The Great Lakes Business Connection will offer Latino small business owners and others an opportunity to learn tricks of the trade, network with big-budget corporations and agencies, and develop partnerships that could grow their bottom line.
Northwest Ohio will host the this year’s gathering, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, at The Radisson at the University of Toledo Medical College (UTMC), 3100 Glendale Ave. The breakfast keynote speaker will be Melanie Bergerón, head of the Two Men and a Truck moving company, which has grown to more than 200 franchises nationwide.
Other speakers will include: Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins; Robert LaClair, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio); D. Paul Zito, VP of international development, Regional Growth Partnership; and former state legislator Steve Buehrer, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation administrator.
The one-day business conference will feature Matchmaker sessions, where entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to spend 15 minutes interacting with major purchasing professionals to discuss and promote their offerings, business ideas and ventures.
Relationships could be established between local and global businesses during the brief, but potentially significant encounters. The aim is to help small veteran and minority-owned business to gain access to multi-national corporations and large institutions.
CareSource, Fifth Third Bank, First Energy, Honda, Kent State University, Rhodes State College, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, University of Toledo, Ohio Turnpike, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), and Ohio Department of Transportation are among the large purchasing groups expected to attend.
The Great Lakes Business Connection was formed to provide an event to showcase the talent and resources provided by local entrepreneurs and highlight the strength, capacity and ability of northern Ohio’s small businesses to provide goods and services to large corporations on a local and international scale. Organizers believe the best way to do that is to provide a venue where those relationships can be formed.
Workshops scheduled to take place include: Access to Capital, How BWC will Pay Premiums, and Turn Your Website into a Cash Cow. An afternoon trade show will allow small and large businesses to display their products and services.
“It’s an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to cross paths with major corporations. It’s a significant networking event for businesses, veteran-owned businesses and minority-owned enterprises to connect with national and international companies and organizations,” said Roberto Torres, NOHCC executive director. “It’s a 21st-century global gathering of business professionals taking place right in the heart of Toledo, and it’s a business affair you can’t afford to miss.”
According to Torres, “The Northwest Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NOHCC) has been instrumental in helping to organize the event to benefit its small business members. NOHCC has been actively involved in planning an evening reception the night before the conference.”
Registration for the event is $75 per person, $300 for small business exhibitors and $500 for corporate and non-profit exhibitors. More information can be obtained by calling 419.327. 8988 or to register go online to www.greatlakesbusinessconnection.com.