Governor’s Conference on Business 2016 to hold business pitch competition, feature guest speakers from Switch


Teri Williams
Public Information Officer
Las Vegas, NV - September 12, 2016

The Department of Business and Industry will host the annual fifth Governor’s Conference on Business September 30 at the Rio Hotel and Casino.  The event will feature a Business Resource Expo, entrepreneurship panel discussion, business pitch competition and an all-conference luncheon featuring guest speakers from Switch. The conference, which takes place annually on a rotating basis between Las Vegas and Reno, helps entrepreneurs and established companies make the business connections they need to succeed.


Marcel Schaerer, Deputy Director, Nevada Department of Business and Industry explains that this year’s conference theme, “Get Connected Nevada” highlights a focus on providing a premier business resource conference centered on helping attendees make critical face to face connections. “From the wide range of resources participating at the Business Resource Expo, to the conference app that we’ve launched to help attendees connect and network, to our luncheon speakers we want people to leave the conference with something that is going to help them get to the next level,” said Schaerer.


A morning breakout panel presentation Entrepreneurship: The Next Generation will feature presentations from three entrepreneurs that will share their experiences and insights into launching their own ventures followed by a Q&A session with the panelists.  The panelists include John Santos, Founder, Revive Brand Co.; Shavonnah Tiera Collins, Managing Director, RedFlint Experience Center; and Avetis Mazmanyan, Founder, Mezze Foods.


The Business Pitch Competition will be held in Las Vegas for the first time. Startup companies, in business for two years or less with under $250,000 annual gross revenue, were invited to apply to enter the competition.  Ten finalists will make a two-minute pitch, followed by Q&A with the panel of judges.  The competition will be moderated by KSNV Wake Up with the Wagners co-host Dana Wagner. The business pitch judges panel includes: Tom Doxey, Vice President of Fleet and Corporate Finance, Allegiant; Mark Hutchison, Lieutenant Governor, State of Nevada; Kimberly Parker, Vice President of Advertising, Las Vegas Review Journal; David Schmall, Business Sales Specialist, Microsoft; Stephanie Tyler, Nevada and Western Region President, AT&T.  For the first time, a people’s choice award will be given.  Awards for first, second, and people’s choice will be announced at the conference luncheon along with cash and prize packages with a total value of $23,500, thanks to the generosity of sponsors AT&T, Microsoft and Vast.


The Business Resource Expo sponsored by the Nevada Broadcasters Association will feature 110 exhibitors and will be open to attendees throughout the morning.  Exhibitors represent a wide variety of services including lenders, nonprofit business consultants, legal services providers, marketing and branding services and government agencies. A list of exhibitors can be found at    


During the conference luncheon, Governor Brian Sandoval will be joined by Kristi Overgaard, EVP of Awesomeness and Adam Kramer, EVP of Strategy from Switch, developer of SUPERNAP data centers, the recognized world leader in colocation design, development and mission critical operations. With clients ranging from sophisticated startups to Fortune 100 companies, Switch connects thousands of clients and providers from within facilities located right here in Las Vegas.  


Conference agenda at-a-glance:

            7:30 am: Registration, continental breakfast, networking

          7:30 am- noon:  Business Resource Expo sponsored by Nevada Broadcasters Association

          8:15- 11:45 am: Breakout Sessions

                        8:15 am- Entrepreneurship: The Next Generation

                   10:00 am- Business Pitch Competition, sponsored by AT&T, Microsoft and Vast

             12:00 pm: Conference Luncheon with speakers Adam Kramer, EVP of Strategy and Kristi Overgaard, EVP of Awesomeness from Switch, Business Pitch Competition Awards and keynote address by Governor Brian Sandoval


Tickets are $50 in advance and must be purchased online prior to September 28, $60 walk-in tickets may be available at the door based on availability. Advanced registration is strongly recommended to ensure guaranteed entrance and includes access to the expo, panel discussion, business pitch competition and conference luncheon.  To learn more about the conference or to register, visit