2015 Annual Conference

Keynote Speakers

“In the Blink of an Eye” An unforgettable journey that changes lives!

Marcus Engel
Best Selling Author, Speaker, Orlando, Florida

Unimaginable pain. Devastating injuries. Terrifying realization. Then, darkness. Complete and total darkness.

This dramatic story will inspire you to maximize your potential and achieve your dreams. Marcus Engel’s unforgettable message of overcoming adversity will encourage you to view obstacles as opportunities, eliminate self-limiting behaviors and live life to the fullest. Marcus Engel speaks from experience. After being blinded and severely injured by a drunk driver, Marcus overcame unimaginable obstacles to return to college and reclaim his life. Marcus’ memoir, “After This…An Inspirational Journey for All the Wrong Reasons,” chronicles his amazing journey. As a college freshman, Marcus was blinded and nearly killed after being struck by a drunk driver. Through two years of rehab, over 300 hours of reconstructive facial surgery and adaptation through a multitude of life changes, Marcus remained committed to his goal of recapturing life. This unforgettable story is the basis for “The Drop,” a multi-award winning short film, and is currently in development as a feature film. Marcus’ other books include “The Other End of the Stethoscope: 33 Insights for Excellent Patient Care,” “I’m Here: Compassionate Communication in Patient Care,” “Everyday Inspiration” and “Open,” a health care focused E-novelette by Marcus and Amy Glenn-Vega. Institutions around the country continue to use Marcus’ books as required reading for students and health care professionals.

Marcus holds a B.S. in sociology from Missouri State University and an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, NYC. He lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Marvelyne and Seeing-Eye dog, Garrett.

Marcus’ programs help audiences to:

· Understand the true dangers of substance abuse
· Learn how choices, not circumstances, determine happiness
· Realize the importance of traffic safety
· Achieve success despite the obstacles
· Turn adversity into victory
· Accept the unique and valuable traits of others
· Find inspiration in day to day life

What clients have to say:

“Everyone in our audience experienced their own life changing moment when Marcus spoke.”
Erin Justyna-Hayes
Texas Tech University

“Marcus’ straightforward, positive message resounded with the 1800 juniors and seniors from our high school. His message is still being felt throughout our community”
Michelle Ramsey
West Orange High School

“It is impossible to hear Marcus’ story and leave unchanged”
Laura Knoblauc
Illinois State University

“Marcus’ presentation will stop you in your tracks”
Kim Ellis,
Chattahoochee Technical College

Return to Little Rock: a Seminal Moment in American Civil Rights and Education

Minnijean Brown Trickey
Original Member of the Little Rock Nine, Activist, Congressional Gold Medal Award Winner, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Department of Interior (Clinton Administration), Little Rock, AK

In 1957 Minnijean Brown Trickey entered history by striding through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, she helped desegregate public schools and alter the course of education in America. Her talks are a sweeping exploration of social change through the decades.

In the autumn of 1957, Minnijean Brown Trickey took her rightful place in what had previously been a whites-only school. In front of a worldwide television audience, she walked past armed guards and an angry mob to help set America on the path toward desegregation in public schools. Incredibly, this was just the beginning of her fiery career as a social activist. For her work, she has received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the Spingarn Medal, the Wolf Award, and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, among other citations. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, for diversity. She has also appeared in two acclaimed documentaries: Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey and HBO’s Little Rock: 50 Years Later.

In her adult life, Brown-Trickey continues to be an activist for minority rights. She lived in Canada for a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, getting involved in First Nations activism and studying social work at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Brown-Trickey has moved back to Little Rock, and resides there with her mother and sister. Her daughter Spirit Trickey also resides in Little Rock, and is employed at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, where she interprets her mother’s, and the other eight students’ struggle to enter Central High School.