MCCC Business EXCELerator Recap: C-level Strategic Planning | February 17, 2016

Posted Date: 
February 17, 2016

Small Business Presentation 

Small Business Co-Chairs:
Clark Kendall, Kendall Capital Management
Neil Simons, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Guest Speaker: Seth Goldman, Co-Founder & TeaEO Emeritus, Honest Tea
Topic: Strategies for Building an 'Honest' Business

MCCC Small Business Committee Co-Chair Neil Simons of Arthur J. Gallagher introduced Seth Goldman, TeaEO Emeritus of Honest Tea.

Mr. Goldman shared his experiences of building a mission-driven company that has always focused on making products accessible to a broader audience. 

Mr. Goldman shared lessons from his book Mission in Bottle that discusses taking an idea from concept to scale.  Throughout the 18 year history of Honest Tea, he has kept their mission at the forefront of innovation to create successful products with honesty and integrity.  He talked about the challenges of starting and growing a business with a product that is new to the marketplace: from rejections, to breaking into the distribution systems, to products that succeeded and others that did not. 

He also spoke about the nexus of major market mega trends of health and wellness, environmental consciousness and social responsibility that inspired the Coca-Cola Company to acquire Honest Tea.  This has allowed Honest Tea to scale to new levels and reach more people.  It has deepened the investment in their mission, expanding the fair trade practices and changing the marketplace. 

Mr. Goldman summed up his presentation by talking about the importance of entrepreneurship and how it helps create alternatives to solving problems. Entrepreneurs will be the source of shaping a better future and addressing the big challenges today and into the future.

Attendees also received a copy of Mission in a Bottle compliments of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation.

GovConNet Presentation

GovConNet Co-Chairs:
Kwesi Rodgers, Federal National Commercial Credit
Lexy Kessler, Aronson LLC

Guest Speaker: Staci L. Redmon, President & CEO, Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS)
Topic: Strategic Planning in the Government Contracting Space

MCCC GovConNet Committee Vice-Chair Kwesi Rogers of Federal National Commercial Credit introduced Staci Redmon, President and CEO of Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS).

Ms. Redmon spoke about the importance of passion, strategy, and relationships when starting a business; lessons she learned through her personal experience of growing SAMS from concept to success.

Ms. Redmon joined the U.S. Army when she was 17.  Today, she is a successful businesswoman who, as an entrepreneur, never stops thinking about what she loves to do.  After a successful career in the military and working as a contractor while she earned her degrees, she decided to start her own business in 2008.  She spent the first year and a half laying the foundation. She reached out to anyone who would talk with her – OSDBUs, contracting officers, other small businesses. She also built relationships with banks and other service providers.  She eventually applied to be a part of the SBA 8(a) program and believes she was accepted because she had a strong business plan, a strategy and key relationships.

In terms of strategy, she talked about the importance of knowing what you are working towards (legacy, selling the company or lifestyle), diversifying your markets and how you generate revenue and considering offering new services.

The government contracting space has numerous challenges in the current environment: strategic sourcing, sequestration, shut downs, shrinking budgets.  Procurement cycles are slower, with more competition and lots of protests. Overhead for businesses continues to increase, as do regulations, while there is still pressure to perform in a Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) environment.

In 2015, she and her staff created a Vision 2020 that focused on staying competitive.

In addition to having a unique culture and way of differentiating the company in the marketplace, she spoke of the importance of

  • Organizational realignment
  • Cash management
  • Accountability (tracking and measuring results)
  • Online presence
  • Employees who are vested in the goals of the organization
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