Conference Speakers


Monday, April 3, 2017
Opening General Session
8:00-9:30 A.m.

keynote speaker, writer, and musician

Ravi Hutheesing (Rah-vee Hut-tee-sing) is an entrepreneur who has built his brand as a keynote speaker, writer, and musician. Having spent his life being a bridge between baby-boomers and millennials, his integrity-centric philosophies have influenced businesses, educators, and over a million people throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Additionally, the US Department of State engages Ravi as a cultural diplomat to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding around the world, and he partners with non-profits globally to promote education, the arts, and cultural awareness.

His worldwide visibility skyrocketed as the original guitarist for Mercury recording artist and triple Grammy nominee, Hanson, whose massive fan base of the earliest millennials made them the top-selling band in the world around the turn of the millennium. Ravi has performed on the stages of the Tonight Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, Madison Square Garden, Superdome, and the White House; penned over a hundred articles for major magazines; authored Dancin' with Hanson published by Simon & Schuster; and released interactive-video music courses on TrueFire, CDs of original songs on his own label, and multiple singles on iTunes.

Also an aviator, The Raviator discovered that 50% of pilots play a musical instrument, yet the aviation industry was not using music to attract millennials and reverse the shrinking pilot population (millennials prioritize music). He created a niche market and brand within aviation and performs concerts at air shows, endorses music and aviation companies interested in marketing to pilots, developed a signature model folding guitar that fits in small airplanes, and in addition to helping the industry recruit millennial talent, speaks on pilot hearing loss prevention since he meets more hearing impaired pilots than musicians.

Ravi is the first American born member of India's Nehru-Gandhi family who created and governed the world's largest democracy for over 40 years. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Morning General Session
8:00-9:15 A.m.

The Cuban Guy
Motivational Speaker

Andres graduated with honors from Montclair State University with a major in Speech Communication and a minor in creative writing. He is the author of several international-selling books including "Inspire The Sleeping Giant Within" which is published in Korea, Africa, and USA; "How To Stay Motivated During Difficult Times" and "The Finish Line"

He has appeared in famous radio shows and been featured in countless news papers all around the country. He's currently the CEO of A. Success Training, former president of Inspiration Magazine, and a national known speaker.

His messages reach millions every week in 33 countries around the globe through his site at But what inspires his audiences the most is that he has accomplished all that by the age of 24.

Yet not everything came on a silver spoon for him. You see, at the age of 16 he escaped from Cuba. He arrived to America not knowing a word of English, without his parents, without any money, and was even homeless for a while.

How was he able to turn his life around? How did he go from living his worst nightmare (living on the streets) to living his dream? What inspired him? What had him succeed in spite of all his challenges? That’s what he will reveal in his sessions.  For more info contact him.

Monday, April 3, 2017
Opening General Session
8:00-9:30 a.m.

Neila Connors
President, Networking and Client Connections, inc.

Dr. Neila A. Connors is presently the founder and president of N.A.C. (Networking And Client), CONNECTIONS INC., a corporation dedicated to the implementation of POSITIVE ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS in people.  Her primary focus is to coach people on how to “build their own bridge for a successful life.”  Her philosophy is based upon Napoleon Hill’s quote:  “if you can conceive it and believe it--YOU can ACHIEVE IT.”
Throughout her career, Neila has had the privilege of working with students in grades K-12.  She has been an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher, and an administrator.  She also was an online adjunct professor at Florida State University for 4 years.  
Previously, Neila worked at the Florida Department of Education, responsible for coordinating the development of the middle and high school state curriculum frameworks, working with high school teachers and administrators throughout the state.  She also was the Director of Middle Grades and later was responsible for the state International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs.  She also served as a tenured professor in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.    
Her research has been in the areas of teacher advisory programs, successful counselors, attitudes of students from rural areas, positive teachers and their characteristics and homework.  Among her most notable publications are  S.O.S. (Success-Oriented Strategies) or Teachers of At-Risk Early Adolescents:  P.S. - All Early Adolescents Are At Risk! and Homework: a New Direction.  Her most recent publication, “If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students”, a guide for all educators, has received many enthusiastic reviews.  She is presently writing a partner book for businesses entitled “If You Don’t Feed Your Employees, They Eat the Customers.”  Additionally, her newest book “If You Don’t F.E.E.D. (Fuel, Empower & Engage Daily) the Students They S.T.A.R.V.E. (Stop Trying And Reject Valuable Education) will be available through John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing in the fall of 2017.
Neila has written numerous articles and has presented to public and private school educators, school boards, superintendents, state and national organizations, parents, counselors, international school educators, and corporations in the 50 states, Canada, and Europe.  
Born in Lenox Dale, Massachusetts, Neila received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Leo College in Florida and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.  She is proud to be a die-hard Florida State Seminole and introduces herself as A BELIEVER IN PEOPLE AND A LOVER OF LIFE!

1:45-2:45 P.M.

Liza McFadden
president of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Liza McFadden is president of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The Foundation has spent nearly three decades championing the cause of literacy as a civil right for all Americans, no matter their age, and is among the exclusive one percent of education nonprofits ranked as “Platinum” by GuideStar for transparency and focus on results.  

Liza is known for her work in the development of creative and sustainable public-private partnerships that respond to critical community needs, and is a strong believer in the “power of convening” to encourage broader collaboration and generate innovative solutions. In 2016, the Foundation co-hosted the Adult Schools Growth Forum with the U.S. Department of Education, bringing together partners with a vested interest in expanding access to high-quality, cost-effective schools for adults. It also hosted the Conversation on the Future of Adult Literacy, gathering technology leaders, entrepreneurs, and policy experts to brainstorm visionary, transformational ideas for future adult literacy initiatives. The Foundation’s boldest move to effect change in the adult literacy space—the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE—is currently underway, with teams from around the world racing to develop mobile applications that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners in just 12 months. 

For the past decade, Liza has been involved in education and nonprofit advocacy work at the national level and in her home state of Florida. Her ability to unite partners around critical issues prompted then-Governor Jeb Bush to appoint her to the position of president of Volunteer Florida Foundation, which coordinated volunteer and faith-based efforts for the state. After a series of devastating hurricanes, the Foundation received critical acclaim for its response in raising more than $24 million in private funds to help rebuild low-income homes and nonprofits. The Foundation also created innovative educational programming such as the award-winning Teen Trendsetters™ program, which pairs volunteer teen mentors with struggling elementary school raiders to improve reading skills with the ultimate goal of impacting state graduation rates. 

Liza’s volunteer efforts to support education include her past appointment by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the Senate to serve on the National Institute for Literacy Board; service as volunteer chairman of the innovative Florida Schools of Excellence Board, designed to sponsor and approve charter schools at the state level; and service on Governor Rick Scott’s transition team. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Closing General Session
1:45-2:45 p.m.

Marcus Shingles
Chief Executive Officer of XPRIZE Foundation

Marcus Shingles is the Chief Executive Officer of the XPRIZE Foundation, a non-profit founded by its Executive Chairman, Dr. Peter Diamandis. XPRIZE is the leading expert in designing and implementing innovative models that utilize gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive competitions, and exponential technologies to solve the world’s grandest social challenges.

Prior to XPRIZE, Marcus was a Partner at Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of Deloitte Consulting’s Innovation Group where he worked with corporate executive teams to better understand and plan for the opportunities and threats associated with disruptive innovation driven by “exponentials” (e.g., 3d printing, block-chain, crowd-sourcing, AI) resulting from the accelerated pace of discovery, invention, and technology. At Deloitte, Marcus also championed the strategic global partnership with Singularity University, and helped establish and lead the Innovation Partnership Program with XPRIZE and SU.  Read more...