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Introducing our speakers

Vivian Blade

Transformational Speaker & Coach

Vivian is a recognized talent management expert, working with companies like yours to build solid and sustainable bench strength in your leadership pipeline.

In her work as a consultant, author, keynote speaker, trainer and executive coach, her passion in Building Leaders and Developing Excellence empowers companies to fuel incredible leadership, and professionals to fuel incredible careers.

Vivian guides companies in developing a competitive talent management infrastructure that prepares and motivates emerging leadership talent for leading your business into the future. And, to develop your bench strength, she works with you to design experience based skill-building corporate training programs that inspire greatness and confidence to lead.

On an individual level, Vivian coaches professionals in developing the leadership and professional skills that will enable them to realize their full potential. Her proven framework and strategies empower professionals to realize an incredible career.


President/CEO, NetSpeed Learning Solutions

Cynthia Clay is the President/CEO of NetSpeed Learning and the author of Great Webinars: Interactive Learning that is Captivating, Informative, and Fun. Her company helps people increase their effectiveness in virtual work environments.

The company provides instructor-led virtual programs that help employees and leaders communicate effectively, resolve conflict, serve customers well, and lead effectively in the virtual workplace. They also work with clients who are transitioning from the face-to-face classroom to interactive, blended virtual learning. Cynthia is a passionate advocate of brain-based learning and works with training professionals to apply stellar practices in the virtual classroom.

Lei comerford

Owner, Lei Comerford Consulting, LLC

Lei is a highly effective professional Coach, Facilitator and Learning & Development Consultant experienced helping organizations improve productivity, effectiveness, and engagement. Lei has over 14 years of strategic and operational experience in healthcare specifically the bio-pharmaceutical and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industries as well as over 5 years in hospitality. Lei has dedicated years delivering best practices in customer service, coaching, mentoring, project management and facilitation to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Lei is master facilitator certified in a variety of assessment tools and holds the ACC accreditation through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

She has held many internal leader roles in corporate settings as well as is the founder of her own consulting firm. She has delivered leadership development programs, implemented internal coaching and mentoring programs, coached 1:1 with leaders at varying levels, coached teams to become higher performing and has designed annual learning portfolios, team learning journeys, and onboarding programs.

Lei has a passion for helping others reach beyond their goals through increased self-awareness with an objective to empower effectiveness and engagement with each client! Lei gives back to the local and global community through volunteer efforts with the International Coaching Federation, The Humanitarian Coaches Network and the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Nashville, TN chapter.

Lei earned a B.S. from Georgia Southern University and currently resides in the greater Nashville, TN area.

Angela D. Ellis

Chief Learning Officer, Enhance Business Solutions, LLC

Angela Ellis, PHR, MBA is owner and Chief Learning Officer of Enhance Business Solutions, llc. Angela’s expertise as a coach and learning facilitator stems from 20 years in Human Resources and Organizational Development. She provides clients with leadership effectiveness tools, performance improvement strategies and team synergy ideas through individual coaching, group coaching and classroom learning engagements. Her international client base includes government entities, Fortune 500 companies, universities and more.

She is an International Coaching Community certified coach. She also holds certifications with DDI, The Blanchard Companies, and Franklin-Covey as a master facilitator. She serves as a coach with Belmont’s Center for Executive Leadership and several corporate leadership development programs.

Angela is a Leadership Nashville and Young Leaders Council graduate. She is also a 2020 Athena Award nominee which recognizes women for their service, mentorship, and leadership. She is a recipient of the Nashville Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award and the Chamber of Commerce Nashville Emerging Leader Award (NELA).

Brad Federman

CEO, PerformancePoint

Brad is an author, speaker, and consultant with more than 25 years of corporate experience in various aspects of human resources including performance management and employee engagement, employee compensation, executive recruiting, change management and instructional design. His background also includes sales, marketing, product development and operations.

Brad works with clients to create healthy organizations through employee and customer engagement, leadership, sales and customer service. He helps clients develop the best talent and reputation and provides them with the tools to help clients become the organization of choice for both employees and customers.

​As the founder of Performancepoint, Brad has worked as a leadership coach, a human resources trainer, an executive and an entrepreneur with organizations and their executive leadership in different industries. His leadership coaching clients have included household names such as Nordstrom, FedEx, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Gemini Hospitality, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Hewitt and Associates, Gillette, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., AT&T Wireless, Dow Chemical Company, Nextel, Genentech, Amgen, WellPoint Health Networks, Tyson Foods, Subaru of America, New York Life, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Gulf Bank.

Prior to founding Performancepoint, Brad was the executive vice president of Novations Group and has held leadership positions with Accenture and Humana Inc. He is a frequently requested featured speaker at conferences and business meetings worldwide. He is the author of Employee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty, Jump Start: 50 Ways to Engage Your Team, and a contributing author to 101 Ways to Enhance Your Career. He also has been interviewed for Fox Business News’ John Stossel Show and articles in numerous publications such as American Banker, Fortune Small Business, Los Angeles Times and HR Magazine.

Brad earned his bachelor of arts degree in communications from University of Maryland and a master of education degree in human resource development from Vanderbilt University. He also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Anthony Gerstner

Learning and Development Consultant, Gerstner Consulting

Anthony Gerstner is a master facilitator and has served as a corporate trainer representing brands for several Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Beats by Dr. Dre, and Nestlé. He has extensive experience in instructor-led training, both in-person and virtual (ILT and vILT). Despite a nearly 15-year career in talent development, Anthony continues to hone his ability as a presenter and challenges himself to make every presentation better than the previous one.

In 2020, Anthony founded Gerstner Consulting – providing instructional design, virtual meeting production, and facilitation services to clients nationwide. As a hater of poor presentation skills, he developed Add PEP to Your Presentation in an effort to improve facilitation one group at a time. In addition to offering Add PEP to Your Presentations as a one-day workshop, he also has supplemental programs to Add PEP to Your Virtual Presentations and Add PEP to Your Presentation Decks.

Jessica Katz

Trainer, Mentor, Coach, Liberated Elephant

Jessica Katz is a trainer, mentor and coach through Liberated Elephant. Jessica is passionate about working with individuals, teams, leaders, and organizations to help people discover and nurture their authentic selves. With this new knowledge, Jessica helps them uncover solutions that move them forward on their journey. Her methodology is informed by Agile values, principles, and practices - creating a safe space for clients to be wholly themselves without judgement.

Kris Kelso

Founder, The Kelso Group

Kris Kelso is a keynote speaker for leadership conferences, corporate events, and universities and is a frequent guest on television, radio, and podcasts.

Trained and certified as an executive coach, Kris has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, and their leadership teams. He is an advisor and instructor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, is a Facilitator / Coach with The Alternative Board, and is a contributing writer for The Nashville Business Journal.

Kris has founded multiple companies and has served on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations. He is an active member of Cornerstone Nashville where he serves, teaches, and coaches other leaders. He lives with his wife and three teenaged sons in Nashville, Tennessee

Kelly Knowles

Owner, Kelly K Consulting

Kelly L. Knowles earned her BBA and MBA from MTSU. She is a full-time senior trainer at Bass, Berry & Sims law firm where she develops and provides technical and business skill (soft skills) training to all levels of the organization. Kelly is also an adjunct instructor in the Business Management Department at MTSU. Her favorite class to teach is Principles of Management – the basics are always good to review!

In 2017, Kelly obtained a certification in the Color Code Personality Science and began Kelly K Consulting. Kelly K. Consulting focuses on helping individuals & teams discover, develop and dig-in to their potential. She guides this through one/one and group coaching as well as through corporate team training.

Kelly knows that when someone discovers their inner leadership they will begin to maximize their life in a satisfying and authentic way.

When she is not training, teaching or coaching, she is participating in one of two diverse Toastmasters clubs where she serves as Vice President for Education.

Jessica D. Prater

Principal Consultant, J Prater Consulting

Jessica Prater is the Principal Consultant at J Prater Consulting and brings 12 years of experience in training and human resources. Her practice focuses on bringing world-class talent development to small- and mid-sized businesses.

She spent the first 7 years of her career with Bridgestone Americas Inc holding positions in both the human resources department and manufacturing groups. Her last assignment was Training Specialist III for the North American Manufacturing Education Center, which served 16 locations in the US, Mexico and Canada.

She carries the professional certification of PHR and is a certified facilitator for Situational Leadership and the Kirton Adaption Innovation Inventory. She has served on the board of the Nashville Chapter of the Association for Talent Development and the Murfreesboro Young Professionals organizations.

Jessica holds of Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University. During her time with MTSU, she completed consulting projects through the university’s COHRE for organizations such as Comdata, Rutherford County Emergency Management Services, Nashville Airport Authority and Davidson County Sheriff’s Department. In 2018, she returned to MTSU as an adjunct professor for the Psychology Department.

Debbie Radish-Respess

CEO, Invisible Horizons Coaching and Consulting

Located in the Nashville, TN area, Debbie is an executive and leadership coach and the founder of Invisible Horizons Coaching and Consulting, a global executive coaching firm.

With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, she is a proven results-driven leader. Her expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching. She is a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.

Debbie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Human Relations and MBA from Trevecca Nazarene University. Based on her previous diverse experience, she chose to complete Newfield Network’s certified coaching program and became a credentialed Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. Additionally, she is a Certified Practitioner in the Shadowmatch® and StandOut® assessments.

Dayle Savage

Managing Partner, spiraLearning

Dayle A. Savage, Ed.D., PCC lives her life at the intersection of leadership and learning. As an Executive Leadership Coach, Dayle specializes in working with managers, directors, and vice presidents who are the next level leaders … helping them increase their capacity in the competencies and behaviors that trigger success! Dayle supports her clients by asking provocative questions, employing state-of-the-art assessments and intuitively knowing when to push, pull or get out of the way! For her, this work is an honor and a privilege.

Dayle had a rewarding academic life at Vanderbilt University as faculty and program director of the Leadership and Organizational Performance graduate program. During her tenure she also created/implemented an Office of Career Services for the 800+ graduate students on Peabody College’s campus. Her work has been in the healthcare, education and multiple professional services industries. She lives and works out of Nashville, TN. She is an international speaker and facilitator who enjoys bringing experiential learning and transformational change to life.

Deborah Tobey

Scholar | Author | Consultant

Dr. Deborah (“Deb”) Tobey has been a practitioner/scholar for over 25 years in the fields of human performance improvement, organization development, workplace learning, and leadership development.

As a practitioner, she has served as the lead Talent Development officer in several organizations, most notably Deutsche Bank and Comdata Corporation. Her most recent stint was Director of Talent Management for the Tennessee State Department of Safety and Homeland Security. She has operated a successful consulting practice since 1995, and has consulted with many client organizations in the public sector, private sector, government, and education.

As a scholar, Deb has served in full-time and adjunct faculty positions at both Vanderbilt University and The George Washington University. Her most recent appointment was Senior Lecturer in the Leadership and Organizational Performance program at Vanderbilt.

Deb’s practice and teaching specialties include predicting, measuring, and managing the effects of organizational change on human performance; designing/developing/evaluating organizational and performance improvement interventions; and developing consultation skills in organizational practitioners. She is the author of several proprietary approaches in the Human Performance Improvement and Learning and Development arenas.

Deb is author/co-author of four books directed at Human Performance Improvement (HPI) and Organization Development (OD) practitioners. Her doctorate is in Human Resource Development, from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She has a masters degree in Student Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from Virginia Tech.

Marc Wolfe

President and Founder, Marc A Wolfe Enterprises

Marc A. Wolfe helps clients become the leaders they were created to be. Their transformation is a result of seeing problems in a new way and being inspired to create solutions that actually work. As an ICF executive coach, Marc helps turn conversations into business outcomes.

For 20+ years, Marc has provided perspective and insights to both US and global companies in the healthcare, retail, financial, non-profit, and media/entertainment industries. Marc has been a guest columnist for Forbes.com as well as articles that have appeared in The Performance Magazine, TrainingIndustry.com, Coaching World, and others. Marc has been selected as an INC5000 executive coach, a facilitator for the Marshall Goldsmith MG100 Leaders Live as well as a top-rated facilitator for WBECS. He is also the author of the upcoming book called “Yeah But… A Guidebook For Moving Life Forward & Leaving Excuses And Alibis Behind”. Marc is based in Nashville, TN.

Liz Wool

President and Chief Learning Strategist, Wool Consulting Group, Inc.

Liz leads the Life Sciences advisory and consulting services for the Wool Consulting Group and the Wool Training Institute. Liz has over 40 years of experience in the Life Sciences, HealthCare and medical research that includes 23 years in education and training and is a recognized industry subject matter expert (workforce development, instructional design, training delivery [VILT, ILT]) and international speaker with a focus on solutions and added value results for clients. Liz's expertise produces results in both organizational effectiveness and efficiencies (design, re-design, modifications for growing companies, and post-mergers and acquisitions) in support of the organization’s goals. Liz is well published: Good Training Practices 101: A Primer for Employee Training Plans, ACRP, Clinical Researcher, 2008, and Workforce Resource Management: Managing On-Boarding & Training for Key Functional Area Roles, SoCRA Source, 2020.

Liz is a certified instructional designer, virtual training instructional designer, training manager and master trainer. Liz serves as the Chief Learning Officer for Wool Consulting Group and Wool Training Institute. A career dream was fulfilled in 2020 whereby Liz's advanced medical research training courses (available only for clients or presented at industry conferences) are hosted on an international learning platform for global medical researchers 24/7 whereby Liz is a recognized Key Opinion Leader with BlueCloud, HealthCare Point.

As the Chief Learning Strategist, Liz leads the workforce development and Wool Training Institute advisory and consulting services as she is passionate about developing the workforce to their personal and professional potential and performance and supporting the organizations to accomplish this goal! Equipping the learning and development team to accomplish these goals is critical to organizational success.

As part of the Wool Training Institute's philanthropic initiatives, Liz and the Team provide training and mentoring to instructional designers and trainers to various learning modalities (in-person, virtual, eLearning, microLearning) that is free to a global audience in upskilling their expertise.

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