Erika Schmidt, APR
(206) 448-2800, ext. 217

Erika Schmidt to Moderate Panel on Business Growth at the Elevate NW Conference

SEATTLE (April 23, 2018) – Erika Schmidt, principal at Sappington, will moderate the Best Practices for Successful Business Growth at the Elevate NW Conference hosted by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Schmidt is Seattle Metro Chamber Board Member.

Small business innovation and growth are priorities for the Seattle Metro Chamber as 80 percent of members are small and mid-size businesses with 100 employees or less. To support this membership, the Seattle Metro Chamber created the new interactive conference, which will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

The conference is designed to help leaders from small and mid-size businesses, women-owned businesses, and minority-owned businesses meet peers, learn from successful examples of growth and innovation, and understand what it takes to build relationships with larger and more established companies.

The inaugural event will be held at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion and Armory Lofts from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and feature more than 16 speakers, more than 250 attendees, and 13 sponsors. Scott Svenson, co-founder of MOD Pizza, is the keynote speaker and will share his business ownership journey and the importance of leading a purpose-led company.

The afternoon includes three breakout sessions: Practices of Successful Growth, the Pursuit of Innovation, and the Power of Partnerships. Every session will provide best practices and strategies used by regional businesses, with a focus on real-world experiences.

Schmidt will be moderating a discussion between three panelists: Christal Bemont, senior vice president and general manager of global, small and medium business, SAP Concur; Tony Phillips, business services manager, BECU; and, Beto Yarce, executive director, Ventures.

“We all benefit when we connect with each other and ask, ‘how can I help you?’” notes Schmidt. “Access to other business leaders—no matter the size of the company—is a tremendous benefit of getting engaged in Seattle Metro Chamber events like Elevate NW.”  

The Pursuit of Innovation panel is all about putting fresh ideas into action and translating lessons into business actions. The panel will be moderated by David Harris, startup advocate for the Office of Economic Development at the City of Seattle. The panelists include: Jasmine Donovan, executive vice president and CFO, Dick's Drive-In Restaurants; Vikram Jandhyala, vice president for innovation strategy, University of Washington; Moorea Seal, founder, CEO and chief creative director, Moorea Seal; and Sarah Studer, business development and communications, Impact Hub.

The third panel will be moderated by Jeremy Field, regional administrator of the Pacific NW Region for the U.S. Small Business Administration. The panelists include: Matt Galvin, co-owner, Pagliacci Pizza; Jaebadiah Gardner, founder and  CEO, GardnerGlobal, Inc.; Hannah Hanley, chief marketing and strategy officer, Heritage Distilling Company; and, Leen Kawas, president and CEO, M3 Biotechnology, Inc.

The list of sponsors includes Intellectual Ventures as the presenting sponsor. AP Insurance & Benefit Solutions, BECU, and Puget Sound Energy are the featured sponsors. Alabastro Photography, EY, National Event Pros, Recology, Seattle Storm, T-Mobile, and Premera are event sponsors, and The Evergrey, King 5, and The Seattle Times are media sponsors.


About Sappington

Sappington is a consultancy that helps business and technology leaders and change agents develop authentic communication strategies and tools that clear the way for digital business success.  We apply unique, humanities-based methods to break through the common barriers that often divide business and technology people and disrupt digital progress in today’s enterprises.