Aidan Spencer  
2021 Youth in Action Award Winner

In the spring of 2013, Aidan Spencer weathered more trials than many people experience in a lifetime. A house fire, family illness and debilitating car crash left Aidan feeling alone and hopeless. That's when his friends invited him to join their 4-H robotics club. Within a matter of minutes, Aidan knew he'd found a home. Working with his peers to explore his passion for STEM and reach for a common goal gave him a sense of belonging and a newfound purpose - to advocate for STEM access for all kids.

After getting involved in STEM through 4-H, Aidan noticed a discrepancy of access to STEM education for minority youth, and he wanted to help his 4-H club grow to reach other students who needed a place to connect and learn. Working with his local 4-H program, Aidan organized 60+ events to expose kids to STEM and co-founded three FIRST LEGO League robotics teams. Leading these efforts exposed a critical problem - lack of funding for STEM programs. To address this problem, Aidan created a business plan with a fundraising strategy that led to securing more than $7,000 to support 4-H STEM clubs by cultivating relationships with local businesses. Aidan plans to pursue a degree in Business Administration with a focus on nonprofits and hopes to continue his work to support STEM education for young people in the future. (Bio by National 4-H Council)

  Dan Clark  
New York Times Best Selling Author

Dan Clark is CEO of a multimillion-dollar corporation, an internationally recognized Speaker, Entertainer, Songwriter/ Recording Artist and New York Times Best Selling Author. Since 1982, Dan has spoken to more than 3 million people in over 4,000 audiences, in all 50 states, and in 30 foreign countries. Achievers North America and Achievers Europe named Dan one of the Top Ten Speakers in the World!

Dan is the primary contributing author to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and author of twenty of his own best-selling books, including “Puppies for Sale” which was made into a film at Paramount Studios starring the late Jack Lemmon. Dan has been published in more than 30 million books in 30 languages worldwide!

Dan suffered a paralyzing injury that cut short his football career. Sixteen doctors told him he would not recover but recover he did! Since then, Dan has flown in fighter jets twice the speed of sound, raced automobiles in Germany and was honored to carry the Olympic Torch in the 2002 Winter Games. Dan has been the general session speaker at the United Nations World Congress, conducted UN leadership training in Europe, Asia and Russia, and was the keynote speaker at the U.S. Air Force Four Star Generals conference. Dan has spoken to our combat troops all over the world, is a Leadership and Character Development Consultant for the US Armed Forces, has worked with Fortune 500 companies, NASA and Super Bowl champions. Dan’s inspirational story has been featured on over 500 TV and radio shows, in Entrepreneur Magazine and as the feature article in Mayo Clinic Magazine. Dan is one of the most in demand speakers in America and recognized expert on Managing Change, Building Winning Teams and Taking Life To The Next Level!

  Dr. Carrie Castille  
Director, National Institute of Food & Agriculture, USDA

Dr. Carrie Castille was appointed to a six-year term as director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which began on January 4, 2021.

A Louisiana native, Dr. Castille has championed agriculture and rural issues for more than 20 years. She has spent her career working in the agriculture industry, education and policy, including serving as Natural Resource Leader and Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University (LSU) and Associate Commissioner and Science Advisor to the Commissioner for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

In 2017, Dr. Castille joined USDA as state director for Louisiana Rural Development. In 2019, she was named the mid-south coordinator for USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area serving Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri.

Prior to joining USDA, she was appointed by USDA Secretary Vilsack to the National Agriculture Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) advisory board from 2010 – 2017. During her term, she served as Chair of the NAREEE board, and contributed to many organizations, including the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council on Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET). In 2014, Dr. Castille was appointed to the National Council for Environmental Policy and Technology by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

From 2010-2015, Dr. Castille was a member of the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute Board of Directors. She is also a past chair of the Southern U.S. Trade Association Operations Committee and a Fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.

During her career, Dr. Castille received the Secretary’s Award of Excellence in 2003 from Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman for development of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program and the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Rural Development in 2018 from Secretary Sonny Perdue. In 2017, she was the first female inducted into the University of Louisiana Lafayette College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. She also will be the first female to serve as NIFA director in a non-acting capacity.

Dr. Castille holds a Ph.D. in Renewable Natural Resources (with emphasis on environmental and public policy) from Louisiana State University, an M.S. degree in Environmental Studies from Louisiana State University, and a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

  John Beede  
The Climb On! Success Strategies

John Beede is a global adventurer who has climbed to the top of the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest. During the 9 year adventure, he somehow survived avalanches, pulmonary edema, tribal warfare, and a whole lot of Cliff bars.

He’s a worldwide adventurer who has traveled to 67 countries, written 3 books, and given live presentations to nearly 1 million live audience members. His newest book is called The Warrior Challenge: 8 Quests for Boys to Grow Up with Kindness, Courage, and Grit.

  Manny Ohonme  
Barefoot Legacies

A global leader helping organizations and individuals find purpose and create change.

Manny Ohonme has achieved international recognition as a philanthropist, social entrepreneur, businessman, author, and speaker. Manny is founder, president, and CEO of Samaritan’s Feet, a nonprofit organization established in 2003 that has provided more than 6.5 million pairs of shoes to individuals in need across 88 countries around the world and in hundreds of cities across the United States of America.

His organization has worked with more than 100,000 volunteers; and now, after developing and starting to manufacture the Samaritan’s Feet innovative World Shoe, Manny and his team are focused on realizing the day when there will no longer be any shoeless children. With more than 20 years of experience as a global leader, Manny enjoys sharing his insight, along with his inspirational story of being born in Lagos, Nigeria and how shoes become the symbol of hope and the vehicle to help transform the lives of millions of people living in poverty around the world.

As a speaker, award-winning motivator, and author of the book, Sole Purpose, Manny is regularly featured on regional and national media and addresses audiences large and small, from national association trade shows to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, from school-wide assemblies to private meetings with heads of state. His broad-ranging expertise and global vantage point, afford him the opportunity to cover a wide range of topics. You’ll find some of the most popular topics detailed on this site, but Manny can also customize content to fit any event and duration needed. So, if you are looking for someone who will engage and inspire your audience with proven strategies and lessons learned at the global level, look no further than Manny Ohonme.


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