Bill Hancock put his life back together after a family tragedy and shares his story gracefully and with down-home humor.
He has achieved a unique trifecta at the highest echelon of intercollegiate athletics. He was the first full-time director of the NCAA Final Four, the first executive director of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and the first executive director of the College Football Playoff. He spent 16 years with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, 13 years as its director, crisscrossing America bringing the joy of March Madness to millions.
Live came to a standstill for Hancock after his 31-year-old son and namesake died in an airplane crash.
Robert Khayat served as the 15th Chancellor of the University of Mississippi from 1995 until 2009. He is a former College Football All-Star, All-Pro Kicker for the Washington Redskins, law professor and President of the NCAA Foundation.
An Academic All-American football and baseball player at Ole Miss, Chancellor Khayat has degrees from Ole Miss and Yale. He has received the NFL Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award.
Under Dr. Khayat’s leadership, the University of Mississippi experienced a renaissance. Enrollment increased by 43.6 % (minority enrollment increased 78.5%). Operating budgets grew from $500 million to over $1.5 billion. Financial aid for students grew from $16.5 million to $138.5 million. The number of National Merit Finalists in the freshman class more than doubled. The endowment grew from $114.3 million to $472.4 million. Research and development grants topped $100 million each of the last eight years of Dr. Khayat’s tenure. The university produced its 24th and 25th Rhodes scholars. It also produced five Truman, eight Goldwater and six Fulbright scholars, plus one Marshall and one Udall scholar. Ole Miss also received the Grand Award for the country’s best-maintained campus from a national landscaping society. Read More…
Marilyn Hemphill Tinnin
Author & Speaker
Marilyn Tinnin is the founder and publisher of Jackson Christian Family. She left that publication in 2006 to launch Metro Christian Living which became Mississippi Christian Living Magazine in 2014. A life-long Mississippian, Marilyn attended the University of Mississippi and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Mississippi College before following in her mother’s journalistic steps to her lifelong dream of writing. Her mother, Marie Hemphill, was an award-winning journalist and the author of Fevers, Floods, and Faith, a comprehensive history of Sunflower County, Mississippi. Read More…
Sister Schubert Barnes
Business | Faith | Motivational
Sister often sets the pace at her bakeries in Luverne, Alabama, Saraland, Alabama and Horse Cave, Kentucky and rolls, over 9 million each day, bake in the revolving ovens at Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls. Almost every phase of production is state of the art, from “the line,” where each roll is hand-formed and placed into Sister’s signature round pans, to the proofing room, with it’s precisely controlled temperature and humidity, to the icy blast freezers. But not so long ago, in 1989, Sister Schubert baked these famous rolls in the kitchen of her home in Troy, Alabama, only for her family and friends.Read More…
Motivational | Women’s Issues | Faith Health | Wellness
Ora Reed is a singular musical talent. She is acclaimed as an exceptional singer and musician and recognized as a true Mississippi natural resource. So much so, she was appointed by then-Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour “Cultural Ambassador for the State of Mississippi,” a title she has proudly carried to four continents and more than a dozen countries.Read More…
Uncover the secret of how to Attract the Right People to build a winning culture!
Discover Passion and Purpose in what you do and become inspired to outperform yourself!
Learn how to make better decisions!
An Experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life!
In the past two decades Dave Jesiolowski has held roles as a professional athlete, an advisor to business owners, a corporate executive in two fortune 500 companies, and now the founder and CEO of I think, I am, a leading authority on the psychology of performance and driving results.Read More…
Character | Leadership | Philanthropy
In 2007 Television Weekly named Sam Haskell, former Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for the William Morris Agency, “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television for the Last 25 Years.” As one of the most powerful agents and deal makers in the business, Haskell oversaw the “packaging” of all agency-represented network projects, including such mega-hits as The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Everybody Loves Raymond, Lost, Live with Regis & Kathie Lee among many others. Read More…
Character | Redemption | Motivational Keynote
Neil White appeared to have it all – beautiful wife, two healthy children, and his dream career as a journalist and magazine publisher. He showered those he loved with nice cars, beautiful homes and luxurious clothes. He loaned money to family and friends, gave generously to his church, and invested in his community – but his bank account couldn’t keep up. Soon he was moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. The FBI discovered his scheme, and a judge sentenced him to eighteen months in a federal prison in Carville, Louisiana that also happened to be home to the last people in the
continental United States disfigured with leprosy. It was there, in the most unlikely of places, “In The Sanctuary of Outcasts,” that he realized the trappings of appearance and rediscovered the value of simplicity, friendship and gratitude. Neil’s story resonates with whitecollar professionals who also find themselves under financial pressure and tempted to break the rules, not believing they will pay the consequences. Read More…
The founder of Interactive Solutions, a Memphis-based firm that integrates high end video conferencing technology with audio-visual components to customize communications for healthcare, education, federal government, and corporate organizations, Jay ‘s company has been named to Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 list 6 times in the past 11 years. ISI has received numerous corporate awards, including 19th overall small business in the Southeast by Business Leader Magazine. In 2007 his book Keep on Swinging – An Entrepreneur’s Story of Overcoming Adversity and Achieving Small Business Success, was published. The book has earned him the Ethan Award and features in the Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and Fox Business News. Read More…
Memory Expert | Motivational Trainer | Session Leader | Keynote
Paul Mellor is president of Success Links, a memory training company dedicated to helping people improve their lives by improving their memory power. A finalist in the 2008 USA Memory Championship. Paul offers valuable systems and solutions on how to strengthen memory. Paul’s skills have benefited everyone from business professionals to senior citizens to school children. He has written extensively on memory improvement and has been quoted in numerous national media, including Newsweek, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, NPR Radio, WOR Radio (New York), and CBN Television. He conducts
seminars throughout the country and believes that everyone can build their brain power with the help of a few proven techniques. Paul also has the distinction of having completed marathons in all 50 states, an accomplishment he attributes to three things –belief, attitude and desire. He believes these same components are the keys to succeeding in life, no matter the goal. Read More…
Roy A. Hallums
Patriotic & Inspirational Keynote
While working in Iraq in 2004, Roy was kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents and held for 311 days, most of that time in a concrete pit beneath a farmhouse, constantly bound and blindfolded. A small pipe in the ceiling provided the room’s only oxygen and the only link to the outside world. Taken at a time when televised beheadings of American and other hostages were common, many people will remember seeing a bearded, blindfolded Hallums on national newscasts with a gun to his head pleading for his release. He writes about his harrowing 10 month ordeal, the faith and family that sustained him, and the U. S. Special
Forces who rescued him in his book Buried Alive: The True Story of Kidnapping, Captivity, and a Dramatic Rescue. Hallums earned a management BBA from the University of Memphis and MS in management from the U.S. Navy Post Graduate School in Monterrey, CA. Work as a naval officer and a civilian defense related contractor has taken him to employment sites worldwide. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, he worked with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces for ten years and later accepted a contract with a Saudi company doing business in Iraq. Read More…
Affectionately known as Coach Wright to those he coached at Jackson State University and several high schools in Mississippi, Antonio is the CEO/founder
Motivational of Metro Area Community Empowerment, Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing the capabilities and providing opportunities for at risk youth and the physically disabled. His newly released biography, From a Label to a Brand, chronicles the tragic events of his early life – the murder of his brother and the motor vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, and how his faith and tenacious spirit have helped him to overcome life’s obstacles and live a life of joy. Read More…
Leadership, Business, Motivational Speaker
Dr. Samuel Jones has been ‘Changing Lives with Words’ since his days as a high school basketball player in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. A professional basketball player in Helsinki Finland, Jones later earned a B.A and M.S from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2006 he received his Ph.D from Mississippi State University. Currently, he serves as Dean of Student Affairs at Jones County Junior College, a business trainer and consultant for his company, Life Changing Presentations, as well as a Leadership Facilitator for The Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi Program. In his first book The Man I Never Knew: How Leadership Can be developed by Faith, Family and Friends, he uses his personal story to encourage his readers to explore their personal experiences and discover those unique leadership skills that are hidden within us all. His second book titled “Live Life on Purpose: From Discovery to Practice” uses his training in the areas of leadership development, strategic planning, and customer service to help organizations improve performance and as a result, increase profits. Read More…
Joe M. Turner
“Chief Impossibility Officer”
Donna is a plane crash, cancer, and heart surgery survivor. Donna is a California / Nevada based professional speaker and the author of the Fire Up! series. Donna is a survivor!
- On March 1, 1978 – survived a fiery DC-10 plane crash that transformed her life in seconds and inspired her to testify to change airline safety regulations.
- On March 1, 2002 – was diagnosed with Stage III Melanoma and today is cancer free.
- On March 1, 2006 – triumphed over unexpected open heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve.
The message she delivers will have you looking at your life for years to follow. Faced with three threatening events she learned to be a survivor during challenging times. Read More…
Afghanistan War Veteran
CJ Stewart left behind the “normal” route to life after his second year of college to pursue the calling placed on his life. In 2007, CJ graduated high school with honors in Madison, Mississippi and like most kids from his community, college was the next step to a happy life. It wouldn’t take him long to realize that there was more for him to do.
Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer
Dave Worman, dubbed “Dr Motivation” by colleagues worldwide, is a frequent keynote presenter, workshop facilitator and featured motivational speaker for companies, conferences and conventions across the globe. Author of 2 books on employee motivation, “Motivating Without Money” and “Motivating With sales Contests”, he knows what it takes to create and coach work environments that inspire, engage , energize and motivate personnel, performance, and productivity while experiencing higher levels of employee satisfaction and company profits. Read More…
Nicole Marquez’ life was redefined after her six-story fall from her apartment building in 2008. A dancer since the age of three, Nicole’s life plan was to dance and act. She just had to leave her home state of Mississippi to accomplish it. Following acting apprenticeships in The Berkshires and Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, Nicole packed her bags in January 2008 and moved to New York to pursue her dreams of being a “triple threat” on Broadway. While attending classes at Dance New Amsterdam and working as a personal trainer at the Cornell Fitness Center in New York, tragedy struck. On August 30, 2008, after what she said was “probably my best audition yet”, she realized she was locked out of her apartment building in Harlem. Thinking perhaps she could gain access to her bedroom window via the fire escape, Nicole went to the roof of the building. After realizing that it would be a near-impossible feat, she decided against trying. What happened next remains a mystery. Read More…
Author, Kiss and Make Up
Katie D. Anderson was a stay-at-home mother who out-of-the-blue decided to indulge her inner creativity and write a book. Her faith and determination propelled her dream into a reality not to mention a six-figure book deal, a Warner Brothers movie deal, a video game app, and a potential cosmetics deal. Her first novel for teens, Kiss and Make Up, is a tale about sisterhood, the bond of family and finding one’s inner beauty. The book is a perfect teen read and like a favorite nail shade, it can be shared by moms, daughters, sisters and friends.
Storyteller, Motivational Speaker
Diane Williams, a New Jersey native who came to Mississippi by way of Texas, has been called a story-weaver, a keeper of treasured tales, and a collector of phrases. Williams weaves her tales from books, history, myths, legends, and folktales, and many of her stories are original Her newest released book, Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell: Myths, Legends and Bald-Faced Lies, was published by History Press. A recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award for Regional Leadership and Service, the National Association of Black Storyteller’s Zora Neale Hurston Award, and the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Special Chair’s Award, Diane was a finalist in the National Storytelling Contest, and is a recipient of both a scholarship and research grant from the National Storytelling Network, of which she is a past board chairperson. Read More…
Lemzell Johnson has spent over 20 years touching the lives of families in inner cities. Embracing the slogan, “Nurture the poor to independence”, he daily pushed for others to improve and do better. He served as the senior youth director for the Neighborhood Christian center in Memphis, Tennessee, executive director for the Community of Hope in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and the executive site director for the Neighborhood Christian center of Alabama in Decatur. Then, in 2008, an undiagnosed brain tumor ruptured and left him in critical condition. Suddenly, his family was in need. As he struggled to overcome his greatest challenge, he realized that he still had value; he could use his life struggles as steps to change the world around him. Lemzell uses his story as he guides others in finding purpose, hope, and meaning for living. His two books, Building Good Character Starts With You and Adding Value to Your Greatest Tool provide character lessons for youth and young adults. Read More…