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2023 Conference Featured Breakout Speakers

Phil Gaines
Clemson University

Phil Gaines is currently a Professor of Practice at Clemson University, prior to Phil's arrival at Clemson he served 38 years in the S.C. State Park Service, as a Park Ranger, Park Superintendent, Assistant Director and the last 13 years as the State Park Director.

Roz and Jed Buck
Roz and Jed Buck Training and Consulting

Roz and Jed Buck have done what many married couples consider to be “the impossible”...They have worked together, side by side, for almost 20 years. From 2004 – 2016, they owned and directed Meadowbrook Day Camp, a large private day camp in New Jersey, where they trained a staff of over 400 each summer. Since launching Roz and Jed Training & Consulting in 2016, their innovative training techniques and energetic presentations have consistently generated outstanding reviews at a wide variety of conferences including the National RPA Conference and dozens of state RPA conferences and workshops. They successfully provide Two Voices, Customized Content, and Real Experience. Session organizers receive comments like “Easily the BEST session of the day”, “TONS of great ideas to share with our staff!”, “Fun, active, going to use this immediately!”, and simply “AWESOME”. Roz and Jed have shared their messages with thousands of individuals while presenting in 27 different states and Canada.

A-Yanna Webster
Winning Within & Associates

A’Yanna Webster, Principal at Winning Within & Associates, LLC, is a people and culture industry thought leader known for delivering real and innovative solutions that result in great places to work. A’Yanna has over 15 years of experience in workplace culture and climate consulting that includes diversity, equity, and inclusion, organizational effectiveness, change management, employee and customer experience architecture, employee engagement, and leadership development. She is a talented keynote speaker and master facilitator known for her spirited approach and natural ability to empower clients to action that breeds results. A’Yanna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio /TV Communication, and a Masters of Public Affairs degree. To her credit, she is also a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and holds professional certifications in Group Facilitation, Social & Emotional Intelligence, Change Management (PROSCI), Organizational Development, and Diversity & Inclusion (Cornell University). 

Donald Forgione

Donald Forgione has nearly four decades of progressive leadership experience in the tourism, hospitality, environmental, and parks & recreation fields. He understands what it takes to foster a top-rate customer service culture while protecting the natural and cultural resources. His passion for the land and her people is inspiring and contagious. He has held many positions from Park Ranger to the Director (ret) of the Florida Park Service which includes 1,000 employees, 15,000 volunteers, 30 million visitors and 175 State Parks. Under his leadership, the Florida Park Service was awarded the National Gold Medal for Excellence making Florida the only state to win this prestigious accolade four times.

Michelle Lane
North Kansas City Hospital

Michelle Lane is a certified nurse leader and health coach. Michelle has over 25 years’ experience in nursing, psychology, and wellness. She combines her love of health and education to assist people in achieving their goals related to health and happiness. She currently serves as the Sr. Director for Community Wellness and Corporate Health. Previous roles include Sr. Director of Critical Care, Emergency, Trauma, and Education; all at North Kansas City Hospital.

LaTonya Wilkins
Change Coaches

Founder of The Change Coaches and author of Leading Below the Surface: How to Build Real (and Psychologically Safe) Relationships with People Who Are Different from You, LaTonya Wilkins specializes in coaching executives on leading “below the surface” to build psychologically safe relationships with their teams across differences. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and has inspired audiences all over the world. Through highly customized coaching, culture academies, and human-centered design services, LaTonya and her team work with executives, middle managers, and teams to create cultures of belonging, motivating environments, and amplify the “only ones” at work so they feel more valued, heard, and engaged at work.

Gayla Hopkins
Organizational Performance Solutions, LLC

Gayle Hopkins is President of Organizational Performance Solutions LLC, a firm specializing in leadership development, organizational development, human resources consulting, curriculum design and facilitation. Prior to starting her own business, Gayle held a variety of learning and development, organizational development and human resources positions for companies such as H&R Block World Headquarters, John Knox Village and UMB Bank. She currently consults with clients in a variety of industries including engineering, finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, technology and transportation. Gayle holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in Education.

Chris Stevenson
The Empower Group

Chris Stevenson - former Power Ranger stuntman - is the founder of The Empower Group, a full-service consulting firm with services ranging from staff training, workshops, full facility management and more. Stevenson has over 20 years of experience in many aspects of the health and fitness industry. In addition, he is an international speaker who regularly presents at IHRSA, IDEA and many other fitness and business events. Chris has the unique ability to instantaneously connect with people and to present viable, applicable lectures that resonate with every audience.

Lisa Licata

Lisa is the Senior Director of Professional Administrators, specifically focusing on the needs of Professional Youth Sports Administrators as she oversees the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators and the mandated implementation of NAYS programs on U.S. Military bases worldwide. For 27+ years Lisa has worked for NAYS and has made hundreds of presentations at national, state and local trainings and conferences.

Farrell Buller

For more than 20 years, Farrell has embraced her passion for serving others in local government. From a front-line camp staff member to the highest attainable position as City Manager, she is a true testament to achieving by believing. The ability to impact, influence, and inspire other local government professionals and executive leaders continues to serve as her professional North Star. Farrell has served as Recreation Division Manager and Parks and Recreation Director for several municipalities and is regularly facilitating seminars on topics such as operational effectiveness, cost recovery and financial sustainability, change management, and progressive leadership.

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