National Leadership Forum Gets New Format

Southeastern University Foundation is revamping its annual National Leadership Forum. Instead of a one-day event in the spring, the Forum will consist of a series of speakers throughout the 2016-17 academic year. The series will conclude in March with a Scholarship Gala.

“Southeastern’s Forum Speaker Series offers more opportunities for our students and the community to hear from prominent leaders and communicators throughout the year. The Speaker Series will help us do that. We will be bringing in distinguished individuals from around the world who are leaders in the fields of business, education, the arts, and ministry,” said Dr. Brian Carroll, executive vice president at Southeastern.

The series will kick off with the Forum for Education on Thursday, September 15, with speaker Ron Clark. Known to many as “America’s Educator,” the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times best-selling author and founder of The Ron Clark Academy, Clark spoke earlier in the year at a special event for educators held at Southeastern University.

“When we offered educators the chance to hear Ron Clark earlier this spring, within two hours of opening up registration all of the available seating was reserved. The event was a huge success,” said Carroll. “We look forward to providing this opportunity again and allowing more Polk County teachers to attend through a new venue.”

In 2006, Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum. Teachers from around the world visit The Ron Clark Academy to observe the innovative and out-of-the-box methods for achieving student success.

The Forum for Education with Ron Clark will take place at the Polk Theatre at 4 p.m. This event is free of charge, but attendees must register in order to gain admittance to the venue.

A scholarship for free tuition in Southeastern’s master of education program will be awarded to one attendee during the event. Applicants will need to provide an essay for application after registering to attend the event.

One attendee will also be given the opportunity to attend a one-day training at The Ron Clark Academy. Polk County School Board employees will be able to receive in-service points for attending the Ron Clark Forum.

The second speaker in the series will be Jimmy Collins, former president and chief operating officer, of Chick-fil-A, Inc. Collins will be featured during the Forum for Business on Thursday, September 29.

Before joining Chick-fil-A, Collins operated a food service consulting business and designed the forerunners of the Chick-fil-A stores as well as the first Chick-fil-A mall restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967. In 2000, Collins received the prestigious Silver Plate Award as Chain Fast Service Operator of the Year.

The Forum for Business with Jimmy Collins will take place at Southeastern University at 7:30 a.m. The event fee is $25, which includes a buffet breakfast. Following Collins’ hour-long presentation, there will be a time for question and answer. Guests will also receive a free copy of Collins’ book Creative Followership.

The third event will be a Forum for Business Communication with Nancy Duarte, which will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at Southeastern. Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in several publications including Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., has created thousands of presentations for the world’s top institutions, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, TED, and the World Bank. She’s also the author of Resonate, Slide:ology, the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, and co-author of Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols.

The event fee is $25, which includes a buffet breakfast. Following Duarte’s hour-long presentation, there will be a time for question and answer.

The series will conclude with a Scholarship Gala on Friday, March 10, 2017, with special guest speaker Edward Davis. Davis is a leading expert in counter-terrorism, cyber security and modern policing. Davis will share details from behind the scenes of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings and the lessons in leadership and teamwork learned from his efforts to bring the Tsarnaev brothers to justice. The upcoming film, Patriots Day, is based on Davis’ personal experiences during the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings and is scheduled to release January 2017. Davis’ expertise in cyber security, counter-terrorism, and crisis management translates across industries.

The Gala will be held at Southeastern at 6:30 p.m. All net proceeds raised through the Forum Speaker Series and Scholarship Gala directly benefit the Southeastern University Scholarship Program.

Registration to attend each event is available online at seuleadershipforum.com. For more information, email leadershipforum@seu.edu or call 877-367-8620.