Maia Beatty is the Chief Inspirator of Maia Beatty & Associates. With over 30 years of business success, her mission in life is to share her discoveries about Simple Shifts to Forge Ahead Faster—whether you want to unite your team, transform yourself or energize your business. Known internationally as a Leadership Coach, Master Trainer and Keynote Speaker, Beatty is the author of five books and over 50 learner-focused, performance-based training programs on leadership development. Her latest book Dance Into Your Power, explains her strategies and how she developed them. In addition to being a Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, she is a graduate of The Coaches Training Institute with certificates in Coaching, Business Development and Leadership. In 2011 Beatty was awarded the Connector’s Choice Award for Best Speaker/Facilitator in Northeast Ohio, and in 2014 and 2016 she was nominated for Best Corporate Speaker. She’s a member of the International Association of Coaching and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Toni Blake is a popular international speaker, consultant, and author who inspires thousands of professionals every year with her insight and wit. She made her mark in the multi-family housing industry, where she was known for filling sessions by people who knew she would be speaking, even though they didn’t know the topic yet. Blake coaches organizations on new and innovative ways to establish a competitive edge and increase sales by improving the customer experience with kind-ness and passion. She is a recipient of the Multifamily PRO “Industry Legend” Award and was selected by the National Apartment Association as one of the industry’s “Marketing Gurus,” recognized for her research and innovative concepts in customer service, sales, and marketing. Her engrossing and humorous presentations spring from an early career on the national comedy scene, including Comedy Underground, Catch a Rising Star, and Evening at the Improv among others. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband.
Joe Bedsole, CTA is Director of the Austin-based regional sales office for the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau. He has been with Arlington over ten years and has over 25 years in the hotel, CVB and association world, working for hotel companies such as Doubletree, Le Meridien, Marriott and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. He has been a board member for the Houston Society of Association Executives, the Society of Government Meeting Professionals – Austin Capitol Chapter, and is a Past President of the Austin/San Antonio chapter of MPI. He is cur-rently a board member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) and has been a frequent volunteer instructor for the Austin Community College Meeting Planning certifi-cate program. In 2013 he was honored with the Distinguished Affiliate of the Year award from TSAE. Bedsole is a native Austinite and was educated at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos with a major in Broadcast Journalism. He currently resides in Western Travis county with his husband Jeff Sikes.
Scott Craighead, CEM, is Vice President of Exhibitions and Events for IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. He has been involved in the industry for 15 years producing exhibitions and events in the U.S. and globally. Craighead is responsible for budgeting, strategy development and design, technology solutions, personnel, contracts and overall operations for IAEE- and CEIR-produced events, including Expo! Expo!, IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Prior to joining IAEE he handled operations and exhibit sales for Global Semiconductor Alliance events and exhibitions held in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Craighead began his career managing a wide array of student, university, and external events for Associated Students, UCLA.
Debbie Farnum, CMP Emeritus, is a 13-year veteran of the meetings industry and the immediate past president of the Texas Hill Country Chapter of MPI, a position she has held twice. A Senior Meeting Planner (retired) from the Texas Association of School Boards, she was responsible for the annual TASA/TASB convention, organizing housing, transportation, onsite logistics, security, and of course negotiating hotel contracts. In addition to the annual conference, she managed a host of other events and meetings. Farnum has twice been recognized as the MPI Texas Hill Country Chapter’s Meeting Planner of the Year, in 2007 and 2011. She has her Masters in Education from West Texas A&M University. Married forty six years, she and her husband Bill have two grown children and eight grandchildren and love to serve their parish, travel, and cook.
Dr. Josh Packard
Dr. Josh Packard, a sociologist, professor and researcher at the University of Northern Colorado, is an organizational expert who helps his clients see opportunity in places they’ve been trained to ignore. His focus on organizational commitment helps leaders understand why their members, customers and attendees have left…and what they can do to get them back. Dr. Packard is the Executive Director of the university’s Social Research Lab and serves as CEO of The Packard Group Consulting. His re-search has appeared in numerous publications and media out-lets, including Convene, the Cool Thing Entrepreneurs Do podcast, The Media Coach podcast and the Meetings Industry Insights podcast. He has worked as a consultant with numerous groups in the field including Velvet Chainsaw, Human Facets and the National Speakers Association. Dr. Packard has appeared on the main stage at Influence, the annual meeting of the National Speakers Association, as well as several events affiliated with Connect, and chapters of MPI and ASAE. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University in 2008.
Scott Stephens, CPP, is a certified Police Instructor, a Master Police Officer and a recognized security specialist. Board Certified in Security Management by the American Society of Industrial Security as a Certified Protection Professional, Stephens is a retired Austin Police Officer with over 28 years experience in criminal justice, crime prevention and public education. He worked in APD’s Public Education Unit for fourteen years and developed the award-winning Austin Landlord Training Program, which later became the Austin Landlord Training Corporation. In 2006 he became a nationally recognized speaker in Workplace Violence. In addition to his work as a speaker, he provides security assessments for multi-story downtown property management companies, suburban small business operations and AISD school campuses across Austin.
Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM works with organizations world-wide to help them understand how food and beverage (F&B) affect risk, customer experience, company culture and the bottom line. As an author, speaker, consultant, trainer and event planner, she is passionate about event F&B that is inclusive and satisfies all attendees’ needs. She is co-author of the 2017 book Humans@Work, is a 2016 Meetings Industry Change Maker, a U.S. delegate to Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, a 2015 Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry, and a 2014 Meetings Industry Trendsetter. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Stuckrath serves on the Slow Food Atlanta board of directors and is chair of the FARE Walk for Food Allergy Atlanta. A graduate of NC State University, she is an active member of MPI, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Food Allergy Research & Education, and PCMA. She maintains Certified Special Events Certification, Certified Meetings Manager, Certified Health Coach, ServeSafe® Allergen and ServeSafe® Food Protection Manager certifications.
Beth Ziesenis: Author. Speaker. Nerd. Although the only real trophy she ever won was for making perfect french fries at McDonald’s in high school, Beth Z has been featured on Best Speaker lists by Meetings & Conventions magazine and MeetingsNet. Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has made a verb out of the word nerd. She helps computer users all over the country filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doo-dads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for business and personal use through presentations and her books, including the latest title, The Big Book of Apps.