Smart Funding Summit planned in Scottsdale May 2

Big Yam, The Parsons Agency, is hosting its second Smart Funding Summit at the agency’s Scottsdale headquarters on May 2.

Smart Funding: How to Attract Private Equity will provide a foundation for private companies in the middle market to better understand the landscape surrounding private equity partnerships, according to a press release.

Marianne Guenther, Big Yam CEO.

The May 2 event features presentations by industry leaders, panel discussions and a professional service roundtable with some of the state’s top accountants, lawyers, insurance firms, HR pros and marketing professionals, the press release stated.

“The private equity industry is expanding at an incredible pace and has become an important source of capital for many companies,” said Big Yam CEO Marianne Guenther, in a prepared statement. “We are hosting the Smart Funding Summit to help Arizona business owners better understand private equity and the potential benefits of this type of partnership.”

Twenty years ago, there were just a few hundred private equity firms in existence. Today there are more than 5,000 firms across the United States with total assets under management nearing $3 trillion, the press release stated.

During the Smart Funding Summit, local business owners will have the chance to connect with some of Arizona’s most established private equity firms for knowledge sharing and potential deal making.

Attendees will hear from several highly regarded business leaders who have had first-hand experience with private equity deals including:

  • Craig Weiss: former president and CEO of NJOY Inc.;
  • Robert Maynard: co-founder of LifeLock, Internet America and SurchX; and
  • Jill Barnard: CFO of Televerde.

“When you walk into the summit, there are decision makers with more than $100 million to invest mingling with the top smart funding service providers in the Southwest,” said Robert Vera, Smart Funding emcee, in a prepared statement. “It’s the most efficient business meeting of the year.”

The event is limited to 100 reservations. To learn more visit or email

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