Announcing InnovateLocal Speakers

We’re thrilled to announce our stellar lineup of speakers who will guide you through a journey of growth and resilience.

Keynote Presentation

Matt Williams

Matt Williams, Brand Federation

Matt is a managing partner at Brand Federation, a Richmond-based brand and marketing consultancy that helps local, national, and international organizations build brand strategies that fuel growth. Prior to joining Brand Federation, he was the CEO of The Martin Agency. Over his 26-year career at Martin, he managed strategy and advertising development for world-class brands like GEICO, OREO, UPS, and Walmart.

Roots to Resilience Panel: Strategies for Local Business Growth

This thought-provoking local business panel will discuss resilience and growth strategies. You’ll learn first-hand from businesses that are just like you.

Steve Rosser, Owner of Gelati Celesti

Established in 1984 by Peter Edmonds and his father, John, Gelati Celesti Ice Creambegan its journey as a beloved single-store ice cream business. In 2010, Steve and Kim Rosser acquired the company, bringing with them extensive executive experience from Luck Stone Corporation and Reynolds Metals Company. Under their stewardship, Gelati Celesti expanded to include seven locations in Richmond and three in Virginia Beach. As they transition leadership to their children, Tom and Suzy Rosser, who now serve as Co-Presidents, the company remains committed to its core values and community engagement, while embracing new ideas and energy for future growth.

Perkins Morgan | Co-Owner, Paisley & Jade

In 2012, Morgan Montgomery and Perkins Morgan, both with backgrounds in catering and events, merged their talents to create Paisley & Jade, a unique rental prop shop in Richmond, VA. Fueled by shared passion and late-night brainstorming sessions, they developed Paisley & Jade’s signature aesthetic over bottles of wine. Transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship, they grew Paisley & Jade from storage units to a spacious warehouse in Scotts Addition by 2014, thanks to support from the local business community. Today, with a 10,000 sq ft warehouse, a box truck, and a dedicated team, Paisley & Jade thrives, driven by its founders’ passion and support of their community.

America DeLoach | Owner and Founder, Salsas Don Sebastian

In 2016, Latina entrepreneur America DeLoach founded Salsas Don Sebastian, drawing inspiration from her husband’s cherished family recipe. Starting with local neighborhood sales, she rapidly expanded the business to farmers markets and national retailers. America’s unwavering commitment to superior taste and authentic quality has propelled the brand’s organic growth. Catering to an increasing demand for distinctive, high-quality salsa options, she has effectively transformed a family tradition into a culinary staple in homes across the nation. Her vision has not only filled a gap in the market but also set new standards for flavor and excellence in the industry. 

Nicole Mason | Owner and CEO, Glean LLC 

Nicole Mason, founder of Glean LLC has been on a mission to positively impact lives for the past 10 years. She is a native Richmonder who found at an early age that she enjoyed helping others. Over the years, she has found herself helping a local community college in their public relations department, assisting a statewide workplace giving campaign for Virginia Department of Human Resource Management, and then pivoting to obtain her degree in School and Community Counseling. For years, Nicole spent her time laser focused on assisting inner city children who had experienced trauma. However, she sensed a need for a change when realizing the overwhelming needs of the families she served. In 2016, Glean LLC was born as a desire to create job opportunities for those in need. Glean is a mission focused commercial cleaning company that has been approached by both Amazon and Facebook, has serviced customers like the Hilton, University of Richmond, The Omni, Sweet Frog, and more.  

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