Solutions Conference Experts 2018


In-Depth Solution Thought Leaders


Justin Bieganek

Mercury Creative Group


Justin is as comfortable emceeing a large event as he is facilitating a day-long strategy
session. His charisma and passion spur engagement and action. He shines in his ability to truly partner with organizations and become a strategic consultant offering creative, brand-focused suggestions that lead to growth.

Sarah Michel

Velvet Chainsaw Consulting


Sarah is an Experience Architect who has been working in the meetings industry for over 15 years to create dynamic audience experiences. Her vast knowledge of next-generation learning and facilitation skills help design dynamic meetings that guarantee more participation, opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer interactions to assure a return on attendance.

Sarah is Vice President of Professional Connexity for Velvet Chainsaw Consulting helping organizations deliver on the networking promise at face to face meetings. She is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) awarded by the National Speakers Association and a nationally recognized expert on networking and the creator of the
NetWORTHing® process.

Sarah has keynoted and facilitated for audiences and organizations around the world on how to be a more effective connector and the author of Perfecting Connecting©, A Guide to Mastering Networking in the Workplace and coauthor of the e-book, Conference Connexity.

She lives with her family in Colorado Springs were she is an active volunteer in her
community.

Nicole Prelgo

Mercury Creative Group


Nicole is passionate about discovering every way to share a company’s story with the world. Maintaining a consistent brand message is always paramount as she aspires to achieve short-term success for her clients while continuing to nurture their long-term brand growth. Her ability to connect with people shines through when she presents to groups of all sizes. Breaking down complex concepts in a way that leads to understanding and action is always her goal.

Jim Roman

Association Leadership Insititute


Jim Roman, founder and CEO of Association Leadership Institute (ALI) is a highly respected Business Development expert that specializes in helping Associations to increase the VALUE of their membership, so they can GROW their membership.

Jim understands the struggles an association faces as they seek to portray their value in an overcrowded market and remain relevant to its members in a constantly changing environment. He is well known for his role in building a regional membership organization from zero members to 1600 members in a few short years in a market that has never heard of his organization and only knowing three people. He has since then been consulting Association Executives on how they can achieve the same kind of growth. He does this not by having them SELL more, but by increasing their VALUE to the members so that they become “Indispensable.” He likes to say, “It’s not about how many people you sell, but rather how many people you serve.”

He has worked with Associations such as NARPM®, ACEC, VSAE, VNLA, IREM, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and BNI to name a few.

Carl Sandusky

Mercury Creative Group


A talented designer and illustrator, Carl brings a unique eye and creative perspective to every project he tackles. The skill he possesses for simplifying complex amounts of information enhances his ability to design impactful communications that influence action. In addition to design, his ability to simplify lends itself perfectly to his role as a facilitator.

Steve Swafford, Ed.D., IOM

Leadership Outfitters, LLC


Steve has worked more than 30 years for and with non-profit and education-focused organizations in areas of strategy, leadership development, communication, membership and executive management. He brings a practical knowledge of strategy and executive leadership with past organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), and American Subcontractors Association (ASA) where he most recently served as the executive director. He is active in California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE) and American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) leadership serving on the Board of Directors; past Membership Committee Chair; past Professional Development Committee Chair (aka Purple Cow Posse); Southern California Regional Council; University leadership advisor; and volunteer staff pastor. Steve is also a 15-year faculty member for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Management and serves on the Curriculum Committee for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A native of Kansas, Steve has a B.S. in journalism from Kansas State University; a M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC; and an Ed.D. from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education & Psychology focusing on Strategic Organizational Change. Steve has received the IOM (Institute for Organization Management) designation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is Practitioner Faculty for Pepperdine University’s Executive, Global, and Full-Time MBA Programs. Steve is a co-founder of Leadership Outfitters, LLC.