Steve Pemberton | Sunday Evening
Chief Human Resources Officer, Workhuman, and Best Selling Author, A Chance in the World
Considered one of America’s most inspiring business and HR leaders, Steve Pemberton’s triumphant life story is about defying seemingly insurmountable beginnings as a child orphaned into foster care. Born to a mother who was in the middle of a losing battle with alcoholism, it was said about Steve that “this little boy doesn’t have a chance in the world.” His inherited circumstances, handed down from one generation to the next, was not the fault of Steve, but he still looked at it as his responsibility. That determination to better his life was met by the kindness of everyday citizens who affirmed that fight. As told in the major motion picture and acclaimed, best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World, adversity only fueled his desire to become a man of resilience, determination and vision. Steve went on to find success as a corporate executive, innovative diversity and inclusion thought leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker devoted to inspiring and helping others. Steve’s keynotes, like his life story, amplify his highly motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere.
All these years later, as time and life has moved on, Steve has still not forgotten those human lighthouses or the lessons of service and integrity that mentors instilled in him. His most recent book, The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World, offers practical encouragement for how you can be a "human lighthouse" for others and through the inspiring stories Steve shares, he will renew your hope for humanity. A passionate human rights champion, Steve has made equality, access, and opportunity the foundation of his personal and professional life. Author of the USA Today best-selling memoir and subject of the film, A Chance in the World, Steve chronicled his extraordinary journey of his search for family. His tireless advocacy for the disenfranchised has earned him numerous accolades — including honorary doctorates from Winston-Salem State University, Mt. Ida College,and Boston College. He received the prestigious Horizon Award by the U.S. Congress, presented to private sector individuals who have expanded opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions, and who have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.
Steve is the chief people officer of Workhuman. He champions and promotes the Workhuman movement to inspire HR leaders to embrace more humanity and foster a sense of purpose in the workplace. Steve is focused on building upon Workhuman’s award-winning culture, which has set a new industry standard through its own power usage of recognition and positivity. Before joining Workhuman, Steve served as the chief diversity officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance and Monster.com. A frequent presenter on Capitol Hill, in 2015, he was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities. Steve is also one of Recruiter.com Group, Inc.’s (OTCQB: RCRT) independent directors, which is a leading AI-powered and video hiring platform with the world's largest network of recruiters.
Luis F. Cruz, PhD | Monday Morning
Author, Time for Change; Educator
Luis F. Cruz, PhD, is former principal of Baldwin Park High School, located east of Los Angeles, California. He has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Dr. Cruz presents on methods from the best-selling book Time for Change by Luis F. Cruz and Anthony Muhammad. In 2007, Dr. Cruz led a collective effort to secure a $250,000 grant for Baldwin Park from the California Academic Partnership Program for the purpose of effectively utilizing “courageous leadership” to promote a more equitable and effective organization.
Since becoming a public school educator, Dr. Cruz has won the New Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year, and other community leadership awards. He and a committee of teacher leaders at Baldwin Park received California's prestigious Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association for significantly closing the achievement gap between the general student population and students learning English as a second language.
As a recipient of the Hispanic Border Leadership Institute's fellowship for doctoral studies, he earned a doctorate in institutional leadership and policy studies from the University of California Riverside. He earned an associate's degree from Mount San Antonio Community College, a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fullerton, and a master's degree from Claremont Graduate University.
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Janel Keating | Tuesday Morning
Retired Superintendent, White River SD
Janel Keating is a recently-retired superintendent of the White River School District in Washington State. An educator with more than 30 years of experience, she is a former elementary and middle school teacher, elementary principal, director of student learning, and deputy superintendent. During her time as principal of Mountain Meadow Elementary, the school became one of the highest-performing elementary schools in the state. Janel is the recipient of the 2019 Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award in Washington.
She was also named Principal of the Year in Pierce County, Washington, and received the 2013 Carroll College Alumni Academic Achievement Award. Janel is past president of the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Idaho and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Carroll College in Montana. Janel received a superintendent’s certificate from Seattle Pacific University.