symposiumOn Nov. 17, Methodist University is set to host the Second Annual Reeves School of Business Symposium and Awards Dinner at Embassy Suites Fayetteville/Fort Bragg. This event is a combination of the previous Center for Entrepreneurship’s Fall Symposium and Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit. 

“I love this event,” said Methodist University Center for Entrepreneurship Assistant Director Pam Biermann. “It brings community leaders together to join with Methodist University in sharing our desire to build up our community through guest speakers to give us new ideas and foster collaboration with each other. This year we are adding an hour of networking. The event is from 6:30-8:30 p.m., but we are opening the doors at 5:30 p.m.”

Jeremy Miller, author of Sticky Branding is the keynote speaker. His speech is titled “Sticky Branding: How to Win When the Rules Keep Changing.” Miller’s knowledge on this topic comes from firsthand experience. 

When his family’s business nearly failed, Miller took a hard look at the way they did business. He found the problem was not the people or the processes; it was the brand. Since then, Miller and his team have studied hundreds of companies to learn how businesses grow brands that people recognize and remember, or “sticky brands” in Miller’s terms. He’s spent more than a decade conducting research and helping businesses develop their own sticky brands.

 “Our keynote speech is on a topic I don’t think we have ever covered — and that is branding. Marketing has changed so much over the past 20 years. A lot of businesses are struggling with how to have a brand that people will remember long term and seek when they need your service,” said Biermann. “The traditional sales staff idea doesn’t work like it used to — even social media is limited in what it can do for a business. Jeremy Miller offers interesting insights. He asked to be in contact with some business leaders in town that he could interview. He called and talked to them about advantages and challenges of the local business community and is customizing his talk to that.”

The keynote speech is just one part of the evening’s programming though. Seven people will be honored. The event website explains the awards to be presented that evening, which include: the Alumni Business Person of the Year, which goes to a Methodist University graduate; Entrepreneur of the Year, which goes to a risk-taker in the free enterprise system: a person who sees an opportunity and then devises strategies to achieve specific objectives; the Business Person of the Year, which goes to an executive for their contributions to the local business community as well as the civic and cultural community. The Greater Good Award is given to a professional who has shown kindness, charity, humanity, love, and friendship to his/her associates The Small Business Excellence Award will go to a business with fewer than 300 people that generates less than $15 million a year. Other things considered for this award include the creativity of the business, the uniqueness of the product, the employees’ welfare and the contributions of the business to its community. The Silver Spoon honoree is someone who has originated and built a successful business recognized for its uniqueness in planning, production, or some other aspect of its operation. The Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur must be a North Carolina resident who owns, has established, or manages a small business. The Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award committee will also consider the individual’s creativity, innovativeness and personal contributions to and involvement with the community.

To find out more about the event or to purchase tickets, visit

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