I was proud to have been featured in this Marketwatch release on August 8, 2011:
At recent Business Matchmaking events, it became apparent that California and that state’s pride and joy tech-star, Hewlett Packard, are providing more than their fair share of impressive leaders with strategies and follow up tactics that could help their state and the nation rise above their current dollar doldrums. Two of HP’s most respected leaders are having a dramatic impact
helping shape the national response to changing demographics and procurement policies.
Brian Burch, currently a spokesman for the new HP Touchpad, discovered and labeled the “Accidental Entrepreneur”. Burch, a frequent speaker at Business Matchmaking events where small firms meet face to face with government and major corporate buyers, discovered surprising trends in entrepreneurial start-ups.
At Business Matchmaking events, he found an unprecedented and unexpected mix of small business owners. They included combat veterans unable to find a job but desperate to support their families, wives of executives who were now receiving
unemployment checks, senior citizens who couldn’t get by on their diminished savings, recent graduates unable to enter the job market and a fair share of lawyers, bankers brokers and other high level executives courtesy of Wall Street’s chaos.
“HP has emerged as the entrepreneur’s technology brand of choice based on both performance and corporate support for small business initiatives around the country helping companies owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans,” said Colonel Don Gonneville (USA-Ret) of Gonneville, Inc., past president of the California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance and a regular speaker at Business Matchmaking events. “Unquestionably, there is a new breed of entrepreneurs arriving in full force,” he added.
Other companies and marketing agencies are now aware of Burch’s discovery and are pursuing a range of imitation campaigns. The original “Accidental Entrepreneur” has shown up as the “Reluctant Entrepreneur”, the “Surprising Entrepreneur” and the all-purpose “New Entrepreneur”.
Brian Tippens is charged with directing HP’s international campaign to comply with its huge supplier diversity standards and environmental responsibility. The company spends tens of billions of dollars with vendors who sell to the Palo Alto based multi-national giant.
Tippens has emerged as a major figure on the national green scene based on his role at HP and his high profile in several collateral industry wide organizations. “Brian is one of the most informed business leaders in the country on all aspects of environmental developments and sustainability of products,” said James Garton, President of Mission NewEnergy, Limited, the global biofuel firm.
Recently, the two Brians shared the podium at a Business Matchmaking event in Houston with hundreds of anxious small business owners and more than 50 senior contract officers from the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department and other federal agencies. “They are both stars in the small business world and have helped HP become the ‘go to’ company for start-ups and growing firms,” said Michelle Dolberry, President of Business Matchmaking.
On the public side of the track, Mark Quinn wears one permanent and one temporary hat that place him in the lead position for the SBA in California. He serves as District Director of the San Francisco office and is now also Acting Director of the Los Angeles office.
Unlike so many others in government, Quinn does not just keep an open door. He walks through it regularly to go to dozens of small business events each month and comes armed with the latest Washington protocols and local banking realities regarding loans. If there is a podium, panel or program on procurement, you will find Mark Quinn there with the latest facts and tips on
how to secure assistance for a small business in any industry.
Pamela Smith-Cressel, the veteran small business chief for the federal government’s western division of the General Services Administration, may be the most popular government official based in California. Aside from decades of service, Pamela is absolutely dedicated to answering every call, taking every meeting and dealing with every question so much so that she fields work calls at night and on weekends and her cell phone number is not a secret.
On Tuesday, August 2, three of these four leaders were in Carson, California meeting with 250 small business owners anxious to question Mark Quinn on SBA loans, Pamela Smith-Cressel on GSA schedules and Brian Tippens on new selling opportunities to HP. That same day, Brian Burch was on the road, with Touchpad in hand, to meet with other companies loaded with their own questions.
SOURCE: Small Medium Business Technology Alliance