Jan 6, Jan 20, Feb 10,
Feb 24, Mar 10, Mar 24
(Mar 31 - Make Up Day If Needed)
8:30 AM - 12: 30 PM
Location: Willmore Lodge

Chamber Members : $300
Non-members :$450


Session 1
Cyber Security for your Business & Your Responsibility (Liability) for Employee and Customer Data Protection
A Great Company Handbook is Critical for your Business

Session 2
Be Intention About Your Business Structure
10 Business Ratios Any Business Owner Should Know

Session 3
Hiring, Firing, & MO Employment Law
Legal Landmines of Business Owners and How to Mitigate Them

Session 4
Business Insurance Landmines for Small Business Owners
Marketing Tactics for Visibility, Credibility, & Profitability

Session 5
Benefits are key to retention - Get Creative to Keep your Best Employees
The Most Underused Local Resources for Business Leaders

Session 6
It’s Time to Get Strategic with Your Marketing I'll Give You the Formula, You Bring the "X" Factor (Execution)

Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business Academy

The 3rd annual Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business Academy kicks off Jan 6 . Featuring 6 sessions, with 12 powerful workshops, and 12 expert speakers, this is one program you will not want to miss!



Testimonials from Academy Participants:

"This was one of the best things I have done to improve as a business owner. It forced me to think about my business, my future, and take action. Thank You!"

"It was a great mix of topics to benefit business owners and employees. VERY eye opening to dive deeper into various segments."

"I thought the academy was amazing. I will definitely encourage others to participate in the next session!"

"Wow - this did not disappoint! As a business owner of 19 years, I still took away valuable information from every single session. Thank you, thank you!"


Our goal with Academy is to provide in depth sessions on a wide array of critical business subjects to help you take your business to the next level. Each workshop focuses on a very specific topics to help your business grow, mitigate risk, develop your culture, amplify your reach, and impact your bottom-line in a positive way.

Each of our sessions are presented by experts in their respective fields. Sessions will be highly interactive, engaging, and extremely educational. We guarantee you will leave each workshop with practical action items that you can immediately implement in your business.

Class size is limited to 20 people in non-competing business, so sign up early! First come, first served.

Who should attend?
The business academy is ideal for veteran and new business owners, budding entrepreneurs, senior managers, and employees that you want to develop into business leaders.


Lake Chamber Business Academy Sessions & Presenters

Session 1
January 6, 2021


Cyber Security for Your Business & Your Responsibility (Liability) for Employee and Customer Data Protection

Randall Cowan, OakStar Bank

It's not a matter of if, it's when. At some point, your system will be compromised. Cyber fraud, phishing attempts, malware, DDOS, bots, trojan horses, ransomware, viruses … all put a business at significant risk. A compromised system or network can be catastrophic for a business on many levels. What you don't know, can hurt you. In this session, an IT Expert will detail some of the most common techniques used by hackers to compromise computers and POS systems, as well as some of the lesser known tactics. Additionally, you’ll learn concrete strategies to proactively implement on your systems and in your business processes to mitigate the risk. The session will conclude with a Q&A session, so you can get your specific questions addressed.


A Great Company Handbook is Critical for your Business

Sue Kmet, President, Kmet Consulting & Missouri Employment Conference

Having an employee handbook is good business practice, but what you may not know is it can protect your business from unnecessary litigation. In this session, HR expert and consultant, Sue Kmet, will discuss why this tool is so important whether you have one employee or fifty, the essentials to include, how to communicate about the handbook, as well as how to implement it and revise it. Understanding these items is critical to the efficacy of the handbook and its ability to protect your company should a problem arise. This session will include a Q&A period to ensure all of your questions get answered.

Session 2
January 20, 2021


Be Intentional About Your Business Structure

Adam Wolfe, CPA - Wilson Toellner CPAs

When businesses are formed, oftentimes they accept the default tax classification bestowed on them by the IRS, rather than carefully evaluating the pros and cons of various business entity structures. In this session, Adam Wolfe, CPA, a business advisor and owner at Wilson Toellner CPA, will explain how an intentional approach to business structure can save you money, make your business a better reflection of your long-term goals, and eventually allow for your smoothest possible exit from the business. Also in this session, we’ll leave time for discussion on recent tax updates for small business owners related to pandemic-response legislation.


10 Business Ratios Any Business Owner Should Know

Terry Lammers, CVA, Innovative Business Advisors, LLC

One of Terry's mantras is "It's not about Sales and Net Income, It's all about Gross Profit and Cash Flow!" Terry will show you in a simple down-to-earth fashion how these 10 ratios can be the key to understanding how cash is flowing through your company and how percentages, not numbers can be the key to understanding the health of your business. Remember even a profitable company can go broke if you run out of cash!

Session 3
February 10, 2021


Hiring, Firing & MO Employment Law

Sue Kmet, President, Kmet Consulting & Missouri Employment Conference

Did you know there are several ILLEGAL interview questions? Do you know your obligations as an employer if you must terminate an employee? These are just two of the important topics we'll cover in this business academy session. As a business owner or leader, it's imperative that you have a thorough understanding of Missouri law when it comes to hiring and firing. Whether you've owned a business for years, or are just getting started, we guarantee you'll learn something new and critically important for your business in this session presented by Sue Kmet, an HR Expert and owner of Kmet Consulting. The session includes a Q&A period, as well, so if you have questions specific to your business, this is a great way to get them answered.


Legal Landmines for Business Owners & How to Mitigate Them

David Porter, Porter Law, LLC

In this Business Academy session, business attorney David Porter will discuss commonly made mistakes in small businesses and steps business owners and managers should take to avoid those mistakes. He will explain important legal aspects to focus on when running a business and offer essential tips on how to mitigate liability for the business owner and the company. This session is not to miss! What you learn here can save your business from unnecessary legal action and costs. David will close the session with a Q&A period so you can get specific questions addressed, as well.

Session 4
February 24, 2021


Business Insurance Landmines for Small Business Owners

Aaron Spieler, Spieler Insurance Group

What you don't know CAN hurt you, especially when it comes to insurance coverage for your biggest asset - your business. In this session, Aaron Spieler, owner of Spieler Insurance Group will address common coverage gaps that most business owners don't even know they have. Unknown exposures can ruin a business if a problem arises. As a business owner or leader, it's essential that you have a thorough understanding of your risks, so you can take appropriate steps to mitigate them. This session will close with a Q&A, so if you have specific questions related to your industry, bring them and get them answered here.


Marketing Tactics for Visibility, Credibility, & Profitability

Sandy & Mike Waggett, Owners MSW Interactive Designs LLC

We’re talking basic tactics in the first session, and then we will move on to your overall online marketing strategy in the next session. Value-driven visibility takes time so it's important understand what it is, create a plan, and get started right away. We'll take a step back and assess all your marketing efforts, determine where there are gaps, and offer strategies to fill those gaps. The most successful companies have three things in common: 1) they are well-known; 2) they are well-liked, and 3) they don't rest on their laurels. This marketing session addresses all three and will position your business for success in the marketplace.

Session 5
March 10, 2021


Benefits are Key to Retention - Get Creative to Keep your Best Employees

Aaron Spieler, Spieler Insurance Group

Samuel Beck, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

If you're having trouble attracting and retaining quality employees, one of the issues may be associated with the benefits you offer. There been a lot of talk around health insurance cost challenges in recent years, but there are other benefits equally (if not more) appealing to the millennial workforce. You just have to get a little creative! In this session, we'll introduce you to some out-of-the-box benefits the best employers are offering to attract and retain top talent. In many cases, there's even a tax benefit for you for offering them!


The Most Underused Local Resources for Business Leaders

Tina Corner-Stolz, Founder of LXCouncil and Mastermind Academy, Author

Kelly Asbury, EDFP, CGBP, Director, Missouri Small Business Development Center State Fair Community College

Larry Laminger Counselor, SCORE

Brian Gagnon Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks

Mike Koenigsman, Economic Development Specialst/Commercial Loan Officer, Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG)

Most local business owners have no idea that these resources exist!

In this session, our presenters will discuss opportunities for your business to:

  1. learn the benefits of a mastermind group, when it’s the right time and right fit for you and your business;
  2. take full advantage of resources, classes, and counseling from the Missouri Small Business Development Center;
  3. take advantage of courses and mentors available through the local SCORE program; and
  4. learn tips from a commercial lender on what you can do to prepare your business for potential funding assistance (CARES ACT Funding will be one sample);
  5. understand the types of programs and resouces available from Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Goverm,ents i.e., Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), CARES ACT Revollving Loan Fund, Business Coaching, Data Collection, Technical Assistance, Business Trends, and Industry Sector Analysis.

Session 6
March 24, 2021


It’s Time to Get Strategic with Your Marketing I'll Give You the Formula, You Bring the "X" Factor (Execution)

Sandy & Mike Waggett, Owners MSW Interactive Designs LLC

Until you've clearly defined your ideal customer, mastered a message that resonates, and created a repeatable customer journey and experience plan, you're throwing money away on your advertising efforts. In this session, we'll set all tactics aside and talk about what really matters for effective marketing. Who really is best your customer, how to make your business messaging resonate with that customer, how to create a repeatable journey map to turn that prospect into a customer, and how to convert that customer into a brand advocate carrying a megaphone! The average person "sees" more than 3000 marketing messages per day. Slapping another random one into the fray is throwing money out the window. Strategy first (and a well-focused one, at that) is what gets results and soars profitability in your business.



Gail Carlock, President & CEO HeartWork Inspires Author The HeartWork Gratitude Journal

Transformational teams do more than educate customers. They empower, engage, & inspire others to action. In this session, Gail Carlock, will equip you to complete the business academy journey on a personal high. She'll empower you with ideas and resources to not only be the best you as a business leader, but to empower and strengthen your team, as well. We couldn't think of a better way to wrap up the second annual Lake Area Chamber Business Academy than with the inspiration of Gail Carlock.