Business Leaders Gather for 2015 USU Eastern Business Conference


Members of the community gathered along with business leaders from throughout the state at the 2015 USU Eastern Business Conference on Friday. The day-long event featured two keynote speakers, breakout sessions, an innovation competition and much more.

Roger Brooks, tourism expert, author, speaker and CEO of Roger Brooks International, kicked off the conference as he spoke to those in attendance about the importance of marketing, especially in the tourism industry. Brooks has been a key component in Emery County as he has helped each town find its “brand” and develop a marketing strategy.

The conference continued with the first breakout session . Donna Helsleph gave a presentation on creating a positive customer service culture while Brian Mecee, CEO of RocketHub, presented on online fundraising. Don Willie, managing director at World Trade Center Utah, also spoke, helping those in attendance understand who any business can export.

Attendees were able to attend a second breakout session later in the day. Price City native Jason Dunn of Caption Call spoke to the purpose of having a brand platform for each business while Mark Holmes from the Utah Small Business Development Centers took time to speak about approaching a business startup. Camille Pendleton, director of the Orem Small Business Development Center, also gave a presentation, highlighting the possibilities of managing by constraint.

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, was the keynote speaker in the afternoon. The entity is dedicated to helping Utah companies “think, act, and succeed globally.” Miller spoke to attendees about expanding their market share or geographic location and how the WTC can help business succeed in doing so.

The event ended with an innovation competition as four finalists were chosen to present their innovative ideas to a panel of judges. Each contestant had the chance to give a 10-minute overview and presentation of their idea. After the presentations, Jeff Curtis was deemed the winner with his idea of an automobile transmission lift adapter. The lift adapter would be specifically molded to hold a transmission while it is being repaired and would be interchangeable with other models. Curtis designed the product to be sold to transmission repair shops. With his first place idea, Curtis was given a scholarship to USU Eastern as well as a cash prize.  

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