2013 NCET Expo Speakers

Lindsay Alford

Lindsay Alford is an award-winning content creator with a passion for travel, technology and entrepreneurship. She is Google Analytics certified and has developed digital strategies for Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Newport Beach and Union Square San Francisco, to name a few. Prior to joining Noble Studios, Lindsay owned a public relations consultancy and a commercial printing business. She brings to Noble Studios 13 years of integrated marketing expertise. As a PR professional, Lindsay specialized in leisure and lifestyle marketing and garnered national media coverage for L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La., Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the Andre Agassi’s Charitable Foundation.

Peter Amundson

Peter has lived in Reno since 1976 and attended the University of Nevada Reno. He started in the finance business 22 years ago here in Reno. He specializes in Invoice Factoring, PO financing and ABL facilities. He currently works internationally with companies in the US and Canada via the internet marketing division. Specialties: Accounts Receivable Factoring and Payroll Funding for Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Wholesale Trade Distribution, Staffing and Transportation.

Frtiz Battcher

Frtiz Battcher helps clients through the complex strategies of mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings, and other corporate matters. He has counseled companies of all sizes on a variety of issues. This includes bringing the idea of a company into reality through entity formation, ensuring companies meet standards and regulations through corporate compliance and operational issues, and providing counsel regarding the risks and challenges of capital financing. Mr. Battcher began his law career as a law clerk for Chief Judge Howard D. McKibben of the United States District Court, District of Nevada, practiced at a large, international law firm in Chicago, and was a shareholder at Hale Lane in Reno, Nevada, before joining Holland & Hart.

Adrien Burney

Adrien Burney has spent over 25 years focused on advancing the goals of business owners and continues that effort as Executive Vice President of Nevada State Development Corporation. Adrien works with the SBA 504 Loan Program to provide financing for the purchase of commercial real estate or long-term equipment for business owners with as little as 10% down payment.

Lisa Carlon

Lisa Carlon, the Bosma Group, has been in public accounting for over 12 years and began her career at Grant Thornton where she was the International Tax Practice Leader for the Reno office. She is currently a Tax Partner at the Bosma Group. Lisa’s expertise is with individual, partnership, corporate and international taxation. She works hand in hand with her clients working on the “whole business” and the owners associated with those businesses.

Jennifer Denoo

Jennifer Denoo is the Chief Operations Officer at Great Basin Federal Credit Union, celebrating her 19th year next May. Jennifer oversees the branch operations at all three branches as well as the lending department whose focus is primarily consumer and mortgage loans. In early 2013, Great Basin FCU was approved for SBA lending and Jennifer is excited to help members of our community with their business loan and account needs.

Doug Erwin

Doug Erwin is Vice President for Entrepreneurial Development for EDAWN, on board since June 2012. He is responsible for coordinating the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Northern Nevada, as well as collaborating between UNR, other higher education institutions, GOED’s Technology Commercialization Manager and private industry. Doug is a Serial Entrepreneur with extensive experience creating and running business ventures. As proof, Doug founded the following companies: Computer Parts Exchange (still in high school), Brio Technology (Kleiner Perkins backed), SeasonPass.com (first venture in new Incline Village residence), the IBA Group (a software development group) and Tahoe SUP (manufacturer of premium stand-up paddle boards). In 2002 he was approached to start a medical diagnostics business. With Doug as CEO, Pria Diagnostics was launched in 2002 to commercialize a point of care diagnostic technology developed at Stanford University. As CEO of Pria, Doug raised over $8M in angel and corporate financing, established a partnership with a $2B consumer products company and set up partnerships in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Doug was recognized for his fundraising strategy at Pria and awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the State of Nevada in 2005

Debe Fennell

Debe Fennell has many years of marketing experience, including 15 years in the music industry as a journalist, record promoter, label executive, and A&R music consultant. Discovering crowdfunding has given her an entirely new enthusiasm for entrepreneurialism through social media. Debe is associated with the National Crowdfunding Association, CFIRA (intermediary & advocacy with the SEC for crowdfunding), and Entrepreneurship Nevada. Debe is a partner in PDF Consulting, CrowdFundingLIVE.com and Launch Moxie.com.

Rob Gaedtke

Rob Gaedtke rejoined the KPS3 team as Vice President of Creative and Digital Services in 2010. His role is to develop smart ways to get people to take action. This entails
managing the agency’s creative and technical team in supplying clients with strategic and creative solutions. With over 10 years of digital and traditional marketing experience, Rob’s in- depth knowledge and understanding of emerging technologies amplifies KPS3’s strategic marketing and communication services offered to clients. Prior he was at One To One Interactive (previously Twelve Horses) where he led the travel and tourism practice, overseeing all tourism- based clients. He managed a team of creative, technical, and strategic professionals to create dynamic websites supported and grown through mobile, email, social, online and traditional media as well as paid and non-paid search engine marketing. In 2005 Rob graduated from UNR’s Reynolds School of Journalism with a B.A. in journalism, emphasis in advertising. Rob has been recognized with numerous design and interactive awards, including a national Webby for his work with the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was named one of Reno Gazette-Journal’s Twenty Under 40 winners for 2011.

Marie Gibson

Marie Gibson, principal of M.G. Management & consulting, specializes in providing management and strategy services for small to medium-size companies, non-profit organizations and agricultural producers. Marie is a professional educator, speaker and author with more than 25 years of business experience in both fiscal and human relations management. Marie is an award-winning business instructor, Finalist in Nevada’s Vesto Business. Planning Competition has written three books and currently serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations.

Jon Hager

Jon M. Hager was appointed as the first Executive Director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange in January 2012. Prior to 2012, Mr. Hager was the Chief Financial Officer of Nevada’s Public Employees’ Benefits Program and was responsible for the Program’s $476 million annual budget which served 72,000 state and local government employees, retirees and dependents. Mr. Hager was a pilot in the U.S. Navy, earned a BS in Physics from the United States Naval Academy and earned his MBA from Texas A&M.

Amanda Horn

Amanda Horn took an eclectic path into the world of public relations to eventually end up with the Abbi crew. Feeling just as comfortable in a boardroom or corporate meeting as she does dancing at a concert, Amanda has a resume sure to invoke both smiles and raised eyebrows. From literally joining the circus and living as a traveling performer (she accredits her knowledge about PR to everything she learned in the circus), to being the local operations director for eWomenNetwork, a women’s media and marketing group, Amanda lets her experience drive her professional tactics. Amanda spent time in the field guerrilla marketing, running numerous brand campaigns across the Bay Area, is also an award-winning writer (cover story published in local news weekly), and spends her research hours as an avid newshound, soaking up brilliant stories. In her spare time, Amanda is known for being a health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition buff. A community advocate, she serves as Communications Chair for the Susan G. Komen Northern Nevada Affiliate.

Larry Hurst

Larry Hurst, MPA, is Director, Nevada Government Relations for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. He is past-president for the Nevada Association of Health Underwriters, National Regulatory Chair for the National Association of Health Underwriters, Nevada Association of Health Plans board member and Past-President for Southern Nevada Executive Healthcare Forum. He is a professor of health policy at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and received the United Way’s Outstanding Community Leadership and Support award. Larry received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Health Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Drake University.

Celeste Johnson

Celeste Johnson, Applied Business Solutions, has been in the PEO industry for 9 years and in the human resources field for over 15 years. She has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations and held multiple board positions in Nevada. She has a BA from the University of Nevada Reno and earned her PHR (professional in human resources) designation in 2004. Celeste is originally from Iowa and makes Nevada her home because of her love for the mountains and the outdoors.

Rod Jorgenson

Rod Jorgensen is the Director of Counseling for the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC), an outreach department for the College of Business at UNR. With well over 9,000 clients from Washoe County during the past 20 years, Rod has individually become one of the most valued resources for small business start-ups and expansions in our State. Rod provides one-on-one counseling to NSBDC clients in the areas of business planning, locating financing, dynamics of growth, market research, marketing and many other facets. Rod is a certified NxLeveL or Entrepreneurs instructor and as taught this and other entrepreneurship courses for more than a decade in Nevada and California. He sits on multiple boards, including several business plan review boards.

Stephanie Kruse

Stephanie Kruse, president and chief strategist of KPS|3, started her firm in 1991 after nine years as director of marketing for Saint Mary’s Health Network. With 20 staff members, clients include REMSA/Care Flight, Dickson Realty, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Nevada Health Link, the RSCVA and others. She has an MBA in marketing and organizational strategy from UNR and also a BA in journalism/ theater. Stephanie is the senior manager responsible for marketing and communications planning performed on behalf of all KPS|3 clients. Expertise includes marketing research, marketing strategy and planning, branding strategy, crisis communications, and reputation and public relations management. Stephanie is the recipient of many marketing awards, including: the Chapter Honoree award from the national business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma; Silver and the Golden Spike Awards from the Northern Nevada Chapter of the PRSA; “Ad Person of the Year” from the Reno Ad Club; “Marketer of the Year” by the Northern Nevada Chapter of the AMA and “Ad Woman of the Year” by Reno Women in Advertising.

Romeo Lazzarone

Romeo has been in the insurance and financial services industry for over 10 years. He is a graduate of Reno High School and the University of Nevada, 2003. Romeo is a current member of the New York Life Insurance Company Executive Council and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Romeo is active in the community and involved in the following organizations: Western Industrial Nevada – Board Member, University of Nevada Alumni Assoc – Executive Council, College of Business Administration Alumni Association – Past President and a TMCC Foundation Board member. He is on the board of The First Tee of Nevada, is married and has two children.

David Leonard

David Leonard is Branch Manager, Office of Economic Development, Nevada District Office of the SBA. My mission is to create jobs by assisting in the startup and expansion of small
businesses. I accomplish this mission with a wide variety of SBA programs and
services, which are invaluable to the survival and success of small firms in Nevada
outside Clark County. I work to ensure that small businesses, financial institutions, 
community organizations and local, state and federal agencies on all levels are
aware of SBA programs and services. The variety of programs and services we offer is our greatest strength.

Sue Malone

Sue Malone is the founder of Strategies For Small Business. Her mission for the last five years has been to help people obtain access to capital to start or expand their businesses. She is the undisputed, number one SBA loan provider for the Community Express Loan Program in the nation. As of April 2008, she is responsible for closing over 20,000 of these much needed loans, serving all communities across the United States.

Karen Rice

Karen Rice is Constant Contact’s educational marketing expert in Northern California. She has more than 20 years experience supporting small business, with a background in marketing, PR, events, sales and education and is involved with many civic and business organizations. This experience makes Karen a valuable resource to small businesses, nonprofits, and associations in greater Northern California. She has educated more than 5,000 small businesses on behalf of Constant Regional conferences including the Oakland Technology Conference, Social Media for Small Business Conference, Risk Takers and Dream Makers Conference, Stockton Internet Conference, Techpalooza, Aspire and Achieve Conference and the Kiwanis West Coast Annual Conference.

Norman Smith

Norman has founded nine successful startups in the past thirty years, raising their annual revenue to over $100 million each. He has raised over $250 million in startup funding to get the ball rolling and has executive management experience in several fields, including cutting edge innovations in retail, technology, manufacturing, and international business development. Norman has started many successful joint ventures in the Far East. Recently, Norman co-founded local VizKinect™. He has first-hand experience in growing broke, as well as — how to — and – how not to — bring in outside funding for your company.

Tom Traficanti

Mr. Traficanti joined Heritage Bank of Nevada in December, 2001 and currently is Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. He manages the bank’s lending operations, specializing in residential and commercial loans, including SBA and other loans for small business. Mr. Traficanti has been in the commercial banking industry since 1984, holds a B.A. in Business Economics from U of C, the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and an MBA from the University of Nevada.

Abbi Whitaker

Abbi Whitaker is the heart, soul and creative engine that drives The Abbi Agency. A veteran of international media campaigns for some of the nation’s largest real estate, tourism and business-to-business companies (including Intrawest, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley USA, Trump International and Fast Wrap USA); Abbi innately understands what drives media coverage. She’s launched national franchise campaigns, turned technology start-ups Into industry heavyweights and sold luxury real estate and tourist destinations across the globe.

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