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Rutgers School of Business – Camden

Business Symposium 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Campus Center

The Business Symposium is a conference-style event with speakers from area industries sharing their insights and opportunities to network. Our theme, Leveling Up!… The Future Demands It! digs into industry and economic trends, career and skill building, personal branding, entrepreneurship, and insightful stories from successful alumni and industry leaders.

10 - 10:50AM

Welcome & Keynote

Ahava Divine, CEO and Founder of Divine Coaching LLC, gives keynote session: Scarcity to Abundance: It’s a Mindset Not A Destination.

10 - 10:50AM

11 - 11:30AM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


3 Sessions to choose from:

Sometimes the Road to the Top isn’t a Straight Line, presented by Carin Troy, Vice President of Retail Sales, Orgain

Level Up YOUR Career, presented by Madhoo Dev, Program Manager, Homeowner Service Group

You Need More than a Major: Experiential Learning for Personal Growth and Professional Success, presented by Michael D’Italia, Director of Experiential Learning and the Chancellor’s Learning Fund, Office of the Provost.

11 - 11:30AM

11:40 - 12:25PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


3 Sessions to choose from:

That Escalated Quickly: The evolution of money laundering in TV and film, presented by Aminah Harris, Senior AML Compliance Manager, TD Bank.

Level up your leadership creativity, the power of the “5-Whys?”!, presented by Miguel Medina, Vice President of Operations, Strongarm Designs Inc.

How to Level Up Your Business: Success Stories of Mission-Minded Entrepreneurs, hosted by Keanna Ralph, Business Growth Strategist & PTL, Dreamcatchers International LLC / Rutgers University.

11:40 - 12:25PM

12:25 - 1:00PM

Networking Lunch

12:25 - 1:00PM

1:05 - 1:35PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


3 Sessions to choose from:

Pathway to a Fulfilling Career, presented by Ryan Tookes, President, Tookes Strategic Group, LLC.

Generating Commitment and Buy-In, hosted by Diana Gould, Executive Leadership Coach, Proof Leadership Group.

Interviewing Yourself – Is the Job Right for You?, presented by Andrew Atkins, Talent Manager, Innovative Development LLC.

1:05 - 1:35PM

1:45 - 2:30PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


3 Sessions to choose from:

Unlocking the Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success: Crafting and Managing Your Brand, presented by Colin Rafferty, Chief Marketing Officer, McOmber McOmber & Luber.

Building & Maintaining Your Personal Brand When Executing a Career Search, presented by Jeff Burkhardt, Senior Business Development Manager – IT, firstPRO, Inc.

Connecting Great People Together, How to Build Your Network Effortlessly, presented by Allen Riddick, Executive Director, Economic Impact & Workforce Inclusion, Drexel University

1:45 - 2:30PM

Guest Speaker Profiles

Welcome & Keynote:

Ahava Divine, MSW

Ahava Divine, MSW

Session Title: Scarcity to Abundance: It’s Mindset Not A Destination

Session Time: 10:00 – 10:50 Keynote

Session Description: Scarcity to Abundance presentation will focus on the shift from a mindset of lack and limitation to one of abundance and possibility. Some ways to achieve abundance include focusing on gratitude, setting clear goals, taking action toward those goals, and cultivating positive relationships. By attending to our internal belief systems, shifting our mindset, and embracing our uniqueness, we can work towards creating a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

Speaker Bio: Ahava Divine is a distinctive, multi-faceted, and creative individual who believes LOVE of self is the foundation of a prosperous life. Ahava is a Camden, NJ native, the CEO of Divine Coaching, and the Founder of the I Breathe For You nonprofit. After a chaotic childhood that resulted in Ahava living in foster care and juvenile facilities and escaping an abusive relationship as an adult. Ahava understands what it takes to be resilient in the face of adversity. Ahava is passionate about assisting individuals with unbinding themselves from their past to discover their untapped strengths and guiding them on a path of living their lives more Abundantly. Ahava has a Master of Social Work Degree from Rutgers University. She is a macro social worker, fitness coach, educator, speaker, and author. Ahava enjoys traveling, reading, fitness, and spending time with her friends, family and her daughter Leeah. Ahava often says the only existing limitations are the ones we create in our minds.

Breakout Session #1:

Carin Troy

Carin Troy

Session Title: Sometimes the Road to the Top isn't a Straight Line

Session Time: 11:00 – 11:30

Session Description: Creating your career path by embracing skill building, lateral opportunities which ultimately lead to upward growth and responsibilities.

Speaker Bio: Carin is the Vice President, Retail Sales for Orgain, LCC which manufactures the #1 Plant Protein Powder in the United States, along with Ready To Drink Shakes and Collagen. She has over 25 years of experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry and has held leadership roles at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Campbell Soup, Kellogg’s/Kashi and Cliff Bar. She received her Bachelor of Science in Management at Rutgers Camden in 1989 and her MBA from the University of Baltimore in 1994. She is married with two daughters.

Madhoo Dev

Madhoo Dev

Session Title: Level up YOUR career

Session Time: 11:00 – 11:30

Session Description: In this session we’ll discuss how to seize opportunities and pivot your role/career. We need to have self-awareness to assess what we need so we can grow in the field where we can excel. This presentation would be reflective from my career and the Professional Skills that helped advocate for myself and rewarded into promotions.

Speaker Bio: Graduated with MBA - Marketing, Madhoo Dev is a 2018 Rutgers Camden Alumni. She is passionate, confident and optimistic marketer with a specific interest in analytics and consumer insights. With over 4 years of invaluable experience gained in marketing communications, research, and data analytics, she is now enjoying her role as a Project Analyst at Oncourse Home Solutions (former business unit of American Water). She started as a Marketing Specialist, but with double Masters in Analytics and Marketing, she has gained experience with distinct projects at work. Madhoo loves to play with data and has professional certification and experience in MS Excel, R and SQL.

While at Rutgers, Madhoo had the honor to work with several professors in their research and had one paper published as a Co-author of marketing academic paper titled ‘An exploratory comparison of materialism and conspicuous consumption in Pakistan’ published in Journal of International Consumer Marketing. She also received the scholarship for Study Abroad in South Africa in 2017. She finally graduated with two honors in her batch Beta Gamma Sigma – Business Honors and Mu Kappa Tau – Marketing Honors. In my free time, I love to spend time with nature, gardening and reading.

Michael D’Italia

Michael D’Italia

Session Title: You Need More than a Major: Experiential Learning for Personal Growth and Professional Success

Session Time: 11:00am - 11:30am

Session Description: In this session, students will learn why participation in experiential learning is essential for their whole-person development and career readiness, and how they can connect to high-impact experiential learning activities at Rutgers-Camden that will prepare them for a lifetime of personal and professional success.

Speaker Bio: Michael D’Italia is the Director of Experiential Learning and the Chancellor’s Experiential Learning Fund for the Office of the Provost at Rutgers University—Camden. In this role, he engages faculty and staff to develop, facilitate, and assess high-impact experiential learning opportunities that prepare our students for a lifetime of personal growth, professional success, and civic engagement. Michael is also a doctoral student in Public Affairs and Community Development whose research focuses on how increasing personal and collective agency contributes to life satisfaction and subjective well-being among community members. Michael previously obtained both his Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Public Affairs and Community Development from Rutgers University—Camden.

Breakout Session #2:

Aminah Harris, MBA, CFE, CAMS

Aminah Harris, MBA, CFE, CAMS

Session Title: Evolution of Money Laundering in Film & TV

Time: 11:40 – 12:25

Session Description: This presentation will explore the evolution of financial crimes in film and television from the "mob's accountant" to "cartel's launderer" with real life case study examples to highlight typologies, red flags and schemes.

Speaker Bio: Aminah Harris, Rutgers NCAS '06 RBS '07 is a Senior AML Compliance Manager at TD Bank, N.A. Fun fact: she does not like long bios.

Miguel A. Medina

Miguel A. Medina

Session: Level up your leadership creativity, the power of the "5-Whys?"!

Time: 11:40am - 12:25pm

Description: This session goes over the power of the "5 whys?" a hallmark of the continuous improvement methodology and philosophy. Moreover, it provides a real-world practical example (Strongarm Vertica bottom square tube) on how a holistic "5why's" analysis can facilitate authentic and creative leadership. Including how to engage the staff under your charge and how to learn from others. In turn, how a culture of engagement, learning, and growth can permeate throughout an organization.

Speaker Bio: Executive level Manufacturing Operations Professional, Lean and Six-Sigma Black-Belt , Chemical Engineer, EIT, and MBA focused on providing manufacturing, engineering, quality, lean, continuous improvement, leadership, business, and finance expertise. Passion for learning from others and toward helping people grow and reach their full potential. We all have but one life to live and everyone deserves the opportunity to take pride in what they do. One of my most basic premises for leadership, do the people under my charge enjoy being here? "Regional level" Chess Master, once upon a time...

Dr. Keanna Ralph

Dr. Keanna Ralph

Session Title: How to level up your business - Success stories of Mission-Minded Entrepreneurs

Session Time: 11:40 – 12:25

Session Description: Hear from a panel of entrepreneurs discussing the process they undertook to achieve success in their respective businesses. This will include both discussing the challenges and victories, lessons learned and advice to fellow entrepreneurs and how they can take their businesses to the next level.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Keanna Ralph, also known as Dr. K is a Business Growth Strategist & Transformational Coach. She specializes in helping high-achieving women business owners and professionals realign with their authentic core self so that they can experience balance, fulfillment and freedom in their lives. What makes her services unique is that she integrates a component of health and wellness into her programs, taking a well-rounded approach towards transformation.

Dr. Keanna graduated cum lade from Rutgers University - Camden, was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She received her doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University, has a Master’s in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and English from Rutgers University.
Dr. K is the author of Detours to Destiny: When the Detour Becomes the Path. This book is one of inspiration and hope, encouraging individuals to maintain the right perspective when encountering setbacks in life. Dr. K's desire is that all individuals will own their greatness and become the person they were designed to be.

Breakout Session #3:

Ryan Tookes

Ryan Tookes

Session Title: Pathway to a Fulfilling Career

Session Time: 1:05pm - 1:35pm

Description: There are multiple factors that contribute to a fulfilling career. I will emphasize and expound upon what I have come to learn are the keys to achieving such fulfillment - Relationships, Resiliency, and Reflection - those concepts will be woven into anecdotal stories centered on the theme of Leveling Up.

Speaker Bio: Ryan Tookes currently serves as the Director of Lending for Your Banc Advisors, a commercial lending brokerage firm. Tookes also serves as the managing member of Tookes Strategic Group, a company focused on traditional consulting as well as essential service guidance for residential and business customers. Tookes is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds both a Masters and Juris Doctor from Rutgers University.

Diana Gould

Diana Gould

Session Title: Generating Commitment and Buy-in

Time: 1:05 – 1:35

Session Description: In this interactive workshop, we will delve into the underlying psychology of what motivates individuals and teams to engage and invest fully in a project, examine some of the most common obstacles that can prevent teams from feeling fully committed, and explore the key factors that go into generating commitment from teams and stakeholders. Through a combination of group activities and discussion, participants will learn how to identify the crucial elements needed to create authentic buy-in. Throughout the workshop, participants will be challenged to share their own experiences and ideas, as well as to strategize ways to overcome common challenges and build a more cohesive and committed team. By the end of the session, participants will have gained practical skills and techniques they can use to generate stronger commitment and buy-in within their own projects and teams.

Speaker Bio: Diana is an Executive Leadership Coach at Proof Leadership Group. She’s held senior management roles in K-12 education and non-profit institutions. She is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional with over 10 years of experience helping organizations find, develop, and retain the most talented people. Diana holds a B.A in Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University – Camden.

Andrew Atkins

Andrew Atkins

Session Title: Interviewing Yourself: Is the Job Right for You?

Time: 1:05 – 1:35

Session Description: Learn Interview Tips and gain a greater understanding of how your personality impacts your career success and satisfaction.

Speaker Bio: Andrew Atkins is the Talent Manager for Innovative Development, LLC. Since changing careers from Actuarial Science to focus on Psychology, Andrew's passion for the past 14 years has been to help people find satisfaction and success in their jobs.

Breakout Session #4:

Colin Rafferty

Colin Rafferty

Session Title: Unlocking the Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success: Crafting and Managing Your Brand

Session Time: 1:45 – 2:30

Session Description: Making an entrepreneurial venture successful involves more than just a good idea. It requires dedication, risk-taking, strategic planning, and the development of a strong brand. This presentation will provide insight into the essential elements of entrepreneurial success, particularly focusing on how self-awareness and brand management can be pivotal. Attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of cultivating and leveraging self-awareness to effectively position oneself in the marketplace, as well as gain an appreciation for the importance of devising a comprehensive brand strategy. This presentation will include examples of successful entrepreneurs that have leveraged their self-awareness and brand management strategies to great success.

Speaker Bio: As the chief marketing officer, Mr. Rafferty oversees the marketing team and is responsible for brand, marketing, and media relations. He plays a vital role in the firm’s growth and has important responsibilities that range from overseeing the planning, development, and execution of the firm’s marketing and advertising initiatives. In the role of VP of Operations, Mr. Rafferty uses his experience and education to plan, direct, and coordinate the operations of the firm. He also assists in recruiting new talent and firm office expansion.

Mr. Rafferty is an accomplished entrepreneur who started his own business at the age of 13. Specializing in DJ Entertainment, Marketing Strategy, and Business Design, he has since turned Rafferty Enterprises LLC into a successful enterprise. In addition to his professional achievements, Mr. Rafferty also became the youngest elected official in the State of New Jersey after the 2018 November election, winning a seat on his local school board. He currently serves as Chairman of the Delran Township Recreational Advisory Committee where he carries out meetings, plans town-wide events, and is responsible for managing township parks & athletic fields.

Jeffrey Burkhardt

Jeffrey Burkhardt

Session Title: Building & Maintaining Your Personal Brand When Executing a Career Search

Session Time: 1:45pm - 2:30pm

Session Description: Interactive conversation re: do's and dont's associated with marketing approaches to use with job/career searches.

Speaker Bio: Jeff Burkhardt is a Senior Business Development Manager for the IT Staffing division for firstPRO, Inc. (www.firstproinc.com), a privately held, family-owned Staffing and Recruiting company, with offices in Atlanta, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Allen Riddick

Allen Riddick

Session Title: Connecting Good People Together, How to Build Your Network Effortlessly

Session Time: 1:45 – 2:30

Session Description: This session will provide a comprehensive overview of basic techniques, best practices, social etiquette and foundation to harness stronger networking skills over your career.

Speaker Bio: Allen Riddick is currently the Executive Director, Supplier Inclusion for Drexel University. In this role, he is responsible for internal & external supplier diversity, local and small business inclusion and sustainability alignment within Drexel’s Procurement Services. Allen works to ensure equal and open contracting opportunities for Small, Minority, Women, Veteran, Service Disabled and LGBTQ+ owned businesses.

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