• Join COSE for the largest small business convention in the Midwest, Oct 21-22, 2015.

  • Join COSE for the largest small business convention in the Midwest, Oct 21-22, 2015.

  • Join COSE for the largest small business convention in the Midwest, Oct 21-22, 2015.

  • Join COSE for the largest small business convention in the Midwest, Oct 21-22, 2015.

  • Join COSE for the largest small business convention in the Midwest, Oct 21-22, 2015.

  • 5 SeibertKeck at 2014 Small Business Covention presented by COSE.

  • 6 Mark your calendar for the third annual Empowering Local Leadership Conference Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

  • 7 The third annual Empowering Local Leadership Conference is sponsored by Dominion and Westfield Group.

  • 8 Presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership in conjunction with Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16).

  • 9 The third annual Empowering Local Leadership Conference is supported by the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association and the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association.

  • 10 SeibertKeck at 2014 Small Business Covention presented by COSE.

Now in its 10th year, the COSE Small Business Convention is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Midwest. Partners from across the region come together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals, complete with nationally-recognized keynote speakers, a business-to-business trade show, special events and unforgettable networking experiences.  

The Convention will take place October 21-22, 2015 at Cleveland Public Auditorium & Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio. View the pre-convention brochure.

Follow the conversation and keep up with Convention news:




GCP/COSE Member and Co-Presenting Organization Member Rate: $159

Nonmember Rate: $310

Regretfully we cannot offer any refunds for the Convention should you decide to cancel your registration. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to our cancellation policy, please contact events@cose.org or call us at 216.592.2390.

VIP Experience Package Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

11a.m. - 12 p.m.                  Registration and Lunch
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Welcome/Keynote Speakers: Jennifer Hyman & Jenny Fleiss, Founders of Rent the Runway
1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Exhibit Hall Break
2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Signature Dinners

Thursday, October 22, 2015

7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Robert Stephens, Founder of Geek Squad
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Exhibit Hall Break
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Workshops
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Exhibit Hall Break
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch/ Keynote Speaker: Derreck Kayongo, Founder of The Global Soap Project
1:30 - 2:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Break
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Convention Closing Night Party

Special Events

Convention Opening Night Reception

Wednesday, October 21, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Kick off your Small Business Convention networking experience as we wrap up your first day with an opportunity to connect with both exhibitors and other Convention attendees during a fun and interactive networking event.

Signature Dinners

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Enjoy dinner and camaraderie with fellow Convention goers and bond over business and life experiences in a relaxed atmosphere. Join us for three courses – appetizers, dinner and dessert – at four different restaurants on Cleveland’s famous East 4th Street!

Dinner guests may choose from the following locations during registration:

Chinato - $65

Chinato is a modern rustic Italian culinary concept on Cleveland’s East 4th Street.  Chef and restaurateur Zack Bruell designed Chinato’s menu to highlight the simplicity of all Italian cuisine.

Zocalo - $35

Enjoy great quality Mexican food in a fun and festive atmosphere. Experience a unique Mexican restaurant and bar that is truly one-of-a-kind and can only be found on East 4th Street!

Lola - $75

The soul of a city is defined by the quality of its food and the food and drink at Lola is some of the best the city has to offer. With an atmosphere that is both sexy and sophisticated, Lola is where adults go to wine, dine and soak in the glamorous city life.

Butcher and the Brewer - $65

Butcher and the Brewer encourages interaction and a sense of community through public house seating, progressive dining, and shared plates. The passionate culinary team, which includes an in-house butcher and charcutier, has created a farmhouse-inspired menu drawing on local ingredients, ethnic flavors, and artisan products.

Convention Closing Night Party - The RED Event

Thursday, October 22, 4 - 6 p.m.

You won’t want to miss this unique event that will make you feel like a star as you close out your 2015 Small Business Convention experience!  Sip champagne, sample luxurious hors d’ oeuvres, connect with other successful business owners and enjoy this opportunity to reinvigorate and reenergize your entrepreneurial spirit. 

Speaker Bios

Runway Ready,  October 21, 12-1:30 p.m. 


Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founders, Rent the Runway         


Presented in partnership with the 2015 Female Entrepreneur Summit       


Launched in 2009, Rent the Runway has transformed the retail industry by making designer dress and accessory rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women. Hear how these Harvard Business School classmates joined forces and turned an idea into a nationwide venture with millions of customers, 250 employees and hundreds of designer partners – a true entrepreneurial success story!

Strategies for Success, Oct 22 8-9:30 a.m.

Robert Stephens, Founder, Geek Squad

With $200, a bicycle and a subsequent collaboration with Best Buy, Robert Stephens transformed the small cryptic world of tech support and made it glamorous and accessible when he founded The Geek Squad in 1994. Hear his inspiring story of entrepreneurship, his perspectives on advancing technology, smart marketing and thoughtful business strategy and what he thinks is the next “big thing”.

Lessons in Leadership, Oct 22 12-1:30 p.m.

Derreck Kayongo, Founder, Global Soap Project             

From child refugee to U.S. citizen to fearless visionary, Derreck Kayongo has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected non-government organizations. In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah started The Global Soap Project, which focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. Hear how his passion and tenacity led to his success and how those lessons can be applied to successful business practices in the 21st century.


The convention will feature 30 educational workshops presented by experts on a variety of topics related to entrepreneurial and small business needs and challenges. View the workshop schedule and workshop descriptions in a printable .pdf.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

2:45 - 3:45 p.m. 

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. 

Stop Selling on Price! Pricing for Value & Profits
Speaker: Marvin Montgomery 
Company: The Sales Doctor

The 7 Most Powerful Free Things to Grow Your Business Online Right Now

Speaker: Sage Lewis

Company: SageRock Web Marketing Agency

Light my Fire: Igniting the Creative Flame Within

Speaker: Rachel Downey

Company: Studio Graphique

The Cloud… What am I Missing by Not Being There?

Speaker: Laura Pettit Rusick

Company: OPT Solutions

Are You Targeting and Attracting Your Best Customers?

Speaker: Rachel Talton

Company: Synergy

Delegating as You Grow - Become a More Effective Owner by Delegating and Outsourcing

Speaker: Raquel Eatmon

Company: Rising Media LLC

Developing Leaders at All Levels In Your Business

Speaker: Roxanne Kaufman

Company: ProLaureate Ltd

Rapid Growth—Three Lessons Learned from Running Windblown Companies

Speaker: David Lowman

Company: 1 EDI Source

Culture - What Is It and Why Should I Care?

Speaker: Amy French

Company: OEConnection

Your Employer Brand - Why are You the Best Place to Work? Are You Attracting the Best Talent?

Speaker: N. Robert Johnson

Company: The David Group

Content Marketing: Become a Thought Leader and Share Your Expertise 

Speaker: Heather Whaling

Company: Geben Communication

Raising Funds: What do You Really Need to be Attractive to Banks and Investors?
Tech Talks: Small Company Marketing Success, Part 1

Speaker: Nicole Burke, Mike Clum, Nicole Ponstingle

Companies: Level Seven, Clum Creative Media, BlueBridge Networks

Tech Talks: Small Company Marketing Success, Part 2

Speakers: John Moulagiannis, Joe Nemeth, Marsha Griswold, Lia Fleming

Company: Triad/Next Level

Make Your Business Faster, More Efficient and Stronger

Speaker: Ron Kaminski

Company: CultureShoc

The Value of You and Messaging that Works

Speakers: Matt Brower, Diane Helbig
Companies: Hey Now! Media, Seize this Day Coaching

Thursday, Oct. 22

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

High Performance Sales Strategies

Speaker: Joe Mayer

Company: Mayer Business Group

Your Brand - How to Build Loyalty

Speaker: Katherine Miracle

Company: Miracle Resources

Open Book Management – Helping Your Team Make Profitable Decisions Everyday

Speaker: Michael Obi

Company: Spectrum Global Solutions

Business Software Trends - What Tools will Help my Business Grow?

Speaker: Bob Coppedge

Company: Simplex-IT

Lessons From Starting and Growing a Restaurant in Northeast Ohio
Speaker: Chef Steve Schimoler and Rocco Whalen
Company: Crop and Fahrenheit

Creating Your Legal Tool Box: Tips & Tools for Small Business Owners

Speaker: Sharon Toerek

Company: Toerek Law

The Essential Habits of Entrepreneurs

Speaker: Gary Schoeniger

Company: Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative

Conscious Leadership - The Path to Accelerating Your Team and Yourself

Speaker: Jeff Nischwitz

Company: The Nischwitz Group

Extract Profits from Your Business by Building Customer Engagement Online and Offline

Speaker: Kristy Amy

Company: SBN Interactive

How Lemons and Lemonade Actually Get Made: Business Lessons from the Collapse of a National Law Firm and the Creation of Tucker Ellis

Speaker: Steve Ellis

Company: Tucker Ellis

Developing Your Online Presence

Speaker: Andy Halko

Company: Insivia

Get Involved in the Film Industry in Cleveland

Speaker: Ivan Schwartz

Company: Greater Cleveland Film Commission

Why You? What Makes You Unique to Customers? How do you Stand Out? Communicate your Value Proposition

Speaker: Dick Clough

Company: CloughCleveland IDEAENGINEERING

Prospecting New and Existing Client Relationships

Speaker: Hal Becker

Company: The Becker Group

Creative Ways To Solve Your Talent Challenges

Speaker: Victoria Berry

Company: Cuyahoga Community College

Thinking BIG… What it Takes to Breakthrough Your Next Revenue Threshold… $1, $5, $10 Million & Beyond

Speakers: Richard Mitchell and Karri Bass

Companies: Ernst & Young and Illumination Research

Transfer Methods for Closely Held Businesses

Speaker: Jim Aussem

Company: Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Co., LPA

Maximize In-Bound Marketing and Maximize Revenue Growth, Part 2

Speakers: Chris Peer and Monica Truelsch Companies: SyncShow Interactive and TMW Systems



Maximize In-Bound Marketing and Maximize Revenue Growth, Part 1

Speakers: Chris Peer and Monica Truelsch

Companies: SyncShow Interactive and TMW Systems

Continuing Education Credits 

The Small Business Convention features the opportunity for attendees to receive Continuing Education Credits. Specific workshops have been approved as continuing education accredited workshops for human resource professionals, CPAs and lawyers. Please use the key below to find out which workshops are eligible. 

CPA Credit: Any workshop session at the Small Business Convention qualifies.


HR Credits: Any workshop marked with the HR Certification Institute Symbol qualifies.



Legal Credits: Any workshop marked with the legal credit symbol qualifies, per the Supreme Court of Ohio.


Taking reservations for 2015 booth space!

Make sure your company has a presence at the region’s premier event for small business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders! 

Contact Courtney Woofter at cwoofter@cose.org or (216) 592-2327 to purchase your space.

Exhbit Hall Layout - coming soon!

GTS exhibit

Integrys SeibertKeck Exhibit

Medical Mutual Exhibit WOW! Cookies! Exhibit


The 2015 Small Business Convention is produced in partnership with chambers of commerce and business support organizations throughout Ohio who have a shared mission to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their idea of success. The alliance fostered between the organizations listed below has taken the Small Business Convention to new heights and solidified the entrepreneurial voice in the Midwest.

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Bad Girl Ventures

Brecksville Chamber of Commerce

Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce

Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce

Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County

Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce

Erie Country Chamber of Commerce

Euclid Chamber of Commerce

Garfield Heights Chamber of Commerce

Greater Ashtabula Chamber of Commerce

Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce

Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce

Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce

Knox County Chamber of Commerce

Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

Madison-Perry Area Chamber of Commerce

Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce

Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce

Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce

NEO Hispanic Chamber

Noble County Chamber of Commerce

Olmsted Chamber of Commerce

Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce

Parma Area Chamber of Commerce

Plexus LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce

Solon Chamber of Commerce

Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce

The Presidents' Council Foundation

Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce

Upper Sandusky Chamber of Commerce

Uptown Business Association (UBA)

Warrensville Heights Area Chamber of Commerce

Willoughby Western Lake Chamber of Commerce

WIN Cleveland

Participating organizations will receive COSE Member registration rates for their members.

Getting There

Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center debuted in 1922 and was once the largest convention hall in America. Today, Public Auditorium has modern day amenities but still has elegant old world style.

Hotel Reservations:

A discounted rate with the Downtown Marriot is available for Convention attendees for $189 a night. To reserve your room please click here. The last day to receive this rate is October 1, 2015.

Local Attractions:

Want to explore the downtown Cleveland area while you're at the Convention? Check out Destination Cleveland's suggestions here

Driving Directions:

Cleveland Public Auditorium is located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Situated in a prime downtown district, the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center is convenient to hotel, restaurants, public transportation and other amenities.

Cleveland Public Auditorium
500 Lakeside Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Google Maps


Parking is available in the following parking garages, as well as surface lots surrounding the Public Auditorium:

Willard Garage

601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114

Mon-Fri 5am-11pm |  $9.00 Daily

ABM Parking Lot - Penton Media

1201 E6th Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114

Mon-Fri 6am-9pm | $12 Daily


Interested in learning about topics to be covered at the Convention? Check out our guest blogs:

Whats Your Value? The Value of You and Messaging that Works - Diane Helbig

A workshop on this topic will be presented by Diane Helbig of Seize This Day Coaching and Matt Brower of Hey Now! Media on October 21 at 4:00 p.m.

Living the Dream in Cleveland - Ivan Schwarz

Ivan Schwarz of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission will present a workshop on Getting Involved in the Film Industry in Cleveland on Oct 22 at 3:15 p.m.


About the Convention

The 10th annual Small Business Convention is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Mid-West. Partners from across the region come together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals, complete with nationally-recognized keynote speakers, a business-to-business trade show, special events and unforgettable networking experiences.  

The Convention will place October 21-22, 2015 at Public Auditorium and Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

About COSE

COSE is the region’s largest small business support organization and provides cost-effective group purchasing programs, advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues, and networking and educational resources to help Northeast Ohio’s small businesses grow. 

COSE has a long history of fighting for the rights of all small business owners, whether it’s through group purchasing programs in healthcare, workers’ compensation and energy or advocating for specific changes in legislation or regulation.

Our Mission

COSE’s mission is to serve, advocate and lead on behalf of the small business community…  

Serve our members by understanding the needs of our market and providing superior programs, services, information and benefits.  

Advocate the interests of small business to influence public opinion and policy and promote the important role of smaller enterprises on our economy. 

Lead through innovation, expertise and actions.


Contact Us

Have a question or need additional information? Contact us via email at cosesbc@cose.org or by phone at 216.592.2390.

General Contact

Adina Magda
Manager, Small Business Convention
Events Manager

Angela Finding
Manager, Education & Program Development


Sponsorship and Exhibitor Contact

Dan Roman
Director of Corporate Relations

Courtney Woofter 
Account Executive, Advertising & Sponsorship