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The below abstracts give a brief synopsis of the workshops to be presented. 

MBallou Conde-Kouyate and George Bretting, M&T Bank

"Consumer & Business Lending" M&T salutes veterans with our VA Mortgage and Business Lending Options. Below are key points to be discussed.

CONSUMER LENDING: presented by George Bretting

New home purchase Loans

  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL)

  • Cash-out refinancing and construction

  • Homebuyer Assistance Programs (HAPs)

  • The Applications process


BUSINESS LENDING: presented by MBallou Conde-Kouyate

Veteran owned business solutions through M&T Bank

  • Deposit and Payment Solutions

  • Flexible financing for Veteran-Owned Businesses

  • Lines of Credit

  • Flexible Term Loans

  • SBA programs

  • Applications process

Sean Chrysostom, Capital One Bank

"Borrowing to Fund Business Growth"

Sean will give a special presentation on what bankers need to secure funding for just about any type of loan. Topics include learning more about borrowing options, the loan application process, debt financing, sources of repayment as well as how banks look at cash flow scenarios. Key takeaways:

  • The importance of personal Credit in business loan decisions

  • The 5 C's of credit

  • The importance of speaking the lender's language

Dr. Xavier Bruce, Uplift Energy Coaching

"Learn How to Empower and Uplift Your Damn Self"

Do you have a problem to solve or a fact to endure?  In this high-energy keynote speech, Dr. Xavier Bruce introduces his concept of Strategic Energetic Transition (SET)—an innovative way to help alleviate or lessen stress and anxiety associated with life transitions. 


From mental and emotional to physical and financial, Dr. X helps you determine whether you are set up for success or failure in dealing with these “energy blocks” that mess up the way you show up in life—at home, church, school, and business.  Get ready to learn how to “in-power” and uplift your damn self!

Laura Pennington-Briggs, The Freelance Coach

"Freelance Careers for Military Spouses and Transitioning Vet"

By 2027, more than half of the workforce will be made of independent contractors and freelancers. The surge of the digital economy comes at the perfect time for transitioning veterans and military spouses looking for freedom-based flexible work online. From content writing to social media management to website design and much more, freelancers are changing the way work is done. 

In this session, veterans will discover freelance ventures they can pursue after their service, how to evaluate their resumes for skills they can translate into an at-home business, and what it really takes to get started. From content writing to social media management to website design and much more, freelancers are changing the way work is done. Attendees will learn the top 24 most in-demand freelance side hustles and careers, how to start freelancing, and how to scale this into a full-time business.

Tina Smith, The FinancialT


"How to Fund Your Dreams"

I had many dreams when I was younger of becoming a big-time celebrity. Did you do that too? Like me, you probably don’t have a lavish lifestyle. Guess what? It. Is. OK.

As I began to manage my minimal salary properly, I started to see dreams of entrepreneurship, leaving a legacy, and financial freedom come true. Let me show you practical things anyone can do. Your dreams aren’t too big, but they are limited to your thinking. Think big and your bank account will follow.

Kevin M. Coleman, KMC Empowerment

Four (4) Secrets to Exponential Success in Sales and Networking

In the workshop 4 Secrets to Exponential Success in Sales and Networking the audience learn how to move beyond communication and move toward connecting authentically with customers, clients, direct reports, and teams. In addition, the attendees will understand the importance of Finding common Ground, how to do the difficult work of keeping communication simple, How to inspire colleagues and customers through connection. They also will understand how to live what they communicate as a transformational business owner and leader.

Learning Points:

  • Understanding that Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation – Leadership Team Honesty

  • Discovering that Connecting is All About Others - Leadership Team Engagement

  • Realizing that Connecting Goes Beyond Words - Leadership Team Loyalty

  • Understanding that Connecting Always Requires Energy - Leadership Team Inspiration

  • Discovering Connecting is More Skill than Natural Talent - Leadership Team Professionalism

Dr. Brianna Gaynor, Peace of Mind Psychology


“3 Piece of Mind Tips for Navigating through Difficult Times"

How we get through the trials we all face in life affects all areas of life, including relationships, health, our finances, and loss.  I also provide practical ways to do this through business and personal examples.  The goal of this talk is to validate the human experience of hardship while providing a blueprint on how to manage the struggles we are often faced with that we are uncertain of how to address.

This presentation focuses on guiding participants in how to manage difficulties in life. Change is inevitable in life. This session will provide practical ways to effectively manage difficult life changes, loss, and transitions while also caring for your own mental health. You will learn: The 3 A’s to handling life difficulties; How to receive the support you need, internally, and externally, and receive examples on how to apply these to both business and personal arenas.

Dr. LaQuista Erinna, Well and Fit Living, LLC

“Growth Through Discomfort: How to Use Your Challenges as Stepping Stones to Success

After 20 years in the Army, Dr. LaQuista found herself on the other side – a military

spouse, unemployed, thousands of miles away from her support system, and raising a

newly diagnosed special needs son. Transitioning from military life, she lost her sense

of identity and became depressed.


Trying to balance family, relationships, and career can be challenging. Dr. LaQuista shares how she was able to start a private practice,

publish two books, and complete her doctorate degree in less than two years. In this session, she will share how you can use your challenges as stepping stones to your success. and to learn

about boundary setting, emotional intelligence, and self-care to help maintain your

sanity while living the life you want to live. Key takeaways:

  • Attendees will learn how to set healthy boundaries in both their personal and professional relationships.

  • Attendees will learn how to leverage challenges as stepping stones to success.

  • Attendees will learn how to improve their emotional intelligence and create balance in their lives without sacrificing their sanity.

Shelley Rawlings, WellnessAMPED 

Rita Bruce, Certified Wellness and Health Coach

“Managing Stress During a Transition"


Are You Anxious About Your Upcoming Transition Into Civilian Life? Some veterans are experiencing Anxiety, Stress, and even Despair when leaving the Military system they've known and operated in for a lengthy period.  There is often a struggle to find common words or phrases that civilian businesses use; perhaps Intimidating.  If this is how you’re feeling, you’re not alone! Join our workshop!  


Come learn how to heighten your awareness of stress indicators and get tips on how to manage them. You’ll leave with an immediate toolkit to implement and get Positive results as we Boost your confidence and amplify your brand as you begin your next chapter!

Valarie Austin, Career and Readiness Speaker

“A Veteran’s Guide to Returning to School and Deciding on a Career Path"

This workshop will introduce participants to basic skills for effective career planning. To be successful, exploring careers and businesses that offer what you are looking for is a must. The plan begins with searching for educational institutions (technical colleges and universities) to fit career interests. Next, learn about the resources that are available to match potential employers to your specific goals, qualifications, and skills within those potential careers.

At the end of this workshop, attendees should be able to


  • Explore specific careers and requirements for those careers (education, work environment and culture, salary ranges)

  • Research employers that are hiring that match their qualifications and skills

  • Create a network using apprenticeships and internships, social media, and career fairs to assist with employment leads.

Janice J. Walker, Maryland Department of Labor

“Office of Regulatory Assistance"

Maryland Department of Labor provides job development and employment training to help our citizens get the skills and expertise they need to move with our economy into Maryland's future. We're dedicated to providing our business and consumer customers with high-quality, efficient, and friendly services. We're open for business, to serve you. Attendees will learn more about



  • State of Maryland Resources 

  • Maryland Department of Labor Resources

  • MD One-Stop Licensing Portal 

  • County Licensing Portal

  • Maryland State Grants 

  • Boards and Commissions

Leroy McKenzie, Jr., JNF Enterprises

“Developing Your G.U.E.S.T. System"


In this session, attendees will gain tips on branding and marketing from a G.U.E.S.T. development perspective. The attendees will come away with a formula and strategy that will allow them to deal with their target market from the first encounter to the follow-up phone call, email, or thank you card.


The G.U.E.S.T. method to Branding is developing your Marketing/Branding system that focuses on understanding your target market, and how to engage your potential audience. After the session, you will be able to take these steps and implement them into your

marketing and Branding daily processes.

Thomas Ellis, EWC Consultants

“9 Tips to Close More Sales"


It’s easy to add more prospects to your pipeline and make a commitment to talk to more people, but how many of those new prospects are you closing? Have you taken the time to review your numbers to identify why you may not be hitting your sales goals? One of the first steps to closing more sales is to admit your mistakes and be willing to take the steps to correct them. Don’t make excuses for poor performance because that will just leave you stuck. If you’d like to know how to improve your performance and close more sales, join me as I discuss “Nine Tips to Close More Sales.” You can expect to walk away from this training session with the following:


  • Ideas to increase your sales focus and productivity

  • Strategies to accurately target prospects that want to do business with you

  • Research skills to put you ahead of the competition when you speak with and meet with potential prospects

  • How to sell without letting price dictate the conversation

  • Tips and strategies to ask for the sale

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