Kim Strobel

Wednesday, September 28 Keynote


Kim Strobel is an internationally-known motivational speaker for educators and organizations and travels the globe sharing the impact of happiness on teacher well-being and student achievement.

When Kim walks on stage, her goal is to captivate your audience with contagious energy – providing thought-provoking research, heartwarming stories, and simple action steps that are life-changing.

During her 20-year education career, she has partnered with people at all levels to implement innovative and inspirational practices in the classroom, increase academic achievement, and create positive school-wide climates.

On top of running her education consulting company, she is also a happiness coach and is deeply, deeply passionate about empowering others to live bigger, bolder, braver lives.

Because of her own challenges and adversities, Kim teaches others how to overcome their fears, discover their joy, activate their potential, and boldly pursue a life that feels good to them from the INSIDE-OUT.

When she’s not rescuing dogs (as in 129 dogs she’s rescued) or downing a McDonald’s Diet Coke, Kim has the unique ability to embolden audiences. With her contagious high-energy style, Kim empowers and emboldens her audiences. Motivational, inspirational, and always approachable, Kim’s “real talk” attitude is a refreshing approach that allows her to authentically connect with audiences everywhere.

The Science of Happiness

Positive Brains Fuel Success

In this thought-provoking and compelling keynote, Kim shares how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive and step into our power.  When our happiness and wellbeing are at the forefront, employees are ten times more engaged, 31% more productive, and three times more creative.

Emotions are at the heart of what teachers do and why they do it. Educators come to teaching with dreams of changing the odds for disadvantaged children and inspiring a love for learning. Unfortunately, research shows that 40-50 percent of teachers will leave the profession within the first five years. Stress among teachers has reached unprecedented levels.

Teaching is an emotional practice, and teachers need support in strengthening their social and emotional skills to manage the stress that comes with teaching and stay in the profession for the long term.

Well-being” takes the stage front and center, and how we can create fulfilling lives while also working to improve performance in life and workplace success.

Kim unpacks the positive psychology science and research that pivots the crowd towards optimism. She asks, “Would you press a button to increase your happiness levels by 40% and your productivity levels by 31% while also having 300% more creativity on a Monday morning? When people respond, “Yes!” she explains how to achieve this.

Her inspiring stories and practical tips for well-being leave the audience feeling inspired and full of hope for creating their own happiness within their profession and their personal lives.

When you reset your brain toward positive, you become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive in life—including your work life.

Reecie Stagnolia

Thursday, September 29 Keynote


Reecie Stagnolia is President/CEO of Stagnolia Strategic Solutions.  He recently completed the first phase of his career having served in leadership positions with Kentucky’s Adult Education System for the last 27 years:

Reecie is the former Vice President for Adult Education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (State Director, KY SKILLS U) and served two terms as Chair of the National Association State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE).  As Chair of NASDAE, the board partnered with the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) to launch the award winning national campaign, Educate & Elevate:  Adult Education, an Investment in America’s Future, Reecie also participated in ‘Success Files’ hosted by Rob Lowe, a joint initiative with NASDAE and COABE highlighting the importance and value of adult education.  He currently serves as a member of the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) Advisory Board and as an Advisory Council member of the National Work Readiness Council.

In Phase 2 of his career, Reecie has launched Stagnolia Strategic Solutions, LLC a consulting enterprise primarily focused on Leadership Matters in the adult education arena.  In addition, he serves in an advisory consulting role with WIN Learning, supporting adult education and workforce development with a one-stop portfolio of  Essential Skills, College Readiness, Work Ready and Digital Literacy courseware/credential solutions along with career planning tools

Reecie recently authored, ‘Investing in Adult Education is an Economic Catalyst’, which was featured in the COABE Journal’s, Workforce Edition.

LEADERSHIP MATTERS:  Eight to Great, Pathways to Leadership

Leadership growth and development doesn’t happen with one class, one webinar, one conference, or one training institute. However, the objective is these 8 pillars will be the foundation on which you continue to build.

In adult education, individuals are often on career paths that lead directly from the instructional classroom to the administrative conference room without the benefit of essential leadership development. You may have been thrust into a leadership role at the state or local level or have those aspirations. If so, you need a foundational knowledge of core skills to prepare you to LEAD.

In our lifetime, there may never be a more critical time to Skill Up Indiana than the present.  Adult educators can play a game-changing role.  This session will explore eight key areas that Matter.

Terry Sumerlin

Friday, September 30 keynote


Terry is more than an entertaining conference speaker. He is a person of vast life experiences. He has been in direct sales, customer service, and business ownership. He has also taught communication and people skills to thousands of men and women in numerous professions.

Having traveled to 36 states and 26 countries, Terry understands people, diversity, and change. He is a careful student of human actions and interactions, as well as a voracious reader.

For ten years, he wrote a monthly leadership column for the San Antonio Business Journal. He is also the author of five leadership books.  

Terry is a strong advocate of life being all about what we become – not what we get. He believes we are not just human beings. We are “human becomings” who should be getting better and better while making a positive difference in the lives of everyone we meet.

As a conference speaker, Terry’s uniqueness is his ability to connect with audiences through empathy, authenticity, a great sense of humor, and plenty of practical takeaways. He reminds audiences that others have to like us before they want to listen to us. His approach is practical and captivating!

Clients he has served include the Missouri Association for Adult Continuing and Community Education, Alabama Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education, Arkansas Association of Continuing and Adult Education, Association for Career and Technical Education (Region V), Guam Community College (8-hour onsite professional development), Social Security Administration, US Census Bureau,  international ATM Industry Association, UPS and the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (Europe). 

Terry speaks on People Connectors

Connecting at the Speed of Life

People Connectors can be challenging under the best circumstances. As an educator, you know that connecting with others involves challenges of background, culture, environment, interest, likes, and dislikes. But what about challenges of attitude – both theirs and ours? Some attitudes can make communication difficult and connecting impossible.  

Discouragement is such an attitude. Anger is another. What about attitudes we might have when criticized or opposed. What about stress?  

Connecting at the Speed of Life is an upbeat, positive, entertaining keynote that helps educators stay connected even when facing such obstacles. It’s practical. It’s common sense. It’s plenty of takeaways!    

Terry Sumerlin’s been called “the master of the obvious!”  With relevant story-telling and a great sense of humor, Terry will gently kick us on the shin and remind us of the obvious that perhaps we’ve forgotten or neglected. Don’t miss the People Connector!