Wednesday 17th, 2017 The Small Business Show will host a very exciting presentation. Grand Slam Entrepreneurs! Here’s some backstory on our speakers:
James F. Bright
Dunk & Bright Furniture Co., Inc.
Jim Bright is president of Dunk & Bright Furniture, a retail furniture store in Syracuse, with 85 employees. Growth and showroom expansion has occurred through Bright’s acquisition and renovation or demolition of more than a dozen dilapidated and vacant buildings. He has led his business through many changes in the past few years.
Specifically, Dunk & Bright has developed e-commerce systems, transformed the work-space, and hired new or or re-trained staff for applicable skill sets, all necessary for today’s complex omni-channel, retail business environment.
Transitioning his retail furniture business has led to several years of strong growth, averaging an approximately 15 percent increase in unit sales in each of the past three years (2014-2016).
Retail furniture was Bright’s second career. His first job upon graduation from business school was in midtown Manhattan with the leveraged buyout division of GE Capital (Acquisition Funding Corp).
Bright is also the landlord and supporter of Syracuse University’s South Side Innovation Center, an incubator for 24 local area, small-business entrepreneurs transitioning from home-based operations, He is frequently a judge for the annual business plan competition at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University and has served on various industry and community boards. Bright met his wife Cindy (a pediatrician) as an undergrad at the University of Virginia and he also received an MBA from the Darden School at Virginia. They have four children – two with careers in medicine and two with careers in business. Bright enjoys all sports and has qualified and raced at the National and International level for age-group triathlons.
Just The Basics Financial Literacy
Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling is president of Just The Basics Financial Literacy (JTB),a micro-business enterprise that produces workshops/seminars, teleconferences, events, and retreats-centered on Fundamental financial literacy education for diverse affinity groups, JTB is MWBE-certified by New York State. She is the author of “How To Save Money & Organize Your Finances”, and is a certified educator in personal finance. Brooks-Rolling earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
She is a former contributing writer for the Syracuse Post Standard’s “MoneyWise” supplement, as well as for various other publications in CNY Brooks=Rolling is a broad member of The Syracuse Rescue Mission, The WISE Women’s Business Center, and The Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, and is a member of the Human Resources Leadership Council. She was the 2016 Financial & Business Executive Good Samaritan of the Year Award Winner, presented by BizEventz and the Business Journal News Achievers for her support and advocacy of entrepreneurial diversity.
Brooks-Rolling has been working out of her home-based office since the inception of her Syracuse Business in 2008.
CMC Dance Company
Majorie Taylor has been the Artistic Director of the CMC Dance Company since it opened in 1997. She is a 1984 graduate of Liverpool High School and a 1987 graduate of Onondaga Community College earning her associate degree in business administration.
Taylor started her dance training at the age of 3 and has been a dance instructor for the past 30 years. Her love of dance and theater, along with her experience was the foundation for starting her own dance-school. With the encouragement and support of her husband, Dave, the CMC Dance Company opened in a retail space at the Lakeshore Heights Plaza in 1997 with only seven students – Taylor’s three daughters, her three nieces, and a cousin. Currently, there are between 250 and 300 students enrolled each year.
This year the CMC Dance Company celebrates 20 years of business in the Cicero area. With the new housing potential in Cicero in 2002 and growth seen in enrollment, they decided to build a 4500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility on land they purchased on Route 31 in Cicero in 2002. In 2015, they began construction on a “state-of-the-art” addition and renovation of the present building to complete the project in 2016 with an incredible 11,000-square-foot facility that holds a dance apparel shop as well. CMC is proud to say they are one of, if not the largest, dance facility in New York State.
Taylor resides in Cicero with her husband David, of 30 years. The studio is named after their daughters Chelsea, Madison, and Courtney, all presently instructors at the dance facility. CMC is family-owned and operated since 1997.
Paradise Companies of NY, LLC
Graziano Zazzara owns and operates numerous small businesses in Central New York. His reputation and strengths translate form real estate into his other ventures, including the entertainment business and restaurant industry.
He has grown a family food business from a single vendor 50 years ago to more than 20 different unique stands that are present at many local events in the Syracuse area. Zuzzara also self-promotes at events such as the Jamesville Beach Balloon Fest and a variety of other music concerts.
Zarzzara founded a seasonal Halloween entertainment business 12 years ago and decided to make the New York State Fairgrounds its home. He has grown the size, inventory, and annual attendance each year. It is now one of the largest events of its land in the Northeast. He employs more than 100 full and part-time Central New Yorkers in a given year.
The food and promotion business has led to the real estate segment of his life. He has 35 years of hands-on experience as an investor and developer of commercial real estate in Central New York with his largest holdings in Dewitt Town Center Inc., PEMCO Properties, Paradise Companies of NY, LLC., PG Associates, ZG Realty, and Paradise Companies 2, LLC. As a majority partner or sale owner, he has strategically accumulated and given what is now a substantial commercial real estate portfolio composed of more that 700,000 square feet of commercial space.
Zazzara is a lifelong resident of Syracuse and a well-respected and committed entrepreneur.
Panel moderator Matt Malcahy anchors the NBC3news at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., as well as the CM6 news at 10 p.m. Matt has spent 30 years covering the news on television in upstate New York, including 26 years in his hometown of Syracuse. He is also the creator of the award-winning Matt’s Memo blog on CNYCentral.com. In the Syracuse media market, Mulcahy has led the way in the integration of news media and social networking into the daily business of local news. He has been honored with Edward R. Marrow Award for best television news writing and anchoring the best newscast, and received a Livingston Award nomination for outstanding your journalists in America, Mulcahy won an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2001: Bosnia, Returning Home. He has earned a total of 11 Emmy award nominations for anchoring, reporting, writing, and producing