Featured Speakers

Thursday, February 26

Guest Speaker: Richard W. Riley
Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Former Governor of South Carolina; Senior Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Photo-RWRDuring the opening general session, AASA will present Secretary Riley with the Champion for Children and Public Education Award for his many years of dedicated service as a leader and advocate for public education. Riley is currently a senior partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, a distinguished professor and advisory board chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government Politics and Public Leadership at Furman University, a distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina, and distinguished senior fellow at NAFSA Association of International Educators. He is also former governor of South Carolina.

3:45 – 5:45pm
Guest Speaker: Cal Ripken, Jr.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Cal Ripken, Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He retired from baseball in 2001 after a Hall of Fame career that spanned 21 seasons, all with the Baltimore Orioles. While he’s best known for his incredible streak of 2,632 consecutive games played, he also redefined the shortstop position.Over the years, Cal’s name has become synonymous with strength, character, perseverance and integrity. And now, he uses that experience to build the game from the grassroots level, both on the field and off. In 2001, Cal and his brother founded the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of their father. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people through baseball and softball themed programs. In addition, the foundation is building Youth Development Parks, multi-purpose fields that give kids a safe place to play, in communities in need across the country.

Cal has spent is post-playing career as an international ambassador for the game of baseball, as well as a best-selling author, public speaker and spokesperson for numerous well-respected brands.

Session Title: Values and Education, Finding Those “Teachable Moments”
Session Description:

Cal Ripken, Jr. is known as the “Ironman” for playing 2632 consecutive games in the major leagues. While that accomplishment is highly celebrated, Cal was raised in a family where “going to work every day and having the right attitude” was an absolute. In addition, the values he learned in the home and in the classroom have proved to be vital to his success during and after his career in baseball. Values such as perseverance, discipline, empathy and respect, developed in school have driven Cal to be the man he is today. Cal will explain how values through education, or what he often refers to as “teachable moments,” are essential to the development and success of young people today.

Friday, February 27

8:00 – 10:00am
Guest Speaker: Dan Heath

Dan Heath

Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. He is the co-author of “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard,” which debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Dan also co-authored, alongside his brother, the critically acclaimed book “Made to Stick,” which was named the Best Business Book of the Year, spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list, and has been translated into 29 languages. The latest Heath brothers book is “Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work.” Released March 2013.

Heath has taught and consulted with organizations such as Microsoft, Philips, Vanguard, Macy’s, USAID, and the American Heart Association.

Previously, Dan worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School, co-authoring 10 case studies on entrepreneurial ventures, and later served as a Consultant to the Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute. In 1997, Dan co-founded an innovative publishing company, Thinkwell, which continues to produce a radically reinvented line of college textbooks.

Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA from the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Rare, a conservation organization. Two proud moments for Dan are his stint driving a promotional car called the “Brainmobile” across the country and his victory in the 2005 New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, beating out 13,000 other entrants.

Session Title: Decisive
Session Description:

“Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are near sighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

In this session, Heath will introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases—a process based on an exhaustive study of the decision making literature. Along the way, Heath will share an array of fascinating stories, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s career-ending acquisition to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

Heath will share the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course?

Audience members will walk away with fresh strategies and practical tools enabling them to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

Saturday, February 28

11:45am – 1:15pm
Guest Speaker: Consuelo Kickbusch

Consuelo KickbushPrior to starting her own company in 1997 and embarking on a career as a motivation speaker, leadership trainer and mentor, Consuelo retired from an illustrious military career with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. Today, Consuelo travels throughout the United States and abroad speaking to educators, corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Session Title: Valuing Diversity
Session Description:

Learning to accommodate cultural differences is important in order to be successful in the work environment, the educational system, and in parenting. In this session, Consuelo Kickbusch will take an in-depth look at various aspects of cultural differences, strengths and challenges while emphasizing the appreciation of team-building and unity that can occur through a deeper understanding of diverse cultures. Consuelo will also provide her personal story of challenges and triumphs as a child growing up in the “barrio” who succeeded in spite of many cultural, social and educational obstacles. This introspective keynote will force participants to look inward at themselves, their work environments, and communities and motivate them to take action.