BTA Mid-America to Host Cruise to Success May 7-8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kansas City, MO — On May 7-8, the Business Technology Association’s (BTA; Mid-America districtwill host its annual Cruise to Success event at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The educational and networking event, open to dealers from across the country, is all about learning from industry leaders, gathering new ideas and strategies, and networking with your peers.

The event will feature a keynote session by Rick Taylor, president and COO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc., a dealer panel focused on moving into managed IT services and six additional educational sessions presented by subject-matter experts. To wrap up the event on May 8, attendees will have dinner aboard the Anson Northrup riverboat and enjoy a Las Vegas casino-themed cruise on the Mississippi River.

In addition, there will be time to visit with 30-plus exhibiting sponsors, many of which will hold drawings for great prizes during the event. Dealer attendees can also enter on-site for a chance to win one of five $100 American Express gift cards and be entered into the BTA District Event Sweepstakes.

Cruise to Success begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, with opening comments and the keynote address, “Within Your Grasp: Future Opportunities in the Office,” led by Taylor. Following the keynote presentation, BTA General Counsel Bob Goldberg will present his session, “Keeping Pace With Your Legal Liability.” After Goldberg's session, BTA will present its 2015 Channel's Choice Awards. A welcoming reception will follow the awards presentation from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The second day of Cruise to Success will begin at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 8, with breakfast, followed by the dealer panel, “Taking the Right Steps Into Managed IT Services.” Moderated by Ed McLaughlin, president and CEO of Valderus, the panelists will be: Joseph Birk, president and owner of Data Comm Inc., Jefferson City, Missouri; Jim Oricchio, president and CEO of Coordinated Business Systems Ltd., Burnsville, Minnesota; Brent Simone, president of Stratix Systems, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; and Greg Walker, president of East Texas Copy Systems Inc., Tyler, Texas.

Two educational sessions will follow the panel: “Removing the Mystery From Managed IT Services,” led by McLaughlin; and “Selling Strategies in the Internet Era,” led by Richard Farrell, president of Tangent Knowledge Systems.Lunch will be served following these sessions.

After lunch, the final three educational sessions will be held: “The Key to Smart Sales Hiring,” led by Troy Harrison, president of SalesForce Solutions; “Creating Immediate Relationships in Every Presentation,” led by Jody Cross, owner of Leaders Speak; and “Sales Compensation for the Services-Led Dealership,” led by Luis Gonzalez, founder of Following the educational sessions, prize drawings will be held. At 6 p.m., attendees will board the Anson Northrup riverboat for dinner and a Las Vegas casino-themed cruise on the Mississippi River.

The Cruise to Successexhibiting sponsors: Accutech, Buyers Lab, Crawford Thomas, Digitek, ECi e-automate, ECi FMAudit, Epson, ESP/SurgeX, EverBank, Frontier Imaging, GE Capital Office Imaging, GreatAmerica Financial Services, HP (May 7-8 breaks sponsor), Hytec, InfoTrends, Innovolt, Katun, Laser Pros International, Lease Corporation of America, Lexmark, LMI, Muratec, NA Trading and Technology, OKI, PHSI, Polek & Polek, Print Audit, Q2 (May 8 breakfast sponsor), Smart Power Systems, Supplies Network, TSAworld, Wells Fargo, West Point Products and Xerox (May 8 lunch sponsor).

BTA members receive 2-for-1 registration to Cruise to Success. BTA member dealer registration (with a dinner cruise ticket) is $199, which includes the Thursday and Friday educational sessions and dealer panel, Thursday welcoming reception, and Friday breakfast and lunch.BTA member registration without the dinner cruise ticket is $169 and also includes a second free registration. Non-member registration with a dinner cruise ticket is $249; non-member registration without a dinner cruise ticket is $219.

BTA will also host two front-runner events to Cruise to Success. The front-runner workshop, the BTA Marketing Workshop, will be held May 6-7 at Katun Corp. headquarters in Minneapolis. Led by Darrell Amy, Lindsay Kelley and Jon Mitchell of Dealer Marketing, this workshop will help dealerships build a solid foundation for their online marketing efforts. Workshop attendees receive free registration to Cruise to Success. To learn more or to register, visit

In addition, the Lease Equipment Return Summit, led by BTA General Counsel Bob Goldberg,will be held at 1 p.m. on May 6 at the Radisson Blu. BTA is inviting all interested leasing companies, manufacturers, shipping companies, resellers and dealers. Also attending will be representatives of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. Legal counsel will be present to assure compliance with antitrust laws. For more information or to register, visit

For more information on Cruise to Success, including full session descriptions and the registration form for the event, visit

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