Focus Forward Forum


Presenting Sponsor:


The VAYP Forum is a one day event put on by the VAYP Leadership to present an enriched entrepreneurial exchange of ideas and inspired best practices.


Friday, May 17, 2019
State College of Florida
8000 South Tamiami Trail
Venice FL 34293


$55 after May 10th!

Online Registration Available Now.
Seating is limited!

Inquire about remaining sponsorships
Charleen Myers

Enterprise Sponsor

Corporate Sponsor

Media Sponsor

Community Partners

Britton’s Flooring Options by Carpet One | CIA Carter Insurance Agency | Kiwanis Club of Venice |  Supreme Lending  |  Premier Sotheby’s International Realty – The Victoria Stultz Team



8:00 am – 8:30 am Registration and Check In

Keynote Speaker

Lauren Hughey, Co-Founder, Pip & Grow

9 a.m.

Lauren will be sharing some of her hardest lessons learned on the path to becoming an award-winning Entrepreneur

A marketer by trade and an entrepreneur by accident, Lauren Hughey brings nearly 15 years of marketing and fundraising experience with top academic, non-profit and corporate brands to Pip & Grow. She has worked across the country developing strategic partnerships and building new programs with an eye on giving back.

Breakout Session 1

10 – 10:30 a.m.

Erin Silk,
Director of Business Development Services
Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County

“Best practices for networking, tricks for success and how you too can successfully network with people of all generations.”

Erin Silk moved from Baltimore, MD in 2015 to take the position of CEO at Venice MainStreet. During her 4 and a half years at VMS she quickly doubled its membership and staff. Recently joining the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County as Director of Business Development Services, Erin has a passion for working with nonprofits. Erin credits her ability to network, connect and leverage people’s interests for her career success.

Adam Carter, Financial Advisor,
Waypoint Advisors


Past Chair of the Board
Venice Area Chamber of Commerce

“Money strategies for the real world, making financial health a reality”

Bio: Adam Carter is an entrepreneur who started his own financial services firm 12 years ago. His unique background includes working in a -40 degree freezer at an ice cream factory, climbing Colorado’s highest mountain peaks as a backpacking guide, and literally chasing a bear and a big horn sheep. As a speaker he is known for breaking down the complex financial world into everyday terms and for his consistent focus on financial health utilizing time tested principles. Adam has served as chairman for both the VAYP and the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Today he is speaking about transforming your financial reality and achieving your dreams.


Destin Wells, Vice President, Business Development Services

Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County

“Sustainable economies and how to achieve them. Why economic diversification is essential for a community to grow”

Destin Wells comes to the EDC by way of Enterprise Florida, where he was the Director of Aerospace and Defense for the State, working projects that generated more than 10,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in Capital Investment. Committed to Economic Development and the impact on the individual and their ability to provide for their family, Destin brings a balance of the relational and data-driven approaches to building strategy and affecting outcomes. In his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Haley, and two children, Addison and Landon. You can often find him with a guitar in his hands and close to the water.

Breakout Session 2

10  – 10:30 a.m.


Tony Moore, Branch Manager, Gulfside Mortgage Services

“How to Make Networking work for you. Learn easy ways on how to adopt and apply networking to grow your business”

Tony Moore is the Branch Manager for Gulfside Mortgage Services and originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He began his career as a Mortgage Loan Originator in 2002, and moved to the Venice area over 20 years ago. Tony and his wife Michelle took over the Company in 2010 with 1 employee and now have 14 employees. Tony is dedicated to helping people and helping other professionals grow their business. Tony is truly dedicated to his industry!

Brian D. Angelillis, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments

“Ideas for putting banking, retirement and insurance tools to work to build and protect your business.”

Born and raised Florida native, Brian  resides in Venice with wife and three kids. Holds series 7 and series 66 designations as well as a life insurance license.  He is a graduate of the University of Florida and passionate about helping people reach their financial goals.


Dane DeSantis, President, Hallmark Business Brokers

“Whether you work for someone else or own your own company, you will learn the eight things that drive the value of a company and suggestions on how to dramatically increase the value of a business.”

Bio: Originally from Bloomfield New Jersey (20 minutes west of NYC), Dane now calls Venice, FL home. Dane worked in the corporate world for 18 years selling software to manufacturing and distribution companies all over the country. Throughout those 18 years, Dane always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but never knew what type of business to open.

After much prayer and thoughtful consideration, Dane became a partner at Hallmark Business Brokers in January 2015. In August 2016 Dane had the fortune to buyout his partner at Hallmark and became the sole owner of the business.

Dane prides himself on caring about people, listening, and being honest.

11:15 – 11:55 a.m.

Three Speaker Panel
Dane Desantis, Adam Carter, Brian Angelillis & Tony Moore


Victoria Stultz, Moderator


Part of our 2018-19 Enhanced Entrepreneurial Exchange Series for 2018-19


We will be updating this form with more information on our Focus Forward Forum.   In the interim, you may contact Charleen Myers with any questions.


Discover the full benefits of your member sponsorship of this well attended annual event! 

Sponsors receive a generous print and digital footprint with a long shelf life online well after the event itself.  

Please view some of the examples above and/or contact Charleen Myers for more information on sponsorship of this fantastic annual event!