The Rome Floyd Chamber Confluence Conference will be returning to the historic DeSoto Theatre on April 23.

Curtis Morley, author of the “Entrepreneur’s Paradox” and director of the Kahlert Initiative on Technology at the University of Utah, will be a keynote speaker.

He is 5x serial entrepreneur because he has created and sold five different multimillion dollar companies.

In his book, Morley details critical qualities that are ingredients for a successful startup. He also explains some of the most common pitfalls for entrepreneurs.

His methods have promoted entrepreneurship all over the country and helped take startup businesses to the next level.

The conference should be attractive to business leaders, manufacturers and technologists, said Chamber Thomas Kislat — but the most important group they want to reach is students and educators.

“The speakers are highly talented to send the right sparks to help them fulfill their dreams,” Kislat said. “We don’t want all these bright young minds to go to school here and then just leave. We want them to stay here.”

Among the other presenters at Confluence is Trudy U. Rey, a patent agent with years of experience in international pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices.

Rey did a post-doctoral fellowship at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involving respiratory virus vaccine development in mice.

Meaghan Kennedy, founder of Orange Sparkle Ball, will also be at the conference. She started her company after graduating from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and conducting HIV research at the CDC.

Kennedy, who will be presenting by teleconference, has served as a mentor for social entrepreneurs and is a frequent panelist at innovation and entrepreneurship events.

Erica Cates, national expansion manager for Java Joy, is also a presenter.

Java Joy provides work for more than 50 adults with disabilities across four locations, including in Rome. The company vision is to become the largest employer of adults with developmental disabilities in the nation.

Rome motivational speaker Steve Dennis will serve as master of ceremonies for the conference.

The Confluence will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Events, which will follow all CDC guidelines relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, will also be available to participants via teleconference.

Following the program, Morley will be available during a V.I.P. Chamber Member Roundtable discussion at Newby’s Wine Tasting Room. The roundtable event will be limited to 20 ticket-holders.

Conference tickets are $29 for Chamber members and $49 for nonmembers. The price includes a coffee break with Java Joy and a $10 lunch voucher good at a number of restaurants in the downtown Rome area.

For tickets and more information, visit the Chamber website at

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