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Mrs. Ronda Dove
Administrative Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Leadership Conference 2015: Speakers

Honor in Service: Leaders Responding to the Needs of Our Time

March 10-11, 2015

Please check back regularly for more information on speakers.


Keynote Speaker

Cathy Tisdale, President and CEO, Camp Fire National Headquarters

 Cathy Tisdale, CEO, Camp Fire Inc.Cathy Tisdale began her career as an educator and then spent 27 years with the American Red Cross, serving in a variety of leadership roles at the local, regional and national levels. In 2007, Cathy joined Girl Scouts of the USA National Headquarters and led the successful, groundbreaking consolidation of 312 councils to 112, completing the effort ahead of schedule. In 2010, Cathy was appointed President and CEO of Camp Fire National Headquarters. In 2011, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Women Professionals (NAWP). In addition, Cathy was appointed Chair, National Collaboration on Youth. In 2012, she was elected to the National Board of Directors for both the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance as well as the Human Services Assembly. She is also a member of its Executive Committee. Cathy is a member of the United Way of Greater Kansas City’s Executive Leadership Circle, the Leadership Council of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Chamber’s Executive Women’s Leadership Council and a charter member of the Committee of 100 to support the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Cathy has been a featured speaker at the Independent Sector’s Annual Conference and at the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s Annual AMI Conference. Her hobbies include: travel, cooking, antiquing, reading, wine tasting and collecting, and the cultural arts — especially theatre, Broadway musicals, museums and jazz. Her favorite destination is any beautiful beach at any time of the year! 

Link to a video keynote address by Ms. Tisdale.



E. Scott Geller, Ph.D., President, Make-a-Difference, LLC & Alumni Distinguished Professor Center for Applied Behavior Systems Virginia Tech

E. Scott Geller, Ph. D., Psychology, Virginia TechDr. E. Scott Geller, Ph.D. is the President of Make-a-Difference, LLC and Alumni Distinguished Professor of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems, Virginia Tech. Dr. Geller will open Honor in Service: Leaders Responding to the Needs of Our Times with “Seven Life Lessons from Psychological Science: How to bring out the best in yourself and others.” Dr. Geller is the author of Actively Caring for People: Cultivating a Culture of Compassion as well as more than 350 research articles and over 75 books or chapters addressing the development and evaluation of behavior-change interventions to improve quality of life.

Resources:  Slides  and   Handouts  

TED talk Video of Dr. Geller.


Dr. Barry Asmus, Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis

Dr. Barry Asmus, EconomistDr. Barry Asmus is a Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Dr. Asmus was named by USA Today as one of the five most requested speakers in the United States. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding our income tax system and was a featured speaker in a privatizing Social Security conference for Western European leaders. On recent trips to Romania, Albania, China and Peru, Dr. Asmus encouraged government leaders to focus on economic freedom.

Dr. Asmus is the author of nine books including The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, published in 2013 with co-author Wayne Grudem. As a Professor of Economics, he was twice voted University Professor of the Year and was honored with the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge for Private Enterprise Education. Dr. Asmus is an advocate of free market economics and delivers his ideas in an enthusiastic and energy filled presentation.

Here is a video of Dr. Asmus.

Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead (ret)

 BG (Ret, US Army) Rebecca HalsteadMs. Halstead is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy and achieved an historic milestone as the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer. Following 27 years of service in the U.S. Army and one year as the Executive Director for Leader Development with Praevius Group, Inc., Ms. Halstead founded her own leader consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership. Ms. Halstead has over 15 years in executive-level leadership and specializes in inspirational and motivational speaking, developing leader training programs, leader coaching and mentoring. She authored her first book on leadership, 24/7: The First Person You Must Lead Is YOU.

Ms. Halstead provides an authentic, useful perspective on leadership. She is known for providing her audiences with tools for success which are immediately implementable. She has years of executive-level leadership and logistics experience, developing and training high-performing, complex and diverse teams. She has a proven record of leading change, building successful teams in demanding environments (Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany and South America), and creating innovative solutions, systems and programs to complex problems. Ms. Halstead’s clients include Proctor & Gamble, Mercedes-Benz, CitiBank, Stanford Graduate School of Business and more.

Ms. Halstead will be visiting VMI March 8-13 as this year's Leader in Residence, a program sponsored by the Center of Leadership and Ethics to provide leadership and ethics development to our cadets, faculty and staff.

Full bio

Video bio

Speaking engagement video

Dr. Kimberly McCabe

Kimberly McCabeKimberly A. McCabe is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her research interests include child abuse, victimization, and human trafficking.





Link to her credentials.


Elizabeth Scaife
Elizabeth ScaifeElizabeth Scaife joined Shared Hope International in 2009 and is presently the organization’s lead trainer on domestic minor sex trafficking. She develops and implements customized training curriculums for various audiences across the United States on how to identify and respond to victims. Elizabeth has trained federal, state and local representatives of various disciplines, including state policy leaders, and provides technical assistance to Human Trafficking Task Forces in several states. She also coordinates Shared Hope’s national training conference which emphasizes a unique collaborative community approach. On the side, Elizabeth has worked undercover with other professionals to document child sex trafficking in the U.S., appearing on national television.