Local businesses, Missouri S&T representatives and Rolla Chamber of Commerce leaders gathered at the Havener Center on Thursday for the first annual Rolla Regional Business Conference.


Local businesses, Missouri S&T representatives and Rolla Chamber of Commerce leaders gathered at the Havener Center on Thursday for the first annual Rolla Regional Business Conference.
The conference, put on by the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce, was designed to bring businesses out, provide them with helpful information and allow them to network with other businesses.
“The event was better then we anticipated,” said Steve Kearse, the Rolla Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director.
The event featured sessions in which panels were assembled to discuss with participants different aspects of business development.
There were sessions that dealt with business law, manufacturing, and networking solutions.
“It was very informative,” said DeWayne Phelps of Exit Reality Team Leaders.
Phelps, who works as a Realtor, said that the Web site design sessions he attended were helpful. There he gained ideas about tracking Web site hits and Internet marketing.
Other business leaders said they were excited by the ability to intermingle with other businesses and have the chance to explore new opportunities.
“What do we have in common with Splash Designs, nothing we can think of,” said Ted Day, president of MoSci Corp. The conference gives businesses the ability to see if partnering together on projects would bear results. That is good for MoSci, which manufactures glass products that are often utilized in other products, said Day.
“This conference is well overdue,” Day added.
Keith Strassner, the director of Technology Transfer and Economic Development at Missouri S&T, echoed Day’s sentiments, saying that the conference had been a major success with over a 100 participants.
Strassner added that some of the more popular sessions dealt with web design, human resource issues, and legal issues.
Sen. Frank Barnitz of Lake Spring spoke to conference toward the end of the day, discussing a variety of business interests. Earlier, Barnitz’s district legislative assistant, Wilma Rowden of Vienna, was at the Phelps County Courthouse as part of his office’s district tour.
At the conference, the senator followed his speech with a visit with the press and talked of the importance for Rolla and Missouri to look forward.
Barnitz stuck to his business theme, talking of the importance of creating new technologies that can be developed here, to replace the old plants that have moved away.
He pointed out his work on House Bill 2058, which is aimed at protecting smaller entrepreneurs, he said.
The bill would give the Department of Economic Development the power via the Attorney General’s office to protect entrepreneurs between their filing for a patent and the granting of that patent.
Barnitz added that entrepreneurs are vulnerable to bigger companies that can claim the idea and tie the entrepreneurs up in court.