SU to hold ninth annual business symposium

Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd School of Business will hold its ninth annual business symposium on March 30.

This year’s event, according to Dr. Miles Davis, the business school’s dean, will cater to those interested in business as well as the arts, as its keynote speaker will be Ron Losby, president and CEO of Steinway and Sons, possibly the world’s most well-known piano maker. Losby’s keynote address will focus on maintaining a brand in a changing business landscape.

“He’s going to be talking about how to make a brand survive in a changing world,” Davis said. “They’ve been in business for over 150 years. Some would argue that a piano is a piano but they’ve done some things to adapt to the modern world while holding onto the classical nature of what they’ve done.”

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Imagine: Your Business Legacy.”

“We want to keep the symposium fresh,” Davis said. “We don’t want people to come every year and see the same thing. Our sponsors and underwriters want to get value for the money. What we’ve developed a reputation for is high quality speakers and informative programs. It’s no different than musicians. You don’t release the same album two years in a row.”

The event this year will offer 15 breakout sessions in addition to the keynote presentation, several of which are new. Davis said new workshops help to maintain year-to-year enthusiasm and interest in the event.

“There are programs that were added to help make us more relevant to our audience and the theme,” he said. “There are some things that we’ve repeated. We’ve expanded that section that looks at nonprofits because that’s an important part of the economy.”

Davis said that the event has sold out each of the last four years and he expects a similar turnout this year.

“The auditorium officially seats 303 people,” he said. “That’s going to fill out and then we have overflow. We’ve been running at 400 people the past years.”

Davis also noted that the background of this year’s keynote speaker is perfect for Shenandoah University, home to one of the preeminent conservatories in America. He said that combining business with the arts offers a unique perspective.

“This is an appeal to the community beyond just the business community,” he said. “This is a way for the business school to reach out to the arts community. Shenandoah University’s conservatory is an all-Steinway school. This is an opportunity to integrate that.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com


If You Go

Where: Shenandoah University’s Halpin-Harrison Hall, with a free “satellite symposium” held at Shenandoah’s Northern Virginia Campus – Scholar Plaza at 44160 Scholar Plaza in Leesburg – during the same times.
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 30. Keynote speech is at 9 a.m.
Tickets: http://www.subusiness.org.