Keynote Speakers


Peter Kageyama: 2019 Annual Conference General Assembly Speaker

Peter Kageyama is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. He is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.

Peter is a Senior Fellow with the Alliance for Innovation, a national network of city leaders and a special advisor to America In Bloom. He is an internationally sought-after community development consultant and grassroots engagement strategist who speaks all over the world about bottom-up community development and the amazing people who are making change happen.



Jessica Pettit: 2019 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker

It is through Jessica’s work in Student Affairs, as a college administrator, in South Carolina, Oregon, New York, and Arizona that she realized her love for the conversations across difference. As an Social Justice Training Institute Alumna, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a Certified Speaking Professional, Jessica has taken the typical diversity talks to the next level of social justice conversations examining privilege, oppression, entitlement, and our collective responsibility to make change while connecting difficult topics with employee retention, crisis management, and increasing innovation and profits.

Referred to as the “Margaret Cho” of Diversity Trainers, Jessica blends politics, humor, identity, and local flair with big city passion and energy through direct, individualized, and interactive conversations. Her workshops, seminars, and keynotes don’t just leave participants invigorated but inspired and motivated to follow through with action to create change. Having traveled and lived in a variety of communities and environments all over the world, while also engaging with education as student, teacher, administrator, and active community member, Jessica uses her take on life to lead participants through a safe but confrontational process of examination, self reflection, and open dialog that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

Responses to Jessica’s programs are overwhelmingly positive and include comments such as, comments ranging from, “This was awful – I never had to think so hard while laughing!” to “I can’t believe my boss brought, her – thanks for actually treating us like adults,” to “She answered all of my questions knowledgeably and without making me feel dumb for asking.”

With her attention now turning to larger associations and corporate leadership, Jessica is pulling from the past 15 years of direct experience to lead teams to try instead of avoiding a stretch. It is in this trying that clients uncover a deeper sense of belonging, resourceful collaboration opportunities, and reignite their creativity and innovative ideation. Learning, feeling, and being Good Enough Now allows for teams to do the best they can with what they have and persist long into the future no matter the crisis, topic, or challenge.

Graduating from the University of South Carolina with an M.Ed in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Crisis Management, Jessica pulls together lessons from teaching History and English in the classroom as well as those from the stand up comedy stages of New York City to bring real and actionable results to meeting rooms and board tables. She is well published, including multiple DVD and online training courses, curriculum guides, and a book that makes the abstract actionable.


Alonzo Kelly: 2019 Annual Conference Endnote Speaker

A dynamic Executive Coach, Professor, 3x Best Selling Author, and Radio Host, Alonzo Kelly has gained international and global attention as a premier consultant and strategist. Alonzo is recognized as one the nation’s leading experts on leadership development, strategic thinking, planning, and acting which results in individual and organizational goal achievement. He has appeared on America’s Premier Experts which airs on major networks across the country including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX.

He holds a bachelor’s in Accounting, three master’s degrees (Public Administration, Human Resource & Labor Relations, Business Administration), and is nearing completion of a PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services. He is also currently in the process of obtaining his Doctorate in Business Administration.

Find more at www.alonzokelly.com