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2014 Keynote Presenters

  • chrisbrogan-2012-by Kris Krug156x156
    Chris Brogan
    Owner Magazine
  • Steve Kloyda 075cropbluefade1-25-11156x156
    Steve Kloyda
    Prospecting Expert
  • Jason Surfapp headshot-2012156x156
    Jason SurfrApp
  • Jerry Ross156x156
    Jerry Ross
    Ntl Entrepreneurship Ctr
  • Heather w Phone 156x156
    Heather Whaling
    Geben Comm
  • Jess OStroff DSC_0095156x156
    Jess Ostroff
    Don't Panic Mgmt

Ohio Growth Summit is all about providing you the opportunity to take control of your career, your business and your life.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a manager, an employee, or still identifying your path the Ohio Growth Summit is for you. The Summit brings together national and local speakers to help you take your game to the next level. Attending the Summit will enable you to identify specific, actionable steps that you can use “immediately” to reach your personal and business goals.

We invite you to join us on June 4 and June 5 for an experience that will allow you to do more, be more, and achieve more. You are worth it!

RTS-Blog-AdThis is the 20th episode of Reach the Summit, a podcast to help you reach your business goals.

Subscribe on iTunesSpreaker or Stitcher RadioHosts Mike Bowers and Amy Schmittauer interview each guest to learn more about what makes them tick and keeps them striving for success in everything they do. Episodes are recorded twice per month and feature business owners, marketers, salespeople, social media specialists, operations managers and other inspirational individuals who can speak about their path to success and how to help other people in business.

Today, we officially wrap up the 10th Ohio Growth Summit by speaking with breakout presenter Rick Coplin about perfect pitching. Rick’s well-received interactive session was on “Pitching Your Business to Investors, Bankers, Partners and Employees.”

Over his successful career, Rick has helped to build and sell a start-up company, directed technology programs in a major financial institution and consulted with companies throughout the United States in the areas of technology, finance, marketing and operations. Currently, he is Vice President of Community Partner Ventures with TechColumbus working alongside entrepreneurs who are building start-up companies. In this role he finds, supports, mentors, coaches, incubates and funds high-growth potential companies in Central Ohio.

Rick-Coplin 2If you missed Rick’s session or want additional insights, you can buy his recently released e-book, “Pitch Your Best!” He’ll be releasing another book later this year titled, “Nail Your Pitch!”

Rick has taken part in nearly every Ohio Growth Summit and said this year’s topped them all. In addition to the variety of presentations, Rick noted the excellent networking opportunities. “I made a lot of connections, and that’s the best part of Ohio Growth Summit,” he said.



In this 25-minute episode, Rick discusses:

  • The one group of people besides investors, lenders, partners and employees you need to pitch.
  • The most important aspect of pitching.
  • How much time you should spend preparing and practicing your pitch.
  • The general pitching process from initial conversation to closing the deal.

You can learn more from Rick on his blog, on Twitter and by buying his e-book, “Pitch Your Best!

414691892_4188830a78_zIt’s been two weeks since the Ohio Growth Summit. What are you doing differently based on what you heard or experienced?

Here’s what often happens when you attend a professional conference, especially one as rich in content as OGS. You get blown away by what you hear. You start imagining the possibilities of implementing every single good idea. You furiously take notes and start sketching out how to make significant changes in your business or career.


Then you get back to the office. You catch up on what you missed while you were out. You put out a few fires. Customers need assistance. The next thing you know, your conference notes and ideas get buried under invoices, stuff you need to approve and empty shipping envelopes. When you find the notes a few weeks later, it all looks too daunting to try.

Don’t let this happen. If you attended the Ohio Growth Summit, pull out your notes right now. Don’t think about doing everything that inspired you. Save some for later. Change sometimes happens incrementally.

My challenge to you: Pick one thing and focus on that.

What one thing you could implement or try today to make a difference? Something that will potentially have the most impact on your business? That got you the most excited the moment you heard it at the conference?

Choose one thing and commit to doing it. Make your commitment known to others who will cheerlead and hold you accountable. Improve your business or career one great idea at a time.

4436827429_a3ae8cd561_oIf you’re stuck or can’t find your notes, here are just a few ideas from the Summit:

  • Is there a great idea that you’ve been hiding? Time to unleash it.
  • How can you show appreciation to your best customer, vendor and/or employee today?
  • Is there someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to or a relationship you want to rekindle? No time like the present.
  • Think outside the box and figure out a new income stream.
  • Is there a way you can volunteer in your community to increase your business exposure?
  • Develop new content by starting a newsletter, making videos or recording podcasts.
  • Is there a way to make it easier on your customers by giving them fewer choices?
  • Do you need to replace the stock images on your website and materials with real people?
  • Do you need to spend some time today prospecting?
  • How can you bring more passion into your business?
  • Have you reviewed your website content for SEO purposes?
  • Find online influencers and start building a foundation for a relationship.

You don’t even need to use something you heard during the keynote and breakout presentations. Maybe you heard a great idea during the networking reception or meeting people in between sessions.

One thing that could also spur your “one thing”: If you haven’t already, subscribe to the blogs of the event’s presenters and follow them on social media. Believe me, these incredible people have far more to teach and inspire us with than what is contained in a one-hour presentation.

So what one thing will you focus on? Share it with us in the comments section!

photo credit: Jacob Bøtter via Flickr cc
photo credit: Adi Respati via Flickr cc

Last week’s 10th annual Ohio Growth Summit made a lasting impression on everyone who attended. Many of our fans wrote about their experience on their blogs, and we’ve captured a few excerpts:


Amy Taylor of Brains on Fireoreo.jpg.728x520_q85 had an “aha moment” during Charlie Wollborg’s presentation “If You’re Not Pissing Off a Few People, You’re Probably Not Exciting Anybody Either.” She recounted Charlie’s observation that Oreo sells cookie crumbs in addition to whole cookies. That means somebody with some ingenuity looked at the crumbs being thrown away in the factory and said, “We can sell this.”

Amy’s conclusion: “What is everyone in your industry throwing away? What do people see little or no value in? How can you approach it from a new angle and turn it into a revenue stream?”


Rick-adn-ChrisRick Coplin, who led a breakout session on pitching your business to investors, bankers, partners, family members and employees, titled his summary: “The Ohio Growth Summit ROCKS.

Rick gave a powerful endorsement of OGS: “The Ohio Growth Summit should be at the top of the list of any entrepreneur’s conference plans. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and entrepreneurially-minded employees will all find great value here. OGS just might provide the inspiration you need to take the leap into your own entrepreneurial adventure; I know several successful entrepreneurs who have attended the conference, made life changing decisions while there, and haven’t looked back since.”


Image 2Two employees of The Social Firm, a Columbus-based branding company, absorbed valuable insights from the event’s keynote speakers. In their recap, the company highlighted presentations by:

Jerry Ross — “He focused on Wizard of Oz references in his speech– the brain, heart and courage. Each reference had to do with an aspect of an entrepreneurial spirit, such as the brain being part of the focus and branding of the company, the heart being the team and clients of the company and building relationships, and the courage to go out there and sell your product to others with confidence.”

Chris Brogan — “He encouraged having a relationship-minded business and expanding your media empire to newsletters, videos, podcasts and webinars to increase engagement.”


Steve Kloyda — “As a startup, it is important to ‘sell’ your company to others to gain clients. You need to be confident when reaching out to potential customers, state your purpose, ask questions to guide the conversation, listen, help solve the problem and close the deal.”

Heather Whaling — “The keynote emphasized how teamwork is so important to a company’s culture and it is crucial to have a great team that inspires each other, enjoys what they do and shares that passion with others.”

The Social Firm wants to hear what others learned at OGS, so head over to their blog and post a comment.


DSCN1257-580x435Kate Finley, Founder and CEO of Belle Communications, blogged that her number one takeaway from the summit is authenticity. She noticed a running theme of “Be Yourself” throughout the summit and shared her thoughts and reflections on this in her weekly video.

OGS was covered by Columbus Business First. The business journal interviewed keynote speaker Jerry Ross of the National Entrepreneurship Center and OGS founder and director Mike Bowers about the key to growing small business in Ohio.


Mike Bowers, who also blogs at Seeking Awesome, published a round-up featuring all the awesome keynote speakers who shared their experience and knowledge over the course of the two-day event. He thanked everyone who attended and made year 10 the best yet!


Have you written about your experience at OGS or read someone else’s post? Let us know by posting in the comments section with a link!

photo credit: newwavegurly via Flickr cc