The Jim Moran Institute for International Entrepreneurship hosts 10th annual Small Enterprise Management Convention in Orlando


The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, part of Florida State University College of Business, hosted its 10th Annual Small Business Leadership Conference June 9-11 at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.

This year’s conference focused on corporate resilience and sustainability following the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were made familiar with innovative strategies and techniques that will help them resume operations and adapt their business models in the event of future crises or business interruptions.

“Challenges arise when you are a small business owner, but resources and insight always arise in response,” said Melissa Roberts, executive director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. “We are proud to offer small business owners one of the first personal opportunities to meet and network with our expert speakers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2020 increases the need for strategic planning and collaboration between entrepreneurs, our conference was the ideal opportunity to help our attendees focus again on long-term, sustainable development. “

Matthew Griffin, co-founder and CEO of Combat Flip Flops, opened the conference with a keynote session on value-based leadership. His lecture showed how the management and leadership process can be simplified.

The first keynote session on Thursday included a presentation by Scott Price, Founder and CEO of A-LIGN, a cybersecurity and compliance solutions provider based in Tampa. Price shared how small businesses can take a proactive approach to improving their cybersecurity strategy through risk avoidance, risk mitigation, and accepted risk with a security breach response plan.

Scott was followed by Amanda Brinkman, the creator, producer, and host of the hit series “Small Business Revolution” streaming on Hulu and Prime Video and named below Inc. magazines Top shows for entrepreneurs. Brinkman advised on marketing and communication best practices and provided insights into the most important areas of a company’s brand and digital footprint.

The day ended with a Fail Festival – a panel discussion in which failure was celebrated as a sign of leadership and innovation in order to push the boundaries of what is feasible and profitable. The keynote session was chaired by Wayan Vota, a digital development entrepreneur who reviewed each participant’s past business failures, encouraged them to share how they overcame that failure, and helped them explain why their failure marked them out for future ones Shaped success.

Panelists included Lennise Germany, CEO of Livy O’s Catering Company; David Moshier, founder of Oasis Creative Resources; Jeff O’Hara, owner of PRA Business Events New Orleans; and Bob Thornton, partner at O’Donnell Impact Windows & Storm Protection.

The conference ended with a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Panelists shared their expertise on how to create a welcoming environment for employees of different demographics, and answered questions from the audience on how to establish business practices that promote inclusion and market diversity.

Panelists included Ralph Campbell, CEO of Learning Optimized; Dr. Cynthia Johnson, center director of the Florida Small Business Development Center in Pinellas County; Robert Kaiser, Director of People and Culture at KnowBe4; and Margaret Delmont Sanchez, CEO of MagnifyFund.

The Small Business Leadership Conference enjoyed the support of the Florida Small Business Development Network as a premium sponsor. Your sponsorship helped fund the Business Resilience Workshop Track, which was created to meet the needs of small business owners that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions included presentations on growth and sustainability, risk mitigation, strategic planning, cybersecurity, and more.

Other sponsors included the Better Business Bureau for Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, the Better Business Bureau for West Florida, Florida Power & Light, the National Development Council, Coach My Strengths, Florida Capital Bank, Regions Bank, Veterans Florida and Florida Trend.

For more information on the Small Business Leadership Conference, visit

About the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship promotes, trains and inspires entrepreneurial leaders through world-class leadership education, applied education, public recognition and cutting-edge research.

An automotive pioneer and entrepreneur at heart, Jim Moran sold lemonade at Sandlot baseball games in Chicago when he was 7 years old. With a career spanning more than six decades, he has built an amazing chronicle of accomplishments in the automotive industry.

His vision for the Jim Moran Institute was to offer opportunities that would help others become more successful business owners. In 1995, Jim and Jan Moran and JM Family Enterprises founded the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University College of Business. Since 2011, Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation have made further improvements to the Jim Moran Institute and its reach possible.

For more information, visit