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2016 SEACAA Conference Keynote & Guest Speakers

General Opening Keynote Speaker

Shawn Harper

Founder, Bridge Builders International, Inc., Columbus, OH


One of Harper’s best quotes is “You are not born winners or losers; you are born choosers!” From the NFL locker room to the corporate board room, Shawn Harper has proven that he knows the true meaning of hard work, dedication, and teamwork to win!  Shawn is a true rags-to-riches fairytale and is living proof that anyone can win in business and in life. Destined to become just another inner city statistic, Harper beat seemingly insurmountable odds with his tenacity and dreams that carried him from failing student to the NFL to Owner/CEO of American Services and Protection, a security guard firm in downtown Columbus. Not content with his achievements in sports, business, and family, Harper still yearned to teach others in the business world the secret to his success, Harper founded Bridge Builders International, Inc, a platform for his motivational speaking aimed to teach corporate staff and business leaders the fundamentals of attitude, teamwork, achievement, and inner motivation. He also heads “Shawn Speaks”, which addresses personal

development issues for teens and young adults to inspire them with a decisive message and concrete road map to achieving greatness. Whether it is a keynote address, annual conference, or corporate retreat, Shawn Harper has the “WOW-factor” that mesmerizes his audiences. He is personable, believable, and humorous, and his messages are profound and life-changing!

General Opening Speaker

Jessica McMoore

CCAP, Executive Director, South Carolina Association of Community Action Partnerships, SC

Within the past 25 years, Jessica McMoore has served in numerous executive management positions on the local, state and national levels including Director of Institutional Advancement and Stewardship in Higher Education and National Director of Resource Development. McMoore, a Certified Master Trainer and Peer Reviewer is also a certified grants writer and consultant and is currently the State Executive Director for the South Carolina Association of Community Action Partnerships. She is responsible for the statewide management, design, and implementation of policies and procedures, supervision of state association staff, resource and program development and the education and technical assistance to Community Action Agencies and Head Start Programs in her State. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Management and Business Administration from Webster University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Winthrop University and numerous post graduate certifications.

General Opening Speaker & Plenary Session: Partner Updates Panelist

Denise Harlow

CCAP, President and CEO, Community Action Partnership, Washington DC

Denise Harlow joined the Community Action Partnership in 2011 and has worked as Project Director for the Risk Mitigation Training and Technical Assistance Center and the Organizational Standards Center of Excellence. Ms. Harlow has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and governmental sectors, including service as CEO for the NYS Community Action Association and Sr. Vice President for Capacity Building for the New York Council of Nonprofits. She has experience in governance, strategic planning, public policy/advocacy, leadership development and organizational development and has served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors, as well as being an appointee to the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council in New York State. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University at Albany where she was also a Fellow on Women and Public Policy at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, and holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University.

General Opening Speaker & Closing Remarks

Ricky Baker

Executive Director, Leslie Knott Letcher Perry (LKLP), KY

President, SEACAA

Ricky L. Baker is currently Executive Director of Leslie Knott Letcher Perry (LKLP) Community Action Council, Inc., of southeastern Kentucky. He is currently President of SEACAA; past Vice-President of SEACAA; past President of Community Action Kentucky; past Kentucky Appalachian Commission board member; Leadership East Kentucky graduate; and served on several other boards in Kentucky. He has extensive experience in: Program Policy Administration, Strategic Planning, Management Principles and Administration, Cost Accounting Principles, Contract Management and Managing and Leading People. Baker has served in the Community Action movement for the past 22 years and has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

Legislative Update Speaker

David Bradley

Founder & CEO, National Community Action Foundation, Washington, DC


David Bradley, Co-Founder and CEO, National Community Action Foundation, gives a voice to the voiceless. For nearly three decades, David has been the preeminent advocate in Washington, D.C. working closely with the Congressional leadership and with numerous Administrations, to ensure federal policies related to major social service programs make a difference in the lives of low-income Americans. David is the principle author of the Community Services Block Grant, which provides the core funding to the nation’s CAA network. David has been widely praised by leaders of both political parties. The unique role he has crafted in Washington and his nearly unrivaled access to powerbrokers in the Congressional leadership has made David a popular presence on the speaker circuit. His speaking engagements provide his audiences with an insider’s perspective of the political climate in Washington that is gleaned directly from political and party leaders. David has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from George Washington University. In 1987, he was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served in President Carter’s Administration as Congressional Liaison at the Small Business Administration. In his spare time, David is part owner of three AAA baseball teams, the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Bowie Baysox and the Frederick Keys.

Plenary Session: Partner Updates Panelist

Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Director, Office of Head Start, Washington, DC

Dr. Enriquez brings with her an energy and passion for early learning that started when she taught English as a second language to kindergartners and first graders in the El Paso, Texas, school system. She has been involved in early care and education since the early 1970’s in various positions throughout her home state. She has been an administrator and supervisor of Head Start programs, elementary schools and bilingual education programs since 1973. Most recently, she served as the executive director of the Texas Education Service Center Region 19 Head Start Program, based in El Paso, with an annual budget of $32 million. During that time, the program has grown from 1,200 preschoolers at 10 sites to more than 4,000 children at 30 sites and has won many local, state and national awards.

Plenary Session: Partner Updates Panelist

Myra Ingram

Executive Director, Region IV Head Start Association, Inc. (RIVHSA), TN

Myra Ingram was named Executive Officer of the Region IV Head Start Association, Inc. (RIVHSA) in July 2006, and is responsible for the implementation of strategic plans as well as the daily management of the association. Ms. Ingram has a notable background in human services and nonprofit organizational management. Prior to her present position, Ingram served as the Program Specialist with RIVHSA and was responsible for developing and implementing professional development opportunities for the regional Head Start community. Before joining RIVHSA, she was Head Start Director in Tennessee and also served as a Program Coordinator for the Virginia Community College System’s workforce development division. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.

Plenary Session: Partner Updates Panelist

Deric Gilliard

Public Affairs Specialist, US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), GA

Deric Gilliard supports the Regional Director (RD) with the development and management of program strategies, the nurturing of Health and Human Services agency relationships and other activities/initiatives. Deric has represented the Office of the Regional Director throughout the southeast and nationally. Events where he represented the RD’s office include: President Obama’s Affordable Care Act presentations to regional communities, churches and faith-based organizations, President Bush’s faith-based and fatherhood initiatives, mobile tours to rollout Medicare Part D along with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Electronic Health Records Tours, Joint Tribal Consultation meetings in Washington, D.C. and the regional Tribal Consultation Sessions. Prior to his position with HHS, Deric was the Communications Director with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was the President of Gilliard Communications.

SEACAA Awards Banquet Keynote Speaker

Cheryl Silver Emanuel

Senior Health Manager - Community Engagement Director, Mecklenburg County Health Department, NC

Cheryl has given 30 years of her professional career to public health and community development. leading and managing health promotion and disease prevention initiatives with a focus on improving the health and quality of life for racial/ethnic minorities through policy development, community engagement, program implementation, cultural diversity training, access to care and resources dissemination. A brief summary of early career experiences includes attention to teenage pregnancy prevention, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS /STIs, substance issues and chronic diseases. I have had the privilege of serving and working together with some of our most fragile, un-served, and under-served families and communities through public service, public health projects, and community engagement opportunities.

Cheryl, who earned an undergraduate degree from East Carolina University and graduate degree from N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, has been honored for her work in the community, most recently recieving the Faith and Community Health Excellence Award- U.S. DHHS, Region IV (The Tri Regional Faith and Community Health Summit) in 2013.

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