Dynamic speakers enlighten and inspire

The General Sessions are the marquee events of the Capital Conference. Don't miss these presentations by these renowned keynote speakers. Monday's General Session speaker is youth advocate Wes Moore; public education advocate Jamie Vollmer will speak on Tuesday; and journalist Dan Rather will close the conference on Wednesday.


Wes Moore
Youth advocate

Monday, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m.

Wes Moore is a decorated Army combat veteran, White House Fellow, business leader and author of The Other Wes Moore, which describes how he overcame a troubled childhood to achieve success.

As a teen, Moore was caught up by the bad influences of his Baltimore neighborhood. After his mother sent him to military school, Moore finally decided to become accountable for his actions, succeeding in college and going on to earn a Rhodes Scholarship.
In 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran an article on Moore’s remarkable journey. At the same time, a series of articles were running on an armed robbery that led to the murder of an off-duty Baltimore police officer. One of the men convicted also was named Wes Moore and, only two years older, had also lived in the same neighborhood.

After meeting the “other” Wes Moore, Moore discovered startling parallels between their lives. Yet at each stage of their lives, at similar moments of decision, they would head down different paths toward astonishingly divergent destinies.
Moore’s inspirational story tells a much larger tale about the consequences of personal responsibility and the imperativeness of education and community for a generation of boys searching for their way.

Monday’s General Session is sponsored by Pepple & Waggoner Ltd. and Ross, Sinclaire & Associates LLC.


Jamie Vollmer
Public education champion

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m.

Jamie Vollmer is an award-winning champion of public education and the author of the highly acclaimed book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone. He has spent the last 20 years working with school districts, education associations, foundations and chambers of commerce to build support for America’s public schools. His goal is to help educators and their allies remove obstacles to progress and create schools that unfold the full potential of every child.

Vollmer became involved with school reform after careers in law and manufacturing. He is president of Jamie Vollmer Inc., a public education advocacy firm working to raise public support for America’s schools. In 2010, the National School Public Relations Association honored him with the “Learning and Liberty” award, presented in recognition of his “outstanding efforts to strengthen school/community partnerships.”

Once a harsh critic, Vollmer is now an articulate friend of America’s public schools. His presentations combine statistics, logic and humor to energize and encourage educators, business leaders and community groups to work together to build successful schools and help students reach their full potential.

Tuesday’s General Session sponsors are Baird Public Finance; Chartwells School Dining Services; Peck, Shaffer & Williams LLP; and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP.


Dan Rather

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 10:30 a.m.

The voice, heart and soul of American journalism, Dan Rather is one of the most recognized and renowned reporters of our time.
Over the past 60 years, Rather has been a part of history’s defining moments. With fierce dedication, he has chronicled the events that have shaped our world, reporting from the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia and Haiti. His legendary reporting skills have earned him universal respect among his peers and the public.

On the domestic front, Rather has covered nearly every major story, reporting on the tragedy of 9/11, the civil rights movement, Watergate and every presidential campaign since 1952. The first to break the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, Rather has always given us an intimate glimpse at history in the making. He brings us the real story with grace, humanity and substance.
The recipient of virtually every honor in broadcast journalism, Rather’s latest journalistic venture is the hard-edged news show, “Dan Rather Reports,” on which he is host and managing editor.

A compelling speaker, few can match the authority, experience and perspective Rather offers on world events and the significance of journalism in our time.

Wednesday’s General Session is sponsored by Brindza McIntyre & Seed LLP and CompManagement Inc.