Free Small Business Lecture Series

Donna Cupelo, President, VerizonSTEM as an Economic Driver – FEATURED PRESENTATION

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Location: Showcase Corner

Join us for this important discussion about the impact of STEM as an economic driver. Cultivating the region’s STEM companies and investing in STEM education are critical to nurturing an innovation economy.

An estimated seven of the 10 projected fastest-growing occupations over the next decade will be in STEM fields. From 2000-2010, STEM occupations have grown 8 percent and are expected to grow twice as fast (17 percent) in the next ten years. Sixteen of the 25 highest-paying jobs in 2010 required STEM preparation and STEM workers earn 26 percent more than their non-STEM peers.

Capturing the imaginations of our young learners and providing support to tech start-ups will continue to fuel the region’s economy in a sector that is growing increasingly important to the region. A portion of the discussion will include the role of female leadership in recruiting girls and young women into the STEM fields.

STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and prepares the next generation of innovators to develop new products and processes that sustain our economy. Reports on STEM education and employment have found that economies with strong STEM presences have more vibrant and stable economies than those with fewer STEM-related jobs. STEM-oriented economies perform strongly on a wide variety of economic indicators such as job growth, employment rates and wages.


Donna Cupelo, President – Verizon

Marcy Reed, President, Massachusetts National Grid

Kyle J. Brenner, Director, Career/Vocational/Technical Education, Worcester Public Schools

Moderator: Timothy Murray, President and CEO, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

murray-headshotAnnouncement of StartUp Worcester

11:30 a.m.

Location: Showcase Corner – First Floor

Join the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Running Start for an announcement on a new collaboration called StartUp Worcester. This new venture assists startups founded by recent Worcester area college and university graduates by providing support and space for the City’s young talent. This initiative will help to fulfill the Chamber’s mission to retain the region’s graduates.


Timothy Murray, President and CEO, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

Ryan Leary, Co-founder of Running Start co-working space on Prescott Street

milanoEntrepreneurship is a Team Sport: Introduction to SBA and Resources

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Location: Main Event Room – First Floor

Establishing a strong and diverse team is a key component of small business success.

Having team members with business skills such as accounting, legal, finance, marketing, social media and strategic planning is important…but hard for many businesses to find or afford. Learn about the organizations and people that are waiting to become part of your team – at no cost to you!

In this seminar, you’ll learn about the programs and resources available to support the start-up and growth of small businesses. You’ll also hear from local resource partners that specialize in providing free business advisory and mentor programs.


Ray Milano, Assistant District Director, Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration

pellitier2Creating an Effective Internship Program 

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Main Event Room – First Floor

Learn about a new partnership between the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce: Get practical information about how to build a sustainable and productive internship program. If your company is looking to start or improve an internship program, this session will give you the tools and information you need.


Karen Pelletier, Director of Higher Education-Business Partnerships, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

Jaye Girouard, Volunteer Consultant and Human Resource Expert, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

wolfe250Urban Renewal: The Owner’s Manual

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Showcase Corner – First Floor

The City of Worcester, working with the Worcester Redevelopment Authority, is exploring the creation of a new urban renewal plan to tackle critical areas of the downtown that struggle against disinterested ownership and decaying properties.  The urban renewal plan would work to acquire blighted property, assemble new development sites, and create controls on new land uses.  While the WRA has undertaken a number of urban renewal projects over the years, it has been some time since a project impacted scattered sites in order to create diverse development opportunities.  This forum will discuss the purpose, powers, and potential of urban renewal with the goal of demystifying urban renewal and showing its utility as a tool for economic growth. Read more…


Carol Wolfe, Manager, Community Assistance Programs, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Kevin MorrisonGeneral Counsel, Boston Redevelopment Authority

Lisa WongMayor City of Fitchburg

Moderator: Vincent Pedone, Chair, Worcester Redevelopment Authority

mike-flippinCommunication 2.0: Building deeper relationships more quickly

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Location:  Showcase Corner – First Floor

Some people are excellent communicators while many others have to work on it. Many people are good at making people comfortable, but for some that’s not very natural.

This session will explore the overly used and often abused topic of building rapport. How to make people feel more comfortable? Do they trust us? Are we truly listening or just “doing” listening?

Learn what “rules” we have to break in order to understand our own style to help build deeper and long-lasting relationships.


Michael Flippin, Vice President, Sandler Training by SaleFish LLC

milanoFinancing Your Small Business: What Lenders Are Looking For

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Location:  Main Event Room – First Floor

Do you need working capital? New equipment? Commercial real estate? Learn from SBA officials and local lenders how SBA and conventional loan programs can help you start, build and grow your business. Hear directly from a local lender, certified development company, and a micro-lender. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.


Ray Milano, Assistant District Director,  Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration