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Annual Meeting 2019: Key Note Speakers

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Our Opening Monday Keynote

Sekou Andrews


Imagine harnessing the power of an engaging opening video, an electric closing performance, and an insightful main stage keynote all in one dynamic presentation. For over 15 years Sekou Andrews has been helping the world’s largest organizations deliver relevant information with riveting inspiration through an innovative, unconventional category of speaking called “Poetic Voice.”


With his uncanny ability to humanize complex business topics ranging from disruption and innovation to purpose and collaboration, it is no surprise that Forbes Magazine has called Sekou “the de facto poet laureate of corporate America.”His “wow-factor” is in high demand with the world’s most successful organizations, including Google, Viacom, Toyota, Nike, Cisco, Linkedin, Global Green, Paypal, ASAE, The Gap, General Mills, TEDx, YPO, Capital One, L’Oreal, Autodesk, ACLU, Intuit, and the NBA to name but a few. Sekou has also emerged as an inspiring voice for health and wellness, routinely evoking tears, cheers, and standing ovations at events for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Blue Shield, TEDMED, Roche, Genentech, and the American Nurses Association.


Many of Sekou’s clients share a common journey with his work. It often begins with the words “Why would we want poetry at our leadership meeting?”and often ends with the words “highest rated speaker at our event” or “only speaker we’ve ever invited back.” Sekou’s talks on disruption are in such demand because they literally embody disruption on stage, charging audiences to disrupt themselves by shifting their mindset. His keynotes on storytelling show leaders how to deliver dense data through beautifully human presentations. From bold thinking and success, to healthcare and tech, Sekou’s speeches are rich with actionable insight that help attendees connect more deeply with their communities, become more influential leaders, and unlock greater possibilities.


A school teacher turned actor, recording artist, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and award-winning recording artist, Sekou has over 2 decades of experience rocking diverse audiences. His work has been featured on ABC World News, MSNBC, HBO, Good Morning America, Showtime, MTV and BET. He has given private performances for such prominent individuals as Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, Larry King, Hillary Clinton, Coretta Scott King & family and President Obama. He has also shared the stage with such heavyweights as Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Carlos Santana, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra. As a recording artist, his last album, “Poetic License,” made him the most awarded artist in the nation’s largest independent music organization.


Sekou has now returned to the classroom, teaching his rockstar secrets to public speakers through his highly effective Stage Might™ speaker training system, that helps executives, influencers and leaders become more dynamic communicators by applying the techniques of master performers to business stages.


With all of the innovation and inspiration that is poetic voice, Sekou Andrews is accomplishing the seemingly impossible – bringing spoken word to the world’s largest stages, while redefining the notion of what a speaker is… and what a poet can be.


Our Tuesday Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion and the Higher Education Supply Chain

This panel discussion has two primary objectives. First, is to increase our collective understanding of diversity and inclusion as it relates to our institutions and specifically to our supply chains. Second, is to identify things you can do to leverage your supply chain to improve the environment for diversity and inclusion on your campus. We will have a thoughtful, candid and judgment free conversation.

The panelist’s perspectives will fuel our conversation and the interactive session format will incorporate your thoughts, ideas and experiences. We have diverse experiences, opinions and perspectives. All are invited, respected and appreciated. 

We will also explore what it means specifically to you and to your organization. What is happening at your institution? What are your personal thoughts and how do you see your personal role in Diversity and Inclusion?

The outcome is a high energy, content rich and engaging session designed to help you determine how this topic relates to you and your work.


Moderating the discussion will be Dr. Melvin Gravely, Founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking and Chief Executive Officer, TriVersity Construction.


The panelists include the following:

  • Dawn Rhodes, MBA, Chief Business Officer and Finance Officer, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Dr. Archie Ervin, Chief Diversity Officer, Georgia Tech and President of NADOHE (National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education)
  • Dr. Kimberly Beatty, Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO
  • Angela Korompilas, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Hotel Register Company



Dawn Rhodes, MBA

Chief Business and Finance Officer and Vice President, University of Maryland, Baltimore


Dawn M. Rhodes was named chief business and finance officer and vice president at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), on Aug. 1, 2016.

In this role, Rhodes oversees UMB’s $1.2 billion budget, capital planning, facilities operations, and business affairs. She also serves as a key liaison to the local community on neighborhood development projects.

Rhodes brought more than 30 years of experience in finance and operations to UMB, 23 of them in higher education. Most recently, she was vice chancellor for finance and administration at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), an urban public research university with 31,000 students and a budget of $1.4 billion.

Her tenure at IUPUI was characterized by a commitment to transparency in finances, data-driven decision-making, exemplary customer service, and ethical behavior. Rhodes led the transformation of a 280-room Indianapolis hotel and conference center into a multipurpose facility, housing classrooms, offices, 560 residence hall beds, and the university’s first-ever dining hall.

She created the Office of Intergroup Dialogue and Civil Community to help IUPUI achieve its vision of a diverse and inclusive campus. She established the Resource Planning Committee, populated by a representative group of campus stakeholders, to make significant financial recommendations to the chancellor and ensure that resource distribution at IUPUI aligned with the university’s strategic priorities.



Archie Ervin, Ph.D.

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Georgia Institute of Technology and President of the Board of Directors, NADOHE


Dr. Ervin currently serves as Georgia Tech’s Vice President for Institute Diversity. After a national search in 2009-2010, President G. P. “Bud” Peterson announced on October 5, 2010 the appointment of Dr. Ervin as Georgia Tech’s inaugural Vice President for Institute Diversity. As the inaugural Vice President Institute Diversity, Dr. Ervin has established his vision for “inclusive excellence” at Georgia Tech, where the talent and potential of all members of the Institute’s community are leveraged to ensure excellence in scholarship, research, service to provide leadership in our complex world.

Dr. Ervin’s overarching operational responsibility as Vice President is to provide Institute level leadership and oversight for Georgia Tech’s diversity, equity and inclusion agendas. The Vice President for Institute Diversity is a member of the President’s Cabinet where he helps to set institutional priorities, policies, programs and initiatives to enhance gender, racial, ethnic and social diversity in its faculty, staff and student communities. The Vice President for Institute Diversity Office oversees the Georgia Tech ADVANCE Professorships that seek to transform and enhance gender diversity in the faculty and the Center for Women, Science and Technology, headed by three senior faculties, which links the study of science and technology to those of gender, culture and society. The VPID Office also is responsible for OMED Education Services and the Office for Hispanic Initiatives; two support units that address academic transition and academic success (retention and graduation) for women, historically underserved and low populations.

He is President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), and has also served as the institutional representative with the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities (HACU). Dr. Ervin provided leadership for the formation of a state wide association of diversity officers in North Carolina.


Kimberly Beatty, Ed.D.

Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College


Dr. Kimberly Beatty began her tenure as Metropolitan Community College’s eighth chancellor on July 1, 2017. She came to MCC from Houston Community College, the nation's fourth-largest community college system, where she served as vice chancellor for instructional services and chief academic officer.

As the first African-American leader in the 103-year history of Metropolitan Community College, and the only African-American CEO in the Missouri community college system, "I live and walk in the truth of who I am each day," Dr. Beatty says.

A champion of access and equity, she is devoted to the community college mission of providing access to higher education for all.

"I am passionate about the community I serve and excited about the ability to provide higher education access to the underprivileged and underrepresented," Dr. Beatty says. "It's easy for me to champion these students because, having been raised in poverty by a single mother, I was once in their shoes. This is my story and this is the challenge I have overcome."

At Metropolitan Community College, Dr. Beatty finalized and restructured the college's five-year strategic plan; authored a new vision statement for the college and a new shared governance model; is leading the college community through an organizational realignment; and is fostering a culture of innovation, including the creation of the MCC Innovation Council.

She is committed to workforce education, including establishing new partnerships with Kansas City area businesses. She is a member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and its Executive Women's Leadership Council; the Kansas City Area Development Council; the Full Employment Council Board; and the Rotary Club of Kansas City.




Angela M. Korompilas


President & CEO, American Hotel Register Company



Angela M. Korompilas serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of American Hotel Register Company. Headquartered in the Chicago metropolitan area for more than 150 years, the company is the premier hospitality product source in more than 140 countries around the world.


Angela is responsible for the strategic vision, growth and leadership of this family-owned, global business. Exemplifying a company culture that has long promoted the value of people and partnerships, she works closely with American Hotel’s senior leadership team to drive new business development, strengthen the organization’s global infrastructure, enhance internal operations and advance collaboration with the company’s many customer partners.


Angela currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Botanic Garden and is an active member of the Chicago chapter of The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the Kellogg Executive Women’s Network, The Chicago Network and the Economic Club of Chicago. She also serves on both supplier and customer advisory boards within the hospitality industry.


A Chicago native, Angela is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Education program. She joined American Hotel in 1996 and quickly assumed increasingly significant leadership roles within thecompany. In 2011, she was tapped to lead the company’s global marketing and corporate strategy efforts. From 2012 until her selection as President and CEO in 2014, Angela served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.



Dr. Melvin Gravely

Founder, Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking


Melvin (Mel) Gravely II is the founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Ltd. The Institute is a think-tank focused on getting the best results from minority business development initiatives. He is seen as one of the leading national thinkers on the topic of minority business development. Gravely is the author of eight books on business success, leadership and minority entrepreneurship.

Gravely is also president and CEO of TriVersity Construction Company, after previously serving as owner and chairman of the board of directors.Under his leadership, the commercial construction firm has established itself as one of the leading companies of its kind in the Greater Cincinnati region. TriVersity has consistently grown its construction capacity by 20% per year and doubled their sales since 2009. Gravely’s success and attention is focused on building a strong executive team, developing a solid strategic business platform and paying close attention to the customer experience.

Mel Gravely has more than 28 years of business management, sales and strategy experience including Fortune 500 positions with the Timken Company and IBM. He has served as CEO of a variety of businesses in different industries including a civil and structural engineering firm, a management consulting practice and a human resources services company. He spent 15 years as an advisor to major corporations and entrepreneurs on strategy and minority business development. Gravely believes in empowering individuals to perform at their best. He has a personal passion for supporting the growth and development of women and minorities in business.


Our Closing Wednesday Session

Beyond Strategy and Navigating Change

Beyond Strategy and Navigating Change: In procurement, we often look at issues through a problem-solving lens, but what about exploratory discussions that have no concrete solution? Being a change agent in higher education demands a different kind of disposition and openness to an uncertain future. In this closing session, we shift gears and dive into how authentic transformation is fueled by learning how to be in a different kind of conversation, a conversation that is investigatory, thought-provoking, and allows us to think about the future in a shared way. We will also explore how social moods and language influence how we invent the future together.



Howard Teibel

Founder and President of Teibel Education Consulting

Howard Teibel is the founder and President of Teibel Education Consulting. Over the past three decades, Howard has worked with education leaders and teams to develop new habits to coordinate actions in support of their shared commitments. As a public speaker and writer for numerous higher education associations, Howard contributes to the national discourse on emerging trends facing this industry and is passionate about guiding business leaders to create constructive discourse on regional and global issues facing our country. Additionally, his 10-year-old podcast “Navigating Change” brings together leaders to discuss innovations and new practices that can transform how teams in academia and administration work together. His client roster includes the University of Colorado, Rutgers University, the NCAA, Association of Governing Boards, Cornell University, University of San Francisco; and many others.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in sponsoring a keynote speaker? A keynote sponsorship allows you great visibility and the opportunity to introduce the speaker and say a few words about your company. For more information, contact our Business Development Manager today!

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