Entrepreneur, Philanthropist to Keynote ECU’s Annual Business Leadership Conference

An entrepreneur and philanthropist will discuss leadership initiatives during the fifth annual Business Leadership Conference at East Carolina University on Monday.

Hosted by ECU’s College of Business, the conference will take place in the student  center on its main campus.

The conference is open to College of Business juniors, seniors and graduate students and complements the leadership preparation students receive. Speakers and breakout sessions are designed to prepare students for the realities of the business world and provide opportunities to interact with conference speakers, ECU’s Business Advisory Council, alumni, employers and community members.

Brian Hamilton, founder of the Brian Hamilton Foundation, will give the keynote presentation at 9 a.m. in Main Ballrooms A and B.

Hamilton is the co-founder of Sageworks, one of the country’s first financial technology companies, which was the largest provider of software to U.S. banks. He sold the company to a private equity firm in 2018.

Hamilton also is the founder of Inmates to Entrepreneurs, a national program that helps people with criminal records start their own small businesses. Inmates to Entrepreneurs is supported by the Brian Hamilton Foundation.

“It is a real honor to be part of the conference at ECU this year,” Hamilton said. “The university continues to make impressive strides in leadership initiatives and I hope to add some insight as part of their program.”

A holder of multiple patents for his work in automating financial analysis, Hamilton is a regular guest on CNBC and Fox and is regularly quoted in and writes for major national media publications. He  also is a contributor to Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines.

Hamilton was the first in his family to attend college and holds an undergraduate degree from Sacred Heart University, where he served on the board of trustees. He received an MBA from Duke University’s School of Business.

“Since Mr. Hamilton is a first-generation college student, we’re positive that his presentation will resonate with not only our first-generation students but all College of Business students, faculty and staff,” said Paul Schwager, interim dean of ECU’s College of Business.

More than 35 additional leaders and entrepreneurs representing hospitality, banking, finance, accounting, insurance and health care industries will participate in more than 30 breakout sessions during the event.

Discussions include:

Reviving produce and people for purpose: one fruit and vegetable at a time, Laura Hearn, co-founder, Glean

Doing business in Asia, Michael Dang, chairman of the board of directors, Anpha Holdings

Grappling with the social, economic and environmental challenges of our time, Mary Ann Best, senior managing director, Bernstein Private Wealth Management

Ethics and cybersecurity: compliance vs. assurance, Thomas Graham, chief information security officer, CynergisTek

Creating and tending to your professional “garden,” Brittany Coleman, associate technical training consultant, SAS Institute

Destroy your career 101: situational ethics, Dave Leonard, chairman and CEO, RSUI Group, Inc.

Approximately 1,000 business students are expected to attend this year’s conference.

“The diverse list of business leaders who are participating in this year’s conference will help lay the foundation that will support future leaders once they leave the College of Business,” Schwager said. “Brick by brick, the speakers will forever have an influence on our college and its students.”

For more information about the Business Leadership Conference and a detailed program, visit https://business.ecu.edu/conference/.