Business acumen workshop packed in 49 concise minutes

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2006

Going on the belief that small business owners don’t have time to spare, KeyBank will present seven business tips in seven minutes each during a free seminar today in Kenai.

The Seven Tips Seminar will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska.

Seminar literature states KeyBank knows how valuable business owners’ time is, so the bank has invited seven experts to share seven tips in seven minutes each.

“This could be the most valuable 49 minutes you spend,” the seminar program says.

Jolie Riehm, Alaska marketing director for KeyBank, said the tips will be on topics including tax laws, legal code and how to market a business.

Speakers will include Cindy Wagner, a certified public accountant with Lambe, Tuter and Wagner in Soldotna; Stephanie Carroll, an information technology expert from Alaska Communications Systems; Kenai small business attorney Phil Nash; Bob Nicholl, a networking specialist with Carter and Associates; Alan Humphries, a member of Soldotna Toastmasters and pastor of Soldotna Church of God; and KeyBank executives.

The Seven Tips Seminars began in Anchorage two years ago, according to Tony Alvarado, KeyBank senior vice president. Then it was presented in Juneau and is now being offered on the Kenai Peninsula.

“It will be going to Fairbanks and then we’ll have one in the (Matanuska-Susitna Valley),” Alvarado said.

“In trying to be concise, each audience member will have a timing device, and when the seven minutes are up, they’ll let the speaker know,” he said. “Of course it’s tongue in cheek.”

Following the 49 minutes of presentations, an extended question-and-answer session will allow the audience to ask specific questions and provide participants with an opportunity to network, according to Alvarado.

When asked why KeyBank is offering the free seminars, Alvarado said, “We’ve become our clients’ trusted financial advisers and it’s a marketing opportunity for us to reach potential business customers.”

The seminar in Kenai is being co-sponsored by the Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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