•  Ceannate Sponsor 

Featured Speakers

Featured Speaker: Ron Clark

Ron Clark presented his opening session keynote address on Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ron ClarkKnown to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."

Ron Clark brings charisma, energy and devotion to the education profession. Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation to be honored by the President of the United States.

More info about Ron Clark >> 


Hedrick Smith delivered his feature presentation on Monday, June 30, 2014



Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America's most distinguished journalists.

In 26 years with The New York Times, Mr. Smith covered Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War in Saigon, the Middle East conflict from Cairo, the Cold War from both Moscow and Washington, and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe.

More info about Hedrick Smith >> 

FEATURED SPEAKER: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Senator Alexander addressed conference attendees on Monday, June 30, 2014.



Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and an elementary school principal.  He is a seventh-generation Tennessean.

He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator.  He has been U.S. Education Secretary and University of Tennessee president. He chaired the National Governors Association and President Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors.  

When elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, Alexander had spent more adult years in the private sector than in public life. In 1972 he co-founded a Nashville law firm. In 1987 he and his wife and three others, including Bob Keeshan, television's Captain Kangaroo, founded Corporate Child Care, Inc.  The company became publicly traded in 1997 (NASDAQ) and later merged with Bright Horizons, Inc., creating the world's largest provider of worksite daycare.    

Three times between 2007 and 2012, his colleagues elected Sen. Alexander Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference — the third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate.  He is the ranking Senate Republican overseeing education, labor and health, as well as energy appropriations.