Meet the Speakers

Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2018 Keynote Speakers! 

2017 Keynote Speakers

MEGA Session: Tuesday Kick-Off Membership Meeting
(CE Session #15)

Leigh Anne Tuohy

Leigh Anne inspires audiences to recognize the full potential of individuals in their community—and to find value in those who society has deemed valueless. She shares her personal “Blind Side” observations, from seeing Michael Oher for the first time to how the experience changed her as a person—and the Tuohys as a family. “He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life,” says Leigh Anne. The chronicle of the Tuohy family’s life, Michael Lewis’ New York Times number one best-seller The Blind Side, went on to become a record-breaking Hollywood blockbuster that earned more than $500 million and has become the number one sports film in history. The film boldly depicts both the struggles and triumphs of building a blended family; Sandra Bullock won her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Leigh Anne in the film.

MEGA Session: Wednesday Membership Meeting
(CE Session #18)

Governor Mark Parkinson, American Health Care Association

Mark Parkinson is the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents over 13,400 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. Parkinson served as the 45th Governor of the State of Kansas. Prior to that, he was the owner and operator of long term care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Under Parkinson’s leadership, AHCA focuses on delivering policy solutions to the Hill and CMS, with a special emphasis on quality care.

AHCA is now the largest Association in long term care and is at record membership. His vision has brought Parkinson recognition. He has been named a Top Association CEO by CEO Update and a top lobbyist for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by The Hill, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper. Parkinson also has the distinction of being selected as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2015.

MEGA Session: Update with the Agency
(CE Session #30)

Kim Smoak, Bureau Chief of Field Operations, Agency for Health Care Administration

Kimberly Smoak has been with the Agency for Health Care Administration since August 1995. She is the Bureau Chief of Field Operations located in the Division of Health Quality Assurance. She is responsible for ensuring both federal and state survey work is completed timely, monitors quality improvement/quality assurance indicators for the Division, training of survey staff and other Division staff, data management and support functions and oversees the field operations within the division. She develops and implements strategies to improve consistency among the field offices and the program units as those functions relate to the Survey and Certification functions of the Agency under contract with the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in addition to monitoring state requirements and timeframes. She provides technical assistance regarding programmatic issues and assists in interpreting rules, policies and standards. She previously worked for eight years as a surveyor surveying Nursing Homes, ICF/IIDs, Crisis Stabilization Units, Residential Treatment Facilities, and Rehabilitation Centers. Ms. Smoak holds a Masters of Science in Health with the program emphasis in Aging Studies. In 2009 to 2010 Ms. Smoak also was part of a group of surveyors in Florida to work on the development of the QIS Federal Basic Long Term Care which has been in place since August 2010 and continues to this date.


MEGA Session: COE Luncheon & Installation of Officers
(CE Session #36)

Platon, Photographer

Platon brings his photos to life as he shares with audiences the inspiring stories behind the photos and connects on a human level to the human condition and humanity of his subjects. Having one’s portrait taken is an intimate experience. As Shakespeare put it, “the eyes are the window to the soul.” For Platon, it is an intimate collaboration and a visual interview—both in front of and behind the camera. Having photographed world leaders, celebrities, our men and women in the military, civil rights leaders and human rights champions, Platon seeks to answer the question, “Who is this person?” A gifted communicator and storyteller, he now shares with audiences some of the most poignant and mesmerizing stories behind the photos that will take your audience on a roller coaster of emotions—from laughter to tears.

His photographic portraits have graced the world’s most influential magazines including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and The Sunday Times.  Platon developed a special relationship with TIME magazine, producing over 25 cover photos. In 2007, he photographed then-Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for TIME’s Person of the Year cover—winning him 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest. In 2008, he became the staff photographer for The New Yorker, where he has produced a series of large-scale photo essays which include President Obama’s inauguration, the U.S. military, portraits of world leaders, the civil rights movement and the emergence of civil society in Russia which earned him a Peabody Award. He has published two monographs including Power (2011), an unprecedented anthology of 120 intimate portraits of world leaders including Barack Obama, Muammar Gaddafi, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi.  In this one-of-a-kind collection, Platon turned his lens on over 100 international leaders from across the political spectrum to create a profound portrait of global power. Shot over a three-year period at the United Nations, and captured with unique candor and insight, these photographs offer an intimate glimpse of the personalities behind the public faces of the world’s most powerful decision-makers. In 2009, Platon teamed up with the Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. His projects highlight human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. His passionate and spellbinding stories will have audiences holding their breath. He recounts photographing Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, just days after her release from house arrest, for the cover of TIME—the photo shoot ended with a 9-hour car chase as he was fleeing the country to bring the film back to the U.S.  In the summer of 2014, he photographed Edward Snowden in Moscow for his exclusive interview with Wired magazine – a project which took almost a year to put together with the utmost secrecy and resulted in the cover photo of Snowden holding the American flag. His presentation promises to leave your audience wanting more from this master of his craft.