In This Section


Tuesday, August 17, 2021
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Chicago Architecture River Cruise (optional, additional fees apply)

3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Opening Reception

7:30 p.m.
Optional Group Dinners SFNet will set up reservation blocks at local restaurants. Let us know if you are interested in joining us (pay one’s own way).

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast & Networking

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Strategy and Competitive Advantage—Part 1
Keynote Speaker: Michael J, Mazzeo, Associate Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management

Michael J. Mazzeo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Strategy, and a Faculty Associate at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research. He teaches Kellogg's Business Strategy classes in Kellogg's MBA and EMBA programs and is co-author of the book Roadside MBA: Backroad Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners.

Professor Mazzeo will provide a framework to understand the connection between a company’s resources and capabilities; its value proposition and how it achieves competitive advantage. He will illustrate these ideas using examples from small and middle-market firms encountered in the Roadside MBA book. A Q&A will follow.

10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
Coffee Break

10:20 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Strategy and Competitive Advantage—Part 2 Round Table Discussions
Facilitators: Robyn Barrett, FSW Funding
Rob Meyers, Republic Business Credit

In this follow-up round table session, we will take the framework presented in Part 1 and discuss how to apply it to your business.

11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Round Table Session—DEI Initiatives
Facilitators: Betty Hernandez, SLR Business Credit
Terry Keating, Donald J. Keating & Sons

An open conversation on what independent businesses are doing to address diversity, equity and inclusiveness in their workplace.

12:20 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

12:20 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Round Table Session—Human Capital
Facilitators: Ryan Jaskiewicz, 12five Capital, LLC
Stacey Schacter, Vion Investments

A wide-ranging discussion on several topics related to human capital, spending about 15 min on each of the following:
  • You’re back to the office (maybe?)…how’s it going?
  • Onboarding new hires remotely – tips and strategies
  • Deal flow, diligence and onboarding new clients
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Legal Update Session
Facilitator: Jeff Wurst, Armstrong Teasdale LLP

Once again, the legal program will feature a timely and meaningful discussion of legal topics of interest to independent lenders, including:
  • Subchapter V
  • Evolution and status of licensing statutes
  • PPP & EIDL – case law on firms that filed for bankruptcy that took the loans
  • Intercreditor Agreements updates
Wells Fargo Dinner

Thursday, August 19, 2021
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
War Stories
Facilitators: Terry Keating, Donald J. Keating & Sons
Stacey Schacter, Vion Investments

This will be a candid discussion on transactions that didn’t go as planned, the underlying root causes and how to deal with a bad deal or at least bad decisions. Embrace the failure as our presenters freely admit where they went wrong, what they would have done different and what they learned from the experience. Please also consider sharing your bad deals with the audience as misery loves company.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Coffee Break

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
A Recent(ish) M&A Real Life Case Study—Behind the Scenes from Both the Buyer and the Seller
Facilitators: Bryan Ballowe, TradeCap Partners
Rob Meyers, Republic Business Credit
Presenters: Wade Hladky, Gulf Coast Business Credit
Steve Lowenthal, SPECTRUM Commercial Services

Wade Hladky from Gulf Coast Business Credit and Steve Lowenthal from SPECTRUM Commercial Services will dive into their experience completing a successful M&A transaction in the commercial finance industry. This will be a great opportunity to hear the details of the transaction from not only the buyer (Gulf Coast), but also gain insight into the seller’s (SPECTRUM) perspective of the transaction as well. Bryan Ballowe and Rob Meyers will be leading the discussions and taking us through the phases that both Gulf Coast and SPECTRUM experienced—from the upfront work of prepping for sale and purchase, to the letter of intent process, valuation metrics discussion, and the due diligence/closing process. We will also get a live update into how the integration went—always an interesting time and even more so given the events of the past year.

12:30 p.m.
Grab and Go Lunch

Optional Friday Tag-Along Interested in seeing the Cubs play? Let SFNet know and we will try to organize an informal outing to see the Cubs play the Royals at 2:20 p.m. on Friday, August 20th (additional fees apply).