Business Leadership Summit 2019

Event date: October 17-18, 2019

 A great time of encouragement for business leaders

The Business Leadership Summit is intended for Christian leaders that own their own business or manage at least five employees. It is designed to motivate and encourage Christian business leaders in the service of their organizations and within their local churches and is a great way to network with others.  Join us for an inspirational conference led by highly successful Christian business executives from across the nation during this event at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary.

Our theme this year is Growth. Grow in your walk with Christ and your corporate application of Biblical principles through topics including (subject to change):

  • How do I personally manage success in business?
  • How to protect company culture
  • How to fund growth
  • How to manage IT expenses
  • How to motivate a sales team
  • When do I need a full-time CFO, Director of HR, and IT?
  • What changes at 5, 10, 25, 50 employees?
  • How to relate to employees from other cultures
  • How to predict industry trends
  • Mistakes most entrepreneurs make in a startup
  • Can partnerships work?

Key Dates:

Registration opens: July 8, 2019
Early Bird Registration Deadline: September 5, 2019
Registration Deadline: October 10, 2019
Event Dates: October 17-18, 2019

*This conference is designed for business owners or supervisors managing five or more employees.
For more information, contact Briana Harrier at 515-964-0601 ext. 234.


Thursday, October 17
5:00 PM Dinner
6:00 PM General Session: Jim Tillotson
Topic: How do I personally manage success in business?
7:00 PM Case Study Discussion
Friday, October 18
8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Welcome/Announcements/Introductions
8:45 AM General Session:Michael Blackstone
Topic: How to Protect Company Culture
9:45 AM Break
10:00 AM Breakout Sessions
1. When do I need a full-time CFO, Director of HR, IT? – Sam Dawson
2. How to Manage Expenses Through Culture – Roland Thompson
11:10 AM Breakout Sessions
1. How to Motivate a Sales Team – Jeremy Leffring
2. Can partnerships work? – Michael Blackstone
12:10 PM Lunch
1:00 PM General Session: Panel with Ed Cone, Sam Dawson, and Jeremy Leffring
Topic: What changes at 5, 25, and 100 employees?
2:00 PM Break
2:15 PM Breakout Sessions
1. The Mistake Most Entrepreneurs Make in Startup – Ed Cone
2. How do I stay relevant and competitive in an ever-changing and evolving industry? – Roland Thompson
3:25 PM Breakout Sessions
1. How to Fund Growth – Marshall Franklin
2. How to Relate to Employees from Other Cultures – Marty Herron
4:30 PM Open Mic/Q&A/Closing Comments

Conference Speakers

Michael Blackstone

Michael has flourished in the business community analyzing new markets and establishing start-up businesses with his partner Roland Thompson. He spent 10 years in marketing and advertising for financial organizations and his background includes a unique mix of financial, marketing, sales, customer service and business analysis.
Michael co-founded and currently serves with Thompson & Blackstone, Inc., a business think-tank located in Downingtown, PA.
In 1998, Michael Blackstone co-founded Frontline Education, best known for Aesop, an automated substitute placement and absence management system for K-12 school districts. In 2014, Frontline Education sold a majority interest to Insight Venture Partners.
Michael also co-founded CF InFlight, LLP, a specialty camera sports broadcasting company (best known for the Skycam camera) that was sold in 2004.
In 2010, Michael, along with Roland Thompson, started a charitable foundation called SEED (Stewards Equipping Evangelism and Discipleship) and currently serves as a board member.
He also sits on the board for Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA.
Michael lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Julie, and has three children: Justen, Alyssa and Michaela. Michael is active in his church, Bible Baptist Church of West Chester, and has served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, as well as the youth pastor for the past 30 years.

Ed Cone

As a young man, Ed began working for his father and brother in the family business known as Graco Children’s Products. He completed his BA from the University of Miami in 1967. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Ed served in various capacities within the company. In 1982, through a variety of challenging circumstances, he assumed the role of CEO. He and his executive team led the company through significant growth over the next 10 plus years.
In 1996 Graco was sold, and Ed began CF Capital. As a private equity firm, CF Capital specializes in helping Christian entrepreneurs with financial and leadership advice as they build businesses using Biblical principles. Ed has also served on several for-profit and nonprofit boards, including Christian educational institutions.
Ed accepted Christ as his personal Savior at age 11, having been raised in a Christian home with a godly father to mentor him. Ed and his wife, Jane, have been married for 45 years and have 5 children. One of his greatest joys is spending time with his 18 grandchildren, with all but seven residing near his home. The Cones met and have been members at High Point Baptist Chapel for 49 years. They are both actively serving within the church. Ed serves as an adult Sunday school teacher, and Jane has taught the 2-year-olds for 40 years. They have lived in the Elverson, Pennsylvania area since 1959.

Sam Dawson

In 1980, Sam Dawson started Jackson Dawson to meet the business needs of companies in the Metro-Detroit area. Thirty-eight years later, the company has blossomed into a global family of 1,000 employees, 8 different brands, and 13 locations with clients around the world.
Driven by a pursuit of excellence, integrity, and a “why not?” attitude, Jackson Dawson is a trusted leader in the fields of marketing, training, design and fabrication, luxury hospitality, corporate workshops, and consumer experiences.
In addition to leading Jackson Dawson, Sam serves on the faculty of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary as Professor of Theology. He is also a regular workshop speaker at the E3 Pastors Conference, has taught an Adult Bible Fellowship Class at Inter-City Baptist Church for over 30 years, and teaches in various venues around the world.
He and his wife, Carolyn, have been married since 1974 and reside in Allen Park, Michigan.

Marshall Franklin

 Marshall rejoined Ernst & Young LLP in 2019 as a client executive in Markets. He was the Chief Operating Officer of Bob Jones University from 2011 to 2018 and co-led the university during the CEO’s three-year health sabbatical. He began his career with Ernst and Young in 1987 and helped turn around the Paris, France, EMEIA Risk office from 10% retraction to 12% growth. Marshall has served as a deacon, college class leader, and on the finance committee at his local church.

Marty Herron

Marty Herron is the Executive Vice President for Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. He has over 35 years of administrative experience through camp ministries, Bible colleges, and as a senior pastor. His ministry at Harvest Baptist Church and Harvest Ministries in Guam experienced dramatic growth, with the Harvest Christian Academy reaching an enrollment of more than 1,000 students and 14 nationalities.

Jeremy Leffring

Jeremy is a successful entrepreneur who took a leap of faith and began a startup furniture company called Xorbee, LLC, out of his living room in 2004 in Western Michigan. He started another company called Fomcore, LLC, in 2017, which has grown from three employees to 72 employees. Fomcore specializes in K-12 collaborative furniture. Jeremy serves on the worship team at his local church in Muskegon, Michigan.

Roland Thompson

Roland has spent his career applying Biblical concepts of leadership and decision-making to business.  His experience spans from startups to Fortune 500 companies operating in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Roland currently serves on the board of Frontline Education, which he co-founded, and co-operates Thompson & Blackstone, Inc., a business think tank and investment platform. His background includes a mix of entrepreneurism, business analysis, engineering, and design. He was also the co-founder and CEO of CF InFlight, LLP, which introduced the Emmy award-winning Skycam ( to the sports broadcasting world (Skycam is used all over the world and is featured on almost all major market American football broadcasts, including Monday Night Football). He has a tremendous amount of experience analyzing new markets and establishing and growing businesses. Prior to these ventures, He spent 10 years building an IT services organization focused on delivering services and software for stock and currency trading applications, as well as developing mobile technology solutions for Fortune 500 companies.
Roland lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Lisa, and has three children: Christopher, Stephen, and Alicia. Roland is active in his church, Bible Baptist Church of West Chester, and has served as a chair of deacons, a Sunday school teacher, and a youth worker. 

Jim Tillotson

Jim Tillotson is the president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa. He also served for 18 years as the senior pastor of Meadowlands Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In his time as president, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary has witnessed a revival in student enrollment, an uptick in financial giving, and the completion of several campus construction and renovation projects.

Cost: Includes Thursday night dinner, Friday continental breakfast, Friday lunch

Person Cost
Early Bird $99
Regular $125
Spouse Add $30
Hotel Recommendations: For a list of Ankeny hotels that have special rates with Faith Baptist Bible College, click here!

Conference Location

The Business Leadership Summit will be held in the Nettleton Center at Faith Baptist Bible College.

Faith Baptist Bible College
1900 NW Fourth Street
Ankeny, IA 50023