The 2024 Violand
Executive Summit
June 13-14, 2024
Canton, OH
For More Information or to Register CLICK HERE
  • $990 Per Person

The Violand Executive Summit Experience

Choose 2 intensive sessions from 12 course options designed to provide you with tools you can use immediately to improve your business and professional skills.

Seize the opportunity to interact with other top industry professionals. Participate in informal get-togethers to share best practices and interact with other industry owners who play to win.

Real-world, hard-hitting discussions and lessons about topics specific to management and ownership of direct labor service small businesses.

Held at one of the most technologically advanced and prestigious business resource centers in North America.

Potential to spend one-on-one time with leading business development advisors in the direct labor service industries talking specifically about your individual company.

Choose from a variety of courses so the material covered is specific to your current business needs.


The Courses

Owners and managers of restoration, plumbing, hvac, and other direct labor service companies will be able to expand their abilities relevant to leading their small businesses. During the 2-day program, you can take high-level training courses in 4 categories.



Growing yourself, understanding relationships, high-level courses, change.

Human Resources

Organizational development, team building, creating culture, hiring/developing, performance assessment.

Sales and Marketing

Communicating the value and building awareness of your services to your customers.


The process of providing funds for business activities, making purchases, or investing.

2024 Courses


Hiring and Working with the Next Generation

Instructor: Chris McQueen

What we know about the younger generations, and what we can learn from the tech industry

Put away the manuals about how to manage younger generations! They are your peers and active in your business. While we may be behind the tech industry when it comes to embracing all that millennials have to offer, having them on the team is to our benefit. What has the tech industry learned about managing millennials and the next generation, why should we care, and how do we turn this into an advantage for our company? During this course, we will spend the day exploring what we know about this cohort, what actions we can take to make millennials an active part of the company, and how we can retain the best parts of their productivity.

  • How do you hire for this generation?
  • What activities should be practiced to retain these employees?
  • How do you recognize a purpose-driven organization?
  • Develop a plan to further enhance the experience of these employees.
In God We Trust; All Others Pay Cash

Instructor: Jim Sullivan

Stop employee fraud, reduce tax liability, and increase the value of your business

This is an advanced accounting course separated into two parts. The morning covers topics to help you protect against fraud, while the afternoon covers strategies to improve the overall value of your business. Learn how to build a fraud-resistant organization and recognize the top fraud schemes designed to take what’s yours. Better understand cyber security essentials and how to safely back up and monitor your data. Use a checks and balances system to better protect your company. Understand fair market values and how to evaluate your business. Gain insight into what makes your business uniquely attractive and how to use extended valuation models.

  • Assess threats against your business
  • Learn how to train your staff to watch for fraud
  • Understand how your cash flow statement can highlight fraud
  • Discuss concepts of value and how they apply to your business
  • Avoid having constraints of value used against your business
Putting the “Pro” in Sales Pro

Instructor: Jim Ryerson

Turbo-charged sales strategies to ramp up your “pro”formance in record time.

The ongoing change in technology and the research available on “how” and “why” people purchase services and products has stopped the need for new recruits to learn quickly what took previous generations a life-long career to master. However, sales is not something that comes from being well liked or having access to the best technology. It comes from the consistent use of that technology and following best practices while learning how to manage those resources. In this course, we will take it to the next level so you can sell smarter and sell more. This will help you avoid having a sales rep who feels overcommitted and unable to reach their goals.

  • Embrace being “Pro”active
  • “Pro”gram your mind to achieve results
  • “Pro”mise but do not over commit
  • “Pro”spect and “Pro”mote to build a referral stream
  • “Pro”gress versus “Pro”fection ‒ all done through practice
Raging Profits/Fearless Numbers

Instructor: Chuck Violand

Foundational understanding of important financial reports and performance measurements

Financial reports contain information that can seem confusing or misleading if not properly understood. This course breaks down those reports into everyday language that allows owners and key employees to make well-informed decisions and measure how they will affect the financial bottom-line of your business—even without advanced accounting knowledge. Understanding numbers isn’t optional if you are serious about growing a successful company. Every number is a small window through which you can see what is really going on in your business, allowing you to focus on improved performance.

Systems Thinking

Instructor: Mike Testa

Acting from a Whole System perspective in service to the long-term health of the organization

Systems Thinking suggests that you operate with the big picture view in mind. You don’t jump to fix symptoms, you look for root cause. You don’t look for answers in “the way we’ve always done things,” you seek breakthrough solutions that actually move the needle. You don’t operate in your own silo, you seek larger perspective to find leverage points that advance the organization forward. And you don’t advocate for your position, you get curious about how you fit and contribute to the whole.

An effective Systems Thinker will:

  • Hold the “Big Picture”
  • See the integration between all parts of the system
  • Redesign processes, activities, and norms to solve multiple problems simultaneously
  • Understand how they personally impact the activities upstream and downstream from them
  • Liberate themselves from the “how it suits me” mindset to a macro view that suits desired organizational results
Understanding Emotional Intelligence to Increase Your Effectiveness

Instructor: Kristy Frieden

Mastering emotional intelligence for professional success

Here, you’ll unravel the complexities of Emotional Intelligence (EI) by studying its fundamental components and their associated competencies. Through engaging exercises and interactive discussions, you’ll cultivate a nuanced comprehension of how self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management come together to produce effective leadership and foster authentic relationships. We explore the concept of creating an Emotionally Intelligent Culture within your organization, investigating the difficulties of forming an atmosphere that prizes empathy, collaboration, and transparent communication. Armed with actionable strategies and insights, you’ll learn to cultivate a culture that nurtures innovation, resilience, and employee engagement.

  • Define the four components of EI and related competencies
  • Define an Emotionally Intelligent Culture
  • Understand the process of achieving an Emotionally Intelligent Culture
  • Identify strengths and opportunities in your current leadership approach


Blueprint for Building Trust

Instructor: Amy Shannon

Trust talks: walking the ethical talk for enduring success

Organizations that prosper over the long run commit to fundamental integrity in their products and services, their processes and systems, and in their people. They “walk the talk,” even in the toughest of times. They hold their leaders and employees accountable for modeling the highest ethical business practices in every aspect of their work. They keep their promises and follow-through on commitments. In this course, you will learn to understand the impact their behavior has on the rest of their organization. You will also discover how to establish or strengthen trust among fellow employees, co-workers, and leaders.

  • Identify elements that define trust within the relationship
  • Understand behaviors that negatively impact trust within the relationship
  • Recognize patterns of mistrust and their damaging effects on productivity, quality, and morale
  • Understand what you can do to build and strengthen trust in your work group
  • Apply trust-building techniques in challenging, low-trust situations
Design Thinking

Instructor: Dr. Phil Kim

Strategies to unlock your organization’s creative potential

There are multiple informal definitions of creativity, such as “out of the box thinking” and “imaginative and innovative ideas.” These expressions tend to get people excited, but creativity is not often associated with terms that get business owners excited like productivity, profits, and return on assets do. This course—for owners, managers, and leaders who are decision makers in their company—will provide a more systematic and strategic approach to applying creative solutions for your customers and for your own teams. Organizations have implemented Design Thinking strategies to design new products and services, create new business models, and impact organizational culture. By the end of this course, you will have a hands-on framework to design a creative and systematic process for tackling relevant business problems.

  • Create a more collaborative and solutions-oriented team
  • Experiment with and execute new and bold ideas through creative confidence
  • Create a culture of innovation
  • Collaborate with colleagues to create new solutions for your business challenges
  • Understand how creativity, when harnessed correctly, can lead to increased productivity
Enhance Your Professional Presence

Instructor: Christine Zust

Shine bright: mastering professional presence with panache!

How you position yourself as a professional has a huge influence on your business success. Yet, leaders rarely take the time to assess where they are currently positioned or where they need to be to maximize their efforts. Enhance Your Professional Presence builds on your strengths as a leader and gives you the tools that you need to inspire and motivate your team to be successful. In this interactive course, you will enjoy many opportunities to partner with other participants and learn from each other. By the end of the day, you will have a clear understanding of your role as a professional leader, mentor, and coach to your team. You will be able to instill in others the value of open communication and the shared goal of advancing your brand to customers, constituents, and the community.

Within this collaborative working session, you will learn to:

  • Value the professional leader as a role model
  • Communicate with influence
  • Represent the company as a brand ambassador
  • Engage Emotional Intelligence (EI)
  • Collaborate, advance, and share knowledge
  • Enhance a professional image
Handling the Toughest HR Issues

Instructor: Scott Tackett

What to do when gut feeling and company policy clash

Every company should have set policies when it comes to running the organizational and human resources areas of the business. But the real world is not black and white. What happens when the line blurs and emotion, loyalty, and gut feelings interfere with what is written in the policy manual? What do you do when a family member or an employee you care deeply for exhibits signs of substance abuse? How do you handle issues that spill over from the conference room to the family room? How do you move forward with a decision when you know it will hurt the ones you love the most? This course will address topics submitted by real business owners as the most difficult things they have had to deal with as owners and managers. The discussions will be challenging, emotional, and won’t pull any punches. Learn what it takes to face the most complicated and personal issues any business could face. This course is designed for owners, high-level management, and human resources managers.

Negotiating Effectively

Instructor: Timothy E. Hull, CR

Achieve win-win, relationship-building results

Every aspect of your business and your personal life involves negotiation. This course demonstrates how to conduct proper, effective, and ethical negotiations meant to build trusting relationships through strategy and communication. Better understand the science of negotiation so you can land more sales, increase margins, improve communication and morale, and most importantly, get what you want from almost any situation. Negotiating Effectively is a high-impact, interactive course that is historically one of the first courses to sell out every year.

Enhance your skills to conduct effective negotiations and learn to:

  • Maximize your results through effective preparation
  • Project confidence and build trust
  • Simplify complex issues
  • React in a positive and productive manner
  • Develop long-term relationships
Time Balancing for Maximum Results

Instructor: Patty Beard

Learn to commit to excellence through planning, prioritizing, and decision making

Time flies; we don’t have time; we need more time; we’re wasting time. Does this sound like you? In today’s business world, there is more to do than ever, and the number of things competing for your time and attention continues to increase. While a focus on time management was once a useful approach, today’s most effective leaders realize you can’t manage something that you can’t contain, stop, or increase. However, you can work to achieve time balance: a big picture, more-strategic approach to utilizing your most valuable and limited resource.

  • How do you prioritize and plan?
  • What are your time boundaries?
  • How do distractions interrupt flow, focus, and productivity?
  • Develop strategies to take control and drive the results you want to see


Chris McQueen

Business Development Advisor

Violand Management Associates

Jim Sullivan

Founder and President

ATS Advisors

Jim Ryerson

Founder & Chief Acceleration Officer

Sales Octane, Inc.

Chuck Violand


Violand Management Associates

Mike Testa


Pursuing What Matters
Kristy Frieden


Kent State University

Amy Shannon


Kent State University

Phil Kim

Associate Professor

Walsh University
Christine Zust


Kent State University

Scott Tackett

Senior Advisor

Violand Management Associates

Timothy E. Hull

General Manager

Violand Management Associates

Patty Beard

Managing Partner, Chief Coach & Consultant

Infinite Purpose, LLC

The Certificate

You have the opportunity to receive a certificate in small business management.

To graduate with a certificate in small business management, you must complete one course from each of the categories plus four electives of your choice. You are welcome to fill your elective options from whichever category, or combination of categories, you choose.





Sales And Marketing


Human Resources



Custom Built for Direct Small Businesses in the Trades

University-Level Professional Development Program

Since 2005, Violand Management Associates has partnered with Kent State University to develop the only university-level professional development curriculum specifically for leadership and management of small businesses in the restoration, plumbing, hvac, and other direct labor service industries. The Violand Executive Summit is modeled after business retreats used by Fortune 500 companies for developing the leadership characteristics and the skills required for innovative management in the 21st century.


By attending The Violand Executive Summit, owners and managers of restoration, plumbing, hvac, and other direct labor service companies will be able to expand their abilities relevant to leading their small businesses. These include high-level training in sales and marketing, profitability, leadership training in today’s work climate, hiring top-level employees, increasing and understanding the value of emotional intelligence, and innovative ways to overcome challenges specific to our industries.

Our faculty of facilitators from Kent State University, well-respected leaders within the restoration, plumbing, hvac, and other direct labor service industries, and nationally recognized experts from disciplines within business provide you with practical and immediately implementable concepts and skills to ensure a learning experience that will positively impact the bottom line of your business.

Elevate Your Skills and Unlock Your Potential

Register for The 2024 Violand Executive Summit