Keynotes, State Stars, and a Touch of Magic
2 minute read

More than 1,400 attend America’s SBDC National Conference

State Director Linda Rossi, business advisors Nancy Shuttleworth and Sarah Kearns, along with Associate State Director Heather M. Gonyaw and administrative assistant Elke Billig represented Vermont’s Small Business Development Center at the America’s SBDC National Conference which took place in San Diego Sept. 6-9, 2022.

Attended by more than 1,400 SBDC professionals from across the nation, the team selected from 175 professional development workshops to enhance professional development and to network with colleagues from other SBDCs. 

A dynamic roster of speakers offered messages to inform and inspire the attendees.

Speakers included: Chris Atley, global success coach, speaker and best-selling author of Decisions-by-Design; Todd Gloria, Mayor of the City of San Diego; 

Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); James Rhee, Entrepreneur, educator, investor and goodwill strategist; two national economists from VISA, Inc.; and Jon Dorenbos, magician, 2x Pro Bowl NFL player, and author of Life is Magic just to name a few.

Special highlights of the conference included a recognition ceremony of SBDC’s State Stars including Sarah Kearns from VtSBDC.

The VtSBDC team was involved in many aspects of the conference: business advisor Nancy Shuttleworth participated on a panel discussion led by Vertical IQ; and Sarah Kearns presented examples of VtSBDC’s recent marketing efforts in a session where SBDC marketers shared their strategies and approaches. State Director Linda Rossi fulfilled many of her national board chair duties including leading the board and membership meetings, and meeting one-on-one with Isabella Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of the national conference committee, Heather M. Gonyaw, Associate State Director, supported presenter needs and conference logistics in addition to meeting with her colleagues from around the U.S.

Also of particular note, Vermont’s State Director Linda Rossi was re-elected for a second term as national Board Chair for America’s SBDC. 

In addition to the working sessions, the national conference offered opportunities for networking and entertainment. One magical moment was meeting Jon Dorenbos, keynote speaker, magician, NFL pro, and finalist on America’s Got Talent. 

All in all, America’s SBDC national conference was an exciting and fulfilling experience that opened doors to new technology, current trends, and a variety resources to share with Vermont’s small business community.

Looking for more? Check out our resources page or request advising from a regional advisor!