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Kathy Wirtanen
Administrative, Facility
& Conference 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, Inc.

 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. 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! 



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.


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.

Russell D. Jamison, Ph. D.
Russell D. Jamison, Ph. D.Russ Jamison is the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin, Jr. Chair of Engineering Education, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Life Science Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.

He is Dean Emeritus of the VCU School of Engineering. He previously served as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Founding Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also served as Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Smith & Nephew PLC, a global developer of orthopedic and otolaryngology implants. He began his engineering career at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory after serving with the U.S. Army 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Europe.