Leaders Forum 23

Leaders Forum 23

17may(may 17)10:00 am18(may 18)11:45 amLeaders Forum 23

Event Details

Our 2023 Leaders’ Forum will be our most challenging ever: how do we make long term fixes to the long term problems that drag on the Small Business ecosystem? Combining keynotes from B2SMB Superstars with more roundtable workshops than any past event. The 2023 Leaders’ Forum unites our combined power and voices to make change.


17 (Wednesday) 10:00 am - 18 (Thursday) 11:45 am PST


    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • may 17, 2023
    • 10:00A REGISTRATION & LIGHT LUNCH10:00A- 11:45A

      Join us LIVE at Chimney Rock Vineyards at the heart of the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley as we connect you and your peers in Business-to-Small-Business Leadership. Powerful keynotes set-up dynamic problem-solving breakouts, while best-practive Playbooks delivered by Leader-Practitioners provide the steps to do your job better. Our objective: to insure you are networked with every one of your peers attending, beginning from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart.

    • 11:45A WELCOME! Your One Big Thing - Nicole Wood - Co-Founder - Ama la Vida11:45A- 12:00P
    • 12:00P INTRO - Dave Walker - Co-Founder/CEO - B2SMB Institute --- OUR LF23 EVENT THEME: FIX IT!12:00P- 12:15P

      Our 2023 Leaders’ Forum will be our most challenging ever: how do we make long term fixes to the long term problems that drag on the Small Business ecosystem? Combining keynotes from B2SMB Superstars with more roundtable workshops than any past event, our forum unites our combined B2SMB Leadership power to make positive, long-lasting change. 

    • 12:15P KICK-OFF KAHOOT!: HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW SMBS?- Team Tarci12:15P- 12:50P

      Do we have a deep knowledge of our Small Business customers? Can we? Our Leaders' Forum kicks-off by asking our attendees "How well do you know SMBs?" We'll start with a virtual survey of attendees that posits 8 key questions - questions that test our knowledge of Small Business. We'll share the survey results in real time, then break into 8 groups to workshop our collective answers. 

      Objective: to collaboratively identify what we know well, what we can know better, and what we should do next to improve our knowledge of SMBs.

    • 12:50P 5 IN 5 - THE STATE OF SMALL BUSINESS: Stephanie Gorski Managing Director – Strategy, Software & Platforms - Accenture12:50P- 1:00P

      We've once again asked Stephanie Gorski of Accenture to give us a "state of SMB" - her "Top 5 Insights into SMBs" as we all attempt to understand better what our customers need, want and expect of us in the most current state of play.

    • 1:00P KEYNOTE: Steven Aldrich - Current Board Member for Xero, SEM Rush --- FIX IT #1: LISTENING1:00P- 1:20P

      Long ago at our first "B2SMB Summit" circa 2017, Steven Aldrich, the former CPO of GoDaddy and current Board Member of several large B2SMB brands, brought forth what was, at the time, a novel approach: instead of engineering what we think SMBs should need, why don't we ask them what they want? With years of B2SMB product leadership at Intuit, Outright and more, Steve put listening above all else, to avoid presumption, to throw out "we know better than they do." He takes us through a Playbook on Listening: to get to the perfect Small Business product, ask these perfect questions.

    • 1:20P BREAKOUTS: Facilitated By Leaders League Members --- FIX IT #11:20P- 1:40P

      As the best Leaders know, listening is not telling. As we invest enormous energy in telling our story, our offering, our value proposition, our terms and conditions and so much more, we expend significantly less energy in listening to our SMB customers. While all of us likely have outposts where we put an ear to our customers and prospects, what more can we do? By comparing what we're each doing to listen to Small Business (user groups, micro-communities, feedback surveys), we hope our workshop will be an additive exercise in giving us a take-away "listening to do list." We'll also build on our own best practices to creatively expand our customer listening skills, and to apply what we hear.

      Objective: to collaboratively build a Playbook on listening to what our customers are telling us, and applying it to all corners of our B2SMB enterprise.

    • 1:40P REPORT OUTS: FIX IT #11:40P- 1:50P

      We'll ask each breakout group to highlight a single action to improve our SMB listening skills and our customer feedback best practices.

    • 1:50P KEYNOTE: Derek Ellington - EVP & Head of Small Business Banking - Wells-Fargo --- FIX IT #2: MONEY1:50P- 2:10P

      KEYNOTE: Small Business think 24-7 about money. Do they have enough? Are they making enough? Are they spending or saving enough? Since 1993 Derek Ellington has been a banker to SMBs, and he thinks 24-7 about precisely the same questions. Today, as EVP and Head of Small Business banking for Wells Fargo (the #3 Bank for SMBs in the US) he's more deeply engaged with Entrepreneurs' money challenges than ever. There's no one better to break down the long-standing obstacles - like access to capital - that deserve the attention of anyone who cares about SMBs. We kick-off our Problem-Solvers workshops talking the dollars and cents of Small Business success.


      Our second "Fix It!" breakout will draw us into a broad and deep problem - the financing of America's SMBs. Each of our 8 breakout groups will be given a single "money" issue that impedes Small Business: from onerous loan application processes, to underserved SMB communities, to lack of SMB financing savvy and more, we'll brainstorm fixes that we individually and collectively think are needed. 

      Objective: to engage our collective wisdom and creativity in service of SMBs long-term success with money.

    • 2:30P REPORT OUTS: FIX IT #22:30P- 2:40P

      We'll ask each breakout group to highlight a single action to improve how SMBs access capital and investment.

    • 2:40P BREAK2:40P- 3:00P

      Here's your chance to meet and mingle with even more Leaders' Forum attendees. Find a comfortable patio chair or wander the vineyard grounds, it's time to network! 

    • 3:00P KEYNOTE: Mark Tina - VP Sales Operations - Verizon Business --- FIX IT #3: ADOPTION3:00P- 3:20P

      Verizon Business successfully delivers thousands of Small Business solutions every year. But like most tech-sellers, Verizon is challenged not just to close the sale, but to gain full adoption. Mark Tina is a 20-year veteran of Verizon who has overseen macro-adoptions (internet, cellular, cloud) and micro-adoptions (niche apps, vertical solutions, customized products). No one is better to take us through the lessons learned in helping SMBs "break the seal" on what they just bought. His lessons on tech adoption apply to any B2SMB enterprise's best moves between invoice and fandom.

    • 3:20P BREAKOUTS: Facilitated By Leaders League Members --- FIX IT #33:20P- 3:40P

      What can we do better to achieve adoption? Our breakouts allow each participant to ask their peers for feedback on what they do currently, and advice on what they can do better. 

      Objective: to draw from our audience's collective experience and intelligence a plan to achieve faster, broader and deeper usage after the sale. 

    • 3:40P REPORT OUTS: FIX IT #33:40P- 3:50P

      We'll ask each breakout group to highlight a single participant's action plan to improve adoption - the group's "Most Likely to Succeed."

    • 3:50P KEYNOTE: Denise Zheng - Managing Director & Global Artificial Intelligence Diffusion Lead - Accenture --- FIX IT #4: FUTURES3:50P- 4:10P

      Small Businesses are not immune to the future. In fact one could argue that they are susceptible to the future, especialyy futures that they don't quite understand. So while we might rue SMB adoption of the internent, of mobile, of the cloud, we once again face a new revolutionary capability that Small Business will likely struggle with: AI. Denise Zheng is Accenture's Managing Director & Global Artificial Intelligence Diffusion Lead, and she brings us a bleeding edge perspective on what AI will do to alter that business landscape, perhaps more than any other advancement of the last 50 years. She'll help us gain a foundational understanding of AI, and then take us into the near and distant future of AI in the Small Business ecosystem.

    • 4:10P BREAKOUTS: Facilitated By Leaders League Members --- FIX IT #44:10P- 4:30P

      Combining what we've learned from Noelle Russell and our own personal encounters with AI, we'll brainstorm the ways we each see AI impacting (for the good) our SMB customers. Where to start? We'll ask ChatGPT, of course! "What will be the Top 5 Applications of Artificial Intelligence for Small Business success?"  

      Objective: to creatively explore what we all sense will be the application of AI to our SMB Customers, and to further define AI application ideas that apply to our own unique SMB offerings. 

    • 4:30P REPORT OUTS: FIX IT #44:30P- 4:40P

      We'll ask each breakout group to highlight a single participant's AI application for SMB customers - once again, the group's "Most Likely to Succeed."

    • 4:40P KEYNOTE: Dan Visnick - CMO - HoneyBook --- FIX IT #5: TRUST4:40P- 5:00P

      Yahoo. DealMap. Google Shopping. Change.Org. HoneyBook. For close to 25 years, Dan Visnick has successfully marketed a wide range of offerings that demand Buyer's trust. How does a B2SMB brand build trust with a Small Business Buyer that is naturally suspicious, skeptical, and even cynical? It's not easy! Dan takes us on his journey to message, to market and to deliver a promise fulfilled.

    • 5:00P BREAKOUTS: Facilitated By Leaders League Members --- FIX IT #55:00P- 5:20P

      Truth: no one in our audience has gained 100% trust across their whole customer base. In fact, the majority of B2SMB-brand customers don't trust us. The problem is the majority of B2SMB Leaders believe that they aretrusted. So mind that gap! Our third breakout workshops the trust gap between us and our SMB customers. How do we "walk the talk" of our promises? How do we prove ourselves deserving of trust? What are the signals that trigger SMB mistrust? What are the "do's and don'ts" of earning - or losing - trust ? 

      Our objective: to give ALL of us a key actions to mend the trust gap between B2SMB Seller and SMB Buyer.

    • 5:20P REPORT OUTS: FIX IT #55:20P- 5:30P

      We'll ask each breakout group to highlight a single action to improve Small Business trust of B2SMB brands, products and services.


      Day 1 ends with Chimney Rock wine, spectacular charcuterie boards, and comraderie. Yet one more chance to meet and mingle, we'll enjoy a beautiful Napa spring evening on the vineyards main patio.


      One of our most popular event activities! Meet fellow B2SMB leaders while dining at some of Napa’s top-rated restaurants. We’ve already made reservations for groups of 6-8, and will have a signup-sheets at registration, so bon appetit!

    • may 18, 2023

      Ever heard of the MODEL BAKERY? Oprah has, and it's one of her Favorite Things. Our Day 2 breakfast is catered by the Model Bakery, and we are sure their baked goods will become one of your favorite things, too!

    • 9:00A PARTNERSHIPS POWER TRACK - 2 Full Hours Focused on B2SMB Partnership Success --- REQUIRES SIGN-UP9:00A- 11:00A


      Partnerships are hard. From finding partnerships that are genuinely a good fit, to aligning operations between large orgs, to measuring success and optimizing partnership performance. Our B2SMBI Partnerships Circle Co-Chairs do this hard work every day. Kelly Benish (Uberall) and Kate Daniels (Netsuite) kickoff our networking workshop sharing their Partnerships Playbooks that highlight how they approach great match-making on behalf of their enterprises. Then we'll break-out into smaller groups to facilitate meet and greets and partnership explorations. If “partnerships” are what you're looking for, this workshop is worth sticking around for. 


      CO-CHAIRS Kate Daniels Industry Partnerships Director, Oracle Netsuite

      Kelly Benish VP of Strategic Partnerships, Uberall BOARD MEMBERS Michelle Winnett VP Partnerships, Ruby Kelley Harris Sr. Manager, Accenture

    • 11:00A CLOSING CEREMONIES11:00A- 11:15A

      B2SMB Institute Co-Founder Dave Walker wraps our event and delivers the Institute's balance of year action plan.

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