2020 Keynotes/Featured

2020 Keynotes/Featured

Keynotes and Featured Sessions


Change Is Mandatory … Stress Is Optional
Garrison Wynn, bestselling author of The Real Truth About Success (McGraw-Hill Education) and The Cow Bell Principle (Empire), featured in Forbes and Inc magazines.
Change is something we all have to deal with, but the stress that accompanies change is more of a choice. In this heavily researched session, Garrison applies his signature humor to a very serious topic. This fun, comprehensive program offers tools and tips for getting through a big change with very little stress. More importantly, it creates an emotional shift for attendees as they see how much control they have over how change affects them. This session also shows attendees how stress is more about what we believe than it is about what is actually happening. From embracing big transitions in technology to dealing with curriculum changes, student poverty, and family factors, this presentation helps superintendents, principals, and teachers implement necessary changes with minimal resistance.


How to Grow from No
Dr. Bennie LambertVice President of Student Success, Lone Star College
This is a must-hear for anyone who is in the business of serving students. Bennie reminds us that we are all significant in the success of students. When Bennie was in school, teachers predicted he would never complete high school. In March of his senior year, Bennie was officially informed that he was not “college ready” for admission to his college of choice, his lifelong dream to that point. In so many areas of his life, “no” was a word he learned intimately, but it also served as his catalyst for success. Bennie is certain that most students need at least one “key person,” one “Big Mama,” to believe in them and encourage them. Good things happen with support and words of encouragement!



Living and WORKING in a Transformative World
The transformation of the way work is performed has been accelerated and that has caused disruption to the way we live, work, and educate our society. What are the ramifications of this suddenly virtual experience we are living through? How will business and industry adapt? What mindsets and skills are required for the work of the future? The impact on education is still to be determined, but it is clear that we will all need to shift our thinking toward continuous innovation and lifelong learning. The convergence of intelligent machines and humans in the workplace is inevitable. This session will ignite your curiosity as we explore the intersection of traditional work and emerging work environments. Todd McLees, Founder, Pendio Group and Rethink Ecosystem Hub; Bryan Albrecht, President, Gateway Technical College



The BILT Model: A Win-Win for Businesses and Colleges
This panel discussion will feature three business representatives who will explain their perspectives on the value of implementing the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model to replace the standard Business Advisory Council (BAC) model required for Career and Technical Education programs in most states. The session will begin with a short overview including a list of essential differences between the BILT and the BAC models and the advantages of implementing a BILT to increase long-term employer engagement with education, even during pandemic restrictions against gathering face-to-face. Panelists will elaborate on their experiences with the BILT model versus the BAC model throughout. The session will point attendees to BILT resources available to assist in the implementation process. Moderator: Ann Beheler, Executive Director, National Convergence Technology Center. Panelists: Chelsea Bray, IT Project Manager, Critical Start, Richardson, TX; Aaron Burciaga, Sr. Director, Analytics & AI, ECS Technology, Leesburg, VA; Shawn Meck, Factory Manager, Progress Rail – A Caterpillar Company, Winston-Salem, NC



Pursuing Pathways with a Purpose … in Spite of a Pandemic
In our lifetime, there may never be a more critical time to Skill Up America than the present. With job loss and unemployment at record highs, individuals with low education and skill levels are likely the first out of a job and may be the last returning to the workforce. Adult educators can play a game-changing role by providing career pathway programs that allow students to concurrently earn certificates and credentials needed to compete in this pandemic transformed economy. A sense of urgency to take our students further faster is crucial. Learn from some of the nation’s top adult educators how business as usual won’t WIN for our students today. Moderator: Reecie Stagnolia, Past Chair, National Association of State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE). Panelists: Terese Craig, Associate Vice President, Office of Student Success, Wisconsin Technical College System, Madison, WI; Marilyn Pitzulo, Associate Chief Adult Education, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indianapolis, IN; David Walters, State Director of Adult Education, Special Projects, & System Initiatives, Alabama Community College System, Montgomery, AL



2020: Foresight, Not Hindsight
Josh DaviesCEO, Center for Work Ethic Development
We all know there is only one constant in this world—change—and nothing exemplified that better than 2020. This year has accelerated systemic shifts in the workforce, educational system, and in society. In addition, the growth of new technology, specifically in automation and artificial intelligence, will cause further disruption. Research shows that these forces will continue to gain speed and come together to cause a massive decoupling by the year 2030. Rather than sit back and hope, now is the time to prepare for the coming reality. 2020 has given us insight on the coming changes, and we have a decade to work with. We need to be developing the changes to build a resilient and inclusive workforce with the skills need to be successful today and into the future. Learn how we can develop the employability and leadership skills that will make you and your students relevant today and in the future. Now is the opportunity for us to evolve our practices and ensure that we develop solutions that ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity for success in 2030 and beyond. While it is often said that hindsight is 2020, great leaders are realizing it is actually foresight.



Friday, October 30, Noon–12:50 EDT

FEATURED SESSION: Making the Most of Difficult Situations: Changing Markets, Changing Times
Garrison Wynnauthor of The Real Truth About Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently, Why They Won’t Tell You, and How You Can Do It Anyway! (McGraw-Hill Education)
This funny, insightful featured presentation combines relationship building with no-fluff motivation and change to deliver real solutions in uncertain times. Professional keynote speaker and business relationship expert Garrison Wynn examines the challenges we face and shows how we can laugh at our problems while using them as catalysts for success. This session covers a lot of ground and provides no-cost, easily implemented, proven solutions that your people can use right away.

Friday, November 6, Noon–12:50 EDT

POST-CONFERENCE PANEL: Managing Work-based Learning in the Age of Social Distancing
This panel discussion will focus on the strategies practitioners are taking to manage and sustain apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs during the shift to social distancing. Attendees will leave with new ideas for virtual learning approaches and how to build work-based learning programs that are resilient in times of change. Followed by Q&A. Moderator: Jennifer Jirous-Rapp, Senior Analyst, Maher & Maher. Panelists: Barb Chang, Executive Director, CareeerWise New York; Leslie Tomlinson, Executive Director of Grants Development and Strategic Partnerships, Northwest-Shoals Community College; Tyra Copas, Tennessee State Apprenticeship Director, TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development