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Featured Speakers

Featured Speaker: Ron Clark

Sunday, June 29, 2014
12:45-2:15 pm

Ron ClarkKnown to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."

Ron Clark brings charisma, energy and devotion to the education profession. Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation to be honored by the President of the United States.

More info about Ron Clark >> 

Ron Clark Book Sale and Signing

Ron Clark will be available immediately following his speaking engagement outside the ballroom to sign any or all of his three of his books: The Essential 55, The Excellent 11, and The End of Molasses Classes

These three books can be purchased at the conference from Ron or, to avoid long lines, you can buy Ron Clark's book ahead of time at The Ron Clark Academy, where all the profits go directly back to The Ron Clark Academy, or at most book retailers. Books are $20 at the conference (no tax) and available for purchase via credit card (Visa, MastercCard, Discover, and American Express), cash, or check (made payable to BMI; each check must include a phone number). 


Monday, June 30, 2014
9:00-10:15 am

HendrickHedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America's most distinguished journalists.

In 26 years with The New York Times, Mr. Smith covered Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War in Saigon, the Middle East conflict from Cairo, the Cold War from both Moscow and Washington, and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe.

More info about Hedrick Smith >> 

Hedrick Smith Book Sale and Signing

Hedrick Smith will be available immediately following his speaking engagement outside the ballroom to sign either of his two books: Who Stole the American Dream and The Power Game: How Washington Works

These two books can be purchased at the conference from Mr. Smith or, to avoid long lines, you can buy Mr. Smith's book ahead of time from most book retailers. His books are also available for the Kindle. Mr. Smith will not be signing anyone's Kindle.

FEATURED SPEAKER: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Monday, June 30, 2014
12:00-1:15 pm

Sen AlexanderLamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and an elementary school principal.  He is a seventh-generation Tennessean.

He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator.  He has been U.S. Education Secretary and University of Tennessee president. He chaired the National Governors Association and President Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors.  

When elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, Alexander had spent more adult years in the private sector than in public life. In 1972 he co-founded a Nashville law firm. In 1987 he and his wife and three others, including Bob Keeshan, television's Captain Kangaroo, founded Corporate Child Care, Inc.  The company became publicly traded in 1997 (NASDAQ) and later merged with Bright Horizons, Inc., creating the world's largest provider of worksite daycare.    

Three times between 2007 and 2012, his colleagues elected Sen. Alexander Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference — the third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate.  He is the ranking Senate Republican overseeing education, labor and health, as well as energy appropriations.