Workshop: Operational Finance for Business Owners

Marshall A. Geiger, PhD. CPA

Marshall A. Geiger, PhD. CPA
Dr. Geiger is the current holder of the CSX Chair in Management and Accounting, and former holder of the Jennings Chair, at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond where he has been since 2000. He has been an Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University in Australia, and has held faculty positions at the University of Maine, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Florida. Dr. Geiger has published over 75 articles, a research monograph, and a chapter on Going Concern audit opinions in an auditing research reference book. He is most known in the educational literature for his work on learning styles and student examination performance; and in the accounting and auditing literature for his work on auditor reporting decisions on financially distressed companies and research on issues of auditor independence, as well as reporting discretionary accruals by companies changing CFOs. He is a past Editor at Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, and former Associate Editor at Accounting Horizons and currently holds appointments on four editorial review boards of scholarly journals in the U.S. and internationally.

From 2012-2013 Dr. Geiger served as the Academic Fellow in Accounting in the Office of the Chief Accountant at the headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C. and currently serves as the Chair of the Auditing Standards Committee of the American Accounting Association (AAA). Dr. Geiger has been an active participant and developer of educational and research seminars and has delivered over 60 seminars and programs on topics in accounting and auditing to participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including audit practitioners, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, academic researchers, lawyers and national policy-makers.


Workshop: Funding Resources for Business Owners

Derrick K. Collins


Derrick Collins serves as the Dean for the College of Business at Chicago State University. Under Mr. Collins’ stewardship, the College of Business has expanded its curriculum offerings to enhance students’ industry-specific and technical proficiencies, including entrepreneurship, provide international business training and exposure via global internships, in addition to positioning the College to offer an MBA program that will begin in 2019.

Previous to CSU, Mr. Collins was Assistant Clinical Professor of Finance at Chicago State University where he developed and taught the course, Venture Capital and Private Equity Investing, as well as serve as lecturer for the course, Entrepreneurial Finance. Mr. Collins taught in Kellogg’s full-time and part-time MBA programs as well as its Executive Managers’ Program.

Mr. Collins began his academic career while serving as a General Partner of Polestar Capital Partners, an early- to growth-stage venture capital partnership focused on investing in minority-controlled technology companies. It was this experience in the venture capital community that served as the platform for Mr. Collins to successfully teach private equity in a higher education environment.

Prior to Polestar, Mr. Collins served as President of Shorebank Capital Corporation, the venture capital subsidiary of Shorebank Corporation, an Illinois bank holding company. Mr. Collins began his finance career as a Commercial Loan Officer in Shorebank’s banking subsidiary, South Shore Bank.

Mr. Collins has lectured extensively on the topic of private equity, venture capital, and minority entrepreneurship and has received accolades for his ability to convey complex financial and business concepts to financially-sophisticated and novice audiences, alike. Some of the venues include the Credit Suisse International Business School, the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Advanced Management Education Program, the National Football League’s Player Development Program, the National Basketball Players Association’s High Growth Entrepreneurship Program, the Chicago Urban League’s NextOne Program, the Wall Street Journal’s Black Entrepreneurship in America Conference, and guest appearances on Chicago’s WGN-TV Minority Business Report, WVON Radio’s Urban Business Roundtable, as well as numerous other private and public conferences and meetings.

Mr. Collins currently serves on the board of Cinnaire (formerly known as Great Lakes Capital Fund), a full-service community development finance institution principally serving the Midwestern United States, Delaware, and New York in the areas of affordable housing and community economic development.

Derrick Collins earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University and his M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.


Fireside Chat with Gregory M. Pickett

Gregory M. Pickett

Senior Associate Dean – Clemson University College of Business
Ph.D., Business Administration/Marketing, Oklahoma State University
Gregory M. Pickett
Gregory Pickett is senior associate dean of the College of Business at Clemson University. In this role, he oversees all business functions for the college including marketing and PR activities, business affairs, and human resource functions. Pickett also serves as Director for Clemson’s MBA Program and the college’s Greenville ONE operations. The MBA program has experienced significant growth including new concentrations in business analytics and entrepreneurship and innovation. These programs are delivered on seven residency weekends a year and online.

Prior to his associate dean roles, Pickett was a professor and chair of the University’s Department of Marketing from 2001 – 2011. As chair, he developed a variety of innovative programs including the iLead initiative which led Clemson students to recognize the Marketing program three times as “best major on campus.” Pickett helped develop several challenging undergraduate research experiences funded by external sources that linked communities, nonprofit organizations and businesses to faculty and student talent. He also established the college’s first academic sport program.

Pickett’s research has been widely published in numerous marketing/business journals, including Journal of Business Research, Journal of Services Research, Journal of Services Marketing, Services Industry Journal, Journal of Marketing Education, Journal of Advertising, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Sport Marketing Quarterly and Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. He has won several recognitions for his research including a “Citation of Excellence” in the European Journal of Marketing, “Best Paper of the Year” in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management and a “Special Recognition for Distinguished Career Contributions” for scientific understanding of sport business awarded by the American Marketing Association Sports Marketing Special Interest Group. His current research efforts are focused on services and sport marketing issues.


The Next Generation of Our Work – Entrepreneurship Workshop

Dr. Kenston J. Griffin

Dr. Kenston J. Griffin
Kenston J. Griffin is one of the nation’s most sought after keynote speakers, a best-selling author and a top performing trainer and coach. Kenston Griffin is internationally known throughout corporate, education, federal/judicial and non-profit organizations for his award-winning addresses that are not only inspiring, but transformational.

A native of Statesville, NC, and currently resides in Charlotte, NC. His educational background includes Social Work and Psychology. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Livingstone College and his Master’s Degree, in just one year, from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Griffin has received an Honorary Doctorate of Liberal Arts Degree from Wilberforce University. Dr. Griffin is the Founder and CEO of Dream Builders Communication, Inc., which provides training and development in the areas of: Leadership, Organization Effectiveness, Academic Enhancement/Retention, Board Development and Executive Coaching. Dream Builders Communication’s ,Inc. partial client list includes: National Basketball Association (NBA), Bank of America, Food Lion/Delhaize America, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Belk, Lowe’s, Novant Health, YMCA of the USA, Federal, State and Local Government, U.S. District Court, 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities from the east coast to the west coast, National Education Association (NEA), and over 50 Public and Charter Schools across the nation.

Finally, Dr. Griffin and Dream Builders Communication, Inc.’s aim is to educate across the globe by raising one’s awareness and belief system in every field of human endeavor. Therefore, Dr. Griffin knows that for you, “If better is possible, good is no longer an option.


Dr. Phebian (Phebe) Davis

Dr. Phebian (Phebe) Davis
Phebe Davis is currently a Clinical Professor of Accounting in Clemson University’s School of Accountancy. Prior to joining the faculty at Clemson, she was an Assistant Professor of Accounting at South Carolina State University, where she received numerous faculty awards for teaching and service while also serving as Internal Auditor for the University.

Phebe brings to academia over 14 years of corporate experience in the field of accounting. Her accounting career started in auditing with KPMG in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, followed by several corporate positions with companies in South Florida as a business and financial analyst and in the area of compliance.

Phebe’s research interests include ethics, environmental and social issues in accounting with a focus on managerial behavior and decision-making. She co-authored the article “The Role of Corporate Governance and Internal Auditors in Embedding Sustainability in an Organization” in the Journal of Internal Auditing.

Phebe earned a BS – Accounting from SC State University (1994), a Masters – Accountancy from Clemson University (1996) and a PhD in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University (2017).

She lives in Anderson, South Carolina with her two children, Nyala (16) and Alcee (11).