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Annual Meeting 2016: Key Note Speakers


Monday Keynote Presentation:

The Resilient Manager

Martha Johnson

We face complexity, high standards, and unnerving risk in our jobs - and the future of our work promises even more. How do we cope and thrive with such demands on us?  Martha Johnson, former GSA Administrator and author of two books on leadership, lays out personal strategies, professional competencies, and common sense actions to build your resilience. Her material combines lessons from leaders who have experienced organizational crisis with her own personal stories and the insights to be gained from the current literature on resilience. 


Martha Johnson is a leadership expert who draws on the lessons learned as an executive with a more than 30-year career in business and government. 


She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed unanimously by the US Senate to be the Administrator of the General Services Administration, a position she held for two years. She also served eight years with the Clinton Administration. Her private sector career has spanned the information technology, architecture, strategic consulting, and automotive industries.


Johnson has delivered over 50 public speeches and has been featured repeatedly in the press. Her Amazon #1 best selling book, "On My Watch: Leadership, Innovation, and Personal Resilience" was published in 2013.


Johnson holds degrees from Oberlin College and Yale University.


Tuesday Keynote Presentation:

Living Proof: You Are Built for Something More

Lucas Daniel Boyce

Living Proof details Lucas’ journey to overcome significant obstacles to achieve three once-in-a-lifetime goals. Personal history or external conditions outside of our control don’t have to determine our future trajectory, success and/or fulfillment. While some may view past and present conditions as an eternal harness and cause for inaction or paralysis, Lucas shares why our obstacles and limitations become irrelevant when we understand our life purpose and are willing to reach for something more. It doesn’t matter at what station of life we find ourselves, we are built for something more. We are meant to succeed. Lucas is Living Proof of this and shares his view on what it takes to overcome, stand up, and stand out.

Lucas Daniel Boyce is the Director of Business Development and Legislative Affairs for the Orlando Magic. He was appointed to this new role in July 2013. His responsibilities include strategic business planning with a focus on developing a new sports and entertainment district (SED) in downtown Orlando. He also oversees the company’s efforts in statewide legislative and government affairs. Prior to this role, Boyce served as Director of Community Relations, Multicultural Insights, Cause Marketing and Government Affairs.

Boyce is the author of Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA, published in January 2011. This powerful story follows Boyce, who was a former foster care child born premature to an alcohol- and drug-addicted teenager, and how he overcame daunting life challenges in pursuit of his dreams. Developmentally delayed as a result of his birth mother’s abuse, Boyce struggled and ended up failing kindergarten. However, his adoptive mother didn’t cast him aside as another tragic statistic. Instead, Dorothy Boyce instilled in her son principles that drove his determination to overcome the cards he’d been dealt, enabling him to eventually serve at the White House, fly aboard Air Force One and become an executive for the NBA’s Orlando Magic.


Wednesday Closing Keynote Presentation:

Election 2016: Point-Counterpoint Debate

Donna Brazile and Cal Thomas


Donna Brazile

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as former chair of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute.


Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New Orleans, Ms. Brazile's passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office. A New Orleans native, Ms. Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing sets were installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, Ms. Donna Brazile has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign.




Cal Thomas

With a twice-weekly column appearing in hundreds of newspapers, Cal Thomas is one of the most widely read and one of the most highly regarded voices on the American political scene. He is a Fox News contributor. He and Bob Beckel (his liberal Democrat friend) also write a twice-monthly column for USA Today.


A graduate of American University, Thomas is a veteran of broadcast and print journalism. He has worked for NBC News in Washington, D.C. and hosted his own program on CBNC that was nominated for a Cable ACE Award in 1995. In 2011, Thomas received the William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence from the Media Research Center. His latest book is What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America was published in April 2014 on the 30th anniversary of his syndicated column.






VENDORS: Sponsorship opportunities are available if you are interested in introducing a keynote speaker. Contact Ashley Kmiecik for more information.

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