Speaker Profiles

The membership of Omicron Delta Kappa includes individuals representing a wide range of professional fields and talents. If your circle wishes to explore inviting a career professional member to a circle activity, please complete this form no less than eight weeks in advance of the event.  The national headquarters will do its best to connect circles and speakers.  The profiles below may help your circle determine which of our members would be the best fit for an upcoming circle event or activity.

Mr. Brandon Gregory Bell : Elon, N.C.; University of North Carolina Wilmington Circle

Mr. Brandon Gregory Bell

Elon, N.C.; University of North Carolina Wilmington Circle


Assistant Director, Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education, Elon University |

Biography

Commentary topics:  equity, diversity, and inclusion; social justices; identity development and authentic leadership; mentorship; strategic planning and development; strategic programming; conflict resolution; crisis management

LinkedIn

Ms. Marcia Bennett : Alexandria, Va.; Lynchburg College Circle

Ms. Marcia Bennett

Alexandria, Va.; Lynchburg College Circle


Human Resource Strategist, BAI |

Biography

Commentary topics:  mastering communication- including written and verbal; bridging the generational divide; professionalism and leadership strategies; resources for long-term leadership success

LinkedIn

Ms. Rose Brown : Charlotte, N.C.; University of North Carolina – Charlotte Circle

Ms. Rose Brown

Charlotte, N.C.; University of North Carolina – Charlotte Circle


Miss Piedmont 2017, Miss America Organization |

Biography

Commentary topics:  hunger in American society; leadership and service

LinkedIn

Rose Brown is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Presently, she is an administrative support specialist for UNCC’s Center for Academic Excellence. Additionally, she is USA National Miss Mecklenburg County 2018, a former Miss America Organization local title holder, scholarship reviewer for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, non-profit director, philanthropist, humanitarian, and survivor.

Rose was selected for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa in 2014. She served as its chapter president. In the last two years, the circle has inducted more than 100 members. The UNCC Circle has been recognized nationally and locally.

In addition to her professional pursuits, Rose is a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau and the director of Feeding the Heart and Soul of America. Feeding the Heart and Soul of America is an initiative Rose launched as a teaching assistant for a citizenship and service course at taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This initiative is dedicated to helping alleviate poverty and encouraging members of the greater Charlotte community in need to reach their full potential. The organization not only focuses on philanthropic efforts to reduce hunger, but it also works on inspiring and encouraging those living in poverty to set and pursue their goals.

Feeding the Heart and Soul of America also includes college tours for local homeless shelters and pageants for women facing homelessness. These college tours include mock class sessions and workshops on financial aid, professionalism, and goal-setting. All participants receive gift-cards to local restaurants to help alleviate hunger, two sets of business cards to enhance their sense of professionalism, and leather briefcases. A notable program of the organization is its Everyone’s Birthday” parties for children without homes. These parties are coordinated for local group homes, homeless shelters, and youth crisis centers. The purpose of these events is to remind these children that they are appreciated, loved, and deserve to be celebrated each day. Each “Everyone’s Birthday” event includes a birthday cake, piñata, confetti poppers, balloons, and other party favors for all of the children.

Ms. Catherine Bruns : Harisonburg, Va.; Concordia College Circle

Ms. Catherine Bruns

Harisonburg, Va.; Concordia College Circle


Communications and Administrative Assistant, Arts Council of the Valley |

Biography

Commentary topics:  importance of effective communications; intersection of communications and leadership skills

LinkedIn

Catherine Bruns is a 2015 initiate of the Concordia College Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. She represented Concordia at the 2016 ODK National Biennial Convention as an official circle delegate and currently serves as a member of the Student Advisory Board.

Catherine is a recent graduate of James Madison University where she earned a Master of Arts in communication and advocacy. In addition, she was the graduate teaching assistant for the JMU School of Communication Studies and served as a graduate assistant forensics coach for the JMU Speech Team. Catherine has had the opportunity to represent JMU at a variety of regional and national academic conferences. Her most recent scholarly publication can be found in the journal Carolinas Communication Annual. She hopes to begin a doctoral program in fall 2017.  Presently, she is a communications and administrative assistant at Arts Council of the Valley.

Prior to graduate school, Catherine attended Concordia College, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in communication studies-theatre arts, political science, and Chinese. At Concordia, Catherine served as captain of the nationally-ranked Concordia Speech Team, for which she was awarded the Gloria Long Leadership Through Service Award. Her undergraduate research on China’s performance and interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” was institutionally recognized with the Bruce Gronbeck Research Award as well as nationally recognized by the Kennedy Center. Her past practical work includes internships at Hennepin Theatre Trust and the Children’s Theatre Company as well as a campus fellowship for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

In addition to ODK, Catherine is also a member of Pi Kappa Delta and Pi Sigma Alpha.

Dr. Eric Buller : Oxford, Ohio; East Carolina University Circle

Dr. Eric Buller

Oxford, Ohio; East Carolina University Circle


Director, Harry T. Wilkes Leadership Institute, Miami University |

Biography

Commentary topics: authentic leadership and the leadership journey; Strengths-based leadership; grit and leadership; military leadership; resilience; team development

LinkedIn

Ms. Michelle Burke : Allendale, Mich.; University of South Carolina Circle

Ms. Michelle Burke

Allendale, Mich.; University of South Carolina Circle


Consultant and Chief Executive Officer, Student Affairs Solutions |

Biography

Commentary topics:  collaborative leadership; leading change; when failure is a success

LinkedIn

Michelle Burke has worked in higher education settings since 1985 as a classroom instructor, administrator and educator. She is a higher education consultant with Student Affairs Solutions, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has taught undergraduate courses at various institutions in public relations and leadership development, and graduate courses in college student affairs leadership. Michelle has consulted on more than 40 college campuses in the United States to assist students, faculty, staff and alumni with organizational development.

Michelle worked at Grand Valley State University as director of student life from 2003-2014 and was a faculty officer with the O∆K circle at that institution. From 1998-2003, Michelle served as director of student leadership and activities at Ferris State University. From 1996-98, she was the interim Greek life coordinator and graduate assistant for leadership development at the University of South Carolina-Columbia while she completed her master's degree.

Prior to working full-time in higher education, Michelle was a public relations executive with Tucker/Hall, Inc. in Tampa, Fla. Her duties encompassed crisis communications, community and government relations, event planning, marketing, media relations and speechwriting. Her clients included Fortune 500 companies, municipalities, tourism interests and professional sports organizations. She began her public relations career as an account executive with Libin & Associates in Tallahassee, Fla. Michelle is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and maintains her public relations accreditation (APR), which she first earned in 1997.

At present, Michelle is a member of American College Personnel Association, Association of Fraternity Advisors, International Association of Teamwork Facilitators, International True Colors Association, Public Relations Society of America and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. In addition to her involvement with Omicron Delta Kappa, Michelle served for ten years as a national officer with Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and is active with the alumnae chapters of Tri Sigma where she lives.

Michelle is completing her Ph.D. in higher education leadership at Western Michigan University. She has a Master of Arts in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Florida State University. Michelle is a True Colors Certified Facilitator and she facilitates programs in change management, communication, conflict management, personal success and teambuilding. She is also a StrengthsQuest educator and her top five signature themes are Strategic, Significance, Activator, Relator, and Arranger.

She has served Omicron Delta Kappa as its National Vice President from 2012-16, and she currently serves as the chair of the National Advisory Council.

Ms. Jordan Ashleigh Chaffiotte : Bridgewater, N.J.; Philadelphia University Circle

Ms. Jordan Ashleigh Chaffiotte

Bridgewater, N.J.; Philadelphia University Circle


Freelance Writer |

Biography

Commentary topics:  stress management; prioritization for collegiate leaders; Her Campus

LinkedIn

Mr. Jesse Chen : Hoboken, N.J.; University of Maryland College Park Circle

Mr. Jesse Chen

Hoboken, N.J.; University of Maryland College Park Circle


Chief Executive Officer, Powerline |

Biography

Commentary topics: vision development and communication; community engagement; organizational planning and strategy; technology strategy; democracy and democratic leadership; roles and opportunities of students beyond the campus; design thinking; entrepreneurship; activism

LinkedIn

Jesse Chen is a technology strategist focused on strengthening communities, civic engagement and leadership support systems. He is the co-founder and CEO of Powerline, an award-winning, next-generation platform that provides leaders and constituents with a streamlined set of simple tools for organizing, influencing and mobilizing collective action in any kind of community.

As a long-standing community activist, Jesse has led or engaged in numerous efforts around student rights, hunger relief, workplace engagement and governmental reform. Jesse currently serves on the Movement Circle steering committee for the Global Citizens Movement, a global community of hundreds of civil society activists from more than 70 countries. He was also a U.S. delegate to International Civil Society Week in Johannesburg in 2013, and he will return to South Africa as a delegate again in 2014. He was a 2012 Fellow with the New Leaders Council and was invited to the White House as a New Jersey Community Leader that same year. He has also served as president of the board of directors of Move for Hunger, a national food recovery and hunger relief charity, since 2011.

Prior to founding Powerline, Jesse was a senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting where he served clients in the public sector, healthcare and media spaces for period of more than five years. At Deloitte, Jesse was an avid staff advocate and a champion of workplace collaboration technology. He led many firm initiatives and teams outside of his client service commitments that consistently earned him top ratings and recognition.

Jesse graduated from the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business in 2008 where he served two terms as student government president.  He was also involved with the Residence Hall Association, the President’s Student Advisory Board and several other organizations on campus. Jesse was proud to be inducted into O∆K’s Sigma Circle in 2007 and serve as the circle’s vice president his senior year. He received several awards and recognition for his leadership contributions culminating in his selection as the 2008 Graduate of Distinction at Smith and the 2008 University Homecoming King.

Jesse enjoys building community, discussing politics and philosophy, cooking, spending time with friends and family and going to the gym. He strongly believes that O∆K members, both those who are currently enrolled and those who have graduated, are among the most qualified citizens in civil society to be leading our communities in these challenging times and encourages all O∆K members to answer the call of leadership beyond campus.

Dr. Matthew W. Clifford : Winston-Salem, N.C.; Davidson College Circle

Dr. Matthew W. Clifford

Winston-Salem, N.C.; Davidson College Circle


Associate Dean of Students, Wake Forest University; |

Biography

Commentary topics:  mentoring; collaborative leadership; leadership competencies; strategic planning

LinkedIn

National President Matthew W. Clifford is Associate Dean of Students and Director of Campus Life Projects at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. In his role at Wake Forest, Matthew handles student conduct, crisis management, and community response. Additionally, Matthew leads assessment efforts for the Division of Campus Life at Wake Forest.

Previously, Matthew served as director of residence life at Wake Forest and director of residential life at Jacksonville University in Fla. He has also worked in residence life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Matthew’s involvement in O∆K started at Davidson College, where he was inducted as a student member. He has previously served on the Society Board of Directors as Member-at-large. Additionally, he has served as a faculty officer for circles at Jacksonville University and Wake Forest University.

In addition to his involvement in O∆K, Matthew is very involved with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), where he is immediate past co-chair of the Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community. Additionally, he currently serves as the vice president for marketing and communication for the Southern Association of College Student Affairs. Having presented at numerous national and regional conferences, Matthew has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of College and University Student Housing and the College Student Affairs Journal.

Outside of O∆K, Matthew is very involved in his community. In 2015, he was selected to receive a Winston<40 Leadership Award, recognizing 20 leaders under 40 years old in the Winston-Salem community. He is President of Friends of Sherwood Forest, a nonprofit foundation that provides support for neighborhood schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Davidson College, a Master of Education in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina, and his Doctor of Education in higher education from the University of North Florida.

Ms. Rebecca DeVoe Elliott : Seattle, Wash.; University of Georgia Circle

Ms. Rebecca DeVoe Elliott

Seattle, Wash.; University of Georgia Circle


Sales Engineer, Liquid Planner |

Biography

Commentary topics:   women in technology; women’s leadership; sales; start-up businesses; young management skills and challenges

LinkedIn

 

Ms. Lynn Dorvil : Tallahassee, Fla.; Florida A & M University Circle

Ms. Lynn Dorvil

Tallahassee, Fla.; Florida A & M University Circle


Regional Operations Manager, Sound Physicians |

Biography

Commentary topics:  health administration; resumes and career development; motivation

LinkedIn

 

 

Mr. J. David Gibbs : Brentwood, Tenn.; University of Richmond Circle

Mr. J. David Gibbs

Brentwood, Tenn.; University of Richmond Circle


Chariman, E|Spaces, Inc. |

Biography

Commentary topics:  Entrepreneurial leadership, new venture initiation, risk management, and related areas of expertise

LinkedIn

David Gibbs earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond where he was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa. He has previously served his alma mater as a member of the Richmond Council. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Emory University's School of Law.

David is the chairman and co-founder of E-SPACES, Inc. In addition, he is principal of consultancy with The West Bridge Group and is an active angel investor in Nashville, Tenn.

As a volunteer, David is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brehm Foundation and the Brehm Preparatory School, and is Chair of the Brehm Capital Campaign. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Klingberg Family Centers. In addition, he is a Life Member of the Safari Club, the National Rifle Association and the Boone and Crockett Club.

David joined the O∆K Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013. He served as Vice President of the Foundation from 201416, and his current term will expire in 2020.

Mr. James Gillette : Las Vegas, Nev.; University of North Carolina – Charlotte Circle

Mr. James Gillette

Las Vegas, Nev.; University of North Carolina – Charlotte Circle


Owner/Managing Partner, Seat Stir |

Biography

Commentary topics:  Entertainment industry; creative problem solving; support for philanthropic projects related to Native American, homeless, disability, veterans, and environmental causes

 

Ms. Aurelia Gooden : Birmingham, Ala.; Jacksonville State University Circle

Ms. Aurelia Gooden

Birmingham, Ala.; Jacksonville State University Circle


Engineer, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama |

Biography

Commentary topics:  STEM programs; women in STEM fields

LinkedIn

Aurelia has been a member of Omicron Delta Kappa since 2009. She was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa while studying at Jacksonville State University. She has participated as a member in campus activities, held a position on the O∆K Student Advisory Board, and has been active in the O∆K National Awards Committee.
 

Aurelia is a long-time resident of Detroit, Mich. and an engineer currently working in the Birmingham, Ala. area. She is also a Ph.D. student studying psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is also Ms. Great Lake State American Dream 2018 and Ms. Michigan American Dream 2017. Her platform involves improving conditions for women's healthcare and increasing the number of female physicians. She promotes awareness of this issue through her participation in the American Medical Women’s Association and her attendance at social events that promote women’s rights. In addition to her corporate ambitions, Aurelia is also a freelance pianist and chamber music composer. During her time at Jacksonville State University, where she studied piano for several years as well as percussion and composition, and she received several academic and music scholarships. During her formative years, Aurelia participated in violin studies.

 

She is a summa cum laude graduate of Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Special Honors in Music, a Master of Arts degree in Music, and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems. Additionally, she was also the valedictorian of Northern Senior High School in Detroit, Mich. and has studied music as well as science at Wayne State University in Detroit.  She was an active member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance from 2010 until 2015. She enjoys studying and performing piano music from the Romantic Era and cites her compositional style as Neo-Romantic.

 

Aurelia is extremely interested in the relationship between neuroscience and musical aptitude. As a synesthete and a person who experiences cross-modal perception, she dedicates her free time to exploring topics of this nature. In addition, music theory and Late-Romantic theoretical analysis are also among her avid interests. Aurelia is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Golden Key International Honour Society.
Dr. Linda M. Hooks : Lexington, Va.; Louisiana State University Circle

Dr. Linda M. Hooks

Lexington, Va.; Louisiana State University Circle


Professor of Economics, Washington and Lee University |

Biography

Commentary topics:  economics; European Union; banking; macroeconomics

LinkedIn

Linda M. Hooks was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa as an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, where she was student government vice president and Panhellenic president.  She has served as the faculty advisor to the Alpha Circle of O∆K at Washington and Lee University since 2010.  She is the member-at-large representing academe for the 2016-18 Society Board of Directors.

Linda is professor of economics at Washington and Lee University. She teaches money and banking, principles of macroeconomics, and a senior research seminar.  She has also led a travel-based seminar on the European monetary union. Her research has been published in the Journal of Economic History, Journal of Financial Services Research, Review of Financial Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, The Group of Thirty monograph series, and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas publications. Linda is a past recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowship for sabbatical support.

She previously worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

For O∆K, Linda has served as a member of the Centennial Celebration committee and as the liaison to W&L for the Centennial Convention held in Lexington, Va.  She served on an ad hoc committee to discuss the terminology used for faculty officers and on the national nominating committee.  As a faculty officer, she has attended faculty-officer training sessions, drive-in meetings, and two national conventions.

At Washington and Lee, Linda has served on numerous university-wide committees including the President’s Advisory Committee for tenure and promotion and on search committees for the university president, provost, and vice president for advancement.  She is faculty advisor to Panhellenic and chaired a committee on student academic support. Linda is president of the Virginia Association of Economists. In the local community, she is a member of the Endowment Board of Directors for Manly Memorial Baptist Church, volunteers at the local elementary and middle schools, and is president of the Storm swim team booster club.

 

Mr. J. Mark Jackson : St. Augustine, Fla.; Ohio University Circle

Mr. J. Mark Jackson

St. Augustine, Fla.; Ohio University Circle


Territory Manager/Consultant Cooper Tire Company/Guidon LLC |

Biography

Commentary topics:  enhancing personal leadership propensities; determining and developing leadership competencies; character building; vision; resilience; leadership applied in historic contexts; followership; general leadership considerations

LinkedIn

 

Ms. Beverly H. Johnson : Montgomery, Ala. ;Auburn University at Montgomery Circle

Ms. Beverly H. Johnson

Montgomery, Ala. ;Auburn University at Montgomery Circle


Prevention Services Director, Alabama Department of Mental Health |

Biography

Commentary topics:  child abuse and neglect prevention; drug abuse prevention; behavioral health, tobacco, and cancer control

Beverly Johnson is director of prevention services at the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division. In her role at the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Beverly is responsible for monitoring compliance with federal block grant and three discretionary grants for prevention services.  In addition, Beverly maintains and reviews certification standards, monitors compliance, and manages the development, implementation, and continuation of the Substance Abuse Services prevention programming within the State of Alabama.

With more than 15 years of experience, Beverly is a Substance Abuse Prevention Skills (SAPST), Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Trained professional. Beverly is past chairwoman of the Capitol City’s neighborhood development Advisory Board, a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Advisory Board, and an ex-officio member of the State Prevention Advisory Board.
Beverly’s involvement in O∆K started at Auburn University at Montgomery, where she was inducted as a student member. Beverly is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and her Master of Public Administration from Jacksonville State University.

 

Ms. Suzanne Lee Judd : Birmingham, Ala.; Michigan Technological University Circle

Ms. Suzanne Lee Judd

Birmingham, Ala.; Michigan Technological University Circle


Assistant Dean, School of Public Health, University of Alabama Birmingham |

Biography

Commentary topics: public health; lifelong leadership and learning; over-engagement; nutrition; developing relationships with service and community partners

LinkedIn

 

Mr. Jason Kent : Portland, Ore.; Ohio University Circle

Mr. Jason Kent

Portland, Ore.; Ohio University Circle


Director of Civil and Structural Engineering, Smith-Root |

Biography

Commentary topics:  leadership; vision planning; communication styles including assertiveness and how to communicate with introverts and extroverts; networking and mentoring; time management; personal branding and marketing; workplace ethics

LinkedIn

Jason Kent is a professional engineer and department director at Smith-Root, a small, employee-owned environmental technology company in Vancouver, Wash. In this role, Jason leads teams of interdisciplinary engineers and scientists in projects such as fish guidance/deterrence and preventing sea lions from damaging port and harbor structures. An example of a current project is a barrier in Minn. that allows boats and water to freely pass while preventing migration of the invasive Silver Carp, best known as the jumping lake fish in dozens of YouTube videos, which have a harmful impact on lake ecosystems and could cause serious injury to boaters and water skiers.
 

Prior to joining Smith-Root in 2013, Jason worked for two large international consulting firms where he led studies and designs for river hydraulics, fish habitat analysis, and ecological restoration in the western United States. He also has traveled to deliver training and workshops with lengths ranging from 45 minutes to 8 hours. His topics focus on career development for young professionals. Topics include:
 

• Finding your career niche
• Personal branding and vision branding
• Personal marketing in a team setting
• Networking and leadership
• Creating your career roadmap
• Personality and communication styles in the workplace
• Time and stress management
• The value of mentoring
• Essential traits of leaders
• Ethics in the workplace
• Marketing for young professionals
• Asserting yourself effectively
• How extroverts can communicate with introverts (and vice versa!)
 

Jason was inducted as a student member of O∆K at Ohio University, where he was active in student government, social organizations, and professional societies. At Ohio, Jason founded a student chapter of National Association of Environmental Professionals, and won a national award for excellence in Public Relations from the North American Interfraternity Conference for his work as an officer in the Interfraternity Council.
 

Jason gives back to the engineering profession by serving on the Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying. He leads Board-level committees that oversee finance, customer relations, and enforcement of laws and regulations. Jason was President of the Board for a two-year term in 2015-17.
Jason is a dedicated volunteer in his community. For the past four years he has served as the Club Coach for a Toastmasters chapter in a state prison, helping inmates improve their communications skills in the final months of their sentences. The structured communications training provide crucial skills to these men as they transition back into society. Jason also enjoys traveling with Habitat For Humanity on international trips with their Global Village program. Jason is married and enjoys spending time with family, typically undertaking some outdoor activity such as skiing or hiking, depending on the season.

 

Ms. Cortney Phillips Mospan : Wingate, N.C.; Ohio Northern University Circle

Ms. Cortney Phillips Mospan

Wingate, N.C.; Ohio Northern University Circle


Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, Wingate University |

Biography

Commentary topics:  Strengths based leadership; four frames; conflict management style awareness; developing your career trajectory; servant leadership

LinkedIn

Mr. Kenneth Lydy : Wilmington, Ohio; Wilmington College Circle

Mr. Kenneth Lydy

Wilmington, Ohio; Wilmington College Circle


Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Wilmington College |

Biography

Commentary topics:  student affairs administration, leadership development, organizational development

LinkedIn

Ken Lydy received his Bachelor of Arts in theatre and criminal Justice from Wilmington College and finished his master’s degree in higher education administration at Wright State University.  He is a 2004 initiate of the Wilmington College Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa.  As an undergrad Ken, was a member of the residence life staff, the activities programming board, the theatre department, and much more.  Ken spent the last 16 years employed at Wilmington College; first working in residence life.  He then served as the Director of Student Activities, as the interim Dean of Students, and is currently the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.  In this role, Ken oversees large campus activities as well as advises the Activities Programming Board, the Publications Board, the Educational Theatre Company, Wilmington College Commuter Club, and serves on a plethora of committees.  He also provides assistance with New Student Orientation - a program run by his wife Tara Lydy.  Ken also serves as the host or emcee for numerous campus and community events throughout the year.    

One other area of Ken’s work is as an entertainment host for the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball team.  He works with another host at each game to provide on field introductions and witty commentary during each inning break.  His purpose here is to generate interest and enthusiasm from the thousands of baseball fans of all ages who attend the games.

Ken presents leadership sessions at numerous conferences throughout the year including regional and national NACA, regional and national ACUI, as well as regional and national NODA conferences.   Ken’s philosophy starts with ‘F’, ends with ‘N’, and puts ‘U’ in the middle.  With the help of his daughter, Ken puts FUN in everything he does and believes. Ken makes sure to engage, entertain, educate and more importantly have FUN!

Mr. Matthew B. Nobles : Dubai; University of Florida Circle

Mr. Matthew B. Nobles

Dubai; University of Florida Circle


Middle East Commercial Excellence Leader (Finance), General Electric |

Biography

Commentary topics: international finance; anti-corruption efforts; Middle Eastern affairs

LinkedIn

Matthew Nobles is a 2006 initiate of the University of Florida Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. He is currently a member of the National Advisory Council.

Matt is currently the financial planning and analysis manager for the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey region with General Electric. He has been working for GE in roles of increasing scope and responsibility since joining the company in the financial management program in 2007. Matt was also a member of the GE Corporate Audit Staff, which is the premier organization within the company for professional growth. Over the past nine years, Matt has worked in North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, in industries including aviation, oil and gas, power generation, healthcare, and financial asset management. During this time, Matt has developed deep domain expertise in commercial finance, financial planning and analysis, strategic project management, process simplification, controllership, compliance, and audit.

In a prior life, Matt was an enthusiastic student leader on campus at the University of Florida and was inducted to the UF Hall of Fame in 2007 for his contributions to student life. These included serving as president of the Florida Cicerones (the official ambassadors of UF); four years of service with the Department of Housing as a resident assistant and then hall director; serving with the Freshmen Orientation staff; and, serving as a Warrington Finance Scholar with the business school.

Matt currently serves as a volunteer consultant for social enterprises in the Middle East, helping them to build their business models and unlock exponential growth for their companies. Matt is passionate about helping startup founders build profitable enterprises, while focusing on the pro-social mission and impact of each enterprise.

Mr. Brian Joseph Novell : New York, N.Y.; University of Maryland, College Park Circle

Mr. Brian Joseph Novell

New York, N.Y.; University of Maryland, College Park Circle


Associate (Attorney), Mintz Levin |

Biography

Commentary topics:  career and family; athletics; principled legal negotiations

LinkedIn

Dr. Brandy Cowing Phipps : Springfield, Ohio; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Circle

Dr. Brandy Cowing Phipps

Springfield, Ohio; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Circle


Faculty Member, Clark State Community College |

Biography

Commentary topics:  promoting diversity and inclusiveness in campus life, academics, and the work force; applying for jobs and interview skills; finding ways to lead in the community by serving others

LinkedIn

Brandy Cowing Phipps is a faculty member in the Health, Human, and Public Service Division at Clark State Community College and the Division of Online and Graduate Studies at Union College.  In her position, she is responsible for creating and implementing traditional and online course work in the biological sciences, including anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and nutrition.  In addition to her teaching and course development responsibilities, Brandy also serves on the Faculty Advisory Board and as a Quality Matters Subject Matter Expert Reviewer, helping other faculty members to make their courses learner-centered and accessible.  She recently received the Faculty Professional Excellence Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s commitment to education, professional development, and college and community service.  She is dedicated to supporting a diverse and safe environment for all students and, as such, is involved in training and policy development including Safe Space (LGBTQIA), Trauma-informed Care for Survivors, and Diversity Conferences.
 
Previously, Brandy served as a faculty member in the biology division at Cedarville University, where she developed and taught courses, advised students, and was involved in various college recruitment and outreach programs.
 
Brandy’s involvement in O∆K started at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) where she was inducted as a graduate student member.  While at Virginia Tech, Brandy served as an elected member of the Graduate Student Assembly, as well as an appointed member of both the Graduate Judiciary Board (academic integrity) and the University Council (institutional governing body).
 
In addition to her involvement in O∆K, Brandy is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the American Herbalist Guild.  She is a previous member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the American Society of Cell Biology.  Brandy was also inducted into membership of Phi Kappa Phi while a graduate student at VPI&SU.
 
Outside of O∆K, Brandy is very involved in her community.  She currently serves as an Advisor Board Member for Second Harvest of Clark, Champaign, and Logan Counties, a non-profit organization that serves as the local arm of Feeding the Hungry.  She is on the Board of Directors for Project Woman, a local domestic violence shelter that serves multiple counties.  Brandy also serves on two local task forces, the Healthy Eating Task Force and the Local Foods Council.  Both task forces are comprised of educators, government officials, non-profit and community leaders, and local business leaders who are dedicated to meeting the health and food security needs of our local community.  Brandy also serves as a Science Day Judge at the County, District, and State levels, and as a County Precinct Election Official.  Brandy earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Sciences from University of Florida, a Master of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (specialization in Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at VPI&SU.

Ms. Christine Anne O’Dea : Kennesaw, Ga.; SUNY Oneonta Circle

Ms. Christine Anne O’Dea

Kennesaw, Ga.; SUNY Oneonta Circle


Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Coordinator, Kennesaw State University |

Biography

Commentary topics:  consequences of breaking student code of conduct; risk management for college students; dealing with situations involving alcohol, drugs, hazing, sexual assault

Mr. Rich S. Pirrotta : Rochester Hills, Mich.; Pennsylvania State University Circle

Mr. Rich S. Pirrotta

Rochester Hills, Mich.; Pennsylvania State University Circle


Interim Executive, Corwyn Amber |

Biography

Commentary topics:  leadership; transitioning from college to career; motivation; finance; business growth; entrepreneurship; change; technology; manufacturing

LinkedIn

Rich Pirrotta is a frequent speaker, seminar leader, and teacher on the topics of leadership, strategy, motivation, e-business, and environmental management. He has been a member of the National Speakers Association, the leading organization for professional speakers, since 1999. His topics draw from his experiences as a line executive, management consultant, and teacher over the last 20 years. Rich is a senior operational leader, with a bias for action and a record of accomplishment for delivering outstanding business results in manufacturing, technology and e-commerce. He has broad, cross-organizational experience in strategy and strategy execution, management, finance, and operations, and has worked in over 30 countries. He is equally comfortable participating in strategic discussions with top-level management or working shoulder-to-shoulder with line personnel to get a job done. Rich has served in a variety of positions: as a Vice President of a division of a Fortune 50 company, General Manager of an e-commerce startup that grew from five to 200 employees, Senior Manager with the Mergers & Acquisitions practice of Deloitte & Touche, Senior Manager in the Manufacturing Practice of Deloitte Consulting, and in Product Development with Procter & Gamble, where he earned a US Patent on Pringle’s Potato Chips. He has deep functional experience in strategy development, operations, and transformational change, and has served as a board member of six companies in various stages of growth. Most recently, Rich was involved with his own firm in consulting to businesses from the startup stage to $400 million in revenue.

With more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, technology, and restructuring, Rich is a senior operational leader, with a bias for action and a record of accomplishment in delivering outstanding business results. He has broad, cross-organizational experience in operations, strategy, turnaround, management, and finance, and he has worked in more than 35 countries. He is equally comfortable leading or participating in strategic discussions with top-level management or working shoulder-to-shoulder with line personnel to get a job done.

Rich has served in president, vice president, COO, and CFO roles as a line executive, as well as spending ten years with Deloitte, first with their Management Consulting practice in Detroit, and later, with their M&A practice in New York. As a consultant and adviser, he has contributed significant value to companies such as General Motors, RJR Nabisco, United Technologies, Merck, and Chevron.

Rich has also served as COO and CFO for a cloud based financial technology provider. He previously served in consecutive roles as President of Fastener Advance Products, COO of Enterprise Automotive Systems, and President of Vogel Industries, three Tier 1 precision component manufacturers ranging in size from $15 - $70 million. Each required growth, restructuring, and turnaround expertise in Michigan’s difficult economy. One of the companies required an orderly liquidation of the business, and Rich led the organization to a full $20 million payout of the lender’s position.

His prior experience includes serving as a vice president of a systems integration division of British Telecom, and GM of an e-commerce startup that grew from five to 200 employees. He also worked for Procter & Gamble in Product Development, where he earned a U.S. Patent on Pringle’s Potato Chips.

Rich has deep functional experience in transformational change and strategy development, and he is a frequent speaker and seminar leader. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and has taught in MBA programs at Wharton and the University of Michigan. He previously served as Chairman of Wharton’s Global Alumni Association, with responsibility for an alumni network of more than 85,000 graduates. Rich holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration in financial management and operations management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Timothy A. Reed : Lexington, Va.; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Circle

Dr. Timothy A. Reed

Lexington, Va.; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Circle


Associate Executive Director for Business and Memberhsip Services, Omicron Delta Kappa |

Biography

Commentary topics:  personal leadership development; models of leadership; history and operations of O∆K including circle officer training and effectives; personal leadership development; leadership assessment (individual and organizational); organizational development and communications; conflict management and conflict resolution

LinkedIn

Timothy (Tim) A. Reed was named Associate Executive Director for Business and Membership Services in August 2016.  His specialties include leadership development, professional performance training, curriculum development, instruction, major event planning, and facilities management. He has presented widely on leadership, organizational development, program planning, professional standards, and facility management.

With more than 30 years of experience, Tim has served in widely different university settings.  As Director of University Student Commons and Activities and then as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, he led the curriculum and programmatic development of VCU’s third Living Learning Program (VCU-LEAD).  He co-founded the VCU Emerging Leaders Program, now in its tenth year.  Tim led efforts in professional development, SACS accreditation, assessment, and communications. As director of the student centers, he led the largest expansion of student experiences in 15 years as well as three major renovation and construction projects for the university.

Tim served in a number of student activities positions at Virginia Tech and as Dean of Students for Harlaxton College, British Campus of the University of Evansville.

Tim served on the Board of Trustees for Association of College Unions (ACUI).  He has also served as regional business manager and director, regional conference chair, and on a number of international committees. He also serves on the Harlaxton Society (University of Evansville) Board of Directors, and has served on the numerous other boards and advisory committees.

Tim is a member of ODK (Virginia Tech, ‘89) served as one of the re-chartering members and the Faculty Secretary for ODK, VCU Circle (2012).  He is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi.

He received a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from Virginia Tech, a Master of Arts in education from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies/interpersonal communication from the University of Evansville.

Tim enjoys reading, travel, biking, walking, and just spending time with his wife of many years, Lynn. He has three grown children and two grandchildren.

Ms. Rachel Bakken Romero : Lakewood, Colo.; Hope College Circle

Ms. Rachel Bakken Romero

Lakewood, Colo.; Hope College Circle


Energy Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory |

Biography

Commentary topics:  networking; collaboration; building client relationships

LinkedIn

The Hope College Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa was established in 2007, and Rachel Romero was a member of the chartering class of initiates. In her senior year, Rachel was the circle president and coordinated the speakers and activities for the year.

Rachel is an energy engineer and project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the Integrated Applications Center.  She is the project manager and technical assistance program coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) effort.  Rachel is also the competition manager for the U.S Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition, which inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready buildings.

Rachel obtained her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Hope College and her master’s degree in Building Systems Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.  She also has a graduate energy certificate from the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). She received her Professional Engineering license in 2014.

Rachel is an active member of ASHRAE.  She volunteers to encourage Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA) and coordinates professional and personal development events.  She has also been a member of the Presidential Elect Advisory Committee and the Conferences and Expositions Committee, which plans each technical conference.  Rachel is the recipient of ASHRAE's New Faces of Engineer Award in 2016 and the YEA Award of Excellence as well.

 

 

 

Dr. Tara S. Singer : Lexington, Va.; University of Louisville Circle

Dr. Tara S. Singer

Lexington, Va.; University of Louisville Circle


Executive Director, Omicron Delta Kappa |

Biography

Commentary topics:  history and operations of O∆K; models of leadership

LinkedIn

Tara S. Singer was named as Omicron Delta Kappa’s fifth Executive Director in April 2013.  She brings more than three decades of experience in association management, communications and marketing, alumni engagement and development, and university administration to her roles as the chief executive for both the Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc. and the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation, Inc.

Tara was previously the assistant vice president for Communications and Marketing at Indiana State University. Previous experiences include managing a range of budgets for university departments and divisions, affiliated foundations, and membership organizations; developing successful marketing campaigns for student recruitment at Indiana State University and for the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Alumni Association; and developing comprehensive alumni engagement programs at the University of West Georgia and the University of Louisville.

Additionally, Tara has coordinated numerous state, regional, and national conferences and has edited and co-authored various publications, including one book and several articles published nationally. A 1982 initiate of the Beta Epsilon Circle at the University of Louisville, Singer served as the faculty officer for the University of West Georgia Circle during her tenure as UWG’s vice president for University Advancement.   She is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity and Mortar Board.  Previously, she served Mortar Board as a member of that organization’s National Editorial Board and as an advisor for the Pallas Chapter at the University of Louisville.  Tara continues to serve AOII as one of its Foundation Ambassadors.

Tara earned her degrees at the University of Louisville including a Doctor of Education in educational administration, a Master of Arts in higher education administration, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors in American studies.

She is the mother of three sons. Scott Strednak Singer, a recent doctoral graduate from Temple University, and his wife, the Reverend Katie Strednak Singer, reside in Vienna, Va.; Britt Singer teaches English as a Second Language in Prague; and Chad Singer is a park naturalist in south central Ky.

Mr. Scott Stucky : Potomac, Md., Wichita State University Circle

Mr. Scott Stucky

Potomac, Md., Wichita State University Circle


Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces |

Biography

Commentary topics:  government; politics; military; courts

LinkedIn

Mr. James Donald Thaler : St. Petersburg, Fla., Centre College Circle

Mr. James Donald Thaler

St. Petersburg, Fla., Centre College Circle


Lawyer, Real Estate Broker, and Business Owner, Thaler Law Firm |

Biography

Commentary topics:  strategic management; business organizations; business law; business decision making

LinkedIn

Ms. Joanna VanDeWater : Mooresville, N.C.; North Carolina Wesleyan College Circle

Ms. Joanna VanDeWater

Mooresville, N.C.; North Carolina Wesleyan College Circle


Director, Sales Performance, Holden Advisors |

Biography

Commentary topics:  goal setting and planning; strategic thinking; root cause analysis; leadership development; coaching; pursuing your dreams; being intentional; making wise choices

LinkedIn

Mr. Benjamin M. Williams : Atlanta, Ga.; Georgia State University Circle

Mr. Benjamin M. Williams

Atlanta, Ga.; Georgia State University Circle


Associate Program Director, Georgia Institute of Technology |

Biography

Commentary topics:  O∆K operations and programs; diversity and inclusion; leading for social change; developing a leadership brand on social media; multicultural leadership; social justice and the connection to leadership; developing a leadership identity and philosophy

LinkedIn

Mr. Clifford Yee : Fairfax, Va., University of Richmond Circle

Mr. Clifford Yee

Fairfax, Va., University of Richmond Circle


Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Services, Raffa |

Biography

Commentary topics:  corporate social responsibility, citizenship, and philanthropy; social entrepreneurship; pursing a social impact career

LinkedIn
 

Clifford Yee was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa at the University of Richmond as a junior in 1995. The following year, he served as his circle’s president and as a delegate to the National Convention, where he was elected a student director representing the circles in Va. and N.C. In 2010, Cliff was appointed as the O∆K Society’s National Treasurer and served on the Board of Directors until 2013.  Among other accomplishments during his tenure, he helped coordinate the National Headquarters relocation to Lexington, Va. as well as ensured O∆K’s financial vitality for the organization’s second century.  In recognition of continued service and leadership, the O∆K Foundation recognized Cliff in 2016 as a Five Star Society Member.
 

Cliff is currently the managing director of corporate social responsibility services at Raffa, P.C., a D.C. based accounting, consulting and technology firm dedicated to service and community. He serves as the firm’s Practice Leader for Corporate Social Responsibility consulting services. He assists forward leaning companies and nonprofits with assessing, developing, improving, and delivering their social impact and partnership strategies. His expertise includes employee engagement and volunteerism programs, advancing philanthropy and community investments, and enhancing branding and marketing efforts.

 

Prior to Raffa, Cliff was the senior director of community affairs and market president network at Capital One, a Fortune 200 diversified U.S. bank headquartered in McLean, Va. He led the community relations teams charged with developing and executing Capital One’s award winning Investing for Good strategy through philanthropic grant-making, employee volunteerism and community programming.  Cliff’s professional experience also includes serving as a strategy consultant with CAST Management Consultants, as the associate executive director of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Foundation, and as an information technology consultant with Broughton Systems.

 

Cliff earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree cum laude from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Management at the University of Richmond.  He also holds a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership from the University of California – Berkeley, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a Certified ScrumMaster with the Scrum Alliance and is a Certified Mindfulness Leader with Whil.

 

Cliff is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Greater Washington and currently serves as a director on the Northern Virginia Workforce Development Board, the Northern Virginia Advisory Board for Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, and on the Points of Light Corporate Institute Leadership Faculty.  His previous civic engagement includes volunteer service with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington (Treasurer), Tahirih Justice Center, Jefferson Awards Foundation, the Drucker School, and the University of Richmond. Cliff and his wife currently reside in Fairfax, Va.