Project YOU:  Managing Your Career as a Project Professional

    All Keynote Presentations:
    Tracks: (Re)Launching Your Career, Charting Your Course, Sharpening Your Edge, and Building Your Legacy
    Triangle: Strategy

    Mayor Sylvester Turner
    Presentation: Conference Opening

    Bio:Elected in December 2015, Sylvester Turner is serving his first four-year term as Houston’s 62nd mayor. Since taking office, Mayor Turner eliminated a $160 million budget shortfall in record time; led the city’s remarkable rebound from Hurricane Harvey; championed historic pension reform; cheered on the 2017 World Series-winning Houston Astros; hosted a successful Super Bowl LI; expanded municipal investments in renewable energy and led the winning bid to host the World Petroleum Congress in 2020.

    As the head of the energy capital of the world and the most diverse city in the nation, Mayor Turner has brought a performance-driven approach to the job, creating more responsive, streamlined and efficient delivery of city services while shoring up Houston’s financial future. Thanks to his leadership, the Texas Legislature and local voters approved the pension reform package that reduces the city’s liability by billions of dollars and provided a “fix” that had eluded the city for 17 years.

    One of the mayor’s signature initiatives is Complete Communities, which aims to improve the quality of life for residents in all neighborhoods. The mayor’s other priorities include filling more than 90,000 potholes on city streets, implementing a six-point holistic plan for addressing homelessness, reducing flooding and improving drainage.

    Mayor Turner’s civic leadership has been nationally recognized through his service as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Standing Committee, vice chair of the National Climate Action Agenda, member of the C40 and Global Covenant for Mayor’s for Climate and Energy and an advisory board member of the African American Mayors Association. He is also the recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honor. Turner has been featured in publications and news outlets such as 60 Minutes, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, Cuba Today Magazine, Ebony, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today.

    Prior to his election as mayor, Turner served for 27 years in the Texas House as the representative for District 139. He worked on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and served as Speaker Pro Tem for three terms. He was appointed to several Budget Conference Committees to help balance the state’s budget and served on the Legislative Budget Board.

    Mayor Turner is a life-long resident of Houston and lives in the Acres Homes community where he grew up with eight siblings. He is a graduate of the University of Houston and earned a law degree from Harvard University. He began his law practice at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and later founded the Barnes & Turner Law Firm.

    Mayor Turner is the proud father of First Daughter Ashley Turner, who is continuing the family tradition of public service in the healthcare field.


    Meg Crofton
    Former President, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, US & France, and 35-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company

    PresentationProject Managing YOU: Strategies to Keep You Moving Forward, both Personally and Professionally
    In this insightful and authentic keynote, Meg Gilbert Crofton will share her own experience and powerful stories from her 35-year career with The Walt Disney Company. She will pay forward her top strategies for designing your own learning and development plan including her firmly held conviction that we cannot be the best leader of others until we are first the best leader of ourselves. Meg is passionate that everyone needs to take charge of managing their own career path.
    She will share her advice for doing so along with some of her foundational life and leadership lessons. Attendees will feel inspired to bring greater confidence and direction to their own careers.

    Bio: Meg Crofton is a 35-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company. She retired from her position as President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S. and France, in 2015 and currently coaches and speaks on a wide range of leadership issues while serving on multiple Boards.  

    Throughout her Disney career, Meg held multiple executive positions in both operating and functional areas, as well as key leadership roles in the opening of many domestic and international properties. In her last role, she was responsible for the operations of the company’s theme parks and resorts in Florida, California and France and led a workforce of over 100,000. In addition, she led the global division’s functional lines of business which included food and beverage, merchandise, hotel and park operations, facilities/maintenance and safety and security. Prior to this, Meg served as the fourth president of the Walt Disney World Resort, the world’s premiere vacation destination. During her tenure, she led the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom Park, launched the expansion and rebranding of the property’s retail, dining and entertainment complex, and was at the forefront of the award-winning MyMagic+ technology initiative aimed at transforming the guest experience.  

    Meg is widely known and respected for her outstanding leadership and passion for a world-class customer and employee experience. She believes that when great brand, culture and leadership are present, employees in any organization can make “magic” happen. Upon her retirement from Disney, Meg received the company’s highest honor – a dedicated window on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom Park which celebrates her legacy of mentoring and leadership development.


    Dr. James Brown
    President, SEBA Solutions; Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida; Author, The Handbook of Program Management

    PresentationManaging Your Career: What Your Boss Won’t Tell You
    Hard work is always rewarded, but you have the responsibility to assure it is properly rewarded in a timely manner. Many do a great job but cheat themselves out of the reward because they mistakenly think that a great job speaks for itself. This presentation provides all the tips to ensure a great job is recognized and the organization recognizes your value and potential for what it truly is.
    Takeaways include:
    -Professional image must be created, and it is multi-dimensional
    -Providing value is required but only appreciated in the context of the big picture
    -Competence and relationship building are equally important

    Bio: James T. Brown, Ph.D., president of SEBA® SolutionsInc., a Registered Education Provider for the ProjectManagement Institute, has provided training and consulting services for dozens of companies nationally and internationally.  Heis the author of The Handbook of Program Management published by McGraw-Hill. James has been published in PM Network, PE Magazine, PMI Community Post, Projects@Work, The Systems Thinker and PM World Today.   

    James has a patent for a project scheduling methodology, and has received numerous awards including the "NASA Public Service Medal." James has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida, a MS in Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a Project Management Professional and a Certified Speaking Professional.  A recognized authority in project management, he is a frequently invited keynote speaker on project management and leadership. 

    James is a member of the Project Management Institute, the Society for Information Management and the National Association of Corporate Directors.  He currently serves as chairman of the board for Florida’s Technological Research and Development Authority.  James is an avid surf fisherman whose favorite activity is catch-and-release fishing for Roosterfish on the beaches of Mexico.


     Alana Hill, PMP
    CEO, 2Hill Consulting Services; B.S., Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University; Blogger, Leading Change...The Ms. Engineer Way

    Presentation: Engineered for Success: The Journey to PMP and Beyond
    PMI launched the PMI Talent Triangle® to describe the ideal skill sets of Project Professionals. It illustrates the structure that defines the profession. When Alana began to lead projects many years ago, she found herself searching for resources. Motivated by her desire to help people in her organization succeed, she began balancing her technical engineering/IT skills with leadership and business strategy. In this uplifting presentation about transition and continuous learning, Alana reveals the secrets that helped her progress from a field engineer to an internationally recognized Project Management Consultant. Whether project management was your accidental career or a goal you established, this program will help you discover that you were engineered for success.

    Bio: Alana M. Hill, PMP is a passionate speaker, author, and learning consultant at 2Hill Consulting Services. Her experience as an engineer and certified Project Management Professional (PMP) in energy and talent development provides real‐world insight into how people and teams can excel, even in the face of adversity. Her international business expertise shapes her perspective of change leadership and seasons her presentations. Throughout her career, Alana has led diverse teams and delivered high-impact workshops all over the world! 

    With over 20 years of corporate leadership and training expertise, Alana helps individuals and organizations accomplish their goals by utilizing sharp analysis, strategic planning, and interpersonal skills development; and she promotes behavior styles and conflict resolution techniques to improve team dynamics and performance. Alana provides her clients with a combination of critical thinking and compassionate leadership, which she labels “Leading Change the Ms. Engineer Way”.  Her clients have included Fortune 500 companies, small technology firms, churches, and non-profits. Her adaptability makes her an asset across the professional spectrum. 

    Before establishing her consultancy in 2006, Alana enjoyed a colorful career with Schlumberger advancing from a Field Engineer to a Program Manager. In her tenure with the oilfield services giant, she not only managed multiple technology implementations, she also learned to drive an 18-wheeler!  Alana holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and has numerous accomplishments in talent development.