Meet our speakers

Industry leaders and inspirational speakers to inspire and educate you on what you need to know.  Even before you get to Nashville, ABA offers virtual learning opportunities with professional speakers.  From human resources to technology and professional development, don’t miss out on these business-building strategies.

These webinars are sponsored by Cambria Hotels.

  • Lisa Braithwaite

    Cambria Hotels

    Lisa Braithwaite is on a mission to help leaders build visibility, credibility, and awareness for their work through engaging presentations, a mindset of service, and authentic connection.    Before launching her company in 2005, she spent sixteen years as an advocate and trainer in the nonprofit sector, as well as founding her own nonprofit organization.     This background, together with her B.A. in theater and M.A. in education, has influenced her upbeat and accessible approach to public speaking.     Lisa's been hired by companies as diverse as Microsoft, NOAA, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, and the American Bus Association for the playful spirit she brings to training, and has been interviewed for her public speaking perspective and expertise in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Men's Health, Toastmaster Magazine, and Inc.com.    She’s the author of "Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection."    Lisa models authentic, aligned, collaborative and FUN presentations using relevant, practical, and useful content that activates the audience's emotional engagement and moves them into action.    She resides in Ojai, California with her husband Rudy, and spends her free time cooking, eating, reading about cooking and eating, and managing her cats' Instagram account. 

  • Bill Caldwell

    Cambria Hotels

    With his extensive knowledge of tax codes combined with strong accounting skills, CEO William “Bill” J. Caldwell is able to help clients realize their dreams. Bill Caldwell honed his financial skills during a tenure at the U.S. Department of Army Audit Agency. An astute businessman, he recognized his generalist approach to accounting was an asset to small business entrepreneurs, so in 2002 he opened the doors to his accounting practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Further, to serve their growing client base, Caldwell CPAs opened offices in Virginia Beach, VA and Houston, TX as well as satellite offices across the country. Bill is a sought-after speaker for the transportation industry, have presented recently at the American Bus Association Marketplace as well as other industry conferences, including those in the tourism industry. Caldwell CPAs has a team of tax professionals that specialize in the transportation industry, working directly with motor coach operators, trucking companies, medical transport operators and taxi and livery services. Many of you may have attended one of the webinars Bill offered recently to help businesses navigate the many Covid related government programs.

  • Aidan Crawford

    Cambria Hotels

    Aidan Crawford is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience. He is the author of the book DIY Marketing for Consultants, Trainers and Professional Speakers. Prior to starting his own consultancy he performed key marketing roles at major insurance, and banking organizations as well as spending time working in the agency world.

  • Lisa Curtin

    Cambria Hotels

    With more than 20 years of experience in the tourism industry, Lisa is well positioned to understand its unique challenges. Today, Lisa is the Chief Operations Officer at Caldwell CPAs, and consults to the tourism industry on a regular basis in matters related to safety initiatives and employee welfare.

  • Randy Dean

    Cambria Hotels

    Randy Dean, the “E-mail Sanity Expert” ® is a professional speaker and expert on time & e-mail management, effective organization, and the related use of technology. For more than 25 years, Randy has been leading programs for major corporate, university, association, and government audiences. Obsessed with time management and personal productivity, he left a successful career as a graduate program admissions director, professional marketer and manager to become a leading speaker and trainer. The author of the recent Amazon bestseller, Taming the E-mail Beast, and producer and creator of several video self-study courses and popular YouTube channel, he has led programs for thousands of satisfied and inspired students, managers, and professionals on being more productive with their time and life.  His highly informative and entertaining programs leave audience members with immediately-usable tools, strategies, and skills on how to better manage their time, technology, and information overload following their program experience.

  • Bill Eager

    Cambria Hotels

    Bill Eager is a dynamic speaker who engages audiences with interactive workshops and presentations. He has written 12 books about the Internet including Amazon best seller Transformative Digital Marketing, Using the Internet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Marketing.   Bill is a huge fan of tourism, travel and recreation.  He has given workshops and keynote presentations to:  American Bus Association  The Phoenix Convention Bureau  The National Tour Association  Tourism Saskatchewan  Travelocity   Bill gives keynote presentations about the digital marketing, teaches Facebook for Business classes, and helps clients develop dynamic social media content on channels that reach more than 1 million viewers.   

  • Chris Goebel

    Cambria Hotels

    Growing up in an entrepreneurial business founded by his father in 1964, Christopher went from sweeping floors to becoming President & General Manager of Lakefront Lines/Coach USA. Working alongside his father and five siblings, he helped grow our business into a $38.9 million enterprise.    Managing the family business through a generational transition, privately-equity ownership, and then to a publicly-traded company, Christopher learned firsthand the challenges of scaling, operating, and exiting a successful business enterprise – and has a passion for sharing the wisdom he has gained in a lifelong career as a visionary and performance-driven executive.  In 2016, Christopher founded Crossroads Advisers with a mission: to share lessons learned of the business transition and succession/exiting with other business owners from a Business Owner’s Perspective.     1.    PRE- BUSINESS TRANSITION PLANNING  •    Valuation  •    Business Succession & Exit   •    Business growth & preparation planning  •    5 Step Business Transition Planning Process  2.    BUSINESS TRANSACTION ADVISORY   •    Sell-Side  •    Buy-Side 

  • Larry Johnson

    Cambria Hotels

    Larry is the co-author of two top-selling books: Absolute Honesty: Building A Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk And Rewards Integrity and Generations Inc. – From Boomers To Linksters – Managing The Friction Between Generations At Work. He’s also written for Huffington Post and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. He has been interviewed on CNN. Larry has written more than 200 published articles on the topic of improving organizational culture.    An in-demand speaker and organization culture expert, Larry has delivered more than 2500 presentations for association conferences, corporations and government organizations including:  •    American Bus Association (2008)  •    Training Magazine 2019 Conference & Expo  •    SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) 2019  •    West Central Florida Healthcare Human Resources Association (2020)  •    Harley-Davidson  •    Nuclear Regulatory Agency  •    Northwest Human Resource Management Association    He’s also presented more than 300 webinars for his own clients and for various webinar companies.    Larry’s Education & Designation  •  M.A. Counseling Psychology - Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ  •  B.A. Education - Arizona State University, Tempe AZ  •  CSP - Certified Speaking Professional from the National Speakers Association    Larry’s Experience  •   4 years in health care management  •   7 years as training manager in government and the private sector   •   35 years as president of his own training and consulting firm 

  • John Kennedy

    Cambria Hotels

    For over 25 years, John Kennedy has presented to over 500,000 audience members worldwide, and has made an immediate and dramatic impact with hundreds of companies, associations and industries in multiple areas of focus.    His hospitality/tourism back ground as a hotel and restaurant executive helped galvanize John’s natural ability to create cultures and companies that are strategically aligned to serve their employees, customers, and communities.    His client list includes The Baltimore Ravens, Taco Bell, Marriott Hotels, Ferguson Enterprises, Bermuda Electric Company, Canada Bread, The American Bus Association, Indiana University, The United States Air Force, General Electric, along with dozens of boards, agencies and associations spanning multiple industries and disciplines.   

  • Alex McElroy

    Cambria Hotels

    Alex delivers dynamic talks to audiences large and small on the topics of leadership, purpose, and apologetics. If you want a speaker who can help your audience, attendees, or employees connect the dots in their lives in order to become who they were designed to be, then Alex is your man! Alex McElroy is an international speaker, author, and leadership advisor.  Alex believes that knowledge without application is useless, which is why he always leaves audiences with tangible takeaways that can be implemented immediately. Life is too short to spend one more day not living in your purpose!  He has worked in and enjoyed tremendous success in the mortgage industry, insurance and financial services, as well as in the arena of energy efficiency. He is also a dedicated husband to his supportive wife of 14 years and a loving father to two beautiful daughters who continue to inspire and push him to be a better man.

  • Julian Placino

    Cambria Hotels

    As a recruiting practitioner for over 17 years, he’s led talent acquisition at world-class companies and has hired and coached thousands of top performers throughout his career. For 7 years, Julian led recruitment at Bottle Rocket, one of the world’s top mobile development firms. Through speaking and consulting, he teaches recruitment strategy, personal branding, and leadership development.  As Host of Pathways to Success on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify, he interviews inspiring leaders about their business and keys to personal success.

  • Rhonda Scharf

    Cambria Hotels

    Insightful … humorous … entertaining … even contagious  … words that are often used to describe Rhonda Scharf.  A speaker with the uncanny ability to look at the normal and see something quite different.      Rhonda will share some things she has learned to help you thrive in your work environment, emerging at the end of the day with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Audiences far and wide sing her praises for her relevant and useful tips on administration, communication, and workplace effectiveness!    

    Rhonda is an author, speaker, trainer, and grandmother! She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional, is a member of the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame, and is one of only 35 speakers worldwide who have earned their Global Speaking Fellow (meaning she truly has an international business), and been awarded the Spirit of CAPS award. She was the first speaker in the entire world to earn all four awards. Her peers consider Rhonda a leader in the speaking industry! Her natural warmth and sincerity are balanced by a healthy sense of the absurd, a combination that is useful in any situation.    

    Rhonda’s professional speaking career began at age two… when her mother would offer her 25 cents to be quiet for five minutes!

  • Peggy Sullivan

    Cambria Hotels

    Peggy believes that the most profound way to enhance your life is to claim responsibility for your happiness. That's why she has made it her calling to teach women to nurture their mindset, professional growth, and health and wellness. Through my book, "Happiness is Your Responsibility", speaking engagements, and the nonprofit women's organization SheCAN!, she knows that you will receive the tools you need to ditch the negative mindset and start living a life full of happiness.