Panel Of Deaf Professionals To Speak At Free Workshop

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Deaf and hard-of-hearing people interested in entrepreneurship will have the opportunity to network with and learn about the ups and downs of business ownership from a panel of deaf people with successful businesses from 6 p.m. 8 p.m., Jan. 15 at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. Each speaker on the panel will share his experiences of starting and running his own business, as well as answer questions from the audience. Panelists include:

David Michalowski, CEO of DM Multimedia, a web- and computer-based training company in Baltimore, Md., that develops websites and instructional design with an easy-to-use graphical user interface and creative desktop presentations using multimedia and animation.

Richard Morris, CEO of Real World Success, a consulting firm that helps deaf and hard-of-hearing people develop and enhance their professional skills, assists with personal and professional goal-setting and other self-improvement areas geared to success.

Robert Rice, president and managing partner of BayFirst Solutions, LLC, a management and technology consulting firm serving the private and public sectors with clients including Microsoft Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. General Services Administration.

Louis J. Schwarz, CEO of Schwarz Financial Concepts, was the first deaf person to become a certified financial planner in 1986. He has more than 30-years experience and volunteers his financial expertise to deaf organizations. The free workshop is the fourth in a series titled, Starting Your Business Successfully! Designed especially for hard-of-hearing people who own a small business or are thinking about starting one, the workshops are sponsored by NTID's Business Careers Department, the Internal Revenue Service Division of Education and Communication, and the New York State Department of Taxation and its Finance Taxpayer Outreach Service.

"These workshops have been very helpful, and I've enjoyed networking with other small business owners," said Carmella Ramey, owner of Carmella's Office Solutions. "I learned how important it is to have your books set up in the beginning and how to go through all the proper channels to start your business."

Previous workshops focused on business and financial planning and operations, business tax issues, personnel, and available resources.

"NTID was able to bring in a myriad of business professionals and experts into one place, where I obtained valuable information I needed," said attendee Susan Postlethwait. "It was like a one-stop center! Being a full-time professional and mother of two young children, this was really a time-saver for me."

Pre-registration is required. Contact NTID/RIT Business Careers faculty member Mark Pfuntner,, or call 585-475-6606 (v/tty).

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID, one of eight colleges of RIT, offers educational programs and access and support services to its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live, and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT's Rochester, N.Y., campus. Web address: