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Small Business Council Gets Whole New Look

The Greater Memphis Chamber works for small business. Whether that means supporting legislation that prevents a substantial tax increase or providing opportunities to make that next business connection, we always have our small business owners in mind. That’s why we have begun enhancing our Small Business Council - so we can provide you with the resources, advocacy and education you need to grow and succeed.

Our small business members are automatically part of the Small Business Council (SBC). That means if you are in the 90 percent of our membership that has 100 employees or less, you and your employees automatically have access to the SBC and its leadership and resources for no extra cost. 

Speaking of leadership, we’d like to introduce you to the members who will be leading the SBC as well as the task forces they represent:

Jeff Weintraub - Small Business Council Chairman

Regional Managing Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Memphis Office

Jeff represents employers in jury trials in employment lawsuits, FLSA collective actions, labor cases and the like in all federal and state courts and agencies, various Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s received national recognition for his work, including Chamber USA’s leading labor and employment attorneys, Mid-South Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America (for the last 18 years!). Jeff is also a member of the Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle.

“Within the Chamber’s new structure, the Small Business Council is pressing forward to support and empower small businesses in our community. We’re fortunate to have three fantastic task force chairs. These folks are real doers with real goals for each of their task forces. All three are busy and successful business men and women. I believe in the old adage that if you want something done, ask someone who’s busy!”

Sandra Walls - Matchmaking Task Force Chair

President & CEO, AVPOL International LLC dba AIL

Sandra is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the company, which provides an array of logistics expertise ranging from depot maintenance and support services to fuels operations and maintenance. Under her leadership corporate revenues tripled, earning her company’s nomination as one of the fasting growing companies in the U.S. by Inc. 5000, ICIC and

Sandra chairs the Matchmaking Task Force, which is responsible for implementing a program that will allow small business members to get access to larger local companies’ procurement processes.

Jim Van de Vuurst - ChamberDirect Task Force Chair

Principal Owner, Vanick Digital

Jim owns and leads Vanick Digital, which provides web-based software, websites, mobile application development services, and SAP consulting services. They are the exclusive provider of the TOTUS Marketing/Sales platform. Under his leadership, Vanick Digital has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S.

Jim chairs the ChamberDirect Task Force, which is dedicated to creating a procurement hub that will capture all of the public sector entities’ bids to distribute to our membership for potential business opportunities.

Chris Miller - Programs Task Force Chair

President, Yuletide Office Solutions
Chris is a lifelong Memphian whose family has a rich history in Memphis. He has worked for Yuletide Office Solutions since his graduation from high school and has served as President since 1984. 

Chris chairs the Programs Task Force, which will assist with the planning for all Small Business Council events, including our very popular Lunch in the Know series and HR/Legal Summit with the potential to add more events in 2016. This task force will also be responsible for the enhancement of the Advice on Tap program, which provides expert mentors in various industries for free consultations.

To learn more about the Small Business Council and how to get involved, please contact Lauren Loeb at or 901-543-3508.
Posted: 7/15/2015 7:00:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Business, Chamber, Council, Forces, Members, Memphis, Small, Task

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.