Featured Speakers

Sandy Shugart

Sunday, March 29 | 5:00-6:15 p.m. 

In the opening keynote, Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Shugart, president of Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, will examine the role of HR in creating and building organizational culture. As winner of the first Aspen Prize for Excellence, Valencia is one of the most celebrated community colleges in America. Serving some 70,000 students per year, Valencia is known for high rates of graduation, transfer and job placement and has become something of a national laboratory for best practices in learning-centered education.

Prior to his presidency at Valencia, Shugart served as president of North Harris College and as vice president and chief academic officer of the North Carolina Community College System. In 2015, he was named by Washington Monthly magazine as one of the 10 most innovative college and university presidents in America. In addition to his career in education, Shugart is a published poet, musician and songwriter and author of Leadership in the Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader.

Sponsored by:  


Amy Climer

Monday, March 30 | 8:45-10:30 a.m.

Watch Dr. Climer’s welcome video.
Dr. Amy Climer
, an expert in the areas of leadership development and innovation, will offer insights into her methods for creative problem-solving and generating new and innovative ideas. Climer has over 20 years of experience leading and facilitating teams, designing and delivering leadership development programs, and teaching teams to be more innovative. She has worked in higher education, nonprofits and the private sector, having served as the coordinator of the Accenture Leadership Center at University of Wisconsin, director of the Elements Teambuilding Program in Madison, Wisconsin, and faculty member of Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

In 2009, she started Climer Consulting, where she teaches teams and organizations to be more creative and innovative. Her clients have included for-profit and nonprofit organizations, government agencies, universities and summer camps. Climer is the creator of the Deliberate Creative™ Team Scale to help teams understand how to increase their creativity and Climer Cards, a creativity and teambuilding tool used by thousands to deepen team conversations and generate ideas. Additionally, she hosts The Deliberate Creative Podcast designed to teach others how to facilitate innovation in teams. In 2016, Climer received the Karl Rohnke Creativity Award from the Association for Experiential Education.

Sponsored by:  


Phyllis Braxton-Frierson

Tuesday, March 31 | 8:45-10:15 a.m.

Phyllis Braxton-Frierson, CEO and founder of PINK Consulting, LLC, and The PINK Brand, has worked in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for more than 20 years in educational institutions, healthcare, community organizations and other nonprofits. In her presentation, she will share how we can build a common foundation of understanding around DEI in our campus communities. 

Diversity and inclusion programs have gone too long without applying a developmental approach. Using the Intercultural Developmental Continuum as the approach and the Intercultural Development Inventory as an assessment tool, institutions can learn how to attract, recruit, support and retain their traditionally marginalized students, families and educators. Attendees will walk away from this presentation with a higher level of understanding about the Intercultural Development Continuum; a clear description of what stage their institution may be in; and a developmentally appropriately prescription for the key skills needed to engage, support and challenge the status quo in order to promote institutional change.

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