Outstanding Speakers to Be Featured at Governor’s Conference

One of the goals of the 2014 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism, Oct. 8 – 10 in Knoxville, is to feature the very best in nationally-known and highly sought-out speakers.  And with this year’s incredible line-up, that goal has been reached!

Teri Yanovitch, who will be leading the Super Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 8, is a dynamic and insightful speaker whose powerful combination of customer service expertise and real-world quality management helps her move organizations from the status quo of “business as usual” to creating a culture of excellence. Teri honed her skills with the best of the best. As a former Disney Institute keynote speaker and seminar leader, she shared the best practices developed by the Walt Disney Company with global organizations. The author of two best-selling books on creating a culture of service excellence, Teri has become one of the nation’s most sought-out consultants on merging best practices in customer service and quality management into a comprehensive system for designing and implementing world-class service on every level.

Inky Johnson, former UT athlete and inspirational speaker, will share his phenomenal story of courage and overcoming adversity as the keynote speaker for lunch on Thursday, Oct. 9. For Inky, a routine tackle during a 2006 football game at Neyland Stadium turned into a life-threatening injury, and nothing has been normal for him since.  Not with a paralyzed right arm. Not with daily pain. Not with constant physical challenges. His dream had always been to play professional sports, so you might think his injury would have destroyed his motivation and crushed his spirit. But that’s only because you don’t know Inky. The survivor of an underprivileged past and a refugee of poverty and violence, Inky loves to impart how “inspiration” affects people from within and giving them the ability to accomplish what would otherwise be impossible.  Through his walk and his talk, Inky Johnson embodies and imparts a truly inspirational message.

How do you describe Mitch Joel, the keynote speaker for breakfast on Friday, Oct. 10?  Well, Marketing Magazine dubbed him the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and called him “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.” In 2006, he was named one of the most influential authorities on blog marketing in the world.  As president of Twist Media, one of North America’s largest digital marketing agencies, he has also been named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media, one of the top 100 marketers in the world, and was awarded the highly prestigious “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40”. Most recently, he was named on iMedia’s 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators in the world. He has been called a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert and community leader. He is also a blogger, podcaster, passionate entrepreneur and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his marketing and innovation insights on the state of business. And now, he’s coming to share his incredible insight with the Tennessee hospitality and tourism industry!

Add to this incredible roster of speakers Commissioner Susan Whitaker who, as the opening keynote speaker on Thursday, Oct. 9, will be sharing her annual State of the Industry address and Department of Tourist Development presentation, and Governor Bill Haslam, who is invited to present his annual Address to the Tourism Industry at the closing luncheon on Friday, Oct. 10.

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