Keynote Speakers

2018 Conference Keynote and Featured Speakers

Hear from some of the brightest minds in talent development as you connect with peers and other professionals. We have three days of thought-provoking keynotes, sessions and networking opportunities planned.

Opening Session Keynote

Michael Rogers // @rogersma

The Radical New World of Education

We’re all educators--either as professional teachers, or as managers, team leaders, mentors, or parents. In the future, we will be permanent students as well. The online world represents a powerful opportunity for education to reach a wider, more diverse audience.  But it’s also a challenge to the future of both teachers and campuses.

And there’s a second issue: what do we teach? Now that young people live with one foot in the virtual world, how does that impact education and employment?  What skills will our students initially bring (or not bring) to campus, and what skills will they need to make their way in an increasingly automated world? 

Michael Rogers is a technology pioneer and futurist who has spoken to educators worldwide ranging from K-12 to college, law and medicine. He recently completed two years as futurist-in-residence for The New York Times and is a columnist for Michael is also a best-selling novelist whose fiction explores the human impact of technology.


Lunch Session Keynote

Judson Laipply // @judsonlaipply

Don't Change - Evolve

The most successful companies, individuals and organizations don't change - they evolve. Change and change management have become common speech.  Change isn't an anomaly; change is constant.  Everything changes but not everything evolves.

Join Inspirational Comedian Judson Laipply as he helps you shift your perspective about struggle, teaches you about the power of choice, and evokes you to lead your personal and organizational evolution….oh and he’ll be dancing.

Judson Laipply is an anomaly wrapped in an enigma contained inside a quandary – that is he’s hard to describe. Being a professional speaker for over 18 years and presenting over 2500 programs to a diverse range of audiences has given him opportunities to see a variety of organizations, industries, and rental cars.  He’s the world first YouTube celebrity after his video “The Evolution of Dance” spent 4 years as the most watched video and has over garnered over 1 billion impressions. 


Closing Session Keynote - TWO special programs you won't want to miss!

Coaches' Corner: Power of Mentoring / Culture of Excellence

No one is born into this world with a perfect sense of direction – we rely on others to help show us the way. Our full potential is realized when our innate talents and abilities are recognized and harnessed, and that often takes help from others. As Michigan Works! strives to lead in offering this kind of direction and support, it’s important to shine a spotlight on the amazing work that can be done on the individual level. Little has the power to be more impactful on a life than a caring and engaged mentor.  Hear from a panel of some of Michigan’s top high school coaches as they discuss their firsthand experiences serving as mentors in their communities and the positive and tangible impact it can have on the lives of another.

Panelists: Shamar Herron, Deputy Director, Michigan Works! Southeast (Moderator), Coach Carlton Valentine; Coach Kacee Reid, Lansing Catholic High School; Coaches Dorene and Doug Ingalls, St. Ignace High School


Kinetic Affect

Words and rhythm collide on stage with real and raw stories of survival that speak to the universal heart of people

Kinetic Affect is a dynamic spoken word duo based in Kalamazoo composed of two very different men; Kirk Latimer, a survivor of his own destructive past, and Gabriel Giron, a survivor of cancer, combine their voices to give life to their difficult past experiences.

Together they are able to show audiences the common humanity we all share.

Having been featured on television shows, such as the hit show America’s Got Talent and on the Apollo stage, Kinetic Affect’s international reach combines entertainment with deeply moving and emotional personal struggles and triumphs. This work has driven them to co-found a non-profit organization called Speak It Forward Inc. which brings the power of their work and personal experiences to those individuals, vulnerable children and organizations that need it the most.