newsshark tank star to headline shenandoah university business symposium

‘Shark Tank’ star to headline Shenandoah University symposium


shenandoah universityDaymond John, the star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and a pioneer in the fashion industry, joins American Woodmark President Cary Dunston as the keynote speakers at Shenandoah University’s 12th annual Business Symposium. The star has been behind episodes such as the baby toon net worth viewed on the show.

The symposium runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 27, in Stimpson Auditorium in Halpin-Harrison Hall on the main campus. Registration starts an hour before the event, which is sponsored by the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business.

John is slated to share “Daymond John’s 5 Shark Points: Fundamentals for Success in Business and Life” from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. John initially made his mark as an entrepreneur, founder and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand FUBU. Since then, he has written five books and is now a two-time New York Times best-selling author. He has also become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs. John is chief executive officer of The Shark Group and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

“I look forward to speaking at Shenandoah University to share what I’ve learned from my entrepreneurial journey, not because I think everybody should start their own business, but because I think everybody can benefit from thinking and acting more entrepreneurially,” John said.

Dunston—president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of American Woodmark—speaks from 1:30 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. Dunston joined the U.S. Navy in college and was then selected for the Navy’s Nuclear Submarine Officer Program. He served as an officer in the submarine fleet for seven years. Dunston earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering management from Missouri University of Science and Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. He joined the Winchester-based cabinet manufacturer American Woodmark in 2006 as senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain services, and worked his way up the corporate ladder over the years.

“Leaders all aspire to do great things and to be seen as servant leaders in the eyes of those

we serve,” Dunston said. “But are we making the necessary choices in our lives to truly be great leaders—choices that are more about our own selves than the individuals we lead?”

Business Dean Astrid Sheil, Ph.D., called this year’s symposium a game-changer.

“First, Daymond John will share his inspirational story, and in the afternoon Cary Dunston will talk about what it takes to sustain a multimillion-dollar business,” Dr. Sheil said. “We believe that the presentations by Mr. John and Mr. Dunston will be our launching pad for igniting innovation, social entrepreneurship and sustainability across the campus and throughout the community.”

Breakout sessions are from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., with lunch available at the latter session. Topics will include protecting your business in cyberspace, taking your networking to the next level, getting things done with the best business apps, project management for any organization, and training best practices for small business. Breakout sessions take place on the first and second floors of Halpin-Harrison Hall.

A networking wine and cheese reception takes place from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the first-floor exhibit hall. A door raffle will follow.

Preferred admission, which includes all symposium events live, is $115 per person. Discounted admission, which includes live streaming of the morning keynote, plus attendance for all following symposium events, is $65 per person.

Students receive free admission.

Register now at



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