Business Symposium


Since, becoming an Authorized Local Expert Speaker with Constant Contact. Cheryl was extremely passionate about coordinating a business event for small businesses and nonprofit organizations with her local business community.  Cheryl Henchar from Cheryl’s Creative Services and Shannon Malkin Daniels from SPEAC Success co-organized the Stamford Small Business Symposium. The event was held at the University of Connecticut, Stamford branch from 8 am to 12 pm on April 28th, 2017.

The goal in creating this event was to bring together an array of business owners from all walks of life under one umbrella. Today, we live in a culture about nurturing and building healthy business relationships. We wanted to give other small business owners an opportunity to network, gain exposure and help grow their businesses.  Shannon and Cheryl partnered with a local nonprofit organization called Orchids for Life. It was important for both of them in giving back to a local nonprofit organization. Caroline Simmons also was extremely instrumental in helping putting this event together behind the scenes with conference calls and emails and making it successful. Caroline connected us with various business partners. A little over 100 small business owners attended this event.

Ed Skip McLaughlin Highest Res Image Author Photo.07.11.2016 copy

Our keynote speaker was Ed “Skip” McLaughlin. Ed is the founder of four businesses and is currently running Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm. He bootstrapped his first business, United Systems Integrators (USI) Corporation, a corporate real estate outsourcing firm, and grew it into an Inc. 500 company. In 2001, Ed earned Entrepreneur of the Year honors from Ernst & Young. In 2005, he sold USI to Johnson Controls, a Fortune 100 company, and at that point, became CEO of JCI’s Global Workplace Business for the Americas. Ed’s book, “The Purpose is Profit” just received the 2017 Axiom Book Award for Entrepreneurship. A member of the Board of Governors for Tufts Medical Center, Ed founded its David E. Wazer Breast Cancer Research Fund. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees. Active in philanthropy, Ed lives with his wife in Connecticut and has three adult children.


Caroline Speaking to the attendees

Caroline Speaking to the attendees


Our featured speaker was Caroline Simmons, State Representative, 144th District in Stamford, Connecticut. Caroline B. Simmons is honored to represent the 144th District in Stamford, Connecticut. She is House Chair of the Commerce Committee. Caroline worked for the Women’s Business Development Council in Stamford where she helped provide entrepreneurial, financial, and professional development training programs for women in CT. She currently serves on the WBDC’s board. Caroline is Co-Chair of the Connecticut Young Democrats’ Women’s Caucus,






Cheryl and Shannon capitalized on their networking arena for local sponsorships, exhibitors and speakers. We had a total of nine different breakout sessions. All of the speakers were small business owners from various local marketing companies.  They demonstrated their expertise in different areas of marketing with a 30 minute Powerpoint presentations.

Website Small Business Symposium

  • 30 Ways to Grow Your Email List
  • 6 Tips to Get Your Target Market to Tune In & Take Action 
  • 10 Small Business Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
  • How to Bake a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
  • The Holy Grail: Getting to the Top of Page 1 on Google
  • #Snaphappy: How to Get the Most Out of Hashtags 
  • How to Attract New Clients Using Facebook Ads
  • 7 Ways to Use Live Videos to Promote Your Brand & Business 
  • Marketing to the Federal Government

Exhibitors: There were a total of eight small business owners having a chance to showcase their products and services.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn about their businesses.

Event Activities: Cheryl and Shannon felt creating engagement with attendees and exhibitors was important. Attendees had an opportunity to participate in Passport to Success and Networking Bingo 2017.  Attendees were eligible to win a door prize for each icebreaker game.

Passport Success: All the exhibitors were required in advance to submit an activity at their table for the attendees. This was a way for the attendees and exhibitors connect together.

Networking Bingo: A bingo card was created with various marketing topics related to the breakout sessions. The goal was for attendees to connect with other businesses owners by asking questions.

Strategic Marketing Plans: The event was promoted in various ways of utilizing marketing vehicles such as email marketing, radio advertisements, Facebook Advertising, Press Release, business sponsorships, local newspaper, word of mouth, networking events, social media and flyers.

Local Media: Cheryl and Shannon were interviewed a few days prior to the event by the Stamford Advocate.  Click on the link to read the full article New small-business conference set for Friday at UConn-Stamford.

Video Marketing: Cheryl and Shannon created an event video.

Here is some of the praise we received in the days immediately following the event (names removed as permissions need to be received first):

“Over the top!!!!  Kudos!  Congratulations!  A fine Friday morning, packed with practical concepts and energetic and enthusiastic leaders and attendees!  Good job! Loved the keynote speaker, the breakout sessions, the “door” prize and you must be there to win, the breakout sessions (I could have attended all of them), the speakers (such talent), the venue, the vendor tables, the printed program—you thought of everything!!!!!”

“Cheryl and Shannon, What a great event you ran. I look forward to the next symposium. Great job. Powerful speakers, great breakout sessions. I found friends and clients both.”

“I was so impressed by the quality of your event. It was first class on so many levels…kudos to Shannon and Cheryl!”

“This was a tremendous event, really well done.”

“The Symposium was great. You attracted and featured quite impressive small business owners and experts. I look forward to next year’s event.

“Great turnout today at the Stamford Small Business Symposium! Thank you for the opportunity Shannon Malkin Daniels and congrats to you and Cheryl Henchar for organizing such an info-packed, successful event.” #congrats #gratitude to read more praised compliments.

Cheryl Henchar and Shannon Malkin Daniels

Cheryl Henchar and Shannon Malkin Daniels


Cheryl Henchar delivering closing remarks to attendees, sponsors and exhibitors for participating in the First Stamford Small Business Symposium.

If your organization would be interested in partnering and hosting an event with Cheryl’s Creative Services. Please contact Cheryl at (203) 249-0487 or via email