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The 1st Monday of the Month
8 AM - 9 AM CT

Conversation Leader(s)

Maureen Brinkley

The journey to becoming a prolific leader is not easy. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from inspirational trailblazers. Join us Monday, June 7th, as we chat with Maureen Brinkley, District Director SBA, eastern Missouri, about her path to success, from the challenges she faced to the triumph she celebrated along the way. 

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Upcoming Conversation Leaders

Maureen Brinkley

June 7, 2021

 Maureen Brinkley has been with the U.S. Small Business Administration since the beginning of her career and was appointed District Director for the St. Louis office in January 2017.  In this capacity she is responsible for delivering SBA programs and services to the 54 counties that comprise the eastern half of Missouri and oversees daily operations of the local SBA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Having started with SBA as an administrative clerk, she worked her way to the top position by learning the skills for and serving in every position in the district office, including loan service officer, economic development specialist and business development specialist. Recognized throughout the agency as a subject-matter-expert on the 8(a) Business Development Program, she was the lead on a team that re-wrote the Standard Operating Procedures that govern its execution and was instrumental in bringing World Wide Technology into the 8(a) program back in 1992. Today that company is the largest African American owned firm in the United States and earned $12 billion in revenue in 2019

Coffee House Gallery

Rewatch Your Favorite Episodes

Marketing in the digital age can be a challenge for many small business owners. Re-watch the conversation with Evyn Johnson, VetBiz Digital Marketing Director, covering marketing basics in the digital age. This will be a general overview of some best practices for small business owners looking to advance their digital impact.    

Conversation Leader

Evyn Johnson

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Today over 75% of employers seek out STEM professionals to drive innovation. The current job market is ripe with available STEM jobs! Many veterans find striking similarities between civilian STEM opportunities and jobs they held while serving. Re-watch the conversation from  Monday, April 5th  with Wendell Covington Jr Executive Director of NPower. We discussed STEM opportunities and how veterans can utilize their skills to secure STEM careers.

Conversation Leader

Wendell Covington Jr

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What does it mean to have a powerful day? How can diverse business owners be a catalyst for growth in their region? Most importantly, what does it mean to be the Chief Fear Conqueror? Join the Virtual Coffee House Monday, March 1st, with President and Chief Fear Conqueror Darcella Craven as we kick off Women’s History Month.

Conversation Leader

Darcella Craven

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The journey to becoming a prolific leader is not easy. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from inspirational trailblazers. Join us Monday, June 7th, as we chat with Maureen Brinkley, District Director SBA, eastern Missouri, about her path to success, from the challenges she faced to the triumph she celebrated along the way. 

Conversation Leader

Maureen Brinkley,

Watch Now

Marketing in the digital age can be a challenge for many small business owners. Re-watch the conversation with Evyn Johnson, VetBiz Digital Marketing Director, covering marketing basics in the digital age. This will be a general overview of some best practices for small business owners looking to advance their digital impact.    

Conversation Leader

Evyn Johnson

Watch Now

Today over 75% of employers seek out STEM professionals to drive innovation. The current job market is ripe with available STEM jobs! Many veterans find striking similarities between civilian STEM opportunities and jobs they held while serving. Re-watch the conversation from  Monday, April 5th  with Wendell Covington Jr Executive Director of NPower. We discussed STEM opportunities and how veterans can utilize their skills to secure STEM careers.

Conversation Leader

Wendell Covington Jr

Watch Now

What does it mean to have a powerful day? How can diverse business owners be a catalyst for growth in their region? Most importantly, what does it mean to be the Chief Fear Conqueror? Join the Virtual Coffee House Monday, March 1st, with President and Chief Fear Conqueror Darcella Craven as we kick off Women’s History Month.

Conversation Leader

Darcella Craven

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Learn how entrepreneur Akeem Shannon went from corporate America to landing a deal on Shark Tank. Rewatch the inspiring conversation with the founder and CEO of Flipstick.  @getflipstik 

Conversation Leader

Akeem Shannon

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No man is an island and no business starts on its own! Stay away from the island of me! There are people out there that can help. Join us with Mary Louis Helbig Executive Director of ITEN St. Louis as we discuss the many systems established to help entrepreneurs launch and run successful businesses. You can do it, just not alone.

Conversation Leader

Mary Louise Helbig

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Are you tired of spending all your energy with little to show for it? Dive in with us Monday, February 1 as we discuss fine-tunning your sales and marketing engine! Marketing and Sales expert Pat Hawn leads the conversation and teaches us how to get the greatest return for our effort.

Conversation Leader

Pat Hawn

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There is no better time to refocus your mindset than at the start of the year. With all of the obstacles we’ve overcome in 2020, it is no wonder many approach 2021 with apprehension. Join us Monday, January 25th with life coach Caldonia Rudd as we discuss resetting your mindset and reframing fear.

Conversation Leader

Caldonia Rudd

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Do you have questions about the new round of PPP? Join us with Elizabeth Yearwood to discuss PPP and what’s happening around Nebraska. 

Conversation Leader

Elizabeth Yearwood

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Are you prepared to lead your team through any challenge that comes your way? Courageous leaders are in high demand, especially in the current climate. It can be easy to take a passive approach to leadership. However, times like this call for bold, confident, and courageous leaders. Leading with courage fosters trust and earns respect from your team. Join  Yemi Akande-Bartsch, as we discuss leading your team with courage and wisdom.
Conversation Leader

Yemi Akande-Bartsch

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Join us with, Bill Elmore, the original veteran. Elmore initiated, designed, and created America’s contemporary US veteran entrepreneurship programs, policies, and initiatives available today from the federal sector. This includes $30,000,000,000+ annually in economic opportunity for veterans, service members, and their families. Monday’s coffee house will explore the role that St. Louis played in re-engaging entrepreneurial veterans with national resources.

Conversation Leader

Bill Elmore

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Finding suitable fellowships and gainful employment for our separating service members is a challenging endeavor. Many of us remember that journey, all too well. Join us as we discuss the transition, and how to help you train up your team so they can help you execute your vision and mission. Learn how Sales Platoon can help maximize your own sales techniques, hire better sales personnel, or consider your own career goals in 2021.

Conversation Leader

Ralegih Wilkins

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Managing Childcare and maintaining a child’s sense of normalcy can be trying at the best of times, not to mention during a worldwide pandemic. While the world is figuring out how to navigate the ‘new normal’, we don’t often think about the effect on the younger generations. Join us Monday, November 30, with Jessica Seitz creator of Missouri KidsFirst #Esential4Kids campaign. We will discuss working with children through this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Conversation Leader

Jessica Seitz

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Rising to the rank of Command Sergeant Major or E-9 level in the enlisted ranks is hard. That is putting it mildly. Join us Monday, November 23 at 8 AM, as we discuss the journey of CSM (ret) Carmen Gamble as she moved up the enlisted ranks to the highest level and discuss what she learned along the way. Discover how she is using the lessons in leadership she lived in the community now. 

Conversation Leader

Carmen Gamble

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Veterans are the Vanguard of Small Business. Meet the team leading the charge! Join the Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC) crew as they give their perspectives on veteran entrepreneurship. Meet the crew behind the midwest’s premier Veterans Business Outreach Center. Bonus be among the first to experience the center’s new website. Featuring: Damon Chaffin, Danielle Lowery, Mitchell Fitzpatrick, Ryan Scott, Evyn Johnson, and Darcella Craven

Conversation Leader

VBRC Team

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Don’t get stuck on “the island of me.” No one succeeds on their own. Success comes from looking for, finding, and gaining support from others. Join us as we talk to the team from The National Guard’s Employment Support Program to discuss access to important employment, entrepreneurship, and support opportunities for military members, veterans, and their families in the Midwest.

Conversation Leader

John Mickleson

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Entrepreneurs and small business owners inevitably juggle a lot on a day to day basis. That juggle can often lead to stress, add a pandemic on top of it all and the stress can boil over. Join Candice Cox, LCSW, Founder and Clinical Director of “A&A Inspirations” and Executive Director of “KHAOS(™) Inc”, and learn how to address, assess, and reduce stress utilizing the K.H.A.O.S. (Keep Healing and Overcoming Struggles) mindset. There has never been a better time to increase your self-awareness to help reduce stress.

Conversation Leader

Candice Cox

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So you’ve heard of the Small Business Administration (SBA), but do you know how they can help your business? This conversation covers  SBA partnerships  with private agencies, and how they are working collaboratively with Veteran Business Outreach Centers like us to make things happen!

Conversation Leader

Trish Freeland

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Intentional purposeful thinking and movement are pivotal to growth in both your professional and personal life. As we enter 2021, it is important for small business owners to think of ways to make it a powerful and transformative year. Join us as we discuss ways to generate progress and cultivate a growth mindset.

Conversation Leader

Denise Sneed-Williams

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Is your marketing plan lean and mean and fighting for you? Will Katz, Regional Director, KU Small Business Development Center,  is here to help entrepreneurs breakdown the principles of lean market research. If you want  more high quality conversations in your business, you won’t want to miss this conversation!

Conversation Leader

Will Katz

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Community Engagement is a cornerstone for every small business. As your business grows so too does your connection with the people you serve. Navy veteran, community innovator, and entrepreneur James E. Williams Jr. talks about how he generates growth by contributing to his community!

Conversation Leader

James E. Williams Jr.

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Eureka! We struck Gold! Join the conversation with Dr. Stan Fine and Jim Jump as they share 20 golden nuggets for success in business. Jump and Fine are the co-host a weekly radio show “It’s Your Business” on KWRH 92.9 FM. The show, which airs Saturdays and noon, empowers listeners to gain knowledge and inspiration to help guide their entrepreneurial journey at any stage. Tune in Monday, September 28th at 8 AM live via zoom or Facebook. Don’t miss this golden opportunity!

Conversation Leaders

Dr. Stan Fine
Jim Jump

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Creativity is essential to growth for every entrepreneur. However, it can be a challenge for small business owners to get into a creative mindset when facing adversity. Join Darcella Craven on September 14th as we discusses creativity during turbulent times with artist Lowell Daniels.

www.pronounced-lole.com/

@pronounced_lole

Conversation Leader

Lowell Daniels

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You’ve adapted your business to fit the socioeconomic climate of today, you’ve prepared to reopen your doors, so now what? Do you know how to keep your business moving in the right direction? Do you have to rethink your entire marketing strategy? Rewatch as we chat with Damon Chaffin about marketing and managing your business.

Conversation Leader

Damon Chaffin

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Do you own a business in Iowa? Rewatch the Coffee House with two of Iowa’s most notable small business experts Jo Eckert, Branch Manager of the Iowa SBA, Cider Rapids and Jathan Chicoine, Home Base Iowa Program Manager at Iowa Workforce Development.

Conversation Leaders

Jo Eckert
Jathan Chicoine

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Growth comes through learning and community. Join Hazel Beck of the @socalvboc as we discuss developing your entrepreneurial library.

Check out the SoCal VBOC online. Facebook: @socalvbocusa, Instagram: @socalvboc, Twitter: @socalvboc, LinkedIn: @socalvboc

Conversation Leader

Hazel Beck

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Innovators come up with ideas, entrepreneurs take action. We need both in all businesses – emerging or existing to stay competitive and succeed in a rapidly changing world.
Steve Epner
Conversation Leader

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Dale Furtwengler joins the Coffee House on Friday July 17th to discuss is book, Uniqueness Myth: and other Misconceptions that Derail Businesses. The information in this book comes from the experience Dale gained in his 3 years with a national CPA firm, 17 years in corporate in Chief Financial Officer (CFO) positions in a variety of industries, 21 years providing fractional CFO services for mid-sized businesses.

Conversation Leader

Dale Furtwengler

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Despite the COVID-19 interruption, it’s awards season. Do you know how to harness your professional recognition to advance your career. Join us on Monday July 13th 8 AM CT with Darcella Craven as we discuss navigating awards season and bolstering your professional development.

Conversation Leader

Darcella Craven

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Are you prepared to lead form your living room? Join us with Conversation Leader Ray Milano Director of the SBA’s Veterans Business Outreach Center Program. Ray leads a team of over 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) across the continental US and Hawaii. VBOCs are a one-stop-shop for veterans and military spouses looking start and grow small businesses.

Conversation Leader

Ray Milano

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Businesses are starting to open up and consumers, now more than ever, are looking for safe and simple ways to shop. Join us on July 6th with Carlos Pernia of Heartland Payment Systems as we discuss reopening your business in a responsible manner.

Conversation Leader

Carlos Pernia

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TED Fellows application open on July 1st. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a TED Fellow? If you have ever thought “I think I can do that” but have no idea what you would say, or where to start. Join us as we speak to 2015 TED Fellow Dr. Danielle N. Lee.

Follow her and her science adventures on Twitter or Instagram at @DNLee5.

Conversation Leader

Danielle Lee

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Energy shifter; author, breast cancer overcomer, inspirational speaker, patient advocate and thought provoker Denise Sneed-Williams, joins the Coffee House to help us welcome change. Denise is mindful about assisting others focus on the necessary inner work to become the best version of themselves.

www.denisesneedwilliams.com

Conversation Leader

Denise Sneed-Williams

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You work hard for your money, so shouldn’t your money do the same for you? Rewatch this amazing conversation with Marvin Mitchell l of Compass Retirement Solutions. Learn how to put your money to work and secure your financial future. .

Conversation Leader

Marvin Mitchell

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What’s your dream retirement plan? Will you be ready? Do you have Questions about Social Security? It’s never too early to prepare for your future. Join the Coffee House Monday June 22nd with Veronica Coleman financial advisor at Edward Jones.

Conversation Leader

Veronica Coleman

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Serial Entrepreneur and all around good-guy Steve Epner discusses entrepreneurship and innovation. Having failed retirement four times, Steve has dedicated his life to helping entrepreneurs succeeded.

 

Conversation Leader

Steve Epner

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Hazel Beck joins the Coffee House on June 12th to discuss out reach to Native Indian Veteran Entrepreneurs. The Office of Native American Affairs mission is to ensure that American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses have full access to the necessary business development and expansion tools available through the Agency’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs.

Conversation Leader

Hezel Beck

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Have you ever thought about starting your own business? ⁠Join us Monday with Lynn Lowder as we discuss what it means to be an entrepreneur. ⁠

Conversation Leader

Lynn Lowder

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Are you eager to make a difference in your community? Join us live on June 5th, with Victor Ponce a Real Estate Agent with Ponce Realty Group powered by REMAX Gold. We will be discussing how veterans in real estate are building better communities.

Conversation Leader

Victor Ponce

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The process of getting a loan can be daunting, you don’t have to do it by yourself. Elizabeth Yearwood, Economic Development Specialist/Public Information Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration Nebraska District Office, joins the coffee house to discuss the process of getting an SBA loan.

Conversation Leader

Elizabeth Yearwood

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So, What is a VBOC? Learn how these three business professionals are helping Veteran Business Owners nation wide. Hazel Beck, Director of the Socal VBOC; Amy Amoroso, Director VBOC Region II NY/NJ/PR/USVI and Janice Benggio, Business Consultant VBOC Gulf Coast State College join Darcella Craven to chat all things veterans small business.

Conversation Leaders

Hazel Beck
Amy Amoroso
Janice Benggio

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Owning a Small Business can be challenging in the best of times. Join Darcella Craven and Rich Messina franchise owner of Play It Again Sports as they discuss small business ownership through this challenging time.

Conversation Leader

Rich Messina

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You have to know what success is for you!

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Join Darcella Craven, Zundra Bryant and Gail Taylor as they discuss Intrapreneurship and the utilization of the entrepreneurial mindset in the corporate world

Conversation Leaders

Zundra Bryant
Gail Taylor

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Conversation Leader

Marti Wieland

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Conversation Leader Jordan Lindsey owner of Sunrise Financial Group discusses owner compensation, retirement Plans, and contracts between partners.

Conversation Leader

Jordan Lindsey

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Laura Kozak of 3rd Culture Consulting talks about communication and business strategies for both the for profit and nonprofit companies.

Conversation Leader

Laura Kozak

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Join Conversation Leader Chris Coleman, of FranNet consulting talks about the benefits or franchising.  Tune in to learn if franchising is the right option for you! 

Conversation Leader

Chris Coleman

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Lead the Conversation

Do you want to be a conversation leader in 2021? Apply today! 

Did you miss Christy Maxfield of Purpose First Advisors? Don’t worry you can rewatch the conversation.

Conversation Leader

Christy Maxfield

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Join the conversation with Tony Bryan as we discuss creating opportunity out of crisis CyberUp, a nationally recognized organization.

Conversation Leader

Tony Bryan

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Rewatch the conversation with Curtis Bailey of Huffman Law Offices. Learn the importance of estate planning for your small business.

Conversation Leader

Curtis Bailey

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Award-winning business coach, professional speaker, and #1 bestselling author, Joshua Frank gives tips on winning government contracts.

Conversation Leader

Joshua Frank

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Will Katz of the Small Business Development Center out of KU breaks down the importance of planing for the future of your small business. 

Conversation Leader

Will Katz

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Rewatch the Coffee House with Conversation leader Jayson Thornton. Learn how the 2020 stimulus package affects your 2020 taxes.

Conversation Leader

Jayson Thornton

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Join Conversation Leader Roderick Gilliam as we talk about creating a financial plan during this unique time.

Conversation Leader

Roderick Gilliam

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Join us as we address closing the language gap in small business with Conversation leader Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano.

Conversation Leader

Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano

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Join Conversation leader Kellie McCoy of the Candra Group as she talks about managing your small business through hard times.

Conversation Leader

Kellie McCoy

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"You have to invest in people... either with skills, knowledge or emotion. "
Doug Holden
Conversation Leader

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To move into the KHAOS mindset: Breakfree from your barriers, get raw with your issues, reset your mind, and be patient with you.

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Are you new to the Work From Home lifestyle? Rewatch our conversation with Shera Dalin about making the transition to working from home.

Conversation Leader

Shera Dalin

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Join Doug Holden, as we discuss strengthening your business during this unique time through servant focused .

Conversation Leader

Doug Holden

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Are you ready for the next steps?

Do you have a business idea?  Are you ready to grow your already established Veteran business?

The first step is to Request Counseling so that we can assist you. We will take it from there. Our counselors are skilled at getting you from point A to B. Your unit has not left you!