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SBDC, SIUE offer ‘Optimize the Madness’ small-business symposium Oct. 29


A cadre of local business minds will offer practical expertise to small-business owners at “Optimize the Madness,” a one-day conference aimed at arming companies with tools and operational resources they need to be successful.

An insurance specialist, an employment attorney, a payment solutions specialist and a social media expert are included in the slate of professionals who are presenting. The symposium will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Morris University Center, 1 Hairpin Drive, Edwardsville. Parking is available on campus in Lots B and C.

The Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at SIUE and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Office of Educational Outreach are uniting to offer the program to entrepreneurs and existing small-business owners across the region. SBDC Interim Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May said the goal of the one-day session is to offer business owners practical strategies and maintainable tactics to run their day-to-day operations and grow their businesses. Participants may choose from two instructional tracks. Track one includes sessions on maintaining digital strategies, multitasking, photography and digital media. Track two includes cyber security and commercial insurance insights for small businesses, employment law basics, human resources hiring practices and more.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach with this program that is targeted toward small-business owners,” said DiMaggio May. “Chambers of commerce are encouraged to invite their members, as well as other business-building and networking organizations.”

Tim Engelman, director of the Office of Educational Outreach at SIUE, said the customized content proves how any business with any budget can thrive in the digital world today. “This symposium is designed specifically for the entrepreneur, nonprofit organizer and small business owner,” Engelman said. “’Optimize the Madness’ makes sense of the absurd and brings clarity to the clutter.”

The cost to attend the symposium is $249, which includes lunch. For details, go to To register, call SIUE’s Office of Educational Outreach at (618) 482-8330 or the Illinois Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929. Registration will also take place at 9:30 a.m. the day of the event.

The Metro East SBDC assists existing companies as well as new businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic opportunity and SIUE.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining jobs and encouraging capital investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the university at large. To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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