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General Sessions

Opening Keynote
Monday, August 13  |  8:00 - 9:30 AM

U.S. Navy SEAL

Chris Gomez

First-hand stories about real-world missions demonstrate how to drive initiative, accountability, and achievement — just like U.S. Navy SEALs. Forged by some of the most intensive selection and training processes of any elite military professional in the world, SEALs are a special breed. They often operate silently under the cover of darkness, and are relentlessly committed to individual initiative, personal responsibility, and mission accomplishment.

Learn how U.S. Navy SEALs select, train, plan, lead, and execute their missions — and the tools and techniques they use to thrive and survive in rapidly changing and hostile environments. Our customers learn to apply these tools to any business situation, anytime, anywhere.

Chris Gomez is a decorated former Navy SEAL with twelve years in the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community serving as a medic and SEAL Instructor. During his time in the SEAL Teams, Chris was able to qualify as a Master Training Specialist, HRST Master, Diving Supervisor, Range Safety Officer, Free-fall and static line parachutist, Nationally Registered Paramedic (former), and numerous other NSW qualifications. As a SEAL Instructor, he evaluated, trained, and mentored hundreds of SEALs through a litany of high-risk training. Many of these students have gone on to do amazing things in the Global War on Terror.

Along with his SPECWAR career, Chris also served as a Navy Supply Corps Officer for nearly nine years, growing his leadership talent further. Known as the MBAs of the Navy, he was able to gain tremendous experience as a Business Financial Manager and Government Acquisition professional.

Recently retired from Military service, Chris is excited to combine his experience from working with the best the military has to offer with his newly minted Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas to produce amazing results for your corporation.


Tuesday, August 14  |  8:00 – 9:00 AM

Disruption and Innovation – Healthcare Supply Chain at a Crossroads

Eric O’Daffer

Healthcare supply chain is at a crossroads. Change is accelerating and no matter if you are in the first five years of your supply chain career, the last five years or somewhere in between you had better be paying attention. There will be winners and losers. Anticipating the change across healthcare providers, manufacturers, payers, retailers, and having a plan will be important to you and your organization. Join Gartner’s Eric O’Daffer for this session focusing on the next few years of market disruption, innovation, evolving strategies in the healthcare supply chain and what it means to you.

Eric O'Daffer is a Research Vice-President in Gartner’s Healthcare Supply Chain Group. O'Daffer's focus is on the end-to-end value chain starting at the point of care looking back. He focuses most of his time with providers and how they best manage all the components of supply chain. This involves both their internal processes as well as best practices for partnering with their suppliers and service providers to optimize the clinical effectiveness of their products and the best delivered cost possible. Increasingly, O'Daffer's research focuses on the interdependency of providers with their clinical, finance, and supply chain partners. Helping organizations balance high quality patient care with optimal cost aligned with revenue is his goal.

O'Daffer's previous roles have all focused on aspects of the healthcare supply chain, from early-stage product development to optimizing the physician practice supply chain to managing large IDN relationships and all customer-facing personnel, including early-phase value analysis consultants at a division of Cardinal.


Wednesday, August 15  |  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Six Keys to Success

Karl Mecklenburg

Success is overcoming obstacles on the way to your dreams. It doesn't happen by accident. There is a pattern, a template that these accomplishments have in common.

Karl Mecklenburg gives you the 'Six Keys to Success" that he used to rise from a college walk-on to the most versatile player in the NFL.

His presentation is full of humor and the life lessons that the rigors of the NFL taught him.

Teamwork – leadership is the ultimate form of teamwork, “think we, not me.”
Courage to try new things and the courage to be decisive.
Dedication – hard work, constant learning, and refusing to quit.
Desire – your dreams, your passion, your mission.
Honesty and Forgiveness – with others and in self-evaluation.
Goal Setting – the short-term, reasonable, specific steps that take you to your desires.

These are the keys that you can apply at work, in your relationships, in your personal life, and anywhere that is important to you.

Karl’s presentation has inspired numerous groups in the past, including Cochlear Inc., Piper Electric, Gallo, Progressive Insurance, Coors, The CIT Group, Honeywell, ProLogis, and many more.

Karl Mecklenburg Former Denver Broncos Captain and All-Pro Linebacker, rose from being a college walk-on and a 12th round draft pick to a pro career that included six Pro Bowl and three Super Bowl appearances. Considered the NFL’s most versatile player, Karl played all seven defensive front positions. Bronco coaches wanted him at the point of attack and would move him throughout the game. There were many games where Mecklenburg played all seven positions in the course of a single game.

In 2001, Karl was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Karl has been a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame each of the last three years.

Karl Mecklenburg, CSP, has earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speaker’s Association. Less than 10% of the speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation. A much smaller percentage of celebrity speakers are CSPs, and Karl is presently the only football legend to have achieved Certified Speaking Professional designation. He enjoys speaking to a variety of groups, and his story is both humorous and inspirational. The life lessons in the NFL taught him about teamwork, courage, dedication, desire, honesty and forgiveness, and goal setting are his “Six Keys to Success.”

As a highly regarded speaker, Karl tailors his presentations to the needs of the group while teaching and inspiring his audience. His legendary NFL career draws many attendees to events, and the content and delivery of his presentation sends his audience home with a renewed commitment to their goals.

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