Small Business Development Center

Workshop Schedule Spring 2015

Click for information on location, directions/parking, cost and registration.

Title Date Location

Starting a Business (Build Your Management Team)

October 1, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Take the "Fright" Out of Marketing

October 29, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Your First Business Plan

November 5, 2015
Grace Conference Room
Legal Issues for Small Businesses Thursday
November 19, 2015
Grace Conference Room
Human Resources (What You Don't Know Can Hurt You) Thursday
December 3, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Starting a Business (Building Your Management Team)

Thursday, October 1, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Starting a business is somewhat complicated and involves elements of risk and uncertainty. To increase the odds of being successful, the small business owner needs access to the best information and advice that is available.

To help guide you through your decision process, we have assembled a group of expert business professionals that will provide you with helpful tips to start a new business.

Even when you are starting a small business you need to develop your “Outside Management Team”. The services of an attorney, an accountant, an insurance specialist and a banker are essential. Each of these people can supplement the knowledge of a small businessperson. Our speakers will be able to provide the audience with key insights and tips on what it takes to run a small business.

Topics that will be included in this session are:

• Start-up issues
• Pitfalls
• Legal considerations
• Accounting tips
• Financing
• Insurance

If you are thinking about starting a business, or have recently started one, this is the session that you should attend. You will have the opportunity to ask these experts questions about your proposed business venture.


Joshua LaPan, CPA, Partner, Shepherd & Goldstein, Worcester, MA
Mary Casey, ESQ., Managing Attorney, The Harbor Law Group, Northborough, MA
Claire Cheevers, Employee Benefits Manager & Yvonne Baker, Commercial Account Manager, The Feingold Companies, Worcester, MA
Karla Christiansen, Vice President - Relationship Manager, Berkshire Bank, Westborough, MA

Sponsored by:

The Feingold Companies, The Harbor Lew Group and Shepherd & Goldstein

Take the "Fright" Out of Marketing

Thursday, October 29, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Marketing can be a huge haunting challenge with lots of scary obstacles and decisions to make; sometimes with frighteningly little return on your efforts.

Demystify the ghostly and confusing path to a solid marketing foundation and learn the basic steps and concepts to be competitive. This session will help you build the marketing foundation for your business that incorporates today’s important innovations and methods. Quite simply, a solid marketing strategy mixed with some good old fashioned know-how creates the environment for a powerful sales opportunity to reach potential clients. Without that your product or service may never be noticed…and potential sales could be lost to the competition.

So, take the “Fright’ out of marketing and discover how to market your business in a bewitchingly traditional, yet savvy way during this informative, interactive workshop. You will feel empowered with the basics and all your fears will disappear like magic.

Some of the key steps presented to design your own marketing plan will include:

• Defining core goals
• Identifying primary target markets
• Establishing the key message
• Creating the brand for your company
• Developing vital strategies and tactics
• Designing all the marketing tools
• Determining how to use these techniques to gain awareness

The speaker for this program, Fern Nissim, CMD (Certified by the International Assoc. of Shopping Centers) brings her 20+ years of experience in the strategic marketing field. She is a well known speaker on a variety of marketing topics.


Fern Nissim, President & Founder, Round Pond Group, LLC, Shrewsbury, MA

Sponsored by:

BayState Savings Bank, Fidelity Bank, Southbridge Savings Bank & UniBank

Your First Business Plan

Thursday, November 5, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

This next program covers a topic that is critically important with the start-up process of a small business and can also be beneficial to existing businesses that may be ready to expand. Business owners do not want to start with overly optimistic or inflated goals and expectations. A well written Business Plan can help to make the projections much more realistic. After you have proven the feasibility of your concept, limited your risk, analyzed your financials, and developed a marketing plan; how do you package all of this information together so you can really get your business started?

Our team of expert advisors enjoy working with people who are ready to get their businesses started. Developing a winning business plan can be invaluable as a management planning tool and/or as a loan proposal. The Business Plan becomes the blueprint that an entrepreneur can follow to avoid the pitfalls that await every small business owner. This program is designed to guide the participants on a step by step journey to develop a thorough and comprehensive Business Plan.

Topics that will be included are:

• What a banker looks for in a Business Plan
• Defining the business
• Describing the target markets
• The marketing/advertising program
• Projected balance sheets
• Projected income statements
• Projected cash flow projections

The business advisors for this presentation each have many years of experience in advising small business owners. Ample time will be provided for questions from the audience.


George Isaac, CPA, Owner, George J. Isaac, CPA, Worcester, MA
Paul Raffa, Vice President, Government Guaranteed Lending, Yadkin Bank, Auburn, MA
Michael Holbrook, Consultant, Small Business Development Center @ Clark University, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by:

Bank of America, Commerce Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank & Yadkin Bank

Legal Issues for Small Businesses

Thursday, November 19, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

There is nothing that can deflate the chances for a successful venture or season, than getting into legal trouble.  Just ask Tom Brady… 

There are a variety of important legal issues that small business owners must be aware of.  Starting with the formation of the business and determining what type of legal entity is the best one i.e. sole proprietor, sub S or C corporation, or an LLC.  The business owner then has to consider signing leases, hiring employees, signing contracts, to trademarks and protecting personal assets.  The area of intellectual property is another specialty area. The choices and technical issues for a new business owner can be overwhelming.  This session will provide an overview of many of the most important issues that business owners have to face.

Topics that will be covered include the following:

                                    •    Choice of Entity
                                    •    Contracts
                                    •    Employment Issues
                                    •    Intellectual Property
                                    •    Real Estate                    

These topics and many others will be covered in the presentation.  The attorneys from the law firm of Mirick O’Connell have many years of experience working with small businesses and have specific specialties in the various topics that will be discussed. 

Time will be provided to ask general questions in the larger group setting.  In the last portion of the program each specialist will take more specific questions in a small group setting.


Jeffrey Donaldson, ESQ., Of Counsel; Todd Helwig, ESQ., Partner; Jonathan Sigel, ESQ., Partner, Jeffrey Swaim, ESQ., Partner
Attorneys from Mirick O'Connell, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by:

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), Mirick O'Connell, People's United Bank & TD Bank

Human Resources (What You Don't Know Can Hurt You)

Thursday, December 3, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Human resources law is complicated. Are you an expert in the changes to sick time pay and the Affordable Care Act? Mistakes and miscommunication can lead to legal troubles and will deflate your business. This session will keep you informed and empowered.

A basic overview will be provided on a wide variety of topics during the main portion of the presentation. At the end of the program time will be allocated so that business owners can ask more specific questions to the various speakers.

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session include:

• Hourly & Minimum Wage Issues as well as Overtime
• Independent Contractor vs. Employee Issues
• Hiring/Termination proceedures
• Sick Time Regulation
• A Brief Overview of the Affordable Care Act
• Workers’ Compensation
• Non Payment of Wages
• Non Compete Contracts
• Severance Agreements

The speakers for this session have many years of experience in these highly specialized areas. They have worked with larger corporations, but also many small businesses. They will focus their comments on what are the key issues that small business owners must keep in mind to avoid having significant HR problems. So, whether you are hiring your first employee or already have many employees, this will be a very informative session.


Cheryl Miles & Rocco Mammone, Resource Management, Inc. (RMI), Fitchburg, MA
Kurt Binder, ESQ., Partner & Howard Stempler, ESQ., Partner, Seder & Chandler LLP, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by:

RMI  (Resource Management, Inc.), Seder & Chandler LLP, United Bank & Webster Five Cents Savings Bank


All programs are held in the Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610


Take Exit 11 (College Square/Federal Square) off 290. Go straight, following sign for Federal Square/Downtown. At second traffic light take a left onto Cambridge Street (St. Matthew's Church on left and Culpeppers Bakery on right). Go one mile to the end of Cambridge Street. Take a sharp right onto Main Street. Drive down Main Street (the campus is on your left) thru your first set of traffic lights. From 950 Main Street turn onto Woodland Street. Woodland Street curves to the right. Turn left on Charlotte Street, then left on Florence Street. Make the next left onto Downing Street & park on the Upper level of the Clark University parking garage on the right.

Some on-street parking is permitted, but please check street signs carefully for parking restrictions.

Download the parking and campus map in PDF format.


For all programs, registration begin at 8:45AM, and all programs run from 9AM until 12PM.


$39 for the first seminar
$30 for each additional seminar or registrant (from same company)

Special - $150 for all 5 seminars


To reserve your space, please mail your check made out to Clark University to:

Clark University SBDC
950 Main Street,
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Be sure to list attendees names and which seminars you are paying for. You can also REGISTER ONLINE but we cannot process credit cards - sorry.

Space is limited. Advanced registration required. Registration fees include materials and refreshments. The Clark SBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a seminar due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards future programs only if the Clark SBDC cancels or reschedules a seminar. Sorry, no refunds will be given to individuals who cancel or do not show up for a seminar they have registered for.

Please contact the Clark University SBDC for more information at 508-793-7615 or via email at

Corporate Sponsors

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Central Regional Office at Clark University would like to extend thanks to the following institutions for their financial support, thus allowing us to provide quality and educational workshops at a nominal fee to the small business community.