June 9th, 2017 –  Lunch Presentation 11:00am-1:00pm


“Innovation Right Under Our Noses”

June 9th, 2017 –  Lunch Presentation 11:00am-1:00pm

June 9th, 2017 –  Lunch Presentation 11:00am-1:00pm



Event Description

Frequently when we pick up a newspaper, listen to the news or search the internet, we come across some new and exciting innovation or hear about some creative new business start-up.  We may even have purchased some of those cutting edge products or used some of those services.  The creators of those innovations are typically people we don’t know.  But innovation is happening all the time in our own backyard.  In our June event, we’ll feature a panel of a few of the local individuals and companies who have come up with “out of the box” solutions that are having a huge impact or who are disrupting the status quo.  You’ll leave this event realizing how important it is to create a workplace where innovation can occur and maybe even dare to turn some of your own creative ideas into reality.

Panel of Presenters

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Russell Schindler

Russell is a serial entrepreneur and holds 5 patents with 2 patents pending.   In addition to his businesses, Russell founded TCNewTech, a cutting-edge technology meetup group in Traverse City that promotes technology entrepreneurship and tries to match technology start-up founders with investors.  Russell’s most recent start-up is SampleServe.com, a company specializing in environmental sampling, data automation and environmental reporting. Russell, an avid sailor, was also involved with the start up of Nauti-Cat Cruises, Inc, a 47’sailing charter boat in Traverse City and Compliance, Inc. an environmental engineering company with offices in Detroit and Traverse City.

Event Sponsors

Presentation: “Leveraging Technology to Take Your Organization to the Next Level”

Mr. Schindler will start with a brief overview of the exciting new local meet-up group TCNewTech.  He’ll then speak to how you can marry technology with your business model and how it can help fuel the growth of your company.   He will parallel his own journey at SampleServe and how what started off as a tool for his companies eventually evolved into a tool to be used by laboratories and consulting engineering companies across the country.  His presentation will get you thinking about innovative ways of integrating technology with your own business model to help take your organization to a new level.

Derek Smith

CEO, Naveego

Naveego Co-Founder and CEO Derek Smith has been helping customers improve business performance and reduce operational costs through data management solutions for over 15 years. His background as a software architect and senior network engineer has helped him to understand data management needs from all levels and create innovative solutions for IT departments, analysts, end users, management, and business owners.

Presentation: “Customer Focused Innovation”

Derek will share the story behind Naveego, and how through innovation, they were able to help a multi-billion-dollar Oil & Gas customer solve data management problems that Microsoft couldn’t.  He will talk about the challenges facing todays businesses, and the crucial role that data quality and master data management play.  He will also share his thoughts about building a Software-as-a-Service start-up in Traverse City, and how the cloud is making it possible for businesses like Naveego to thrive virtually anywhere.

Nick Roster

Instructor & Chair, Science Department NMC

Nick Roster is an instructor at NMC and chair of the Science Department. He knew early on in his career, that he wanted to teach, and inspire. Years later, his dream of teaching became a reality, yet the inspiration was left wanting. Looking for innovative ways to reach students, and abandoning lecture as soon as he could, he was an early adopter of the model to provide a classroom experience that was much more experiential before doing that was “cool”. While that was a small start at changing the educational landscape, he knew there was more to do. Now he spends all his free time (of which there is precious little) researching game theory and adding game mechanics to his classes.

Presentation: “Motivating Behavior Through Gamification”

An emerging trend in business is to use gamification to motivate behaviors in customers and staff members. Nick Roster knows how to use this concept to motivate behavior and has been using it with college students for years. Nick will present on gamification: what it is, and how you can do it. He’ll talk about game theory, provide some examples and share how he uses it to increase learner motivation.  He’ll also share a few examples of business applications as well. Attendees will leave challenged to think about how they can apply the concept of gamification in their own organization.



Ruth Smith

Ruth is the founder of Selestial Soap now doing business as MyGreenFills, a company that produces a non-toxic laundry detergent that is affordable, eco-friendly and now features an innovative packaging solution. Ruth brings both formal training in herbology and homeopathy along with experience in the laundry business having founded and operated Eastfield Commercial Laundry. She has combined her experience (that also includes raising 6 children and being the grandmother to 15 children!)  to create products that are rocking the laundry market.



Stephen Ezell

Stephen is the CEO of MyGreenFills.  He’s a passionate entrepreneur, philanthropist, and sustainable living enthusiast. Through some divinely orchestrated events in 2012, he met Ruth, joined Selestial, and BOOM, now disruptive green-chemical solutions are flying out the door to markets, hotels and homes everywhere. Before joining Selestial Soap, Stephen managed several New York restaurants including one in Rockefeller Plaza.

Presentation: “Disruptive Innovation: A Local Story”

Ruth and Stephen will share the story behind the creation of Selestial Soap, the creation of their new brand and some of the exciting developments now happening at their company.  They’ll share how they’re changing the way that people think about laundry and what they’re doing to change their part of the world.

June 9th, 2017 –  Lunch Presentation 11:00am-1:00pm


Featured Book

The world has been changed by those who have challenged the status quo.  They’re creative, buck old ways of doing things and exhibit other behaviors that many of us have even labeled as negative.  In this #1 New York bestseller, readers learn what original thinkers have in common, how they get their ideas heard and how they make them a reality.   Several well-worn myths about successful innovators also get debunked in this book.  Through studying the behavior of non-conformists, author Adam Grand helps readers better understand how they too can be an “Original” and make a positive impact on their part of the world.

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June 9th, 2017 –  Lunch Presentation 11:00am-1:00pm


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