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Summit Schedule


9:00AM - MORNING SESSION - Sponsored by the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition
For nearly a year, the Brazos Valley has been preparing a comprehensive and consensus-based strategy to make our region a more prosperous, successful, and vibrant place to live, work, and do business. The process has included significant community input which has resulted in an actionable plan that is ready to launch. Local leaders will discuss components of the strategy and how you and your business can be a part of the implementation.
  • Matt Prochaska, Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation
  • Christie Whitbeck, Bryan Independent School District
  • Jim Nelson, RELLIS
  • Kindra Fry, Experience Bryan College Station
  • Kelly Agent, Midway Companies/Century Square
9:45AM - NETWORKING BREAK - Sponsored by Clark Isenhour Real Estate Services

10:00AM - BREAKOUT SESSION #1 - Sponsored by Lamar Advertising
A) Checking Our Pulse: A Year in Review of the Local Economy - It has been one year since the debut of a monthly report keeping tabs on the Brazos Valley’s economy. “Economic Indicators,” which includes the College Station-Bryan Business-Cycle Index, is produced monthly by Texas A&M University’s Private Enterprise Research Center. The authors of the report will review the last 12 months of our community’s growth, dive into the special focuses that have been featured, and help business leaders use it to make informed decisions in the future.
  • Dennis Jansen, Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center
  • Andrew Rettenmaier, Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center
B) Introducing Generation Z: Meet the Newest Members of Your Workforce - In less than five years, Brazos County will have the highest percentage of Generation Z in its population of any county in Texas. That generation is made up of people born from the late 1990s to the mid-2010s, and they are entering our workforce now. What are their desires and needs for their workplaces? This session will explore where our community has been, where it is now, and where it is going in terms of population, growth, and most importantly, the development of our future workforce for local businesses.
  • Katherine Kleemann, Spherion Staffing Services
  • Amy Sharp, RELLIS, 2018-2019 Texas A&M Student Body President
  • Jia Wang, Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development
10:50AM - BREAKOUT SESSION #2 - Sponsored by Stylecraft Builders
A) Mind the Gaps: Preventing Cyber Breaches at Your Business - It is among the most talked-about issues facing companies and employees today. Every second, criminals around the world are working to steal data, identities and money from you. The cost to a business that is hacked can be extraordinary, and it is easier than you may think for them to attack successfully. Local experts will give you a realistic look at the threats companies face and provide tips on how to protect yourself now and in the future.
  • Cindy Boyd, Sentigy
  • Ben Cortez, NGIN
  • John Romero, TEEX Cyber Readiness Center
B) Knock, Knock: It's Opportunity (Zones) - The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created new tax benefits for investors in designated qualified opportunity zones (QOZs). These QOZ’s are certain census tracts designated by the State of Texas based on poverty thresholds provided in the tax law. Within these zones, investors can set up a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) and invest realized capital gains into a QOF. This session will delve into the process of setting up a QOF and where the particular QOZs are located in Bryan/College Station.
  • Tim Jeffcoat, U.S. Small Business Administration
11:30AM - NETWORKING LUNCH - Sponsored by Midtown City Center

1:00PM - BREAKOUT SESSION #3 - Sponsored by Stafford Barrett Commercial Brokerage
A) Getting Past the Gatekeepers: How to Win Over Venture Capitalists - Venture capitalists listen to pitches all day long, and are quick to separate the good, the bad and the ugly. So how do you win over a venture capitalist? This diverse panel of experts with a variety of backgrounds will share their stories of successful tactics to building credibility and securing investment.
  • Chad Burgess, Quake Capital
  • Clinton Bybee, Arch Venture Partners
  • Omar Hakim, Aggie Angel Network
B) Friend Me: Utilizing Social Media in Your Marketing Strategies - Social media is not simply for sharing your personal life. It is providing golden opportunities to grow your company by engaging past, present and future customers with a variety of information and offers. All companies in all fields can benefit, but time needs to be devoted to it, and it needs to be cultivated. Leaders in the field will provide examples of successful social strategies and explain how your business can reap rewards by developing a strategy of your own.
  • Tim Douglass, Fidelis Creative Agency
  • Adam Drake, The Dixie Chicken Inc.
  • Reagan Vanzura, Freelance Creative Director/Videographer

1:45PM - NETWORKING BREAK - Sponsored by NTA
2:00PM - CHRIS WESTFALL'S KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONSponsored by Oldham Goodwin Group
Each of the three breakout sessions will be recorded on video thanks to Water to Wine Productions. Those videos will be available to attendees through private links following the event, meaning you won't miss any of the presentations or discussions from the day regardless of which ones you attend.

Videos sponsored by Prosperity Bank