Upcoming Community Solution Forums

Our American Mission Solutions Podcast Series

June – August

It’s summer! Memorial Day signals the transition to summer! So we are transitioning our programs to podcasts and videos to work around everyone’s schedule. We all want to get out and about, enjoy the weather, and get back to regular business.

The OAM leadership team, Diversity Financial Fund Board Members will host our podcasts with many great guests!  Stay tuned for the link to submit your podcasts or to apply to be on OAM podcast.

September – May

First and Third Thursdays 11am to Noon Eastern

Our American Mission designed the Community Forums to create a space where small business owners, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs can meet, discuss challenges they are facing, and get solutions from their peers.  The goal of the Community Forums is to connect you to peers that understand how to grow their businesses in today’s business environment. We welcome people from all fields and areas to participate. 

2021 Speakers

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging create challenges for small businesses. The news is filled with stories of big businesses dealing with DEIB challenges. Is your small business ready to address the coming opportunity? What happens if you work hard to get a new prospect and they only want to work with a person of color?  You’ve worked hard on your website and the content is great, but do the images reflect DEIB and accessibility standards?

Before your business has to deal with a social media or other DEIB campaign, you need a plan. You also need to understand DEIB expectations.

  • DEIB Strategy,
  • Supplier Diversity,
  • Team Recruiting,
  • Website, Social Media, and other communication platforms, and
  • Tactical Plans and Actions.

Upcoming Speakers and Events

Previous Speakers

Instead of A SWAT Team … Try A SWOT Analysis

How many times over the past year or so, have you heard of a SWAT team being called in to intervene in a critical situation? As you probably know, a SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team is a generic term for a law enforcement unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. Essentially, the purpose of a SWAT is to support high personal risk situations where specialized tactics are necessary to minimize property damage and personal casualties.

SWOT Analysis
And speaking of high-risk situations, when is the last time you heard of anyone using a SWOT Analysis to minimize threats to the survival of a business operation?
A favorite tool of consultants to mid-size and large organizations, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis delivers more than crisis intervention. Effectively applied, this process can help owners develop strategies for the success of their small businesses.
In practice, a SWOT Analysis will help you find out what’s working well, and what’s not so good in your business. As a result, the analysis will help you clarify where you want to go, how you might get there – and what might get in your way.

Speaker Bio
For the past four decades, Larry Easto has owned and operated his own service businesses, helping clients as a lawyer, consultant, best-selling writer, educator, and coach.
He is currently developing a series of online video classes to help service professionals (self-employed service providers) generate more business with authentic marketing.
In his presentation, he will share information about how a SWOT analysis can help you make the most of what you’ve got. This process can also reduce the chances of failure, by understanding what you’re lacking, and eliminating hazards that would otherwise catch you unawares.
Better still, you can generate more new business by taking actions closed aligned with your true authentic self. This will help distinguish you from your competitors, and compete more effectively in your market.

The Importance of Data To Your Small Business

Tasha Jones is a U.S. Navy Veteran and Founder of Twenty39 with more than twenty years experience in escalating roles and responsibilities in the U.S. Federal government market. Tasha is a recognized problem solver, turnaround PMP, business relationship facilitator, and Executive. After leaving the Navy and attending the New York Institute of Technology for her MBA, Tasha joined the US Department of Justice where she spearheaded multiple high-visibility turnaround efforts for major IT systems. She founded Twenty39 with a mission to use data to solve complex problems and focuses on preparing and enabling independent professionals and micro-businesses for the future of work.

Thursday, March 18, 2021:

Small Business Grants, Contracts, Loans, Investors, and Crowdfunding: Which Type of Funding is Right for YOUR Business?

We’ve all heard that using OPM (Other People’s Money) is great for our businesses. But what are the implications of each type of funding on you as a business owner and how the business operates? What strings are attached?

Lea Strickland has worked with clients to raise and generate over $500 million for their businesses. She specializes in designing and redesigning businesses to be compliant with the terms and conditions, “the strings”, that come with OPM. Whether you are interested in Small Business Innovation and Research Grants (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer Awards (STTR), Other Transaction Authority (OTA), Government Purchase Contracts, SBA Grants and Loans, Bank Loans, or Equity Investment, it is critical to understand what each type of funding means to the growth and operation of your business.

Marketing Strategies 101: Transitioning in a Post-COVID 19 World

Marty Edwards

Marty’s books begins: “The COVID-19 pandemic will forever change how business is conducted. This is true whether you offer a service or sell a product. “Social distancing” will ease at some point, but it is my belief that virtual connection with employees and customers will continue to skyrocket.”

Marty knows we have a lot of questions and challenges ahead in our small businesses. He shares important insights and tools in Marketing Strategies 101: Transitioning in a Post-COVID-19 World. He will share lessons, insights, and tips on February 4, 2021 11 am  – Noon Eastern.

Marty Edwards, an entrepreneur for more than 35 years, founded White Hawk Group in 1999. White Hawk was an Oklahoma-based general contracting firm. His wife, Karen was diagnosed with esophageal cancer April 22nd 2016. Exactly 18 months later she left this life to enter into the presence of the Lord. The severity of the cancer battle forced the closure of White Hawk Group.

Yakoke Consulting, Marty Edwards newest venture, was founded on his passion to help small, minority and woman owned firms. “Yakoke” is how Choctaws say thank you. Marty Edwards is Yakoke’s CGO (Chief Gratitude Officer). In addition to mentoring small business owners, Marty feels a strong obligation to speak publically and share the power in unleashing gratitude into your life. His recent life experiences would seem disconnected from gratitude but his personal and professional story is a testimony to this truth:

“If you get your mind and spirit right, PROFOUND gratitude can eventually emerge darkest days of struggle and loss.” 

Thursday, February 18, 2021:

Introduce Yourself!

We have great community members, visitors, speakers, and advisors to our community. Now is the time to come and Introduce Yourself! So many of our companies are looking for new opportunities – clients, collaborators, suppliers, and service providers. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you serve? How can we help?

Thursday, January 7, 2020:

Building a Brand That’s More Than Skin Deep with Wendy Harrington

What if there were a stream of clients who needed your help, flowing right outside your door, and you could just tap into it?  There is, and through Tap This Group I help service businesses do that by uncovering what makes them unique, and helping them create and run marketing campaigns that attract their ideal clients, and support long term relationships with them. 

 

Business Networking and Leveraging LinkedIn to Build Relationships and Your Business with Rhonda Sher

Rhonda Sher is a nationally recognized expert in business networking and LinkedIn. She is the author of Convert Your Connections to Cash and Relationships to Revenue, The Two Minute Networker, The ABC’s of LinkedIn, Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out and How to Avoid the Business Card Pile-Up – 52 Ways to Boost Your Business with Business Cards.

Rhonda is the expert at teaching CEO’s, speakers, authors, small business owners and entrepreneurs how to leverage LinkedIn and convert relationships to revenue.

Rhonda’s natural humor, interactive approach and 20 years of business experience has brought her into the forefront as a sought-after national keynote speaker and trainer. She teaches powerful, practical techniques and insider secrets to take your Profile to Profit using LinkedIn.

Rhonda has given thousands of talks including clients such as Blue Shield, NAWBO, NAIFA, Vistage to name a few.

She has appeared on multiple television and radio shows and is a sought after guest on podcasts and radio shows.

Rhonda lives in Murrieta, CA with her husband of over 3 decades and has two adult daughters.

 

Building Corporate Culture with Intention with David McGlennon

Everyone knows intuitively that company culture has an enormous impact on how we do our work.  If that’s the case, shouldn’t we be intentional about developing and sustaining it?  David will share the reasons why world-class companies don’t leave their culture to chance and an 8 step framework that will help you implement a systematic approach to intentionally leading your culture.

David is a business growth sherpa who helps leaders learn to play the infinite game of business through systematically designing company culture.

He helps companies integrate their desire for high performance, achievement and growth with a focus on developing a thriving culture through adopting a people-centric leadership approach.

He has trained leaders around the world as far north as the Arctic Circle and has shared the stage with John C. Maxwell while training in Paraguay, South America. He has been married for 31 years and is a father of five children living in the Pittsburgh region.

David is a “recovering triathlete” and loves an active and healthy lifestyle.

 

 

Five Intellectual Property Tips Every

Small Business Owner Should Know with Stacey C. Kalamaras

Being a business owner can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do and so much to know. How do you know which items you should be prioritizing especially when you have either limited time or budget or both. Join us on October 22, 2020, when we will be joined by intellectual property attorney Stacey C. Kalamaras who will be presenting “Five Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know.” Stacey will briefly explain what intellectual property law is, why small business owners should be mindful of the value of these incredibly important business assets and discuss her top tips every small business owner should know, regardless of industry, so that they can put the right systems and plans in place to protect their intellectual property assets and get back to what they do best – running and growing their businesses.

Stacey C. Kalamaras is the founding partner of Kalamaras Law Office, LLC in Chicago, Illinois and is a seasoned trademark, copyright, and advertising lawyer with a combination of Big Law, in-house, and prior business management experience. Stacey has extensive experience managing large, global trademark portfolios in more than 150 countries for clients in diverse industries. Her firm’s focus is creatively assisting small and medium sized businesses navigate the legal landscape to create distinctive brands and differentiate their businesses in an ever-changing marketplace. Stacey regularly counsels clients on the clearance and adoption of new trademarks, develops strategic protection and enforcement programs through her extensive experience with trademark opposition/cancellation proceedings and anti-counterfeiting strategies, and grows portfolios by conducting IP due diligence matters. In addition, she is well-versed in drafting and negotiating licensing and other IP/advertising agreements necessary to protect, enforce, and commercialize brands.

 

Working Safely from Home and IT Security with Jason Richmond

In this session, we will review the steps to take to securely work from home and avoid the bad guys. At Protected PC, Inc., we provide IT services including server and workstation support, network security, security training, and act as the CIO for the small business. We provide the same solutions that Fortune 100 companies use at a price that is affordable to smaller companies.

Tough Times? Unleash the Power of Gratitude with Marty Edwards

In business circles, gratitude might be viewed as a fluff, light-weight, touchy-feely subject. On the surface, that view is understandable but my presentation rejects that notion and makes a case for gratitude being a powerful business growth strategy. What is at the heart of every successful business? Relationship and relationships are cemented when gratitude is expressed and ingrained in your brand. Gratitude is a powerful business tool when you are facing tough times. The principles of gratitude presented can strengthen your resolve to fight through adversity and grow revenues.

Marty Edwards, an entrepreneur for more than 35 years, founded White Hawk Group in 1999. White Hawk was an Oklahoma-based general contracting firm. His wife, Karen was diagnosed with esophageal cancer April 22nd 2016. Exactly 18 months later she left this life to enter into the presence of the Lord. The severity of the cancer battle forced the closure of White Hawk Group.

Yakoke Consulting, Marty Edwards newest venture, was founded on his passion to help small, minority and woman owned firms. “Yakoke” is how Choctaws say thank you. Marty Edwards is Yakoke’s CGO (Chief Gratitude Officer). In addition to mentoring small business owners, Marty feels a strong obligation to speak publically and share the power in unleashing gratitude into your life. His recent life experiences would seem disconnected from gratitude but his personal and professional story is a testimony to this truth:

“If you get your mind and spirit right, PROFOUND gratitude can eventually emerge darkest days of struggle and loss.”