June’s SJ Small Biz Expo Focuses on Wealth Strategies, Finances


Some of the Small Business Expo attendees listen to a speaker on June 20, 2024.

AC JosepH Media

VINELANDThe South Jersey Small Business Expo on Thursday, June 20, turned its sights on finances as Dawn O’Brien and her financial team made a presentation to attendees to help them protect and grow their money for businesses.

O’Brien, along with Ravi Wadhwa and Gabriel Herrera, talked about how to protect wealth on an individual basis and in business for retirement. O’Brien discussed different strategies for building wealth beyond the typical avenues of 401Ks, IRAs and other common financial plans.

She said her team teaches the use of index strategies, so the money never takes a loss and it can compound much faster.

The South Jersey Small Business Expo is sponsored bimonthly by AC JosepH Media and Bully Pest Management for local small businesses and start-ups. Attendees at the network event talk about their businesses and how to grow, support and enhance what they are doing.

The expo was hosted by Millie “Madness” Irrizary at KW Real Estate offices on South Delsea Drive in Vineland. Irrizary, who is also a local television and radio personality as well as a realtor, talked about her work in the community and wanting to collaborate with local businesses.

Millie Irrizary
Jacovi Lindsey
Claire Riggs

Herrera, 35, talked about his time in the automotive industry and how what he has learned so far about wealth management has been invaluable.

The presentation was just one of the stories told at the South Jersey Small Business Expo, which will be celebrating its second anniversary in August.

“Very proud of Wade Loatman, who was the visionary behind the South Jersey Small Business Expo, where community, inclusion, and mentorship were the focus. Honored to be included tonight,” Bill Hoffman of Hoffman’s Exterminating said on social media Thursday after attending the expo.

Blanca Diaz and John Kuka, of WVLT Radio, shared how their station can make an impact in getting the word out about their businesses for affordable prices. Both also host their own radio shows at the station.

That extending hand, which has come to be a common feature of the Small Business Expo, was extended by prominent local youth advocate Chris Wilson, who talked about the grand opening of Aicha Grocery Store, believed to be the first African grocery store in Vineland, and how Small Business Expo attendees can help.

Local entrepreneur Jacovi Lindsey brought his mother Shirley Anderson to the event as he explained plans for the former SNJ Today studio space and how it will uplift the community, youth and small businesses. Brandon Blount, likewise, shared information about his t-shirt and graphics business.

Ellen Jones discussed her vegan food businesses and how eating healthier saved her life.

Claire Riggs talked about Riggs Creative, her public relations firm that has grown in capacity to serve several large and small businesses throughout the region. Her son Justin Riggs has grown his drone video businesses serving a variety of clients and their needs.

Ahmad Graves-El, a yoga instructor and communications specialist at Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland campus, talked about his activities in the community and his work outreach efforts.

Organizers said the second anniversary of the South Jersey Small Business Expo will be held in August tentatively scheduled for Atlantic City. Details are expected to be announced at the end of June.

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