Speakers 2021-06-08T15:02:25-04:00

NEC Speakers

Learn from speakers who are experts in their respective fields, including education/programming, facilities and services, logistics, financial and contract management, technology, leadership, ethics, protocol, and travel. Learn more about SGMP’s National Education Conference: keynote speakers, educational sessions, and why to attend.

Debra Burton Brown

An experienced executive coach, instructional designer, speaker and facilitator, Debra Brown is a nationally recognized learning consultant-especially in today’s changing marketplace. She specializes in working with high-performance executives, entrepreneurs, students and teams to leverage their natural skills and maximize their potential. Debra helps individuals and companies quickly shift with new technology, information and work systems. She has been invited as a guest on hundreds of radio and television stations across the United States, Canada and Guam. As a leading consultant in the fields of communication, conflict resolution and executive development, Debra has had the honor of working with celebrities, CEOs, senior management and front-line employees.

Stacey Francke

Stacey Francke is a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before joining the bureau, she was an Emergency Room Nurse.

Ruth Gregg

Ruth L. Gregg, MPS, DES, CMP, HMCC, has more than 20 years of diverse meetings experience. She has worked with non-profits, governmental agencies and corporate organizations on creating events for engineers, researchers, military staff, sales staffs and VIPs. She has her Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security from the Pennsylvania State University World Campus and is a certified Pandemic Compliance Advisor (PCA) for meetings and events. She has created Emergency Preparedness Plans for both small- and large-scale meetings and events taking place throughout the United States and Europe.

Lauren Hagen

Lauren Hagen is a customer and market engagement specialist for Defense, Space and Security at The Boeing Company. She is responsible for planning and executing high-level meetings and events for the BDS CEO. Most recently, Lauren was a senior protocol officer in the Office of the Chief of Protocol at the United States Department of State. Prior, she worked at The White House, supporting the Second Lady of the United States. Lauren has experience coordinating events on presidential campaigns, political conventions and a presidential inauguration. A native of Tallahassee, FL, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and resides in Washington, D.C.

Alan Kleinfeld

Alan Kleinfeld is a seasoned and highly sought-after speaker, consultant and educator. With years in meeting management, his expertise runs the gamut from A to Z. However, it is his time as a public safety officer that gives him a unique viewpoint into conference safety and security. A few of his safety topics include site selection, emergency operations, workplace safety and crisis communications. He also conducts site analysis for planners and suppliers wanting to have the safest venues for their meetings and events. Alan continues to serve as a law enforcement officer.

Robert Lemon

Dr. Robert Lemon is a professional speaker and author. The Miami Herald honored him as one of “South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Business Leaders” of 2018. In 2017, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. U.S. Representative Frederica S. Wilson of Florida’s 24 Congressional District has recognized his outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Dr. Lemon has presented to numerous local and national corporate, government, workforce and human resource organizations. Robert is a bestselling author of “Now Is Your Time” and co-author of the book, “Multiple Streams of Inspiration” with other celebrity authors, including Jack Canfield, author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. In 2011, Robert was selected as the “Author of the Year” by Advantage Media/Forbes Books from a field of 1500 corporate authors. In 2013, Robert earned his Doctorate Degree in Religious Education. He has 35 years of corporate experience from the US Postal Service and leadership from the U.S. Airforce.

Sandi Lynn

After more than 20 years in the business of government events, leadership coach, consultant and author Sandi Lynn, CMP, has shifted from the 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.

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy is an ethics, diversity and culture speaker and the author of the bestselling book, “BlindSpots – Why Good People Make Bad Choices.” He holds the highest certification recognized globally by the speaking industry, the Certified Speaking Professional. Kevin built one of the largest Century 21 offices in America, then developed and sold a dot-com startup. In 2004, his boss was arrested for the largest stock fraud in Washington State history. As a result, Kevin spent 33 months in federal prison for a crime he didn’t knowingly commit. While in federal prison, he studied Cognitive Psychology and recognized — then deeply researched — the blind spots that lead to his predicament.

Christopher McLaughlin

Christopher McLaughlin is the director of global government sales for an international hotels company. He has more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience and currently serves on the SGMP National Board of Directors.

Vincent Phipps

Vincent Phipps is the owner of Communication VIP and is in the top 1% of the world’s best motivational speakers and trainers. Audiences call Vincent, “The Attitude Amplifier”, because of his interactive style of presenting at conferences, conventions and associations. Vincent’s expertise specializes in interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence. His philosophy is, “If I can get you to laugh, I can get you to listen. If I can get you to listen, I can help you amplify!”

Rosemarie Rossetti

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. is an internationally known expert on disability inclusion. She is a powerful speaker, author and consultant. Rosemarie speaks to and consults with meeting professionals to help them save time, reduce stress and achieve success in planning more diverse and inclusive meetings and events. Her presentation has been a game-changer in the meetings industry. She has numerous podcast interviews, videos, webinars and articles on the subject of disability inclusion in meetings. Having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, she speaks from her wheelchair, sharing her own dramatic personal story and experiences.

Kathleen Ryan

Kathleen Ryan is a customer engagement team lead at Boeing. She is a retired Air Force Officer and former chief of protocol for the Department of the Air Force and was the Aide-de-Camp to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As a business owner, she was an associate of the Protocol School of Washington®, where she collaborated on the development of their Protocol Officer Training Course. While working with Harlan Lee & Associates, she conducted protocol training for the Missile Defense and Defense Intelligence Agencies. Kathleen is a Certified Government Meeting Professional and was selected for the 2020 Sam Gilmer “Planner of the Year” at the 2020 National Education Conference (NEC).

Greg Schwem

HuffPost calls Greg Schwem, “Your boss’ favorite comedian,” because of his clean, razor-sharp wit and family-man stage presence. He is a favorite for corporate audiences worldwide, whether performing live or virtually. More than just a speaker, Greg is also a best-selling author, nationally syndicated humor columnist for the Chicago Tribune and award-winning greeting card writer. As a business humor speaker and corporate emcee, Greg’s clients have included Microsoft, McDonald’s, Southwest Airline and even the CIA. During the pandemic of 2020, businesses in need of humor and motivation for their stressed workforces turned to Greg and his uplifting virtual keynote, “You Can’t Quarantine Laughter.”

Kevin Sheridan

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker, a New York Times bestselling author and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 101 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 101 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 100 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement for three consecutive years, as well as being designated as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board. Having spent 30 years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the bestseller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He is also the author of “The Virtual Manager,” which explores how to manage remote workers most effectively. Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Jim Spellos

James Spellos is the President of Meeting U. whose mission is to help people become more productive and comfortable with technology. In 2015, Jim was named one of the Meeting Industry’s trendsetters by Meetings Today magazine. He was a faculty member at New York University for 25 years receiving both their Award for Teaching Excellence and their Outstanding Service Award. Jim is on the Board of Directors for Rock and Wrap It Up, an anti-poverty, anti-hunger organization which recovers excess food from events. Jim co-created their Whole Earth Calculator app. He also speaks about food recovery and sustainability in the industry. In 2018 & 2019, BizBash named Jim one of their top 500 people in events for his work in sustainability. Jim is an accomplished musician and songwriter who released his first solo album, Stroke of Genius in 2020. He also has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies, and supports Plant Powered Metro New York in educating people about a healthy lifestyle.

Brett Sterenson

Brett brings 23 years of supplier-side experience, both from the hotel side and the last 14 years as a small business owner. Brett worked in government sales for Millennium Hotels and Resorts out of Boston and Kimpton Hotels out of Washington, DC. His firm, Hotel Lobbyists, was founded in April 2007. He is a 20-year member of SGMP, with five years on the National Capital Chapter Board, three years on the Gilmer Institute of Learning and four years on the National Board of Directors, concluding in 2017. Brett is a very familiar face to SGMP, being a frequent speaker at local and national events. He is married and has a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter who are virtual schooling this year.

Chris Young

Chris Young is a sought-after keynote speaker and trainer, featured presenter and subject-matter expert in leadership and organizational dynamics, international protocol, cross-cultural literacy, negotiations and global business etiquette. His past clients include Fortune 500 companies; major universities; national, state and municipal governments; chambers of commerce and economic development agencies; professional associations; and global sporting events. For seven years, he led Protocol & Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA), the worldwide professional organization for those in those related fields, as its elected president. Chris’ career also includes service as the Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture; executive director of a training arm of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research; executive director of The Protocol School of Washington; and chief of Protocol and Director of International Affairs for the State of Georgia.
Photo courtesy of Christie’s Photographic Solutions.