Let the pioneers of four of the greatest organizational cultures in the world be your personal coach through the process.

Raquel Daniels

Director of Diversity, Southwest Airlines

Raquel Daniels serves as Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and one of the most honored airlines in the world. Southwest ® is known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet.

In her role, Raquel provides strategic direction through her leadership and works with her Team to champion the development of an inclusive environment at Southwest. Raquel accomplishes this by integrating diversity, inclusion and equity practices into all aspects of the business. Raquel is a seasoned Inclusion and Marketing practitioner with more than 20 years of experience. 
A Texas native, Raquel graduated from University of North Texas where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and public relations and a Master of Arts in strategic communication. Raquel and her husband, Leo are proud parents to their son, Ian.

MaryCay Durrant

Culture Expert, Gagen McDonald

Erica Javellana

Speaker of the House, Zappos

Erica Javellana joined the Human Resources department at in 2007, where she quickly distinguished herself with her HR knowledge and her ability to blend HR and the Zappos culture. Erica’s HR role at Zappos as the Employee Relations Manager helped to create an unconventional Human Resources team that is both “fun and a little weird”.  She is currently sharing her knowledge of the Zappos Culture and Service in her role as Speaker of The House for Zappos Insights.  Prior to joining Zappos, Erica had over 10 years of experience in Human Resources within the retail, hotel/casino, and food and beverage industries.

Erica’s years of experience in the Zappos Family makes her an insightful speaker, focusing on employee engagement, commitment to culture, WOW customer experiences and their importance in business today. When she’s not sharing the impact of company culture in the workplace, you can find her reading on her Kindle, cheering on her Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, or doing high intense cardio to compensate for her deep love of nachos and beer.

CDR Rorke Denver

Navy SEAL Commander, Founder, Ever Onward

Commander Rorke T. Denver has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and other international hot spots. He starred in the hit film Act of Valor, which is based on true SEAL adventures. His New York Times bestseller, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior, takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program. In his second book Worth Dying For: A Navy SEALs Call to a Nation, Rorke tackles the questions that have emerged about America’s past decade at war–from what makes a hero to why we fight and what it does to us. Rorke was most recently seen on FOX’s American Grit. The series followed 16 of the country’s toughest men and women as they faced a variety of military grade and survival themed challenges set in the wilderness.

Photo Courtesy of Rob Greer Photography (

David Salyers

David Salyers

Original Chick-fil-A Marketing Executive and Chick-fil-A Pioneer

David Salyers is one of the original two marketing executives at Chick-fil-A. He has spent over 35 years in the Chick-fil-A Marketing Department and currently serves as VP of Growth and Hospitality. Having worked at Chick-fil-A his entire career, he has seen the principles of servant leadership and compassion play out in the growth of more than 2,300 Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. Chick-fil-A, one of America’s most successful, powerful and beloved brands, is a multi-billion dollar company built almost entirely on culture. Chick-fil-A has experienced over 50 consecutive years of sales growth and is at, or near, the top rankings of U.S. brands across all sectors. David has invested his entire career working in and helping to build a culture only to be described as remarkable.

Fellowship 1 Participants

Lillian Montoya

President & Chief Executive Officer
CHRISTUS St. Vincent

Lillian Montoya has been named President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CHRISTUS St. Vincent, a Santa Fe-based not-for-profit health care system, serving a sevencounty region of North Central New Mexico. CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s current President & CEO, Patrick Carrier, will retire after more than 43 years in the healthcare industry, 18 of those with CHRISTUS Health. Carrier has served as President and CEO since November of 2015. “We are so thankful for Pat’s leadership over the past three years, during which CHRISTUS St. Vincent has made significant improvements in service offerings, patient experience and breadth and depth of our clinical capabilities,” said Jeff Puckett, executive vice president, and chief operating officer, CHRISTUS Health. “Pat’s retirement creates an exciting new opportunity as we appoint Lillian Montoya the new CEO of CHRISTUS St. Vincent,” Puckett continued. “Her commitment and passion to making sure the system provides high-quality compassionate healthcare is very personal to her as a native of New Mexico. We are proud to have her as our CEO.” Montoya’s appointment becomes effective June 15, 2018. She currently serves as the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a role that has included oversight of hospital operations including Surgical Services, Materials Management, Environmental Services, Food & Nutrition Services, the Clinical Laboratory, Medical Imaging Services and Respiratory Therapy in addition to oversight of the health system’s Service Excellence, Human Resources and Marketing & Communication units. She has also served as the organization’s principal advisor regarding advocacy and public affairs.

Montoya has more than 25 years of extensive experience in helping corporate, government, and non-profit leaders navigate strategic and organizational challenges. She has demonstrated proven results in designing, developing, and implementing programs that make our communities better places to work.

Montoya becomes the first female CEO of the hospital since the original Sisters of Charity established St. Vincent Hospital in 1865. She joins a growing number of women assuming top leadership roles in the healthcare industry.


Heather McCuen

Director, Global People Policy,

Jeff Huber

President & CEO

Jeff Huber is President and Chief Executive Officer of Home Instead Senior Care, the leading global provider of home care services for older adults. Huber was named President in 2010 and added the role of Chief Executive Officer in May 2015. In his position, Huber oversees global operations and directs strategic planning and advocacy initiatives for the franchise network.

Huber joined Home Instead Senior Care in 1998 as a Franchise Development Manager when the organization consisted of 125 franchises. Today, Home Instead Senior Care provide more than 60 million hours care annually through more than 1,100 franchises offices in 12 countries.

Under Huber’s leadership, Home Instead is committed to addressing the challenges of the aging global population by promoting consumer choice in care. Huber has also increased the organization’s commitment to leadership development and training to empower CAREGivers and families and to advance the organization’s mission: To enhance the lives of aging adults and their families.

Jean Boland

Jean Boland

VP of HR ,
Santek Waste Services

Jenny Love Meyer

Vice President of Communications
Love's Travel Stops

Jenny is the vice president of communications for Love’s Travel Stops. In her position, she oversees public and media relations, internal communications, community relations, charitable giving and corporate events for the Love’s family of companies. She is also responsible for culture sustenance in the organization. Jenny is the daughter of Love’s founders Tom and Judy Love and her career with Love’s officially began in 1991 serving in business and operational management roles. In 1998 she assumed her current role leading the Love’s communications team.

Rhea Foster

Rhea Foster

Chief Operating Officer,
Teach For America – Dallas-Fort Worth

Hannah Yeargan

Senior Client Director
Will Reed

Hannah is the Senior Client Director of Will Reed, a tech sales recruiting and consulting boutique in Dallas, Texas. Before joining Will Reed, she was Head of Global Branding & PR for Wilson Associates, a hospitality interior design firm. During her tenure at Wilson Associates, she also helped launch the company’s culture and talent management initiative. Hannah is always looking for ways to develop, inspire and lead herself and those around her.


Debbie Harsh

SVP, Chief Culture Officer
CenterState Bank

Debbie is a native of Polk County and has been in banking industry for 40+ years. She attended local schools, inclusive of Polk Community College. Debbie has served at CenterState Bank for nine years as the Director of Human Resources and was recently promoted to SVP, Chief Culture Officer. Debbie is very involved in the community and has served as:
Past President of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce.
Past President of the Polk Association of Chambers of Commerce.
Past President of the Auburndale Chamber of Commerce.
Recipient of the National Association of Community Leaderships Distinguished Leadership Award (1993).
Graduate of the Winter Haven Chamber Leadership Class #11.
Graduate of the Leadership Polk Class #5.
Served on the United Way of Central Florida Board of Directors 2013-2016.
Past Banquet Chair for the Florence Villa CDC (2003).
Recognized as the Outstanding volunteer of the year by the Florida Department of Education for her efforts in the implementation of the Youth Mentor Program for the Winter Haven Chamber.
Served as the past President of the Winter Haven Chamber Foundation Board
Past Chairman of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer.
Past Chairman of the Junior League of Great Winter Haven’s Festival of Trees.
Served over 20 years with the Boy Scouts of America annual Golf Tournament.
Debbie was recognized by the Girls Incorporated She Knows Where She is Going Award – George Jenkins Award.

Debbie and her husband David have 3 daughters, 11 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.


Nikki Maritz


Nikki is the CEO of IBTC, a private higher education college in South Africa that specializes in finance and business qualification. Her vision for IBTC is to enhance the careers and enrich the lives of the small segment of our society who believe continuous learning and growth is the way to a better future. She believes that it’s not just within IBTC’s reach to affect social change, but also our obligation.

Nikki has more than 20 years’ experience in private higher and further education and started IBTC twelve years ago with the express desire to shift the focus away from business profit in favour of student success. At the college they now measure the successful delivery of promises to students as a key business performance indicator.

Nikki enjoys working with talented people. She’s a convergent thinker with a champion profile. Her ninja skill is leaving no woman (or man) behind.


Paige Chenault

Founder and CEO
The Birthday Party Project

Paige Chenault believes that JOY changes lives. In 2012, she founded The Birthday Party Project. As Chief Birthday Enthusiast (CEO), Paige manages a team of committed, energetic professionals. Under her leadership, The Birthday Party Project has grown to serve 15 cities around the country.

Each month, The Birthday Party Project hosts birthday parties at local homeless and transitional living facilities.

Since 2012, TBPP has celebrated with over 40,000 kids across the country!

Prior to The Birthday Party Project, Paige founded PaigeChenault Events, a successful event planning company, which she managed for nearly a decade.

Kendal Jolly

Kendal Jolly

Managing Director of Culture,
Toll Brothers

Kevin Jasmin

Director, Corporate Brand Strategy
TD Ameritrade

Kevin Jasmin leads corporate brand strategy at TD Ameritrade and has been with the organization for six years. His efforts are focused on defining and facilitating the adopting of company purpose and values, simplifying and strengthening the company’s brand architecture, establishing a compelling brand positioning and identity, and ensuring the TD Ameritrade brand unlocks value for the organization, our clients and the communities in which we operate.

Prior to joining TD Ameritrade, he worked for international brand consulting firms, Lippincott, and Interbrand, where he gained exposure to branding challenges across several industries, geographies and company lifecycles. He holds thirteen years of experience in the profession and has consulted for several other financial services organizations including Citi, Bank of America, and Thomson Reuters.

Kevin holds a B.S. in Communications from Endicott College and an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College, both in Boston, Massachusetts.

He currently serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Brand Strategy.

Ross Cromartie

Ross Cromartie

President and CEO,
Kelly Ann Doherty

Kelly Ann Doherty

Chief Communications Officer,
Mr. Cooper
Bill Betts

Bill Betts

President & COO,
Betts Company

Jan Ritter

Vice President, HR+
Good Samaritan Society

Jan’s career in human resources began in the banking industry, and she worked in the financial services sector at IBM before moving in 1992 to Norwest/Wells Fargo. She was later promoted to Vice President, Human Resources before accepting a position at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, where she served first as SVP for Human Resources and later as EVP for Internal Relationships, where Jan led all non-sales functions at the bank.

Jan joined the Good Samaritan Society in 2013 after her father became a resident in one of Good Samaritan’s long-term care facilities, and Jan saw first-hand the difference that Good Samaritan’s mission was making in the lives of its residents and their families.

Jan says she learned the value of hard work and perseverance growing up on a farm in northwest Iowa. She is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls. She and her husband have one son, and Jan loves spending time with immediate and extended family and feeding an addiction to reading.

Rhonda Hall

Rhonda Hall

VP, Human Resources and Organizational Development,
University Federal Credit Union

Emma Misner

Davis and Misner, LLC
Philip Higgins

Philip Higgins

Santek Waste Services
Jayshri Patel

Jayshri Patel

Manager Corporate Communications,
Maren McGrane

Maren McGrane

Director, Enterprise Program Management Office,
Sonic Automotive
Deb Laudano

Debra Laudano

Corporate Ambassador of Culture and Engagement,
Maplewood Senior Living
Thais Hanson

Thais Hanson

Director of Communications,
L3 Technologies
Darron Wheat

Darron Wheat

Foundation Constructors
Amy Raden

Amy Raden

Director of People and Culture,
Kimi Dallman

Kimi Dallman

Managing Partner,
Switch Creative
Angela Broadway

Angela Broadway

VP of Human Resources,
Sonic Automotive

Charissa Cousins

VP Culture

Charissa is one part culture, one part strategist and one part mentor. After having envisioned, built and grown a professional education platform to serve the educationally under-served in South Africa, she has now transcended to culture as a means of scaling the business and building lasting competitive advantage. Charissa is an integral part of the vision and strategy of the college and speaks many business languages. Charissa loves remarkable service, customer value over profits, enhancing careers and enriching lives. Her superhuman power is X-ray vision.

Leo Ramirez, Jr.

Leo Ramirez, Jr.

CEO and Co-Founder,
Josh Collins

Joshua Collins

AVP of Culture,
Oconee State Bank

Peggy Pepper

Mentor, Consultant, Strategist, Catalyst
First Concept Corporation

As a Creative Director for an international advertising agency, Peggy was part of the team that launched an entire city just north of Houston, Texas. The Woodlands remains a thriving city to this day. That experience, along with the development of award-winning campaigns for clients such as Mercedes-Benz, DeBeers Diamonds and Shell Oil would provide the foundation for her subsequent ventures.

As an Entrepreneur, Creative Consultant, and Branding Strategist, Peggy became known for developing “the big idea”, then, strategically turning that idea into a successful reality, not only for a wide range of global clients, but also for start-up entrepreneurs

As a champion for entrepreneurs, Peggy co-authored, THE NEW ENTREPRENEURS: BUSINESS VISIONARIES for the 21ST CENTURY which received the attention of The White House Women’s Initiative. She was called upon to develop workshops for inner-city women who wanted to launch their own businesses and was later hailed by The White House as “a visionary leader for women with a dream”.

Through this work, Peggy became interested in the use of The Clifton Strengths Finder as a way for participants to clearly see their own potential and as a way to create dynamic teams who communicate with one another more effectively. She has found its life-enhancing qualities to be significant in the establishment of the kind of employee engagement which leads to strong cultures.

Given her background in marketing, advertising and brand development Peggy’s unique approach to working within a corporate culture is to view it as “INTERNAL MARKETING”.

Clients have included Mary Kay Global, UniVision, Merrill Lynch, and Carlson Learning Company. She also consults one-on-one with C-suite executives, particularly women, who want to re-calibrate their careers and personal lives. Peggy is a Business Communications graduate of Rider University, as well as a graduate of the Executive Program for Authentic Leadership at Harvard Business School.

Peggy is currently developing a new conversation for our culture, in general. The message?
OLDER does not mean OVER…It is intended to turn our current ideas about what it means to “AGE”, in the world, in the marketplace, and at work….right on its head.

Stacey Sullivan

Stacey Sullivan

Director of Corporate Communications,

Greg Wilkinson

Chairman and Founder
Hill Wilkinson

Greg, a lifelong Dallas resident, has been in the construction business since 1971 and a registered professional engineer in Texas since 1972. He has nearly 50 years of experience in the construction industry, including assignments as estimator, project engineer, marketing manager, vice president, regional manager and now co-chairman. Greg’s influence on management, business development and the culture at Hill & Wilkinson has been instrumental in its explosive growth over the last 30 years.

Greg is currently on the board of LegacyTexas Bank, Teaching Trust and Dallas Regional Chamber. He is also a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.


Sandy Swider

Swider & Co

Who I am: I am a hotel executive turned executive coach and consultant sitting at the intersection of experience branding and professional/personal leadership development. I help leaders understand, own, articulate and live out their stories as well as the story of their product or service in order to drive impact.

Who I work with: I work best with passionate, positive, hard-charging leaders from whom the creative solution is elusive in the current overload.

What’s my story: My professional and personal experience is chock-full of brand clarification and reinvention, and I feel privileged to guide other leaders through the gray space of such exploration with hope. I thrive on complexity, change and people coming together to achieve more than they could even imagine.

What I do: I work alongside leaders looking toward what is next for themselves, their teams or their organizations. That may involve developing teams and high potential talent, elevating company culture and employee experiences and/or enhancing brands and customer experiences. I do that through a unique combination of provocative engagement, creative brainstorming and planning, program creation and encouraging support.


Mat Threadgill

The Threadgill Agency

Mat started his career at The Richards Group after graduating from Texas Tech in 2000 with a BS in Advertising. While there, he worked on The Home Depot, helping launch a new line of power tools, revamp the gift card program and develop the company’s sports sponsorships. He headed up the Fruit of the Loom, and Adams Golf accounts.

In March of 2007, Mat co-founded DIB Creative. The idea was to build a totally different agency model founded on digital marketing expertise. While at DIB, Mat launched 50+ web sites, led online marketing efforts, initiated social media programs, built iPhone Apps, launched the first ever hyper-local TV station on the web and have co-founded five new digitally-driven business entities.

In 2012, Mat moved to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as Vice President of Corporate Relations. Mat helped procure major Corporate Partners including Harley-Davidson, NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway, James Avery, Rudy’s BBQ, Studio Movie Grill, Salem Media and Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Mat then moved to Vice President of Client Services at Standing Dog Interactive. Standing Dog is a 75-person internet marketing company in Dallas and has been named one of INC. 5000’s fast growing private companies three years in a row. There he worked on Greystar, the largest multifamily management and development company in the country. He also worked on Omni Hotels, Perot Museum and True

In November of 2016, Mat launched The Threadgill Agency. His agency focuses on brands that need senior-level marketing strategy and digital marketing execution. His clients include SIXSITE Hunting Gear, Atmos Energy, Lhoist Chemical Company, Dallas Market Center and Stillwater Capital.

Mat has been on the Texas Tech College of Media and Communications’ National Advisory Board since 2005 and was awarded the Outstanding Alumnus award in 2014.


Bethann Roberts

Legend Consulting, LLC

A Dynamic C – level leader and coach, whose astute strategic, business and financial skills combined with a 25+ year track record of multi million dollar revenue and profit growth. Bethann provides her clients with a unique perspective and sounding board. Her experience includes fourteen years of Executive Coaching and Consulting, fifteen years of Executive Leadership in the areas of Investments, Insurance, Commercial Lending/Equity Ownership and Servicing Operations. Bethann was a Division C.E.O. with GE and Senior Leader with HSBC, prior to starting her own firm, Legend Consulting. She holds the International Coach Federation Certification, Six Sigma Quality Certification, Project Management, Certified Trainer and Assessment facilitator.

Priscilla Sauceda

Priscilla Sauceda

Chief People Officer,
Sauceda Industries
Karen Bundy

Karen Bundy

Gagen MacDonald

Lindsay Hutter

Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer
Goodwin House Incorporated

As Goodwin House’s Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Lindsay Hutter leads strategic efforts to fulfill the mission and expand the ways and places in which Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) serves seniors, exploring new approaches and partnerships while also seeking ways to enhance the GHI residential communities and other programs such as Goodwin House at Home, and GH Palliative Care and Hospice.

Lindsay also leads the organization’s brand, marketing, and onboarding experience, ensuring that prospective residents and members receive a warm, welcoming, and informative experience as they consider the options that Goodwin House offers for their future, and later select Goodwin House as their life care community and provider. Lindsay also is responsible for GHI public relations and communications programs, helping to share the Goodwin House story, including the GHI commitment to “support, honor and uplift the lives of older adults and the people who care for them.”

A resident of Fairfax County, Lindsay’s career spans leadership positions in change management, market innovation, and marketing and communications. Before joining Goodwin House, she served as SVP of Communications, PR & Structured Innovation for the Data & Marketing Association where she identified and built programs to increase member value and accelerate industry success. Previously, Lindsay was EVP of Change & Internal Communications at global consultancy Hill + Knowlton Strategies, where she launched and led the Global Change Management & Employee Engagement Practice.

Lindsay holds a B.S. degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University.


Sumaia De Miguel


Graduated in Business Administration by Pontificia Universidade Católica in São Paulo, with a specialization degree in Marketing from the University of California / Berkeley, San Francisco (USA), where she resided for five years.
Trained in Facilitation and Consulting by Adigo and Coaching by Instituto EcoSocial. Certified in a variety of tools that support organizational development and leadership such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) by CPP, Immunity to change (USA, Harvard Business School) among others.

Developed her carreer for over twenty years in the fields of Marketing and Sales including areas of Institutional Communication, distribution network strategy, CRM, Market Intelligence and Project Management in multinational companies including Dow Agrosciences, DuPont do Brasil, Perstorp Plastic Systems.

Currently, as a specialist in Organization Development has supported several companies to achieve better performance through initiatives that enabled them to review, clarify and disseminate to all team members their purpose in the market context. The work developed has brought results on teamwork, leadership development, overall employee engagement and consequently better business results.

Works well with all levels of organization through counseling, coaching, mentoring and as a facilitator. Projects support cultural change, leadership development or other organizational needs in an integrated format. This allows top executives to connect all projects with an identified and clearly communicated purpose and therefore sustaining by themselves the results achieved during the process.

Barbara D'Agostino

Barbara D’Agostino

Executive Director,
Goodwin House

Amy Wheat

Foundation Constructors, LLC.

With experience in Concrete Construction, General Construction & Heavy Utility Construction, my husband and I have had a unique opportunity to partner in our fields of Construction & Finance to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. I have had 12 years in banking with a Top 10, earning their highest honor as a Circle of Excellence employee, and 5 years Construction Accounting, with the majority of that time working for our own companies. We are blessed with resources and partnerships to be able to continue to expand our horizons, and plan to take advantage of every opportunity we are given to make all of our ventures successful.

Ben Johnston

Ben Johnston

Vice President Corporate Development,
Santek Waste Services

Bonnie Daniels

SVP Culture & People Services
MiTek Industries, Inc

Bonnie Daniels has global responsibility for the attraction, engagement, development and retention of MiTek’s most important assets – its people – and for fostering its culture through them. As the SVP of Culture & People Services, she champions MiTek’s “People First Culture” by working with leaders to unlock the potential of every “purpose partner” (employee) in the company, playing a critical role in enabling the company to be an employer of choice in every market it serves globally. Serving a growing employee base, Bonnie enables MiTek to expand its scale while retaining the critical relationship-driven, people-centric culture that has made the company so successful.
Bonnie brings more than 30 years of leadership experience across multiple industries, geographies and businesses. Prior to joining MiTek, Bonnie served as the global head of HR for both privately-owned and publically traded companies, including Keller Group, Kraft Foodservice, Solutia and National Sea Products.

As an HR executive, Bonnie’s passion for people and culture are especially focused on engagement and diversity. She has had the opportunity to work alongside and partner with several unique CEO’s in her career – to foster organizational development, leadership skills, and cultural evolution. She is a coach to emerging HR professionals and enjoys mentoring college juniors and seniors entering the workforce. Bonnie holds an honors graduate degree from Rivier College, lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (HRCI) and her Global Professional in Human Resources Certification. She was listed as one of the Top 50 Business Women in St. Louis in 2008.

MiTek Industries, Inc., A Berkshire Hathaway company since 2001, is a diversified global supplier of software, engineered products, equipment and services for the worldwide building industry. The company is comprised of more than 40 companies operating in nearly 100 countries globally, providing a broad array of products and services. MiTek Industries’ passion for our associates’ well-being and for our customers’ success through continuous process improvement is the company’s hallmark. Its success now empowers more than 6500 employees globally. With annual revenue of more than $2 Billion, the company has doubled in size since 2011 and continues exponential growth through acquisitions and organic growth. 4808


Vanessa Reed

Sr. Director, Culture & Communications
The Howard Hughes Corporation

My name is Vanessa Reed. I am currently responsible for all culture initiatives and internal communications for The Howard Hughes Corporation. I live in Dallas, Texas.


Guy Hocking

Group Managing Director
Utilize Plc

Current Managing Director of Utilize and its group of companies; where our vision is to give every business the technology to succeed.

I joined Utilize in 2004 and have held a variety of roles, most recently Operations Director of both Utilize Plc and Ignite Business Communications Ltd, prior to becoming Group Managing Director.

I am extremely fortunate to be in one of the most exciting, ever changing and diverse industries in the world and have a direct influence over emerging technologies; being a part of the Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and various other panels and Partner Advisory Councils (PACs) across the technology sector.

A passionate mountaineer, having summited a range of 4000m+ peaks, as with my work I never look down – only onwards and upwards.


Tim Watts

Chief Operating Officer
Santek Waste Services

Joseph “Tim” Watts is the Chief Operations Officer for Santek Waste Services, LLC and has more than 27 years of solid waste management experience. A veteran of the United States Army, Mr. Watts oversees all corporate activities which extend into nine states, 700 employees, 17 publicly owned landfills and 12 transfer stations. Mr. Watts has been married to his wife, Dawn, for 29 years and they are the parents of two children.


Candice Schmitt

Sr. Director, People Operations
Team Rubicon

A Southern California native, I joined Team Rubicon’s National Staff in early 2014 to help advance our mission of helping people on their worst day by growing and developing a team of exceptional leaders and high-performing do-gooders. Since that time, our National Staff has grown from 20 to 120 and our volunteer base from 25k to 85k. With this rapid growth and change, ignited largely by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria last fall, it’s a top priority to keep our culture and engagement as strong as ever. After graduating with my degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California, I went on to work in psycho-educational testing and then to a tech start-up, which was acquired by a 100-year old retail company during my tenure. The latter was significant in fast-tracking and deepening my experience and perspective on change management and employee culture and experience and ultimately, preparing me for the past 18 months at Team Rubicon! I’m proud of the work my team does and look forward to better supporting and enhancing our culture as a result of this fellowship, if selected.


Elizabeth Lyons

Sr. Director, U.S. Strategic Accounts

Have the privilege of changing lives every day and adding value to the lives of children, families, franchisees and staff. Currently responsible for the strategic accounts of our company (top ten owners); with nine years of experience running two local Dallas centers, our training, centralized support, and field support teams.

Susan Kehoe

Susan Kehoe

Director of Educational Media Services,
George Mason University
Brett Rawls

Brett Rawls

Chief Administrative Officer,
CenterState Bank
Kara LeComte

Kara LeComte

FVP/Director of Training and Organizational Development,
CenterState Bank

Sam Leyendecker

Manager Culture Services
Southwest Airlines

As a manager in the culture services department, Sam Leyendecker feels like he was born to serve the employees of Southwest Airlines. He grew up in Albuquerque New Mexico where his mom Carol was a Southwest reservations agent for 15 years.

Sam has spent his ten year career immersed in culture and employee engagement. Sam oversees Southwest’s culture committees, culture blitz appreciation events, and the official employee culture Facebook page. The efforts of culture services and the culture committees are a big reason Southwest Airlines continues to be a “best place to work.”

Sam currently lives in Dallas with his wife Lisa, and three boys: Luke (5), Jack (3), and baby Tommy (1).


Sharon Dye


Sharon Dye has utilized a common sense approach to consulting for 29 years to help clients identify core issues and appropriate solutions. She has proven ability to turn consulting theory into practical, actionable plans. She has been actively engaged in helping organizations have a successfully aligned culture to ensure marketplace success. Her reputation for hearing what isn’t being said, re-framing perspectives, and being tactfully direct has earned her the nickname of “CEO Whisperer.” An executive coach to leaders of organizations in the early months of start-up as well as leaders of organizations that have existed for decades. Her talent for quickly assessing issues and best solutions is particularly suited to helping companies impacted by reorganization, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, leadership changes and corporate culture challenges. She is currently a human capital consultant with Insperity, where she helps clients define their goals, overcome roadblocks and improve overall organizational performance.


Janice Hamilton-Crawford

President, Trinity Health Of New England Senior Communities
Mercy Community Health

Janice Hamilton-Crawford is President Of Trinity Health of New England Senior Communities, which comprises a total of nine post-acute care facilities in Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts. She is the first executive to oversee this newly-formed health care region.
Jan arrived at Trinity Health Of New England Senior Communities in March 2018 after spending more than 30 years working for the international, faith-based CHRISTUS Dubuis Health System. In 1987, she joined the organization as the office coordinator for the Endoscopy Unit at CHRISTUS Saint Joseph Hospital in Houston. Throughout her tenure at CHRISTUS, Jan achieved progressive leadership in multiple service lines, with responsibility for increasing budgets and management. Most recently, she served as the health system’s President, leading CHRISTUS’ post-acute division and managing a $100.3M (consolidated) annual operating budget.

Jan excels in the areas of leadership development, innovation, and execution of financial turnaround strategies. She is a passionate advocate for faith-based health care. An alumna of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Jan holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and an M.B.A. in healthcare management. A former volunteer with the Dallas-based Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Jan is a fellow and past Board member of Houston’s chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the American Hospital Association. She is looking forward to setting down roots in the Hartford/Springfield area and becoming active both professionally and personally in her new community.

Jan is married to Perry Crawford, and has a daughter and son-in-law based in Texas. She is a very proud grandmother to three-year-old Franklin III.


Jami Huber

VP, Communication Strategy
Sonburst Communication

Much of an organization’s success is driven by its people’s engagement in the company’s values, vision, mission and goals. One of the most powerful engagement tools available is strategic communication. The right strategy cuts through the noise and distractions, prioritizes resources, increases understanding and collaboration, and creates clarity and alignment. Jami has successfully transformed internal communication into a strategic business asset that gets results for several organizations.

As vice president of communication strategy, Jami provides expert consultation and strategic planning services to help businesses and franchise organizations get ahead faster. By implementing creative, fun and effective internal communication strategies, Jami helps company’s establish measurable goals, track results, increase engagement and drive growth. She works closely with executives, senior leaders and their teams to connect the right people to the right information, when and where they need it. And since effective communication touches all aspects of a successful business, her expertise also includes executive communication; content development; event messaging; high-performance team-building; vision casting; public speaking; communication skills training; and creative direction.

Jami joins Sonburst Communication, experts in event communication and management, after more than 30 years in – and thousands of questions regarding – advertising, marketing and communication. Jami has most notably served as president and founder of Forward Communication Strategies; vice president of communication for the Home Instead Senior Care® global franchise network; director of marketing communications at InfoGroup; and vice president of operations at ProMax Training and Consulting.