CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 25, 2015 – A Marketing and Small Business Conference focusing on practical, how-to information for small and regional businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Ray’s Conference Center in Cape Girardeau.
Capping the day’s events will be the presentation of the Triumph Award, an honor recognizing long-term marketing excellence in this region. This year’s award will go to Auto Tire & Parts, Inc., and will be presented at noon during the Triumph Award Luncheon. Selection of the recipient of the Triumph Award was by both the Tri-State Advertising & Marketing Professionals and the Department of Management and Marketing of Southeast Missouri State University. The Tri-State Advertising & Marketing Professionals is a non-profit organization of communications professionals in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Paducah, Kentucky; and Harrisburg, Illinois, areas. The organization has previously given this honor to Drury Industries, Rhodes 101 Convenience Stores, Plaza Tire, and Bluff City Beer.
Founded in 1909, Auto Tire & Parts, Inc. was launched in response to a customer’s need for Model T parts. Today, the company has more than 40 locations in four states and focuses on hometown roots and longstanding personal relationships with customers. The business co-brands with NAPA, its main auto parts supplier. Accepting the award on behalf of the company will be Greg Stroup, president of Auto Tire & Parts, Inc. for the past 18 years. Stroup has an MBA from Harvard Business School and previously worked as divisional president for Nextel Corporation, St. Louis.
The day’s events are sponsored by the Department of Management and Marketing and the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University and the Tri-State Advertising and Marketing Professionals. Co-moderating the conference will be Andrew Chronister, president of the Tri-State Advertising and Marketing Professionals, and Dr. Judy Wiles, chair of the Department and Management and Marketing and interim director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast.
Conference sessions are scheduled for 8:30-11:50 a.m.
“Free and Low-Cost Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs” will be the topic of the opening session at 8:30 a.m. Assistance available from state, federal and University resources will be shared by panelists, including Brian Tapp, chief operating officer for the Missouri Innovation Corp. at Southeast Missouri State University; Richard Proffer, business development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Business Development Program and the Small Business Technology Development Center of Cape Girardeau County; and Dr. Foster Roberts, assistant professor of management at Southeast.
A panel focused on “Branding: Winning the Story Wars” is scheduled for 9:40-10:40 a.m. Participants will learn the power of enhancing message strategy with the use of compelling and relevant stories for businesses, and how to weave the stories into a campaign, creating enduring staying power. Panelists will be Dr. John Cherry, professor of marketing, Jeff Harmon, executive director of communications and marketing, both from Southeast, and Greg Stroup, President of Auto Tire & Parts, Inc.
The third panel, titled “Employee Relations: Aligning Human Resource Strategy with Business Strategy” is planned for 10:50-11:50 a.m. This session will offer practical tips on empowering employees to enhance achieving the goals of the business. Panelists will be Dr. Heather McMillan, assistant professor of management at Southeast, Christina Cheek, executive assistant and sales support specialist with Auto Tire & Parts, Inc., and Bob Garner, regional manager of Auto Tire & Parts, Inc.
Advance registration received by Sept. 15, including the conference and lunch, is $45. Advance registration for lunch only is $25. Registrations received after Sept. 15 are $55 for the conference and $35 for lunch only. Reservations for luncheon tables of eight received by Sept. 15 are $190. Checks should be made payable to Tri-State Advertising and Marketing Professionals and mailed to P.O. Box 541, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63702-0541. To register online, visit tristateamp.eventbrite.com.