The Tennessee Small Business Development Center and The Company Lab continue their commitment to small business entrepreneurs as they present the “CEO Speaker Series - The Talk of the Town” on Wednesday from 8-10:30 a.m.
Sponsored by Cohutta Banking Company, a division of Synovus’ Bank, member FDIC, and held at the Doubletree Hotel Ballroom at 407 Chestnut St., the morning begins with a free complimentary breakfast.
Chattanooga State president James L. Catanzaro will preside over the event. Keynote speaker, Mitch Patel, founder, president and CEO of Vision Hospitality Group and guest speaker, Scott Dieter, director of risk management for the Krystal Company will share their entrepreneurial knowledge and answer questions from attendees.
Mr. Patel founded Vision Hospitality Group in 1997 when he developed his first property, the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Chattanooga. Since that time, Mr. Patel has expanded Vision’s portfolio to include 29 hotels primarily associated with premier brands such as Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Corporation and InterContinental Hotels Group, primarily throughout the Southeast.
While leading the company and strategically guiding its growth, he also oversees all day-to-day activities with a focus on site identification and development, and setting short-and long-range operating priorities for senior management. Additionally, he also stewards the hotel brand companies with which Vision collaborates, and incorporates his own personal touches that distinguishes the design of Vision properties from the rest, officials said.
Mr. Patel is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, earning both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering. He is very active within the community serving on many boards as well as local and national committees.
Mr. Dieter is the director of risk management for The Krystal Company, which has more than 6,000 employees and 220 restaurants throughout the Southeast. During Mr. Dieter’s seven years with Krystal, he has implemented a successful new video audit program, reduced overall workers compensation and general liability claims, and played a role in defending The Krystal Company in numerous premise liability lawsuits.
Mr. Dieter earned a Master’s degree in criminal justice from UTC and a Bachelor’s degree from UTK in physical anthropology. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a founding member of the Chattanooga Area Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Prior to his position at Krystal, Mr. Dieter was with the city of Chattanooga Police for eight years as a civilian employee and oversaw their risk management program while assisting the Fraud Division with investigating white-collar crimes.
This event is a cooperative effort between The Tennessee Small Business Development Center, The Company Lab, Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Incubator and the Small Business Administration. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Tennessee Board of Regents and the State of Tennessee. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested two weeks in advance. Seating to this event is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. RSVP by calling TSBDC 756-8668.