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Recap: SmartCEO Hosts 2nd Annual G3 Conference to Inspire Mid-Atlantic Business Growth

SmartCEO magazine recently held its second annual G3 Conference to provide local business leaders an opportunity to learn from industry experts, respected CEOs and acclaimed authors about how they can expand, improve and innovate their businesses. The event was hosted at the Washington Hilton on November 10 with a crowd of 500 executives in attendance. SmartCEO magazine arranged the half-day event around the motto, “Gain Information. Generate Connections. Grow Your Business.”

“For over a decade, SmartCEO has been committed to the goal of educating and inspiring local CEOs,” SmartCEO magazine Group Publisher, Jaime Nespor, stated as she welcomed 500 attendees to the event. She added that the publication is continually inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative nature of the local business community.

The highlight of the conference was the keynote address titled “Make Some Noise: Open the Throttle and Dominate Your Marketplace” presented by Ken Schmidt, Brand Visionary and Communications Strategist for Harley-Davidson Motor Company. In his presentation, Schmidt shared the story of one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history. Using Harley-Davidson Motor Company as a model, he illustrated how understanding and harnessing the basic drivers of human behavior can improve any business’ competitive edge in even the most difficult marketing environments.

Other general sessions at this year’s conference included a presentation titled, “The Power of Negotiation” by Stuart Diamond, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Getting More. Donald Rheem, former Washington Bureau Chief and White House correspondent, shared his research and expertise on the science of what drives customer and employee behavior in a presentation labeled “Harnessing the Power of Customer and Employee Engagement.”

“I am continually inspired and challenged by the stories shared by my contemporaries. I am proud to draw on the stories in the publication and offer them to our readers in this conference format,” said SmartCEO magazine President and Co-founder, Craig Burris.

The conference also included several panels. “Innovation: Creating Unique Products” featuring Tony Jimenez, President and CEO of MicroTech and Emlyn Stancill, CEO of Stancills, Inc., explored how successful entrepreneurs continually create new products for a changing marketplace. A panel titled “Strategic Growth through Mergers and Acquisitions” shared valuable pitfalls and tools for success from Randy Thompson, President and CEO of ThompsonGas, Jerry South, Founder and CEO of Towne Park Limited, and Gary Pudles, President and CEO of AnswerNET. Wanda Alexander, President and CEO of Horizon Consulting, Inc., Kristina Bouweiri, President and CEO of Reston Limousine and Travel Service, and Michael Cassidy, President and CEO of TW Perry, discussed “Brand-Driven Leadership,” exploring the value of brand promise and identity. Lastly, Brad Antle, President and CEO of Salient Federal Solutions, Inc., Mike Bruce, President and CEO of InScope International and Shehraze Shah, Co-founder, President and COO of ICS-Nett, Inc., discussed how CEOs utilize modern technology in a panel titled “What the Future Holds: Using the Latest Innovations to Increase Your Productivity.”

The event concluded with the SmartCEO Anniversary Celebration, a evening gala celebrating 10 years in publishing. The celebration featured live entertainment by The Difficult Run Jazz Band, cocktails and gourmet catering.

For more information about SmartCEO magazine or the 2012 G3 Conference, visit

About SmartCEO magazine

SmartCEO magazine is a regional business publication for growing companies, providing features, analysis and case studies each month to educate and inspire the Mid-Atlantic’s thought leaders. Our readers range from CEOs of young, dynamic companies to established multi-generational family-owned firms.


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