Shari Harley is bringing candor back to the workplace. She is the Founder and President of Candid Culture, a training and consulting firm with the goal of making it easier to tell the truth at work. Before launching Candid Culture she led leadership development training for Oppenheimer Funds, conducted customer service training for American Century Investments, and facilitated for Dale Carnegie Training. Author of the book How to Say Anything to Anyone, she has a master’s degree in Communication and taught leadership development at the University of Denver. Her practical approach to workplace communication has led her to speak and train in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Dubai and Australia. An engaging and content-rich business speaker, Shari delights and informs in a real, direct and very funny way.
Michele Wierzgac is a speaker and author who promises her audience will leave her solution-driven keynotes and workshops with at least one passionate, life-transforming leadership tool. Michele has presented to prestigious organizations worldwide, including American Express, Texas Instruments, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, HelmsBrisco, and the University of Chicago. She is the author of the book, The Talking Stick: A Guide to Reflecting on Your Personal Brand. An ad-hoc professor and frequent guest lecturer for numerous colleges and universities, she is also a Rider Coach for Harley-Davidson’s Motorcycle Riding Academy in her spare time. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Illinois State University, where she also earned an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Athletic Coaching while playing volleyball on a NCAA scholarship.
Nancy H. Baird
Nancy H. Baird, M.Ed., is the president of Training Strategies, Inc., a Human Resources consulting company specializing in management and organizational development. During her more than 25 years of consulting, she has worked with over 500 companies, associations and agencies, including the American Red Cross; Vinson & Elkins, Rice University; and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She began her career with Harris County, working as a Juvenile Probation Officer and Training Specialist. A native Houstonian, she attended the University of New Mexico and received her undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology, and holds a Master of Education Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Houston.
Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP is the CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). In her role at CEIR, Breden provides strategic direction and manages the day-to-day activities and business operations. CEIR houses an online library of primary, exhibition-related research studies to help exhibition stakeholders with evolving norms, shifting marketing trends and other issues. She also serves in the capacity of Executive Vice President/COO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), a trade association representing the exhibitions and events industry. She began her association management career in 1984 and currently serves on the Events Industry Council Board of Directors. Breden earned the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 1990, and the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1995.
Tyler Enslin is a speaker and the founder of Tyler Enslin International. He was introduced to speaking in 2012 when he joined Direct Development Training, a national training company where he rose to become the top sales person. Eventually he went on to hold the positions of Regional and National Director. After speaking at over 700 live events in the past five years he started Tyler Enslin International in 2018, with a focus on dynamic presentation and maximum audience participation. He has worked with state and national organizations across the country, from Fortune 500 companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens, Johns Hopkins, and Long & Foster, to hundreds of smaller groups.
Brian Manley joined the Austin Police Department in 1990 and was named Chief of Police in June 2018. A native of Austin, he leads a department of 2,638 law enforcement and support personnel, with an annual budget of $422 million. He led a delegation of APD officers during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC, commanded a group of Special Response Team officers in a deployment to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ike, and attended the Senior Counter-terrorism Officials Seminar in Israel. A graduate of U.T., Chief Manley earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics from St. Edwards University in 2004 and went on to serve as an adjunct professor there. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and the Major Cities Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Institute.
Dee O’Neill, MS, LPC, is a board certified fellow in EEG Neurotechnology, certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. She joined the Center for Brain Health’s Brain Performance Institute at UT Dallas in 2013 after more than 15 years working in both research and clinical neuroscience roles in various nationally recognized medical centers. As head of the Executive and Corporate programs, she helps individuals and teams maximize their cognitive potential by facilitating high-performance brain training through the Center for BrainHealth-developed SMART program. She is a brain-based coach with training from the NeuroLeadership Institute’s Results Coaching System as well as Fielding University’s Evidence Based Coaching group. She co-developed and leads the speaker series “Optimize Your Brain Performance.” Her undergraduate study was in human health and exercise science at the University of Hawaii.
Brenton Schumacher is the executive chef of Pink Avocado Catering. A native of Detroit, he relocated to Austin in the mid ‘90s and helped open the first Central Market, eventually becoming their executive sous chef. There he learned from some of the country’s most respected chefs. His entrepreneurial spirit and desire to create unforgettable food led to the opening of Pink Avocado in 2006. Pink Avocado was featured on Top Chef, Season 9: “Restaurant Wars,” named The Knot’s 2012 Best of Austin Wedding Caterers, and was chosen as one of the Best of the Best Caterers in Austin as featured in the February 2012 issue of Austin Monthly. Though Brent spends most of his time thinking about food, in his spare time he loves competing in triathlons, playing the drums and staying on top of culinary trends. He’s an animal lover, pit-bull devotee and proud owner of his energy-efficient electric car, Herbie.
Hollace Genereux, Director of Culinary Operations, holds more than 25 years of cooking experience and has been with Pink Avocado from the beginning. Gardening and cooking alongside her mother and grandmother helped foster a love of fresh ingredients and amazing flavors. Living and traveling throughout Europe and the Southwestern United States also influenced her cooking style. In her free time, Hollace enjoys live music, beaches, and being a barbarian.
Steven Stout, CAE, is the Executive Director for the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). He got his start in the association world with Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals, an international hospitality association. He served in a variety of roles over 14 years, most recently as the Director of Meetings & Special Events where he oversaw the execution of all of the association’s international conferences. Widely recognized as a leader in the association community, he has been selected as one of ten U.S. Nationwide Diversity Executive Leadership Program Scholars by the American Society of Association Executives, awarded TSAE’s Young Professional of the Year Award in 2010, was named as one of USAE Magazine & The Association Forum of Chicagoland’s 40 Under 40 in the association industry, and in 2015 was selected as one of Association Trends Magazine’s Young & Aspiring Association Professionals.
Shawna Suckow, CMP, was a planner for over 20 years. In 2008 she founded SPIN, an association of senior-level planners which now has nearly 3,000 members across North America. She began speaking professionally in 2010. Today, she speaks to audiences in the meetings industry, and also outside the industry on buyer behavior and sales trends. She’s now spoken on five continents to more than 100,000 people. She’s written two Amazon best-sellers, including her newest book: Don’t Become Extinct – Join the Sales Evolution. Honors include being named to the Global Top 100 Women Business & Tech Speakers, Planners’ Favorite Speakers lists of 2014 and 2015, and Top 8 Speakers of 2013. Shawna lives in Minnesota with her Elvis-impersonator husband, two unimpressed teenagers, and a golden retriever named Henry Jones, Jr.