General Session: Maximizing Opportunity:
Success Happened, So What’s Next?
Panelist: Raymond Daniels, Owner/President, LexiDan Foods, LLC

Raymond Daniels is the owner/president of LexiDan Foods, LLC, a 15 unit franchise of Waffle House, Inc., in Lexington, KY. Raymond is a 20 plus year veteran of the Fast Food Industry beginning his career in 1992 as Unit manager for Waffle House Inc. He served the company in several management roles over the next 15 years, including Senior Vice President of Operations responsible for 105 company units and $200 million in sales and 3500 employees,

Director of Diversity and Minority Affairs for Company and Franchise units, and Disaster Relief Manager for company operations. He Left the corporate world in 2008 to pursue an entrepreneurial spirit and purchased a Waffle House Franchise in Lexington, KY.

Raymond serves on several boards including of Community Ventures Corporation, Urban League of Lexington, KY, Commerce Lexington, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and Fayette County School Board. Raymond is currently board chair of the Foundation Board of Kentucky Community and Technical College System which is a 16 school junior college system in the state of Kentucky.

Holly Wiedemann, Owner/President
AU Associates, Inc.

Holly Wiedemann is the founder, owner and President of AU Associates, Inc. AU was founded in 1990 on the principles of adaptive use and focuses on opportunities for urban infill as well as the revitalization of existing structures. Holly’s firm, AU Associates, has been directly responsible for creating over 600 units of mixed income housing, 200,000 square feet of commercial space and over $150 million of projects across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and West Virginia. This number includes the most recently completed Lexington developments; Davis Park View, multi-family affordable housing in downtown, Parkside 1,2 and 3, the historic First Presbyterian Apartments located between the Lexington Courthouse and Gratz Park on Market Street, historic Midway School Apartments and Bakery, Windy Corner Market and several other adaptive re-use developments across Kentucky and West Virginia. AU is also the development agent, on behalf of the City of Lexington to adaptively re-use the historic Fayette County Courthouse.

Danette Wilder, Owner/President & CEO
SealingLife Inc.

Danette Wilder is president and chief executive officer of SealingLife, Incorporated (SealingLife Technology) a manufacturer and assembler of sealing/shielding devices, custom cut panels and overlays for the Aerospace, Aviation and Defense, Utility and Energy and Transportation industries. She is a member of the company’s board of directors. She is also Managing Director for SLI Contracting, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SealingLife, Inc. SLI is a transportation and logistics company that specializes in for-hire trucking, hauling, and disposal services.

Danette began her career in manufacturing in 1996, holding engineering/technical positions with companies such as Siemen’s Automotive, GE, Corning Incorporated, Toyota and MeadWestVaco. Danette has led international, multi-million-dollar manufacturing projects in countries such as China, Japan, South Africa, Germany and France. She actively serves her community as Chairperson for the state of Kentucky’s Commission on Women and Vice-Chair of Kentucky’s Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB) and Treasurer for the Kentucky Aerospace Industry Consortium (KAIC).

Morning Speaker – Sheri Riley
International Speaker, Author of Exponential Living

Sheri Riley is a wife, mother, daughter, and entrepreneur and we all know this is not easy, but she has figured out how to make it simple. As a trendsetter in the entertainment industry, she spent 20 years creating innovative marketing strategies for some of the world’s biggest celebrities and corporations. This list includes Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, Converse, NBA, TNT, and many more.

Sheri’s book, Exponential Living® – Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are, is the guide to help high achievers to integrate their personal desires into their life without detriment to their professional achievement. Sheri has been a been a keynote speaker at Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Success Conference, is a founding member of the global John Maxwell Team, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

How to Attract, Engage and Retain Employees in the Workplace
Presenter: Brian Simmons
SHRM-CP, PHR, Senior Human Resources Advisor

Brian Simmons has more than 25-years experience in generalist and specialty areas of Human Resources at all organizational levels. He has gained a wealth of beneficial experiences as a senior level executive in several fields – themed entertainment, travel, education, banking, retail, landscaping, hospitality, and healthcare.

Prior to joining CMI, Brian has provided strategic planning and change management consultations, presentation skills, business service and sales training, and leadership development services to a variety of clients that include the US Postal Service, Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated, AAA Carolinas, DuPont, Ingersoll-Rand, Bank of America, and The Home Depot.

Brian is a Certified Professional of Human Resources and the Human Resources Certification Institute. Brian is active in supporting various non-profit organizations and community relations activities by hosting an Emmy nominated television series that focuses on the impact of non-profit organizations in our communities.

Future Business Trends
Presenter: Chelsea Ellis
Co-Presenters: Samuel Ellis and Bill Huston

Chelsea A. Ellis is owner of Fail to Success. As a millennial entrepreneur and business coach, Chelsea started her business after high school. Chelsea mastered online marketing and learned how to reach the millennial market place. Now she specializes in helping others turn their passion into income through using the internet and product creation.

Samuel Ellis is a Serial Entrepreneur. With over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur Sam has owned multiple companies. Currently he focuses on digital marketing, network marketing and financial literacy helping others learn how to start their own businesses.

Bill Huston founded Our Crowd Rocks, LLC, a crowdfunding consulting and digital marketing company based in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the Chief Consultant and Digital Strategist where his duties are to research the crowdfunding ecosystem for new technologies and best practices and then to communication these finding internally and externally through the company blogs, eBooks, forum, social media, and other platforms available. Mr. Huston focuses on building excited and engaged crowds for campaigns using social media, email marketing, blogger/media outreach using an inbound marketing strategy modified for crowdfunding.

Keeping the Vision Alive
Presenters: Lafe Taylor & Lamar Wilson, Co-Founders at Hijro; Lance Meaux – Creative Director, Urly Bird Media; Dewayne Smithers, Youth Speaker and Spoken Poet, Poetik Media

Meet Dewayne Smithers, author, filmmaker, youth activist, spoken word & hip hop artist.

Imagine capturing an audience with freestyle rap, spoken word and laughter, drawing them in, comforting them and building trust. When you least expect it, real life comes into view. Dewayne has established a reputation as a motivational speaker for youth and young adults who can inspire any teen/young adult despite background, race or gender. Dewayne offers up a healthy, balanced dose of real life up to date advice that he calls “Reality Check” but on your side.

Knowing what it is like to be fatherless, bullied, made fun of and rejected, Dewayne believes that our lives only improve when we take risks. The first and most difficult risk we can take is, to be honest with yourself. You will be touched by the emotional struggle that he shares. Dewayne’s rough upbringing and adulthood tragedies shows how one can rise above discouragement and can turn their life around for the better.

Dewayne has been traveling to NFL Hall of Fame events, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, colleges, youth camps, workshops, churches, concerts and even across seas to Ghana, Africa sharing his story and how you can turn any tragedy into a testimony.

Lafe Taylor is Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer at Hijro, blockchain fin-tech startup. With a background in corporate branding, illustration and a passion for entrepreneurship Lafe Taylor leads the direction for product design innovation and ideation at Hijro.

Lamar Wilson is another Co-Founder at Hijro. As CEO, full stack-developer and expert blockchain architect, Mr. Wilson has been creating enterprise software for almost a decade with a recent focus on financial and blockchain technology. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded the software development firm 212ths and created Pheeva, a mobile bitcoin wallet and Hijro (formerly known as Fluent), where he serves as CEO and CTO.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Randal D. Pinkett
Founder, Chairman and CEO, BCT Partners

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business and technology. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting, research, technology, and analytics firm headquartered in Newark, NJ.

Dr. Pinkett has received numerous awards for business and technology excellence and has been featured on nationally televised programs such as The Today Show, Fox Business News, MSNBC, and CNN. He’s been recognized by USA TODAY newspaper as one of the top 20 scholars in the country. Dr. Pinkett was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes scholarship at Rutgers University. He was also the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, having been selected as one of 18 candidates chosen from among 1 million applicants to compete for this opportunity.

Dr. Pinkett is a highly sought-after speaker for various corporations, colleges and universities, government agencies and community organizations. He is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash. His latest book, Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was named one of the “10 Best Books of 2010.”

Dr. Pinkett holds five academic degrees including: a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England; and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, MBA, and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Pinkett is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides with his family, including a daughter and two sons.

Special Session: Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) Economic Inclusion Plan

Presenters: William “Bill” Wallace, Director, Facility Design and Construction, FCPS
Marilyn Clark, Manager of Economic Development & Supplier Diversity, FCPS
Matt Moore, Purchasing Technician, FCPS
Myron Thompson, Director of Operations & Support, FCPS
Ed Holmes, EHI Consultants

Bill Wallace, AIA, is a registered architect with professional experience in planning, designing & managing public school projects. In his early years of architecture, Bill was involved in a variety of building project types including schools, hospitals, office building complexes, manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings, multi-family housing and private residences.

Bill is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, College of Architecture and is a registered architect and holds a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. Bill is also a trained construction mediator. Bill is currently Director of Facilities Design & Construction for Fayette County Public Schools.

Marilyn Clark is the Manager of Economic Development and Supplier Diversity for the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS). In that role she is involved in evaluating the district’s spending, procurement processes and diversifying the supply chain to increase spending with minority, women and veteran owned businesses. Marilyn is also involved with economic development and workforce development committees around the state and works to tie the business community to career readiness programs for students K-12. Before joining FCPS, Marilyn worked for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in supplier diversity. Marilyn completed professional diversity certification courses both at Cornel University and the University of Houston. She is currently working on an Executive MBA through a joint program with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

Matthew Moore is the Purchasing Technician for Fayette County Public Schools.  Matt has been in the Purchasing Department for 11 years.  He handles the Bids and RFPs for the district and works daily with all departments on their purchasing needs.  Matt attends purchasing classes on a regular basis and is working toward a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) Certification. Matt attended the Lexington Community College.  He is married with one daughter.

Myron Thompson is the Senior Director of Operations and Support for the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) where he oversees Facilities, Design & Construction, Food Service, Logistical Services/Warehouse, Plant Operations, Risk Management & Safety, Maintenance, Transportation and Technology. He has served as Health and Wellness Coordinator for Fayette County Public Schools as well as the Director of Risk Management for both FCPS and Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

Myron attended Eastern Kentucky University where he obtained two bachelor’s degrees in Fire & Safety Engineering Technology and Insurance & Risk Management. He obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kentucky.

Myron is married to Yvette Thompson, a guidance counselor at Bryan Station High School and they have two daughters, Hillary and Avery.

Edward J. Holmes is a certified planner with over 35 years of experience focusing on incorporating sustainable planning strategies into redevelopment, master planning, environmental justice, and land use planning. As an urban planner and Principal with EHI Consultants, Ed has created numerous sustainable development plans that provide benchmark considerations for socially and environmentally responsible planning. Ed has experience with numerous public-sector and private-sector projects throughout the Southeast United States. He has been recognized by the planning profession for his planning efforts in neighborhood planning, environmental justice and farmland preservation. Ed received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning and Design from the University of Cincinnati.

EHI Consultants is an Urban Planning and Civil Engineering firm created in 1995 and has offices in Louisville, Lexington and Paducah, Kentucky and an office located in Portsmouth, Ohio. EHI has been recognized as a 2011 Kentucky SBDC Pacesetter Award winner and it’s planning and design projects have received recognition from the American Institute of Landscape Architects, American Planning Association, Department of Energy and the Federal Highway Administration.

Special Session: AECOM Hunt Construction’s Inclusion Plan for Lexington Convention Center Project

Presenters: Bill Edwards, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Bill’s specialty is the delivery of successful M/WBE participation programs. He has set the bar very high in Indianapolis and is unmatched when it comes to minority and women participation on large, public projects in the area. Bill averages 20 outreach meetings on each public project before and during the buyout phases. Bill’s recent, successful experience includes the Amway Center, Busch Stadium, Duke Energy Center, Little Cesar’s Arena, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport – North Terminal, Lucas Oil Stadium, Kentucky International Convention Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Nassau Coliseum, and various UPS projects. Bill’s involvement with the successful M/WBE participation on these projects, and others in the Midwest and Southeast markets, has served as a model of excellence all across the country; he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to inclusion.