The Central Coast Business Symposium is set for tonight at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande. It will feature a variety of different speakers. After the success of last year’s symposium, host Andre, Morris and Buttery, a Central Coast law firm, decided to hold another.
The symposium is co-sponsored by Barnett Cox and Associates, Morris Garritano, Taylor Frigon Capital Management and Poor Richard’s Press. It will begin with a discussion moderated by Jonathan York, Cal Poly head of the Orfalea College of Business. He came to Cal Poly last year and is the former C.E.O. of multiple organizations. York will be facilitating talks between Cal Poly alumnus Ty Safreno, co-founder Trust Automation; Randy Flamm, co-founder of IQMS software developers and Steve Newell, co-owner of Windset Farms. He said he likes the variety of sources the round table is going to offer and wants to take a look at local success stories.
“We want to look at what it takes to grow a business in this area. What are the success factors?” York said.
York also said that he is looking forward to listening to fellow symposium speaker Lloyd Greif.
Greif is the founder of Greif and Company, a venture capital firm from Southern California. He will give his insights on the obstacles and financing options that businesses will face. Greif will also touch on how small businesses can gain access to and secure capital money to help with start-up costs.
Mike Gibson, firm administrator at Andre, Morris and Buttery said he is excited for tonight’s symposium line-up. The topics being discussed have different focuses than those of last year’s symposium, held in honor of the firm’s 60-year anniversary.
This year, the keynote speaker for the night is Stanford professor Walter “Woody” Powell. Powell is an education professor who also teaches courses in sociology, organizational behavior, management science and communication. Powell will lecture on why different industries thrive in locations where others do not. He will also speak on what types of industries can thrive on the Central Coast and in conjunction with the university.
York said a lot of business could potentially do well in this area.
“I think small technological start-ups have a lot of potential here with the help of mentors and community (sponsors) to help with a lot of start-up fees,” he said.
He added that the panel is excited to hear what the audience has to say.
“I think it will be a good variety of sources and audience input,” he said. “That way, we can try and get a good understanding of where people think we’re going.”
Among the estimated 300 attendants will be business senior and Cal Poly Entrepreneurs Club member Jessie Becker.
“I am going to the symposium because it seems like it will be a great opportunity to hear business people speak specifically about business here on the Central Coast,” Becker said. “I am also excited to be able to see Dr. York as the moderator. It will be interesting to see him interact with fellow business people and entrepreneurs in ‘the real world’ as opposed to facilitating discussion in class among Cal Poly students.”
Gibson said he thinks this symposium will be helpful to the community and will shed light on major issues that business people, both current and future, can learn from.
“I believe we need to do as much as we can to make the economy here as robust as possible.”
Becker said that she is excited about the chance to talk to other people in her field while at the conference.
“I hope to hear some lively and interesting interactions between successful people that I hope to emulate someday,” Becker said.