The Value Builder Summit 2019


Hollywood A-listers have Sundance… Copywriters meet each year in Cannes… Government big-wigs have Davos. Every important community has an annual shindig – a place where connections are made, friendships are forged, and the direction of a movement is defined.

Our 2019 Value Builder Summit is where professional advisors gather to connect to our collective purpose, network and learn from peers, and strengthen their businesses. This marks our third annual summit, and you'll walk away feeling renewed, inspired, and even more driven to help business owners improve the value of their companies.

See y’all there!


Ari Galper
Unlock The Game® & Trusted Authority®

Ari Galper is the World's #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and the creator of Trusted Authority® and Unlock The Game®, both completely new revolutionary sales approaches that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today. With over 100,000 subscribers and clients in over 35 countries, Trusted Authority® and Unlock The Game® have become the most successful Trust-Based Selling approaches of our time.

In a day and age where technology rules the selling world, for many growth-oriented business advisors, authenticity and trust have taken a "back seat" to the sales process.

Trusted Authority® is specifically for high-end Business Advisors who are finding themselves chasing potential clients, giving away free IP pre-engagement ("free consulting"), being perceived as "one-of-many", mostly dependent on random inbound project requests, without a systematic and proactive system to accessing their ideal clients.

Unlock The Game® puts trust back into selling in such an elegant and natural way, that the truth quickly emerges between seller and buyer, so the painful and arduous "chasing" process no longer has to happen to make a sale.

Ari's new books Unlock The Sales Game® and Trusted Authority® have become instant best-sellers among top business and exit advisors world-wide.

Ari has been interviewed on major news networks such as CNN/Money and SkyNews and is a sought-after international business mentor for professional advisors.

His personal insights on how to build trust between buyers and sellers continue to break new ground in the advisory industry.

"Ari’s contrarian sales and marketing approach is the greatest sales breakthrough in the last 20 years." Brian Tracy, Chairman of Brian Tracy International, leading business authority and best-selling author of 17 business books.

Brad Mewes
Supplement Advisory

Brad Mewes is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Supplement Advisory. Supplement provides strategic and corporate finance advisory, M&A advisory, and debt placement services to clients across North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico). Brad works directly with some of the largest public and private businesses in the automotive aftermarket, including leading companies in the service and repair, distribution, and manufacturing sectors. Major institutional investors and analysts retain Supplement for answers and insights into the North American automotive aftermarket, including Raymond James Capital Markets, Nomura Holdings / Instinet, and other undisclosed investors and analysts.

Brad has a hands-on perspective of the automotive aftermarket industry because he literally grew up in a shop. He also has an MBA from UC Irvine (where he graduated top 12% of his class), an undergraduate degree in International Economics (George Washington University), and is an instructor of Financial Analysis at UC Irvine. Prior to founding Supplement, he gained experience in equity research and management consulting, in addition to having direct P&L responsibility at his family’s business.

In his down time Brad enjoys drinking great craft coffee, watching Bloomberg TV, perusing 10-Q's, and reading books like Currency Wars, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and Barbarians at the Gate. He has traveled to over 15 countries on four continents. He also speaks Spanish and lived in both Chile and Mexico.

Eugene Wallace
Family Business Advisers

Eugene J. Wallace has been called a, “Strategic Advantage,” by many of his clients.  He has over 35 years of experience working with leaders in pursuit of excellence.  As a Trusted Adviser to Business Owners, and founder and president of Family Business Advisers and owner of Excell Oregon, he has integrated his experience as a husband, father, successful business owner, and his understanding of business and organizational theory, to forge a highly effective practice advising business leaders in the success and succession of their businesses.

He works with business owners/leaders as they: discover ‘why’ they are in and ‘what’ they want from their businesses; determine, with candid clarity, what the current state of their business is; develop an intentional and wise plan in the pursuit of success and succession; and encourage/assist them as they do the work.

Eugene has invested more than 15 years of his life working in the field of education, as a faculty member, administrator and coach.  He has earned three Master's Degrees focusing on Counseling, Human Development, and Philosophical and Theological Studies. His undergraduate work focused on Psychology, Theology and Business. He serves on the Boards of the YMCA Columbia-Willamette, the International Succession Planning Association, Rockwood CDC and other Foundation Boards.

Jeff Borschowa
Pharos Business

Jeff Borschowa is an author, educator, coach, mentor, and curator of all things related to accounting efficiency and technology. Jeff first joined the accounting world in 1991 and has spent the bulk of his career working with and advising small to medium-sized enterprises. Jeff has experience working in all sizes of accounting firms, from sole proprietorship to an international firm. The focus in Jeff’s career has been to find new and better ways to integrate innovation and technology to enhance the customer experience and improve efficiency in the accounting process.

Jeff’s journey has been unique in that he has met some very innovative accountants and mentors in his career. Jeff has been very fortunate to be in a position to learn from them, compare their ideas, and to truly choose the best of the best.

Jeff would like nothing more than to free accountants from the stress created by high volume commodity work, allowing them the freedom to pursue work that is rewarding personally and professionally.

Jeff’s overall goal is to reduce the hours worked by accountants and increase overall profitability. In Jeff’s experience, almost every accountant that can tell you how much their gross revenue is, but very few accountants know what their actual costs are. Jeff challenges you to learn more about your practice so that you can bid on the right kinds of projects and earn what you are worth – your education should be your most valued possession.

Jennifer McManus-Kirk
Map Key Partners

With over 20 years of experience in strategic, managerial, and leadership roles across a broad range of verticals, Jennifer specializesin aligning and unifying disparate groups towards realizing common goals.She excels at restructuring procedures thatallow teams to operate at their ultimate level of efficiency while consistently striving for transparency and accountability in order to unlock value in those businesses.

Jennifer's journey into understanding the keys to unlocking value began over 15 years ago when she decided to take what she had learned in the corporate world and branch out on her own to help business owners apply the principles of big business to all types of enterprises.

The very first opportunity she had was at a mid-size real estate firm in New York. After several months of immersing herself in that group, she recognized that the business would need to either undergo a major transformation, or be sold to a strategic buyerif they wanted to survive in the changing economy.

At the request of the founders, she built them a strategy document that she called the "unlock value roadmap" and coached them on how to use it tohelp them market their business for sale.The business was acquired for a significant sum and Jennifer realized she had uncovered a repeatable process that would be able to support other business owners in the same way.

Since then, Jennifer has been on both the buy and sell side of dozens of transactions, directed multiple M&A integration efforts, and has remained entirely focused on delivering her knowledge and expertise to countless individuals and teams - supporting them in their quest to unlock business value.

She is Certified as a Mergers & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA), Mergers & Acquisitions Integration Expert (CM&AI), and as a ScrumMaster (CSM). Jennifer is alsoactive in several organizations and groups including,the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA), the Mid-Market Alliance (MMA), the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) organization.

John Affleck
Renaissance Executive Forums

John F. Affleck is the Director of Franchise Success for Renaissance Executive Forums. Renaissance Executive Forums is an edge to edge platform for accelerating the personal & professional evolution of Renaissance Business Leaders. A core element of our platform is CEO peer groups.

We bring top CEO's and Business Leaders together in monthly confidential circles of trust designed to challenge, motivate, inspire, solve roadblocks by tapping collective genius and hold each other accountable to reaching one another's aspirations; AND we keep it FUN and dynamic along the way. Funnily enough, our positive impact on each other than spreads outward into all our spheres of influence, living proof that changing ourselves, changes the world.

John brings over 25 years of experience in starting, growing and sustaining profitable and positively impactful businesses across retail, service trades, automotive, dot-com, high tech, health, medical, financial, consulting and training industries. He has coached hundreds of small-midsized enterprises using systematic methodologies to boost alignment, productivity, sales, profitability, talent acquisition/retention, cost reduction, and customer and team delight.

John Dalton
Industrial Device Investments

John’s experience spans across operating roles within companies and as a private equity investor. He began with General Electric and Black & Decker, and held senior leadership and ownership positions with smaller organizations focused on unique technologies within basic industries. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina. He and his family live in Knoxville.

He started with SouthPointe Ventures in Atlanta in 2003. While at SouthPointe, he and his partner acquired four businesses:

  • Aerial Access Equipment,
  • Covington Holdings,
  • Tucker Millworks, and
  • Sunbelt Packaging.

Three of the businesses have been exited:

  • Aerial Access Equipment was sold to an investment partner in the business, with an interesting story of how the buy/sell can work. The structure was that the initiating partner had to come to the other with an offer under which they were prepared to sell or buy
  • Covington Holdings, assets were sold at a discount to a competitor, and
  • Tucker Millworks filed for bankruptcy.

The fund still owns Sunbelt Packaging, with plans to exit in 2019. Overall, despite two difficult investments, the fund should provide a successful return and distributions have already returned invested capital.

In 2006, John led the acquisition of Perceptics from Northrop Grumman. John has served as lead investor CEO of the company, an imaging equipment manufacturing company based in Knoxville, Tennessee. The primary product is license plate readers and the largest customers are the US and Canadian Border Authorities. The company has grown revenue by about three times and earnings by about six times over thirteen years, and an exit is planned for 2019. Although Perceptics overall has been very successful, in 2010, the company acquired competitor PlateScan, which they shut down after 18 months due to partnership and industry funding challenges.

In 2017, John self-funded and created Industrial Device Investments (IDI), an investment company that specializes in industrial product companies. Leveraging his three decades of experience with industrial product companies and as an operator and private equity investor, John brings an operator’s mindset to a finance person’s work. IDI targets its first closing in December 2018.

With experience both as an operator and as a financial professional, John has cultivated a unique skill set that has allowed him to bridge the gap between business owners and the private equity world.

John Jantsch
Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. His most recent book, SEO for Growth – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers and Entrepreneurs, is changing how the world thinks about SEO.

John has been called the world’s most practical speaker for delivering real-world, actionable presentations, workshops and seminars. His presentations are both inspirational and informative and packed with takeaway value.

As the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network, John has worked with small and mid-sized business owners helping them grow by installing predictable, repeatable marketing systems. His Duct Tape Marketing methodology is used by marketing consultants worldwide.

John Nieuwenburg
W5 Coaching

John Nieuwenburg is an award-winning Business Coach who has worked with hundreds of clients. John coaches in three primary areas: Business growth getting results using proven tools, strategies and techniques; Personal Growth, working with you to make the shifts in mindset needed to facilitate success; and Accountability, helping you to stay accountable for the results you have chosen that up until now may have been just a dream.

Prior to creating his coaching practice, John was the Managing Director of the BC Liquor Stores which has $2.8 billion in revenue and a net income of $911 million. Before that, he was an Executive with a national menswear retailer.

When not coaching, John enjoys being with his wife Jennifer, as well as golfing, skiing, running and reading.

John Warrillow
The Value Builder SystemTM

John Warrillow is the creator of The Value Builder System™, a statistically proven methodology for improving a company’s value by up to 71%.

John is the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, which was recognized by both Fortune and Inc Magazine as one of the best business books of 2011. Built to Sell has been translated into four languages. John’s next book, The Automatic Customer: Creating A Subscription Business In Any Industry was released by Random House in February 2015.

Prior to founding The Value Builder System™, John started and exited four companies, including a quantitative market research business that was acquired by The Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB) in 2008. John has been recognized by B2B Marketing as one of the top 10 business-to-business marketers in the United States.

An aging but avid sportsman, John has dragged his body around 5 marathon courses, one ironman triathlon and the L'Etape du Tour bike race.

John was born in England and grew up in Canada. He now lives with his family in Toronto.

Kevin McArdle
SureSwift Capital

Kevin is the Co-Founder and CEO of SureSwift Capital, a high growth, high margin, diversified, digital portfolio investment firm. In under four years, SureSwift has acquired and grown 31 companies. The firm uses a ‘buy and hold’ approach to promote growth for its portfolio that includes SaaS products, subscriptions services, lead gen, consumer, and content-driven websites. His passion for personal relationships and driving business results are at the heart of SureSwift’s impressive growth to date. Prior to founding SureSwift, Kevin was a Vice President at Cerner Corporation, a leading global provider of healthcare software. In his 15-year tenure at Cerner, Kevin held positions in sales, sales leadership, operations, and general management, eventually becoming one of the youngest Vice Presidents in thecompany’s 35-year history. Kevin earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Marquette University and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Kevin was born and raised in Kansas City, MO and now lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and four children.

Kim Hibler
Renaissance Executive Forum

Kim Hibler is the President of US and Canadian Operations for RenaissanceExecutive Forums (R.E.F.). We grow Renaissance Leaders -successful in Work, Self and Life.

R.E.F. is an Edge to Edge Platform for Accelerating the Personal & Professional Development of the Top Executive in his or her work, self-management and life endeavors. Core elements of our platform include, CEO Peer Groups/Executive Forums, Consulting and Coaching Engagements, and online assessments and resources geared to evolve the Leader and his or her Executive and Leadership Teams.

We believe that Leaders have a tremendous impact on the lives of others not to mention the impact this highly accountable role requires of one’s self. We support the top executive and their teams every step of the way as they lead their critical journeys building companies, leading every size and type of organization, and living their lives while doing so. We help Top Executives not just lead their journey but live their journey -changing lives and transforming businesses.

As a former Payments and SaaS Executive, Kim brings 30 years of Leadership experience across Product Development, Business Development, Client Services, Operations, and General Management. She is adept at managing the unique challenges and opportunities found spanning Start-up Companies to Fortune 100 companies. Her passion is innovation. This focus has driven the implementation of multiple breakthrough systems in the convergence of offline toonline Omni-channel products, platforms and services-serving the exponentially changing world we live in today.

Laura Ferguson
The Value Builder SystemTM

Laura Ferguson is the Director of Customer Success at The Value Builder System™ and is passionate about seeing Value Builder advisors succeed.

Her background includes consulting business owners in the start-up phase on sales, marketing and operations during which time she discovered how much she loved building companies that provide the best customer experience. She also has worked in publishing sales and training and development and continues to bring this customer focus into each role.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University and an HR Certificate from Ryerson University.

When Laura isn't working, you can find her out on adventures around Toronto with her family, which includes her identical twin sons and two dogs.

Lisë Stewart
EisnerAmper Center for Family Business Excellence

Lisë Stewart is the Director of the Center for Family Business Excellence within the Private Business Services Practice of EisnerAmper LLP. Lisë has significant experience in organizational development, strategic planning and training, and human performance management.

A popular and nationally recognized speaker, Lisë is well known for her advocacy and training for privately held businesses. She offers case studies, humor, and practical, no-nonsense advice to make her information accessible and realistic for clients and participants. Her training is in organizational psychology and small business, and she is the author of numerous articles on business sustainability, as well as organizational and individual effectiveness. Additionally, Lisë has been a keynote speaker on topics pertaining to small business nationally and internationally for over 25 years.

Prior to joining the firm, Lisë was the Founder and President of Galliard International, the largest provider of transition services for small businesses in the country. In 2014, she founded the Galliard Family Business Advisor Institute, a non-profit membership organization for those interested in supporting and saving family owned companies in their local communities.

Lisë holds the Gestalt Institute’s Certification in Professional Coaching and a Professional Level Certification through the International Coach Federation. She has been named to the NJBIZ list of “Best 50 Women in Business” for 2018. This award honors New Jersey’s influential women across a wide array of business sectors based on their professional success, community involvement, and advocacy for women.

Marla DiCarlo

Marla DiCarlo is an accomplished business consultant with more than 28 years of professional accounting experience. As co-owner and CEO of Raincatcher, she helps business owners get their business ready to sell so they find the best buyer and get paid the maximum value for their business. Marla has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a member of several professional organizations.

Originally from Arizona, Marla, her husband, and three children relocated to Colorado in 2007. From 2000 to 2008, Marla worked as Director of Accounting for an M&A and Investment group that specialized in purchase, capitalization, and management of real estate and businesses in various sectors. While there, she was responsible for new business deals, investments, and financing. She worked with groups such as Credit Suisse First Boston, ISS Group, Venture West Group, and Madison Dearborn Partners.

In 2012, she opened Kaizen Business Results, a fractional CFO, accounting and bookkeeping firm, to help small business owners understand the story behind their numbers and get to the next level. Using her experience in cash management, strategic planning, operations, and budgeting, she was able to help the small business owner scale, working with owners between $100k to $15mm in revenue.

Marla’s prior industry experience includes real estate, commercial development, and investments. She also has formal training and practical knowledge in computer implementation and consulting. Marla has a background in strategic planning and projecting, calculating valuations, forecasting, and budgeting. She also has extensive experience in accounting software such as Great Plains Dynamics and SAP, and as a QuickBooks Proadvisor for more than 15 years, she has the knowledge and ability to handle a multitude of accounting projects.

Marla is an accomplished speaker and has taught classes with her local SBDC and SBA, plus various lenders and banking institutions. She is a certified Value BuilderTM Advisor and has several years working in management accounting with an emphasis in taxes.

As a serial entrepreneur and small business owner, Marla has the heart and passion to help the owner get to that next level preparing them to make their Final Ascent.

Marquita Wiley
Innovative Business Advisors

Marquita Trenier Wiley is a business executive with 30 years experience in the Information Technology and Financial Services industries. She is CEO of TrenierEnterprises, LLC. Trenier Enterprises is an affiliate of Innovative Business Advisors and delivers M&A consulting and intermediary services through its relationship with IBA LLC.

Born in Mobile, Alabama, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. She attended Wayne State University in the Masters in Computer Science program. Ms. Wiley also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ms.Wiley started her career in Information Technology at General Motors Corporation in Detroit. After moving to St. Louis, Ms. Wiley joined IBM as a marketing representative. In 1979, Marquita joined Citicorp Mortgage where she held management positions of progressive responsibility in systems analysis, development and design. She assumed responsibility as head of Systems Application Development and then was promotedto head of New Technology Development including Technology R&D and Database Management teams. After a successful period owning her own Information Technology consulting firm, Ms. Wiley joined Boatmen’s Trust Company in St. Louis in 1993 as a Senior Vice President, Product Development for the Institutional Trust Division. In April, 1998 Marquita was appointed to a NationsBank senior management position in Retail Loan Services in St. Louis. In July, 1999 Ms. Wiley was named Premier Banking Executive for the Midwest region of Bank of America, with responsibility for the affluent/premier line ofbusiness in the Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois and Kansas markets. And in August, 2000, she assumed additional responsibilities to include the Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas market. As Premier Banking Executive, Marquita was responsible for P&L management of a $150 MM business. In 2005, Ms. Wiley established Trenier Enterprises, LLC and has grown the business through both acquisition andde-novo start-up. Trenier Enterprises, LLC is a holding Company comprised of: Trenier Consulting; and Trenier Business Brokerage.

Ms. Wiley is active in the community; serving on the Executive Advisory Board for the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University. She previously served on the boards Southern Illinois University where she was Chairman of the Audit Committee; and the Finance Committee. She served on the Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital, Belleville, IL; The St Louis Symphony; and the Missouri History Museum.

Ms. Wiley holds the following professional designations:
CBI (Certified Business Intermediary)
Real Estate Broker, Licensed in the State of Illinois
CEPA (Certified Exit Planning Advisor)

Richard Franzi
Critical Mass for Business

Richard Franzi was born and bred in a small coal mining and steel mill town in Western Pennsylvania. He moved to Orange County, CA, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh. While in Southern California, he continues his education by attaining his MBA from Pepperdine University.

Today he is the Founder and CEO of Critical Mass for Business, a premium social/peer learning firm for executives who lead firms with annual revenue between $5 million to $50 million. He is a business partner with Renaissance Executive Forums, a leading international advisory board firm founded in 1994. Richard currently chairs CEO Peer Groups throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. His work and research into social/peer learning has been featured in national print and online media, talk shows, publications, and educational forums and outlets.

Richard’s business talk show, Critical Mass Radio Show, has showcased over 1,200 interviews and is available on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Stitcher and various podcasting platforms.

His direct experience as a member and chair of CEO Peer Groups has inspired his first and second book: Critical Mass: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO Peer Groups (the first book ever written about how executives benefit from the peer group process) and Critical Mass: The Power of CEO Guiding Principles (now in its third release). His third book, Killing Cats Leads to Rats, released in March 2018 and deals with the unintended consequences of executives’ strategic decisions and how to prevent them from causing severe damage to a firm.

He is currently conducting extensive research for his fourth book The Critical Mass Company™. Richard’s personal BHAG – what Jim Collins has coined as the “big hairy audacious goal” – is to positively impact 1 million lives through his work and research.

He and his work have been featured in national media including,,, American Express OPEN Forum, and prominent Southern California publications including Orange County Business Journal, Orange County Register, and OC Metro Minute.

Shelene Flood

Shelene Flood is an administrative professional with over a decade’s worth of experience in service leadership, financial management, and data analytics; with a proven track record in identifying strategic solutions to improve efficacy and maximize results. As Broker Support Manager, she provides a high level of diverse support to the Raincatcher team thereby ensuring our ability to run like a fine-tuned, well-oiled machine.

Shelene holds a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, her home state. She moved to Colorado in 2010 and enjoys maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle with her husband while exploring the great outdoors.

Sophia Apostol
The Value Builder SystemTM

Sophia Apostol is the Director of Sales, Business Development & Culture at The Value Builder System™. Her background includes working as a librarian and instructor in the academic sector, as a sales director managing a $25M territory, and as a coach running her own practice. She has a Masters of Information Science, a Masters Certificate in Adult Training and Development. Sophia is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a graduate of the Co-Active Leadership program, and a Certified NeuroTransformational Coach.

Sophia loves stories and exploring how we can use storytelling techniques in our conversations with potential clients. Stories create connection and trust, and a powerful “Hero's Journey” story is essential for speaking engagements, media appearances, and sales conversations that convert into new business. Her session at this year's Summit will have you walking away with the framework for a compelling story you'll be able to use in all aspects of your business.

Sophia lives in Toronto and spends her free time at the beach with her goldendoodle, Desdemona.

Stephen Cummings
Rizolve Partners

Stephen Cummings is a leading advisor and financial expert who has worked extensively, and is well connected in the Canadian Private Equity and Venture Capital Industry. He has international credentials being a qualified CPA, CA in Ontario and is an FCA in England and Wales.

Prior to founding Rizolve Partners, a leading strategic business advisory firm to the SME market, Stephen was a leading executive with a top quartile Private Equity firm DRI Capital and a Partner with Lumira Capital, one of Canada’s leading Venture Capital firms. Prior to applying his skills in private capital, Stephen was the CFO at Harlequin Enterprises, a global publisher, and trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in London, UK.

Stephen has also conducted numerous successful consulting assignments in his own consulting practice involving acquisitions, disposals, financings, reorganizations, turnarounds and strategic advisory to numerous CEOs in both the public and private arenas.

Stephen is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute and Chairs its audit committee.

Stephen received a B. Sc. in Economics with honors from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association and Financial Executives International.

In the Private Equity industry Stephen has chaired a country wide CFO task force leading this industry group through paradigm changes in International Financial Reporting Standards, and Private Equity Valuation and Reporting best practices. He is also a sought-after speaker who has spoken in Toronto and New York.

Steve Sutton
Business Doctors South Africa

Steve Sutton is a highly experienced strategist having directed strategy and operations departments in blue chip companies over the last 10 years. He holds an MBA and multiple ICT engineering degrees. He is currently the Master Franchisor and CEO of Business Doctors Southern Africa a Business Consulting Franchise. He has lead the company to triple Topline growth over the last four years by introducing innovative and industry leading incubation solutions. Business Doctors are one of the top international Value Builder Partners with records level survey and engagement numbers.

Steve Conwell

Steve Conwell is an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 25 years of business advisory and financial consulting experience. As co-owner and president of Raincatcher, Steve brings his passion and energy as an accomplished small business owner to entrepreneurs who want to sell their businesses. He helps owners prepare their businesses for sale, leveraging his team of professional business brokers, and extensive buyer networks to sell their businesses for top dollar.

Throughout his career, Steve has leveraged public accounting, internal audit, and controls experience with Fortune 500 and middle market companies, always returning to his entrepreneurial roots.

From 1993 to 2002, Steve worked at Ernst & Young in public accounting, business advisory services, and technology auditing. At Whitman-Hart, Steve served as the COO of the Dallas office and Global Director of Business Operations across the 72-office, $2b management consulting firm.

In 2002, he began his entrepreneurial adventures co-founding and building ECC, a national consulting and recruiting firm. The company led global risk and controls engagements for Fortune 500 and middle market clients, partnering with Tier-1 accounting firms. He successfully sold the business in 2008. Steve realized at this time he had a passion and love for business owners and their entrepreneurial spirit.

From 2009 to early 2017, Steve was the Market President of a consulting firm that provided professional accountants to small businesses to complement their internal accounting staff.

Most recently, he was the interim CFO for Rylex Capital in residential real estate. He led the cash to accrual conversion and the year-one audit, earning an unqualified audit opinion from the 8th largest public accounting firm.

Steve has a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Accounting degree and is a member of several professional associations. He is a Certified Value Builder and expert in getting companies “Built to Sell.” Steve was the past president of the Fort Worth Institute of Internal Auditors. He was a National Board Member and Dallas Advisory Council Chairman with the American Lung Association. He is an accomplished speaker, presenting several topics on business and entrepreneurship to business leaders and college students.

Steve is a native Texas and attended nine different schools growing up, It’s why he embraces change and loves thinking out-of-the-box. He lives in the Dallas area with his college sweetheart and their two children.

Susan Clements
Benchmark Business Group

Susan Clements is Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer for Benchmark Business Group, a business coaching and business brokerage company serving small to mid-size businesses. Susan became a certified Senior E-Myth Consultant in 2002 and provides operational and strategic coaching and consulting services to business owners and leaders throughout the United States.

For more than 35 years, Susan has managed or owned businesses in Colorado and Iowa, from guest ranches and ski resorts, to commercial and residential cleaning and maintenance companies, to retail shops. She has worked in fields from industrial construction company office administration to public utility administration. She has experienced and steered large and small businesses through a broad spectrum of business challenges and opportunities, including management problems, personnel issues, customer service issues, strategic planning, systems development, and opportunities for growth and change. She co-founded Benchmark Business Group in 1999, which further acquired assets of a business brokerage in 2011.

Susan authored the Optimal Outcome coaching program for financial services businesses and heads product development. She is a Senior Business Analyst and a Certified Value Builder™. Susan advises clients on strategies for designing businesses to have more value, prepares businesses for sale, and works with owners to successfully maneuver the process of selling their businesses.

Brian Trzcinski
MassMutual Financial Group

Brian A. Trzcinski has spent his entire career as a marketing professional in the financial services industry. He joined MassMutual since 2006, serving as Director of Life Product Marketing, Regional Marketing Director, and currently, Director of Business Market Development. Brian is responsible for all marketing programs aimed at assisting the business owner marketplace, including research, educational content, strategic partnerships and sales tool development. Prior to joining MassMutual, Brian spent six years with MetLife as a Marketing Manager in its life product, financial planning, and broker/dealer organizations. He has experience marketing to both the career agency system and independent distribution channels. Brian is recognized as a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) from the Exit Planning Institute. He holds a Master’s degree from Emerson College in Writing and Publishing and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism from Stonehill College. In his spare time, Brian is a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and youth travel AAU basketball coach.


  • 8:30 a.m.8:40 a.m.
    Opening Remarks
  • 8:40 a.m.10:00 a.m.
    More than a Foot in the Door: The Art and Science of Engaging Business Owners in Vital Conversations
    Presented by: Lisë Stewart, EisnerAmper Center for Family Business Excellence

    Over the next 10 to 15 years, an estimated $10.4 trillion will change hands as baby boomer business owners transition away from their companies. However, most owners will never realize the financial potential of their businesses, because they don’t undertake their exit and succession planning early and they fail to engage the professionals who can help to make this transition successfully. Why are they so reluctant to plan and to ask for help? In this interactive and informative workshop, Lisë Stewart, the Managing Director of the EisnerAmper Center for Family Business Excellence will provide vivid examples and helpful tips for effectively engaging with this often-reluctant client. Lisë draws upon over 30 years of experience, using case studies, humor and a hands-on, practical approach to working with family-owned and closely held businesses. Her goal is to help her fellow professionals to develop trusting relationships that will motivate clients to take action. In this session you will learn to:

    • Identify the key issues preventing many businesses owners from seeking the professional services they need to manage risk, protect their personal and business assets and successfully transition away from the ownership or day-to-day management of their businesses
    • Identify the key roles that professional service providers can assume as they become a trusted advisor
    • Understand six techniques for effectively engaging reluctant business owners in an initial conversation and discovery process
    • Employ the technique of reframing to address concerns about and potential resistance to change

  • 10:00 a.m.10:30 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.11:45 a.m.
    (Choose One of Three)
    Inside the Mind of an Acquirer
    Hosted by: Stephen Cummings, Rizolve Partners
    Panelists: John Dalton, Industrial Device Investments Jennifer McManus-Kirk, Map Key Partners Kevin McArdle, SureSwift Capital

    As a Value Builder Advisor your goal is to help maximize the value of your client’s business and to do that, you have to understand how the other side thinks. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of acquirers who will reveal the surprising truth about the way they evaluate potential acquisitions. You’ll learn:

    • How acquirers find most of their potential acquisitions
    • The top five things acquirers look for in a company to buy
    • The single biggest mistake owners (and their advisors) make in positioning their business for an acquisition
    • The two most common tactics buyers use to try and lower the price they pay for a business
    • The strategies buyers use to de-risk acquisitions
    • The three biggest deal killers that stop acquirers from buying a company

    If your goal is to help your clients maximize the value of their company, you won’t want to miss this revealing look inside the mind of the buyer.


    The Secret to Finding New Business: Best Practices to Nurture New Leads
    Presented by: Marla DiCarlo, Raincatcher Steve Conwell, Raincatcher Shelene Flood, Raincatcher

    Companies are making big investments to generate customer inquiries, turning to the internet to generate sales leads for their products and services. They should be responding to new inquiries at internet speed. Why aren't they doing that? It is obvious that companies need new tools and processes to meet the demands of the new online age, and that's true for Value Builder Advisors as well.

    Dr. James Oldroyd, Professor at Sloan School of Management, MIT, conducted a lead response management study and found that the odds of making successful contact with a lead are one hundred times (100) greater when contact occurs within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after a contact was submitted. That is mind-boggling and true, regardless of the industry, the product or the service being sold.

    The key is building systems and processes through technology to respond and nurture leads at the same speed as they're generated. It's about leveraging the assessment in a unique way to build, foster, and strengthen relationships, leading and nurturing the business owner through the sales process. It's our secret sauce to converting warm leads into trusted, valuable clients.

    In this engaging presentation you will be learning from the Certified Value BuilderTM team at Raincatcher: Marla, Steve, and Shelene. Together they have built a lead generation, prospecting, and sales engine that is achieving phenomenal results. They have walked the talk with the same tools you are using, and are willing to share their insights. In this session you will learn:

    • How to build the process behind good lead nurturing
    • How to reach out relentlessly as a standard practice
    • Why you want to peel the onion by building the client relationship one step at a time
    • How to pre-screen and take people through the process
    • How to leverage the Value Builder Assessment to quickly build trusted and open relationships
    • Why you want to spend time getting to know the business owner's answers (yes, it helps)
    • How to set realistic expectations on the valuation and the timing of the sale


    Critical Mass: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO Peer Groups
    Presented by: Richard Franzi, Critical Mass for Business

    What is a CEO Peer Group, and why are they so effective in helping business owners achieve their desired results? Join us to understand the value and benefit of facilitated peer groups and how it could serve your business and your client offering.

    In this breakout session, led by Richard Franzi, acclaimed peer group facilitator, speaker, and author of three books including Critical Mass: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO Peer Group, you will learn why peer groups are the key to unlocking the true potential and value in a business. Using real-life case studies, Richard will walk us through how successful business owners build an army around themselves and use peer input and feedback to develop their own personal guidance system.

    CRITICAL MASS is a term used to describe the existence of momentum in a social system. That momentum becomes self-sustaining and fuels future growth. Find out how to help your clients develop critical mass to propel them to the next level and beyond, improve their chances of survival by building alliances, and overcome common threats in today’s business environment.

    ** If you are interested in attending this session, be sure to check out the Day Two Breakout called ‘Selling and Marketing a Value Builder Mastermind’ as well.

  • 11:45 a.m.12:45 p.m.
  • 12:45 p.m.1:30 p.m.
    (Choose One of Three)
    The Automatic Customer: Deep Dive
    Presented by: Susan Clements, Benchmark Business Group

    Recurring revenue is one of the most rewarding drivers of a company’s value, but it can be tricky to implement for a lot of businesses. Join Susan Clements, a Certified Value Builder™ and Co-Owner and CEO of Benchmark Business Group, for a look at how to break through client resistance when it comes to recurring revenue. Learn the best exercises to take your clients through and the right questions to ask as you create and implement an effective strategy. Susan will share examples and case studies from her many years of experience in coaching business owners, will help you brainstorm solutions to tough scenarios that you may be facing, and will open your mind to the possibilities that exist for creating the automatic customer.


    Success Begins with Mindset
    Presented by: John Nieuwenburg, W5 Coaching

    You hear it all the time, “success is a state of mind.” Have you ever wondered how two people can go after the same goal in the same way and yet just one of them succeeds? Is it sheer luck? Timing? Perseverance? More often than not, it’s a person’s mindset that determines whether they fail or succeed. Mindset refers to your predominant day-to-day state of mind. It’s what you think about, focus on, and expect from your daily experiences. The most successful entrepreneurs share a set of core skills, beliefs and values that help them persevere as they grow their businesses. This talk will inspire you to adopt or refine the fundamental habits that create your success mindset. Success begins with mindset. Is your mindset ready for success?


    Inside the Mind of a Business Owner

    Engage in an intimate discussion and case study of a business owner and the Advisor that worked with them. Hear about their experience in going through a Value Builder Engagement, and then interact in a question and answer format. No topic is off the table so ask about their first impression, most and least favourite module, what was valuable and what was not to hear the inside scoop.

  • 1:30 p.m.1:45 p.m.
  • 1:45 p.m.2:30 p.m.
    (Choose One of Three)
    The Automatic Customer: Deep Dive
    Presented by: Susan Clements, Benchmark Business Group

    Recurring revenue is one of the most rewarding drivers of a company’s value, but it can be tricky to implement for a lot of businesses. Join Susan Clements, a Certified Value Builder™ and Co-Owner and CEO of Benchmark Business Group, for a look at how to break through client resistance when it comes to recurring revenue. Learn the best exercises to take your clients through and the right questions to ask as you create and implement an effective strategy. Susan will share examples and case studies from her many years of experience in coaching business owners, will help you brainstorm solutions to tough scenarios that you may be facing, and will open your mind to the possibilities that exist for creating the automatic customer.


    Success Begins with Mindset
    Presented by: John Nieuwenburg, W5 Coaching

    You hear it all the time: “success is a state of mind.” Have you ever wondered how two people can go after the same goal in the same way and yet just one of them succeeds? Is it sheer luck? Timing? Perseverance? More often than not, it’s a person’s mindset that determines whether they fail or succeed. Mindset refers to your predominant state of mind day to day. It’s what you think about, focus on, and expect from your daily experiences. The most successful entrepreneurs share a set of core skills, beliefs and values that help them persevere as they grow their businesses. This talk will inspire you to adopt or refine the fundamental habits that create your success mindset. Success begins with mindset. Is your mindset ready for success?


    The Pulse of Today’s Business Owner: 2018 Business Owner Perspectives Study
    Presented by: Brian Trzcinski, MassMutual Financial Group

    The 2018 Business Owner Perspectives Study, presented by, Brian Trzcinski, the Director of Business Market Development at MassMutual, showcases brand new research on today’s business owner, including what is top of mind from a personal and business perspective, what keeps them awake at night, and the best messaging you can use to break through to a meaningful dialogue.

    Using survey findings as well as anecdotes and stories from focus groups you will learn:

    • How to get long-term planning to be top of mind with your business owner clients
    • How to use the key findings from the study to better approach the business owner market with competence and confidence
    • Today’s business planning pain points, including the typical business owner’s uncensored opinions of business valuation, business protection, and exit planning
    • Why business and personal finances, owner concerns and goals are inextricably linked, and what to do about it
    • How to open a meaningful dialogue about how you can help your business owner clients and prospects achieve long-term business success and financial stability for their family

  • 2:30 p.m.3:00 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m.4:30 p.m.
    How To Become The Trusted Authority® In Your Market So You Can Create An Endless Flow Of High-Paying Clients
    Presented by: Ari Galper, The World’s #1 Authority On Trust-Based Selling CEO & Founder, Trusted Authority® and Unlock The Game®

    The business advisory market has been flooded in the last 24 months with thousands of new advisors going after YOUR next client. Many are not as qualified as you, some loosely call themselves consultants, coaches or advisors without the same solid business background and credentials as you. But, up front, your next client has a very difficult time making a distinction between you and them.

    Search LinkedIn under "Advisors" in the US alone, there are thousands - hundreds of thousands - and more coming online every day. If you think that you can keep doing what you are doing to stay ahead of the curve and win new clients the way you have in the past, you're in for a rude awakening.

    Selling has truly become a battle of differentiation, and no longer a battle of persuasion. That statement draws the proverbial line in the sand that says it's time for you to seriously consider changing the way you think about how you market your advisory business to acquire new clients.

    In this life-changing presentation, you’ll discover:

    • New breakthrough strategies to differentiate your business so you are no longer being judged by your prospective clients in an “apples-to-apples” comparison
    • Why depending on referrals is not a sustainable "sales" strategy any more
    • How Trusted Authorities always get the highest paying clients
    • The biggest sales obstacles most Professional Advisors can't overcome on their own, and what you can do about them
    • What it's like to never have to defend your skills, background or your credibility, ever again
    • Game-changing strategies to have your ideal client chase you, rather than you having to chase them!

  • 5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m.
    A Honky-Tonk Cocktail Reception at Gilley’s Dallas, The Loft

    Kick up your heels after a full day of learning and join us for a honky-tonk cocktail reception at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas. Mingle with colleagues, interact with the speakers, and get your books signed by keynote speaker, John Jantsch. Two-step your way over to the bar for a drink or for a bite to eat. A line dancing instructor will be helping us improve our technique and fully indulge in the honky-tonk experience!

    Transportation will be available to and from the host hotel by bus, or make your own way to Gilley’s located at 1135 S Lamar St, Dallas, by taxi, uber or car.

    For those of you who would prefer to stay downtown for dinner afterwards, we are happy to provide a list of recommended restaurants in the area.

    Dress code: Casual (cowboy hats and boots optional!)

  • 8:30 a.m.10:00 a.m.
    Duct Tape Marketing: Guiding the Customer Journey
    Presented by: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

    John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, and bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling and several other books. He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Consulting Network.

    In this session, John will start by revealing the 7 steps to small business marketing success as a framework for building a marketing plan – secrets which you can get equal use out of for your business as for your work with clients. This universal step by step approach can be applied to any size of business, start up or move up, in any industry.

    Next, John will blend marketing, sales and service strategies in the creation of a useful customer experience. Today’s buyer has many ways to find the products and services they acquire. Growing a business today is as much about leading a journey, as it is about creating demand.

  • 10:00 a.m.10:30 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.11:45 a.m.
    (Choose One of Three)
    From Elevator Pitch To Hero's Journey: Build A Story That's Irresistible to Clients
    Presented by: Sophia Apostol, The Value Builder SystemTM

    A powerful hero's journey story creates connection, sets you apart from other advisors, and magnetizes your audience— so let's make yours amazing! A well-crafted and practiced story positions you as a trusted advisor in the eyes of prospective clients, and leaves them wanting to know more.

    In this session, you'll workshop how to seed your expertise into your personal story without feeling like you're selling, dissolve concerns clients have about working with you as an advisor, and use your story to form a connection that converts prospects into paying clients.


    From Start-up to Successful ValueBuilder Business in 90 days
    Presented by: Jeff Borschowa, Pharos Business

    The biggest challenge to building a new business is knowing where to start and what to prioritize.Jeff walks through the specific action steps he took to build a six-figure Value Builder coaching business from scratch in 90 days while working less than 20 hours a week on his business.

    This session will showcase his formula, complete with daily actions, that you can adopt in order to grow your own business.Jeff will share tactics that will work, whether you are a start-up looking to get those first vital customers or an established business looking to add to your existing revenue.

    In addition to his growth tactics, Jeff will share his sales script with tips as to how you can engage your existing and potential customers in advisory type services.Learn the six questions that will help you close more deals and get greater client engagement.

    In this session, you will learn how to:

    • Set SMART goals
    • Create an action plan for success
    • Focus on the activities that drive results
    • Sell and close business
    • Build stronger client relationships


    Selling and Marketing a Value Builder Mastermind
    Host and Panelist: Eugene Wallace, Family Business Advisers
    Other Panelists: John Affleck, Renaissance Executive Forums Kim Hibler, Renaissance Executive Forums

    Mastermind peer groups have many advantages, but they also present unique challenges for sales and marketing. In this session we will host an expert panel of facilitators and marketers to find out how each have launched a mastermind group or facilitated peer forums. This group of experts will help you understand how to:

    • Market a mastermind group or peer forum.
    • Introduce the value proposition of of mastermind groups to prospects and clients
    • Leverage key selling points of peer forums with Business Owners
    • Time the start of your group to set members up for success from the beginning

    ** If you are interested in attending this session, be sure to check out the Day One Breakout called ‘Critical Mass: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO Peer Groups’ as well.

  • 11:45 a.m.1:15 p.m.
    Lunch – Table Topics Networking Event
  • 1:15 p.m.2:15 p.m.
    The Expert Panel
    Hosted by: Laura Ferguson, The Value Builder SystemTM
    Panelists: Brad Mewes, Supplement Advisory Steve Conwell, Raincatcher Marquita Wiley, Innovative Business Advisors Steve Sutton, Business Doctors South Africa

    Laura Ferguson, Director of Customer Success at The Value Builder System™, will moderate a panel discussion of some of our most active advisors. Laura’s questions will include:

    • What’s your secret for getting owners to complete the questionnaire?
    • How do you convert assessments into engagements?
    • What’s the best way to deliver The Value Builder Engagement?
    • How do you bill for a Value Builder Engagement?
    • What marketing campaigns have you found to be most effective?

  • 2:15 p.m.2:30 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.4:00 p.m.
    The Road Ahead: Closing Keynote Address and 2019 Product Release Announcement
    Presented by: John Warrillow, The Value Builder SystemTM

    In this engaging and interactive session, Value Builder founder John Warrillow will discuss the vision and road ahead for The Value Builder System™ and the Value Builder Advisor network.

    Our collective mission is to reach, support, and empower over 1,000,000 business owners – today we are at 40,000. How can we work together to achieve this mission and empower Business Owners?

    The connections we create and build are a critical component, as is the passion we hold and foster within each other. Hear John’s first-hand advice on how to create a powerful network and connections – with your passion, your clients, and with each other. In doing so, John will share some of the most powerful and inspirational success stories we have heard over the past year from both Business Owners and their Advisors, and he will announce the 2019 Value Builder Product Roadmap. It’s an announcement you will not want to miss, and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

  • 4:00 p.m.


The Westin Dallas Park Central
12720 Merit Drive, Dallas, TX, 75251

Your Stay at The Westin Dallas Park Central

You will enjoy an elevated experience with a stay at the recently transformed Westin Dallas Park Central. The Westin welcomes travelers to North Dallas with refreshed accommodations and gracious Texas hospitality. Arrive with ease via one of the two nearby airports and discover the redesigned hotel, experience the premium conference facility, and explore the greater Dallas area. Recharge after an event-filled day in the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, refuel at the Urban South Dine, or relax in the spacious light-filled guestrooms.

Extend Your Stay in Dallas

You’ll love your stay in this warm-hearted Texas town. It boasts one of America’s best dining scenes and a commitment to the arts that rivals some of the greatest cultural destinations in the world. Choose to spend your extra time wandering among fountains and bronze steers or taste-test the best barbecue that Dallas has to offer. Whether you spend time debunking every JFK assassination conspiracy theory or enjoying the simple pleasures of feeding giraffes at the zoo, you will enjoy your days in the big “D”.

Buy tickets

Your registration fee includes course material, breakfasts and lunches. You will be responsible to arrange your own transportation and accommodations.


Thank you to our Value Builder Summit Partner Network.

People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no other individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.
Franklin D. Roosevelt