2018 Keynote Speakers

Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:50 a.m.

Deepwater Horizon, Mike Williams

On April 20, 2010, a terrible explosion killed 11 of 126 workers aboard the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. When disaster struck, Mike Williams, who worked as the Chief Electronics Technician on the oil rig, emerged in the subsequent weeks and months as one of the powerful and heroic voices of the tragedy. Williams was one of the last workers to leave the rig, having bypassed lifeboats in favor of trying to help save others and salvage the rig. Be inspired by his incredible story of courage and service.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 9:00 a.m.

When Failure Becomes Personal, Dr. Carol Gunn

Dr Carol Gunn is an internist and occupational physician, who enjoys a varied practice that includes patient care and corporate consulting. Her professional interests are two fold: patient safety and worker resiliency. She is using the recent unexpected death of her sister as a springboard to passionately speak about reducing patient harm. And, she thrives on working with individuals and groups advocating for whole health, resiliency, and wellness.

She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Davis and her Master’s of Public Health degree from UC Berkeley. She completed her Internal Medicine residency in Portland, Oregon and followed that with a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Colorado. She opened her own independent occupational medicine practice in 2007. She is boarded in Internal Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Industrial Hygiene.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 4:00 p.m.

Honor and Legacy, Inquoris “Inky” Johnson

September 9, 2006. It started as a normal college football game in Neyland Stadium. If anything, the event was an afterthought, dropped into the schedule at the last minute. For Inky Johnson, though, the game changed everything. A routine tackle turned into a life-threatening injury, and nothing has been normal for Inky ever since. Not with a paralyzed right arm. Not with daily pain. Not with constant physical challenges. His dream had always been to play professional sports. You might think his injury would have destroyed his motivation and crushed his spirit. But that’s only because you don’t know Inky. Who is Inquoris “Inky” Johnson? He could be described as the survivor of an underprivileged past. He could be described as a refugee of poverty and violence. He could be described as a success story stained by tragedy. But if you look deeper, you’ll discover something else. You’ll see a man who looks in the face of defeat and says, “Am I really failing, or is God prevailing?” You’ll see a man gripped by the promise that God has purposes and plans far beyond our own. And you’ll be inspired by his relentless determination, which he loves to impart to others through his dramatic story.

Inky has a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee. He devotes much of his time to mentoring athletes and underprivileged youth. He and his amazing wife Allison live in Atlanta, Georgia with their beautiful children, Jada and Inky Jr.

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m.

How Good is your TapRooT® Implementation? Mark Paradies

Mark Paradies has 37 years of experience in high reliability organizations, process safety, incident investigation, and root cause analysis. His career started as a leader in Admiral Rickover’s Nuclear Navy (where he earned Engineer Qualification). He also worked for Du Pont in the areas of human factors, process safety, and performance improvement management before he started System Improvements in 1988. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Nuclear Engineering (with an emphasis on human factors), both from the University of Illinois.

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 4:00 p.m.

Amplify Your Leadership Skills! Adapt to the 4 Personalities of Communication, Vincent Phipps

Vincent Ivan Phipps is an expert in amplifying attitudes and communication excellence. He is owner of Communication VIP Training. The VIP represents the company’s expertise, Very Important People-skills. The VIP also are Vincent’s initials! As a motivational speaker, facilitator and speech coach, Vincent has spoken in over 400 American cities and 5 foreign countries. Within 3 years, Vincent endured the following tragedies: breaking his neck in an almost fatal car accident, leaving his corporate job after 13 years, and he and his wife suffering the loss of their son. During these times of struggle, Vincent developed strategies to channel negative energy towards positive outcomes. He parlayed these skills into techniques for personal and professional empowerment. Vincent has been speaking professionally for 22 years. He is author of Lead Out Loud: Keys to Unlock Your Professional Excellence! Vincent has an undergraduate degree in Speech/Language Communication and a Master’s in Leadership/Management. Vincent is the recipient of the highest earned honor awarded by the National Speakers Association, the CSP, Certified Speaking Professional. Since 1973, only 11% of the world’s best speakers and trainers have been recognized to receiving this international speaking designation. Vincent is also a retired, undefeated, national storytelling champion. Out of the top 500 ghost story tellers in North America, Vincent was ranked 8th in the nation by TripAdvisor.

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