With general sessions every day of Convention, our keynote speakers inspire, educate, and engage participants.
Sunday, March 18, 5:00pm-6:00pm
President and CEO, National AfterSchool Association
Gina Warner is president and CEO of the National AfterSchool Association (NAA). Gina began her afterschool career as a teen in 4-H programs in rural Alabama, and has continued to work at the intersection of education, youth development, public policy, and non-profit leadership throughout her career. She relies on her experience as a classroom teacher, an attorney, a U.S. Senate staffer, and a citywide out-of-school time leader to guide her work. As the leader of NAA, Gina works to meet the needs of both emerging and experienced afterschool professionals through enhanced training and development, increased communication, outreach, and membership engagement.
Educator, Consultant and Musician
Timiya N. Clark, a.k.a. DJ Torch, hails from Philadelphia. With a musical upbringing including experiences performing in orchestras and jazz bands, Timiya’s love for music was planted at an early age. Music and positive youth development are her major passions, and after attaining her bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in music and her master’s degree in human services from Lincoln University, Timiya was eager to create innovative ways to integrate academics, life skills, and music for at-risk youth. Currently, she consults with nonprofit agencies and local schools throughout to train teachers and afterschool program coordinators on best practices to promote essential 21st century skills – including through music. Her workshops “DJ Career 101” and “Think Like a DJ” are hands-on, cultivate critical thinking, and provide opportunities for career readiness. Timiya’s session, “Beats and Bars: DJing from a STEM Perspective,” has been ranked one of the Top 25 sessions at the NAA Convention for three years in a row. With 7 years of experience, DJ Torch’s charismatic personality, creativity, professionalism, and ability to recognize the needs of a diverse audience has marked her as one of the best female DJs in the Tri-State Area.
Monday, March 19, 11:30am-12:30pm
Global STEM Ambassador, Rockwell Automation
The power of STEM, Jay Flores advocates, can help young girls and boys become super heroes, solve big (and little) problems, and contribute their best ideas to improve our planet. Jay believe that from the moment we are born, everything is an experiment, but our current culture tends to discourage youth from exercising the problem solving process. As a Global STEM Ambassador, Jay has a mission: instilling a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in today’s young minds. He’s spreading the word through outreach to schools, community groups, and industry experts, often speaking directly to youth to help inspire and encourage them to dream big. Jay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His high energy and intellect have been recognized by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), who elected Jay when he was 19 years old as the youngest voting national board member in SHPE history. He was also honored as one of 20 youths to present to congressional leaders and policy makers in 2014 through a "Leaders on the Fast Track" fellowship. Learn more about Jay’s devotion to STEM by watching “WHY Everyone is Born an Engineer: Jay Flores at TEDx UW Madison.” Changing the world is an aggressive goal, but Jay will show us how to make it fun!
Monday, March 19, 4:45pm-6:00pm
Senior Vice President of Leadership Development, The Leadership Program
Erika Petrelli is the senior vice president of leadership development (and self-declared minister of mischief) for The Leadership Program, an organization dedicated to helping individuals discover, and step into, their own brand of leadership to positively change their lives and communities. At The Leadership Program, Erika oversees the support the development of over 200 employees, the creation of new and evolving content and curriculum, and the implementation of services throughout the country.
With a Master’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for more than 15 years and nurtures the individual leadership spirit in students and adults across the country, through trainings, coaching, and writing. She blogs weekly, and is the author of the interactive journal On Wings & Whimsy: Thoughts on Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary.
Monday, March 19, 4:45pm-6:00pm
President, Fire Starters, Inc.
Jason Barnaby, president of Fire Starters Inc., specializes in igniting sustainable change in individuals and corporations. A 20-year veteran of the adult education world with a nine-year career in financial services, he has always been drawn to the magic of the “A-HA” moment. Be it with his students, those he trained in corporate America, or the sales teams he led, he is always looking for ways to connect, engage, and disrupt the status quo. Jason and his family also run the activity portion of E-Club every Thursday afternoon in downtown Indianapolis for about 100 K-6 students at KIDS Inc., a non-profit started by his father over 23 years ago. His first book, Fire Starters, chronicles the journeys of five people who said “So what?” to their fears, built a tribe of supporters, and found success in their original design.
Tuesday, March 20, 11:30am-12:30pm
Chairman, National Family Engagement Alliance
Byron Garett is chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA), a non-profit dedicated to transforming education through meaningful family engagement. He also serves as the director for educational leadership and policy at Microsoft, and is a consulting author for Scholastic. Throughout his career, Byron has been a visionary agent of change promoting the idea that everyone has an obligation and opportunity to serve the best interests of our nation’s most precious resource – children. Byron is a Huffington Post blogger and lead strategist NBC News’ Education Nation. As the former CEO of the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Byron has a unique combination of experience from both the non-profit and governmental sectors. He served as National Program Leader for the National 4-H Headquarters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the program’s seven million participants and 90,000 clubs. While at USDA he was appointed by The White House as co-convener of the Helping America’s Youth initiative, an interagency effort to address challenges facing youth and to promote successful solutions. Byron is the author of The ABC’s of Life, a guide for adolescents and adults alike to take ownership of their lives and work toward excellence and success, even when life’s inevitable obstacles arise, and Greatness on the Inside, a children’s book that counteracts the limiting messages projected at children by today's media-driven world in this beautifully illustrated, uplifting book for children of all ages.
Wednesday, March 21, 8:30am-10:00am
Chic Thompson’s passion is inspiring executives, MBA students, and children to be “curious first, critical second” while creatively problem solving. That’s why the Harvard Business School released a case study on his career. With entrepreneurial successes, and his work at Walt Disney, Johnson & Johnson, and W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore-Tex®), Thompson has had unparalleled success teaching others how to harness their ingenuity to generate new product ideas and overcome the bureaucratic language that stifles innovation. His latest creative adventure is founding WAGiLabs, a global social innovation incubator for kids’ ideas. In addition to being the Batten Fellow of Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School, he serves as adjunct faculty at the Brookings Institution and the Young Presidents’ Organization. Chic is the author of What Great Idea!, which has sold more than 250,000 copies and a selection of the Executive Book Club, and Yes, But…: The Top 40 Killer Phrases and How You Can Fight Them.