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2019 BTA National Conference Educational Sessions
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Keynote Address

Strategic Shock: Surviving the Inevitable Crisis
Retired 1st Sgt. Matt Eversmann, hero of Black Hawk Down & the Battle of Mogadishu

An online terrorist has just thieved millions from the company coffers, a tornado just blew out all of your office windows or your competitor has just surreptitiously stolen a key contract, putting the company in financial jeopardy. Now what? Learn what Eversmann has to say about how to survive extreme circumstances — what he refers to as "strategic shock" — the kind of events that many organizations do not plan for or even talk about. Eversmann draws illuminating parallels between his extraordinary "Black Hawk Down" experience and the unpredictable yet ubiquitous catastrophes that sometimes befall organizations, highlighting how the values you instill in your team can allow you to trust them to make the right decisions when things go wrong.

A true American hero, retired Army Ranger Eversmann illustrates the importance of duty, courage and selfless service to succeed when ordinary circumstances become extraordinary challenges. On Oct. 3, 1993, he was placed in charge of a group of Army Rangers to lead a daytime raid against an eager enemy militia. Eversmann experienced the horrors of war when he and his fellow soldiers were trapped in a hostile district of Mogadishu and marked for death by an angry mob. His inspiring story of survival was immortalized in the epic film, Black Hawk Down, which recounts the harrowing experience. For his actions on the battlefield, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device. Eversmann returned from Somalia committed to teaching the next generation of warriors. During his remaining time in uniform, Eversmann worked at the Army War College, taught at Johns Hopkins University and finally deployed to Iraq where he lived with the Iraqi Army for 15 months during The Surge. Eversmann remained on active duty until May 2008, when he retired after 20 years of service. Committed to sharing the lessons he learned in the military, Eversmann draws parallels from his experiences to highlight the importance of leadership, followership, courage and responsibility within any team or enterprise. Most important is his desire to explain the dynamics of avoiding "strategic shock," where organizations are crippled by unforeseen disasters. Unambiguously humble, gracious and warm, Eversmann's powerful story and straightforward insights on instilling these values stay with business leaders long after the applause has ended. His experiences in the health care, non-profit and data management industries have solidified Eversmann's passion to prepare "average people to tackle incredible things." He recently returned from Afghanistan where he filmed a documentary in the shadows of Tora Bora. Eversmann's film, "Send Me," highlights the tremendous advances in battlefield medicine since his days on the dusty streets of Mogadishu. He and his wife Tori run a consulting company that helps companies develop successful veteran hiring programs. They also co-host a weekly podcast called "The Veterans Nation." With presentations that leave an emotional impact, audiences will take away a renewed sense of patriotism and inspiration for dedicating their efforts to a worthy cause.

Dealer Panels

Ensuring Your Business Survives a Natural Disaster
Moderated by Bob Goldberg, general counsel, Business Technology Association

In recent years, we have watched with dismay and sadness the impact of hurricanes, flooding and fires on not only individuals' personal lives, but on businesses as well. Many of these businesses do not survive. Are you prepared for such a natural disaster? What should you be doing do ensure business continuity and near-uninterrupted service and support of your customers? How do you work with your insurance company? Having no plan could result in challenges that could be insurmountable. In this panel discussion, three dealers will share their stories, discussing what they did to prepare for such a fateful day and, perhaps, what they would have done differently.

Goldberg has 41 years of industry experience. Upon graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the Antitrust Division of the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Goldberg's government career continued with the Federal Trade Commission until 1977, when he transitioned to private practice. He was a partner with the firm of Freeman, Atkins & Coleman, where he specialized in antitrust and trade regulation matters. Goldberg then joined the law firm Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg LLC, and was a partner with the firm from 1984 to 2008. In 2008, he became of counsel to the firm, continuing to collaborate and mentor with the firm's attorneys and staff. Today, he provides BTA members with no-fee advice and guidance on a diverse range of topics.


Debra Dennis is vice president of support services at CopyPro Inc., Greenville, North Carolina. The company has operations in eastern North Carolina and is a technology partner representing Savin and Konica Minolta. She began in this industry in 1986 with CopyPro. Dennis has extensive experience in all aspects of the office technology industry and is involved in community organizations. She has won vendor awards for outstanding service management. Dennis has served on the BTA Southeast board since 2008 and currently holds the position of vice president. She has served on the national BTA Board of Directors and currently serves on the national board for IBPI and a copier/MFP dealer buying group. Dennis has also served on the board of her local community festival. She attended Ayden-Grifton High School, Pitt Community College and Liberty Baptist University. Dennis is the proud mom of two great kids.

Bob Evans is a partner at Function4, which has offices in Sugar Land, Beaumont and Paris, Texas. Function4 is a premier provider of office technologies and services including managed IT, document and print management, enterprise content management and cloud services. Function4 is an authorized dealer for Konica Minolta, Sharp, Kyocera, HP and M-Files, covering 31 counties in Texas, five counties in Oklahoma and seven parishes in Louisiana. Evans began his career in 1984 with Lanier and over the years has held multiple positions within the office technology industry.

Bill James of River Ridge, Louisiana, started in the industry with Olivetti Corp. in 1971, working in sales, and then software development and support. In 1982, James started Micro Systems Inc., a networking VAR specializing in accounting software. For 21 years, he served as systems support manager for WJS Enterprises Inc.

Succession Planning in a Multigenerational Business
Moderated by Todd Lee, vice president of sales, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

Creating and executing a succession plan in a multi-generation business can be easy, it can be chaotic, it can be destructive and it can also be rewarding. Our industry is fortunate to have many organizations that have accomplished the transition from one generation to the next; we also have many who are considering or even in the process of this transition. This dealer panel is unique because it contains leaders from two generations. Each generation likely has a different perspective on the process, leadership transition, business directions and the impact (positive or otherwise) it has on the family relationships. We are fortunate to learn from their personal experience to avoid possible missteps and duplicate their success.

Lee is the vice president of sales for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, where he leads a team of awesome people dedicated to helping its business partners increase sales, maximize profits and increase customer retention. In his 30-plus years of office technology industry experience, Lee has worked in sales, management and senior leadership for both dealer and direct capacities. His wide breadth of experiences have brought him a deep understanding of what it takes to maximize both sales and profitability, while creating a compelling customer experience. Lee resides in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where he works hard to balance his strong work ethic with an equally strong desire for family time. Lee likes water sports, loves to hunt and is involved in his local community. He and his wife of 30 years, Tammy, are expecting their first grandchild in June 2019.


Johnathan Garlow is president and CEO of Ford Business Machines, a technology solutions company founded with a customer-centric focus. Since joining forces with his father and company founder in 2010, Garlow has put his efforts into evolving the company's technology solutions. Being a board member of the Copier Dealers Association allows him to stay up-to-date on best practices and innovative strategies that keep Ford at the forefront of the industry. Garlow believes that his bachelor's in architectural engineering from Penn State has enhanced his natural ability to turn theoretical concepts into real-world applications, which is a critical component of the technology industry. Garlow's forward-thinking concepts have led to Ford's expansion throughout western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, with future goals of expansion into eastern Ohio. He and his wife, Kelli, love the outdoors and beauty of the Laurel Highlands area. Garlow is passionate about supporting his local community and believes that its success, both economically and socially, is driven by the philanthropic involvement of community business leaders. As an Eagle Scout and member of the Westmoreland Fayette Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Rotary Club, YMCA board, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, Challenge Program board and Redevelopment Authority of Fayette County, Garlow plays a very active role in supporting the area's youth, as well as business development, in the hopes of providing future employment opportunities for the local workforce for generations to come. In 2015, he was honored to receive the Herman Buck Award for volunteerism and services rendered outside of the profession.

Michael Hicks is president of Electronic Business Machines Inc. (EBM), an employee-owned company based in Lexington, Kentucky. He has been with EBM for 34 years. Hicks started in the board repair/design lab, moved to service manager and then became CEO when employees bought the company in 2001. EBM's main lines are Lexmark and Xerox. In addition to the company's local dealership, it still maintains a board repair and parts facility to support the dealer channel. Hicks has served on manufacturer advisory boards and EBM has been a member of NOMDA/BTA for 41 years.

Tim Renegar is president and co-owner of Kelly Office Solutions, a Canon, Konica Minolta and Savin dealership located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with branches in Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina. Tim has 35-plus years of management experience in the industry. He has worked in corporate environments such as IKON and Sharp Electronics, where he served as president of North Carolina, and in dealerships such as Charlotte Copy Data and Triad Business Systems, where Tim was executive vice president and co-owner. He has also served on various manufacturing and leasing company advisory councils, and Tim's dealership has been a BTA member for 20-plus years.

Blake Renegar started his career with Kelly Office Solutions while he was attending North Carolina State University, working in the warehouse and in Pure Water Technology sales during the summers. After coming to Kelly Office Solutions, Blake single-handedly started the company's Managed Network Services Division. He went through the entire vetting process for the division and is a certified subject-matter expert. Blake has grown the Managed Network Services Division from just himself, to now managing six employees. He was named the director of managed network services in 2016. Blake is an active member of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and has previously spoken at BTA events about managed IT services to educate other businesses on how to build and start their own managed network services businesses.

Brice Renegar started his career with Kelly Office Solutions while he was attending Western Carolina University, working deliveries and in the warehouse during the summers. After graduation, Brice became a sales representative for the company's Pure Water Technology Division in 2016. With exceptional sales, he advanced through the ranks quickly to become the director of Pure Water Technology that same year. With Brice's guidance, Kelly Office Solutions has expanded this division over the past three years to add ice makers, gourmet coffee and coffee makers. He graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in sales and marketing. He is an active member in the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce's under 40s group and has attended countless BTA events.

Educational Sessions

Security in the Digital Office of the Future
Dr. Alissa Abdullah, vice president & chief information security officer, Xerox Corp.

This session will focus on security issues, trends, threats and capabilities when thinking about digital office security. Dr. Johnson will discuss capabilities as they are related to MFPs/printers, as well as threats and risks with solutions and how to address potential security concerns.

As vice president and chief information security officer of Xerox Corp., Abdullah is responsible for protecting the information assets of the $11-billion technology leader. In her role, she established and currently leads a corporate-wide information risk management program. Abdullah identifies, evaluates and reports on information security practices, controls and risks in order to comply with regulatory requirements and align with the risk posture of the enterprise. Prior to Xerox, she served as the first chief information security officer at Stryker Corp., a multi-billion-dollar medical technology company. At Stryker, Abdullah oversaw global activities related to information security. She also established the standards and governance around information security issues related to products. Abdullah managed all security transformation initiatives and worked closely with business leaders and heads of regional infrastructure to ensure security policy and strategy was implemented consistently. She also spent three years as deputy chief information officer of the White House. Beginning in March 2012, she helped to modernize the Executive Office of the President's IT systems with cloud services and virtualization. Abdullah employed new cybersecurity strategies and enhanced technology across the office of the president while serving as chair on multiple boards. Previously, she served as associate vice president for the Enterprise Solutions Division at Catapult Technology and as a deputy chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin Corp. Abdullah began her career with the Department of Defense as a cryptologic mathematician. She holds a Ph.D. in information technology management from Capella University; a master's degree in telecommunications and computer networks from The George Washington University; and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Savannah State University. Abdullah is a member of IBM's Security Board of Advisors.

Dealer Channel Evolution (A Blueprint for Growth)
Sammy Kinlaw, vice president of worldwide channel & OEM sales, Lexmark International Inc.

Today's dealer environment demands service efficiency, an outstanding customer experience and the ability to bridge the technology gap. Join Kinlaw as he discusses how dealers can tie IoT, services and output together to deliver differentiation with remote diagnostics via cloud services and full-spectrum security.

A proven technology sales leader, Kinlaw has held a number of leadership roles calling on enterprise end users and the commercial channel. He spent the last 14 years with Lenovo, most recently as vice president, North America Commercial Channel and U.S. SMB Vertical. In this role, Kinlaw was responsible for all aspects of Lenovo's largest path to market. In his 12-year career with IBM, Kinlaw worked his way up to regional business unit executive in sales and distribution. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. The Channel Co. (CRN) named Kinlaw among its Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Leading & Managing in an Era of Disruptive Change: A Practical Guide
Mitch Morgan, partner, Growth Achievement Partners (GAP), and John Eckstrom, president & owner, Carolina Business Equipment Inc. (CBE)

Terms like "disruption" and "digital transformation" are becoming part of the everyday language of business. Companies are seeking to utilize technology for efficiency and strategic advantage. Our industry has the opportunity to profit. As a leader within the dealership, learn how to choose the right direction and succeed in this changing environment. In this session, Morgan and Eckstrom will discuss how Eckstrom has led this transformation inside and outside his dealership, Carolina Business Equipment, based in Columbia, South Carolina.

Morgan founded the Connectivity Dealer Program from NIA in 1991. After his businesses were acquired by IKON Office Solutions in 1996, he led its Technology Services Division. In 2001, he formed the Professional Services Division for IKON. Morgan has been consulting with CEOs on strategy, operations, organizational development and sales since 2005.

Eckstrom brings more than 30 years of multifaceted business experience to his role as president and owner of CBE. He earned his bachelor of science in accounting from the University of South Carolina in 1983, and began his career doing tax work at a CPA firm and as an auditor at the South Carolina Credit Union League (SCCUL). After Eckstrom left SCCUL in late 1985, he served as a branch controller for Atlantic Envelope Company, a division of the Fortune 500 company NSI. In 1989, Eckstrom became the finance director for Carolina Ceramics. Just a year later, he transitioned to a controller position at Total Comfort Solutions, where he stayed until becoming controller of CBE in 1994. Only four months into his new position at CBE, Eckstrom hired his own replacement and assumed the role of general manager. By the end of 1995, he had purchased half of the company and had become CBE's president. In 2001, Eckstrom took total ownership of CBE and put his plans for company expansion into motion. Over the next six years, CBE gained offices in both Charleston and Augusta, South Carolina, and since 2009, it has acquired two other companies in Florence and Columbia, South Carolina. He attributes CBE's success to its willingness to evolve and move forward, saying, "Our steady growth has come from acquisition and expansion into other areas of the state, as well as our expansion into other product offerings like outsourced IT." When Eckstrom is not leading CBE, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, including his wife, Kim, and their three children. An avid outdoorsman, Eckstrom also partakes in hunting and fishing. He is a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and is an active member in his community.

How to 'Capture' More Customers With Digital Transformation
Mark Hart, executive director of business development, Access Control Devices Inc. (ACDI)

How will you navigate your customers through the digital transformation? Is it scanning paper-based documents and storing them in digital formats? Join Hart as he explains how your dealership can "capture" more customers with a simplified approach to digital transformation.

Hart is the executive director of business development for ACDI. He is responsible for initiating and cultivating key business relationships to help grow revenue in the OEM and dealer channels. Prior to joining ACDI in 2013, Hart served at Lexmark for more than 16 years in various leadership roles. His responsibilities ranged from software development to playing a pivotal role in the development of Lexmark's Business Solutions Dealer channel. Hart has proven critical in the development of ACDI's growing product portfolio, including introducing PSIGEN software and the IdentiD Biometric Access Point. He has also overseen the expansion of the company's brand into the Canadian and Latin/South American markets. Hart received his bachelor's degree in computer science with a specialization in business from the University of Kentucky. He has a passion for Kentucky sports and, of course, Kentucky bourbon. In Hart's spare time, he is an avid woodworker. Hart lives in the Lexington, Kentucky, area with his wife, Alicia, and their two children, Lauren and Mason.

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