SME Business Development Conference

Monday, May 6, 2019 | Charleston Marriott | Charleston, SC

About the Conference

Be inspired by and learn from renowned CEO’s, entrepreneurs and innovators at our annual SME Business Development Conference. Focusing on the issues most relevant to today’s business people, the event aims at encouraging a new thinking approach and inspiring action in times of information overload.

The daylong conference brings together like-minded professionals from across various industries and provides a unique networking platform to exchange ideas while building new relationships.


Over 10 sessions and workshops presented by leading experts covering Economy, Leadership, Digital Transformation, Marketing, Innovation, People and Productivity, and a lot of new ideas.

Highlights include a keynote by Pamela Evette, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina and a closing session by Carol Campbell, Managing Director Consumer Insight, Delta.


With 250+ attendees, 100+ organizations, 17+ speakers, the daylong conference brings together like-minded professionals from across various industries and provides a unique networking platform to exchange ideas while building new relationships.

There will be structured and casual networking opportunities with our event app that lets you message other attendees, our lunch networking session and our post conference networking party.


Be inspired by and learn from renowned CEO’s, entrepreneurs and innovators at our annual SME Business Development Conference. We want to encourage you to develop a new thinking approach and inspiring action in times of information overload. We want to help you to grow your business, your network and your personal skills.

Get the guide for access to more features and up-to-date information. Our mobile guides are a great way to track sessions, interact with attendees, view photos, find maps, and more!


Early Bird Conference Registration: $350
(Available through March 22)

Regular Conference Registration: $375
(Includes Evening Reception and Tuesday Tours)

Late Conference Registration: $400
(Starting May 2)

** All tickets above include entry to the Evening Reception and Tuesday Tours.

Evening Reception only: $95

Tuesday Tours: Not available separately.


Highlights from this year’s conference include:


  • Pamela Evette, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
  • Anita Zucker, Chair and CEO, The InterTech Group, Inc.
  • Carol Campbell, Managing Director Consumer Insight, Delta


  • Opportunities and Challenges in Additive Manufacturing
  • A Digital Dashboard for Training, Process Design, and Quality for a Small-Medium Enterprise
  • Dynamic Manufacturing by MHP
  • Managing Global Foreign Exchange Risk in Volatile Times by Bank of America
  • How A.I. will Transform Every Aspect of Your Business as You Know It
  • Intercultural Leadership
  • Immigration and Hiring International Employees by Womble Bond Dickinson


  • IFA Rotorion
  • Charleston Port by DB Schenker
  • KION North America

For the complete lineup:


Carol Campbell

Carol Campbell

Managing Director Consumer Insight, Delta Air Lines

Carol Campbell is an established, energetic Fortune 100 Experience Planning & Development Executive who delivers innovative and game-changing business opportunities to actualization. Carol joined Delta Air Lines to lead its Consumer Insight arm and advance their global customer experience after a 22-year career with the Walt Disney Company which was most notably marked by her leadership of the worldwide hotel development portfolio. Carol brings to Delta a reputation for getting deep into the minds of consumers (and employees), challenging the status quo, and bringing innovative experiences to life.

Jennifer Cory

Jennifer Cory

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Jennifer Cory leads the Womble Immigration Solutions team. She navigates the complexities of U.S. immigration law to design efficient, effective visa routes for her clients, who include educators, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators, and investors in key industry sectors such as academia, automotive, financial, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and technology.

Suzanne Dickerson

Suzanne Dickerson

Director of Logistics Industry Initiatives, SC Council on Competitiveness

Suzanne Dickerson joined the SC Council on Competitiveness in 2016 after serving for 8 years as the Director for International Business Development at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Suzanne’s experience includes 20 years in the automotive industry: 12 years within BMW working in the fields of corporate sustainability, innovation management and long-term strategic and structural planning.

Pamela Evette

Pamela Evette

Lieutenant Governor, South Carolina

An entrepreneur and businesswoman, Pamela Evette founded Quality Business Solutions, Inc. (QBS), a payroll, human resources, and benefits services firm headquartered in Travelers Rest. Under her leadership as President and CEO, QBS has grown exponentially, going from start-up to one of the nation’s fastest growing small businesses. Her company has also been repeatedly honored among the fastest growing and best places to work in South Carolina.

Benjamin Fritz

Benjamin Fritz

Associated Partner, Director of Operations, Practice Lead Data & Technology; MHP Americas Inc.

Benjamin Fritz is Associated Partner, Director of Operations and heads the practice Data & Technology for MHP Americas where he leads a team focused on Management, IT & Process Consulting in the areas of Business Intelligence, Big Data & Business Analytics as well as CIO Advisory and Technologies. With more than 11 years of international consulting experience, Fritz has extensive experience from the automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

William Furman

William Furman

Senior Area Manager, South Carolina District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration

He graduated with a BS degree from Clemson University and went on to have a 27 year career with the US Department of Agriculture serving as the Lead Rural Business Services Specialist. While with USDA he worked with direct and guaranteed business loan programs as well as economic development programs for rural areas of the South Carolina Lowcountry. In 2013 he accepted the position of Senior Area Manager for SBA and now serves the 10 coastal counties in South Carolina providing lender services, Government contracting programs and economic development to small businesses in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Steve Gaut

Steve Gaut

Vice President of Public Relations, UPS

Steve Gaut is Vice President of Public Relations at UPS. He joined the company in January 2014 after more than 28 years in the automotive industry including General Motors, Delphi Automotive (now Aptiv), and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Steve leads the global team and agencies responsible for protecting and enhancing the UPS brand through all aspects of news media coverage, social media channels, executive communications, corporate blogs and sustainability communications.

Ashley Kutz Kelley

Ashley Kutz Kelley

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Ashley Kutz Kelley represents companies in the manufacturing, shipping, healthcare, financial services, professional services and property management sectors. She is an experienced litigator with a broad-ranging practice in federal and state courts, including employment, business, commercial, financial, and product liability matters. Ashley serves as Chair of Charleston Women in International Trade (CWIT) as well as Chair of the South Carolina Bar’s Employment and Labor Law Section.

Dr. Gregory M. Mocko

Dr. Gregory M. Mocko

Associate Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University

Dr. Gregory Mocko teaches courses in engineering informatics and data analytics, product life-cycle management, design, and kinematics and machine design. Mocko has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.S. in Material Science from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research has been supported by the Boeing Company, SC Department of Commerce, BMW NA, ARMY TACOM, JCI, the US NSF, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Dr. Adam A. Porter

Dr. Adam A. Porter

Scientific Director and Executive Director, Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering

In addition to his role at Fraunhofer USA Center Dr. Porter is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on tools and techniques for identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in industrial software and systems development processes, experimental evaluation of fundamental software engineering hypotheses, and development of tools that demonstrably improve fundamental software and systems development processes. This work has been supported by major government and private sector organizations including the US DoD, NSF, NIH, Google, AT&T, Ford Motor Company, IBM and more.

Dr. Rahul S. Renu

Dr. Rahul S. Renu

Assistant Professor Department of Physics and Engineering, Francis Marion University

Dr. Rahul Renu teaches courses in design and manufacturing, including engineering graphics, engineering mechanics, materials engineering, manufacturing processes, and capstone design. He contributed significantly to the development and accreditation of the Industrial Engineering program at Francis Marion and is now heavily involved with the establishment of a new Mechanical Engineering program there. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from VTU in India, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University. His work has been supported by the Horizon Mud Company and SC Department of Commerce, and he has worked on research projects with BMW NA, ZF Transmissions, Bicycle Corporation of America, and Industrial Fabrics Association International.

John Rich

John Rich

Vice President FutureX Labs, Moxie

Never before has the combination of exponentially advancing technology and transformative consumer behavior unfolded at today’s current scale and speed. Entire industries worth billions of dollars are now created or upended not in decades, but in a matter of years or even months. To help companies navigate this ever-changing future John applies his 30 years of experience identifying and applying emerging technologies to create a culture of continuous innovation. From technology forecasting and prototyping to FutureX Live – our emerging technology conference series – John helps brands and businesses future-enable themselves and thrive in this time of exponential change.

Nic Roemer

Nic Roemer

Senior Director Business Development, Moxie

Nic Roemer leads Moxie’s New Business activities and initiates strategic opportunities to mature Moxie’s market awareness and perception. He is a Senior strategic sales & digital marketing professional, with over 16 years’ experience and consistently outstanding performance, with in-depth know-how across both marketing and technology. Nic worked for and with some of the world’s largest business, technology and consumer brands including BMW, Nike, Microsoft, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Samsung, Novartis, American Express, and Red Bull. Further, he represented businesses across many sectors and vertical markets, launched start-ups (including his own) and worked with both blue chip and SME companies.

Michaela Schobert

Michaela Schobert

Director, Consulting Services, German American Chamber of the Southern U.S., Inc.

Since July 2014, Michaela Schobert has been managing the Consulting Department ‚DEinternational at the AHK USA-Atlanta. She is responsible for supporting market entry and business development projects as well as e.g. organizing industry specific conferences. Michaela graduated from Würzburg-Schweinfurt University with a degree in operational business administration, with an international focus and an emphasis on corporate development. From 2008 to 2014, Michaela led the export for Maintal Konfitüren GmbH in Haßfurt.

John Shin

Senior G10 FX Strategist; BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research

John Shin joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a senior G10 FX strategist, based in New York. He is responsible for the flagship monthly publication, World At A Glance. Previously, Shin was both a G10 FX strategist and a U.S. economist at Lehman Brothers. He was also a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and worked in the Macroeconomic and Quantitative Studies section of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.

Shin holds a doctorate in economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with high honors.

Michael Todd Shinholster

Michael Todd Shinholster

Senior Associate, INTERGLOBE Cross-Cultural Business Services, Inc.

Michael Todd Shinholster is a Senior Associate of INTERGLOBE Cross-Cultural Business Services. He received his M.B.A. in International Business from Kennesaw State University and his B.A. in German (Language & International Business Concentration) from Georgia State University. He has worked on various projects for companies and organizations such as Audi, Volkswagen, and ThyssenKrupp. Todd also worked for the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee, the 1996 Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and the 2004 G-8 Summit. He continues to work, consult and teach in a variety of areas including international affairs, international business, global leadership, global teams and intercultural communications.

Jesse Shute

Jesse Shute

Director of Global Rates & Currencies, Bank of America

Based in Charlotte, Jesse Shute is responsible for advising Southeast commercial bank clients on managing their global foreign exchange and interest rate risk. Prior to joining the Charlotte Rates and Currencies desk in 2017, Shute was based in San Francisco for 15 years with Bank of America with responsibility for advising Fortune 500 corporate clients on managing their global foreign exchange risk. He specialized in the Technology and Energy and Power sectors. Mr. Shute has a BA in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University.

Hayden Taylor

Hayden Taylor

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Hayden Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His research spans the invention, modeling and simulation of manufacturing processes. His group is particularly focused on processes that can be used to fabricate extremely rich and complex, multi-scale geometries, such as are found in semiconductor integrated circuits and biological tissues. Current research activities have the following themes: (A) contact mechanics in materials processing, (B) surface engineering for heat and mass transfer, and (C) multi-scale additive manufacturing, including computed axial lithography.

Antonio Vera

Manager Smart Manufacturing; MHP Americas Inc.

Antonio Vera is a customer focused Smart Manufacturing Manager with 17 years of experience in IT and over 13 years leading projects, delivery teams, and implementing manufacturing solutions, primarily using the SAP Manufacturing Execution Suite. He has helped manufacturing companies ideate, design, and implement complex high ROI solutions in multiple sub industries including Automotive, High Tech, Furniture, Chemical, Food & Beverage, Natural Resources (Cement & Concrete), Steel, and CPG. Vera has experience working in multicultural environments, with more than 20 projects implemented in USA, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Anita Zucker

Anita Zucker

Chair and Chief Executive Officer, The InterTech Group, Inc.

Anita Zucker is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The InterTech Group, Inc. (TIG), a privately held company founded by Anita and former husband, Jerry Zucker (OBM). One of the largest private companies in the USA, TIG and its affiliates operate in a diverse array of industries, from aerospace and specialty chemicals to real estate and entertainment. In addition to its wholly-owned entities, TIG and its affiliates are substantial investors in many public companies and retain a diverse portfolio of equity, debt and real estate holdings.



This year’s SME Business Development Conference will be held at the Charleston Marriott hotel in Charleston, SC on Monday, May 6, 2019.

Our special room block rate of at the Charleston Marriott has expired. Please contact Shannon LaPatin, 843-266-7874, for the best room rate and mention the GACC South.

Charleston Marriott
170 Lockwood Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29403
Phone: (843) 723-3000
Hotel Website


Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for German American Chamber of Commerce.

Please click here to book your flights!

You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 1.800.328.1111* Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (CT) and refer to Meeting Event Code NY2RH.

*Please note there isn’t a service fee for reservations booked and ticketed via our reservation 800 number.


Become a sponsor in 2019!

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