Billy McLaughlin

Billy McLaughlin is recognized internationally as a world-class guitarist, composer and inspirational performer who has appeared on Billboard’s Top Ten Chart. Previously signed to Virgin Records’ Narada label, McLaughlin has 14 CD releases, 3 National Campus Entertainer of the Year Awards, 5 Minnesota Music Awards and his decades of national concert touring earned him the Hall of Fame Achievement Award.  But in 1999 McLaughlin vanished from sight as his career crumbled due to a little-known neuro-muscular disorder called Focal Dystonia. After suffering several years without a cure, he embarked on an unlikely attempt to regain his career by re-learning his instrument left-handed. His remarkable comeback is captured in the documentary film Changing Keys and a concert film called Coming Back Alive featuring McLaughlin with string orchestra and a reunion of his longtime rockband.  Now serving as Ambassador for Awareness for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, McLaughlin was the winner of the 2010 Public Leadership in Neurology Award whose previous winners include Paul Allen, Julie Andrews, Leon Fleischer and Michael J. Fox.  McLaughlin has resumed an international schedule of concert appearances and keynote speaking. He resides in his home state of Minnesota where he is proudly raising two...

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David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, advisor to emerging companies, bestselling author of eight books including three international bestsellers, and a professional speaker on topics including marketing, leadership, and social media. He is a recovering marketing VP for two U.S. publicly traded companies and was Asia marketing director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world’s largest information companies. David has lived and worked in New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He currently lives in the Boston area. David serves as an advisor to emerging companies in the marketing technology category including Eloqua (successful IPO in August 2012), HubSpot, VisibleGains, Speakerfile, GutCheck, and Newstex, as well as varied nonprofits that interest him including the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz, HeadCount, and Nashaquisset. Previously, he was on the boards of directors of NewsWatch KK (successfully sold to Yahoo Japan) and Kadient (successfully merged with...

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Greg Crabtree

Greg Crabtree is a speaker, author, entrepreneur and financial expert. After spending five years in regional accounting and three years as Vice President of operations/controller for a local bank, Crabtree used his entrepreneurial skills to develop Crabtree, Rowe & Berger, PC, a CPA firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build the economic engine of their business. In addition to serving as the firm’s CEO, Crabtree leads the business consulting team—helping clients align their financial goals with their profit model and their core business values. Crabtree’s community service includes Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Area Council Member, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Board (2006 to 2009), ALS Association of Alabama, Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama, Atlanta chapter of The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) past board member. Crabtree is a frequent speaker at EO Chapter events, EO’s Accelerator Money Day program and the U.S. State Department’s New Beginnings program for international...

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John Warrillow

My goal with my writing is to help business owners build valuable—sellable—companies. Part of the reason I write is ego gratification—I like getting your emails and tweets; the other part is needing to feel that I’m making a contribution in some small way. I’ve started four companies, the most recent of which was a research business I tried to sell in 2004 only to be told by an expert that it was too dependent on me personally. Learning that my business was unsellable was frustrating. First I denied it. Then I got angry. Finally, I set about remodeling the business into one that could thrive without me. After lots of trial and error, it started to take off, and we were acquired in 2008 by a publicly traded company. I learned a lot in those four years, and those lessons became the inspiration to start my blog. I think the world needs more entrepreneurs. If I had to rely on anyone to get me off the side of a mountain, I’d want a creative, tenacious and tough-minded entrepreneur beside me. When I vote, I prefer candidates who have started a business. I believe entrepreneurs will be the ones to solve our biggest problems and bring the developing world the quality of life that Westerners enjoy, which is why I’ve created a team of Built to Sell readers who lend money to entrepreneurs in the developing world through an organization called Kiva. Most of the year, I live with my wife and kids in a town called Aix-en-Provence in southern France, where the climate enables year-round cycling and running, which is important to me because one day I’d like to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Until then, I will have to settle with being a middle-of-the-pack age-grouper in the few races I do each...

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Bob Phibbs

Business Strategy and Marketing Expert Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor®, has helped thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in every major industry, including hospitality, manufacturing, service, restaurant and retail. He is a nationally recognized expert on business strategy, customer service, sales, and marketing.  With over thirty years experience beginning in the trenches of retail and extending to senior management positions, he has been a corporate officer, franchisor and entrepreneur. His presentations are designed to provide practical information in a fun and re-memorable format, earning raving fans along the way.   Retail Speaker and Retail Consultant In 1994, Bob started his own consulting company, The Retail Doctor, with a mission to provide training and inspiration to small and medium sized independent businesses — and teach them how to successfully compete in today’s retail environment. As a member of the National Speaker’s Association (NSA), Phibbs regularly addresses business organizations, corporations, and business conferences. Bob’s aggressive, comprehensive ideas and best practices has proved successful in helping firms of all types and sizes. Bob’s passion and enthusiasm are hallmarks of his presentation skills. He has consulted for, and given presentations, to some of the country’s best-known retail brands, including Brother, Caswell-Massey, Hunter Douglas, LEGO, Lumber Liquidators, OMEGA, Yamaha, and Vera Bradley. One of Phibbs’ most publicized successes was his association with an independent coffee house where sales had slipped for years after Starbucks opened ten blocks away. When a second Starbucks opened just seventy-five feet from the store, the Retail Doctor® arrived to overhaul the operation. Sales rose a dramatic 50 percent over that record year and an additional 40 percent the following year. From that success, Bob drank up the next big trend helping It’s A Grind Coffee, a startup, first as COO and then as CMO. Along the way, they grew to over 125 franchised locations nationwide, created a lot of buzz as the featured coffeehouse on ShowTime’s Weeds and helped make it the second-fastest growing company in Los Angeles County two years running. He was also a partner in growing the Hunter Douglas elite Gallery dealers program across the US. Celebrity Media Guest and Author A frequent guest on MSNBC and Fox, he and his work have been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In addition, Phibbs provides business makeovers for the Los Angeles Times. His award-winning book, You Can Compete was the backbone of Do-It-Best hardware’s How-to-Beat-the-Big-Box kit for their 4100 stores. His latest book, The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business from Wiley & Sons is available in bookstores...

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch has been called the World’s Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies. John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine . He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world. His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes, was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine. He is the featured marketing contributor to American Express OPENForum and is a popular presenter of workshop and webinars for organizations such as American Express, Intuit, Verizon, HP, and Citrix. His practical take on small business is often cited as a resource in publications such as the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and CNNMoney.  ...

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John Spence

“Making the very complex…awesomely simple” is no mere catch phrase, it is truly John Spence’s mission in life. Driven by an insatiable curiosity to understand the fundamental aspects of what it takes to achieve and sustain excellence in business and life, John Spence has earned a reputation as a leading authority in the areas of Strategic Thinking, High-Performance Teams, Advanced Leadership Development, and Delivering Consistently Superior Customer Service, making him one of the most highly sought after executive educators and professional speakers in America. At the age of just 26, John was named CEO of an international Rockefeller foundation, overseeing projects in 20 countries and reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board, Winthrop P. Rockefeller III. Two years later John was nominated as one of the top CEOs under the age of 40 in Florida and Inc. Magazine’s “Zinc Online” recognized him as one of America’s up and coming young business leaders. In 2011 John was chosen as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America, received honorable mention as one of the top 100 Small Business Influencers in America and became Director of Best Practice Innovation at the Best Practice Institute. For the past 17 years, John has presented workshops, speeches and executive coaching to more than 300 organizations worldwide including; Microsoft, IBM, GE, Abbott, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, Verizon, Qualcomm, State Farm, and dozens of private companies, government offices and not-for-profits. John is also the author of “Excellence by Design – the six key characteristics of outstanding leaders” and “Awesomely Simple – essential business strategies for turning ideas into action” and has been a guest lecturer at over 90 colleges and universities across the United States including Harvard, Rutgers, Brown, Stanford and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Affectionately referred to as the “Human Cliffs Notes” by many of his clients, John is known for taking massive amounts of research combined with his personal hands-on experience to deliver timely, focused, results-driven programs. For example, to create carefully customized workshops and presentations that reflect the newest research and most current thinking, John reads a minimum of 100 business-related books each year and listens to an additional 30-50 audio books, giving him an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge which to draw from. John has served as “Executive in Residence” for the University of Central Florida’s Technology Incubator; as a Special Advisor to the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University; as a lead instructor for the University of North Florida’s Executive Education division; on the Board of Directors for the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation; as an advisor to the University of Florida’s Leadership Development Institute and as a senior instructor at the Cornell University Leadership Development School. His work as a business advisor and executive educator has taken him on assignments to Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Latin America, the Bahamas and...

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Scott Tillesen

Scott Tillesen is Vice President of U.S. Credit Services Credit for Tech Data Corporation in Clearwater, Florida. Tech Data is a $26.5 billion global computer hardware and software distribution company. Before joining Tech Data, Scott was the Chief Financial Officer for Shelter Distribution Incorporated, a holding company for building product distribution businesses.  Scott also spent many years with USG Corporation, a global manufacturer of building products. At USG he held numerous financial, marketing, and strategic management positions. Scott holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He has earned the designation of Certified Credit Executive, Certified International Credit Professional, and Certified Expert Witness from the National Association of Credit Management. Scott is a former Board Member and Officer of NACM Midwest and he is a former Trustee of the Credit Research Foundation. Scott is an author, a frequent presenter, and a quoted authority on working capital management and business...

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John Christophersen

John Christophersen was raised in Chicago’s western suburbs, where he still resides. He has been involved in the electronics industry for over 30 years. From etching PC boards and hand wrapping transformers for emergency vehicles to teaching advanced server courses to IT professionals, he has experienced much of the changes that have occurred in the field of computing. Along the way he has started and sold several businesses, including an advertising specialty firm, an analog/digital recording studio during the early digital recording revolution and in 2007 a computer reseller & service center. John was CEO of the largest independent Apple dealer in the Chicago Metro area. He led the transformation of his company from a retail sales and break/fix service company to an outbound sales driven organization specializing in technology engineering services. During his tenure, the company received several awards including Fastest Growing Apple Specialist in 1999. As a member of the Apple Reseller Advisory Council for over 7 years, John helped develop and refine the Apple Certified Training Center program and met yearly with senior Apple management regarding channel policy. He served on the Service Advisory Board as well, offering guidance on tactical and programmatic strategy. Currently consulting to PC and Apple VARs, John brings a combination of technical, sales and management skills to his work. He frequently leads both technical and sales training classes and is a regular keynote speaker at dealer...

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