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Freedom Business Forum


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Freedom Business Forum


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About The Forum


About The Forum


WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Anyone who has joined the Freedom Business Alliance as:

  • Freedom business owners and operators (members)
  • The people who can help them succeed - particularly those with entrepreneurial experience or business expertise (partners)
  • Like-minded individuals seeking to understand the issue and find opportunity to engage within their own sphere of influence (including academics, foundation and NGO representatives, and investors) (like-minded)

Why should I attend?

  • Find and follow a path to profitability
  • Build community for your freedom journey
  • Connect to strategic opportunities
  • Use your business to profit FOR people, not from them
  • Engage with and contribute to the Freedom Business movement

Speakers


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Bill Job

Since Bill & Kitty Job arrived in Xiamen in 1987, their vision and innovative techniques have virtually transformed the global glass industry, and at the same time they've brought about changes to Fujian as well by providing employment opportunities to villagers in impoverished mountain regions.

The Meixia company, Xiamen’s first solely foreign-owned enterprise, grew from a modest investment of $10,000 in 1988 to an estimated worth of over $2 million by 2000. A 1992 Wall Street Journal recognized Bill Job as a “pioneer business spirit and innovative artist,” and a leader in the stained glass industry.

Bill Job's unique woven "Job Glass®", made from scrap that he once paid to have carted off and buried, is one of the most innovative types of glass to be produced in centuries.

Born and raised in Tennessee but moved his wife Kitty and two young daughters to China in 1987. Bill has been developing five businesses there where he continues to live.  His oldest granddaughter, now 13, is deaf-blind with all other associated disorders from being born as a micro-preemie. He has 7 grandchildren with the last one coming from the orphanage in his city. Bill enjoys driving his Cobra replica and building and flying airplanes.  But his greatest love is learning and relearning how to walk with God.

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Gray Shipley

Gray leads Birmingham Technology Group, a manufacturing innovation company based in Birmingham, Alabama, which seeks to reinvigorate Birmingham’s rich manufacturing heritage by providing world class custom fabrication and other manufacturing services. Gray brings broad experience working with investors and companies to fix and build businesses in need of improved growth, strategic direction, or operational efficiency.

ROLE

Gray leads Birmingham Technology Group, a manufacturing innovation company based in Birmingham, Alabama, which seeks to reinvigorate Birmingham’s rich manufacturing heritage by providing world class custom fabrication and other manufacturing services. Gray brings broad experience working with investors and companies to fix and build businesses in need of improved growth, strategic direction, or operational efficiency.

EXPERIENCE

Gray was previously CEO of Movi Medical, taking over amid numerous performance challenges and leading a turnaround that brought a major correction in the sales strategy and a 66% improvement in cost of goods within 12 months Prior to Movi, Gray worked with numerous companies on business and process improvement, including a stint leading international consulting projects at EnPro Industries, a global manufacturer of industrial componentry Gray’s experience includes start-up ventures, business development, M&A execution, and interim CEO and COO roles across manufacturing, agribusiness, healthcare, IT, and financial services industries.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science, Engineering, University of Alabama, cum laude – 1998 Masters of Business Administration, Edward Tuck Scholar, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College – 2004.

PROFILE

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Gray serves on the board of Cedarworks, a Birmingham-based non-profit that promotes investment in ‘Business as Missions’ Gray is a partner and advisor in a variety of ventures, including Shift Agent Labs, a software firm in the labor management arena, and Shipley Farms, a pasture-raised beef business based on his family’s farm in the Appalachian Mountains.

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Kelli Thompson

Kelli Renee Thompson a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and has heart for fair trade businesses.  Her trip to Malaysia in 2003 was the most illuminating.  She met people from all over the world who were doing social entreprenuership. 
 

While engaging work in Malaysia, she encountered a woman who was working with former prostitutes in Thailand, helping the women to become self-sufficient. The Thai women were creating beautiful handmade wares, and she asked Kelli if she might be willing to help sell the products in the United States. Kelli immediately felt the this was what was her purpose. She eagerly began researching import regulations, and soon found herself immersed in the world of international trade law. She had no experience, but this is where she learned that she could have a business while transforming the lives of others.

After her return to the U.S. she recognized the yearning inside of her to develop a business as mission with the platform of international trade. Since she had no experience with international trade, she prayed for help. Soon a door opened and Kelli got hired and worked at United States Customs and Border Protection for over 7 years and became one of the country’s leading experts in international trade compliance. She was a Supervisory Import Specialist/Course Development Instructor at the Federal Law and Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Thompson has traveled the world leading textile production verification teams on behalf of the United States government.

Twelve years later she is now in the Founder and CEO of an international trading company, Integrity International Trade Consulting (IITC), an international trade consulting company focused on consulting, training, and foreign factory audits relating to Free Trade Agreements/Trade Preference Program compliance. IITC assist companies to move forward in business as mission and social entrepreneurship and change the lives of others while being compliant with the U.S. import regulations and assisting them save money through duty savings programs. Ms. Thompson’s recently passed the April 2015 U.S. Customs Broker Exam which had a 28% passing rate and has received her U.S. Customs Broker License.

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Khalilah Cooper

Khalilah Cooper is the leader of Service Innovation & Design at Chick-fil-A, Inc. She is responsible for ensuring the guest experience at Chick-fil-A remains best in class by developing and deploying innovative service processes and tools.

Her team works diligently to support Chick-fil-A Restaurants as they consistently execute a “Remark”able service experience to every guest, every day. Stemming from her passion for leadership development, Khalilah helped to start a grassroots organization at Chick-fil-A, called Women in Business, dedicated to the professional development of female talent within the company. Since its inception in 2014, Women in Business has grown to a movement of about 350 members.

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ARTIE SPOSARO

Artie Sposaro serves as an Experience Leader on the Service Innovation & Design team at Chick-fil-A Corporate. He leads the front end of the innovation process for projects in Urban and Mall restaurants and consults to service design more broadly.

He sits on the leadership team for the group and captains a small team of Experience Leaders. Outside of the Service Innovation & Design team Artie serves as an Innovation Coach offering innovation guidance to staff across the organization. Twice annually, he participates in the Foresight Forum, Chick-fil-A’s long-term planning workshop. He regularly mentors corporate staff and has consistently led and engaged in culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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Bill Job

Kerry Hilton

Kerry & Annie Hilton are Kiwis with a particular bias towards the poor, oppressed, the lonely and the outcast. In 1999 they moved to Calcutta, India and naively found an apartment on the doorstep of the city’s largest red light district, a place where poverty is no stranger.

Setting out to make a difference, the Hiltons took up the challenge of founding a business to bring the choice of freedom for women trapped in prostitution. After spending two years getting to know neighbors and doing a bit of research they opened the doors of Freeset, providing 20 women with dignified employment and importantly freedom from prostitution. Along with on the job training Freeset offers services such as basic education, health care, budgeting advice and a children’s nursery. Today, Freeset’s strives to offer the choice of freedom to as many as possible and currently employs around 300 women.

With a vision of seeing more than 10,000 women free Kerry & Annie launched a new business venture in 2012. The Freeset Business Incubator aims to plant new freedom businesses at source and destination in West Bengal, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Freeset products are environmentally friendly and the business is Fair Trade certified. More than 200,000 customized jute bags are produced each year as well as 100% organic cotton tee shirts, hand woven cotton scarves and cotton pants for the export market. Freeset products are sold into more than 25 countries.

Human trafficking, poverty and social justice are issues Kerry grapples with every day. An engaging storyteller, Kerry is motivated by God’s kind of justice, his heart for the poor and the responsibility we all have as global citizens.

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Michelle McDonald Pride

Michelle is the Founder of Hazel & Deene and The Foundry Marketplace. She began her career in finance working as a wealth manager at Linsco Private Ledger. She created and transitioned 3 successful businesses prior to Hazel & Deene. 

She has traveled the world to speak on the use of business to create change and also works as a consultant to other social enterprises. She has previously collaborated with numerous global nonprofits, universities, and multi-national corporations. Michelle holds a BA in Economics and Theology and a MA in International Development from Wheaton College.

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Matthew fairfax

As President/CEO of James Alan Salon & Spa in Seattle, Washington and a small business consultant extraordinaire, Matthew Fairfax is leading the next generation of entrepreneurs toward their financial goals.

He is the former Chair of both the Dale Turner Family YMCA and the Center for Human Services, a multi-service agency providing support to families and youth.

As President/CEO of James Alan Salon & Spa in Seattle, Washington and a small business consultant extraordinaire, Matthew Fairfax is leading the next generation of entrepreneurs toward their financial goals. It is no wonder that his salon was selected as Washington CEO Magazine’s “Best Company to Work For” in both 2003 and 2005. Matthew purchased the salon in 1999 and increased revenue by over 200% in less than 10 years! A graduate of the University of Washington’s Executive Development Program with over 25 years of involvement in all aspects of Human Resources, and Principal of Northern Torch Consulting, Matthew has now turned his attention to teaching cosmetology skills to traffic survivors and other at-risk youth. In 2012, he and his colleague, Lauren Ebright, co-founded the Justice and Soul Foundation and in 2013, Matthew sold all his belongings and moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He now oversees both the salon and academy in Cambodia while his team in Seattle manages James Alan Salon & Spa. He is the former Chair of both the Dale Turner Family YMCA and the Center for Human Services, a multi-service agency providing support to families and youth.

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Schedule


Our schedule will be updated regularly. We're planning inspiring plenaries, informative (and interactive) workshops that focus on the real needs of freedom businesses, one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry experts, and plenty of networking opportunities!

Site visit to Cambodia: Get an inside look at freedom business on the ground in Phnom Penh, Cambodia! We'll visit freedom businesses of varying sizes - in different industry sectors - to develop a more thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities for freedom business. Innovators welcome! Space is limited. Contact us for more information.


 
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Location & Registration


Location & Registration


 

Location:

ChIang Mai, Thailand

Venue:

Imperial Mae Ping Hotel

 
 

Register

Please make your ticket selection, then page down to
the bottom of the ticketing section to click "Order Now" 
and complete your registration.

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Contact


Contact


If you have questions or just need more information you can reach us by e-mail or phone.

 


FBA is a source of encouragement and motivation. Working in somewhat isolated locations can be lonely and discouraging. It can feel daunting to maintain momentum. Knowing that we are a part of a broader network of people working towards the same goals (freedom for the exploited) is motivating on days when it’s hard to push on.
— Freedom Business Entrepreneur, Nepal