Keynote Speakers 2021-10-14T09:41:42-04:00

NEC Keynote Speakers

Be Inspired and Learn from Industry Experts

Our keynote addresses will inspire and share trends that government meeting professionals need to know. See the full conference schedule and educational session speakers.

Opening Keynote: Reset, Renew & Recharge: Learn to Use Your DNA for Prime-Time Success

Sandi Lynn
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
8:30 am – 9:45 am CT

Forty years ago, hospitality industry professionals convened to meet, think, talk, share, eat, explore and engage. It was then that the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) formally organized, and the nation recognized the masses of federal, state and local agencies that addressed the collaborations and coordination of the planner/supplier partnerships. Through the formation of SGMP, meetings that dotted the nation’s map became known for the tremendous number of government employees receiving education and training with millions of dollars in revenue pumping into the economy.

Forty years later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and the global meetings landscape became barely recognizable. The plotted course for 2021 and beyond is forever changed. Exploring new ways of convening are the practice of every hospitality service provider and planner. This is why every meetings professional is equipping themselves with know-how, renewing connections and seeking new skills so they can be at the forefront of navigating the uncertain and unknown course of actions. Sandi Lynn will give you key takeaways inspired from her years of experience that will help you put things into perspective and gain a new sense of direction through the uncertainty. Attendees will be able to recharge and find a renewed path to resilience and success to implement in their daily lives and careers.

After more than 20 years in the business of government events, leadership coach, consultant and author Sandi Lynn, CMP, has shifted from backstage to the main stage. Her expertise as a keynote speaker and consultant prompts audiences and clients to gain clarity in their mission, increase their learning, and tap into game-changing takeaways. Her leveraged expertise shows you how to use your DNA–your Distinct Natural Ability–to acknowledge and develop the best in you, so you can create prime-time success.

Her experience with government meetings prompted her to launch her own event production company, Behind the Scenes Savvy, where she spent more than 20 years producing multi-million-dollar events for organizations and celebrities, including coordinating “The Neediest Families Christmas Fund” in collaboration with WGN Chicago, First National Bank of Chicago and Cook County, raising $25 million over a 20-year period. An industry insider, she has served as an adjunct professor at Chicago’s Roosevelt University, contributing writer for Convention Liaison Council Manual, and spokesperson for meeting and event recovery after September 11, 2001.

Earlier in her career, Sandi Lynn was a public service administrator working as deputy chief of communications and marketing development for the Illinois Department of Human Services. During her tenure there, she was elected the first female president of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.


Closing Keynote: Five Components of Extraordinary Teams

Lee Rubin
Thursday, September 23, 2021
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm CT

Teamwork and productivity author, speaker and educator Lee Rubin will give the closing keynote on “Five Components of Extraordinary Teams” to help attendees amplify their leadership and teamwork skills.

Machines are evaluated based on the output of the entire unit, not the impressiveness of their individual parts. Extraordinary teams, like great machines, require certain components that hold their pieces together. While most organizations focus exclusively on building the skills of their individual members, elite organizations invest in the “stuff” that transforms a collection of talented individuals into extraordinary, machine-like teams.

Lee will focus on key points including making sacrifices to achieve your team’s common goal, creating open and honest communication as the foundation of trust, and focusing on discipline as the key to consistency. Don’t just play…WIN!

For 20 years, Lee Rubin has been building high performance teams in both corporate America and the collegiate sports world, setting the foundational cornerstone for a leadership and culture-building mindset focusing on the key components that create extraordinary teams.

This strong core foundation was instilled early in Lee’s life as he held the position of captain of the Penn State football team and later went on to serve as a Human Resource Executive, building senior leadership teams for some of the countries’ most prominent corporations which have become dominate leaders in their industries.

Lee has emerged as one of the most engaging and sought-after voices across the country with his unique ability to understand and articulate winning principles with tremendous clarity and practical application on team building, leadership, and peak performance. He has collaborated with and taken the stage for leading Fortune 500 Companies like Johnson & Johnson, Sony and JP Morgan, to name a few, as well as collegiate and professional sports teams and organizations across the country.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications with a minor in business from Penn State University. Rubin received a full athletic scholarship to play football for the Nittany Lions. Lee was a three-year starting free safety, the 1994 Florida Citrus Bowl Defensive MVP, and an All-Big Ten Conference selection and an Honorable Mention All-American. Lee was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Central New Jersey. Lee and his lovely wife, Carmen, have been blessed with two beautiful daughters.