Wednesday & Thursday, February 24 & 25th

  • Thursday Feb 24th
    8am to 4:30pm @ Charleston Music Hall – Happy Hour 4:30pm to 6pm
    Friday Feb 25th,
    8am to 12:30pm – Multiple locations


  • Click through the expandable menu below to read descriptions and meet the speakers for each session.

DAY 1 – February 24, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Opening remarks, plus independent business trends & forecasts for 2021


Charles Carmody – Emcee, Charleston Music Hall
Rick Saunders – First Reliance Bank
Rick Wade – US Chamber

Independent businesses are facing unique challenges of competition from global giants, skyrocketing growth of online shopping and convenience culture, systemic barriers for entrepreneurs of color, and a pandemic. Join small business and policy experts to discuss the need to go beyond the ‘Buy Local’ movement to substantive policy change at the federal and local level and a call to action for businesses to get involved.   


Jamee Haley, Moderator – Jamee Haley Consulting
JA Moore, SC State Representative
Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Xiomara Peña, Small Business Majority

Family-Friendly is the Future of Business

Family-friendly workplace practices are central to finding and keeping great employees in today’s workplace culture and central to how we will do business in the future. Emily Schwerin-Whyte is a second-generation family owner and the co-CEO of W.S. Badger Co, a maker of natural and organic personal care products that has pioneered family-friendly benefits. Badger has received accolades including New Hampshire’s Business of the Year 2019 and a spot on Forbes’ Small Giants list. In addition to her role as Co-CEO, Emily co-leads Badger’s strategic visioning and oversees the Company’s sales and product development.


Emily Schwerin-Whyte, W.S. Badger Company, Inc.
Karalee Nielsen Fallert, Moderator – All Good Industries

Climate Change and the Small Business Bottom Line

Many companies today navigate climate-change disruptions to their operations, as well as the imperative to mitigate their own impact as demanded by customers, retailers, and investors. Hear from business leaders in different industries on how they’ve adapted, challenges they face, and the solutions that return value to their companies and the climate. 

Alys Campaigne, Moderator – Planet + Purpose Solutions
Weston Fennell, Limehouse Produce
Jerry Hardt, Nuun Hydration
Steve Linton, Deltec Homes

Good Growth: Building Your Audience with Authenticity

Building a strong community of supporters for your brand can be daunting and putting yourself out there as part of that brand is a vulnerable undertaking. But people connect with people! Good Growth: Building Your Audience with Authenticity explores the paths of entrepreneurs in very different industries who have cultivated an online presence that builds community, masters collaborations, and ultimately results in sales and growth.

Will Bulsiewicz, The Gut Health MD
Stephanie Hall, Estelle Colored Glass
Michiel Perry, Black Southern Belle
Whitney McDuff, Moderator – Whitney McDuff

With a long history of corporate activism dating back to its founding in 1978, Ben & Jerry’s is a top-selling ice cream company that leads with its values and considers activism part of its brand identity. Ben & Jerry’s Head of Global Advocacy Chris Miller is the architect behind the activism and helps to lead the company’s message that corporate leaders must be courageous and ambitious as they set goals to advance racial equity. Join Chris to learn the inside scoop (see what we did there?) behind Ben & Jerry’s advocacy and why their customers and employees are a driving force behind the company’s messaging of social change and dismantling of white supremacy.   


Christopher Miller, Ben & Jerry’s
Tina Singleton, Transformation Table

Closing Remarks and Preview of Day Two


Charles Carmody, Emcee – Charleston Music Hall

DAY 2 – February 25, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Charles Carmody – Emcee, Charleston Music Hall

Corporate statements on the impacts of systemic racism and support for the Black Lives Matter movement were a first step for many companies on a journey and commitment to anti-racism. But what’s next and what does sustained, meaningful action look like?  Join this panel of CEOs and business leaders to learn about concrete examples of taking action and investing in true change one company at a time. From shifting your business spending to Black-owned businesses, to changing the way you hire, to making a commitment to sharing data publicly, every company can walk away with action steps  and a renewed pledge to anti-racism.   


Brady Quirk-Garvan, Moderator – Money with a Mission
Katie Kern, Media Frenzy Global
Vicki Lee Parker-High, North Carolina Business Council
Michael Shemtov, Butcher & Bee

Employee Ownership Models in Action

Studies show employee ownership is one of the best ways to protect workers and businesses in times of crisis. Employee ownership models allow owners to: 1) capture market value with tax advantages, 2) enjoy flexibility and craft an exit strategy, and 3) anchor businesses in communities and retain good jobs. This session will take a deep dive with two businesses on their experience in adopting employee-owned models in a conversation facilitated by Project Equity – a national leader in the movement to harness employee ownership to maintain thriving local business communities, honor selling owners’ legacies, and address income and wealth inequality. 


Franzi Charen, Moderator – Project Equity, Asheville Grown Business Alliance
Rachel Battles, Happy Earth Cleaning Co-op
Thomas Crouse, Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership
Kevin Cuddeback, Gimme Coffee
Patty Viáfara, Project Equity

The Responsible Brand Toolkit

A Responsible Brand knows what it stands for, has a business strategy that delivers on purpose, and artfully demonstrates itself in the marketplace. Join the brains behind ‘The Responsible Brand” for a session to help you align the powerful trifecta of Organizational Culture, Business Strategy and Brand Marketing as a force for good. You’ll leave the session with a canvas for building a Responsible Brand and access to a free toolkit chock full of strategic exercises, worksheets and tips.


Teresa Coles, Riggs Partners
CC Cressey,

Connect & Promote: The Benefits of Independent Media & Grassroots Marketing

The session will dive deep into the current media landscape so businesses can get a better understanding of how media works and in which ways stories can be influenced. The session will then move into ideas and case studies for how businesses can utilize grassroots marketing best practices that can be implemented immediately and possibly amplified by independent media. The session will finish by selecting a business in attendance and prescribing grassroots marketing tactics, so that the ideation process can be replicated by those in attendance.


Zach Giglio, Giglio Communications & Marketing (GCM)
Vikki Matsis, Ohm Radio and Media Reform SC

Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted. With seven locations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Busboys and Poets was founded by owner Andy Shallal – an artist, activist and restaurateur – as a space for art, culture, and politics to intentionally collide. Andy returns to the Good Business Summit after appearing in 2015 to talk frankly about leadership in turbulent times, how he’s navigated the pandemic, and how every company can (and should) talk about race and culture. 


Andy Shallal, Busboys & Poets
Marcus Amaker, Free Verse, LLC

* Sessions listed here are subject to change.