Choose your own small business adventure with two workshops offered per educational session.
The Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County is a coalition of 28 affiliated unions representing workers in various construction trades. As Secretary Treasurer for this organization, Andreas Cluver will share his experience working with unions, including negotiating Project Labor Agreements with local agencies and governments, and emphasizing community benefits when jobs are created by development projects.
PRESENTER: Andreas Cluver is the Secretary Treasurer for the Alameda County Building Trades Council. He has worked for the labor movement for the last 16 years with the Building Trades, as a Prevailing Wage Compliance Officer, and as a representative in Southern Africa for the AFL-CIO. Prior to his work with the labor movement, Andreas worked with a local community group as a Compliance Officer for the City of Oakland, and as a Planning Consultant, and he spent two years in Mozambique working as a Project Manager for a German Aid agency. Andreas has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and he was recently appointed as a Port of Oakland Commissioner.
Janet Dawson will facilitate a workshop on small business legislation that affects small contractors. He will also highlight his recent Assembly Transportation Bill AB-1 that increases funding to transportation in California. For full text of the bill: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1
PRESENTER: Janet Dawson is the Chief Consultant for the Assembly Transportation Committee, a standing committee of the State Assembly. The committee is responsible for monitoring ongoing governmental operations, identifying issues suitable for legislative review, gathering and evaluating information, and recommending courses of action on transportation-related legislation. The committee has responsibility for overseeing the work of Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the High-Speed Rail Authority, Office of Traffic Safety, and other agencies.
Prior to joining the Assembly, Janet spent 16 years as a legislative representative for Caltrans. In 2001, Ms. Dawson was appointed by then-Governor Davis to the position of Caltrans Legislative Director. She served in that position well into the Schwarzenegger Administration until leaving to join the Assembly in 2007.
Janet has a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the California State University, Sacramento.
A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document outlines the route your company intends to take to grow revenues. Let Abbigail Brown, the Owner and President of CPM Logistics, LLC, lead you through your goal setting and planning. Learn how to write a dynamic executive summary, how to think about funding, and even how to get started with marketing. Your business plan will be a reliable guide for years to come.
PRESENTER: Abbigail Brown is the Owner and President of CPM Logistics, LLC, a company dedicated to bridging the gaps between small and large businesses. Abbigail has two decades of experience in the fields of Program, Construction and Project Management with specific emphasis on public projects. Her experience with CPM includes high-profile projects such as the California High Speed Rail Project, Presidio Parkway Project - Phase II, and the San Pablo Dam Road Project in Contra Costa County. CPM partners with public and private entities to help small and minority businesses form lasting working partnerships with prime contractors. A successful example includes the Prime-DBE Cooperative, founded by CPM and Caltrans, engaging members through informational sessions, educational workshops and one-on-one mentoring.
The Little Guy Can Have A Voice Too
BT Metal Sales & Fabrication Inc. holds seven supplier diversity certifications and seven different authorizing agencies. As CEO of BT Metals, Lee Cunningham will present how the utilization of a diversity supplier is an efficient, cost-effective means of attaining the goals necessary for your bid to obtain the desired contract. With passion, capability and setting goals, Lee will teach you how to negotiate effectively and manage expectations.
PRESENTER: Lee Cunningham is the Chief Operating Officer of BT Metal Sales and Fabrication Inc., and named one of the 6 Notable Women in Construction in 2016, and she is a member of the Women Construction Owners & Executives (WCOE). She is an active and public advocate for woman-owned businesses and female executives within the construction industry. Under Lee’s leadership, BT Metals is now expanding to service the entire west coast and the nation. Their goal is to be the diversity supplier for all things metal. BT Metals is certified as a Small Business Enterprise, 100% Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, HUBZone, CPUC Woman-Owned Business, New York Port Authority and VTA.
Ingrid Merriwether from Merriwether & Williams and Tom Vanderheiden from Beneficial State Bank will provide a comprehensive presentation and discussion on the bridge between aspiring and achieving success as a small business. Look forward this workshop if you are looking for hard facts and proven strategies for navigating the financial world of business in construction.
Ingrid Merriwether is the President & CEO of Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services, a firm she founded in 1997. She began her professional insurance career in 1979 with AFCO, a subsidiary of Continental Insurance Company, where she applied her prior training in finance to developing sophisticated financing options of insurance programs. Ingrid obtained her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 1992.
With over 35 years of insurance brokerage experience, Ingrid oversees strategic development, production, marketing and corporate operations. She also serves as client executive on several of the firm’s large accounts including, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), City and County of San Francisco, Alameda County and the City of Los Angeles and teaches insurance courses for large and small business entrepreneurs. She frequently lectures at conferences, seminars and events focused on insurance and bonding, risk management and minority opportunity and inclusion.
Tom Vanderheiden is the Senior Vice President / Relationship Manager for Beneficial State Bank. With over 25 years of commercial banking experience, Tom manages a loan portfolio with a focus on small, to medium-sized businesses and non-profits, as well as commercial real estate and apartment lending. Prior to joining Beneficial State Bank, Tom was a Lending Officer with Trans Pacific National Bank and he has spent the whole of his banking career in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tom earned his degree in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Leslie Burton-Lopez will tackle one of the most ubiquitous issues facing small business life: how to tell your story. Speaking from her own experience as a small business owner, Leslie will share cost-effective tools and strategies for marketing your small business to targeted potential clients.
PRESENTER: Leslie Burton-Lopez started her small marketing consulting business, Every Page Marketing, LLC, with the intent to help other companies expand their reach and revenue in the most cost-effective way. She provides personalized marketing services for projects huge or tiny, and is committed to teaching others how to successfully market their own businesses. Leslie is a published author with degrees in English and Spanish, her Certificate in Literary Editing and Publishing, and has logged a decade in the industry.
Osayahde Nesbitt is a transportation small business experts. As a government agency employee, his perspective provides an indispensable window into the world of partnering with agencies such as Caltrans. The workshop will draw from years of experience listening to the small contracting community and addressing the obstacles that have come to the fore.
PRESENTER: Osayahde Nesbitt is a District 4 Caltrans Small Business Liaison, former small business owner, and co-founder of the Prime-DBE Cooperative Workshops. He has worked for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for 18 years, eight of those as a District Small Business Liaison for Caltrans’ Small Business Program (SBP). In the SBP, his focus is to promote and develop small business opportunities for Small, Veteran, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Osayahde holds a degree in Business Management and has expertise in marketing for government, small business outreach, conflict resolution strategies, business development and training.
This workshop will focus on how to bridge the gap with primes to improve ease and access to a successful project from start to finish. These experts will leave participants with a host of strategies and the greater understanding essential to communicating with prime contractors. Claire understand that accomplishing mutual goals depends on the lessons learned here.
PRESENTER: Claire Koenig is a Regional Manager with Associated General Contractors. She has spent more than 30 years as a general contractor, working mostly on privately funded commercial buildings. She now provides support services for contractors and other businesses with vital interests in the industry, territory stabilization and management, new opportunities, and customer retention. Claire has extensive experience, including business development, business and project management, labor relations, and safety.
Learn about Good Faith Efforts (GFEs) in a workshop led by the Regional Diversity Manager for Dragados USA, Inc., Tamaka Thornton. GFEs are an integral part of minority and diversity hiring, and Tamaka has 20 years of experience. She will cover design-build and bid-build GFE requirements for projects, answering your questions and helping you navigate the documentation and processes associated with each.
PRESENTER: Tamaka Thornton, CCA, MBA, MHRM, JD, is the Regional M/W/DBE Diversity Manager-West Coast for Dragados USA, Inc. Tamaka has over 20 years of experience within public, private and legal sectors, specializing in contract compliance management, research, policy and program development, administration, monitoring and evaluation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), EEO/AA and Labor Contract Compliance and Certified Payroll programs. She has previously served as DBE Coordinator on design-build/design-bid-build highway projects in Texas and North Carolina, as well as DBE Certification with the Birmingham Airport Authority.
Ms. Laura Renner leads our Workforce Development Workshop. Her workshop will focus on how to compete against large companies for skilled labor, how to utilize workforce development agencies to improve your business (including some incentives), and the importance of investing in your staff.
PRESENTER: Laura Renner is the founder of Freedom Makers Virtual Assistant Services, which provides military spouses as virtual assistants to small business owners. She developed this idea after coming across many small business owners who needed part-time help and knowing how military spouses struggle to build careers due to their constant moves. More information can be found at freedom-makers.com.
Laura graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor's of Science in English and a minor in Chinese-Mandarin. She served as a Public Affairs officer before leaving the Air Force to earn an International MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has worked for fifteen years dealing directly with people in foreign and public relations, education and human resources. Laura very much enjoys traveling, running and story-worthy adventures!