Keynote and featured speakers for the 1999 Connections conference

Steve Rizzo
June 7, 1999
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Learn to Laugh

Steve Rizzo is an individual who doesn't always go with the flow of life; he sometimes dives into it. Some call him The Entertainer With A Message, and for good reason. He has been a headlining comedian for over 17 years and has appeared on HBO, Showtime, Evening at the Improv, Comic Strip Live, The Comedy Channel, and many other network and cablevision shows. Now Steve coaches people on how to utilize their Sense of Humor as a tool so they can be More Creative, More Productive and Achieve Maximum Performance in the work place and in their personal lives.

Learn to Laugh Off Your Fears!

Learn How to Sway Your Emotions to Work For You not against you.

Learn How to Acquire a Whole New Attitude to dealing with negativity

and the everyday pressures of life.

Keith Harrell
June 8, 1999
  • Closing Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Attitude is Everything

As a nationally acclaimed speaker, Keith Harrell is highly recognized for his innovative and enlightening presentations. His messages have been described by many as powerful, dynamic, energetic, humorous and motivational! Keith has traveled around the world positively impacting the professional and personal lives of people. His credentials include "BEST SPEAKER" by Guide Europe, Innsbrook, Austria, as well as, "BEST SPEAKER" of several national and international conferences. Keith spent 14 years with IBM as an executive, and today he is president of Harrell & Associates, Ltd. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and American Society of Training & Development. Some of Keith's clients include Kodak, U.S. Sprint, Dean Witter, Texaco, IBM, the CIA and a host of others. Keith's new book entitled "Attitude is Everything" is now available and it is the title of his closing keynote speech.

Harvey Alston
June 7, 1999
  • Plaza I - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Be the Best
  • Plaza I - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Be the Best

Harvey Alston has a background in counseling, teaching, head football coach of Columbus East High School in Ohio to Assistant Director of Student financial Aid at the university level. As an educator Harvey has served in the language arts, science and mathematics curricula. He was instrumental in the promotion and direction of physical education and body building programming. At the university level, Alston's works include teaching, administration, and student counseling. Alston served in both business management and in supervisory positions in the restaurant business. He is the recipient of literally scores of community awards and continues as advisor to numerous civic boards, panels, and commissions. Alston has spoken to thousands of groups and presents his program called "BE THE BEST" Alston is the author of four books which are "BE THE BEST"; "BLACK MALES"; "BOOK OF WISDOM FOR TEACHERS"; AND "BOOK OF WISDOM FOR SPEAKERS".

Butch Cotter
June 8, 1999
  • Plaza F - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - The Real Story of the Classroom Wars
  • Plaza F - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - A Ten Year Look at Block Scheduling

Butch Cotter, Superintendent of Seneca High School, has been in public education for twenty-nine years as a coach, teacher, and administrator. Butch has spoken throughout the United States, Central America, and South America more than thirteen hundred times to educational and business audiences. Butch is in his sixteenth year at Seneca High School, and is considered the FATHER OF BLOCK SCHEDULING in Illinois, Seneca being the first school in Illinois to use the concept of longer class periods. Butch earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and psychology from Illinois State University and has earned graduate degrees from Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University in educational administration. He serves many school districts as a consultant and is a special consultant to the State Department for Overseas Schools. When Butch grows up he claims he doesn't want to be a Superintendent, but rather a return to the Friday night lights and wars of football coaching. During his thirteen year coaching career, teams playing for Coach Cotter won 90% of their games earning Butch the reputation of a great motivator for students and adults. His unique presentation is similar to a half-time talk to get his audience ready to play a great second half.

Mary Feeley Fisher
June 7, 1999
  • Plaza I - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Thriving In Change With Humor
  • Plaza I - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Thriving In Change With Humor

Mary Fisher has seen life from the corporate corner office as well as the comedy club stage. She has combined and extensive business background in both corporate and government work experience, from front lines to executive level positions with her professional experience in the entertainment industry as an award winning stand up comedian. With this combination of experience, Mary delivers the perfect blend of education and entertainment earning her the reputation of being the Enter"Trainer". She is no stranger to challenge in the workplace. Her father had the first live television show for children in Kansas City. Mary was a regular on this show until her father fired her at the tender age of 4. It seemed she wanted more lines on the show so during a commercial, she threw a Frito bag at her dad. Her message of hope and humor recently earned her a spot on the nationally syndicated "good news" television show Destination Hope.

Chad Foster
June 8, 1999
  • Plaza E - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Teenagers Preparing for the Real World: The Inside Scoop that you Won't Learn in School
  • Plaza E - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Teenagers Preparing for the Real World: The Inside Scoop that you Won't Learn in School

A much sought after speaker in the world of teenage motivation, Chad Foster's ability to see things as teenagers see them establishes an immediate bond between speaker and audience- whether the audience is filled with teenagers, parents or educators. His message is powerful, entertaining, and simple, all wrapped into one.

Entering business at age 19, Chad had to rely on the relationships he developed and the skills he learned as a teenager, to prepare him for the real world. The preparation paid off as he developed and marketed a unique product made from recycled tires. That product is soft playground surface that you see at McDonald's restaurants throughout the country.

Retired at age 33, the author and speaker is committed to sharing his skills of success with America's teenagers, as they prepare to face their own real world. Chad is a native of Louisiana and now makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia, where he spends his time writing, speaking and fly fishing.

Susan Goodale
June 8, 1999
  • Plaza I - 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Team Building: We Are All in It Together
  • Plaza I - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Emotional Intelligence: People Skills and People-Smart Students
  • Plaza I - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Brain-Based Learning: Teaching How Humans Learn

Susan Goodale is an engaging, inspiring, and dynamic presenter and workshop trainer with more than 30 years experience in education and human behavior. With masters degrees in both educational administration and mental health counseling, she has been a teacher of high school, community college, and university graduate students, a school administrator, feature writer, marriage and family therapist, and a business and educational consultant who presents to audiences across the nation. She is a highly requested and often featured speaker at state and national conferences and holds membership in a national speakers' bureau and the International Platform Association. In addition, Susan is a certified school counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has received state and national recognition for her work with families and young people.