Julie May named finalist in Stevie Awards for Women in Business

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Our founder and CEO, Julie May, was recently named a finalist in the Woman of the Year—Technology category in the 10th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. More than 1,200 entries were submitted this year for consideration.

The finalists were chosen by independent judges and will ultimately be named a Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award winner. Winners will be publicly announced at the 2013 awards dinner in New York on Nov. 8.

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Meet Charles May, founding principal of b:ok

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charles_2013_headshot_smBorn in London, England, Charles set off for a vacation in the U.S. in the ’90s and decided stay. A year later he met his wife, Julie. Together, they founded bytes of knowledge in 1995.

bytes of knowledge is Charles’ second startup venture. He also started a sports equipment company in the U.K., which he sold before moving to the States. He has more than 30 years of sales and negotiating experience, which he has used to run a number of sales operations, in both the U.K. and the U.S.

A natural-born entrepreneur and business development guru, Charles has been a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Nashville chapter since 2007. Currently, Charles serves on the board for the Nashville Chapter as the Mentorship Chair, focusing on pairing constantly evolving entrepreneurs with senior executives from prominent local corporations. Previously, Charles had been the Strategic Alliance Chair for the chapter, developing partnerships with sponsors and supporters of the chapter.

For the past two years, he has been a part of EO’s Eastern Region Council. The East Region is comprised of 17 chapters ranging from Boston to Miami, incorporating approximately 1600 members. As Strategic Alliances Director, he provides resources and advice to the strategic alliance chairs of each of the 17 chapters in the region. He also coordinates resources and business development opportunities with EO’s global partners, such as Microsoft, Hertz and Office Depot, to create member value through special deals and incentives for EO members.

Outside of work and EO, Charles dedicates his time to his family—Julie and their two sons: Alex, 14, and Christopher, 11. His favorite hobby is spending quality time with them and standing on the sidelines watching his boys play sports. The Mays are very active, and if Charles wasn’t able to pursue his current job he’d be a soccer or golf coach for youth sports. Maybe both.

Charles grew up in an active family, too; his uncle, Peter May, captained the England cricket team in the ’60s. His father also played minor county cricket so it’s safe to say that Charles was brought up with the proverbial “bat in his hand.” Charles started playing cricket before he can remember—he was around five or six years old—and played until his early twenties. Unfortunately, an injury caused him to lose a couple seasons, by which time he had a full time job. He played club sides for the next five years before turning his attention to horses.

jumping photo Charles owned two horses—Troy and Hastings—and competed them in dressage, show jumping and cross-country. When he moved to the States, Charles helped out on a farm and worked with horses. It’s been 15 years since he stopped and has only ridden once since.

Now, apart from spending time with his wife and two sons, Charles plays golf—it’s his stress reliever. He also has been involved with the Nashville Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund, a Miami-based project aimed to cure spinal paralysis, started by Nick Buoniconti Snr., the Miami Dolphins football player whose son suffered a spinal injury while playing football.

For more information about how to get involved in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization or The Buoniconti Fund, contact Charles at Charles.May@bytesofknowledge.com. He’s also looking for help in crossing off the next item on his bucket list—playing a round of golf at Augusta National Golf Club.

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healthcare.gov: Lack of communication, planning bring trouble

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Posted By Julie May
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tennessean-logo2Healthcare.gov has been labeled a “miserably frustrating experience,” a “flawed launch” and a “debacle.” You can say that again.

Healthcare.gov isn’t just a website — it’s a health care marketplace. It’s the integration of several software systems that should allow you to shop for health insurance and determine whether you qualify for a subsidy. For this to happen, previously existing systems and those created for this project have to work together seamlessly.

Integrating several systems together is a typical request made of software vendors. So, $400 million later, how did the launch of Healthcare.gov go so awry?

Here are four reasons this project ended up as a lose-lose-lose situation for the stakeholders, users and vendors.

To continue reading, visit our website.

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Improve your e-commerce operations

Julie May
Posted By Julie May
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as-seen-in-NBJImproving your e-commerce operations isn’t difficult; it just requires putting strategic and systematized processes in place to ensure nothing falls between the cracks. Here are three simple solutions to boost your e-commerce operations.

1. Keep track of your inventory.

Carefully managing your inventory is one of the most important things in any sales process. While it may sound like common sense, it’s an easily overlooked component, especially for businesses that have both an online and brick-and-mortar presence.

If you have more than one system managing inventory, you must decide which is in charge. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing …

NBJ subscribers click here to continue reading.

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Tech Boom in Nashville & United Kingdom Spurs International Panel at b:ok

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On Oct. 23 we hosted panelists from Nashville and the United Kingdom for U.K. Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) Transatlantic Trends in Entrepreneurship Panel: Techville and Tech City.

The panel, moderated by Gavin Ivestor of FLO Thinkery, consisted of tech entrepreneurs and those who work closely with the tech startup community:

The objective of the event was to engage with companies and decision makers in the Nashville area who are interested in learning more about the U.K.’s technology industry and to lay the foundation for future growth and collaboration between U.K. and Nashville technology leaders and entrepreneurial communities.

The panel featured a discussion on the tech boom in the U.K. and Nashville, particularly in the area of digital and creative industries. Panelists, including a U.K. entrepreneur based at Google’s Campus incubator in London, shared their thoughts and experiences regarding the right “ingredients” for entrepreneurial success in the technology sector, which included:

  • Building connections through user groups. Each panelist noted the importance of building relationships with fellow entrepreneurs. In Nashville, user groups such as the Entrepreneur Center and JumpStart Foundry are great ways to network and exchange ideas to ultimately help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals. Ben Stevenson noted the ‘new’ user groups in Tech City, London as a great platform for entrepreneurs to share ideas with others new to the industry, as well. What really helps is the open communication in these groups, Ben said. Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to critique each other’s business plans. The end result is a better, more refined product.
  • Building connections by asking for meetings. Panelists from both Nashville and London agreed that their communities are each open to entrepreneurs, helping foster ideas and growth. Marcus Whitney said of Nashville that he’s never met someone who said no to him when he asked them out for coffee. In return, he never says no. It’s about helping each other out. As Julie May, our founder and CEO, put it, “Nashville is a ‘can do’ city. If we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it.”
  • A high level of alignment. Julie commented that Nashville has a lot of players in alignment. When the mayor, governor and chamber are in alignment, great things can happen. Nashville’s biggest sectors have long been music, health care and logistics, but we’re seeing a change. The next big thing is the tech industry and having our key players in alignment is a sign of good things to come.

With its entrepreneurial- and tech-booming growth, Nashville was the perfect destination for this event and future UKTI engagement, and we were honored to be play a part in it.

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