Keynote and featured speakers for the 2003 Connections conference

John Powers
June 11, 2003
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Learning is for the Birds: the Ones that Want to Fly
  • Plaza H - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - How to Keep the Promises You Make to Yourself

Great speakers are highly entertaining, informational, inspirational, and most importantly...unforgettable. John Powers stands out as one of the best in the business. His entire career has been one of effectively communicating with audiences. Prior to his speaking career, John created and produced the Broadway musical, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? which is presently playing in over a dozen cities. He is the author of four best selling books, the most recent being, The Junk Drawer, Corner Store, Front Porch Blues. Within the next year, he has two new books scheduled to be published: How to Keep the Promises You Make to Yourself, and Never Walk a Road That Doesnt Lead to Your Heart. He has created and hosted a PBS series on how to be an effective public speaker and has hosted several interview specials for PBS. He has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows including Oprah and Today. John has received two Emmy awards for his work in television.

Greg Risberg
June 11, 2003
  • Closing Keynote Speaker - Main Ballroom - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Humor, Hugs, & Hope
  • Plaza I - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - How to Stay Energized in a Changing World!

Greg Risberg is a social worker and educator from Elmhurst, Illinois. Greg earned his Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois and is the author of Touch: A Personal Workbook. Prior to developing his consulting practice, Greg was a lecturer at Northwestern University and at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. Gregs presentations have been heard by 1,500 organizations nationally, and touched more than 500,000 people in the U.S., Canada, England and Australia.

Frank Bucaro
June 10, 2003
  • Plaza H - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - How Do You Spell Success? E-T-H-I-C-S!
  • Plaza H - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Attitude: the Key to Successful Living

Coming from a background that included 18 years as an instructor of Moral Theology, Frank entered the business community in 1986. At that same time, media accounts of compromised ethics throughout the United States seemed to be an almost daily event. Frank hoped to shed new light on the benefits of ethics and values for the modern marketplace. A business owner, author and speaker, Frank brings a unique perspective to organizations that seek elevating ethical standards of excellence. In demand as a full time speaker, Franks presentations illustrate how ethics and values contribute to life-long success. His book, Taking The High Road - How To Succeed Ethically When Others Bend The Rules, offers down-to-earth ideas for tackling difficult decisions.

Pamela Meyer
June 10, 2003
  • Plaza I - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Improvisation for the Classroom
  • Plaza I - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Quantum Creativity

Pamela Meyer is an educator, entrepreneur, artist and author of the recently published Quantum Creativity: Nine Principles to Transform the Way You Work. As President of Meyer Creativity Associates, Inc. she consults and presents custom designed creativity seminars around the country. Meyer draws on more than ten years experience in the professional theater where she used improvisation to create original plays and build creative teams. In addition to her consulting practice and seminars, Meyer is a popular instructor at DePaul University teaching courses in creativity and collaboration. Meyer and her work have been featured in Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, BrandPackaging, Chicago Magazine, Professional Speaker, Conscious Choice, as well as on several regional and national radio and TV programs.

Wayne Zako
June 10, 2003
  • Plaza G - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Teaching Critical Thinking Skills for LifeA Necessary Skill
  • Plaza G - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Teaching with Emotional Intelligence in Mind

Wayne Zako travels throughout the U.S. and Canada training teachers and administrators in how to make the classroom experience more rewarding for the students and teachers alike. Wayne provides extensive training in how people learn and what teachers can do to create a more natural learning environment. Wayne has his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from South Dakota State University. Wayne is a member of the part-time staff at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, South Dakota and is President of Human Options, an educational consulting company committed to individual success. Human Options is built on the premise that Everyone deserves to be successful at school, work, and in relationships. Miracles happen when people feel successful and worthy.