Morris was a high school science teacher and coach in west Texas who miraculously made it the Major Leagues at the age of 35. His life story made cinematic history with the heartwarming and unforgettable Disney movie, The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid. Jim pitched two seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays reaching speeds up to 102mph and chose to retire to raise his children. Since 2000, Jim has been a highly sought-after motivational speaker traveling the world inspiring audiences to follow their dreams and never give up.
In his latest book, Dream Makers: Surround Yourself with the Best to Be Your Best, Jim shares more of his incredible life story including the people who helped make him the success he is today: his Dream Makers.
Jim has been honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, a CAMIE award for Character and Morality in Entertainment for The Rookie, has been involved with
BCFS, Arms of Hope, Texas Youth Commission and other philanthropic efforts. He launched his own Foundation in 2015 giving back to underserved communities and children.
SECOND GENERAL SESSION, JULY 27
Sweethearts & Heroes
Murphy grew up in Philadelphia, PA where is parents ran a small shelter and recovery home for the hopeless in their home. Murphy has gone on help and care of others as his life's mission. After graduating from the University of Brockport, he spent the next 16 years advancing through the railroad industry. He stepped down after becoming a Corporate Director to pursue his passion of helping others. Murphy now travels with his good friend and wounded warrior Rick Yarosh as the speak on the power of HOPE and Action. Focusing on empathy activation and student empowerment, their message leaves students, educators and parents inspired.
Yarosh is a Retired Sargeant with the United States Army, he had spent 9 months deployed in Iraq before he was severely injured by an IED in ABU Ghraib on September 1, 2008. He spent half a year in the hospital fighting through his second- and third-degree burns. He lost his right leg, both ears, his nose, multiple fingers, and most of the function in both hands. For his heroic service, Rick received the purple heart. Yarosh has spoken about overcoming adversity and turning a negative situation into a positive one to millions from all walks of life.
CLOSING GENERAL SESSION, JULY 28
Collision of Rhythm
Bronkar Lee is a musician, producer, and keynote speaker whose unique background includes touring Europe as ringmaster to a world-renowned circus, appearing with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, and beatboxing with his son in a viral video that received over 200 Million views. Bronkar plays 42 instruments and counting (including drums, saxophone, guitar, and Native American flute) which he’s incorporated into live performances and presentations for over 20 year. He serves as the current President for the Georgia National Speakers’ Association, and he collaborated with his wife Cyndi Harvell Lee to write the book BAM: Bold Achievement Method, which outlines their 6-step process for accelerated learning.
Aaron Williams is a virtuosic tap dancing multi-instrumentalist, trained in classical music, jazz, and rudimental percussion technique. He achieved internet fame with his viral video, Mario on Marimba, which has received millions of views on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. In addition to his online and commercial successes, Aaron is a world-class music educator. He holds Level 3 Certification in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, and he has presented teacher training workshops for AOSA, KIPP Schools, CMEA (California Music Education Association), and several colleges and universities. He is a recipient of the ACEMM Winter Spotlight Award, which is granted for outstanding work in learning communities utilizing music and movement.