2010 Speakers

speakers for the america’s small business summit 2010

Stanton D. Anderson is senior counsel to the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and managing director of the Campaign for Free Enterprise, a long-term effort to advocate for the benefits of a free, innovative, and entrepreneurial economy and to educate Americans about the role that free enterprise plays in economic growth. In this capacity, Anderson is responsible for providing strategic focus and day-to-day management of one of the most important initiatives in the Chamber’s nearly 100-year history.Anderson has practiced law in Washington, D.C., since 1969, interrupted in the early 1970s by his service in the government. In 1981, he founded his own law firm, Anderson, Hibey, Nauheim and Blair. In 1995, he joined the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery. While a partner at McDermott, Anderson served as executive vice president and chief legal officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, setting the Chamber’s legal reform strategy and chairing the successful effort to pass class action reform legislation. In addition, Anderson oversaw the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy legal arm of the Chamber; the Institute for Legal Reform, a Chamber affiliate dedicated to restoring fairness, efficiency, and consistency to the U.S. civil justice system; and the Chamber’s Office of General Counsel.
BlasingameJimweb Jim Blasingame is the creator and host of The Small Business Advocate Show®, a weekday radio talk show dedicated to small business. The show has been nationally syndicated since 1997. Blasingame conducts more than 1,000 live interviews annually with small business experts, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. As a frequent keynote speaker, he talks to small business audiences about how to compete in the 21st century global marketplace. Blasingame is also a syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of two books, Small Business Is Like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success. The New York Enterprise Report honored Blasingame with their 2009 Small Business Advocate Award, and the Association of Small Business Development Centers recognized him with the 2008 Champion of Small Business Development Award.
Donald J. Boudreaux is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he served as department chair from 2001 through 2009. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education, associate professor of legal studies and economics at Clemson University, and assistant professor of economics at George Mason University.Boudreaux has lectured in the United States and abroad on a wide variety of topics, including the nature of law, antitrust law and economics, and international trade. He is published in a variety of mainstream and scholarly publications, including The Wall Street Journal and the Supreme Court Economic Review. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. His book GLOBALIZATION was published in 2008.
Herman Cain, public speaker and renowned business advocate, joined the Pillsbury Company as vice president of Corporate Systems and Services in 1977. Cain soon switched career paths when he started managing Pillsbury’s Burger King division in Philadelphia, then the country’s poorest performing division. Within three years, he transformed the division into the standard for excellence. In 1986, Pillsbury appointed Cain president of its financially troubled Godfather’s Pizza chain, and in 14 short months, the chain regained profitability. In 1996, Cain became CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association, after serving as chairman of the board in 1994 and 1995. Cain also served as a senior advisor to the 1996 Dole/Kemp presidential campaign. He is currently the radio show host of The Herman Cain Show, in Atlanta.
Maxine Clark, founder, chief executive Bear, and chairman of Build-A-Bear Workshop, is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her 30-year career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department, discount, and specialty stores. In 1997, Clark founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today, there are more than 400 stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France, as well as franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2007, the company extended its in-store interactive online experience—buildabearville.com®. In 2009 and 2010, Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list.
Stephen Culp, a founder and chairman of Smart Furniture, Delegator, Causeway, and Chattanooga STAND, believes in taking an entrepreneurial approach to everything. In 1998, in a professor’s garage at Stanford University, Culp pioneered a business model called Design on Demand®, combining one of the web’s first ecommerce-enabled design tools with a patented invention called Smart Furniture®, a company that continues to lead innovation in its industry today. An attorney, Naval Reserve Officer, 2010 Marshall Fellow, and former Peace Corps Volunteer, Culp also carried the Olympic torch, hammered chunks off the Berlin Wall, surfed in Hurricane Bob, stranded a forklift across a drainage ditch at 4 a.m., and drove away from a gas station with the pump still in the tank, twice.
Lieutenant General Ron Dardis is the executive director for the Rebuild Iowa Office, the state office created by Gov. Chet Culver in response to the devastating tornadoes and floods of 2008. He was officially named to the position after leading the disaster response effort as the adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard and the recovery effort for eight months as chair of the Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission. As executive director, Dardis is responsible for coordinating and synchronizing state activities dealing with rebuilding efforts, securing additional funding to meet Iowa’s recovery needs, working with state and federal agencies involved with the recovery efforts, and ensuring that there is communication and transparency in the rebuilding process.
ColleenDebaiseweb Colleen DeBaise is The Wall Street Journal’s small business editor, an integrated position for the print Journal and online Journal, and her responsibilities include overseeing small business coverage and the development of new features that appeal to entrepreneurial readers. Her book, The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook, was published December 2009. Before joining the Journal, Ms. DeBaise was deputy editor of BusinessWeek SmallBiz and has also been editor at SmartMoney’s small business Web site. Ms. DeBaise began her career in financial journalism in 1998 at Dow Jones Newswires, where she spent seven years as a personal finance columnist and also lead court reporter. She has been interviewed on CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox Business News. DeBaise is a 2005 winner of the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Front Page award for specialized writing.
Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming his position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a $200 million a year lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe. Donohue established the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which has won significant legal reforms in the courts, at the state and federal levels, and in elections for state attorneys general and Supreme Court judges. Under Donohue’s leadership, the Chamber has also emerged as a major player in election politics, helping elect congressional pro-business candidates through financial support and voter activism and turnout generated through the Chamber’s grassroots organization, VoteForBusiness.com. Previously to his current post, Donohue served for 13 years as president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, the national organization of the trucking industry
Joey Durel, a Lafayette, Louisiana, businessman, was elected City-Parish President in 2003 after completing his term as the chairman of the Board of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce in 2001. Now in his second term, Durel has been a consistent supporter of technology initiatives, appointing the first-ever chief information officer for the Lafayette Consolidated Government shortly after taking office. Durel was also instrumental in spearheading Lafayette Utilities System’s Fiber to the Premises Project, which has been called a “Victory for America.” In 2009, the Lafayette was ranked 9th Best Performing (Large Metro) City in the nation, citing job growth, salary growth, and a five-year high-tech GDP growth as key indicators. Durel is the past chairman of the Policy Makers Council of the American Public Power Association and was appointed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Technology Council of the Southern Growth Policies Board.
Saïd Eastman is an executive director of business development for Monster Worldwide, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade. Eastman has worked in Human Capital for 15 years with various companies, ranging from startups to Fortune 500, and in roles ranging from business development, sales, and marketing to service management. He has primarily focused on the small to medium business segment.Prior to his current position, Eastman was an independent consultant helping small to medium businesses leverage technology as a way to manage and deliver human capital services to their employees in the most cost-effective manner. Eastman is also a small business owner. He’s a partner in a real estate venture and a restaurant just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
Benjamin Erulkar serves as a senior advisor on corporate community investment at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Business Civic Leadership Center. Erulkar has 24 years’ experience in domestic and international economic development and public-private partnerships in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Erulkar served as deputy assistant secretary of commerce for economic development from 2005 to 2009, where he directed and coordinated all operations of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Prior to this, Erulkar served as EDAs chief counsel.Before joining EDA in 2003, Erulkar was in private law practice with Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P in Washington, D.C.
Rob Guidry has been at the Chamber of Commerce in Lafayette, Louisiana for 32 years, the last 22 as president and CEO. The chamber consists of 1,400 member firms and has earned Accreditation with Four-Star Honors through the U.S. Chamber.A career highlight of Guidry’s has been the chamber-led effort to consolidate the parish government with the city government. Over the years, Guidry has also distinguished himself in workforce and infrastructure advocacy on the state and regional levels. He was named Louisiana Chamber Executive of the Year three times this decade.The Lafayette economy was greatly reliant upon the energy industry, particularly in the offshore Gulf of Mexico as well as onshore drilling and production. However, with the chamber’s efforts, Lafayette has diversified significantly in the past few years into health care and technology.
GutierrezCarlosweb The Honorable Carlos M. Gutierrez served as the 35th secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce under George W. Bush from February 2005 to January 2009. Before his government service, he was chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company. As secretary of Commerce, Gutierrez managed an agency with 38,000 employees and a $6.5 billion budget focused on promoting American business at home and abroad. He served as the Bush administration’s point person on immigration reform, DR-CAFTA, and the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. In 1975, Gutierrez joined the Kellogg Company as a sales representative in Mexico City. After various assignments around the globe, he became Kellogg’s youngest president and CEO in 1999 and chairman of the board in April 2000. He is widely credited with turning around the $11 billion company.
Pete Hamm serves as operations manager at Free Range Studios. Hamm, a D.C. local, keeps Free Range on track with his keen business sense and passion for social justice. While at the Villanova School of Business, he studied management, international business, and entrepreneurial studies. After college, Hamm spent a year teaching English in Bangkok and traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Before coming to Free Range, he interned for Design for Social Impact, where he first saw how effective design can help a nonprofit get its message heard. He then moved on to become the operations manager of Carpenter’s Shelter, an award-winning homeless shelter in Alexandria, Virginia. Hamm is also taking graphic design classes at the Corcoran museum to round out his existing skills set. When this gentle giant isn’t working, you can find him hanging out with friends, playing basketball, or cruising D.C.’s music venues.
Randel K. Johnson joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on December 1, 1997. As senior vice president, he is primarily responsible for labor, immigration, and employee benefits issues pending before Congress and the federal agencies.Through consulting with the Chamber’s member policy committees and supervising a staff of 11, Johnson determines the Chamber’s position and sets strategy regarding a wide variety of issues that fall within the jurisdiction of his division. These include union-driven initiatives such as card check legislation, ergonomics, and blacklisting regulations; pension funding reform and health care; civil rights and wage and hour; and comprehensive immigration reform, including visa and border policy. Johnson serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Forum and the Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services agency.
SheilaJohnsonweb Sheila Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, president and managing partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and a founding partner of BET (Black Entertainment Television). Johnson produced films with humanitarian messages including, Kicking It, A Powerful Noise, She Is the Matador, and the upcoming The Other City, about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington, D.C. In 2006, Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading aid organization fighting global poverty by empowering women. Johnson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and chair of the board of governors of Parsons The New York School for Design in New York. She sits on the boards of Americans for the Arts, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, and Howard University amongst others.
William L. Kovacs is senior vice president of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He provides the overall direction, strategy, and management for the division, which initiates and leads multidimensional, national issue campaigns on comprehensive energy legislation, complex environmental rulemakings, telecommunications reform, and emerging technologies.Kovacs recruited and assembled the first science team to work in tandem with policy staff to ensure that federal regulations are based on sound science, formed and chaired the Chamber’s Technology Coordinating Group, and helped develop numerous national coalitions in the areas of environment, energy, regulatory affairs, and technology. Kovacs is a frequent commentator on national environmental, energy, and regulatory issues that impact the business community. Prior to the Chamber, Kovacs was director of worldwide legal affairs for Sunshine Makers, Inc., manufacturer of Simple Green nontoxic cleaning products.
KarenKerriganweb Karen Kerrigan is president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Kerrigan regularly testifies before Congress on key issues impacting small business and the economy. She has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council. Among other accolades, Inc. Magazine named Kerrigan to its Small Business Best Friends in D.C. in 2006; Fortune Small Business added her to its Power 30 list in 2000; and The Hill newspaper added Kerrigan to its Most Influential Small Business list in 2006, as it described her as “the hardest working woman in show business.” In November 2009, she was presented with Small Business Advocate of the Year by the NY Enterprise Report. She is a board member of the Center for Private Enterprise and a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum.
LoveBobweb Bob Love from a severe stuttering disability and rose to become a Chicago Bulls NBA superstar, only to end up working as a busboy and a dishwasher to support his family after a career-ending back injury. Today, as director of community affairs for the Chicago Bulls, he makes more than 300 appearances each year speaking on the importance of education, perseverance over adversity, and achieving one’s dreams. Love led the Chicago Bulls in scoring for seven straight seasons with a total of 12,623 points. He was an NBA All-Star in 1971, 1972, and 1973. A documentary about his life, Find Yourself A Dream, received several awards, including an Emmy in 2008.
Rolf Lundberg Jr. is senior vice president for Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which includes a team of 15 lobbyists, the VoteForBusiness program, and eight regional offices charged with providing membership services and grassroots lobbying. Lundberg also manages and directs the U.S. Chamber’s political program, overseeing candidate endorsements and the Chamber’s Political Action Committee. Before joining the Chamber in November 2001, Lundberg was vice president and assistant general counsel for government and international relations at Marriott International, Inc. From 1993 to 1997, he served as legal counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and his successor, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott. Lundberg served in the first Bush administration as principal deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. Before that, he was international trade counsel with the Senate Finance Committee.
Dan Lungren represents California’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Sacramento and Solano County, as well as all of Alpine, Amador, and Calaveras counties. For 10 years, Lungren served in Congress where he was viewed as a Republican leader in criminal justice and immigration issues. In 1985, U.S. News & World Report cited him as one of a handful of members of Congress “likely to be a future national leader.” Lungren left Congress in 1989 and returned to California when then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to serve out the late Jesse Unruh’s term as state treasurer. Lungren was elected attorney general of California, a position he held from 1991 to 1999. During his two terms, he helped author and later defended in court California’s landmark Three Strikes and You’re Out law. Lungren’s sponsorship of legislation against sexual predators culminated in Megan’s Law, giving Californians the right to know if their children are at risk from predators in their own neighborhoods. In addition, he provided national leadership in reforming the federal habeas corpus law. As attorney general, Lungren successfully argued a case before the United States Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1998, crime plunged 30% to historic lows in California, in large part due to Lungren’s tough-on-crime policies.
Currently a principal at Dito, Jim McNelis started his IT career in web design and web hosting. In 2007, he installed Google Apps for his business and quickly realized its potential. Since then, he has been providing small and medium-size businesses with solutions surrounding Google Apps. To date, McNelis has helped almost 200 businesses make the switch to Google Apps, growing his team and his expertise in deployment, support, training, and custom development.
Steve Messere, founder and CEO of Revenue Spark, created the company after spending the last 18 years in senior leadership positions with some of the preeminent licensors of editorial and commercial photography, motion picture and television images, as well as leading information technology firms, including Oracle, Adobe, and Apple Computer. He has spent time working in New York, London, Paris, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. Messere has extensive knowledge in developing technology business operations systems and brings with him a significant portfolio of experience in Fortune 500 operational procedures. He was president of the National Association of Sales Outsourcers, president of the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors, and an active member of the board of trustees for the International Documentary Association and the British Academy of Film and Television.
Shannon Meyer joined the Cedar Rapids Chamber as president and CEO in 2008. Prior to this, she was CEO of the Melbourne, Florida Chamber and of the Twin Cities North Chamber in Moundview, Minnesota.Meyer brings expertise and energy to Cedar Rapids. Her experience includes representing private business, forming and leading a business Political Action Committee, and increasing membership and participation in by double digits.Meyer is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. She serves on the Business Civic Leadership Center’s board of directors and United Way of East Central Iowa board of directors. She has served as an advisor, presenter, and board member in numerous professional organizations including, the Institute for Organization Management, Young Professionals of Brevard, United Way of Brevard, Mid-American Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Minneapolis Metro North Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Darlene Miller is president and CEO of Permac Industries, a precision machining company that manufactures parts to customers’ blueprints in Burnsville, Minnesota. She purchased the company after completing two years as a sales and production manager. Under her leadership, the company and Miller have received numerous accolades, including being named the 2008 U.S. Chamber Small Business of the Year, the 2006 Small Business Person of the Year for Minnesota by the Small Business Administration, and 1 of 40 Minnesotans on the Move in 2009 by Finance and Commerce. Miller serves on 12 boards, including the U.S. Chamber board of directors and Advisory Council. One of her personal passions is Hope for Tomorrow, a mentoring program that pairs business leaders with students to create tomorrow’s leaders, for which she has co-founded several chapters.
DavidMuhlendorfweb David Muhlendorf CPA, began his professional career with PricewaterhouseCoppers in the Birmingham, Alabama, office in 1972 and rose to the position of audit manager. He accepted a position with the family business, Paper and Chemical Supply in 1980. He was promoted to president and CEO in 1984, shortly after the death of his father, the founder of the company. Under Muhlendorf’s leadership, the company has expanded from one to three distribution centers in North Alabama and has an expanded marketing presence throughout the Southeast. Muhlendorf serves on the board of the U.S. Chamber and is a past chair of the Business Council of Alabama. He was named 2009 citizen of the year by the Shoals Chamber of Commerce.
JonNajarianweb Jon Najarian is a professional investor, noted media analyst and speaker, and co-founder of optionMONSTER® and tradeMONSTER™. Following a brief stint as a Chicago Bears linebacker, Najarian launched his financial career at the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 1981, trading in the pits for some 25 years. In 1989, he founded Mercury Trading, running the company for 15 years until 2004, when he sold his floor-trading operations to Citadel, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. Najarian developed and patented trading applications used to identify unusual activity in stock, option, and futures markets, notably the Heat Seeker® program, which uncovers extraordinary buying patterns from among the 180,000 quotes per second that stream from America’s stock, options, and futures exchanges. Najarian’s research and analysis is widely cited by leading financial media including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and CBS Radio.
Tom Oliveri is the global marketing director for Google™ Apps and Enterprise, where he is responsible for leading the product marketing strategy and adoption efforts for Google’s consumer and business applications, including Gmail™, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Apps. In this role, Oliveri has had an opportunity to help millions of consumers and businesses discover and use Google technology in everyday life and commerce. Before joining Google, Oliveri worked at Intuit, where he led QuickBooks vertical product offerings for small businesses, and at Siebel Systems, where he managed partner marketing with Accenture and Sun Microsystems.
Erica Pierson is the director of marketing at Monster Worldwide, Inc. Pierson actively connects with U.S. employers to promote improvements in the recruitment experience, increase speed-to-hire, and accelerate the on-boarding process, such that new employees become more productive, faster. She serves as editor of Unleash the Monster, an online community dedicated to powering a high-performance workforce. Pierson regularly interviews employers and job seekers to share challenging stories and best practices and hosts events that bring the employer community together. Pierson’s career experience includes roles in consulting, sales, and pricing strategy for media and information companies, including LEXIS-NEXIS, The Washington Post, and the Corporate Executive Board.  
Dr. Martin Regalia is senior vice president for economic and tax policy and chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Before coming to the Chamber in 1993, Regalia served as the director of research for the Savings and Community Bankers of America. Before that, Regalia was executive vice president of policy development and chief economist for the National Council of Community Bankers. Regalia also served as a principal analyst in the Fiscal Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office, as an economist for the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System in both the Banking and Capital Markets Sections, and as a financial economist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. USA Today named Regalia one of the top 10 economists in the nation.
ColinRocheweb Colin Roche, CEO of Pacific Writing Instruments, turned global retail sensation overnight when he beat out brands like Paper Mate® and Bic® in getting his ergonomic pen, the PenAgain, into Wal-Mart. Colin’s journey began in 1987 when he conceived the PenAgain design during high school detention. More than a decade later, Roche teamed up with Bobby Ronsse, a former college friend from California Polytechnic State University, to pursue the PenAgain dream. The business partners formed Pacific Writing Instruments, Inc. Their five-person operation sold PenAgain to small independent retailers until the business boomed in 2005. His product can now be found everywhere—Amazon.com, Staples®, Office Depot®, and at many other national retailers. The Wall Street Journal has chronicled Pacific Writing Instruments in an ongoing series titled the “Long Road to Wal-Mart.”
ScarboroughJoeweb Joe Scarborough former Florida congressman, hosts Morning Joe, a daily newscast on MSNBC. He also provides on-air political commentary for the network, as well as for CNBC and NBC’s TODAY Show. Before his television career, Scarborough was elected to Congress in 1994, becoming the first Republican elected in Florida’s 1st District since 1872. He was reelected three more times in landslide victories. During his tenure, Scarborough served on the Armed Services Committee; Judiciary Committee; Oversight and Government Reform Committee; and Education Committee. In 1999, Scarborough founded and published the award-winning newspaper The Florida Sun. In 2004, Scarborough published the critically acclaimed Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day, which gives an insider’s view of what goes on behind closed doors in Washington.
Marc E. Schmittlein is president and chief executive officer of Travelers Small Commercial Division, Select Accounts, and oversees Agribusiness, a business unit that offers insurance products and services for farms, ranches, wineries, and large commercial growers of agricultural products. His responsibilities include determining strategic direction, product development, marketing strategies, and product management for Select Accounts and Agribusiness. Schmittlein joined The St. Paul Companies in December 2001, prior to its merger with Travelers Property Casualty Corp. While at The St. Paul Companies, he was president of its Small Commercial operation. From 1996 to 2001, he served as a field vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region for Travelers, based in Hartford, Connecticut. Before that, he held field assignments in underwriting and marketing management for Aetna Life & Casualty Company. Schmittlein is a member of the American Alliance of Insurers (AIA) and holds a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
shermanandrewweb Andrew J. Sherman a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Jones Day, which has more than 2,400 attorneys worldwide. Sherman is a recognized international authority on the legal and strategic issues affecting small growing companies. He is an adjunct professor in the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Maryland and at Georgetown University where he teaches courses on business growth, capital formation, and entrepreneurship for more than 20 years. Sherman is the author of 17 books on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth and capital formation. His 18th book, Road Rules Be the Truck. Not the Squirrel., is an inspirational book, which was published in 2008.
A native of Murdo, South Dakota, Senator John Thune (R-SD) began his Washington career with U.S. Senator Jim Adbnor, and shortly after, served at the Small Business Administration under an appointment from President Ronald Reagan. Upon return to South Dakota in 1989, Senator Thune served as the executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party. In 1991, Senator Thune was appointed the State railroad director where he served until 1993, when he became executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League.With support of family and friends, Senator Thune won his first term as South Dakota’s lone member of the United States House of Representatives. After three consecutive House terms, Senator Thune won his Senate seat in 2004 and made history by defeating a sitting Senate party leader for the first time in 52 years.Senator Thune serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee; the Armed Services Committee; the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee; and the Small Business Committee.

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Washington insiders and management experts on the 2009 agenda included:
  • U.S. Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue
  • U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • SBA Administrator Karen Mills
  • Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton G. Cerf
  • The Wall Street Journal Editor Gwendolyn Bounds
Check out the full line-up of 2009 speakers. Speakers from America’s Small Business Summit 2008 can be viewed here.