Business to Business Expo is back

Amy Clickner

BIG NEWS about one of our favorite events! The Business to Business Expo is back and the agenda is packed with a day full of learning and connecting. This year’s B2B will be held on Oct. 26 at Northern Michigan University’s University Center. We took the feedback from last year’s attendees to heart and think we have created the perfect event – one that was created for you to connect with businesses from across the Upper Peninsula. What can attendees expect this year? Two main speakers and a great lineup of breakout sessions, all followed by a Business After Hours Expo.

Let me tempt you more! We will start the day with our keynote speaker, Scott Patchin, Owner and Founder of the trU Group. His expertise lies in creating strategy, developing leaders, as well as building and equipping both leaders and leadership teams to effectively manage growth. He has partnered with small and medium-sized businesses that desire healthy growth and are challenged with finding the time for development. He brings a balance of academic knowledge, experience working with hundreds of leaders, and the personal experience of leading through key business transition situations, with a passion for people-centered leadership. Scott will be discussing Strategic Planning during his presentation at the B2B. He will also be available throughout the day to meet with a few businesses one-on-one. Contact Ashley ( if you want to find out how to sign up for one of those spots.

When we visit with businesses, the top concern we hear is in regard to talent recruitment. So, after lunch, we will hear from a talent expert, John Redwine, Project Manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Talent Team. John has worked with the MEDC and Talent Investment Agency for nearly five years, helping talent match with opportunities. As the former operations manager for Pure Michigan Talent Connect, John is a system expert who can help employers, partners and jobseekers navigate through its complexities. His current role allows him to work closely with employers and partners to connect with statewide talent resources and talent attraction initiatives. We look forward to having John speak to attendees about finding and connecting with qualified talent.

With three concurrent sessions set up for breakouts, attendees will be able to pick which two will be most beneficial for them. Below is a list of the breakout sessions available.

“Courageous Leadership” with Kathy Grinsteiner from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

“The ‘Why’s and How’s’ of Engaging and Empowering Employees” with Dave Bonsall and Rachel Harris from Simply Superior Consulting

“Corporate Philanthropy” with Chad Mager and Victoria Leonhardt from Grow and Lead: Community and Youth Development

“Why a Roth IRA, Why Now?” with Scott Knaffla of Barton, Knaffla & Associates

“Benefits of Hiring People Living with a Disability” with the Prosperity Coalition Members

“The Anatomy of a Start-Up” with Dave Aro from Superior Rehabilitation and Professional Services

Once the presentations are complete, the event will transform into an expo and Business After Hours. Demand for expo space is high and spots are limited. Contact Ashley in our office, fill out the form on our website, or register online if you’d like a booth space.

Obviously, an expo like this needs business participants to be successful. To get involved, visit and register for this event. The cost is $25 for LSCP partners and $40 for non-partners (prices increase $10 after Oct. 1). It includes two breakout sessions, the MEDC talent presentation by John Redwine, our keynote presentation by Scott Patchin and lunch. All of this followed by the Business After Hours Expo from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., which is free and open to the public. As always, it will include hors d’oeuvres, a bar, prizes and a chance to network with a wide variety of businesses (did I mention prizes?). Contact the LSCP with any questions at 906-226-6591.

Want to get your business even greater exposure at the Business Expo? Then jump on board as a sponsor! Contact Ashley for a list of ways to get involved.

Editor’s NOTE: Amy Clickner is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.