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Investing in the Community

Personal Finance and Business Workshops led by Flagler College Faculty and Alumni

Date: Saturday, February 17th

Location: Ringhaver Student Center

Please address questions about the Inaugural Week activities to Laura Stevenson Dumas –

  • Business Workshop

    Location: Gamache-Koger Theatre
    Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    9:00 a.m. Selling Ideas
    Professor Jorge Herrera

    Everything that comes to mind is an idea, and all ideas are connected to other ideas. That is just how we are able to think – to make sense of the world. This seminar explores the power of ideas and how they are successfully communicated.

    Jorge M. Herrera, D.B.A. is the Director of Adult and Continuing Education and Associate Professor of Business Administration. He received his doctorate from Nova South Eastern University and teaches International Business, Business Ethics and Principles of Management courses. Herrera is the co-founder and CEO of CultureSense International, Inc. a cross-cultural management training company.

    9:45 a.m. Starting a Small Business
    Professor Paula Holanchock

    This presentation is a business startup abbreviated course.  We will focus on the basics of starting a business.

    Assistant Professor of Business Administration; Internship Coordinator, Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) Advisor Paula Holanchock is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Business Department Internship Coordinator, and is Adviser to the Society for Advancement of Management(SAM) and the Flagler Business Alliance(FBA). Her primary areas of teaching are management and entrepreneurship.

    Paula joined the Department of Business Administration at Flagler College in 2001 and since that time has taught over 16 different courses. She also serves on the Title IX Executive Committee as well as on the International Board of Directors for the Society for Advancement of Management. In addition to her teaching and service to the College, Paula is active in the local community as a small business owner and business consultant as well as an active community volunteer.

    Paula earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Flagler College and has a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration as well as Master’s Degree in Women, Spirituality, Gender, and Social Justice. Paula is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies. Her academic research explores women, spirituality, and transformative leadership.

    10:30 a.m. Investing in Basics
    Professor Brett Blazevich

    This presentation will provide an introduction to the basics of financial investment including key financial concepts such as the time value of money, risk and return, and portfolio diversification.

    Dr. Blazevich earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Blazevich additionally holds a Masters in Real Estate and Urban Analysis from the University of Florida. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Blazevich served as the Real Estate Development Manager for a real estate investment firm in Libertyville, IL. While serving as Real Estate Development Manager, Dr. Blazevich was responsible for managing over $120 million in real estate developments, as well as raising new investor capital to fund future real estate investment. Dr. Blazevich currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Finance at Flagler College, where he teaches courses in Financial Management and Real Estate.

    11:15 a.m. Setting Strategy to Organizational Values
    Professor Thomas (Doc) DeLaughter

    This presentation will discuss the alignment of values and goals in the strategic management process. 

    Professor DeLaughter earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration from The Florida State University, with a focus on strategic management and marketing. He earned his M.B.A. in Business Administration and his B.A. in Communications from Mississippi College. He also received specialized training from Cleveland State University’s Economic Development Institute and from the University of Georgia’s Association Management Institute. His research interests include corporate strategy, organization-environment relationships, strategic positioning and business ethics.

  • Financial Workshop Panel

    Location: Virginia Room
    Time: 10:30 a.m.

    During this discussion, our guest speakers will speak on a variety of financial topics ranging from estate planning to business strategies.


    Ken Kresge- Estate Planning

    With more than forty years of accounting experience, Ken first began practicing in St. Augustine in 1989. Since then, he has made his name known locally and regionally as a seasoned, strategic professional providing consulting, accounting, and tax services to clients in a wide range of industries.  Prior to starting in private practice, he was a tax manager for Price Waterhouse & Co. in New York City, and later served as chief financial officer with profit and loss responsibility for a diversified, privately-held billion-dollar organization.

    Ken is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has been on the advisory board of two local banking institutions. He has been and continues to be active in community affairs. He sits on the Foundation Board of Flagler Hospital and the Board for the St. Augustine chapter of the YMCA, for which he formerly chaired. Ken has also taught income tax courses at Flagler College. He holds an Applied Associates Science Accounting Degree from Suffolk County College, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Pace University, graduating Cum Laude.

    Ben Platt- Building Wealth Through Entrepreneurship

    An experienced entrepreneur with a professional history in banking, land development, and corporate tax management, Ben joined Kresge, Platt, and Abare (KPA) in 1995. Since then, he has helped reposition the company from a classical CPA firm to a practice offering creative planning, consultation, and industry-specific services to a wide range of business and personal clients. As founder, partner, and owner of more than twenty successful businesses, he is especially interested in providing entrepreneurial clients with a full suite of services to provide an organized approach to personal and business growth and success. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Flagler College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida.

    Ben serves as President of TAG, the St. Augustine Children’s Museum ( where he has led the organization from a grass-roots idea to a functioning $6 million business model to be located on the waterfront in downtown St. Augustine. He is a past member of the North American Board of Directors for CPA Associates International ( Ben is happily married to his high-school sweetheart, Cleta, and they have two beautiful and smart children, Nick and Mackenzie.

    Bill Abare III- Top 5 Minimization Strategies for Businesses and Individuals

    Bill is a longtime St. Augustine resident and a graduate of Flagler College and the University of North Florida, from which he holds a Master of Accountancy. Before joining KPA, Bill served as Supervising Senior Income Tax Accountant at CSX Corporation in Jacksonville, where he expanded his knowledge base in the areas of corporate taxation, IRS audits, and related fields. He joined KPA in 2000, and he has been instrumental in the continued growth strategy of the firm, complementing the organization with valued skills in auditing, corporate and individual taxation, and mergers and acquisitions. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst, a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics and has taught accounting and computer applications courses at Flagler College.

    Charlene Hadjis- Panel Moderator

    With experience in non-profit risk management and human resources, Charlene provides a key role in operational guidance and support for KPA’s processes and procedures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of North Florida. She joined KPA in 2007 as a Staff Accountant and currently serves as Firm Administrator.

    Tyler Tebault- Creating Raving Fans

    Tyler is a longtime St. Augustine resident and a graduate of Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. He is currently enrolled at Flagler College finishing up his additional credits to receive his CPA licensure this summer. Tyler has become an integral part of KPA since joining the team in 2010. With a niche in construction accounting, Tyler offers his clients an in-depth understanding in the various methods of accounting within the complex construction tax structure.

  • From Cradle to College: Saving and Paying for College

    Location: Virginia Room Time: 9:30 a.m.

    Want to learn more about saving for your student’s college education? Participate in the discussion to learn more about tips for saving from Mitchell Walk, co-founder and president of Retirement Wealth Specialists and Sheia Pleasant-Doine, Director of Financial Aid.