Women Entrepreneur Week

2022 Women Entrepreneur Week

To gain access to recordings, please email fa12@txstate.edu.


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  • Join us as we will explore establishing and leading a successful non-profit organization. The session will cover the necessary components of a non-profit and how non-profits are similar and very different from a for-profit business.

  • W. Kent Hamilton, M.S.
    Executive Director of the McCoy College of Business Foundation @ Principal of W.K.H. Consulting
    Kent earned a Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude, from Texas Tech University with a major in public relations and minor in marketing. He has a Master of Science in Management from Texas A & M Commerce. Kent brings a background in professional fundraising. Over 25 years in the profession, Kent has experience in board development and governance, annual giving, major gifts, principal gifts, planned giving, operational support, capital campaigns, and endowment management and compliance. Primarily, Kent has worked in higher education serving undergraduate institutions and academic health science centers. Additionally, he has worked to secure private funding for the arts and health and human services. Kent and his wife of 30 years, Andrea, are parents to twin boys, Andy and Noah, who are 21 and students at Texas Tech.
  • According to a recent study conducted by CB Insights, one of the top reasons why startups fail is they were unable to identify a market need, got out competed by competitors, and had a flawed business model. All these major issues to why startups fail can be attributed to one thing, a lack of product-market fit. This presentation will cover how to find product-market fit and eliminate bias to ensure you have the highest odds of success for launching your company.

  • Weston Waldo, MBA
    Adjunct Professor - Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Venture Innovation @ University of Arkansas , Sam M. Walton College of Business
    Mr. Weston Waldo serves as an NSF I-Corps Regional and National instructor for the Southwest and South I-Corps Nodes. Mr. Waldo has led 54 I-Corps cohorts, trained 873 I-Corps teams, and endorsed over 135 teams to gain acceptance in the NSF National I-Corps program. Those teams have since gone on to generate an additional $68M in follow-on capital, 5 acquisitions, and generated 233 jobs. Mr. Waldo also serves as an advisory board member for various startup companies in the Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A growth stages. Mr. Waldo is an Entrepreneur in Residence for multiple R1 and R2 universities and an advisor for two venture capital groups. In addition, Mr. Waldo is an Adjunct Professor in the Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Venture Innovation department at The Sam M. Walton College of Business and serves as a Program Manager for Venture Development at the University of Arkansas.
    Katie Tritsch    
    Grant Coordinator @ Small Producers Initiative, Texas State University
    Katie Tritsch is Grant Coordinator for SPI, where she predominantly oversees implementation and evaluation of SPI-AMP and assists producers and producer-serving organizations with grant and loan applications. Katie completed her Masters in Integrated Agricultural Sciences at Texas State University in 2021, where she researched the needs, success factors, and perceptions of small-scale and underserved Texas producers. Prior to graduate school, Katie managed diversified vegetable operations for nearly five years in both Texas and California. She is deeply committed to a more just and sustainable agriculture and has been an active part of the Central Texas local food system since 2014.
  • The Small Producers Initiative (SPI) is a USDA-funded program housed in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Texas State University. SPI provides research, outreach, and extension to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers in Texas. SPI has a program to assist agricultural producers with their finances, marketing, and accessing capital (SPI-AMP), and hosts an annual conference where producers can learn about multiple food and farm topics, as well as network with other producers, support organizations, and service providers. SPI is working on a collaborative grant proposal to bolster supply chain support in multiple southern states, which would provide additional benefits to agricultural producers and businesses in Texas and beyond.

  • Dr. Ken Mix
    Associate Professor of Soil & Crop Science @ Texas State University
    Ken is a former vegetable producer from central Indiana. He operated a 20-acre commercial produce farm outside of Indianapolis in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He currently teaches and has active research on small producer needs, entomology, soil health, crop production and agriculturally related climate and water resources. He oversees several graduate student projects on those topics. He is the Program director of The Small Producer Initiative at Texas State University. He is currently starting SKM Homestead, a small livestock and mixed produce 50 acre farm in Fentress.

  • TikTok or Instagram? As many entrepreneurs are strapped for cash and promotion budgets are tight, it’s essential to understand which channels are preferred by the target audience. This panel aims to help you optimize your promotions budgets by providing first-hand insight into the minds of Gen Z participants. We’ll explore social media’s influence in the consumer buyer’s journey, why Gen Z gravitates to one channel over another, preferences in type of content, and what motivates them to purchase. Join us to learn what’s important to this influential customer segment to strengthen your overall marketing strategy.

  • Dr. Kristy Grayson
    Assistant Professor of Marketing @ Utah Tech University, Management & Marketing Department
    Kristy Grayson is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Utah Tech University. She earned a Doctor of Business Administration in marketing from Creighton University, B.A. in communication from University of Minnesota, and M.B.A. from University of St. Thomas. Her primary research interest is consumer behavior. Dr. Grayson has over twenty-five years of marketing experience in a variety of industries. Most recently, she was the Direct to Consumer Leader for Honeywell International’s residential homes division where she developed and launched their first e-Commerce channel. She is an entrepreneur and co-owner of TOAST OG, an apparel brand and an active marketing consultant.
  • Small businesses face a number of challenges related to inexperience, size, and lack of resources. However, few responsibilities stretch these businesses as thin as hiring. While it may seem simple on the surface, hiring the right employees can be overwhelming and taxing on many different levels.

    Small businesses: hiring new employees is among top challenges.
    • Current Landscape
    • HR Strategy
    • Key Position Hiring
    • Culture By Design

  • Michelle Sledz
    Business Performance Advisor @ Insperity, LLC
    She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications with a minor in Business Foundation from the University of Texas at Austin, and she most recently completed certification from the Accelerated Management Program at the Yale School of Management. Michelle has a diverse background in business development and has earned various awards and recognitions over the past twenty years. Prior to joining Insperity as a Business Performance Advisor, she was most recently a Network Development Director within the commercial construction industry for eleven years. To Michelle, business is all about relationships and people. Having been raised by entrepreneurs, Michelle’s family instilled in her the fundamentals of business ownership as well as the ability to empathize with the challenges associated with it. She is passionate about bringing forward essential resources in front of business owners and guiding them to success.
    Sheryl J. LaPlace, PHR
    HR Consultant @ Insperity
    As a Human Resources Consultant with Insperity, Sheryl currently works on a team of professionals, providing HR guidance, training, and services to small and mid-sized businesses across the U.S. She has over 20 years of experience in human resources, training and development, recruiting, operations, business management, and consultative services. In former roles, Sheryl has prepared affirmative action plans, conducted internal investigations of discrimination complaints and employee relation issues, facilitated strategic planning processes, as well as provided recruitment support and HR guidance for business locations in the U.S. and Canada. Sheryl has experienced the business world as an entrepreneur, as the Operations Manager for a small partnership, and as the member of a large, multi-national corporation.
  • Marketing to women means being inclusive and promoting positivity when using social media. Join us for this special session where we provide tips using Canva to help create aesthetic designs, social media images, flyers, and more.

    Creating graphics for your business can be a daunting task. With the help of Canva you can create many different designs, everything ranging from business cards, social media images, flyers, and more! At the end of this session, you will know how to navigate the platform and create custom designs.

  • Dezaray Johnson, M.A.
    Program Coordinator, Certified Business Advisor
    @ Angelo State University SBDC

    Dezaray joined the ASU SBDC in June of 2013. She holds an M.A. and B.A. in Communication with a specialization in advertising and public relations from Angelo State University. Dezaray is a Certified Business Advisor IV, the highest designation from the Texas South-West SBDC Network. Dezaray is knowledgeable in all areas of startup and business management but has a true passion for assisting clients in the areas of marketing and advertising. Dezaray serves as a mentor to the students in the SBDC Graduate Training Assistantship program. She also coordinates the SBDC’s training program which consists of over 80 events per year.

  • Learn best practices for proposal development for government and non-profit procurement (RFPs) by avoiding pitfalls.

  • Kathryn Davis, Ph.D.
    Marketing Professor and Academic Leader @ Park University
    Kathryn has experience in academic administration (Dean of Business), instruction (20 years) and industry (16 years). She has taught marketing and business courses since 2002 at the undergraduate and graduate level in face-to-face, blended and online modalities. Her research interests include services marketing and instructional pedagogy. Commercially, she has researched and evaluated product and service demand, competitive environments, and industry opportunities since 1996. Kathryn developed a business incubator for Concordia university, launched a Finance Lab for Montgomery College and commercialized a consumer product (with seven patents). Her focus is on business expansion strategy and deployment. Kathryn holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Northcentral University, a Master of International Management degree from Arizona State University (Thunderbird), and a B.S. from Ohio University.
  • Why should a business owner start a plan for exiting their business? It is in the business owner’s best interest to start planning for their exit three to five years before they exit. If a business is doing well when the time comes for an exit, the exit strategy should maximize business worth. An exit strategy is a plan that moves the business toward long-term goals and allows a smooth transition to the next phase of the business. It’s a plan that includes both internal and external considerations of the business. Having a good exit strategy in place will ensure that the business will be at a place to provide more opportunities to optimize business options. Not every exit strategy is the same, it varies by business and the intent by the owner. Learn about the factors needed to understand if your business is scalable.

    Your business is something that you have grown and nurtured over the years. Leaving the business can be emotional and overwhelming. Come learn more about how to effectively plan for the next phase of your business!

  • Jana Minifie, Ph.D., MBA, BCA, ECA
    Professor, Department of Management at Texas State University @ Co-Founder, SVV Consultants, LLC
    In working with entrepreneurs and small businesses for over 20 years, many times founders believe that the financial value of their business is different than the actual marketplace value. Jana is a certified business appraiser who can assist founders to understand why the market values their business at a particular rate.
    Bill Thompson, M.Ed., M.S., BCA, ECA
    Co-Founder @ SVV Consultants, LLC
    Bill Thompson has been counseling entrepreneurs for ten + years. In addition to advising clients at the Texas South-West Small Business Development Center through Texas State University, he has conducted feasibility studies, business valuations, and business plans for hundreds of satisfied clients.
  • This session will cover two important topics in business: leading change and decision-making. Leading change is the most difficult process leaders face. The decisions a leader makes in how change is communicated and implemented are crucial to the success and buy in from others. This seminar will include foundations of leadership and change management strategies as well as a discussion about important biases and fallacies that keep leaders from making good decisions. The more leaders are aware of decision pitfalls, the more likely they will avoid them and lead change effectively.

  • Stephanie T. Solansky, Ph.D.
    Garland Hunnicutt Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Management @ Texas State University, Department of Management at McCoy College of Business
    Her research passions are leadership, teamwork/collaboration, diversity, wisdom, temporality in organizations, and complexity theory. She has published in top tier journals in the field of management including journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research, Leadership Quarterly, Group and Organization Management, and Management Learning. Dr. Solansky has been honored in her teaching and research endeavors with a multitude of achievement awards. Her professional experience outside of her role as a professor include: Director for a multi-million-dollar leadership professional development program in which over 1000 organizational administrators were trained; consulted with organizations on behavioral, decision-making and strategic issues, worked as a purchasing agent in a public corporation. She is also regularly invited to serve as a keynote speaker/panelist due to her work in the area of leadership development.

Participating Partners