Keynote Speaker

Kris Jones
Serial Entrepreneur

Keynote Title – Why Not Us? Why Not Here? Why Not Now?


For twenty years Kris has crushed it in business and life.

Kris was the founder and former CEO of affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay in 2009. In 2011 Kris founded ReferLocal, which generated over $3M in its first year and has gone on to generate tens of millions in revenue. Kris is the founder of multiple successful businesses, including APPEK Mobile Apps, Special Guest App, and Kris is an accomplished writer, thought leader, and public speaker. Since 2008 he has sold over 100,000 books and has been published nearly 300 times in top publications, including Inc., Forbes, Fast Company, AMEX Open, and others. Kris received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Penn State University, Master’s of Science in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University, and Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School.

Kris is also a frequent keynote speaker at prestigious conferences and universities worldwide in addition to sitting on the boards of several non-profit and educational organizations. Learn more about Kris at


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Wendy Koba, Esq.

Workshop Title – Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights 101




Are you thinking about a new product or service idea that might have a unique aspect to it that should be protected as intellectual property? This workshop will focus on de-mystifying some of the common misconceptions about patents, trademarks and copyrights as well as the process for acquiring them. Additional topics to be addressed include what costs an entrepreneur should expect and how long the process can take.

Wendy Koba has over thirty years of experience as a patent attorney, the last fourteen in private practice. Prior to that Wendy worked as a patent attorney with AT&T Bell Labs for nineteen years. Wendy focuses her practice on the preparation of patent applications, and the development of patent portfolios for a variety of clients, including start-up companies, individuals and corporate clients. Wendy works with Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Center and Keystone Industrial Zone organizations, assisting their various new venture clients in obtaining patent protection.

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366952-7d75687c-56d8-332b-1_speakerMandy Pennington
Net Driven

Workshop Title – Website Deconstruction



Just because you built one, doesn’t mean they’ll come. Having a website is an essential part of presenting your business to the world, but it’s key to make sure that it’s a GOOD one. Not only that, but your website is the only online property where you can truly own your business information. In this session, we’ll talk about the basics of what makes a good website, how your website appears in search results, quick wins to get found and drive traffic, and how to analyze your website traffic for greater success.

Mandy Pennington is a writer, marketer, and teacher with a passion for the art of storytelling. She is the Director of Internet Marketing at Net Driven and is actively involved with organizations that enrich our region, including the NEPA Tech Meetup and the Scranton Fringe Festival. Mandy is also an award-winning regional actress, playwright, and adjunct instructor at Marywood University in the Communication Arts Department. She co-founded NEPA BlogCon, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s blogging and social media conference, and Squirrel Girls Tech Camp, a STEM initiative for girls in grades 4-6. She is a CASE District II Accolades Award panelist, Northeast PA Business Journal Top 20 Under 40 recipient, 2016 SAGE Award nominee, and a proud recipient of Marywood University’s Recent Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.

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366952-a1430d62-b937-5510-8_speakerJerry Lisman
Lisman Holdings

Workshop Title – Getting Your Product to Market



Getting a new product or idea to market involves many moving pieces. This workshop will focus on many of the factors to be considered in the GO TO MARKET planning process and provides a hands-on learning experience to help you develop a plan that successfully gets your product on and off the shelves. Learn TWO KEY ESSENTIALS that many entrepreneurs overlook in formulating their product readiness and GTM strategies.

Jerry Lisman is Chief Executive Officer of Lisman Holdings, is a three platform operating company focused on medical products, online retailing and business strategies in addition to investments in children’s winter wear accessories, web page hosting and several consumer products. Jerry has over 35 years of sales, marketing and operational experience with several large medical and distribution companies.
Jerry is an Executive Business Mentor at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University, mentoring students, faculty, and staff to develop and own companies from inception to commercialization. He also works with a fee for service clients of the center on specific projects. Giving back to the community is important to Jerry and he serves as Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania, serves on the advisory boards of several startups and early-stage companies in the region and is a Director Emeritus of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bridge.

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Tony Bartocci
Posture Interactive

Workshop Title – Online Reputation, Who Is Writing Your Story?


Are you obsessed with your online reputation? You should be! What brand are you building for yourself and how could it impact you or your future career in business? In this session, we’ll discuss your personal digital footprint, brand influencers, streamlined business profiles, user reviews and how these aspects could make or break a business.

Tony is a Principal in Posture Interactive – a full service web design and development firm. I’m passionate about people – clients, friends, family – they make what we do at Posture go round.

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366952-2f59ad47-83b7-7156-5_speakerMarty Wolff – Co-Presenting with Bob Courtright
Executive/Business Coach, Business Builders Show Podcast

Workshop Title – Intentional Networking



Networking is not schmoozing. Networking is the process of sharing and engaging for the benefit of you and others. Whether you are an experienced professional, or just getting started, join workshop hosts Marty Wolff and Bob Courtright to discuss tips and strategies for creating networking opportunities that produce real, satisfying, results.

Marty Wolff is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and business journalist. In addition to his coaching and consulting practice, Marty hosts a regional radio show, Business Leaders Radio and a nationally recognized podcast, the Business Builders Show. Marty’s skill in securing well-known guests for his shows are a direct result of his skills as a master networker. Marty is on the board of the Northeast PA Networkers.

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366952-4d5a8104-dd50-d76c-9_speakerBob Courtright – Co-Presenting with Marty Wolff
Courtright & Associates, Inc.




Robert J. Courtright is President of Courtright & Associates, Inc., a retained executive search consulting, business development & outplacement firm, located in Scranton, PA. Mr. Courtright founded the firm in 1989. He also offers business, Networking & Linkedin consulting services. He is Chairman of the Northeast PA Networkers.

It has become obvious to students who are graduating high school and/or college that a diploma is no longer a bridge to a successful life or career. The ability to understand and implement networking skills are vital for personal and professional success. This also pertains to individuals already in the workplace who want to do better where they are at now or to move on to a new opportunity. This workshop is designed to go beyond fundamental networking and will teach you how to not only connect with people but positively influence them.

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Panel Discussion – Getting Started

Michele Dempsey
Founder and President



Michele is Founder and President of the award‐winning architecture firm, DxDempsey ‐‐ the leading
designer of Strategic Branded Experiences for corporate, retail and community‐based clients. The firm is
known for translating brands into compelling physical experiences that tell a story and generate buzz
and revenue. The distinctive work of the firm has been published in several national and international
trade magazines and media outlets and can be seen in most of the major casinos in Las Vegas and
Atlantic City, as well as a growing number of international airports. One project was even featured on
the hit show, “Modern Family”. Along with its professional work, the firm is known for its “Scranton,
What If?” effort in which team members produce visions for various buildings and sites in downtown
Scranton in order to inspire ideas and possible future development.
In her professional life, Michele has been named one of the Top 25 Women in Business in Northeast
Pennsylvania, and she received the prestigious Margaretta Belin Chamberlin award for dedication to the
community. She was also honored to be a speaker for the first TEDx Scranton and TEDx Abington
Heights High School talks.

Outside of work, Michele is very active in her community. In 2007 and again in 2013, Michele co‐
founded and helped organize “The Office Convention” and “The Office Wrap Party”, respectively, two
large scale events that brought all of the actors, writers and producers from the hit television show “The
Office” to Scranton in order to celebrate the city and the series with thousands of their fans. Michele
also co‐founded the grassroots group, Friends of Lackawanna, a non‐profit organization committed to
stopping the expansion of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill and to protecting the health and safety of the
local community, as well as the regional image and environment.

Michele teaches a course called “Planning the Built Environment” at Lafayette College. She is the proud
Mom to two amazing boys she adopted from Kyrgyzstan when they were 8 and 11 years old. She has
also completed four marathons and holds a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do karate so she likes
to believe she is not afraid of anything‐‐except turbulence and skinny jeans.

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Tom Comerota



Tom is the Founder & CEO at, an online platform dedicated to help dentists to expand treatment options and improve patient care.

After graduating from Couglin High School, Tom obtained his BSE in BioEngineering from the University of Pennsylvania where he also minored in Math and Chemistry.

Tom has over a decade of experience in e-commerce, having started and run several companies focused on sales of dental and beauty products. He knows a thing or two about selling online, in fact over the course of his career, he’s helped sell tens of millions of dollars worth of products to customers all over the world.

Having written his first computer program at the age of 7, Tom is a developer at heart, but he is also passionate about science, technology and business. The ability to create something tangible, starting with nothing more than an idea, is to him, a lifelong fascination.

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Marc Gonzalez



Marc Gonzalez is a cyber hygiene and cyber compliance specialist with over 26 years’ experience.

Marc is the Information Security Officer at Site2, a data management and security consulting services firm that he co-founded to help organizations comply with federal and industry regulations such as HIPAA, NIST 800 and ISO 27001. For non-regulated organizations, Marc’s team helps improve cyber security practices and employee cyber security awareness.

Marc’s career has included positions with three fortune 100 companies with Information Systems audit responsibilities, application development, IT management, help desk & infrastructure support, and business continuity planning.

Learn more at Site2.

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