2018 COABE Conference–Speakers
Deborah G. Estes, Ed.D
In 1995, Deborah G. Estes established Estes Group, Inc., which specialized in training to both the business, corporate and educational sectors. She consults for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Learning Forward and the Bureau of Education and Research and is a member of several local boards. Dr. Estes presents throughout the United States and Canada and has been a distinguished speaker in Yauyos, Peru and for the Department of Defense in Seoul, Korea. She is a recognized conference keynote speaker and presenter, and often speaks to Administrative Leadership Teams and conducts Board of Trustees training.
Dr. Estes graduated from Texas A & M University – Commerce with a doctorate in Educational Administration and is a former high school teacher, middle school principal, and Curriculum/Public Relations Director. She also held the position of Senior Consultant for Region 10 Educational Service Center, where her responsibilities included directing, coordinating and serving as a lead trainer of a cooperative service which provided administrative training to more than 1600 superintendents, principals, central office staff and trustees of eighty-two school districts.
Working with people of all orientations—educators, parents, community members, non-profit organizations, business leaders, corporate executives, project managers, team leaders and conference participants, Dr. Estes is known for her warmth, humor and ability to involve everyone in the joy of learning.
Dr. Michael E. Wooten
Dr. Michael Eric Wooten serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. He provides leadership, direction and management for over $2 billion dollars in initiatives supporting career and technical education, adult education, correctional and re-entry education, and community colleges. These initiatives collectively serve over 25 million students annually. Dr. Wooten leads the Divisions that administer the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the state formula and discretionary grant programs under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Dr. Wooten establishes national leadership activities to enhance the quality and rigor of educational programs, and he promotes the development of strategies that support student success. He brings more than one third of a century of government experience to the department.
Previously, Dr. Wooten served as the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer for the District of Columbia where he managed $5.2 Billion in annual contract spending through a workforce of 166 professionals. He also served as the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) for District of Columbia’s Office of Contracting and Procurement. As CLO, he designed and implemented a competency-based certification program for the District’s contract specialists. Additionally, Dr. Wooten served for seven years as a member of the Northern Virginia Community College Board; he was elected chairman of the board from 2014 through 2016. He was also selected to serve as an interim school board member for Prince William County Public Schools.
Prior to joining the District’s Office of Contracting and Procurement, Dr. Wooten served for ten years in various academic posts at Defense Acquisition University. Chief among these posts, he served as a professor of contract management, deputy department chair, and special assistant to the President of Defense Acquisition University. Mike Wooten is a 20 year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His Marine Corps career culminated with service in Afghanistan followed by command of a unit of 1,200 Marines. He was retired at the rank of major.
Dr. Wooten first earned an associate’s degree from Georgia Perimeter College before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chapman University. He also holds master’s degrees from Norwich University (leadership and organizational management), the Naval Postgraduate School (acquisition and contract management), and the George Washington University (education and human development). He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in higher education management.
Denine Torr joined Dollar General in the fall of 1999. As Senior Director of the Community Initiatives division, she oversees corporate and foundation giving, employee volunteer engagement efforts, and assists with the development of cause related partnerships for Dollar General’s forty-three state market. Denine has designed and executed funding initiatives for Dollar General that have raised more than $100 million for charity. She has been instrumental in the creation of Dollar General’s Employee Assistance Foundation and growth of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $143 million to literacy initiatives that have helped more than 9 million individuals learn to read, receive their high school equivalency or learn English.