leading a team or
organization. Furthermore, discovering ways from a leadership communicative vantage point, uncovering what we say, and how this often devalues our team members.

You will be introduced to TMC and how to foster a thriving environment that enhances effective communication, teaching & coaching with clarity, while leaving people feeling engaged, encouraged, excited, and equipped. When this methodology is leveraged effectively, it reduces turnover, increases overall productivity, and leaves everyone feeling seen, heard, and valued.

This session is specifically designed for nonprofit professionals looking to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving landscape of fundraising. As we enter a new era of fundraising and philanthropy, it is important for organizations to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to emerging trends. Incorporating these trends is no longer an option, it’s a necessity for your organization.

In “Unlock Giving: Emerging Trends to Maximize Your Nonprofit’s Impact,” we’ll dive into how the latest advancements will help your organization create immersive experiences for donors and maximize your impact. We’ll cover:

  • AI and Personalization: How artificial intelligence can quickly create more personalized donor experiences.

  • Digital Tools for Donor Engagement: Explore the latest digital tools to increase donor engagement rates.

  • Trends in Online Giving: Insight into the latest trends in digital donations, including mobile giving and peer-to-peer fundraisers.

  • Data Analytics and Donor Insights: Utilizing data analytics to gain deeper insights into donor behavior and preferences.

This session will provide actionable insights and practical tools to help you harness the potential of technology to meet your fundraising goals in 2024 and beyond. Join us to learn how to effectively engage today’s tech-savvy donors and secure the funds needed to propel your mission forward.

The Central Florida Business Expo will feature a session by Jonathan Mast, a digital marketing innovator, on the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business. Mast will introduce the “Perfect Prompting Framework,” an approach to revolutionize business-AI interactions to enhance operations, increase profits, and improve client services.

Attendees will learn about AI prompting and gain insights and strategies for integrating AI into their businesses. The presentation promises not only inspiration but also practical knowledge and exclusive resources for those ready to embrace AI-driven transformation.

This opportunity is a gateway to the forefront of digital innovation, offering attendees the tools to unlock AI’s potential in their business ventures.


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