Business Roundtable Speaker Series

Business Roundtable Speaker Series

We are excited to announce the return of our Business Roundtable Speaker Series (BRSS)! We will be continuing the educational series on the third Thursday of the month from 8:30-10:00 AM at the Holiday Inn Express or SpringHill Suites (6055 and 6065 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22303) . The complimentary sessions include presentation from 2-4 expert speakers, a light breakfast, and time to network.

About the Series

The Business Roundtable Speaker Series launched in 2014, and thanks to our generous sponsors, will continue with eight sessions in 2016. The program was created to encourage the startup and growth of small businesses in southeast Fairfax County. Each year, SFDC is lucky to have fantastic speakers who are experts in relevant business topics. Nearly 400 attendees have benefited from the Series, and many business connections have been made.

2017 BRSS Topics

Session 4: June 15, 2017

Legal Issues of Hiring Employees & Contractors, and of Being a Contractor
 Employment law attorney R. Douglas Taylor, Jr., Esq will share his insights and experience with the legal issues that arise when a business hires employees and/or contractors, and when you become a sub-contractor yourself.

Douglas Taylor is a shareholder at Bean, Kinney & Korman focusing his practice on employment law.

For nearly 20 years, Doug has provided legal representation to companies and individuals on a wide range of federal, state and local legal matters, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, termination, whistleblower retaliation, severance agreements, non-competition agreements, wages and commissions, overtime, health and disability benefits, breach of employment agreements and business contracts, debtor-creditor relations, collections and business torts.

Session 3

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
 Frank Olmstead of General Dynamics returned to tell us about new threats, and to make recommendations of how to protect your business from cyber threats, and what to do if your system is attacked. Here is his presentation:


Frank Olmstead is a cybersecurity leader and operations manager with over 20 years of professional experience. His expertise includes risk mitigation, penetration testing, security architecture and design, regulatory compliance, as well as on going protective and preventative measures.

Frank has led numerous teams in operations and security standards. He has served as the subject matter expert on ArcSight (big data security and intelligence software), Wi-Fi Scanning, and has taught Advanced Information Security at the Software Engineering Institute, at Carnegie Mellon University. Frank works for General Dynamics Commercial Cyber Services, where he leads a team dedicated to the development and implementation of cutting-edge cyber solutions for the private sector.

Frank Olmstead’s education and certifications include a BS in Information Technology, CISSP – Certified Information Security Professional, CISM – Certified Information Security Manager, and GCIH – Certified Incident Handler (Cyber defense). He was awarded the Honorable Order of Saint Isidore by ARCYBER & AFCEA which recognizes exceptional leadership, initiative, and insight in cybersecurity.

Session 2

Using Online Video to Attract Customers, Build Trust, Generate Referrals, and Shorten Your Sales Cycle

During this session, we identified specific practical ideas for developing “bite size” videos that you can create for your business.

SPECIAL BONUS: During the session, we created a few actual “ready to publish” videos.

Frazier O’Leary is the Director of Marketing and Business/Education Partnerships for the Northern Virginia Small Business Magazine and the “Business Is Good” Network.  He has spent 20 years working in the intersection between education, technology, and small business and is an evangelist for using online video to attract new customers, generate referrals, decrease buying resistance, and shorten your sales cycle.

Session 1

Legal Issues for Small Businesses: What have you done wrong and how can you fix it? 

New to business? An experienced hand? We’ve got the program for you! Don’t get bogged down by contracts, intellectual property questions, to incorporate or not, and volatile partners. Join SFDC as we kick-off the 2017 BRSS season with two brilliant attorneys, Jennifer Schiffer and Jennifer Elgin, from one of the DC area’s premier law firms, Bean Kinney & Korman P.C.

2016 BRSS Topics

Session 5

“Yelp Blues got you down? Improve your online ratings and deal with trolls!” Slide show available upon request, please email  info at

Thursday, August 4th, 8:30am-10:00am

Holiday Inn Express 6055 Richmond Highway

Alexandria, VA 22303

Expert Speaker

Kelsey Owen, Communications Director, Better Business Bureau, Washington DC Region

Session 4

“Financing YOUR Business”

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 8:30am-10:00am

Holiday Inn Express 6055 Richmond Highway

Alexandria, VA 22303

Expert Speakers

Rod Loges, Founder and CEO, One Degree Capital

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson, Assistant Director of the Business Finance Center at

Community Business Partnership

Ed Velarde, Vice President & Branch Manager of

Eagle Bank

Session 3

“Cybersecurity for Small Businesses”

Thursday, May 5th, 8:30am-10:00am

Holiday Inn Express 6055 Richmond Highway

Alexandria, VA 22303

Expert Speaker

Frank Olmstead, General Dynamics Commerical Cyber Services


Session 2:

“Marketing in a Hyper-Digital World:   Best Practices for Websites, SEO, Content, and More!”

Thursday, April 7th, 2016 8:30am-10:00am Holiday Inn Express 6055 Richmond Highway Alexandria, VA 22303

Expert Speaker

Emily Patterson, CEO and Creative Director, Quatrain Creative

Session 1  “Planning 101: Diary of a Growing Business,”

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 8:30am-10:00am

Expert Speaker

Karen Urcia, Renner & Company CPAs

ARCHIVE:  2015 BRSS Topics

1: Successful Networking | 2: Social Media Marketing Part 1 | 3: Social Media Marketing Part 2 | 4: Financing and Micro-lending | 5: Veteran, Woman and Minority-Owned Businesses | 6: Business Franchising | 7: Government Contracting | 8: Public Relations & Public Speaking

Session 1: Successful Networking, 7/2/2015 

Expert Speakers

Juli Monroe, 1 to 1 Discovery Learn More

With more than ten years of networking and sales experience, Juli is a networking and business coach with 1 to 1 Discovery where she helps small business owners grow their business through effective networking and word of mouth marketing.

Juli’s approach to life and business revolves around building relationships, both in person and online. She uses Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms to maintain the relationships she makes in-person and to find new friends she’s yet to meet “in real life.”

She is excited to have published a book entitled, The Enthusiastic Networker (available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble), which helps readers find and build those relationships to support them forever. It also helps people find their unique networking presence and voice.

Chris Cooks, DIGITALiBiz, Learn More

Chris Cooks is an information technology consultant who has worked at companies such as SAIC and SRA International, Inc. He is the co-founder of the nGAGE DC networking group and has used networking and social media tools to organize and promote networking, fundraising, fitness, financial awareness, technology, and social media related events. Chris has spoken to groups regarding networking, technology, and using social media tools, sharing his knowledge and experience in these areas.

Session 2: Social Media Marketing Part 1, 4/2/2015

Expert Speakers

Juli Monroe, 1 to 1 Discovery Learn More

With more than ten years of networking and sales experience, Juli is a networking and business coach with 1 to 1 Discovery where she helps small business owners grow their business through effective networking and word of mouth marketing.

Juli’s approach to life and business revolves around building relationships, both in person and online. She uses Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms to maintain the relationships she makes in-person and to find new friends she’s yet to meet “in real life.”

She is excited to have published a book entitled, The Enthusiastic Networker (available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble), which helps readers find and build those relationships to support them forever. It also helps people find their unique networking presence and voice.

Beth Lawton, Canoe Media Services Learn More

Beth Lawton is founder (and success strategist) of Canoe Media Services, an Alexandria, Va.-based company that helps small businesses, non-profits and start-ups develop and implement social media marketing and content marketing strategies. As former journalist and editor, Canoe Media Services focuses on helping businesses tell their stories and become trusted advisors to their customers. Beth has worked for AOL, the Newspaper Association of America and several content-focused start-ups on both the editorial and business development sides. She graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism (MSJ) and Washington University in St. Louis.

Session 3: Social Media Marketing Part 2, 5/7/2015

Expert Speakers

Frank FelkerDigital Media Positioning

Frank Felker, Digital Media Positioning

Click to View Presentation

Learn More

Frank Felker shows business owners how to generate a neverending stream of new clients while simultaneously increasing their prices through Authority Positioning.

While some have said that he “creates business celebrities” Frank prefers the tag line of his company Digital Media Positioning Transforming Success Into Authority.

Frank is a bestselling author, international business educator, magazine columnist and radio personality who has presented at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as at the headquarters and boardrooms of Texas Instruments, America Online, Warburg Pincus, The Gartner Group, Heidelberg North America, Draper Atlantic, Xerox and Friedman Billings Ramsey.

As an entrepreneurial educator, Frank has presented live seminars to thousands of business executives, salespeople and small business owners across the country at conferences produced by groups like the International Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Xplor International, The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation and the National Investment Bankers Association, and is now reaching a global audience as one of the top business teachers on Udemy, the world’s largest online learning platform.

Contact Info: (703) 982-0984 Follow @frankfelker

Michael Drobnis, Optfinity

Michael Drobnis, OptfinITy

Click to View Presentation

Learn More

Mr. Drobnis is a successful technology professional and business entrepreneur who has experience in many industries and disciplines, including technical support, records management, disaster recovery, business continuance planning, project management, technology and infrastructure development.

Mr. Drobnis has worked on projects throughout the United States and Europe with Iron Mountain as well as managed the internal IT support function for Legacy Technology, prior to it becoming Answerthink Consulting Group. Mr. Drobnis has also worked in numerous teaching positions teaching diverse courses from Internet and computer technologies to civil courses on Prejudice and Diversity and comparative religions.

Mr. Drobnis’ educational background includes a bachelor degree in Computer Information Systems with a minor in the behavioral sciences as well as an MBA with a concentration in the management of technology from Bentley College with a program at ESC Clermont in France.

Follow @optfinity

James Lindsay, Adult Companion Care, Inc.

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Jim completed an MBA at Oxford University in England in 2009.  Jim’s research focused on global aging issues.  Jim has continued to be on the leading edge of aging research globally and is regularly in Europe for research and business interests. In 2010 Jim completed a Lean Six Sigma certification (black belt) with IBM and the U.S. Department of Defense.  Jim is currently working on an ISO 9000 certification in healthcare.Jim has given lectures at Oxford and George Washington University and is currently adjunct faculty at Georgetown University, lecturing in Marketing and Operations Management in the CCPE program.Jim was knighted in 2008 into the Sovereign Order of St. John (a knighthood order originating in Jerusalem).  In 2013 Jim was promoted to the position of Commander of the Washington Commandery.

Jim serves on the 50+ Plan Steering Committee for Fairfax County is tasked with planning for all seniors in Fairfax County, Virginia for 2013 to 2018.

Jim is the CEO/President of Adult Companion Care, Inc.,  active in the Rotary Club as well as the Optimist Club, and an active member of the Chambers of Commerce in Alexandria, Fairfax, and Mount Vernon.

Session 4: Financing and Micro-lending, 6/4/2015

Expert Speakers

Rod Loges, One Degree Capital

Learn More

Over the past 10 years, Rodney is proud to have launched, managed and successfully sold two technology companies that focused on helping businesses succeed online. He founded NetStrategies to help businesses with their Internet Marketing efforts, and GoHost to assist businesses with their hosting needs. Both remain in operation today.

Rodney’s passion for entrepreneurs is evident the moment he begins speaking about One Degree Capital. “I vehemently believe in the power of the Independent Business Owner and their importance to the American economy,” explains Rodney. “There is no such thing as a ‘small’ business. So-called Small Businesses are responsible for employing 57% of the country’s private workforce. There’s nothing ‘small’ about that! I firmly believe that these businesses should have access to the capital they need to start, grow, and sustain their business. And they shouldn’t have to mortgage their house to do it.”

At every opportunity, you will find Rodney out in the community listening, learning, and exploring, always looking for more ways One Degree Capital can assist the independent business owner. When in the office, he shares this knowledge with his team and with his leadership new promotions, ideas and products are created to fuel One Degree’s vision.

Follow @OneDegreeCap

Marium Eamen, Small Business Administration

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Marium is Lender Relations Specialist  at the Small Business Administration (SBA). Prior to working for the SBA, she gained 1.5 years of International Project management experience, and 3 years of micro lending small business development experience for one the largest micro lending institution in California. She graduated from California University State University East Bay, and majored in Political science.

Sunny Kim, Bank of America

Learn More

Sunny is a Vice President and Small Business Banker for Bank of America’s Fairfax and Arlington markets.  She has been with Bank of America since 2000, covering both consumer and business relationship banking.  She specializes in government contract lending, as well as medical/lawyer/cpa lending, business to business industry lending, and all Treasury Management services.  Sunny  is, “committed to taking the time to understand what makes each business unique and delivering financial solutions that can help business owners grow, manage, protect and plan for the future.”

Contact Info: (571) 488-8596

Session 5: Veteran, Woman and Minority-Owned Businesses, 8/3/2015

Charles W. McCaffreyCommunity Business Partnership

Learn More

Charles McCaffrey joined Community Business Partnership in 2012 as Director of the Business Incubation Center, and also served as Assistant Director, Director, South Fairfax Small Business Development Center. He has since taken over  as Director, South Fairfax Small Business Development Center early in 2014. He completed his MBA at George Mason University with a concentration in entrepreneurship in 2012, and was selected as the 2011 Emerging Business Student of the Year from Mason’s School of Management.  Also in 2011, he started his own management consulting company that assists organizations (small and large, public and private) in developing plans and strategies that promote creative and innovative growth ideas and business solutions.  Charles has 12 years military experience as a Naval officer and 5 years defense contracting experience.  He has a B.S. in History, Technology and Society from Georgia Tech and an M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School. Follow @BusFinCtr

Emily McMahan, Capitol Post

Learn More

Emily is a veteran who transitioned from active duty into the private sector in 2006. Her military experience spanned domestic and overseas assignments that included combat deployments supporting Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Noble Eagle. Prior to joining the Capitol Post, she served as a partner and Chief Financial Officer for a successful start-up technology firm serving the federal government. Emily holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She’s an active member of the local community and has lived in the area for nine years with her family.

Follow @CapitolPost

Session 6: Business Franchising, 9/3/2015

Expert Speakers 

Heather Rosen, FranNet

Learn More

Heather is the President of FranNet of Virginia, LLC, part of FranNet, a leading franchise advisory and development services firm with over 50 offices worldwide.  Before going into business for herself, Heather worked in the legal services industry, first as a lawyer, advising small and medium sized businesses on contractual matters, mergers and acquisitions, litigation strategy, and general corporate matters. Heather moved to Washington DC in 2001 to work for large, international law firms that wanted to leverage industry trends, and grow their business through strategic marketing and business development tactics.

Heather left the legal services industry in 2009 to open FranNet of Virginia.  As a franchise specialist, Heather conducts franchise education workshops throughout Virginia and Washington, DC, coaches would-be entrepreneurs on how to make the transition from employee to business owner, and leads networking groups and a mastermind group for business owners. She has extensive knowledge of the franchise industry and provides individual guidance to people who are interested in investigating active or passive entrepreneurship through proven business models.

Contact Heather

Barbara Berschler, Esq., Press & Dozier, LLC

Business Owner’s Guide to IP 2015

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Barbara I. Berschler, a partner at Press, & Dozier, LLC, located in Bethesda, Maryland, counsels her clients about general business, commercial law, franchise matters, and intellectual property issues. She has advised numerous franchisees, interested in food and service related offerings, about FDDs and Franchise Agreements.  For many prospective franchisees, she offers a full range of related services, such as: business entity formation, commercial lease negotiations, drafting and negotiations of the purchase or sale of an existing franchise operation.

Contact Barbara

Darryl Pryor, Liberty Tax Service

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Darryl Pryor is the creative force behind the Chrysalis4wealth (C4W) enterprise.  As the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Darryl brings to the company a strong leadership, mentoring, consensus building, and a “let’s get it done” mindset which he gained through years of self-less service as government servant.  He is a retired 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF), with an additional 10 years as a Department of Defense civilian and private industry where he passionately served as an intelligence analyst helping the “good guys” find the “bad guys.”

Darryl’s true passion however is helping others achieve financial, personal and professional success, so in 2014 he resigned from government service to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur.  His passion is fueled by the recognition the success he has achieved in life has been through the support and mentorship of family and friends.  Although he considers himself “just a common, hardworking ordinary guy” who like most has experienced life’s “ups” and “downs,” he has been able to achieve financial security through the advice and guidance of those who have poured into him financially, personally and professionally.

Session 7: Government Contracting Update, 10/1/2015

Anna UrmanVirginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program 

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Anna Urman is the Director of the Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program (VA PTAP). PTAP’s mission is to increase contracting activity between small businesses, prime government contractors and the federal and state government agencies. PTAP offers training and counseling on a variety of procurement topics at our offices in Fairfax, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Williamsburg. As Director, Anna’s responsibilities are to maintain strategic relationships with government agencies, small business liaisons, and a variety of public-private partnerships.

Prior to joining PTAP, Anna was the Director of the South Fairfax Small Business Development Center, where she was responsible for training and counseling businesses on all aspects of planning and management, from start-up to successful growth. Anna’s clients have opened up retail locations, won federal and state contracts, and have been recognized by the VA SBDC Network as success stories.

Anna is a leading research analyst specializing in government procurement policy and market analysis. She has successfully managed and contributed to custom research efforts for Fortune 50 Corporations as well as small businesses in the government sector. The insight gained through Anna’s research enabled her clients to anticipate and stay abreast of regulatory and legislative changes that would affect the government contractor community. Anna has extensive primary research experience, having written several white papers, conducted substantive interviews with technology leaders and buyers; as well as crafting demographic survey documents, performing statistical analysis, and producing substantive reports detailing the results of demographic polling efforts.

Anna has received a BA in Political Science and Rhetorics/Communications from Hofstra University. She holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and has performed post-graduate work in Government Contracts Law and Intellectual Property Law at George Washington University Law School. Anna is a member of the Leadership Fairfax (LFI) Class of 2014.

Anna Urman lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, daughters, and two dogs. She is active in local politics and animal rescue.

Lucy Look, Federal Proposal Manager

Learn More

With 10+ years of federal contracting and proposal experience, Ms. Look helps small businesses respond to government solicitations and prepare competitive, compliant proposals. Very often, small businesses make the mistake of submitting documents that are painful to write, not compliant with instructions, or that don’t tell the government what they need to know and they lose. Ms. Look will share strategies and tips to help you prepare your own effective proposals for federal and Dept. of Defense Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Requests for Quotation (RFQ)

Jason Im, Fairfax County Department of Purchasing & Supply Management

Learn More

Jason Im is the Coordinator for Supplier Diversity and Outreach at Fairfax County. He is also the administrator for the Vendor Internet Portal (VIP) within the Department of Purchasing and Supply Management. As the coordinator for supplier diversity, he ensures that the connection between the county and the business community is both inclusive and strong. As part of this effort the Supplier Diversity program conducts bi-monthly Selling to Fairfax County workshops, consults on county sourcing strategy, and organizes the annual Fairfax County Vendor Forum.

Websites: Supplier Diversity – DPSM – Vendor Forum – Small Business Commission –

Session 8: Public Relations and Public Speaking, 11/5/2015

Expert Speakers

Ann Timmons, Communications Artist

Learn More

Ann Timmons, Communications Artist, teaches people how to speak so others will listen! Using her background as an actor, director, writer, and teacher, Ann shares her distinctive approach to presentation skills and communications training, helping each client discover and embrace an authentic presence. Her clients include current political leaders at the local, state and national levels, as well as leaders of national associations, non-profit organizations, and business executives. She has taught public speaking and presentation skills for Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University.

When not working with clients, Ann continues to work in the professional theatre. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild of America. You can find out more about all aspects of Ann’s work at

Contact Information e-mail: Twitter: @annspeaks Facebook: Ann Timmons.Communications Artist

Cherry Lejeune, Marketing Disruptor

Learn More

Cherie Lejeune, a NOVA resident for 11 years, has worn many life hats: real estate marketing coordinator, venture capital analyst, small businessowner, Communications Director on 3 continents, TV writer for the Today Show and for the last 18 years, a marketing, content and applications, technology specialist.   She will tell you the common thread to her life’s work has been passionately shaping information and making it work to sell, represent, integrate and get traction for products, services, for both profit and nonprofit businesses. Her techniques have been used to boost business profiles using a wide range of media, including internet application tools, and, enjoys media training for individuals (she shared she once trained a king on talking to American press). These days it is more about finding  “voice” often digital, using tools like LinkedIn, Twitter,Facebook and other social networks that she underscores the word “free” pathways, to ramp up one’s message. One of her recent assignments was a contract with NARFE to put all chapters on Facebook and how to keep it “fresh” and, to attract new members. Her volunteering include nonprofit groups, revolving around what Ms Lejeune calls, “quality of life” issues. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she said, she “couldn’t wait” to meet those invested and dedicated to the Route 1 Corridor.


Previous sessions Topics of 2014

Session 1: Starting & Growing a Business — Session 2: Government Contracting — Session 3: Creating Business Opportunities in Fairfax County — Session 4: Business Financing & Microlending — Session 5: Get Real with Real Estate: Have I Outgrown My Home Office? — Session 6: #SmallBiz Marketing Strategies — Session 7: Government Contracting 2.0 —Session 8: Veteran-Owned Businesses

  Business Roundtable events are free; however, donations are gratefully accepted. This speaker series is made possible through the collaboration of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and a grant from the Dominion Foundation.


Thank You to Our Sponsors & Supporters:

SpringHill SuitesHoliday Inn Express One Degree Capital Saul Centers Insight Property GroupThe Shelby
Burke and Herbert bank Bean Kinney & Korman Attorneys 5904SFDClogo Walsh Colucci