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Monday, July 22 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Choosing to Thrive

From the exhilarating highs of being recognized as one of the fastest men in the world and standing on the precipice of athletic greatness, to the heart-wrenching lows of a career-ending injury, Charles’ story is a testament to the human spirit's unconquerable will. It's a message not just about loss, but about the pivotal moments of choice that redefine our paths and propel us toward fulfilling our destinies. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds will discover that regardless of your season—be it personal, within their companies, or the collective challenges of our times—they are merely a choice away from thriving. Charles will illuminate how making the right choices, even in the face of uncertainty, is the cornerstone of living a life that not only pursues dreams but achieves them.

"Choosing to Thrive" is more than a message based on his latest book Guide to Thrive; it's a journey that encourages individuals to rise above their circumstances, embrace the power of resilience, and make choices that are best for them. It's a call to action for everyone to not only dream but to be an active participant in fulfilling those dreams, ensuring that we live lives that make us proud.

Charles Clark Pic


Charles Clark is a mental wellness and resilience expert. His journey as a USA Track and Field silver medalist, the 6th fastest man in the world at IAAF World Championships, 3x NCAA National Champion and 10x NCAA All-American led him to launch his 11-year career as an award-winning speaker.

As a renowned motivational speaker and bestselling author, Clark is a dynamic and highly sought-after leader in the world of sports, business and educational institutions. Clark speaks at over 50 events globally each year, ranging from nonprofits, schools, and sports teams to Fortune 500 companies. His resume includes training and speaking to large corporations such as Google, Farmers Insurance, NFL, MLB, Johnson & Johnson, Raymond James, Amazon, and Pepsi Co. With his vibrant personality and transformational strategies, Charles has inspired more than 600,000 people worldwide to date.

Tuesday, July 23 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Positive Chaos: Using Uncertainty to Fuel Opportunity and Innovation

We’re living in a time when it is no longer sufficient to say we’re “experiencing change.” In many respects, we are encountering chaos. Dan Thurmon, renowned speaker and author of the bestselling book, Off Balance On Purpose will help you better understand the nature of chaos to transform uncertainty into your advantage!

This energizing keynote will help you align your personal growth with your professional excellence to unlock greater capacity and contribution. You’ll learn to spot repeating “patterns” that will turn what seems new and overwhelming into the familiar and possible. You’ll leave equipped with a new mindset and inspired to create changes that lead to breakthrough results.

Dan Thurmon Pic


Dan Thurmon is a dynamic and award-winning keynote speaker, author, and performer. He is president of Motivation Works, Inc., author of Off Balance on Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love, and co-host of the popular podcast Wholesome Chaos. He has delivered thousands of presentations worldwide for Fortune 500 companies, world leaders, educational institutions, and even troops on the front lines of battle.

At an early age, Dan learned the power of performance, on stage and in the various parts of our life. When he was eleven years old, he encountered a mentor who taught him some amazing physical skills, but also gave him a channel for his bountiful energy. Graduating with honors, his entertainment business paid for his business degree at the University of Georgia. He applied the lessons in sales, management, and marketing to his entrepreneurial ventures in real time.

Inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame and a member of the illustrious Speakers Roundtable, Dan also served as President of the National Speakers Association, leading their CEO, staff and 3,500 world-wide members in a profound transformation.


Wednesday, July 24 8:30 am – 10:00 am

How to Be More Interesting Than a Cell Phone

Whatever you want out of life, you need to be more interesting to get it!

People give us promotions, propositions, and proposals. Your personal and professional goals can only be reached with the right people to assist you. In this keynote, you will learn how to attract the right people to increase your personal and professional opportunities. The core focus of this session is teaching people how to stand out in the world by thinking creatively, embracing humor, and building stronger relationships with others. (Note: This course is not about taking—interesting people give back!) 

This session is designed to entertain, educate, and inspire. You will walk away with insights and tips on how to more quickly and effectively build memorable moments and stronger relationships with others. Many people get stuck in ruts; this program encourages you to tackle your bad habits and embrace better ones so you can lead more interesting lives and inspire others to do the same.

Deedre Daniel Pic


Deedre felt stuck personally and professionally. She wanted to live a fascinating life and knew she needed to be more interesting to get it. She quit her stable corporate career and founded two businesses: one was designed to make money while the other gave it away. 

She started The Interesting Conversations Company® with a mission to teach people how to think creatively, laugh, and build stronger bonds with others. She created The Big Fat Tip® as a nonprofit vehicle to deliver hope through surprise $1,000 tips to strangers. She invented The Very Interesting Game® and has hosted hundreds of in-person and virtual game shows around the United States. 

Her signature keynote, How to be More Interesting Than a Cell Phone®, combines comedy with actionable insights to create better connections with others. A book with the same title is projected to come out this year. Listen to her funny and informative Shut Up and Say Something! podcast on all major streaming platforms. 


heather Gerczak


Chief Administrative Officer Integral Federal, CFCM, Fellow NCMA, Board Chair NCMA

A strategic GovCon contracts and M&A integration veteran, Heather G. Gerczak brings nearly two decades of experience to the Integral Federal executive team. In her role as Chief Administrator Officer, she is responsible for driving and executing Integral’s growth, transformation and strategic M&A initiatives.

Heather joined Integral at the end of 2022 after previously serving as vice president of corporate contracts at Amentum. Her experience also includes roles at General Dynamics Information Technology where she served as the VP, Contracts for the Defense Division, L-3 Communications (now CACI) and Harris Corporation (now Peraton).

Heather has earned a reputation as a trusted GovCon leader with deep expertise in strategic contract, procurement, pricing, risk management lifecycle and problem-solving services for the defense, intelligence and national security sectors. She was recognized as a Top 12 Contracting Execs to Watch by WashingtonExec in 2020.

A member of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) since 2005, she joined the Board of Directors in 2017 where she currently serves. Heather has been recognized as one of NCMA’s Advancing Professionals (2014) and is a graduate (2010) of the NCMA Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP). Heather earned the NCMA Fellow distinction in 2015.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Virginia Tech in 2002, Heather continued her education and earned a graduate certificate from the University of Virginia in procurement and contracts management in 2010 and a Master of Science in Management and leadership degree from Marymount University in 2015.

Kraig Conrad Pic


NCMA Chief Executive Officer, Contract Management Institute Chair

Kraig Conrad is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), a position he has held since November 2018. With a wealth of experience in association leadership spanning over two decades, Mr. Conrad's commitment to advancing NCMA's mission is evident through the implementation of a bold and ambitious strategic plan aimed at expanding the reach and relevance of the association.

Under his leadership, NCMA has experienced significant growth and expansion, and the organization's role as a leader in the fi eld of contract management has been solidified. Mr. Conrad's dedication to promoting the interests of professional associations and their members, coupled with his strong leadership skills, make him an invaluable asset to NCMA.

Prior to joining NCMA, he served as CEO of the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA), where he implemented a long-range strategic plan successfully guiding the PRIMA Board of Directors and a global network of over 50,000 risk professionals.

Mr. Conrad held various positions at the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), including Acting Co-Chief Executive Officer, Vice President for Programs and Development, and Vice President for Professional Development. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of content and logistics for seminars, webinars, and conferences with attendance of up to 1,300. He also played a key role in cultivating volunteers and staff members to enhance the value of special membership groups organized by industry and tenure.

Mr. Conrad also has served as Research Lead for Strategy Practice at Corporate Executive Board, Director of Corporate Finance and Risk Management and Director of Strategic Alliances at the Association for Financial Professionals, Senior Consultant for Braun Consulting, and Financial Analyst for Credit Suisse.

Currently, Mr. Conrad serves as a Board Member of the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting Advisory Board at the George Mason University School of Business, where he provides valuable insights and expertise to shape the future of government contracting education and research. He is also a Member of the Committee on Education at the American National Standards Institute, supporting the development of education standards.

Mr. Conrad recently joined the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA) as a Board Member in January 2023. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a Certified Association Executive and member of the American Society of Association Executives, as well as a Certified Treasury Professional and member of the Association for Financial Professionals.