Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote
Steve Gilliland


Steve was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, resides in North
Carolina and travels the world. He received his bachelor’s degree from Grove City College (PA) and his MBA from Globe University (MN).

As a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA. As one newspaper stated, “Steve is what happens when the humor of a stand-up comic collides with the inspiration of motivational speaker."

In addition to his brilliant speaking career, Steve has written four books, Enjoy The RideMaking a DifferenceHide Your Goat and Detour.  He made the publisher’s bestseller list and was named Author of the Year.  Steve built a multimillion-dollar company from the ground up on the same philosophy he expounds to his audiences. If you continually learn more about your company, your industry, your customer and yourself, you will always be a leader. You will be purpose-driven rather than process-driven, and you will make a difference. His motto is straightforward: “If you take care of people, the business will follow.” He has been recognized by Who’s Who for Speakers and Business Professionals, and The Pittsburgh Business Times named his company one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the region.



Closing Keynote
Adam Saenz

How did he go from juvenile detention to two doctorates with training at Harvard Medical School and Oxford University? Adam Sáenz will tell you: it was the power of a teacher. Dr. Saenz’ story is one the Huffington Post says “will never fail to inspire,” a journey through profound lows and soaring highs. At every important juncture, there have been two common elements—lifesavers that appeared when he most needed it: education and teachers. Whether you’re searching for a reason to believe or you just need a hope-filled reminder, the bottom line is that you do have tremendous power to make a difference in students’ lives, and Dr. Sáenz’ message will compel you to engage your calling with passion, with purpose, and with vision.

Dr. Sáenz earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University. He completed his predoctoral clinical training under a fellowship appointment to Harvard Medical School, and he has a postdoctorate in clinical psychology from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Sáenz also earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from Graduate Theological Foundation with residency at Christ Church college of Oxford University.

Dr. Sáenz is the author of the bestselling book, The Power of a Teacher, and his education blog has been featured on the front page of the Huffington Post. He currently serves as the clinical director of the Oakwood Collaborative, the counseling and assessment clinic he founded in 2003.


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