Speakers

Andy Bailey

Andy Bailey

Andy Bailey is a serial entrepreneur who spends the majority of his time coaching other entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders and teams to grow dynamic businesses that focus on: people, planning, processes and profit. When he’s not coaching, Andy is relaying his business and leadership experiences to readers of his recurring Tennessean and Smallbizdaily.com advice columns and to audience members at various civic and professional events and conferences.

His latest venture, Petra Coach, an entrepreneurial coaching firm, is experiencing tremendous popularity and success. Based on his years of entrepreneurism (he started his first company in college and built it into an Inc. 500 organization) and facilitating company-planning sessions around the globe, Andy can cut through organizational BS faster than a hot knife though warm butter. He shows organizations the logjams thwarting their success and coaches them past urgent day-to-day fire drills so they can address and execute important higher-level business strategies.

With Andy’s assistance the possible often expands to include the formerly impossible, as organizations learn that one step at a time gets you a long way when you take those single steps daily. He tells his clients, 100 percent annual growth is only 2 percent growth a week. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly possible.

After working with Andy and Petra for just 12 months, the average member company increases its revenue by more than 40 percent and profits by more than 20 percent. Andy’s tough love, no-BS approach combined with his real-world businessexperience is sure to inspire your audien


Barrett Ersek

Barrett Ersek

Barrett started his first company in 1989 while a 17-year-old junior in high school. The company, Custom Care Lawn Service, specialized in the “Green Grass—No Weeds” business and had operations centered in the Philadelphia, PA area. Barrett grew the company to over US$2 million in sales before selling the business to publically traded Scotts Company in 2003.

In January 2004, Barrett started HappyLawn of America, Inc. HappyLawn also focused on the “Green Grass—No Weeds” business and had operations stretching from Northern Virginia to New Jersey. Barrett had developed a proprietary patented selling process that allowed the company to rapidly grow to US$10million by year-end 2007. He eventually sold HappyLawn to Service Master in 2009.

After examining the current state of the lawn care industry, Barrett came upon another “Eureka” moment and founded Holganix, Inc. Holganix manufactures and distributes innovative bio-nutritional products that help larger fertilizer users reduce their environmental footprint, save money and improve overall plant health and yield. Barrett believes that Holganix could be the solution for fertilizer users facing rising fertilizer costs and government regulations on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

In addition to “Green Grass—No Weeds” service and manufacturing businesses, Barrett has founded companies in franchising, manufacturing and commercial real estate development. Barrett has spoken on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship and gratitude on five continents. He has lectured at the London School of Business (LSB), the India School of Business (ISB), and the Massachusetts School of Business (MIT) as well as many EO events. Barrett has been actively involved in EO, serving as Philadelphia’s chapter president, Forum chair, education chair and mentorship chair. In addition, he is a graduate of the EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program, Class of 2004. Barrett currently splits his time residing in West Chester, PA, USA and Key Largo, FL, USA with his wife of over 21 years and his four children.


Verne Harnish

Verne Harnish

Verne is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 140 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past 32 years educating entrepreneurial teams. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for Fortune magazine. He’s the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits which is endorsed by over 100 CEOs of mid-size companies and is published in 9 languages. Verne, along with the editors of Fortune, also authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times,” for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword, and his latest book Scaling Up was published the fall of 2014. Verne also chairs annual Growth Summits in North America, Europe, and Latin America and continues to teach in the MIT-based executive program he founded. Residing in Barcelona, Spain, he’s married with four children and enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.


George Naddaff

George Naddaff

George Naddaff, a serial entrepreneur and recognized visionary, is considered by many to be the Guru of Franchising in America. He is frequently featured in leading business publications such as Forbes, Success, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, and in numerous trade publications. A personal favorite is presented in the February 2008 edition of Inc. Magazine entitled, “How I Did It – From Spit’n Shine Boy to Boston Chicken and Beyond.”

George began his career in food service when he co-founded International Foods, which operated 19 Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchises in the Greater Boston area and was sold in 1970. In 1988, George founded and until 1993 served as Chairman and CEO of New Boston Chicken, Inc. (“Boston Chicken”), a company that operated and franchised limited service restaurants specializing in rotisserie-roasted chicken. In 1992, he sold the company to a group of Blockbuster Video executives, and shared in its record setting IPO (143% first-day increase) in 1993. The company is now known as Boston Market.

In addition to Boston Chicken, George has been significantly involved with several other successful concepts including the founding of Mulberry Child Care Centers, which had over 90 company-owned childcare centers when it was sold to Kindercare, America’s largest chain. George also founded Living and Learning Schools, which operated more than 50 upscale childcare facilities and was sold to Kindercare in 1980. In addition, he founded VR Business Brokers, the nation’s largest business brokerage franchise with over 350 offices, which was acquired in 1986 by Christies, LLP, London. In 1984, as a director and investor in Sylvan Learning Centers, George helped launch their franchising effort which today has over 1,100 units.

Throughout George’s career, he still finds time to present annually to the Entrepreneurial Masters Program, and he received an all-time high rating of 9.82 for his 18 consecutive year participation. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary recognition for this service.

Today, George is Chairman and CEO of UFood Restaurant Group, a “better for you” publicly-held company that operates and franchises fast-casual restaurants featuring healthy meals in traditional and non-traditional locations with an emphasis on airports, military locations and hospitals nationwide.


Geoff  Smart

Geoff Smart

Geoff’s professional mission is to help leaders hire and develop talented teams that deliver results.

Geoff is Chairman & Founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm whose Credo begins, “We exist to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world.” The firm was named one of the “world’s top firms” in Broderick’s The Art of Managing Professional Services, and was profiled in Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto, Tom Peters’ The Little Big Things, and George Anders’ The Rare Find. ghSMART is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases, titled “ghSMART & Co.: Pioneering in Professional Services.”

Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring. Shanghai Daily named Who a “Top 5 Business Book in China” and Canada’s Globe and Mail named it the “#1 Best Business and Management Book of 2009.” Geoff is author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government, which won the 2013 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Business Book of the Year. In the 1990s, Geoff co-created the Topgrading brand for talent management.

As a social entrepreneur, Geoff is the Founder of two 501c3 not-for-profit organizations. SMARTKids Leadership Program™ provides a customized program of 10 years of leadership tutoring and a $100,000 scholarship to top students with leadership potential from low-income communities. Second, The Leaders Initiative™ seeks to elevate humanity by identifying, developing, and deploying society’s greatest leaders into government. Geoff and his ghSMART colleagues volunteer as leadership advisors in the fields of education, public health, and government. Geoff has also served as Leadership Advisor and Chief Talent Officer for the State of Colorado, a 33,000-employee, $24b organization.

Geoff earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University, an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, where he was mentored by Peter F. Drucker.