As a local strong credit union for 75 years, First Commerce knows small businesses are the backbone of our community. We partner with them every day to save them time and money – creating custom solutions to fit their needs – and serve as their advocate. In 2013, we recognized that recent years had been difficult for local businesses – and as time went on, they became leaner, stronger, and ready to power forward. As a community leader, we wanted to find a way to celebrate the resilience of our businesses, keep small business leaders inspired, and cultivate entrepreneurism in our business community.
We wanted to do something BIG and that meant we needed to be the leader bringing together other partners and making it happen. And from previous experiences, we also knew there was an unmet need in education for our small businesses. With those goals in mind, First Commerce approached the Florida State University College of Business and after many discussions, the POWER FORWARD SPEAKER SERIES was born.
Power Forward kicks off a full slate of activities as our community’s celebration of Entrepreneurship Month (E-Month) in November.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about the Power Forward Speaker series that they may not already know?
Power Forward is designed to provide inspiration and insightful advice for how to grow and make a business more successful, along with a networking opportunity. This program expands entrepreneurial training – giving business owners the opportunity to learn fundamental business practices and enhance their career potential by learning from experts who have walked in their shoes. The event also an opportunity for sponsors to meet the speaker and network at a pre-event reception, and includes a Q&A opportunity for audience members to be able to ask these celebrity entrepreneurs specific questions.
How has the Power Forward Speaker series grown since it started?
In just 2 short years since the event debuted, Power Forward has become Tallahassee’s largest business event – In 2014, our sponsorship package, brought in more than 20 other businesses/organizations from both the private and public sectors and 5 media partners.
How do you get the Power Forward Speaker series speakers (and manage to outdo yourselves every year)? We work with a talent agent to find the speakers. Typically, we have a list of “people of interest” that we’d like to target and see who is on the speaking circuit.
What’s next for the Power Forward Speaker series?
We continue to evolve the event with additional elements. In 2014, we added a partnership with Tallahassee’s startup incubator, Domi Ventures to deliver post-event workshops to help guide budding entrepreneurs through the next steps and available resources in our area. This year, we will be making a major announcement about another new entrepreneurial venture at Power Forward in October – stay tuned!
What social media does the Power Forward Speaker series use? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linked In
Describe the Power Forward Speaker series in 5 words or less
Accomplished business leaders who share their experiences with the Tallahassee business community.