Journalist and Author
Laura Vanderkam is a nationally recognized journalist and speaker who helps her audiences maximize each hour of the day and rediscover their true passions and beliefs in pursuit of more meaningful lives. She is the author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, and I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time which is a time diary study of 1000 days in the lives of professional women and their families. She is a frequent contributor to Fast Company’s website, and is a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.
Certified Leadership Coach and Consultant
Deb Feder is a Kansas City-based certified leadership coach and consultant focused on helping leaders accomplish the right things, the first time without the sleepless nights. Through her work, she focuses professionals on how to get the work-life balance they want by maximizing productivity, using advanced communication skills, and maintaining a clear vision. Deb is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, a program based on the research of Brené Brown.
Executive Director of I Pour Life
Julie is the Executive Director of I Pour Life where she champions the cause and develops programs that work in the real world based on more than 25 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur. After launching local and national business she discovered that knowledge in management, sales, marketing, branding and networking are the basis for a successful career.
Charity Elmer, J.D.
General Counsel, CoxHealth
Charity Elmer is a lifelong resident of the Ozarks and serves as the General Counsel for CoxHealth. Elmer considers herself very fortunate as there are not many in-house counsel positions in the Springfield area, especially in healthcare. She was drawn to healthcare because there are very few industries where you can be sure when you go to work every day, you will positively impact the lives of others. Her position at CoxHealth has given her the opportunity to serve on the Cox Medical Center Branson Board.
Assistant Vice President for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Missouri State University
As Assistant Vice President, Juan works to bring a better understanding of different cultures to the Missouri State University campus faculty, staff and students and the greater Springfield area. Juan is also a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 31 and member of the Springfield Public Entities Diversity Committee and Co-chairs the Public Entities Diversity Performance Measures Sub-Committee. Juan is also a fall 2017 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy Executive School Program: Strategies for Building and Leading Diverse Organizations and a March 2018 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy Executive School Program: Crisis Leadership in Higher Education.
Chief of Staff, Ozarks Technical Community College
Stephanie Sumners serves as Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of the OTC Foundation for the Ozarks Technical Community College System. Previously, she served as the College Director of Development. As chief of staff, Stephanie reports directly to the Chancellor overseeing all aspects of the college with an emphasis in the areas of enrollment management, advancement, marketing, public relations, development, fundraising, governmental relations, grants development, and governmental relations.
Stephanie oversees both the Grants department and the OTC Foundation. As the Executive Director of the OTC Foundation, Stephanie and her team pursue the funding necessary to provide students with grants, scholarships and facilities conducive to the expectations of the college and area community.
Dr. Hal L. Higdon, Ph.D
Chancellor & President, Ozarks Technical Community College Springfield Campus
Dr. Hal Higdon currently serves the Ozarks Technical Community College System as chancellor and serves as president of the OTC Springfield Campus. Prior to his time at OTC, Dr. Higdon served 13 years in administration with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He also worked in human resources and workforce training at Alabama’s Faulkner State Community College and spent several years in private business.
Alina Lehnert, Ph.D LPC
Lehnert Leadership Group, LLC
Alina Lehnert, Ph.D., LPC is a Leadership and Strengths Development Expert. She has spent two decades studying human behavior, talent, and leadership. She uses her deep understanding of these concepts to help individuals, organizations, and communities become stronger leaders, employees, and citizens.