Matt Lehrman is the co-founder and managing director of Social Prosperity Partners, an Arizona-based consulting firm dedicated to the proposition that “Where people work together courageously, their potential is unlimited.” Matt’s passion and expertise is facilitating the strategic deliberations of boards of directors, governance councils and management teams, while gathering input and consensus from their various constituencies (i.e., customers, members, residents, audiences, donors, alumni and the general public).
Matt was the founder and long-time executive director of the pioneering audience development collaboration of Arizona’s arts and cultural sector known as Alliance for Audience and ShowUp.com. Matt later served as interim managing director of Arizona Theatre Company. His career started as a lobbyist for the real estate industry in Washington, DC before he pulled up stakes and moved to Arizona as a newlywed in 1988 and served as director of sales and marketing for a community bank.
When not facilitating other peoples’ conversations, Matt delivers inspiring keynotes and teaches substantive workshops nationally on topics of consensus building, public dialogue, fundraising and loyalty and customer engagement. His podcast, Tell Me More…, is a forum for “courageous conversations” among people who disagree on political topics and social issues – and is available on Apple, Spotify and all other podcast platforms.
Colonel Athens is the former Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and the Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership. He is a retired Marine, having served in significant command and staff positions in all four Marine Aircraft Wings, as a Space Operations Officer with the U.S. Space Command and as an instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 (the Marine Corps’ equivalent to the Navy Top Gun School). Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan and the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.
Colonel Athens is a distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies. Colonel Athens currently invests in leaders around the country through his speaking, writing, consulting and coaching.
Raleigh, N.C.-based professional speaker Denise Ryan is a motivational pyromaniac. Her infectious energy, humor and enthusiasm will set a room ablaze. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in business, what she really specializes in is lighting fires. After earning millions for clients in the corporate world, Denise realized she had a talent for firing people up. She turned this gift into FireStar, a company specializing in enthusiasm. Twenty years later, Denise motivates and energizes audiences across the US and Canada at conferences, virtual events and annual meetings. Her engaging delivery partnered with her business savvy and humor leave audiences not only laughing, but with actionable tips.
Not your typical “motivational speaker,” Denise is genuine and real. But also highly skilled – she holds the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation awarded to fewer than 10 percent of professional speakers. She is also a certified Financial Education Instructor and Health Coach. She is an author, keynote speaker and most notably, a fire starter extraordinaire. FireStar’s unique programs are relevant, uplifting and informative, addressing workplace issues such as dealing with change, effective communication, staying motivated and motivating others. Denise’s infectious enthusiasm motivates the unmotivated and challenges the challenged. Consider yourself warned: FireStar programs are five-alarm scorchers.