Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference sessions are included in the Mile High Package rate. Review the workshops listed below and select one as you register. 
For conference participants attending at the daily rate, pre-conference sessions are available for an additional $150.

The Trick to Being a Chair or Organizational Leader

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Tower Court A

Presented by Bill Lamb, Kirkwood Community College

The workshop will present a variety of strategies for new front line administrators, including chairs, directors, deans, and other organizational leaders. Activities throughout the day will help participants define their role as leaders and share strategies to develop cohesive teams.

Topics will include:

• understanding leadership versus management in organizations
• understanding yourself and how you work with others 
• skills for building teams and working with diverse work styles
• time management and work best practices
• recognizing and managing conflict
• adapting to and guiding organizational change

  • The activities will involve small group interaction and allow time for sharing strategies as well as applying new methods to real work examples. The afternoon session will encourage the sharing of “successful practices" through guided group discussions. Participants will receive a variety of written materials to use as guides and references, and information related to the Academy for Leadership Development will be shared.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Bill Lamb, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Bill Lamb is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Until 2007, Bill was the Dean of Liberal Arts and Distance Learning at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS, where he served in the role of assistant dean, department chair, and writing teacher. He received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in 1984.  His Master of Arts degree is in English literature from Pittsburg State University and his Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Lamb has received numerous awards including the Paul Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award in 2011.  He is active in
his local Rotary club and several community organizations.  Additionally, he is a member of the Leadership Editorial Board and a member
of the Iowa Liberal Arts Curriculum Articulation council.  He is a member of the STEMhub Regional advisory group, and serves as the treasurer for the Oak Creek Homes Association. He is also a representative to the League for Innovation Board Representative group.  
Dr. Lamb has a number of publications and is a frequent presenter at international and regional conferences and workshops.  For the last seven years, he has also served as a reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

Educational Leaders as Navigators: Facing External, Internal, and Positional Pressures

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Tower Court B

Presented by Clifton Taulbert, Freemount Corporation, author of Eight Habits of the Heart

Leaders, regardless of the fields of professional endeavors, are tasked to safely reach the planned destination, to ensure the safe arrival of the cargo and to marshal and maximize the input and output skills of their crew. Leadership development is a continuous journey.  And sometimes your leadership skills are enhanced as you garner lessons from the story of someone else whose leadership has left an indelible impression for future study.  I find the role of leaders in the sea-faring world to be extremely useful in helping us land-dweller leaders to fully understand capabilities we might have, but have not tapped. 

For our workshop, we will visit such a leader and discover the lessons learned from his leadership.  Just as a sea-faring Captain, your position as Leader-turned-Navigator is to also find safe routes through the turbulence you might face and by your response instill confidence in others—to move forward with the implementation of your plan, to plot your course. This is critical when oftentimes, the new weather forecast--climate conditions within your plotted course—may not be what you anticipated or planned. Not losing heart and staying on course will depend greatly upon your leadership approach whether on land or sea.  Your educational leadership journey will face multiple issues from celebrations to mistrust, to funding issues, to growth and cultural issues and the expectations of others. Whether on land or sea, they tend to all show up. From an exciting start of a voyage to the challenges of unplanned realities, this sea-faring leader’s approach to all that he and his crew faced will serve to galvanize our understanding of the importance of accelerating our imagination to maximize our leadership positions.

The reality is that your leadership will face External, Internal and Positional Pressures that could be supportive or easily sway you in disastrous directions. If you are to lead successfully, it is incumbent upon you to fully understand and be knowledgeable regarding the potential dangers that could very easily sabotage your planned outcomes.  And it is equally important to realize your ability to innovate your leadership. Whether educators or a crew of sailors, the team will look to your Leadership. You have become their Navigator. You hold the charts.

Your navigational (leadership) choices will reflect Your SteadfastnessYour CreativityYour Knowledge, and Your Innovative Approach. These leadership assets will become your ally within your academic institutions and as such impact peers and the students who cross your path.  Such assets when fully engaged will provide the confidence you need to rally your team to remain vision and mission focused even when the challenging forces seem to be powerful winds pushing you off course. 

To guide our time together, we will look to Sir Ernest Shackleton—the Captain/Navigator  of the ENDURANCE who in 1914 through 1917 while on his Trans-Atlantic Voyage  left an incredible blueprint of “Possibility Leadership” when navigating against External, Internal and Positional Pressures. His leadership stance still captivates.  His lessons are Timeless and Universal and remain apropos for our times.

About the Presenter:

Clifton L. Taulbert is the President and CEO of the Freemount Consulting Company and has consulted internationally for businesses, international schools and for community colleges throughout the United States. Taulbert a banker by profession saw his life shift to owning his own business with the publication and success of his first book, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored which became a major motion picture. Taulbert’s capture of the look and feel of community was received internationally. Taulbert now has fourteen books to his credit and is recognized internationally as an entrepreneur—from being on the team that introduced STAIRMASTER EXERCISE SYSTEM to the world and most recently as the President and CEO of AFRICAN BEAN COMPANY—the home of ROOTS JAVA COFFEE. Taulbert’s life is reflective of the necessity to embrace STRATEGIC PREPAREDNESS.

Are you interested in Clifton Taulbert speaking at your College/Organization?
Click here to learn how to Inspire the Future and Accelerate Your Imagination

Building Resilience Through Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Century

Presented by Joan McArthur-Blair and Jeanie Cockell, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting

Leadership, both formal and informal, in post-secondary education is not for the faint of heart. Much is demanded of those who offer to lead in the classroom, informally in their teams and formally as designated leaders. This one-day workshop is an exploration of being resilient personally and professionally as a leader. In the workshop, we will explore an innovative appreciative resilience model that uses appreciative inquiry processes, principles and ways of being to focus on what is and what might be in order to foster greater leadership resilience; how hope, despair and forgiveness are elements of leadership journeys; and how leaders can foster resilience for themselves and those around them.

This one-day workshop is built upon the work that Joan and Jeanie have done and are doing in appreciative inquiry and resilience. In particular, it draws on their books Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force (2012) and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair and Forgiveness (2018).

Participants in this workshop will:

  • • Use appreciative inquiry processes to explore their own leadership journey through hope, despair and forgiveness
  • • Reflect upon how practices of appreciative inquiry can be generative for leaders
  • • Build a personal call to leadership resilience
• Take away ideas to use with their own teams and institutions

About the Presenters:

Joan McArthur-Blair and Jeanie Cockell are Co-Presidents of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting. They profoundly believe that education is the most powerful force for social and economic good in the world. Together they have more than 50 years of experience in higher education and have taken that experience to build a consulting practice. They specialize in collaboratively design­ing strategies to surface the wisdom of individuals, groups and organizations in order for them to build positive futures and to respond effectively to change.

Leader Wellness: Reach New Heights Through Greater Self-Health

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Gold

Presented by Candace Croft, Tabankhu, Soul-Ninja and Keith Smith, Purdue University

Work is often fast-paced and stressful. We encounter negativity that challenges our ability to stay grounded and centered, depletes drive, destroys self-confidence, and erodes health. Every state of health is a matter of energy. Leaders often attend to team health, yet neglect their own. An unhealthy leader cannot inspire a healthy team. This time focuses on you, the leader as self-health coach. Learn simple, fun, and effective strategies to re-connect with your inner healer/coach, align with a state of authentic wholeness, and enjoy greater self-health, wellness, and life/leadership mastery.

Participants will:

  • • Increase understanding of energy as it impacts personal spiritmindbody health
  • • Apply principles of Unity Psychology for greater self-health/mastery
  • • Practice proven techniques for effective self-health coaching
  • • Construct points of personal health & wellness empowerment 
  • • Learn an effective mindful-revision approach to guide daily self-health coaching

About the Presenters:

Dr. Candace Croft is Founder/Chief Executive of Tabankhu where she provides Soul Ninja™ Intuitive Coaching, speaking events, and consulting services focusing on mindfulness and energy alignment for personal and professional leadership.  A member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapists, she also is a registered natural healer and certified hypnosis practitioner, EFT advanced practitioner, and aromatherapist.  She developed the school of unity psychology, designed the PSI-BETA-BLOCK-R8 empowerment method, and is the author of four books, including Soul Gardening: The Rooting Years.  She has served as faculty, Dean, and VPAA in higher education institutions, designed the Distance Education Leadership Masters program at the UW-Platteville, managed an urban wellness center, and has more than three decades of experience as a therapist/coach/energy worker.  More information can be found at and LinkedIn.

Dr. Keith Smith is a Vice President at Purdue University. His experience includes serving on the Boards of Elsevier Publishing, the American Medical Technologists Association, the Distance Education Leadership Masters at the UW-Platteville, Youth Dynamics, and the Eaton Leadership Foundation.  He received his Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Doctorate of Education from Seattle University, and a Master of Business Administration from City University. He has taught graduate leadership and organizational change courses domestically and internationally, is a frequent presenter in the leadership and personal growth arena, and has been a consultant with leaders in high profile companies and universities, including Boeing, Microsoft, and Western Governor’s University.


The Power of Hope

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Denver

Presented by Scott Geddis, Inspired Engagement

Hope is the belief that the tomorrow will be better than today, and that you have the power to make that so.   Shane Lopez, in his book Making Hope Happen: Create the Future you want for Yourself and Others, shares his meta-analyses of hope research and concludes that, with other conditions being equalhope leads to a 12% gain in academic performance, 14% gain in workplace outcomes and, a 10% gain in happiness.

This activity-based session will help you explore how you can increase hope in your life, in your students, and in those you lead. During this session, participants will have the opportunity to share “best practices” in a whole new light -the light of developing hope in others.

This session will guide participants through:

  • • A review of the definition and impact of Hope in both teaching and leadership.
  • • A discussion of the three core competencies of hope; Goals, Agency and Pathways.
  • • A measure of their hope, readiness for hope, and hope contagion scores. 
  • • Activities designed to share best practices as leaders and educators that lead to increasing hope in their students and those they lead.

If you are interested in helping others thrive by building HOPE this is the workshop for you!

About the Presenter:

Scott Geddis is a leader, educator, speaker, mentor and coach who inspires others to find the best in themselves and apply that knowledge to inspire others. Scott encourages others to understand that authentic compassionate leadership and teaching builds trust, compassion, stability and hope in both followers and students. Scott is a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach, and a Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator.


Culturally Competent Leadership

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Silver

Presented by Jacquelyn Gaiters-Jordan, Pikes Peak Community College

Higher education is becoming more globalized; more diverse. Successful leaders are those who are culturally competent and demonstrate an inclusive leadership style.

In this session, participants will learn definitions of culture and leadership through the lens of culturally competent leadership. Attendees will also build skill sets and learn techniques for transformative leadership and inclusive communications.  

Upon completing this session, participants will:

  • • Better understand culturally competent leadership and why it is important
  • • Better understand the cultural competence themes
  • • Better understand the responsibilities of a leader to address organizational racial, gender, and ethnic biases and  disparities
  • • Better understand the connection between transformative leadership and culturally competent leadership

About the Presenter:

Jacquelyn Gaiters-Jordan is currently Dean of the Mathematics and English Division at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Prior to accepting this position in 2014, Jacquelyn was Associate Dean of College Preparatory Programs, Chair of the Developmental English Department, and an instructor of Developmental English, Advancing Academic Achievement and ESL courses. She received her Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Colorado -Denver and her Bachelor’s degree in English from Albany State University.

A leader, collaborator, trainer, and coach, Jacquelyn has over 30 years of educational and professional experience that range from non-profit leadership and workforce development to military service. Jacquelyn is committed to equity and excellence in education and leadership and believes that everyone, regardless of race, ability, or socio-economic status is entitled to a quality education. She works with several local non-profit agencies to provide leadership training to women and youth, and has conducted workshops and facilitated conference sessions at the local, state, and national level.

The Future of Leadership: It's Vertical!

Tuesday, April 3, 9am - 3pm - Spruce

Presented by David and Carole Schwinn, authors of the Transpormative Workplace

The most critical question being asked in leadership development circles today is, “What matters most: what you do or who you are when you show up?” In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, the answer is becoming increasingly apparent. It’s not enough for leaders to master the traditional skills of their profession (horizontal development), they must also do the inner work of becoming more highly conscious human beings (vertical development). As leaders of institutions who play a significant role in preparing leaders for the future, it is imperative that we respond to the implications of this dramatic shift in the leadership development field both for our own growth as leaders and for the development of our students’ leadership capabilities.

Attendees will benefit by:

  • • Examining the forces for change in the leadership development field
  • • Differentiating between horizontal and vertical leadership development
  • • Exploring the emerging approaches to vertical leadership development
  • • Actively engaging with others in “Practicing Wholeness,” an accessible methodology for collective vertical development 
    (practices designed to increase self-awareness; strengthen relationships; and, heighten perspectives)
  • • Learning how to integrate “Practicing Wholeness” into professional development activities and the leadership/management curriculum 
    in their own institutions

About the Presenters:

David and Carole Schwinn have worked together for over thirty years, providing consulting in continuous improvement, systems design, leadership/management development and organization/community development. Their work has taken them all over the world, including travels to fourteen countries on four continents while conducting dozens of interviews for their 2015 book, The Transformative Workplace: Growing People, Purpose, Prosperity and Peace.

The Schwinn’s work in the community college field includes the design and leadership of the Transformation of American Industry (TAI) national community colleges project, which trained trainers in over 200 community colleges in 30 states to use TAI materials to facilitate quality improvement teams in local business and industry.

David previously spent over 20 years in various engineering and leadership positions in the auto industry, and is now a Professor of Management at Lansing Community College. Carole’s background is in adult development and community college administration, and is 
now a full-time writer and blogger. The Schwinn’s have 6 children and 6 grandchildren, and live on a lake in the woods in south-central Michigan.



Conference Sponsors

Recognizing our Conference Sponsors. Without their contributions we would not be able to bring you the high level speakers, and continue keeping our registration costs at a participant friendly rate.