Keynote Speaker:  Meagan Johnson
Generational Expert, Speaker and Author

Meagan is known as a "Generational Humorist" and has an outspoken, take-no-prisoners Gen X attitude and challenges her audiences to think differently and act decisively when dealing with multiple generations. 

Meagan graduated from Arizona State University Business School with a BS in Marketing. After working several years in a sales environment Meagan became discouraged to hear all the negative comments about Generation X. (Generation X is the 50 million people born between 1965 and 1980.) As a Gen Xer herself, she felt these comments were of course unfounded. She was further frustrated by the blinders her own managers seemed to have.

Meagan began to research everything from small to large corporations in order to find successful ways to work with the younger generation. From that ZAP THE GAP Solving the Multi-Generational Puzzle was born.

Since 1997 Meagan Johnson has entertained and educated thousands of audience members. She has written a variety of articles about the multiple generations and has been interviewed for many publications and audio programs. She has been quoted in The Chicago Tribune, CNNMoney.com, US News & World Report and many other publications. She wrote the Generational chapter in the book Success is a Team Effort. Meagan and her Baby Boomer father, Larry Johnson are the authors of Generations, Inc - From Boomers to Linksters, Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work.

Nothing changes perceptions more than a passion for life, work and success. To complicate matters, each generation has a different perception of what motivates them. Meagan says, "Every generation gets a negative label when it enters the workforce. For example Baby Boomers were called trouble-making hippies when they first went to work. Once we take time to understand the motivations and mind-set of each generation, working with them, communicating with them and managing them becomes a more successful effort".

What seemed like a perfect solution yesterday is the source of tomorrow’s problem. Learn from Meagan what you can do now to make the most of each generation in your workplace!

 

Chad V. Echols, Attorney
The Echols Firm, llc

A Rock Hill native, Chad graduated in 1998 from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management. He received his law degree in 2002 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the South Carolina Environmental Law Journal. Following law school, Chad was a law clerk for the Honorable John C. Hayes III in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. Before forming The Echols Firm, LLC, Chad served as Vice President and General
Counsel for Williams & Fudge, Inc., a national student loan collection agency located in Rock Hill, and was an attorney with the law firm Hamilton, Martens & Ballou, LLC. He continues to serve as outside general counsel to Williams & Fudge, Inc. The firm’s practice focuses on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, compliance for collection agencies and debt purchasers, business law, litigation, and commercial collections. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association. Chad serves on the Board of Directors for the Good Folks of York County, Upper Palmetto YMCA Camp Cherokee, York County Clemson Club, and is a Vice Chairman for the 2018 Come-See-Me Festival.

 

Barbara Hoblitzell
Department of Education

Barbara Hoblitzell is a Management & Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education in the Policy, Planning and Innovation group.  She is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy for the administration of programs that address critical national needs in support of the Department's mission to increase access to quality postsecondary education.

Barbara began her career in AT&T’s leadership development program but transitioned to public service, holding senior administrator positions at the University of California’s Berkeley campus and Office of the President. She also served as senior vice president at Kay Jacks & Associates, a higher education-focused consultancy, and senior vice president at Sallie Mae.

Barbara holds a Bachelor’s Degree from NYU and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

 

Blas Villalobos, Director of Vetran Affairs
Chapman University

Blas Villalobos currently serves as Director of Veteran Affairs at Chapman University, where he addresses the unique needs of student veterans, military personnel and military families. Mr. Villalobos is responsible for certifying U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veterans Affairs education, and vocational rehabilitation benefits for eligible students.

As part of Chapman’s strategic plan, Mr. Villalobos also provides enrolled military personnel, veterans, and military families with information and referrals on academic, career, personal, financial, and social matters, and will implement strategies to monitor and increase the retention and graduation rates of students while organizing events and functions to create a military community at Chapman.

Responsible for developing and maintaining essential communication and outreach activities for the VRC with both internal and external constituencies, Mr. Villalobos will provide training and workshops to faculty, staff, and students to help them better understand and respond to the needs of military personnel, veterans, and military families.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Villalobos served as Veterans Affairs Manager for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Under this position, Mr. Villalobos was responsible for the development, and implementation, of Mayor Garcetti’s strategic vision to leverage private and public resources to assist veterans and their families reintegrate into civilian life. Mr. Villalobos also served as the Executive Director of Community Programs and Veteran Services for U.S.VETS, where he managed/supervised the Outside the Wire program, the Career Development Initiative, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

Mr. Villalobos served in the United States Marine Corps from October 1999-October 2003. During his military service he was deployed to Iraq during the invasion in March 2003, and served as a Squad Leader during combat operations. After his military service, Mr. Villalobos attended Long Beach City College, then graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA degree in Psychology, and received a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration, and a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. Mr. Villalobos is currently a Doctor of Social Work candidate at USC.

In 2010, he was selected as the Veteran of the Year for California’s 54th district, and was recognized at the State Assembly by Bonnie Lowenthal. In 2013, he was recognized as the Alumni of the Decade for the 2000’s by Long Beach City College.