The 2024 Speakers list is coming soon!

Speaker Biography
Pete Blank Opening Keynote Speaker:  Pete Blank

Pete is the Training and OD Manager for the Personnel Board of Jefferson County.  As a leadership expert and professional speaker, he also works with organizations and associations all across the U.S., helping them achieve their goals in the areas of leadership, employee engagement and customer service. Previously, his career has included managing various areas of Disney’s theme parks and resorts where he learned what it takes to run a world-class organization.  Additionally, he facilitated college-level courses to thousands of Disney College Interns and was a Segment Learning Manager for Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and the Disney Cruise Line.  He received the prestigious “Partners in Excellence” award from Disney, which is presented to the top 3% of all employees.  He also earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association and the Certified Facilitator of Training (CFT) from The Center for International Credentials. His two books are “Employee Engagement: Lessons from the Mouse House” and “55 Ways to add Disney Magic to your Organization.” Pete earned his B.S. in Telecommunications from the University of Florida and is MHR from Rollins College.

Beverly Cochran Beverly Cochran is Membership Development Manager for America’s First Credit Union.  She has a passion for teaching financial wellness and encouraging individuals to take small steps in making financial progress in their personal lives. Financial Education is one of her highest priorities, and she enjoys working with local schools and businesses to take control of their future.  She works closely with Habitat for Humanity teaching financial workshops and volunteering regularly.  In her role as Membership Development Manager, Beverly has helped pilot a program recognizing teachers and support staff each month which she plans to grow even more in the upcoming years.
Kinsey Diegan Kinsey Diegan is Director of HR Business Services with Marvel HR and is SHRM-SCP certified with 6+ years of progressive Human Resources experience across multiple industries. Her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are in Organizational Communication and Leadership, and she holds certificates in Organizational Dynamics and Human Development and Leadership (HDL). She is also a Predictive Index Certified Partner.  She currently works alongside 22 organizations’ operations teams to provide human capital strategic alignment.
Brandon Gibson Brandon Gibson, a talented and devoted athlete, has always savored the joy of being a champion. Gibson was a tri-sport athlete at UMS-Wright in Mobile where he was a member of state championship teams in football as well as track and field. He was a top-5 football recruit within the state of Alabama and signed a scholarship with The University of Alabama.  Gibson was a member of the 2009 & 2011 National Championship teams. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications (Public Relations) and a Master’s Degree in Sports Management.
Ed Hagar Ed Hagar is responsible for administration and design of Ingalls Shipbuilding’s pay, executive compensation, and HRIS systems. At Ingalls, Ed has served as Manager of Compensation, Benefits, and HRIS since 2011, supporting a workforce of 11,000. Ed has over 25 years of experience in the human resources field. Prior to joining Ingalls Shipbuilding in 2003, Ed spent 7 years as an HR Generalist in positions of increasing responsibility. Before his HR career, Ed spent 3 years as an Economic Analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence. Ed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Management, both from The University of Alabama, summa cum laude. He is an instructor in Human Resources at the University of South Alabama, and past instructor of statistics at Samford University and economics at Birmingham-Southern College.
Randy Easterling Randy Easterling, MSPH, CIH, CSP is the Safety Program Supervisor for The University of Alabama Safe State Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program.  He has over 35 years of professional experience as an industrial hygienist and safety engineer.  He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional.  He has the degree of Master of Science in Public Health from UAB’s Industrial Hygiene Program.  He is a Past President of the Alabama Chapter of ASSP.  He was the ASSP Region IV and Alabama Chapter Safety Professional of the Year.  He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Deep South Center.
Jermie Howell Jermie Howell is a seasoned HR professional, leadership trainer, and consultant who values dedication, company loyalty, and excellence. One of his favorite quotes is “The standard of excellence is always under construction” and he has spent the last eight years of his career training and developing professionals to be better leaders, regardless of their position title. Jermie graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He spent thirteen years working in Human Resources at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, seven years as the Director of Human Resources at Madison County, and the last 2 years as the Director of Human Resources for Inline Electric and Supply Company. Jermie is the host of the Lighthouse Leadership podcast, where he seeks to ignite, improve, and inspire leaders.
Colby Jubenville Colby Jubenville, PhD. is a coach who uses the obstacles and challenges people face in search of achievement as “teachable moments” that help make sense of their life, work and relationships. Dr. Jubenville is a partner and Senior Consultant at Frontline Develop, and holds an academic appointment as a Professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and is the Director of the Center for Student Coaching and Success.  He is the author of two books including Zebras and Cheetahs: How to Look Different and Stay Agile to Survive the Business Jungle (Wiley) and Me: How To Sell Who You Are, What You Do & Why You Matter to the World.  He is a member of the Forbes Councils and publishes content on; and is the host of The Goat Consulting Podcast, which drops weekly on Apple Podcast and YouTube.
Jillian Miles Massey Jillian Miles Massey is a Talent Management Consultant with a background in higher education and in industry. As an educator, she designed, taught, and facilitated university courses and career development programs in the fields of management, human resources, entrepreneurship, and organizational development. She also has experience with recruitment, selection, training, and development in a corporate setting, in particular with multinational firms. Jillian is a graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management and a Master’s in Business Administration. She is an SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), and a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP).
Montiqua Mathers Montiqua Mathers is a transformational HR and DE&I professional with multi-state and multi-industry experience.  She is passionate and committed to helping individuals realize their full potential and works tirelessly to remove obstacles to success.  She obtained her BA in Communication and Speech from the University of Montevallo, she holds a MSHRM from Webster University and has a certification in Training and Development from the University of Alabama.  She is certified by Development Dimensions and The Center for Creative Leadership.  Montiqua is a People Leader for a Fortune 250 company where she focuses heavily on creating an inclusive and sustainable environment where people are engaged and actively contribute to the bottom line.
Douglas McKee Douglas McKee is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Life Skills Expert, and Author. His books titled Mental Mechanics: A Repair Manual and Already Wise: Our Inborn Ability to Make the Best Choices help the reader understand the effect that negative emotions have in the decisions we make on a daily basis. In his books, he illuminates that 95% of the negative emotion we feel is correlated to Foundation Life Skills learned as children. Mr. McKee’s mission is to offer a radically different approach for quickly and easily upgrading those Foundation Life Skills to versions designed for the situations we encounter as teens and adults.
Mike Perkins is a versatile, “in the trenches” labor relations professional who has worked on the inside and as an outside consultant helping companies with labor organizing campaigns, labor management and collective bargaining agreement negotiations, contract implementation, and strike planning. Mike has successfully assisted employers with organizing attempts and campaigns by the UAW, IBEW, USW, IAM, SMART, SEUI and independent “start-up” unions. Mike has also negotiated and assisted with managing labor contracts involving the UAW, Teamsters, USW, IAM, IBEW, BRC, IUOE, and several other unions. Mike is a licensed attorney (FL), a Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP), a John Maxwell Certified Coach, a Certified EEO Investigator and a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator (FL) and Registered Mediator (AL).
Brock Phillips Brock Phillips is an Associate in Maynard Nexsen’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.  He assists clients with a broad range of labor and employment matters, including cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family, and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and whistleblower statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Brock counsels clients engaged in Department of Labor audits and investigations, as well as grievance proceedings. He also offers consultation to employers in need of assistance drafting or updating employment handbooks and policies. Brock received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as the Development Editor on the Managing Board of the Journal of Law & Politics. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University.
Jack Phillips Jack J. Phillips is chairman of ROI Institute, Inc. and is a world-renowned expert on accountability, measurement and evaluation.  A former HR executive, he consults for Fortune 500 companies and major global organizations.  He is the author or editor of more than 75 books including Show the Value of What You Do: Measuring and Achieving Success in Any Endeavor (Berrett-Koehler, 2022).  Jack received the 2022 Association of Talent Development (ATD) Thought Leader Award along with his wife and ROI co-founder, Patti P. Phillips, PhD. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Fortune Magazine.
Matthew T. Scully Matthew Scully represents management in the area of labor and employment law. His practice is proactive, focused on managing the complex economic, legal and business decision employers must make in effectively managing their workforce. Scully has considerable experience litigating and advising clients concerning all aspects of employment law, including workplace investigations, disciplinary actions, employment policies, and managing leave. He has experience working with clients in various industries and with small, medium and large sized employers, including Fortune 500 companies. Matthew Scully has a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Business Administration. He also obtained his Juris Doctorate from The University of Alabama School of Law.
Ron Drew Stone Ron Stone is an author, consultant, coach, speaker, and workshop leader.  He is recognized internationally as an accomplished authority on improving human performance and measuring performance results.  He is a certified change consultant and a certified measurement and return on investment (ROI) professional.  As owner and president of the Center for Performance and ROI he works with clients worldwide.  Since 1995, he has been developing tools for managers to help them influence performers to achieve results.  He has conducted hundreds of certification programs that teach clients to design projects and programs to achieve desired business outcomes and get a return on investment.  Ron has conducted over 700 business impact studies around the globe.  Ron has authored several books including: The Real Value of Training: Measuring and Analyzing Business Outcomes and the Quality of ROI, McGraw-Hill, 2011; and Aligning Training for Results, a Process and Tools that Link Training to Business, Pfeiffer, 2009.
Paul Thurber Paul Thurber is the VP/GM of Manufacturing and Safety at and brings more than 30 years of practical safety experience throughout numerous industries to the group.  He is the Sitting Chairman of the Executive Board for the Central/West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Immediate Past Chairman of the Manufacture Alabama Safety and Health Committee.  He is a degreed safety professional with numerous additional certificates and credentials.  He is an approved OSHA 501 instructor through the OSHA Training Institute and teaches for other agencies to include the National Safety Council (NSC), American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross.  Prior to, Paul served in safety, human resources and medical management for Nucor, Alabama Metal Industries Corporation and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama.
Taheti Watson Taheti Watson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CDE® is creating a more inclusive world, one conversation at a time. Throughout her career, she specialized in employee engagement strategy, leadership development, and facilitating inclusive conversations. She believes DEI strategies must be integrated into every segment of an organization. She is also an advocate for changing health inequities that impact communities. In addition to serving as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Canopy Children Solutions in Jackson, MS, she is the Best Practice Committee co-chair for the National Association for Children Behavioral Health (NACBH), providing diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices. She received her bachelor’s in management with a focus on Human Resources from Belhaven University and a master’s in Workforce Training and Development from The University of Southern Mississippi. She is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), (SHRM –SCP), and Certified Diversity Executive CDE®. In addition, Taheti is a certified facilitator for Bold and Inclusive Conversations (The Winters Group) and Coach for Gallup Strengths, Myers Briggs (MBTI), and working towards obtaining Associate Coach certification through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Tracy Webster Tracy Webster, CWPM, CCP is the CEO and founder of HealthMed, Inc.  He brings more than 25 years of experience to the health and wellness promotion industry.Tracy recognized the challenges faced by employers in managing rising health care costs and developed a customizable wellness program to encourage, educate and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health and lifestyle choices. Under Tracy’s leadership and expertise, this program has grown to support the continuum of health across diverse populations and is widely used as a resource for customizing programs and services that impact employee health and productivity. Tracy is an active member of the Wellness Counsel of America, the National Wellness Institute, and the American Telemedicine Association. Tracy graduated from the University of Montevallo in Business Administration.
Ashley Wheeler Ashley Wheeler has over 25 years of experience in learning, leadership, and organizational development. She is a certified executive coach and consultant who helps individuals, teams, and organizations achieve extraordinary results. She has a proven track record of designing and delivering impactful talent programs, performance improvement, and cultural transformation programs for diverse and global clients, including Caterpillar and recently Hunt Refining Company. Her passion is to ignite the spark within people and organizations to discover and fulfill their purpose, maximize their potential, and continuously improve their performance. Ashley leverages her expertise in Extended DISC, Marshall Goldsmith Executive & Team Stakeholder Centered Coaching, John Maxwell Leadership, and Franklin Covey to provide customized coaching, training, and speaking services on topics such as leadership, women’s empowerment, and organizational development. She holds a master’s degree and 60/60 hours of PhD coursework in education from Auburn University, and is a Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society member and a 2022-2023 Graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. She gives back to her community through volunteer work and serving on non-profit boards.