SCORE, WSFS Bank and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce are joining together to sponsor a forum at which successful Sussex County entrepreneurs will share their strategies on how to grow successful businesses in Sussex County.
The first of a potential series of forums will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 8, at the Sussex County Association of Realtors Conference Center at 23407 Park Ave. in Georgetown. There is no charge for this event, which includes breakfast.
The objective of the forum is to leverage the knowledge and experience of successful entrepreneurs to help other businesses grow in Sussex County. Following a brief presentation from each entrepreneur, they will serve on a panel to answer questions from the audience.
Four Sussex County businesses will be represented on the panel: Matt Haley of Matt Haley Companies, Chris Schell of Schell Brothers LLC, Shaun Tyndall of Inclind Inc. and Susan Townley Wood of The Cultured Pearl.
Haley is a member of the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The chef currently owns seven restaurants in Delaware beach resort towns: Fish On, Lupo di Mare, Matt’s Fish Camp, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Northeast Seafood Kitchen, Catch 54 and Papa Grande’s. In 2009, the restaurants’ umbrella company, SoDel Concepts, was named to the Inc. list of the fastest-growing food and beverage companies in the nation. In addition to SoDel Concepts, Haley is also invested in several other companies marketed under the Matt Haley Companies brand. He is known for his philanthropic efforts both locally and around the world. He was recently honored with the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Schell was a successful hedge fund manager before deciding to pursue his dream of building homes. In 2003, he cofounded Schell Brothers, now the largest Delaware home-based builder. Schell Brothers remained profitable every year in the housing downturn using a very simple and unconventional formula: focus on the happiness of employees and homebuyers above all else.
Tyndall founded Inclind because of his passion for building great websites and helping others find their success online. As a confident and innovative leader with over 15 years experience building complex website solutions, he understands the capabilities of the web. Tyndall's goal is to help small- to medium-sized enterprises transform their vision into a successful web experience. His experience includes project management, security, scalability and internet marketing.
Townley Wood is the owner and founder of The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Pearl Properties, Grub Grocery, Pearl Essence Gift Shop, The Cultured Pearl Liquor Company and TLC Tray Inc. She grew up in Stone Harbor, N.J. At age 18, while attending college at the University of Delaware, she became the youngest realtor in Maryland and, after transferring to Salisbury State College, she spent the next five years waiting tables, selling real estate and earning a degree in business and construction management. After graduation in 1988, she opened Q.T. Inc., a construction consulting, drafting and building permit expediting company. Five years later, she combined her love of sushi and her knowledge of restaurant design to open The Cultured Pearl Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. In 2000, she married Canadian Robert Wood, and together, while raising their two daughters, they have continued to expand their horizons with a strand of new ventures.
SCORE, WSFS Bank and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce share the objective of growing the economy and creating jobs in Sussex County. SCORE is a nonprofit which works closely with the Small Business Administration by providing free and confidential mentoring to existing and start-up small businesses.
SCORE mentors are primarily retired business people with years of business experience from various disciplines. Services include face-to-face and email mentoring as well as workshops and other small-business-related events.