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A quick look at the agenda

All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Located at Book Tower (meet in the lobby)

  • 4:30-6:00 PM: Pre-Summit private program meetups for the Sounding Board community (current mentors & mentees) and the Leadership Academy community (current cohorts & Alumni)

Located on the 13th floor of Book Tower

  • 6:00-9:00 PM: Small Giants Summit Opening Reception 

Day 1 Agenda for Tuesday, May 7

The opening reception will take place at Book Tower.

4:30-6:00 PM | Leadership Academy Mixer*

*A private meet up for current participants and alumni of the Leadership Academy community.

Meet at the lobby of Book Tower to embark on a 45-minute easy walking tour of Detroit's historical sites! Learn and socialize with your Leadership Academy peers. We'll end back at the Book Tower to mix and mingle before the opening reception begins.

4:30-6:00 PM | Sounding Board Meet Up*

*A private meet up at for current Sounding Board mentors and mentees.

Join us at the Bar Rotunda near the lobby of the Book Tower to mix and mingle with other members of the Sounding Board community.

6:00-9:00 PM | Summit Opening Reception

Set the foundation for your Small Giants Summit experience by getting to know fellow attendees, while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

Join us on the 13th floor of Book Tower to kick the Summit off on a high note! This is the first event for all Summit attendees.

We can't wait to see you!

Day 2 Agenda for Wednesday, May 8

Programming during the day will take place at One Campus Martius.

The evening reception will take place at the Fox Theatre.

8:00-8:45 AM | Breakfast

Fuel up for the day with breakfast and coffee, and get settled before we kick things off.

8:45-9:15 AM | Welcome & Summit Kick-Off

We’ll set the stage for the day and introduce you to the 2024 Summit and the theme of Enduring. Meet the Small Giants Community Team and hear from Paul Spiegelman, co-founder of the Community, and Hamsa Daher, Executive Director.

9:15-10:15 AM | Opening Keynote with Scott Harrison
Scott Harrison round headshot (1)

"From NYC Nightclubs to the Fields of Liberia"

Scott Harrison
charity: water

What if you had to drink dirty water? If you’ve never thought about this, consider yourself lucky because nearly 1 in 10 people don’t have access to clean drinking water. 

Scott is on a mission to make clean water accessible to the world. And in the process, he’s reimagining and reinventing the idea of charity by building trust and elevating transparency through a true sense of community. Through Scott’s efforts, charity: water has funded clean and safe drinking water for more than 1 million people in 22 countries around the world.

But getting to this point of impact has been a tumultuous journey for Scott, not without his own personal struggles. From a traumatic childhood event that led him to a rebellious rockstar lifestyle, his troubled past was full of dangerous vices leading him down a path of destruction. Scott had an epiphany that he needed to do more to find meaning and leave a legacy he could be proud of, so he gave up everything he knew and committed to this path of serving others. 

Learn more about Scott’s journey, how he’s endured, and the reflection points that changed his perspective and his life by focusing on helping others. Scott will share how he’s leading a movement that is making the world a better place, and how he’s discovered his personal mission along the way.

10:15-10:30 AM | Break & Speed Coaching

Stretch your legs out on the beautiful balcony, chat with your new friends, or sign up for a 1-1 speed coaching session (scroll to the bottom of the page for more details). 

*Speed coaching begins at 10 AM! 

10:30-11:30 AM | Mainstage Interactive Session with Zach Mercurio
Zach Mercurio round headshot Salvagno round headshot

"Why the Future of Work is Human"

Zach Mercurio
ZM Consulting

Technology shapes how we view, perceive, and interact with the world. From advancements in AI to the interconnectedness of our social and work lives through apps, technology enables us to do things we’ve never done faster.

However, research shows that increasing reliance on technology has fragmented our attention spans and limited our communication to short transactions, leaving more people than ever feeling invisible, unheard, and unvalued in work. In the last decade, data overwhelmingly indicates that people are, more than ever, leaving organizations because of perceptions of “uncaring” leaders and disrespectful cultures where they feel dispensable.

That’s why the future of work is not purely technological. It’s interactional. One of the rarest and most coveted skills at work will be to ensure the person across from you feels truly seen, heard, understood, and valued. Through Zach’s extensive research, he’ll help us identify the skills leaders need to cultivate enduring, meaningful, and human-centered organizations. Zach will also share actionable ways to assess, track, and scale these skills. It’s time to recognize the level of humanity we need to preserve as our competitive advantage in order to keep pace with the rapidly approaching future.

11:30 AM-12:00 PM | Mainstage Long Story Short with Mackey McNeill
Mackey McNeill Round Headshot

"Numbers + Empowerment = Purpose"

Mackey McNeill

Mackey is a rebel who has broken barriers from the start. Raised in the South during a time when a woman’s job was in the home, as a nurse, or as a teacher, Mackey wanted more, so she followed her passion and boldly ventured into the male-dominated world of business and accounting.

Along the way, Mackey learned that her work was about so much more than numbers on a page, it was about empowering others. But she had to put her own oxygen mask on first, dive inward, defy the norms, and ignite her work with purpose and passion. To embrace the crazy idea that data, mere numbers, can be a powerful force for change by helping others envision their future. To make powerful, and life-changing choices with confidence. The unconventional path she carved has led to groundbreaking results, with countless business owners achieving their goals and finding enduring prosperity. Now, as she looks ahead, this maverick spirit continues fueling Mackey to defy conventions and stay aligned to what’s next. Get ready to hear the story of a true rebel who would not be deterred from her mission to create positive change.

12:00-1:00 PM | Lunch & Speed Coaching

Take a break and make some new connections over a delicious lunch!

You can also take this time to participate in a 1-1 speed coaching session. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more details.

Next Gen Afternoon Track
1:00-1:30 PM | Session with Nenuca Syquia & Zach Burns
Zach BurnsNenuca Syquia-1

"Playbook of a Winning Team"

Nenuca Syquia
Better Organizations by Design (BOxD)

Zach Burns
The Motz Group

Team performance isn’t a product of luck. It requires intention to create it and attention to bring it to life. From the personal work put in, to the rituals that positively reinforce behavior, the best teams have certain things in common that enable them to consistently be successful. Growth and endurance requires a cohesive team of remarkable people. Does your own team’s ecosystem align with this? 

You’re in for a treat as Nenuca and Zach reveal how to create great teams! Through Nenuca’s extensive experience working with teams and through the lens of Zach’s leadership in his company after taking over from the founder, they’ll show how collaboration, transparency, and intention come together to shape successful teams. You’ll dive into actionable strategies and tools for maximizing team effectiveness and will see it come to life through real company situations.

1:30-2:00 PM | Long Story Short with Chris Ecceleston
Chris Eccleston round headshot-1

"Be a Buffalo"

Chris Ecceleston
Delmarva Veteran Builders

September 11, 2001 was a day most people can’t forget. For Chris, this was the day that amplified his passion to do something bigger than himself. A week later, he left everything behind for his first deployment. But even getting to this point - to put his life on the line and defend his country - didn’t come without a fight. 

Chris is no stranger to persistence. From helping others through his service in the military to now helping save the future of the construction industry, when the going gets tough, Chris shows up. There’s no doubt you’ll be inspired by his story of grit, his entrepreneurial spirit, and the selfless passion Chris has for helping others. Get ready to witness how focusing on your purpose-driven journey is a true heroic adventure!

2:00-2:30 PM | Break & Speed Coaching

Stretch your legs out on the beautiful balcony, chat with your new friends, or sign up for a 1-1 speed coaching session (scroll to the bottom of the page for more details). 

2:30-3:30 PM | Interactive Workshop with Alida Miranda-Wolff
Alida Miranda Wolff round headshot-1

"Treating Burnout with Belonging"

Alida Miranda-Wolff

These days, burnout is all too common. We often use burnout as a sign to make a change or course correct back to a better balance. Sometimes, we take a vacation. However, that will not always solve what’s really going on. 

In reality, by the time you burn out, coming back from it is difficult. Our real goal should be to combat burnout by building relationships and expectations in the workplace that create an environment of belonging.

During this session, Alida will teach us why belonging matters and how we can achieve it to create an enduring culture. She’ll guide us through a self-assessment to understand your current state of belonging. Then, with this foundation, Alida will help you identify the risks of burn out and some tools to help you and your teams stay in a healthy place of stress. 

3:30-4:00 PM | Long Story Short with Carolyn Savage

"Staying in the Game"Caroly Savage round headshot-1

Carolyn Savage
Pioneer Title Agency & Yavapai Title Agency

Carolyn’s soccer career was ramping up - she was on the path that she had devoted her life to as an athlete. And then one day everything started to change. At only 34 years old, she’s now had 7 knee surgeries and has a total knee replacement in the near future. In this wake, she’s been left with the scars of her former life as a soccer player. 

But scars mean more than just what used to be - they signal strength, bravery, and resiliency. Carolyn will share her story of courage and self-discovery, the unexpected twists and turns that her path has taken to help her redefine her business leadership in impactful and meaningful ways. Carolyn’s experience is a journey in endurance - adapting and outlasting the physical, mental, and emotional changes both personally and professionally. We can’t wait for you to hear her story and find your moments of enduring inspiration!

Founder/CEO Afternoon Track
1:00-2:00 PM | Interactive Workshop with Spencer Sheinin
Spencer Sehinin round headshot

"Accounting Doesn't Have to Suck"

Spencer Sheinin
Shift Financial Insights

Maybe you don’t love the numbers aspect of your business or you feel trapped in financial cloudiness as your business grows. Maybe you want to have clearer conversations around the numbers  but are unsure how to get there. 

As a CPA and entrepreneur himself, Spencer will help you understand and diagnose the core financial levers affecting your business so you can better equip yourself and your team to course correct and grow in the right way. Get ready for increased profitability and less personal stress! Understanding your financial health in the right way can help you more effectively identify problems and challenges in your business.

Don’t worry, this is NOT an accounting lesson! Regardless of your financial knowledge, Spencer’s knack for explaining numbers will leave you with simple tools and a new level of understanding to drive your business growth and help you endure.

2:00-2:30 PM | Break & Speed Coaching
Stretch your legs out on the beautiful balcony, chat with your new friends, or sign up for a 1-1 speed coaching session (scroll to the bottom of the page for more details). 
2:30-3:00 PM | Long Story Short with Karen Creveling-Hughes
Karen Hughes

"Childhood Lessons Learned"

Karen Creveling-Hughes
Community Link Consulting

Our experiences growing up shape who we are and impact our perspectives and behaviors as we get older. Yet when we take time to reflect on where we’ve come from, hidden parts of our history reveal themselves and often evolve as a larger influence than we initially thought. 

From Karen’s earliest experiences growing up on a cattle ranch and memories of her great-grandmother’s store, to uncovering stories about her father’s generosity as a landlord, her family and childhood helped shape her approach to business. This entrepreneurial spirit has stayed with her through the transition from an accountant to CEO. After taking over the 25-year old company from her husband, Karen has seen how preserving trust and communication within a team is the key to enduring. She’ll share her story and lessons learned about how people have helped her grow into the wonderful leader she is today!

3:00-4:00 PM | Fireside Chat with Eric Rieger & Bo Burlingham
Bo Burlingham circle photoEric Rieger Skipper Round Headshot-1

"The Endurance Roller Coaster" 

Eric Rieger
WEBIT Services, Inc.

Bo Burlingham
Small Giants Community

The last couple of years have been a roller coaster for Eric, and to say things haven’t gone as planned is an understatement. From a changing and more challenging business landscape to shifts in his leadership team, Eric has been riding the ups and downs of his business. No matter how wild the ride has gotten, Eric’s “why” has kept him focused and given him the energy to keep going.

Join us for a special fireside chat to dig into what’s not always easy to talk about – the pitfalls of enduring. Bo will guide us in an intimate conversation with Eric to explore his journey: the obstacles he faced, what he’s learned, and how he’s bounced back. We’ll learn through Eric’s pitfalls to understand how purpose is truly a guiding force. Find yourself and your own experiences in Eric’s relatable story, and reflect alongside him to understand the real power behind purpose and perseverance in business.

Hall of Fame Evening Reception
5:30 PM | Shuttle Transportation

Meet in the 1st floor lobby of the Shinola Hotel or the Westin Book Cadillac to catch the shuttle to our evening reception! 

The Detroit Bus Company will be shuttling us from our hotels to a truly special spot, the Fox Theatre.

6:00-9:00 PM | Hall of Fame Evening Reception

You'll be able to enjoy a fantastic meal and continue your conversations with like-hearted leaders. 

To top off the evening, we'll be announcing the winners of our inaugural Small Giants Hall of Fame!

Day 3 Agenda for Thursday, May 9

Programming will take place at One Campus Martius.

8:00-9:00 AM | Breakfast

Fuel up for the day with breakfast and coffee, and get settled before we kick things off.

Next Gen Morning Track
9:00-10:00 AM | Session with Josh Leatherman
Josh Leatherman round headshot-2

"Marketing, Sales, and Switzerland!"

Josh Leatherman
Service Express

The age-old battle between marketing and sales has reared its head in companies around the world. Josh was a warrior that stood up to solve this problem for Service Express by reconciling the marketing team’s leads with the sales team’s desired outcomes. He decided to harness the collective power of both departments for good with a unique approach that prioritized people and created better cohesion and collaboration, which in turn helped take Service Express from $30M to $300M. 

Josh will recount what worked and what didn’t to catalyze enduring growth. From building out the marketing and sales teams, to creating a “Switzerland” safezone of collaboration and accountability, Josh set up the people, processes, and systems that scaled. Learn his strategies and approaches that can be adopted and work for companies of all sizes. From how to set up the right team to how to measure success, get ready to equip yourself to become your own team’s hero!

10:00-10:30 AM | Break & Speed Coaching

Stretch your legs out on the beautiful balcony, chat with your new friends, or sign up for a 1-1 speed coaching session (scroll to the bottom of the page for more details). 

10:30-11:00 AM | Interactive Workshop with Beck Sydow & Jess Lilly
Jess Lilly (1)

Beck Sydow NEW"The Hardest Part of Enduring is Softening"

Beck Sydow
HumanKind Business Leaders

Jess Lilly
Jess Lilly Coaching

“Enduring” comes from the Latin word indurare meaning “to harden.” Toughness, muscling through, and grinding through hard work is often how society understands enduring. Yet sustainable endurance actually requires a combination of both the hard and the soft.  

Beck and Jess will help you connect with the concept of enduring through a fresh perspective that includes a willingness to soften. When we understand how our heart, mind, and body respond to stress, we can identify and create more choices for how we respond and act. Learn how to build this new kind of endurance muscle through inward reflection, centering, slowing down, and caring for yourself. Explore the tools that will support your internal ability to endure both in your work and home life. 

11:00-11:30 AM | Interactive Session with Danielle Krischik
Danielle Krischik Round Headshot-1

"The Power of Human-Centered Storytelling"

Danielle Krischik
Knight Agency

When the lights go on and the curtains open, it’s showtime. Growing up as a ballerina, Danielle became an expert at bringing choreography to life to tell a story to audiences night after night. Through the movement, music, and costumes, Danielle learned to authentically tell stories in ways that people could connect to. 

Danielle’s love for storytelling has evolved from the dance floor into marketing and business. Today, she taps into storytelling to inspire human connection through purpose. With a rebellious and curious spirit, she helps reveal the power of people through alignment of company and personal purpose. Danielle will share her experiences working with teams to help you understand the instrumental value that storytelling has on beliefs, behavior, and belonging. Through storytelling, we can find connections that transcend and endure. 

11:30 AM-12:00 PM | Intentional Connections

Lance Shipp"Intentional Connections"

Lance Shipp
SeatonHill Partners

The Small Giants Community is all about learning and connection, so join us for some guided intentional reflection and networking. No need for business cards - we’ll get to know one another on a deeper level and form the start of some meaningful relationships!

Founder/CEO Morning Track
9:00-9:30 AM | Long Story Short with Amy Courter
Amy Courter

"Get Bigger, Behave Smaller"

Amy Courter 
EOS Azimuth 

From entrepreneurial small businesses and academia, to publicly traded corporations and military organizations, Amy has seen it all and broken barriers along the way. Throughout it all, one value etched into a pencil has stuck with this two-star general and has continued to serve as her north star personally and professionally - Get Bigger, Behave Smaller.

Whether coaching a leadership team or leading a team of 61,000 volunteers, Amy understands that size doesn’t matter and no matter the growth opportunity at hand, behaving smaller is actually about caring for people and putting people first. Get ready to be wowed by Amy's incredible journey and learn how adopting a mindset that focuses on small behaviors leads to giant wins and enduring teams.  

9:30-10:00 AM | Roundtable Discussions with Dave Haviland

"Looking to the Future"Dave H. coach circle photo

Dave Haviland
Phimation Strategy Group 

Have you thought about your own transition and the potential owner transition for the company? As Bo tells us in his book Finish Big, the time to start thinking about it is now, since all of us will transition at some point. Whether it is a sale to a financial/strategic buyer, a family transition, or the various methods of employee ownership, you want to make a choice in line with your personal values and strategic goals. In this session, you’ll be able to join a table (or two) led by people experienced in one or more of these outcomes.Get ready for some thoughtful discussions and share your own story!

10:00-10:30 AM | Break & Speed Coaching
Stretch your legs out on the beautiful balcony, chat with your new friends, or sign up for a 1-1 speed coaching session (scroll to the bottom of the page for more details).
10:30-11:15 AM | Long Story Short with John Abrams
John Abrams Round Headshot-1

"Companies We Keep"

John Abrams 
South Mountain Company

Half a century after founding South Mountain Company, having completed an intensive three-year succession process, John stepped away as an owner and employee and passed the company on to next generation leadership. Now he’s certain that new CEO Deirdre Bohan and her tremendously aligned leadership team will boldly take the company to new places, and he’s thrilled to watch their progress.

Join John for the improbable story of his journey in pursuit of joy, equity, and impact. Learn what it took to get South Mountain Company to thrive and endure – from restructuring it into an emblematic worker co-op, to diving deeply into participatory democratic management and eventually to the design and implementation of a transition plan to the next stage of life - both for the company and for him personally. The story (with its failures, successes, fears, and surprises) will be wrapped in the context of the current small business Silver Tsunami and the tremendous possibilities as founders endeavor to find ways to exit while maintaining mission and empowering those who helped to build the business.

11:15 AM-12:00 PM | Intentional Connections

Christopher A. coach circle photo"Intentional Connections"

Christopher Arnold
Care Deeply Consulting 

The Small Giants Community is all about learning and connection, so join us for some guided intentional reflection and networking. No need for business cards - we’ll get to know one another on a deeper level and form the start of some meaningful relationships!

Afternoon Mainstage Agenda

Programming will take place at One Campus Martius.

12:00-1:00 PM | Lunch & Speed Coaching

Take a break and make some new connections over a delicious lunch!

You can also take this time to participate in a 1-1 speed coaching session. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more details.

1:00-1:30 PM | Long Story Short with Andrew "Skip" Skipper
Andrew Skip Skipper Round Headshot-1

"Getting to Golden"

Andrew "Skip" Skipper

From the beginning, Skip and his co-founder Bruce set out on a quest to build a business that cared for and treated people fairly. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but they recognized that exceptional success meant aligning everyone - employees included - across all aspects of the company. They operated against the grain of the real estate industry and gave employees the opportunity to invest in the company’s projects, treating them just like investors. 

Now, Evergreen is celebrating its 50th year in business, which is no small feat! Skip's approach to leadership blends care, growth, fun, and giving back, all of which uniquely shape Evergreen's enduring culture. Get ready to be inspired by Skip’s personal journey and the stories he has about how business has truly changed the lives of Evergreen employees, and has impacted Evergreen’s legacy. 

1:30-2:15 PM | Closing Keynote with Davin Salvagno
Davin Salvagno round headshot

"Confronting the Thieves of Purpose"

Davin Salvagno

Whether we know it or not, every day we allow our thoughts and decisions  to potentially rob us of our purpose, our potential, and our impact. Davin will help us pull off our blinders so we can be more actively aware of and equipped to confront these Thieves of Purpose.

Davin will dive deep into four of the 12 thieves: Comparison, Competition, Fear, and Excuses. He’ll guide us in an exploration of our relationship with each thief so we can begin to understand how it affects our ability to live out our purpose and impact the people and world around us. Plus, Davin will share practical strategies to help endure the challenges we all face as leaders and to stop these thieves from stealing our purpose!

2:15-2:30 PM | Summit Closing Remarks

We'll say goodbye to our Small Giants friends as we pack our bags and take our newfound information and inspiration back home with us. Time to impact our organizations!

Leadership Academy Agenda for Friday, May 10

This day is reserved only for members of the 2024 Leadership Academy class. If you're interested in learning how you can be a part of a future Leadership Academy class, learn more here.

We'll meet in the lobby of the Westin Book Cadillac at 8:00 AM to head over to Bamboo Detroit together. 

8:30-9:00 AM | Breakfast for the Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy members, join us for breakfast at Bamboo Detroit to get energized and ready for the day ahead!

9:00 AM-3:00 PM | Leadership Academy Day
Diana wong circle

The Small Giants Leadership Academy Class of 2024 will be coming together for the first time in person with Diana Wong for a compelling day-long session on leadership development.

Dr. Diana Wong, CEO & President of Sensei Change Associates, will guide our Leadership Academy cohorts through an energetic day of exercises to allow people of different learning types and social comfort levels equal participation, with the goal of incorporating fun into the experience. She will also speak to the group about creating a psychologically safe culture and climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our participants will walk away with stronger bonds, as well as tools to facilitate engaging and inclusive working sessions with their own teams. 


Speed Coaching at the Summit

Throughout the Summit, we'll have several coaches available for 30-minute, 1-1 speed coaching sessions ranging from topics of team building, strategic planning, growth and scaling, financial literacy, transparency, and more.

Tackle your challenges and opportunities with these experts! Our 2024 coaches are (from left to right): Britt Wiedemann, Christopher Arnold, Dave Haviland, Diana Hutchinson, Jean Moncrieff, and Jean Pitzo. Learn more about the coaches here.

Britt W. coach circle photo   Christopher A. coach circle photo   Dave H. coach circle photo   Diana H. coach circle photo   Jean Moncrieff-1   Jean Pitzo

Sign ups are coming soon!