BRIM (Bringing Relentless Innovation to Michigan) is designed to deliver inspiration, education and networking to Michigan business owners and entrepreneurs from the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, in Traverse City, MI.
Due to the overwhelming success of BRIM 2011, BRIM is back and better than ever! Whether you already run a wildly successful company or you are an entrepreneur with an idea for a new business, BRIM 2012 will have something to inspire you. This full-day event will feature keynote speaker Rick DeVos, the Founder and CEO of Start Garden, followed by five diverse Q&A panel discussions delivered by Michigan business experts, driven marketers and leading employers.
Thinking of starting or growing your business but don't have the funding to make your dreams a reality? BRIM will host an investor pitch session where the audience and an esteemed panel of judges will hear five people pitch their next big business venture. The winner of the pitch session will be announced at the beginning of the cocktail/networking hour and be awarded a check for $2500 sponsored by The Bank of Northern Michigan. So, if you're having the best year in your company's history, struggling to meet your year-end goals or looking for inspiration to kick-start a new business, BRIM 2012 has some great takeaways in store for you! Apply today—seating is limited!
Have any questions about BRIM 2012? Feel free to send us an email.
The ultimate goal of every business is to remain relevant in the eyes of their customers. To do that, brands need to adapt and change in response to those needs. This session will help your brand understand the elements of a successful transition. From internal operations, such as staff growth and engaging new employees, to raising venture capital for expansions, this discussion will cover it all.
Many share an entrepreneurial spirit and a burning passion to create an empire, but only a handful of entrepreneurs succeed. Why? Because growing a business takes careful planning, strategic vision and perseverance. This session hosts professionals that have learned from trial and error and have succeeded. These successful entrepreneurs will cover proven strategies that will guide you on your journey to personal and professional prosperity.
Successful marketing happens in the details. This session will help you bring your brand’s marketing to life, covering both traditional and progressive tactics. You’ll understand how to avoid pitfalls, how to stay out of junk folders, and how to get those almighty sales appointments. It’s time to turn your integrated marketing campaign into conversions!
Finally, we’ll cover the art of guerrilla marketing. How does this beast work? Is it the right fit for your brand? Our panel will discuss what goes into a guerrilla campaign and what will echo through your sales department for months to come.
There is no doubt that the world is going mobile. And, by “the world” we mean "most of your consumers." So, with that in mind, we tackle the questions that come along with marketing to the "on the go" consumer. Should your brand develop an app to better serve your customers or should your brand launch responsive web properties? And, once those decisions are made, how secure are these offerings? Get the answers to these popular questions or ask your own during this session.
Social media is, without a doubt, the best thing to happen to marketing since the printed word was first printed! A brand’s opportunities are seemingly endless. A whole new level of customer interaction, loyalty building and trusted word-of-mouth possibilities present themselves to a brand instantly. This Q&A panel will unveil the best social media channels to employ, along with proven tactics that will help you share your brand's personality, ignite conversation and build relationships at a whole new level of engagement.
Our esteemed panel of investment judges will hear five attendees present their two minute pitch in front of the entire BRIM audience. The panel will then give each individual five minutes of constructive feedback. At the end of the session, the judges will deliberate and choose one individual that will be awarded $2,500 to kick-start their venture. The pitch winner will be announced at the beginning of the Cocktail Networking hour.
If you are interested in attending BRIM 2012, you must be an established business owner or entrepreneur in Michigan. Simply complete and submit your application on or before November 2, 2012. You will then be notified by October 29, 2012 via email and/or phone if you are selected to attend. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
You can find us located directly on West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan.
Need directions? Click the icon to the right to go to Google Maps for the best route to get here. Apply now because seating is limited.
As Oneupweb's Founder and CEO, Lisa Wehr has been propelling the company to new heights, through uncharted territories, since its inception in 1996. Her guiding philosophy is simple: Be Humble, Be Honest, Be Professional—and do whatever it takes to keep clients on the forefront of digital marketing success. Be it implementing new services, creating technologies where none exist or taking an "unconventional approach" to client communications.
With Wehr's guiding philosophy as the impetus for every business decision, the company has experienced the kind of growth and success many entrepreneurs only dream about, increasing revenue year-over-year, for more than a decade. Getting her start with her own web design firm in 1995, she was designing and optimizing websites before Google was in existence. Her pioneering work and on-going technological developments continue to set industry standards, making her one of the most-recognized authorities on search engine marketing.
Matt is the founder of EverywhereUGO. His indoor advertising company provides turnkey opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.A. Currently the company has 6 Licensees located in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.
Prior to his marketing career he assisted Father Fred, the founder of the Father Fred Foundation with the development of this very successful non profit organization. During his 10 years mentoring with Father Fred he learned the importance of community and public relations. Today the foundation continues to help the poor, hungry, distressed, and the suffering.
As a small business owner/operator it did not take long to realize the importance of having the most up to date proprietary technology to keep up with the growth of his company. Many years were spent assisting various programmers in developing a custom business application that would efficiently handle every need of the owner/operator. Today the company owns and continues to use this web based application.
With his experience he is now doing all on site training for licensees and keeping the application and websites up to date and running smooth.
Stephen's professional experience spans over 17 years predominantly in the hospitality industry. Mr. Ezell is a versatile "cutting edge" leader that had has established sound strategies, positioned businesses strongly in their markets, inspired large teams and raised client satisfaction while dramatically improving on multiple operations.
Stephen a Bronx, NY native owned a quick service restaurant concept called The Market Kitchen and founded Ezell Hospitality Associates which was a NYC based advisory firm that provided short and long term consultation specializing in the hospitality and food branding sectors.
Prior to owning his own companies Stephen held senior level positions with The Harvard Club of NYC, RA Patina Group, Red Ginger and with famed Restaurateurs Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis to name a few.
As a Venture Capitalist, Stephen has invested and structured multiple firms through various stages of maturity in industries such as food manufacturing, “green” product branding, resort development and sustainable technologies.
Mr. Ezell has significant involvement in Christian Ministry and applies his faith in serving both his corporate and personal families.
Marketing folks tend to be either all strategic or all creative. They either get pumped up about ROI and measurement—or stirred up about color and font. Carly rocks at both, which is annoying because that makes the rest of us look like slackers. But we try not to hate her because she's brilliant. Carly has led Oneupweb's marketing department since 2007. Working closely with design, sales and public relations, she's created and implemented strategies that have increased internal sales leads by more than 180% in just one year. She helped launch Oneupweb's online media planning and placement service. And her expertise in behavioral targeting, dayparting and the analysis of customer demographics helps national enterprise clients lower lead acquisition costs and reap big returns. Carly received a B.A.A. from a premier entrepreneurship program, and has prior career experience in sales and marketing in both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. So let's get this straight. Carly's smart, strategic, creative, gets results—and everybody loves her? She must keep a dog-eared copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People in her back pocket for quick reference.
Laura Oblinger leads strategic development for the Chamber's programs, services, membership strategies, its branding and communications process and is responsible for leading the Chamber's comprehensive strategic plan.
Laura began her career with the Chamber in 2003 as the Vice President, promoted to Senior Vice President taking on more responsibilities with strategy and program development and in 2010, promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Laura recognized as an influential leader, a strong communicator, and someone who will get the job done. Her advice and expertise is sought after for that fine balancing act between innovation to execution.
For three consecutive years, she was recognized in the Traverse City Business News as one of the 40Under40 most influential professionals, and in 2011 named one of their 20 most influential women in the area.
Laura is a Traverse City native and along with her husband and daughter, is passionate about the region in which she lives.
Tim Pulliam is the Co-founder and President of Keen Technical Solutions, LLC, who recently received the INC 500 designation as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Tim leads the KEEN technical and sales team by providing analysis and energy conservation solutions for clients throughout North America. He has over 15 years of project management, installation, and sales experience in the mechanical contracting and engineering field. He has spent much time being very instrumental in developing new HVAC/R and energy technology courses at Northwestern Michigan College. Tim has a great deal of technical expertise and holds many licenses through the state of MI such as: Mechanical Contractor, Boiler Installer, Journeyman Plumber, Steamfitter, Medical Gas Certification, Backflow Prevention, Refrigerant Handling and Heat Pumps. He is an entrepreneur that has a great deal of passion, knowledge and experience that is committed to giving back as much as possible to his local community.
David Lorenz is the Manager of Public and Industry Relations for Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation—the official State of Michigan tourism promotion agency. He oversees Travel Michigan's public relations activities. He also manages Travel Michigan's efforts in the areas of international marketing, packaged travel, conventions and meetings, industry relations, golf and sports-event promotion.
Prior to coming to Travel Michigan in October 2002, Mr. Lorenz was the Manager, Partnerships and Promotions, for Meijer, Inc. where he was responsible for the facilitation of collaborative marketing programs with key consumer goods manufacturers.
He also has 14 years' experience in radio broadcasting in roles varying from announcer and news reporter to numerous management positions.
David Lorenz attended Western Michigan University. He lives in Norton Shores with his wife, Roberta, and son, Tyler.
Smartmark Consulting founder and president, Tanya Berg, has over 25 years experience in marketing and communications in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Throughout her career, Tanya has held leadership roles including Vice President of Marketing Communications at Fifth Third Bancorp and Vice President and Director of Marketing at Heart of West Michigan United Way. From marketing strategy and branding to public relations and employee communications, Tanya has helped many organizations and clients articulate their brand message and move their businesses forward.
A Michigan native and Michigan State University graduate, one of Tanya's passions is helping entrepreneurs realize their dream of building a successful business in northern Michigan. In addition to her consulting work, Tanya also volunteers her time and expertise as a SCORE business mentor
Rick DeVos is an entrepreneur. In 2009, he created ArtPrize, a simple social experiment designed to see if artists and the public could engage each other in a new way. The scale and energy of the event rocketed it into debates all over the art world, in urban planning circles and the global press.
Rick is also Founder and CEO of Start Garden. Start Garden is a unique venture seed fund that invests in very early stage companies on a very frequent basis. These investments are made in such a way as to create and enhance an ecosystem of early stage enterprises, and Start Garden partners deeply with individuals and businesses to access knowledge and resources in service of fueling the growth of its portfolio companies.
Rick graduated from Calvin College in 2004 with a degree in Communications. He lives in Ada with his wife, Melissa, and their daughter, Clara.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors for ArtPrize, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Now we don't want to come right out and say Tim is the son of MacGyver, but the guy can fix anything, get out of any jam and is cool as heck under pressure. Give him a few raw supplies and he'll give you a better, more efficient way of doing business. Since 2003, Tim's been indispensable in carrying out Oneupweb's strategic vision and driving the company's exponential growth. He oversees all departments and manages day-to-day operations—handling everything from employee concerns to client-side technology issues to un-sticking the occasionally stuck bag of peanuts from the vending machine.
He assisted with the design and development of PodTractor™, Oneupweb's enterprise podcast tracking technology, and helped invent industry-leading tools in click fraud detection, trademark monitoring, ad testing and keyword permutation. Prior to Oneupweb, Tim served as senior web content developer for a well-known software development company. He holds a B.A. in English from Michigan State University. Ask him what he believes and he'll tell you: "There is no challenge you can't overcome." We think that's a very MacGyvery thing to say. Case closed.
Dan Tosch is the Web Manager for BOYNE, which is a collection of mountain and golf resorts, retail stores and real estate opportunities based in northern Lower Michigan. He is responsible for BOYNE’s online presence including design, development, promotions and email marketing. In handling all things digital for BOYNE in the 12 years he has been with the company, he has witnessed the (Web) industry mature firsthand.
Even when wearing a manager's hat, he still likes to think of himself as a designer first, so he strongly believes even the smallest details can make the biggest differences.
Dan is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and although he is a Detroit area native, he has called northern Michigan home for over 16 years and lives with his wife and two small children in Boyne City.
Joseph Wesolek is entering his fourth year with Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Mich. As the web content and social media manager, Joe oversees Beaumont’s online activity, including their presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, YouTube and Wordpress.
Joe recently presented as a panelist for Social media Club Detroit (“Smart Advice from Health Care Professionals Using Social Media”) on the topic of health care social media and is an active member of Social Media in the D – a club for social media managers in the Detroit area to collaborate and share successes and ideas.
Prior to working for Beaumont, Joe worked as a Marketing Specialist for Northern Michigan Regional Hospital in Petoskey, Mich.
Joe graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in integrative public relations. He resides in Commerce Township, Mich.
Find Joe on LinkedIn or on Twitter (@JosephWesolek).
Duncan White, Oneupweb's Director of Client Services, is the first point of contact for every incoming prospect and client. White guides the strategy behind each client's online marketing campaign, ensuring success for some of the nations most recognized brands. In his eight years at Oneupweb he has served as the guiding hand for both the sales and project management teams. Creating results driven plans for the business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries, White is an invaluable resource to Oneupweb and the digital marketing industry.
White is a frequent company spokesperson and highly-respected industry resource. He has been interviewed and quoted extensively in business media, and is often requested as a speaker.
Prior to his career at Oneupweb, White spent more than a decade in project management, managerial and consultation roles in the web technologies department at two of the nation's leading universities. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Michigan State University.
John D. Paul, Jr. is the president and chief executive officer of The Bank of Northern Michigan, a position he’s filled since January 2010. John joined the bank in 2006 as executive vice president and market manager for its Traverse City office. Prior to that, he held various senior positions in banking, including positions as president of Old Kent Bank’s Traverse City operations and as Fifth Third Bank’s community president in Kalamazoo.
Barbara Fails Raftshol, Ph.D.—Associate Professor and Associate Director for Entrepreneurial Communities, Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University. Barb directs the Creating Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) initiative at MSU that provides community coaching and outreach program support for entrepreneurial development systems. She teaches entrepreneurship in the MSU ENet Entrepreneurship Certificate program, which has international enrollments, serving both continuing education and degree students.
Since coming to MSU in 1985 she has taught a variety of small business programs for undergraduates and professionals, and has been a consultant to the floral and nursery industries. Her background includes MSU administration in continuing adult and distance education, and business development services for the MSU Product Center. Barb grew up on a fruit farm in northwestern Pennsylvania and has started two businesses of her own. She has a BS in horticulture from Cornell University and a PhD in plant sciences from Virginia Tech. She now resides in Suttons Bay.
Chris Wendel, serves the Grand Traverse Region as a Consultant and Lender with Northern Initiatives, a private community development group that provides rural entrepreneurs with access to capital, information, and markets. With a background in retail, marketing, and manufacturing, Chris has worked with hundreds of small businesses throughout Michigan. He is also a contributing writer to the Traverse City Business News and the web site upnorthbusiness.org.
Michael Chetcuti is a multi-talented and creative force who has several successful ventures in the automotive, design, and construction worlds. As CEO of auto parts supplier Quality Metalcraft (QMC), he employs more than 500 people in four plants in Livonia, Michigan. He is also a principal partner in American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), the world’s most prestigious supplier of aftermarket parts to the Jeep brand. Michael has recently finished restoration of two historic industrial buildings in Royal Oak, Michigan, one a business and the other his private residence. The award-winning St. Clair Edison Building houses Cloverleaf Fine Wine and Pizzeria Biga, with Michael a partner in both businesses. All restoration and finish design elements were directed by Mr. Chetcuti. Michael’s home was custom-built and designed by himself and his partner, Kyle Evans. The two have also designed and helped fund public artworks in the city through the Michael Chetcuti Foundation.
Ron Reeves is the Media Relations and Social Strategist for Herman Miller. In addition to media, public relations, and executive communications responsibilities for the global enterprise, he develops and manages all of the strategic social media initiatives, and handles real-time interaction with customers and fans. Herman Miller currently has a following of more than 300,000 on Twitter and facebook alone, more than all of their competitors combined, and continually looks for ways to evolve in the ever-changing medium.
Ron joined Herman Miller in 2011 after working for six years as a Mass Communication Specialist in the U.S. Navy. There he focused on media relations, photojournalism, and crisis communication aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74).
Using her background in corporate marketing and passion for entrepreneurialism, Elizabeth O'Toole is a founding consultant for one of the country's fastest-growing young companies, Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. In two years, she grew an organization which spans across nine states and includes a sales team of hundreds. Today she coaches others how to tap a $2.5 billion market, from anywhere in the U.S.
Elizabeth continues to work with multiple organizations and has been published in more than 17 publications worldwide. She is best known for her genuine enthusiasm and her ability to implement creative, new business strategies. A graduate of University of Michigan, Elizabeth originally hails from California but her career has taken her far and wide including London, England, Washington DC, Detroit, and finally, to beautiful Traverse City, Michigan.
Kellee Montgomery is the Global Digital and Social Advertising Manager at General Motors, working with the global brand portfolio, lead and execute social and digital marketing campaigns.
Before GM, Kellee worked to get Billhighway, a metro Detroit technology startup off the ground and noticed by leading their marketing and advertising initiatives, mainly through digital and social media. Her efforts helped the company’s founder win the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011.
Prior to coming back to her home state of Michigan in 2009, Kellee held positions in Orange County, California and Chicago at Young and Rubicam supporting Lincoln-Mercury and in Martha’s Vineyard, MA as a food and feature writer for the island’s entertainment publication.
Kellee holds her B.S. degree from Central Michigan University and is a member of Social Media Club Detroit and Birmingham Toastmasters. In her downtime, Kellee teaches dance at a Detroit area studio.
Chad Dutmers graduated from Indiana University in 1993 began his work in investment and commercial banking in the Chicago area, primarily for Old Kent Bank, and earned his MBA from Loyola University. In 2001 he returned to MI where his investment career flourished with National City Bank until 2007 when he left to pursue an entrepreneurial career and established CTD Holdings, Inc. and acquired a company which promotes events targeting the motorcycle industry and community throughout Michigan, and now Ohio and Wisconsin. Chad is also a partner and founder of Lakeside Equity group, a network based investment company focusing on growth companies with financial, management and operational needs.
In addition to his financial career, Chad has served as member and chair of multiple community, historical, and pro-economic development boards including National City’s MEDC, NMC Foundation, United Way, TCAPS, Father Fred Foundation, TC Chamber of Commerce, and Munson Health Care.
In 1985 Onlee received her Masters Degree from Central Michigan University in organizational and public communication. She remained on CMU’s faculty until the early 1990’s when she begin her own consulting firm and specialized in professional speech coaching, organizational development and executive consulting.
Included in her client list: former Mayor Nancy Gallagher of Alma, former State Representative Martinis, The Honorable Judge Jack Arnold of Gratiot County, National Geographic Adventure Journalist Tom Clynes, 2008 Traverse City Chamber Small Business of the Year recipient Terry Umlor of Springfield Roofing, and Douglas Luciani, President, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.