Fraud vs. Business: Are you strong enough to survive a security breach?

As vulnerabilities and attacks on business systems continue to increase, it is critical to review the risks faced by business professionals to identify, assess and reduce potential damage.

Business is about managing risks.  Decisions are made based on information that is accessible, accurate and useful – with the intention of minimizing risks and increasing stability.  Risk Management is at the core of every decision-making process and it impacts the execution of all business strategies, including business administration, finance, operations, sales, marketing, communications and logistics.  The most critical of the components of managing a business is the relationship between finance and security.  Small to medium-sized businesses are at a higher risk of experiencing irreparable damages from sudden exposure to data breach, hacking or attack on privacy.

To help businesses gain insight on how to get properly protected from a data breach, and the financial and reputational harm that could result, Wells Fargo is teaming up with the Northwest Mountain MSDC to host “Capital, Finance & Economics,” an MBE Executive Seminar for minority-owned businesses with annual revenue between $2 million to $20 million.

The seminar, will include a panel of Wells Fargo financial and business experts who will address Cyber Security and Risk Management. “Having a solid strategy in place can help mitigate damages in the event of a computer attack or privacy breach,” says Greg Rafuse, Business Development Officer and Vice President, Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

Aside from cyber threats, a business may face multiple levels of risks that could impact its future, such as, economic factors, leadership turnover, business relations and efficiency of working capital.  The MBE Executive Seminar will thoroughly address these factors and answer the most common questions asked by business owners and managers: How efficiently is my business operating? What strategies am I using to improve my cash conversion cycle?  How far in advance should I think about succession planning?  What are the available options to transfer my business?  (And in light of current events) How will the unconventional election affect the economy?  Will the US economy ever get back to normal growth?  What does this mean for my business?

Fernando Martinez, Northwest Mountain MSDC President and CEO, encourages all qualified MBEs to participate in this seminar.  He says, “This is going to be one of the most informative three-hour investments our $2-$20 million MBEs can make.  The level of expertise and industry savvy available in this seminar is incomparable.  Wells Fargo is inviting their ‘best of the best’ to make sure that our MBEs get the most valuable business and economic information.”

Michael J. Serio, Regional Chief Investment Officer, Mountain Northwest Wells Fargo Private Bank and Senior Vice President, leads the program with a keynote address on the Current State of the US Economy.  He serves as the investment thought leader in the region by providing insight and interpretation of the economy and financial markets at client events through written commentary.

Jennifer Lovgren, Treasury Management Sales Consultant and Vice President Western Washington Market, will give a presentation on Working Capital Management. MBEs will learn how to reduce mail processing float, improve funds availability, increase controls, extend payment terms, maximize discounts and improve cash forecasting.

Joining Serio and Lovgren are Raymond Baer, Washington Business Banking Regional Manager, Washington Regional Banking; Christopher W. Algeo, Vice President Business Acquisition Manager, Washington Business Banking; Jave D. Ragan, Senior Wealth Planning Strategist and Vice President, Mountain Northwest/Regional Wealth Planning, Wells Fargo Private Bank and Greg Rafuse, Business Development Officer and Vice President, Wells Fargo Insurance Services Washington & Alaska.

The panel will discuss Banker Relations, Cyber Security, Succession Planning and Risk Management.

Capital, Finance & Economics: MBE Executive Seminar is on August 11, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, 16500 Southcenter Parkway, Seattle, WA 98188.  MBE registration is $35.00.  To register, visit