Keynote and featured speakers for the 2006 Connections conference

Harvey Alston
April 11, 2006
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Be The Best
  • Plaza I - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Continuing to Be the Best
  • Plaza I - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Continuing to Be the Best

With a 'Number 1' record in this business, managing has given Harvey Alston insight into many aspects of positive customer service.

Harvey has spoken literally to millions of people who have benefited not only from his knowledge, but also from his wisdom.

And from his traveling experiences, Mr. Alston has authored four books, including: 'Be the Best' and 'Black Males'.

Over the years, much recognition has been awarded to Harvey, but none could have more impact than a tear or hug from someone whose life has been dramatically changed.

Mary Feeley
April 12, 2006
  • Closing Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. -
  • Plaza H - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Revival of the Fittest

Mary Feeley's presentations are the perfect blend of education and entertainment. Her audiences listen, laugh, and learn! She has uniquely combined experience from the corporate corner office and the comedy club stage. Her 'performances' are a rare blend of message, motivation, and mirth, modeling the speaking style of the future ... 'edu-tainment.'

Mary has 22 years of successful business experience, from front-line to executive level positions in sales, marketing, customer service, and public relations. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. In addition, she is an award-winning stand-up comedian who has performed in top comedy clubs throughout the United States. Mary was the first female to be accepted and promoted to headliner comic at the Comic Annex in Houston.

Mary's humor and wisdom possess universal appeal. A professional speaker for eleven years, she has an extensive list of corporate, government, health care, and association clients. Experiences as a corporate spokesperson and trainer, emcee, award-winning comedian, and seminar company faculty member have perfected her skills as a keynote speaker and trainer.

Dr. Patch Adams has invited Mary to join him and thirty other humor professionals in China for a humanitarian program this year. The program is coordinated by the People to People Ambassador Programs. This organization was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to facilitate and encourage citizen diplomacy in global interaction.

In 1999, Mary was awarded the designation of Certified Speaking Professional. The CSP designation is the speaking profession's international measure of professional platform skill. Fewer than seven percent of the five thousand speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation.

A business woman and comedian with superb combined credentials, Mary Feeley provides the perfect mix of hysterical humor, honest insight, real-world skills, and inspiring challenge.

John Foppe
April 11, 2006
  • Plaza I - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Life Balance And Problem Solving
  • Plaza I - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Life Balance And Problem Solving

Professional speaker, John Foppe, was born without arms. He delivers high impact presentations on handling lifes oldest struggles such as: feeling good about yourself, staying motivated, dealing with negative people, and doing more with less. He uses his heartwarming and humorous stories of overcoming adversity to educate and motivate others.

He holds a masters degree in social service from St. Louis University. In addition, John is a protg of motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar. In 1993, the U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce recognized John as one of the 'Ten Outstanding Young Americans.' This prestigious award recognizes young leaders for their positive contributions to society.

Today, John operates his own international seminar business and travels throughout the world speaking to all types of businesses, churches and organizations.

Susan Goodale
April 12, 2006
  • Plaza I - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Community Schools: Answers May Be In Our Own Backyard
  • Plaza F - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Object-Based Teaching: Linking Complex Ideas To Concrete Hooks
  • Plaza F - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Moving from "Why Bother?" To "Yahoo!": Using Emotional States To Energize And Engage Students For Optimum Learning

Susan Goodale is more than a dynamic and inspiring trainer. She is a writer, teacher, workshop leader, administrator, counselor, and consultant with nearly thirty years' experience in education. She has masters degrees in both counseling and administration, is a national speaker, and has led school reform as project director of a model Tech Prep high school in Illinois. Susan has taught graduate courses on change, worked with Iowa's Vision 2020 project, and provided personal/professional development training to educators across the nation. She is a Midwest leader in Tech Prep and School-to-Work, and is highly rated at state, regional and national conferences. She takes a proactive attitude and can custom design staff-development workshops on an array of topics. Susan's work offers participants hands-on interaction, high energy, and a blend of quality content with the humor and inspiration to reach both the head and heart of an audience.

Yona Lunken
April 11, 2006
  • Plaza F - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - More Creativity and Pizzazz in the Classroom
  • Plaza F - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - How The Mind Learns

Yona Lunken, founder and owner of Thinking Skills Seminars, has been presenting, training, and teaching computer and skills material for the past 20 years both in the United States and overseas. Thinking Skills Seminars was founded with a mission to help you reach beyond your grasp. Thinking Skills' client base includes corporations, small businesses, professional offices, for-profit schools, and parochial schools. Yona has developed and facilitated a variety of programs over the past few years. In seminars, Yona strives to make them engaging so that participants interact, and useful so that participants will leave with new skills. Prior to starting Thinking Skills, Yona was a System Training Specialist helping school directors and administrative staffs improve their job performance at Career Education Corporation, one of the nation's leading providers of job skill training. He was also a faculty member in the Masters of Information Technology program at American Intercontinental University, and, in addition to his teaching schedule, he created and presented faculty orientation workshops and train-thetrainer seminars.

Dave Shepard
April 12, 2006
  • Plaza G - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Rules Of Engagement - Winning The War Against Student Apathy
  • Plaza G - 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - The Road To Inclusion: Freeway Or No Way
  • Plaza G - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Dealing Parents In: A Full Deck Of Ideas

A native of rural North Carolina and a product of public education in four states, Dave Shepard brings experience, common sense, and practicality to any educational gathering. Having dealt with middle and high school students for over thirty years, his experience includes teaching, coaching, curriculum writing, program design, and administration. Since his retirement in 1999, he has devoted his time and energy to helping schools become safer, more efficient, and more successful for all students. Dave currently manages his own educational consulting firm, The Middle Matters and More, in Lexington, Kentucky. He works actively with SREB, NMSA and is involved with the Kentucky Middle School Association; currently serving as its Vice President. Since the passage of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act in 1990, Dave has also worked with the Kentucky Department of Education, the University of Kentucky and over thirty Kentucky school districts to help implement this reform. Known primarily as a practitioner, he has presented at over thirtyfive state and national conferences. He has also assisted school districts in over twenty states develop and refine their educational programs by providing quality professional development and teacher in-services.

Wayne Zako
April 11, 2006
  • Plaza H - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Contextual and Integrated Learning Understanding How The Brain Works
  • Plaza H - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Teaching Critical Thinking Skills for Life . . . A Necessary Skill
  • Plaza H - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Contextual and Integrated Learning Understanding How The Brain Works

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.